Posts Tagged ‘conceptual art’

Artist of the moment……….Piero Manzoni


Piero Manzoni was a contemporary Italian artist renown for his conceptual art. Piero Manzoni was born in Soncino, Cremona in the year 1933.

The artist did not attend any formal schooling for art. He taught himself.

Some influences on the artist include Yves Klein and Marcel Duchamp.

Manzoni worked with many mediums and enjoyed using a great deal of gesso in preparing his surfaces. In addition to gesso the artist also used kaolin, which is similar to clay, to build up his paint surfaces.

Manzoni also created a body of work using his own bodily fluids including his own poop, finger prints, and his own breath. He used his own breath to fill up balloons.

The artist is perhaps best known for making 90 cans of his own poop, and then labeling it and selling it as his feces. The works have changed hands many times but have never been opened to confirm the contents. The poop is thought to be plaster by many historians.


Piero Manzoni passed away at only 29 years of age in 1963 after having a heart attack.

Price range information: Works range from $50,000 to $20 million dollars.

Below we visit a retrospective show featuring Manzoni with the great James Kalm. The audio if from a taped radio interview with James Kalm:

What a fascinating life Manzoni led!




Artist of the moment……Street Artist Escif


Escif is a fantastic street artist from Spain. Escif is not looking to make decorative art, but rather to wake people up and open their minds to his reality.

Escif tries to think about concept rather than shape in his art. His concepts are very unique and my favorite work in the gallery shows an automobile falling to the ground and landing on it’s roof. The execution of the work was great and looking at on a computer screen is still great when you realize the entire work is 4 to five stories tall.

Escif is based of Spain. Much of his work can be found in Valencia, Spain.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

In this very brief clip we see a timelapse of the artist in action. Its great to see the fun he has created abstract shapes in the fence:

Here we view a very large mural completed in Spain. Many closeups and different angled views are shown:



Artist of the moment…….Vito Acconci

Vito Acconci  is an American artist born in Bronx, New York in the year 1940. Acconci is a very versatile artist working in many mediums including sculpture, painting, and performance art. For his collegiate education Acconci attended the College of the Holy Cross located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Acconci went on to do his postgraduate studies at the University of Iowa. The artist has completed many public sized commissioned works.

The artist studied writing and poetry for his master’s degree. Acconci didn’t began to produce visual art until the very late 1960s.

For much of his work the artist uses his own body.

Price range information:  Non public sized smaller works and prints range from $3,000 to $50,000.

Acconci also has become renown for some performance art work. One such work titled Seedbed involved the artist arousing himself sexually and talking to himself whilst loudspeakers echoed his words and the viewer walked above the artist.

Acconci was one of the first artist to work with recycled and found materials. The artist has built a reputation for designing fine furniture from these materials.

In this clip from the Tate Museum we learn that the artist thinks of himself as an art doer, rather than just a visual artist per say. Like other performance artists, for him its about the process not just the end result. A worthwhile interview:

The artist was the co-founder of an architecture company that designs public buildings and various works.

Acconci has also been part of many great teaching institutions including Pratt and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The artist is based out of Brooklyn, New York.

I found out that this artist has a huge outdoor public work around 30 minutes from Denver in Arvada, Colorado.


Artist of the moment…..Rebecca Horn

Rebecca Horn is contemporary artist born in the year 1944 in the city of Michelstad, Germany. Horn is a superbly well rounded artist that paints, sculpts, works with film and video, and also produces installation art. Horn uses very unique materials in her art including ostrich eggs, fossils, and 18 karat gold. Many of paintings are very abstract. Butterflies are recurring theme of the artist.

Rebecca Horn also enjoys writing poetry.

In this clip we view a gallery show from 2011:

For her artistic education Horn attended a school in Hamburg, Germany called the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste, from the age of 20 to 26. Saint Martin’s School of Art located in London, England. Whilst in college in Hamburg she developed an awful lung infection due to working with materials such as fiberglass. She then made the switch to different materials including ostrich eggs.

The artist splits her time between Paris, France and Berlin, Germany.

In this clip we view an kinetic work of art by Rebecca Horn. How whimsical!

Horn began exhibiting her artwork in 2002.

The artist is part of many prominent collections including the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

price range informaton: Most works priced between $2,000 and $200,000.


Artist of the moment…..Photographer Santiago Sierra

Santiago Sierra is a photographer born in Madrid, Spain in the year 1966. He is renown for conceptual and installation art. For these works he likes to point out the dangers and the results of the super charged capitalism taking place in the poorer countries of the world. This can be taking advantage of immigrant labor or those people just hovering at the poverty level to the immigrants and young women involved in the sex industry.  One image in the gallery is a collection of 100 beggars. Sierra likes to make the viewer more aware of where they stand on the economic ladder.

A great example of how he might refer to race is the image in the gallery of the men arranged from lightest to darkest color of skin. The men are also lined up as to who might be the best laborer to purchase.

The artist has also done audio mixing somewhat similar to Christian Maclay. The artist took the 27 members of the European Union and played each national anthem at the same time continuously. The other side of the record included the national song of the European Union members playing backwards and regularly at the same time continuously.

Some examples of his conceptual ideas include creating a gas chamber inside a former synagogue located in Berlin, Germany.

price range information: Most works priced between $10,000 and $30,000.

Based out of Madrid, Spain.

