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Article

Bailly, Alice  

(b Geneva, Feb 25, 1872; d Lausanne, Jan 1, 1938).

Swiss painter and multimedia artist . From 1890/91 she studied under Hugues Bovy (1841–1903) and Denise Sarkissof at the Ecole d’Art in Geneva. A travel scholarship enabled her to study in Munich for a year. From 1904 until the outbreak of World War I Bailly lived in Paris, where she associated with Cubist artists, including Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger, Fernand Léger, Marie Laurencin and Sonia Lewitska (1882–1914). From 1905 to 1926 she exhibited regularly at the Salon d’Automne. From 1906 to 1910 her work was influenced by Fauvism, and from 1910 she became interested in Cubism and Futurism: Equestrian Fantasy with Pink Lady (1913; Zurich, Gal. Strunskaja) is reminiscent of the work of Gino Severini or Franz Marc in its rhythmic movement and planar fragmentation of horses and riders into coloured patterns. Other paintings of this period that are also indebted to these movements include ...

Article

Baranoff-Rossiné [Baranov], Vladimir  

John E. Bowlt

(Davidovich)

(b Kherson, Ukraine, Jan 1, 1888; d France, 1944).

Ukrainian painter and multimedia artist . He studied painting in Odessa, before enrolling at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg in 1905. His proximity in the mid-1900s to the artists of the nascent avant-garde, especially David Burlyuk and Vladimir Burlyuk, was of decisive importance to his stylistic development. Contributing to The Link (Kiev, 1908) and their other exhibitions in Moscow, Kiev and St Petersburg, he supported their stand against Realism and the Academy, favouring a brightly coloured post-Impressionism reminiscent of Georges Seurat and Louis Valtat.

In 1910 Baranoff-Rossiné moved to Paris where he lived for a number of years, exhibiting at the Salon des Indépendants. He also travelled widely in Germany and Scandinavia. He quickly elaborated an experimental style that relied both on Cubism, especially as interpreted by Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger (e.g. his Forge, 1911; Paris, Pompidou), and on the colour theories of Robert Delaunay and Sonia Delaunay (e.g. his ...

Article

Boyce, Sonia  

(b London, 1962).

English painter, draughtswoman and multi-media artist. She studied art at East Ham College and Stourbridge College of Art until 1983. Boyce’s early works were large chalk-and-pastel drawings that show her interest in depicting friends, family and childhood experiences. In them she often included depictions of wallpaper patterns and bright colours associated with the Caribbean and experienced through her own particular background. Through them she also examined her position as a black woman in Britain and the historical events in which that experience was rooted (e.g. Lay Back, Keep Quiet and Think of What Made Britain so Great, charcoal, pastel and watercolour on paper, 4 parts, 15.25×6.50 m each, 1986; AC Eng). Making these experiences visible was her main concern in what could be seen as a form of social realism. In her later works she used such diverse media as digital photographs, laser photographs and pastel to produce composite images depicting contemporary black life (e. g. ...

Article

Chacmool  

Virginia Miller

Stone sculptures from Mesoamerica representing a supine male figure, approximately life-size, whose backbone is bent in an anatomically impossible position. His feet are flat on the ground, knees drawn up, and head turned sharply toward the viewer. The hands grasp a round or rectangular receptacle resting on the abdomen.

The largest number (eighteen) occurs at Chichen Itza, where the first excavated example was discovered in 1875 by the explorer Augustus Le Plongeon. He dubbed the sculpture “chacmool,” which he believed meant “powerful warrior” in Maya, although it is generally translated as “red” or “great” jaguar paw. The inaccurate term has since been applied to all examples, regardless of culture.

Although difficult to date, chacmools first appear between 800 CE and 1000 CE. They are found contemporaneously at Chichen Itza and Tula, where a dozen examples are known. The sculptures occur in the Tarascan region, and as far afield as Costa Rica and El Salvador. There are several Aztec ...

Article

Cohen, Harold  

Timothy Stott

(b London, May 1, 1928; d Encinitas, CA, Apr 27, 2016).

English painter, active also in the USA. Born into a Polish-Russian émigré family in 1928, Cohen enrolled at the Slade School of Art, London, in 1948, graduating in 1951 with a Diploma in Fine Art. He taught art history at Camberwell School of Art (1952–1954) and fine art at University of Nottingham (1956–1959), Slade School (1961–1965), and Coventry College of Art (1965–1968). In 1968 he joined the Visual Arts Department at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) at a time of widespread pedagogical and curricular experiment, attaining a professorship in 1971. He retired from this role in 1994 and became founding director of UCSD’s Center for Research in Computing and the Arts in La Jolla.

