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Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Saïda, Algeria, 1953).

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Kate Sloan

(b Bath, Oct 26, 1934).

English conceptual artist, writer, and educator. Ascott was a leading figure in the fields of cybernetic, telematics, and interactive art starting in the 1960s. After finishing school, he completed his National Service in RAF Fighter Command between 1953 and 1955, an experience that had an enduring influence upon his development as an artist. Following his military service, Ascott trained at King’s College at the University of Durham campus in Newcastle (1955–1959) under Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton. He quickly assimilated the core lessons of his teachers, who were both leading figures in the Basic Design movement in British art education. This pedagogical approach used a grammar of abstract form as the basis for shared preliminary courses for art and design students. As a student he won a scholarship to visit Paris, where he met with the sculptor Nicolas Schöffer. Upon graduation Ascott was employed as a studio demonstrator at King’s College (...

Article

Ulrike Gaisbauer

(b Pressburg, Aug 28, 1940).

Austrian painter, writer, film maker and musician. While still at school he wrote short novels and songs, drew comic strips, composed pieces for ocarina and piano and was three times Austrian junior national yachting champion. From 1957 to 1963 he was a student at the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna. His sensual pictures, which express a totally egocentric personality, sparkle with lively imagination. They incorporate the idea of metamorphosis as a consistent leitmotif and are therefore always undergoing a process of transformation. The idea of beauty, as part of a wide-ranging aesthetic view of the world, often forms the core of his artistic statements and is the basis of his numerous actions.

Attersee’s invented words and objects, for example Food-ball or Prosthesis-alphabet, are the result of an intellectual exploration of ordinary objects in everyday reality, as well as of current linguistic patterns. From 1967 to 1968 he produced his ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Nigeria, 1963).

Nigerian photographer, film maker, installation artist and writer active in Scotland. He studied Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1981–85), before completing an MA in Media, Fine Art, Theory and Practice at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1996–8). Bamgboyé’s earliest work was photographic: The Lighthouse series (1989; see 1998 book, p. 65) initiated his interest in the representation of black masculinity by depicting his own naked body in often theatrical contortions, amid mundane domestic rooms; the frames of the photographs are attached to coat hangers, underlining the theme of domesticity and pointing to his interest in the changeable character of subjectivity. These themes were further explored in films, which he began to make in 1993: Spells for Beginners (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 74) explores the breakdown of his long-term relationship with a woman through a broken mix of confessional dialogue and fleeting images of their home. The installation of which this film is a part takes the form of an ordinary living room and is typical of Bamgboyé’s technique of adumbrating his imagery with sculptural motifs that emphasize his themes. In other films he explored the issue of migration: ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Dundee, July 17, 1955).

Scottish painter, sculptor and writer. He studied Fine Art at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham (1975–8), then Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham (1978–80). In the early 1990s he began to make free-standing work characterized by a meeting of the ready-made with the monochrome, a preoccupation that he continued to pursue. His dedication to monochrome surfaces came about at first almost by accident when he began to apply more intense hues of paint to his sculptures, but it quickly became a consuming interest. While historically the form has been associated with the experience of colour, Batchelor realized that most monochrome paintings actually tended to be pale and lacking in intensity; his own paintings involved an attempt to inject more energy into them, and in that respect he sees them as semi-absurdist. His first solo exhibition (London, Curtain Road A.; Leeds Henry Moore Inst.;1995–6), at which he presented his ...

Article

Christine Mehring

(b Cologne, 1941).

American art historian, critic, and teacher of German birth. The significance of Buchloh’s work lies in its expansion of the modern art canon, demonstration of a critical potential of art and straddling of micro and macro levels of history. Buchloh’s scholarship on art made in postwar Europe or from unconventional media has broadened previous, particularly American, understandings of modern art. While a committed historian, Buchloh always also assumes the role of critic, insisting on the critical responsibility of art vis à vis history and the present while cautious about its limits. He maintains that one core function of art is to present the illusion, if not the realization, of a suspension of power (Neo-Avantgarde, p. xxiv). In keeping with this, Buchloh often writes on artists of his own generation whose practice and thinking he knows intimately, and on artists who share his commitment, most importantly conceptual artists of the late 1960s and 1970s. Buchloh’s combined roles as historian and critic spearheaded the merger of art history and art criticism that today defines writing on postwar art. Finally, Buchloh’s thinking interweaves macro and micro perspectives on art, anchoring broad historical arguments in formal and material details, or demonstrating, as in his writings on the “neo-avantgarde,” historical and hermeneutic differences between seemingly similar artistic practices and similarities between ones seemingly different. Buchloh, in short, demonstrates to many why art matters....

