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Gómez-Peña, Guillermo  

Deborah Cullen

(b Mexico City, 1955).

Mexican–American performance and installation artist and writer. Guillermo Gómez-Peña studied linguistics and Latin American literature at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (1974–8) in Mexico City. He moved to Los Angeles in 1978 and received both his BA (1981) and his MA (1983) from the California Institute of the Arts. A performance artist, writer, activist and educator, Gómez-Peña’s work addresses the north–south border and US–Mexican interactions. He pioneered performance art, experimental radio, video and installation art.

Gómez-Peña relocated to San Diego in the early 1980s, where he co-founded the performative collaborative Poyesis Genética in 1981 with Sara-Jo Berman. In 1984 he was a founding member of the Border Art Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo (BAW/TAF), originally based at the Centro Cultural de la Raza, Balboa Park, where he collaborated until 1990.

Gómez-Peña became known for his densely written texts, often expressed through newspaper, radio or experimental publications, including the early border journal ...

Article

Greco, Alberto  

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 watercolors 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 1985, 284–285).

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

Katz, Leandro  

Daniel R. Quiles

(b Buenos Aires, Jun 6, 1938).

Argentine poet, photographer, conceptual artist, filmmaker, and educator. One of the founders of the literary magazine Airón (Heron, 1960–1965), he studied Philosophy and Literature at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. His career-long investigation into linguistic systems and alphabets appeared as early as his linotype-illustrated book OOOO (1961; see 2013 publication, 40–41). In 1962, in the midst of traveling through the Amazon to Central America, he helped found the Tzántzicos, an avant-garde poetry group in Quito, Ecuador. He moved to New York City in 1965, and his work gradually transitioned from poetry and prose to an interdisciplinary conceptualism. He worked as a set and lighting designer for Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company between 1968 and 1975. In 1970 he founded The Vanishing Rotating Triangle Press with Ted Castle and David Lee, an independent venture that translated Spanish books into English and vice versa, while also publishing Katz’s artist books and distributing Situationist-inspired “unauthorized publications.” In his first shift to the production of objects, in ...

Article

Perna, Claudio  

Leyla Dunia

(b Milan, Dec 20, 1938; d Holguín, Cuba, Feb 10, 1997).

Venezuelan conceptual artist of Italian birth. Best known for his conceptual work and photography, Perna experimented profusely with mixed media through his innovative career. Alert to the movements within the avant-garde since the late 1960s, he worked with film, performance, photocopy, plastic assemblages, cartographies, painting, Polaroids, projections, and Fluxus, among others. He was also an intellectual and reflective thinker with extensive academic activity, often concerned by the artist’s role within the contemporary artistic system.

Born to an Italian father and a Venezuelan mother, Perna was affected as a child by the events of World War II and the hard years of the postwar period in Italy. He completed his first studies in the Italian city of Brescia and arrived in Venezuela at the end of 1955, and in 1958 he finished his secondary studies at the Liceo Andrés Bello in Caracas. After abandoning architecture studies at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, in ...

Article

Wilding, Faith  

Anne K. Swartz

(b Primavera, Paraguay, 1943).

American installation and performance artist, writer and educator of Paraguayan birth. Emigrating from Paraguay to the United States in 1961, Faith Wilding consistently examined the social role of women and their bodies as the subject of her art. She received her BA in English with honors from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Wilding did postgraduate studies in Art and Art History at California State University, Fresno, where she met the artist Judy Chicago, who founded the first Feminist Art Program. Wilding completed her MFA at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and served as teaching assistant for the renowned Feminist Art Program (FAP), team-taught by Chicago and artist Miriam Schapiro. In the FAP, Wilding led a consciousness-raising group and a journal writing class, in addition to participating in the famed collaborative project Womanhouse (Jan 30–Feb 28, 1972) with her crocheted installation Crocheted Environment (Womb Room) , which resembles a loosely crocheted spider’s web, and in the performance ...