His first solo exhibition took place at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in 1951, followed by several shows at Gimpel Fils and other major galleries in London from 1954 on. His abstract, biomorphic paintings and prints featured widely in the constructivist revival of the late 1950s. In the catalog for ...

Article

Debela, Achamyeleh  

Konjit Seyoum

(b 1947).

Ethiopian painter and computer artist, active in the USA. He trained at the School of Fine Arts under Gebre Krestos Desta in 1967. He received a scholarship to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in Nigeria, where he earned a BA (1972). He then moved to the United States to be curator of the art gallery at Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD. He actively promoted Ethiopian art, curating two 1973 exhibitions that featured Ethiopian artists working in the USA. He was awarded an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. His paintings from this period are figurative. He went on to receive a PhD in computer art from The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, and became a professor of art and director of the Computing Center for the Arts at North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC. His works from the 1990s are cibachrome prints of computer-manipulated imagery that range from complex compositions to simple figural depictions....

Article

Dittborn, Eugenio  

Milan Ivelić

(b Santiago, 1943).

Chilean painter, printmaker, draftsman, and video artist. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes of the Universidad de Chile in Santiago (1961–1965), at the Escuela de Fotomecánica in Madrid (1966), the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst in West Berlin (1967–1969), and at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Dittborn, together with other theorists and artists working in Chile in the 1970s, based his work on critical examination of the marginal position of Chilean art in relation to international developments, adopting to this end practices at odds with Chilean traditions. Rejecting conventional forms of painting as well as the usual methods of producing and presenting prints, he instead favored photography as a source both of imagery and technique by means of screenprinting. He found his imagery ready-made in the portraits featured in old Chilean criminology magazines; he combined mechanical techniques such as offset lithography and screenprinting with traditional handcrafting methods of embroidery and drawn-threadwork; and in the mid-1980s he even went so far as to produce works on brown wrapping paper, which he folded and then distributed through the ordinary post, calling them his own variant of correspondence art. Dittborn used such contrasts within his work to reflect disparate realities, mirroring the social interaction of different levels in society and underlining the racially mixed origins of Latin American practices by exaggerating the clash between domestic crafts and advanced modern technology....

Article

Downey, Juan  

Milan Ivelić

revised by Gwen Unger

(b Santiago, May 11, 1940; d Jun 9, 1993).

Chilean painter, printmaker, and video artist. He earned a BA in architecture at the Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago in 1961. He also studied printmaking at Taller 99, a workshop in Santiago run by Nemesio Antúnez, where he explored new technical methods for representing machine imagery and energy. In 1961 he traveled to Spain, then to Paris, where he studied at S. W. Hayter’s Atelier 17 until 1965. In Paris Downey became friends with other Latin American artists and writers living in the city at the time such as Julio Le Parc, Roberto Matta, and Pablo Neruda (1904–1973).

In the mid-1960s Downey settled in Washington, DC, where he became interested in and made contact with the pioneers of video art, which became his primary medium. Proposing to work directly with energy rather than simply representing it, he presented his first audio-visual installation in 1966, conveying light, sound, and energy by means of closed-circuit television. Downey was a pioneer in ...

Article

Eidophusokon  

‘Moving picture’ device invented by Loutherbourg [Lauterbourg; Lutherbourg], Philippe Jacques [Philipp Jakob; Philip James] de and first exhibited in London in 1782. Views of London and scenes such as a storm at sea were shown together with sound effects and various lights and coloured gauzes to imitate the different times of day....

Article

Emin, Tracey  

John-Paul Stonard

(Karima)

(b London, July 3, 1963).

English sculptor, painter, draughtsman, video artist and installation artist. She studied at Maidstone College of Art (1983–6), and at the Royal College of Art in London (1987–9). In January 1993 she embarked on a six-month collaborative project with the artist Sarah Lucas, The Shop, in the Bethnal Green district of London, selling art objects in the style of bric-a-brac. Her first solo exhibition, My Major Retrospective, (London, White Cube Gal., 1993), provided the public platform for her subsequent success. Emin’s aptitude for self-promotion was demonstrated by the opening, in 1995, of the Tracey Emin Museum in South London, which she ran as a showcase for her work until 1998. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1999.

Emin achieved notoriety both in the art world and in the popular press as the enfant terrible of British art, a result not only of her outlandish behaviour but also of her starkly confessional work, based on an unorthodox upbringing and turbulent private life. In ...

Article

Jacir, Emily  

Mary Chou

(b Bethlehem, 1970).