Article

Hilary Gresty

(b Sheffield, July 24, 1941).

English conceptual artist, writer and photographer. He studied painting at the Royal College of Art from 1962 to 1965 and philosophy and fine art at Yale University from 1965 to 1967. From the late 1960s he adhered to Conceptual art using combinations of photographic images and printed texts to examine the relationship between apparent and implicit meaning. In his ...

Article

(b Beaulieu, Alpes-Maritimes, Dec 13, 1943).

French painter and writer. He studied at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Nice and then at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. He had his first one-man show at the Galerie Givaudan in Paris in 1969. His early works were ‘painted papers’, for example Collage (1967; see Bielefeld exh. cat., p. 51). These were followed by the ‘stamped works’ of 1968 to 1969, created using a repeated design stamped onto canvas, such as Untitled (1968; see Bielefeld exh. cat., p. 48). From 1970 to 1971 he participated in the Supports-Surfaces group, though he was not included in the first exhibition (1970). In 1971 he co-founded and thereafter directed the review Peinture/Cahiers théoriques, originally intended as a mouthpiece for this group. At this time he began to produce his large ‘floor-wall’ canvases, painted in a few colours, which hung from the wall and extended on to the floor at the base. Those of ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b London, Oct 23, 1948).

English poet, sculptor and performance artist. He studied at the North East London Polytechnic (1968–71) and then under the sculptor Bernard Meadows at the Royal College of Art, London (1971–4). His first solo exhibition, at the Air Gallery, London, in 1977, was followed by shows at the Camden Arts Centre, London (1979), and the Arnolfini, Bristol (1980). From 1982 to 1985 he lived and worked in Norwich as Henry Moore Fellow. In the 1990s he became head of sculpture at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. Catling’s sculpture and performances are often based on a metaphysical view of ordinary materials and objects, dwelling on their spiritual and emotive presence. His performances involve intense, symbolic activities made in a state that he has described as ‘the chrysalis of mania’; he also made oracular readings using props invested with ‘magical properties’, suggesting comparisons with the performances of Joseph Beuys. During ...

Article

[CESCM]

French organization founded in Poitiers in 1953. The Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale (CECSM) is affiliated with the Université de Poitiers, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), and the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. The founders, among them historian Edmond-René Labande and art historian René Crozet, began CESCM as a month-long interdisciplinary study of medieval civilization, inviting foreign students to participate. CESCM has since developed into a permanent organization but maintains the international and interdisciplinary focus of its founders.

CESCM continues to hold its formative summer session, known as ‘Les Semaines d’études médiévales’, and invites advanced graduate students of all nationalities. The summer session spans two weeks and includes sessions on a variety of topics, each conducted by a member or affiliate of CESCM. CESCM supports collaborative research groups and regularly holds colloquia attended by the international scholarly community.

Since 1958 CECSM has published ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Chatham, Kent, Dec 1, 1959).

English painter, poet, printmaker and musician. He studied for a short time at St Martin’s School of Art (1980–81) before being expelled. He was famously Tracey Emin’s partner before she achieved fame as a ‘Young British Artist’, his name featuring prominently on her infamous tent, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–95 (1995; London, Saatchi Gal.) Indeed, their work shares a simplicity of execution and confessional frankness that links them beyond the divide Childish placed between them. A prodigiously prolific artist, he produced reams of self-published poetry, released many albums (through nine groups including Thee Headcoats), wrote novels and created a vast number of paintings. He clung to his outsider status, however, decrying what he saw as the egotism and commercialism of the London Art scene. His style of painting and printmaking was greatly indebted to German Expressionism, specifically to the work of Emil Nolde. Following the example of early 20th-century artists, Childish also published manifestoes, including the Stuckist manifesto of ...

Article

(b Lyon, May 25, 1957).

