American graphic design firm. Founded in 1993 by Sean Adams (b Reno, NV, 19 July 1964) and Noreen Morioka (b Sunnyvale, CA, 6 July 1965). Often described as simple and pure, AdamsMorioka design is distinguished by its clear, pragmatic approach, joined often with optimistic bright colour palettes. Adams and Morioka met while studying at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) programme under professors Lorraine Wilde and Lou Danziger. After graduating, Adams (BFA 1986) and Morioka (BFA 1988) went their separate ways. Adams moved to New York to work at the New York Public Library and returned to Los Angeles in 1989 to work for April Greiman, Inc. After graduation Morioka joined Gensler and Associates in San Francisco as a graphic designer. A year later she travelled to Tokyo to work for Landor and Associates. While there she continued to build on corporate identity skills taught to her by Lou Danziger and was exposed to Landor’s extensive system of developing a corporate identity and then documenting the range of ways the identity should and should not be used. Upon returning to the United States in ...
revised by Elaine Wilson
(b São Paulo, 1935; d São Paulo, 2015).
Brazilian painter and printmaker. After studying engraving in São Paulo, he moved to New York in 1959 to complete his studies at the Pratt Graphic Center, where his contact with international Pop art merged with his own interest in Brazilian popular imagery, for example in the portfolio of woodcuts Mine and Yours (1967). Immediately afterwards he began painting ambiguous and ironic still lifes collectively titled Brasíliana, which use bananas as symbols of underdevelopment and exploitation, for example BR-1 SP (1970; São Paulo, Pin. Estado) and Bananas (1971; Washington, DC, Mus. Mod. A. Latin America). In 1971 he won a trip abroad in the National Salon of Modern Art (Rio de Janeiro), which took him again to New York between 1972 and 1973. On his return to São Paulo he began the series Battlegrounds, in which he submitted the previously reclining bananas to slashing, torture, and putrefaction. Subsequently, shapes were reorganized into configurations of an undramatic Surrealism, playful, colorful, tumescent, and as firmly rooted as ever in his native Brazil and Latin America....
(b Dec 8, 1956).
Ethiopian painter, installation artist, graphic designer, and writer, active in the USA. She grew up in Addis Ababa in a family of painters before moving to the USA. She graduated from Howard University, Washington, DC, with a BFA in painting (1975) and returned in 1994 for an MFA. Her early works, based on dreams or visions, have richly textured surfaces. In the 1980s she abandoned her early palette of reds, ochres, and greens for one of purples and blues. Later paintings depict an urban environment and frequently evoke the feeling of dislocation and nostalgia that comes from living in a country that is not one’s own. Her use of themes and motifs from myriad cultures (including those of Ethiopia and Latin America) comes out of her experiences as a diasporic subject as well as the lives of the women around her. Her pieces often tell their stories, as in the Dream Dancers series (...
Aleca Le Blanc
(b São Paulo, Jun 20, 1914; d São Paulo, Dec 22, 2010).
Brazilian visual artist and designer. The formal training Barsotti received was in drawing and chemistry, and by the 1950s he had established a professional career in design, working in São Paulo during the postwar period. From 1954 to 1964 he ran a studio with Willys de Castro (1926–1988), a life-long collaborator and fellow artist, called Estúdio de Projetos Gráficos, where he created costume design, graphic design, and textile design, among other things. During this period he focused his artistic efforts exclusively on geometric abstraction, then the dominant style of the avant-garde in Brazil under the rubric of Concrete art. However, Barsotti did not immediately affiliate with any of the groups that promoted it, such as the dogmatic Grupo Ruptura in São Paulo. He was not, strictly speaking, a devotee of Concrete art, which required that the geometric composition be entirely preconceived, divorced from observed reality, and visually represent a mathematical formula. On this matter, de Castro applauded his friend in a ...
(b Kraków, July 25, 1953).
Polish sculptor and poster designer. Between 1973 and 1978 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the sculpture studio of Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz. From 1978 he exhibited and took part in sculptural symposia (on marble and granite) in Poland, Italy, France and Germany. Between 1976 and 1981 he designed posters for the Laboratory Theatre (Teatr Laboratorium) of Jerzy Grotowski.
