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Article

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, Jan 14, 1915; d Barcelona, Oct 14, 1965).

Argentine painter, sculptor, performance artist, conceptual artist, poet and illustrator. After studying in Buenos Aires at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes and with Cecilia Marcovich and Tomás Maldonado, he quickly established a reputation for his scandalous views, attracting extreme disapproval and equally strong support. After delivering a lecture at the Juan Cristóbal bookshop, Buenos Aires, entitled ‘Alberto Greco y los pájaros’ he was briefly imprisoned for his ‘Communism and subversive acts’. On his release in the same year he travelled to Paris on a French government grant, selling drawings and watercolours in the cafés and studying painting with Fernand Léger and printmaking with Johnny Friedlaender. Between 1956 and 1958 he lived in São Paulo, where he became aware of Art informel; he painted in this style in the late 1950s and early 1960s (Glusberg, pp. 284–5).

As early as 1959, when he had returned from São Paulo to Buenos Aires, Greco had expressed his corrosive vision of society through the form of his work. In his shows he exhibited tree trunks and rags for cleaning window gratings or floors. He moved again to Paris in ...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(Iosifovich)

(b Dnepropetrovsk [now Dnipropetrivs’k], Sept 30, 1933).

Russian graphic, conceptual, and installation artist of Ukrainian birth. In 1957 he graduated from Surikov Art Institute in Moscow, where he specialized as an illustrator. Many years of producing artwork for children’s literature, for the Moscow Detskaya Literatura and Malysh publishing houses and the magazines Murzilka and Vesyolyye kartinki, partly shaped his slyly ironic graphic style; working as an illustrator was his only means of earning a living when avant-garde experimentation was officially banned. After experimenting with Abstract Expressionism and an absurd neo-Surrealist grotesque style, in 1970–78 he produced distinctive albums that, through a subtle interplay of visual and verbal elements, reveal disturbing existential contradictions. Best known is the album Okno (‘The window’), published in 1985 in Berne. Since 1978 Kabakov’s art has become more conceptual and he has created what he calls zhek picture displays (from the acronym ZhEK, referring to housing management), which parody wall newspapers and Soviet posters. These works are typical of ...

Article

Jasmina Tumbas

(b Sümeg, Hungary, Nov 5, 1937).

Hungarian painter, author of artist books, filmmaker, mail artist, conceptual and action artist, and participant in the Fluxus movement. Tót began his studies at the Hungarian Art Academy in 1958, but was forced out of the program because his artworks diverged from Socialist Realism, which was institutionalized in socialist Hungary at the time. He continued his studies at the Budapest College of Applied Arts from 1959–65, and soon distinguished himself with his informel and abstract expressionist painting style. In the late 1960s Tót began to exhibit with the Hungarian experimental group Iparterv (1968–69). By 1970, he abandoned painting and pronounced that his work had arrived at a ‘ZERO (0)’ point, a concept that signified his deliberate turn towards conceptualism, action, Fluxus, and Correspondence art. ‘Nothing ain’t nothing’, the use of 0s, and a declaration of ‘TÓTalJOYS’ became leitmotifs for his conceptual artworks, poster actions, telegrams, postcards, rubber stamps, T-shirts, and artist books. Tót frequently used a photograph of himself smiling or doing everyday things (standing, walking) in combination with proclamations of joy about such seemingly mundane actions, such as ...