French painter, draughtsman and writer. He grew up in the port of Sète. From ages nine to seventeen Combas attended weekly classes to study art. He then studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montpellier (1975–8). He first saw a painting first-hand when he was 20. Combas’s first exhibition was in 1980 at the Galerie Errata, Montpellier. He is considered an exponent of the ‘Figuration libre’ that appeared in France in the early 1980s, and he was influenced by the powerful wave of German and Italian figuration of the early 1980s, which included such artists as Georg Baselitz, Jorg Immendorf, Sandro Chia and A. R. Penck. Despite Combas’s formal art education, his painting is nearly always discussed in the context of his working-class roots, his dislike of ‘high culture’ and his rise to fame and fortune. This is partly due to his irreverent attitude and the romantic myths that accompany the kind of painting he produces. During his final year at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Combas had decided to paint in the manner in which he had as a child. His belief in the power of a more direct, less technical and less sophisticated style of painting led to many of the early battle scenes for which he is renowned, for example ...

Article

Joseph R. Givens

The sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1930–2002) developed cultural capital theory as way to examine the influence of intangible resources on the phenomena of social reproduction and social mobility. He described a society of competing classes, arranged in a hierarchy of prestige. The classes are composed of individual agents who attempt to climb the socio-economic ladder by maximizing the use of capital resources, which include both material objects of symbolic value and intangible attributes that imply prestige and power. Bourdieu identified four types of capital: economic, social, symbolic, and cultural. Economic capital represents one’s financial resources, social capital consists of one’s social support system, symbolic capital describes one’s prestige, and cultural capital includes the knowledge, values, and skills that support an understanding of cultural relations and cultural artefacts. The forms of capital are inequitably distributed among classes, and one form of capital can be converted to another. Since the value of capital is defined by social relations within a specific field, agents strategize the best way to leverage their capital for maximum gain of the valued capital within that field....

Article

(b Pembury, Kent, Nov 8, 1939).

American painter of English birth. Downes studied painting at the Yale School of Art after having read English literature at St. John’s College, Cambridge. A classmate of Richard Serra (b 1939) and Nancy Graves (1939–95), he studied at Yale under Al Held (1928–2005). Downes began his career as a painter of geometrical abstractions, but radically changed his painting practice in 1973 after he encountered the oil sketches of John Constable and the Tower of Babel by Pieter Breugel the elder while traveling through England, Belgium and Holland. Realizing the importance of place in art, he began to paint landscapes in Maine, where he had just bought a house, making oil sketches onsite and finished paintings in the studio. He was encouraged by the work of some of the leading figurative American painters at the time—Alex Katz (b 1927), Fairfield Porter (1907–75...

Article

Quitterie Cazes

(b Territoire de Belfort, Oct 2, 1917; d Toulouse, Dec 26, 2006).

French art historian. He was born into a modest family in the Belfort region and encouraged by his teacher to pursue studies that would lead him to take the teacher recruitment exams for history and geography. In preparing for the geography degree, by confusing rooms in the Sorbonne, he accidentally discovered the courses of Henri(-Joseph) Focillon, which would determine his profession of art historian. Appointed to the high school in Perpignan in 1945, he discovered the Roman art of the Roussillon region, to which he devoted the first works that brought him to the attention of the academic community. However, it was the Gothic art of the kingdom of Mallorca that was the subject of his thesis, published in 1962, the year of his nomination to the chair of the university of Toulouse, where he taught until 1979. Durliat challenged systemization and was open to all disciplines. His impressive bibliography of more than 400 books and articles demonstrates an unrelenting activity and above all a rigorous methodology. As an historian, he analysed source manuscripts in order to anchor artistic achievements in an era, ‘enraciner dans une vie, une société, un langage, une foi, qui sont une histoire’ (to root them in a life, a society, a language, a faith, which make up a history), and he always proceeded with a clear historiography, based on the assumption that new study always fits into a time period and in relation to what exists. As an architectural historian, the analysis of monuments caused him to realize the length of time necessary for the construction of each building, and the function that determines in part its form. However, it is in the domain of Romanesque sculpture that his oeuvre is immense, notably with ...

Article

Sophie Howarth

(b Córdoba, 1955; d Córdoba, Nov 2, 1993).