Bednarski became one of the leading representatives in Poland of the ‘new sculpture’ of the 1980s. He produced individual sculptures (up to the early 1980s in small numbers) and later tended towards installations and performances. Several recurrent elements (e.g. the plaster head of Karl Marx in different arrangements and variants shown at exhibitions in 1978, 1986 and 1988) and repeated motifs are evident in his work. He often drew on literature (Herman Melville and Joseph Brodsky) and on the realities of Polish Communism, usually employing familiar signs and symbols. These equivocal and diverse sculptures and installations are primarily autobiographical. His most important installation, ...
Mark Allen Svede
(b Riga, Sept 6, 1943).
Latvian painter, stage designer and graphic designer. After a childhood spent in Siberian exile, he studied decorative art and trained as a painter in the Latvian Art Academy (1963–72), preparing for a career as a stage designer. Stage design and the applied arts were less constrained by Socialist Realist dictates during the 1970s, and he quickly became one of Latvia’s most innovative artists. His fluency with process art and installation, for example, was already evident in his designs for a 1973 Riga production of Žanna d’Arka (Joan of Arc) by Andrej Upīts, the stage metamorphosing from Minimalist cavity to an assemblage in Arte Povera style. Abandoning the theatre in 1987, Blumbergs continued his prolific output. His compositions, sometimes abstract, often figurative and allegorical, are notable within Latvian art for their spare elegance and uncontrived expressiveness, successfully combining grand literary allusion and subtle metaphysical content. His graphic virtuosity earned him a degree of international celebrity rare among his Latvian peers. Exceptional, too, for his political candour, he was a harbinger of ...
(b Brooklyn, NY, Nov 4, 1940).
American graphic designer, installation artist and design educator. De Bretteville attended Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, NY, and was included in the school’s Art Squad by teacher and artist Leon Friend, who submitted his students’ work to national competitions. She received a prestigious Alex Award, named after the designer Alex Steinweiss, also a former member of the Art Squad. She received a BA in art history from Barnard College, New York in 1962 and received her MFA in the graphic design program at Yale University’s School of Art in 1964. She joined the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and founded the first design programme for women in 1970. In 1981 she founded the communication design programme at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (now the Otis College of Art and Design), which was at the time affiliated with the Parsons School of Design in New York. In ...
(b Nashville, TN, Nov 30, 1945).
American graphic designer. Carson studied fine art and art history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, graduating in 1966. She started her career as a graphic designer in 1967 working for United Methodist Publishing House, Nashville, TN, designing magazines and educational materials. Working with limited budgets and for readers ranging from children in kindergarten to adults, she learnt to communicate with varying age groups. Drawing on her magazine design skills, she began work for Color Productions in 1968. Producing international magazines gave her exposure to the full-spectrum of design production, illustration, and final press production. When the company resources diminished in 1970, Carson took a position at Design Graphics, a Nashville art studio.
In 1973 she landed a job at Scholastic Publishing House designing their early childhood magazine Let’s Find Out. Teaming up with editor Jean Marzollo, she worked with nationally known illustrators and photographers to make the children’s stories and educational material easy for children to relate to. This partnership lasted far beyond her tenure there, leading to collaboration on the ...
(b Caracas, May 1950).
Venezuelan painter and graphic designer. Chacón studied in Caracas at the Escuela de Artes Cristóbal Rojas between 1963 and 1966 and at the Instituto de Diseño Neumann-Ince from 1966 to 1970 where he was taught by two of the most important abstract painters in Venezuela at that time, Nedo M. F. [Mion Ferrario] (1926–2001) and Gerd Leufert, who were also graphic designers. In 1971 Chacón introduced his work in the emerging avant-garde scene in Venezuela with an installation titled El Autobus at the Ateneo de Caracas, realized in collaboration with William Stone (b 1945) and Ibrahim Nebreda (b 1948). The work consisted of an environment that recreated Caracas street life by placing a bus inside the gallery space together with found materials and a speaker, which reproduced the sounds of a thunderous radio station. In doing so, the trio brought the crude reality of Caracas urban life into the art institution. Chacón’s first solo exhibition, ...
(b Lafayette, LA, 1967).