Palestinian conceptual artist. Jacir’s works use a variety of media including film, photography, installation, performance, video, sound, sculpture and painting. Jacir was raised in Saudi Arabia and attended high school in Rome, Italy. She received her BA from the University of Dallas, Irving, TX in 1992, her MFA from the Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN in 1994, and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program from 1998 to 1999. She became a professor at the International Academy of Art, Palestine in Ramallah in 2007. Jacir’s conceptual works explore the physical and psychological effects of social and political displacement and exile, primarily how they affect the Palestinian community. Her work investigated the impact of Israeli action on the Palestinian people and countered representations of Palestinians in the press as primarily militant. Jacir often collaborated with members of the Palestinian community, both local and international, in the creation of her works....

Article

Koo Jeong-A  

Hyewon Lee

(b Seoul, Mar 13, 1967).

Korean multimedia artist active in Europe and the USA. Koo studied Western painting at Hongik University, Seoul (1985–1990), and multimedia art at the Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1991–1997). While Koo’s drawings and photographs capture inconspicuous details of her daily life and surroundings, her installations incorporate such mundane objects as coins, rubber bands, sugar cubes, empty bottles, washing sponges, and Walt Disney cartoon characters. Her interest in the fragments of everyday life not only reflects a sustained cultural interest in the everyday (le quotidien) in France, but it is also in tune with many Korean artists of her generation, who rose to significance in the Korean art world in the late 1990s, turning to small items of daily use rather than pursuing excessive visibility or the monumentality evident in the works of their predecessors.

More often than not, nestled down at insignificant corners of an exhibition space, Koo’s small-scale installations evade a viewer’s eyes at first glance. Sometimes an installation is even invisible, as in one of her two installations for the ...

Article

Kan-Si  

Joanna Grabski

[Sy, Amadou Kane]

(b Kaolack, April 12, 1961).

Senegalese painter. Before graduating from the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Dakar (1991), he pursued studies in law at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar. In the early 1990s he focused on a series of multi-media assemblages, Déstructurés, which questioned the relativity of visual perception. Combining wood, ribbed cardboard, paper and paint, these works suggest fractured compositions and fragmented picture planes. By contrast, Kan-Si employed a realistic and somewhat narrative style in his subsequent series, Rituel Seculaire (1998; artist's col.). In this series he depicts rows of figures in various gestures of prayer to suggest the central role of religion in Senegalese society. In the 1990s, he worked as a Studio Assistant in Printmaking at the Goree Institute and participated in numerous interactive artist's workshops, including Tenq (Dakar, 1996) and Daro Daro (Abidjan, 1997). In addition to his artistic endeavors, he also dedicates himself to such social projects as Man-Keneen-Ki and Forum pour un Développement Durable et Endogene. He has exhibited in Africa, Europe and the USA....

Article

Landers, Sean  

John-Paul Stonard

(b Palmer, MA, 1962).

American painter, sculptor, and video artist. He completed an MFA at the Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT, in 1986. His paintings typically incorporate banal, confessional text and mundane, kitsch imagery, exploring an obsession with the inseparability of art and life. Text first appeared in his second solo exhibition (New York, Postmasters Gal., 1991), for which he hand-wrote short confessional narratives on sheets of yellow paper, shown attached directly to the gallery wall. Surrounding several clay busts on pedestals, wrapped in plastic, these were presented as the creations of a young, unsuccessful sculptor, Chris Hamson, Lander’s disaffected alter-ego. His concern with sincerity and authorship was continued in later paintings, as well as in a hand-written autobiographical book, [sic] (1995), a rambling, badly written account that caricatures his own unrealistic ambitions and talentlessness. Paintings of the mid-1990s, such as Self Something (oil on canvas, 2.74×4.27 m, 1994...

Article

Lara, Magali  

Mark A. Castro

(b Mexico City, Nov 5, 1956)

Mexican painter, draftsman, engraver, and video artist. From 1976 to 1980 Lara studied visual arts at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (ENAP). Her first exhibition, entitled Scissors, was held at ENAP in 1977 and consisted of ten cartoon drawings and an artist’s book.

Lara’s work during the late 1970s explored the conditions of women in Mexican society, interrogating everyday household objects—irons and ironing boards, refrigerators, baby bottles—and their role as traditional symbols of femininity. Her later paintings further examine female identity via images of flowers, often distorted to convey both beauty and horror.

In addition to painting, Lara is known for her artist’s books and has spoken to the deep relationship in her practice between literature and the visual arts. A series of engravings entitled Alzheimer (2007), exhibited at the Museo de la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público in Mexico City, explore the construction and unraveling of memory. The series later inspired one of the artist’s video animations, ...

Article

Longo, Robert  

Daniel E. Mader

(b New York, Jan 7, 1953).