Spanish draughtsman, painter, sculptor, installation artist, performance artist and writer. In both his art and writing Espaliú, who studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Seville, was influenced by the existentialist philosophy of the French writer Jean Genet (1910–86). His works of the mid-1980s included drawings of masks and faces and a series of hollow leather sculptures known as Saints. Later, Espaliú’s works all related to his identity and experience as a homosexual and, eventually, to his HIV-positive status; he was to die of AIDS-related illnesses while still in his late thirties, and a strong sense of his frailty and imminent mortality marks his mature work. Several sculptures from 1992 involved steel cages used as metaphors for both confinement and protection. These include Untitled (1992; Seville, La Máquina Española, see 1994 London exh. cat.), an installation made originally for the Hospital de la Venerable Orden III in Madrid. As illness made Espaliú weaker and more dependent on others, he embarked on a project entitled ...

Article

Yuka Kadoi

(b. Eger, 1926).

Hungarian art historian and archaeologist active in Britain. After studing Arabic and Oriental Art in Budapest, Fehérvári began his career there in 1952 at the Francis Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Arts. Following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, he moved to Vienna to begin a Ph.D. at the university of Vienna. He continued his doctoral research with a scholarship to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, working under the supervision of David Storm Rice. He was awarded a doctorate in 1961 for his study of the mihrab, and soon after he was appointed lecturer and later professor at SOAS. He conducted excavations in Iran (Ghubayra, 1971–6), Libya (Medinat al-Sultan, 1977–81) and Egypt (Bahnasa/Oxyrhynchus, 1985–7), and published on Islamic ceramics and metalwork. Following his retirement in 1991 and political changes in Hungary, he joined the Hungarian diplomatic service and was appointed Ambassador to Kuwait and other Gulf states, remaining in that position until ...

Article

Martha Schwendener

(b Barcelona, Feb 24, 1955).

Spanish photographer and writer. He studied at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where he earned a degree in communications (1977). He worked in advertising to support himself during his early career and was a professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts of the university of Barcelona from 1979 to 1986. Fontcuberta’s work was primarily concerned with truth in photography, and particularly its application in scientific fields, which echoed post-modern ideas articulated by such philosophers as Michel Foucault. Fontcuberta also aligned himself with conceptual practitioners who described themselves as ‘artists using photography’ rather than ‘photographers’. In addition to his background in communications and advertising, Fontcuberta identified growing up under the reign of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco as a major influence on his work. Many of his projects include fictional characters whose names, translated into Spanish, are actually ‘Fontcuberta’, or elements that allude slyly to his own biography and critique issues of authorship. ...

Article

Betsy L. Chunko

(b Florence, June 10, 1946; d Fiesole, March 30, 2007).

Italian archaeologist. Francovich began his career as a student at the University of Florence, and from 1975 until his untimely death in 2007 he taught at the University of Siena. He is widely considered one of the most influential archaeologists of medieval Italy, particularly regarding the territory around Siena and Florence. His many publications over his 30-year career have shaped our understanding of the origins and development of hilltop villages in Tuscany. He died in a fall in the forest of Montececeri, near Fiesole.

Francovich completed his studies in history at the University of Florence under Elio Conti in 1971. There he had focused on the subject of deserted villages and local history, an interest which led him to enter the field of archaeology. A fellowship through the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in 1972 at the Florentine Villa I Tatti allowed him to undertake his first village excavations....

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Woking, Surrey, Sept 29, 1944).

English writer, installation artist and sculptor. He studied at Guildford School of Arts and Crafts (1960–65) and at the Royal Academy Schools, London (1965–8). Furlong has come to be known above all for his work with recorded sound, yet his earliest pieces had a more traditional notion of sculptural form and appeared to emerge out of the Constructivist tradition. Construction of a System (1967–8; see 1969 exh. cat.) is a wall-mounted box containing wires and electrical components that suggest the insides of a machine. In 1973 he founded Audio Arts, a tape-based magazine project, which proved formative to his career. It grew out of his fascination with the new technology of the cassette recorder, which he used to record interviews and more informal dialogues with other artists, conducted both by himself and others. In some sense this documentary project remained separate from Furlong’s work as an artist, but sometimes the two were combined, as in ...