African American painter. Charles graduated from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA, in 1985, having studied advertising design, illustration, and painting. He received his MFA from the University of Houston in 1993, and subsequently taught at the University of Texas at Austin. His paintings, which manipulate images of historical black stereotypes, have generated critical controversy and hostile reactions from viewers. Charles, however, saw himself as investigating these images and their place in American history, exploring and exposing their negativity. He typically signs his work with an actual copper penny, oriented to display the profile of Abraham Lincoln.
Charles also collected black memorabilia, such as Aunt Jemima dolls and other advertising ephemera, and has researched 19th-century blackface and minstrelsy performers. Some of his most controversial figures have been of childhood literary icons, including a black Sambo reminiscent of Mickey Mouse. Charles is interested in how these images remain in America’s collective memory, and the different attitudes of Caucasians and African Americans when viewing them. He creates extreme caricatures, such as a sinister-looking black face with a watermelon slice for a mouth and black seeds instead of teeth—images meant to stimulate thought. The faces in his paintings confront the viewer with their oversized scale, some of them more than 1 m high. Charles felt that American advertising conditioned people of all types to pigeonhole blacks as representing the body (instead of the mind), and as entertainers—and that these stereotypical attitudes have been retained in the American psyche. To emphasize this point, Charles juxtaposed African American celebrities with advertising imagery, such as Oprah Winfrey as a cookie-jar mammy figure....
Margarita González Arredondo
revised by Ana Garduño
(b Mexico City, Jun 10, 1940).
Mexican painter, sculptor, illustrator, and stage designer. Coen was self-taught when he took up painting in 1956 with the encouragement of Diego Rivera, but from 1956 to 1960 he studied graphic design with the American publicist Gordon Jones. During those years he worked in an Abstract Expressionist manner, although he soon incorporated figurative elements and, from around 1963 onward, elements of fantasy.
In the 1950s until the early 1970s, he was one of the indispensable creators of the collective exhibitions organized by the Juan Martín Gallery, the most important platform for vanguard art in Mexico City at that time. This gallery also dedicated four individual exhibitions to the work of Coen. In 1967 he went to Paris on a French government grant. In the following year he was a founder-member of the Salón Independiente, where he began to exhibit acrylic sculptures of the female torso.
He systematically returned to working the image of the feminine. These were followed between ...
Term used to describe pictorial representations of objects and data using a computer. The term also implies the creation of and subsequent manipulation and analysis of computer-generated imagery and graphics. Computer-generated imagery was developed shortly after the introduction of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) in 1946. In 1950, a mathematician and artist from Iowa named Ben Laposky produced computer-generated graphic images using an electronic oscilloscope and photographed the results using high-speed film. The first interactive man-machine graphics program was Sketchpad, invented by Ivan Sutherland, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Developed for the TX-2 computer, Sketchpad allowed one to draw on the computer screen using a light pen and processed image manipulation functions through a series of toggle switches.
In 1965, scientists from the USA and Germany organized concurrent computer art exhibitions entitled Computer-Generated Pictures at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York and the Galerie Niedlich in Stuttgart. The American scientists, Bela Julesz and A. Michael Noll worked at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ, a center of computer graphic development and in ...
(b Romford, Essex, May 3, 1950).
English painter, draughtsman and illustrator. After studying in London at St Martin’s School of Art (1968–72) and at the Royal College of Art (1972–5), Crowley began painting in a playful post-Cubist idiom. In works such as So and Sew (1980; see 1983 exh. cat., p. 4) he addressed himself for the first time to the subject of the domestic interior, which was to remain a prime concern. The comically charged and manic atmosphere of this early work, in which the excessive energy of a seamstress’s actions seems to have exploded the figure into its constituent elements, still draws on the elements of abstraction and schematization of Crowley’s painting of the mid- to late 1970s; the flatness that had characterized the earlier works, however, has here given way to strongly modelled, volumetric forms contained within a strongly recessive space. It was as Artist-in-Residence to Oxford University in the ...
(b Philadelphia, PA, Aug 30, 1943).
