In conversation with curator and educator Mary Jane Jacob, visual artist Ann Hamilton (b. 1956) talks about care, interactivity, and social relations — key concepts that preoccupy her practice — and why she feels compelled to revisit these issues under the Trump administration. Hamilton was trained in textile design and sculpture, and she received her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 1985.
A documentary about Holt’s public installation work Dark Star Park in Arlington, Virginia, this video is about the process of developing and building the park. It includes commentary from the architects, contractors, foremen, and engineers who worked on the project, as well as with people who frequent the park. Holt transforms a site of urban blight into an aesthetically stimulating spot that addresses environmental issues.
Copyright Holt/Smithson Foundation.
This video features California artists: drawer and painter Deanne Belinoff, sculptor and poet Sana Krusoe, wood relief carver and painter Palema Holmes, and New York-based video artist Shirley Clark.
The Artists: Part 1 was produced in concert with the exhibition Four Solo Exhibitions at the Long Beach Museum of Art in 1988. The artists are introduced by LBMA’s senior curator Josine Ianco-Starrels. The video presents and contrasts the diverse styles, media, and personalities of these four women artists.
This video profiles the work and insight of California artists: sculptor, painter, and installation artist Laddie John Dill and painter and sculptor Clark Walding. It also includes a mini-documentary on Tony Delap’s The Big Wave, a public art sculpture that crosses Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica.
This project on family violence, spanned two years and several sites across the country, and involved wrecked cars in sculptural installations. The cars were reconfigured by women and children who suffered violence at the hands of loved ones. Linked to each other through common experience, women from a domestic violence shelter in Pittsburgh, a family violence program at Bedford Hills prison, children from shelters in Niagara Falls and Cleveland, teenage girls in Oakland, and politicians on Staten Island all collaborated in making the cars.
During her graduate studies at Hunter College, Alice Aycock (b. 1946) began to forge links between personal and more inclusive subject matter and form. In her quest for contemporary monuments, Aycock wrote her Master’s thesis on U.S. highway systems. Aycock’s large environmental sculptures create intense psychological atmospheres. Although she uses primitive rites and architecture as sources, her implementation of contemporary materials removes those specific connotations.
Andries Botha (b.1952) creates sculptural forms made of found objects and natural materials which serve to interrogate the natural and social order. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout Africa and Europe. Botha lives and works in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) utilized wood, metal, plaster, and bronze in creating her sculptures. Among the many themes in her work are the house (or lair), the spider and the so-called “toi-et-moi” or “you and me.” These subjects derived from a self-defined problem in Bourgeois’s life, the desire to find and express a means of getting along with other people. For Bourgeois, the relationship of one person to another was all-important, and life had little meaning without it. Louise Bourgeois’s remarkable career spanned both the modern and postmodern eras.
Chris Burden came into prominence in the late 1960s, but unlike many of the performance artists of his generation, Burden was interested in empirical and scientific investigations. His goal was to return the control of art making to the artist and to question the relevancy of more established art practices. In this documentary Burden talks about his hard-hitting performances in the ’70s that took a jaded art world by surprise and continues on to discuss the sculptural and installation works of the ’80s.
Cacheu is a 10-minute shot of a lecture, performed by Joana Barrios, revolving around four colonial statues, which are stored today at the Fortress of Cacheu, one of the first bastions constructed by the Portuguese in 1588 in order to facilitate slave trade in the West African country of Guinea Bissau. Barrios evokes symbolic conflicts by tracing back different contexts in which the statues make an appearance: on a pedestal during Portuguese colonialism, dethroned and broken in pieces after Independence in the film Sans Soleil by Chris Marker, as background ghosts in Mortu Nega by Flora Gomes, and finally displayed at the Cacheu fort. The montage is a process that takes place before shooting, so that the image production is a result of a performative assemblage between text, acting, projected image and the framing of the camera by the director of photography, Matthias Biber.
Robert Cumming (b. 1943) is an American photographer/sculptor/bookmaker who borrows from the artifice of theatrical sets to construct his elaborate and often absurd images. He has also published several books of photography and narration. Central to his work is his desire to remind us that we are looking at a photograph, and not at the thing being photographed. His captions sometimes draw on a photograph's narrative aspects or are used to mislead the viewer.
Berlin-based Danish artist Olafur Eliasson complicates and simulates perception through his installations, sculptures, and photographs. He has created disorienting artificial illuminations and reproduced natural phenomena such as clouds, glaciers and the sun through large-scale, high-tech installations.
Nancy Graves (1939-1995) was a New York sculptor, painter, and filmmaker who used natural history as a reference for dealing with the relationships between time, space, and form.
