Washington -- Sculptor Judy Pfaff will represent the United States at the 1998 Sao Paulo Bienal and artist Nancy Spero at the 1998 Cairo Biennial, the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions announced today. The Fund is a public-private sector partnership composed of the United States Information Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Pfaff has been a pioneer in environmental installation art since the 1970s. She makes architectural spaces out of painting and sculpture, using walls covered with drawings, shadows, and veils of paint. She uses a vocabulary of both natural and geometric forms to reflect humanity's place in the universe. Pfaff serves as co-chair of the Art Department at Bard College.
Spero uses characters in her works drawn from myths and legends as well as visual records of objects and paintings from many cultures. She began painting in Chicago in the 1950s, but gave up painting on canvas in the early 1960s to use printmaking and collage in her large scale paper pieces. She creates plates and repeating images in wall hangings and scrolls or hangs figures from the ceiling, playing with space in a sculptural way.
The two artists will create site-specific installations at these events. The Pfaff exhibit at the Sao Paulo Bienal will be organized by art historian and critic Miranda McClintic in conjunction with Independent Curators Incorporated of New York City. Marilu Knode, senior curator of the Institute of Visual Arts at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, will be the curator of the Spero exhibit at the Cairo Biennial.
The two artists were recommended to represent the United States at the international events by the Federal Advisory Committee for International Exhibitions, a standing committee of the National Endowment for the Arts. The selection resulted from a competition in which more than 400 contemporary U.S. art curators were invited to submit proposals.
The Sao Paulo Bienal, founded in 1951, will take place from October 4 to December 13, 1998. It is the largest international contemporary art event in the Western Hemisphere, with 118 exhibitors from 74 countries in 1996. It is housed in a facility designed by the renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
The seventh Cairo Biennial will be held from December, 1998 through mid-February, 1999. It is the largest international exhibition of contemporary art in the Arab and Islamic worlds, with 181 artists from 45 countries exhibiting their works at the 1996 event. It is housed in several facilities around Cairo including the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art, the Akhnaton Gallery, and the Opera House Galleries.
Release No. 88-97
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