American illustrator and cartoonist. Crumb became prominent during the 1960s as one of the key figures in the development of the Underground Comix movement, which was comprised of a number of different artists who self-published comic books that addressed distinctly personal and often controversial themes. His work is frequently associated with the counterculture of that period and is notable for his candid depictions of drug use and sex. Although he was self-trained, he spent much of the early 1960s working as a greeting card illustrator in Cleveland, and he later went to work for the former Mad magazine illustrator Harvey Kurtzman’s Help! In 1967, he moved to San Francisco where he began to self-publish such comic books as Zap Comix, Despair and The People’s Comics that often featured characters such as Mr. Natural and Fritz the Cat. Many of these comics also included contributions by other significant cartoonists of the period such as S. Clay Wilson (...
(b Radzymin, nr Warsaw, April 19, 1943).
Polish painter, draughtsman and sculptor. Between 1963 and 1970 he studied painting with Eugeniusz Arct (b 1899) and Eugeniusz Eibisch and graphic art with Józef Pakulski at the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw. He exhibited at home and abroad from 1971 (e.g. at the Fifth Biennial, Sydney, 1984; the Nouvelle Biennale, Paris, 1985; and Documenta, Kassel, 1986).
Dwurnik’s work is usually grouped in related cycles over a period of years (e.g. Hitch-hiking, 1966; Workers, 1975; and Cross, 1979), forming an epic record of Polish life from the 1970s and 1980s. Dwurnik, without overstatement, documented specific places and events, producing a faithful, albeit almost gloomy and grotesque picture of Poland. His drawings of workers (1980–81) during the era of the rise of the independent trade union, Solidarnośc (Solidarity), brought him considerable publicity. Although his work belongs to the time of the revival of painting in Poland in the 1970s (two of his student colleagues were Łukasz Korolkiewicz and Tomasz Ciecierski), critics tended to associate his work principally with the ‘new’ and ‘wild’ (Pol. ...
American digital type foundry and producer of printed material and graphic design software, which also produces the magazine Emigre. Founded in Sacramento, CA by Zuzana Licko (b Bratislava, 1961) and Rudy VanderLans (b The Hague, 1955), the company was responsible for some of the most recognizable and widely mimicked design and typography of the 1980s and 1990s. Emigre magazine was published and art directed by VanderLans with fonts designed by Licko. It continually challenged common conceptions of design while acting as a staging ground for the founders’ unconventional vision. The work of Licko and VanderLans has come to epitomize both the controversy and success associated with the digital revolution that occurred when Macintosh computers introduced designers to new ways of producing layouts and fonts.
Licko’s family moved to San Francisco from Czechoslovakia. She designed her first font for her father, a bio-mathematician who used the Greek alphabet for personal use. Licko studied visual communication at the University of California, Berkeley (...
Anne K. Swartz
(b Evanston, IL, 1956).
American performance artist. Finley is noted for her controversial pieces and her work has been called “obscene,” “lewd” and “vulgar” because she has graphically examined such subjects in her art as politics, sexuality, scatology, identity, violence and abuse, among other divisive topics. Her works are also called theatrical solo shows. She explored feminist content through her performances, which were often derided by the public, even after she developed her audience within the art world. In her art, she combined monologues with manipulation of her body, including pouring substances onto herself. Using her partially or fully nude body, she entices the viewer, but then quickly subverts the experience of looking at her by pouring, smearing, or otherwise covering parts or all of herself. Her writing is well-crafted and provocative both in subject and form.
Finley studied art as a child at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Young Artist Studio program in ...
(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. ...
(b Rockville Center, Long Island, NY, March 22, 1948).
American graphic designer. She studied graphic design and ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute (BFA 1970), where three of her teachers included designers from the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule in Basle. She went on to post-graduate work at Basle, where she studied for two years, working with Armin Hofmann (b 1920) and Wolfgang Weingart (b 1941). Returning to the USA, she worked as a freelance designer around Boston and New York, while also teaching at the Philadelphia College of Art (1971–5). Moving to Los Angeles in 1976, she opened her own design studio and developed innovative works that hybridized imagery and typography. In these works she fused words and images with texture and space, and alluded to visual influences from Buddhism, Carl Jung and various Native American tribes. In discussing her work, she stressed how much she is guided by a personal aesthetic vision. Commonly cited as a leading figure in Post-modern or New Wave design during the 1980s, she was one of the first to make use of the Apple Macintosh computer as a design tool. During a time when many designers were reticent to adopt the computer in the creative process, Grieman embraced digital technology, making her work among first to employ a new aesthetic created by bits and pixels. Among her most notable work was ...