A link to the website of Santiago Sierra:

In addition to his photography the artist also organizes installation and performance art. Watch this clip from the Tate modern as Sierra arranges for homeless people to stand with their backs to the audience for one hour. Very original concepts in both photography and performance art. Sierra is always trying to get the viewer to look beyond what they might normally see in the economic food chain that he considers capitalism:



Artist of the moment…..Markus Linnenbrink

Markus Linnenbrook is an artist born in Dortmund, Germany in the year 1961. Linnenbrook is renown for his great sense of colour and for painting on and working with resin. For his artistic education Linnenbrink attended the Academy of Fine Arts located in Berlin, Germany.

Lives and works out of Brooklyn, New York.

When it comes to a movement to associate the artist with we should call it conceptual art. Not only is the colour still very brilliant in his end works, the surface quality is very textured almost giving his work a sculptural feeling.

Price range information: The artist works in a variety of mediums from oils and acrylics to watercolors and price range $1,000 to $8,0000.

Its also interesting to see the names he chooses for his work. He blends them all into one word with capital letters, another interesting concept!

A link to the website of Markus Linnenbrink:

In this clip we visit a show for the artist given in 2012.

And for those fans of printmaking in this clip we see a project titled “Mud Honey.” These monotypes were made from the left over ink on the press after printing the Valley of the Dolls monotype series.

For a surface the artists mainly uses wood.


Artist of the moment……Matthew Ritchie


Matthew Ritchie was born in Great Britain in the year 1964. In this clip from art21, we visit Ritchie before a show. Ritchie is known for his bold style mixing oil paints and marker.Ritchie works out of London.

For his collegiate studies Ritchie attended the Camberwell School of Art in London. In addition he attended Boston University for one year. His first major exhibition was in 1990. This brought national attention to the contemporary artist and paved a pathway to a succesful art career.
When looking at Ritchies work it close to the abstract artist Julie Mehretu. The conceptual side reminds me of Matthew Barney. Since conceptual art is best explained by the artist and here Barney explains some ideas behind his work.

Ritchie concentrates more on drawing than painting in his art. First drawing images freehand and then scanning then into a computer. Once in the computer Ritchie can shrink or enlarge his images according to their placement in the final work. Similar to the way Mehretu uses architecture plans for cities in some works and then includes abstract shapes on top. As themes for his art he enjoys exploring ideas of religion, science, and philosophy.
For his sculpture work Ritchie uses sheet metal.

From the Saint Louis Museum of Art Ritchie talks about his art work.

The artist was part of a unique show given by the San Francisco Museum of Art. The show featured artists whose forms of art that could be found only online. Another work had the viewer visit a certain website, once on the site you would meet people well known figures from history. Another theme explored by the artist was gambling. Ritchie was looking to explore the human desire to be a winner. In his game each player that took a card played a unique and important role in the evolution of the universe.

Ritchie has been included in high profile exhibitions at the Dallas Museum, Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Price range info: Oils range from $50,000 to $230,000 These works are fairly large and most times include drawings done in black marker.  No price range available for installations. Lithographs and watercolors range from $3,000 to $10,000.

Ritchie is married to an actress who has appeared mainly in independent movies. Her name is Garland Hunter.

Another sculptor who makes a similar round shape in her work similar to Ritchie is Bonnie Collura. With her dynamic composition Collura’s figures seem very animated and lively. Collura was born in 1970 and is also great at sculpting clothing, fabric, and the different folds each contain. Here is an example of Collura’s sculpting style.


Artist of the moment….Alighiero Boetti…

In the gallery all pictures by Alighiero Boetti except the last one, which was done by Mel Bochner.

Alighiero Boetti was born in Turin,  Italy in the year 1940.  His father was a lawyer and his mother a musician that played the violin at a professional level. Alighiero Boetti  was known as a great conceptual artist who used letterform as one of his means of expression. He also garnered critical acclaim for a series done with maps that he embroidered. He worked on the series for more than twenty years of his life.  Many maps are vast in size as you can see by the women walking in front of one in a gallery setting. He was a member of the Arte Povera, a radical art movement that questioned society like never before.

Below is a short clip showing the different genres the artist pursued.

A great clip showing an exhibition given at the Tate Museum of Modern Art in London, England. This clip is an interview with a curator and well worth your viewing time?

For his education Boetti was originally a business student at the University of  Turin. He gave up his studies to pursue a career in the arts. When he was twenty he moved to Paris and was to study the art of engraving. He met an art critic named Annemarie Sauzeau . The couple married and had two children.

Boetti enjoyed travelling abroad even making trips to Ethiopia and the Sudan. He also visited Afghanistan and Pakistan on several occassions.

Boetti died in 1994. He had a brain tumor and was only 54 years old. He was living in Rome at the time.

I enjoy this artist and he the way he expresses himself with words. If I were to compare to him to another artist working with letters it would be Mel Bochner.

Price range info:  This artist ,despite his premature death, was very prolific in his output. His embroidery works have broken the one million dollar mark selling as high as $1.44 million dollars. Works done in ink can be found from $60,000 to $100,000.  Works in oils start in the low six figures. Works done using a ball point pen go for $50,000 to $150,000. Works done using cardboard range from one hundred to a few hundred thousand dollars. Boetti made some collages which start around ten thousand dollars.

Boetti had his first solo show was in 1967 in Turin at a gallery named Christian Stein. In the same year he had his first show with the Arte Poverte movement.

On many occasions Boetti was the originator of an idea, but gave up control of color to other artists. In his map series he worked with his wife as well as other artists. The map series is said to have used more than 500 artists!

I have so much respect for this artist’s abitlity to use others’ work in collaboration with his own. What a creative mind!  This artist was a master of embroidery.