In this interview she discusses her transition from a static form (sculpture) to a moving form (film), and finally, to painting. “The making of it and the viewing of it are the areas with which I’m most concerned, because I’m an artist, not a philosopher,” Graves says in this interview with Kate Horsfield.
Best known for her carved wooden heads wrapped in black leather affixed with zippers, glass eyes, enamel noses, spikes and straps, Nancy Grossman (b.1940) is accomplished in draftsmanship, assemblage, and relief sculpture as well as carvings. After growing up on a farm in upstate New York, Grossman went to Pratt, where Richard Lindner’s emphasis on the figure and in the integrity of his personal syntax became an influence. In the 1960s her head sculptures brought her notoriety and five solo exhibitions before the age of thirty.
Best known for her carved wooden heads wrapped in black leather affixed with zippers, glass eyes, enamel noses, spikes and straps, Nancy Grossman (b.1940) is accomplished in draftsmanship, assemblage, and relief sculpture as well as carvings. After growing up on a farm in upstate New York, Grossman went to Pratt, where Richard Lindner’s emphasis on the figure and in the integrity of his personal syntax became an influence.
Born in 1987, Ibrahim Mahama is an artist and author who creates monumental installations out of materials originating from Ghana, Mahama's home. Described in The Guardian as "a junkyard utopian", he investigates the conditions of supply and demand in African markets, often making work with materials like cocoa and jute sacks.
In this 1996 interview, African-American sculptor, printmaker and designer Valerie Maynard (b.1937) describes growing up in Harlem in the mid-20th Century and her awareness of the importance of community during her upbringing. Recalling the prominence of the Baptist church in her early life, Maynard discusses how religion brought her into contact with local politicians who impressed upon her the importance of affecting change. The artist notes how an early affiliation with Congressman Adam Clayton Powell and her brother’s incarceration propelled her interest in social justice and the workings of the judicial system.
Performance artist/sculptor Ana Mendieta used the raw materials of nature: water, mud, fire, rock, and grass. The consciousness of her politics and the poetics of her expression fill her work with an emotionally charged vision that is powerfully conveyed in this posthumous video profile. Drawing upon the raw spiritual power of Afro-Cuban religion, Mendieta used her art as a ritualistic and symbolic activity to celebrate the forces of life and the continuum of change.
Mary Miss (b.1944) is an American environmental artist who works with concepts of illusion, distance, and perception. Her site-specific work frequently uses both ancient and modern architecture as references. Miss's 1977 installation Perimeters/Pavilions/Decoys at the Nassau County Museum of Art, served as one of Rosalind Krauss's inspirations when she defined postmodern sculpture in her article, "Sculpture in the Expanded Field."
Nebula is a hallucinogenically immersive spectacle: a complex, long-form audio-visual composition, which pays playful homage to science fiction fantasies. Captured for video by means of stop-motion photography, objects made of glass, glitter and tulle, are nestled within a kaleidoscopic flow of computer-generated imagery. Drawing from Thomas Wilfred's Clavilux color organs as well as experimental abstract filmmakers such as Mary Ellen Bute, and James and John Whitney, Nebula also recalls liquid light shows and the marvelous sightings of the Hubble Space Telescope.
In this 2004 interview, Kori Newkirk (b.1970) describes his lifelong apprehension of being rooted in any one place for too long. Asserting that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago was the fifth school he attended in four years, Newkirk begins by describing the fortuitousness of his relocation to Chicago following his expulsion from Cooper Union. Recounting how he fled from the fiber department in favor of painting, Newkirk details how it was a studio visit from Deborah Kass and an exchange program to England that crystallized his burgeoning ideas about “painting without making paintings.”
The urge to relieve a winter valley of permanent shadow and find fortune in alluvial gravel are part of a long history of desire and extraction in the far Canadian north. Cancan dancers, curlers, ore smelters, former city officials and a curious cliff-side mirrored disc congregate to form a town portrait. Shot on location in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.
French performance artist Orlan uses her own body as a sculptural medium. Since 1990, she has worked on La Reincarnation de Sainte-Orlan, a process of plastic surgeries that she “performs,” making elaborate spectacles with surgeons dressed in sci-fi costumes and broadcasting the operations live via satellite to galleries worldwide. By exploring a total transformation of self, Orlan delves into issues of identity and the malleability of the flesh. She lives and works in Paris, exhibiting and performing internationally.
Interview by Shay Degrandis, via translator.
Spanish artist Jaume Plensa (b. 1955) creates sculptures and installations that intend to unify individuals through their relationship to memory, the body, and spirituality. Often referencing literature, psychology, biology, and history, his practice speaks of a shared humanity despite the world’s complexity. In this way, language acts as a metaphor, and the human figure a universal symbol. Plensa is perhaps best known for works that engage groups of people in public spaces.