American painter, draughtsman, sculptor, video artist, and performance artist. He received his BFA (1975) from the State University College in Buffalo, NY, with a professed ambition to reach the largest possible audience. Living this prophetic statement throughout his more than 30-year career, Longo first achieved fame in the 1980s with a series of large-scale drawings in charcoal and graphite entitled Men in the Cities (New York, Metro Pictures). These images were life-size human figures in isolation or in groups, wherein the power struggles created a menacing atmosphere.

During the late 1980s he was increasingly involved with film, directing Arena Brains (30 minutes, 1988) and later Johnny Mnemonic with Keanu Reeves (98 minutes, 1995). A regular international exhibitor, often using both controversial and intimidating scale, he exhibited a 1993 drawing series Bodyhammers: The Cult of the Gun (New York, Metro Pictures; Salzburg, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac). He exhibited in the Venice Biennale (...

Article

Marshall, Kerry James  

Dennis Raverty

(b Birmingham, AL, Oct 17, 1955).

African American painter, writer, film production designer, and multimedia installation artist. Marshall’s works portray idealized subjects derived from African American experience in large-scale, multiple-figure paintings and installations that share many characteristics with European history painting in the “grand manner” of Peter Paul Rubens, Benjamin West, Jacques-Louis David, and the 19th-century academic tradition. This “high culture” Euro-American tradition is juxtaposed with elements of African American vernacular culture in order to reinsert African American subjects and aesthetics into the larger mainstream of America’s artistic and cultural history—a history from which, the artist believes, blacks have been largely excluded.

Marshall was born in Birmingham, AL, one of the most segregated cities in the United States at that time, and the site of civil rights demonstrations in the early 1960s. He moved with his parents in 1963 to Nickerson Gardens public housing project in Watts, CA, just a few years before the riots there. Consequently, the struggles of the civil rights movement profoundly affected him and are a major theme in his mature work....

Article

Mendieta, Ana  

Susan S. Weininger

(b Havana, Nov 18, 1948; d New York, Sep 8, 1985).

American sculptor, performance artist, video artist, and painter of Cuban birth. From the age of 12, when she was sent to the USA from Cuba by her parents, she lived in orphanages and foster homes in Iowa. Her sense of exile and the separation from her family proved strong motivating forces on her later work. After completing an MA in painting at the University of Iowa in 1972, she entered the university’s new Multimedia and Video Art program, in which she was free to experiment and develop a unique formal language, gaining an MFA in 1977.

In the 1970s Mendieta began to create “earth-body sculptures” outdoors in Iowa, using the primal materials of blood, earth, fire, and water, having first executed performances that she documented in photographs or black-and-white films. In the Silueta series she traced or sculpted the image of her body on the ground, using ignited gunpowder, leaves, grass, mud, stones, other natural elements, or cloth (e.g. ...

Article

Feng Mengbo  

Britta Erickson

(b Beijing, Jan 9, 1966).

Chinese installation artist, painter and computer artist. He completed middle school in 1985 at the Beijing School of Arts and Crafts, and received his BA in 1991 from the printmaking department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. He is considered China’s first and most important computer artist. He is a guest teacher at the Central Academy’s Photography and Digital Media Studio.

Beginning in 1983 or 1984, Feng became fascinated by computer gaming. He made use of the look and techniques of computer games and explored the implications of computer gaming through his work. Several early 1990s painting series reproduce the look of computer games of the time, with two-dimensional fighting depicted in front of simple backgrounds rendered in flat colours. Game Over: Long March (1994; set of 42 paintings), for example, deploys such popular culture heroes as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in battle along with Tyrannosaurus rexes, People’s Liberation Army soldiers and Mao Zedong. As a result of these painting series, Feng was considered a Political Pop artist, Political Pop being a late 1980s–early 1990s painting trend that defused Cultural Revolution (...

Article

Messager, Annette  

Vanina Costa

revised by Jean Robertson

(b Berck, Nov 30, 1943).

French multi-media artist. Messager studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (1962–6). Her wide-ranging, idiosyncratic works resist categorization. From the beginning of her career, she employed numerous materials and methods (including painting, sewing and knitting, photography, writing, taxidermy, and installation). She freely mixed high and low forms, objects, and references from visual culture with her own sewn, drawn, and painted images, objects, and texts. Her content is a mixture of the real and fictional. Since her first one-person exhibition at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich (1973), Messager was a sought after artist in Europe and globally. She participated in numerous influential exhibitions, art fairs, biennials, and one-person exhibitions over decades, including representing France at the 51st Venice Biennale (2005), where her mechanized installation Casino (2005) won the Lion d’Or.

Inspiration in Messager’s early career came from, among other sources, ...