American artist, Leo Villareal (b.1967) is a pioneer in the art world for his use of LEDs and computer programmed imagery. Villareal studied at Yale University and at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. From 1994 to 1997, the artist worked at Paul Allen’s Interval Research Corporation in California, studying virtual reality projects.
Villareal creates programs that sequence light patterns in infinite combinations, evolving randomly and constantly. Through basic elements such as pixels and binary code, the artist builds large-scale sculptural installations that defy predictability, and ultimately grow into complex forms that question common notions of space and time.
The artist’s public installations include, but are not limited to, site-specific works in New York City’s Bleecker Street subway station, The Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL, The National Gallery, Washington D.C., and most notably The Bay Lights, the 2-mile long light sculpture on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco.
American artist Frank Stella (b.1936) has been innovating in the fields of painting and printmaking since the 1960s. The artist studied painting at Princeton University before moving to New York City. By the age of twenty-five, Stella’s work was showcased in various exhibitions, including the 1959 show, Sixteen Americans, at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
In the 1960s, the artist oeuvre was at stark contrast with the Abstract Expressionists living in New York. His paintings were simple and pure, most notably demonstrated in his Black Paintings. Though this early work allied him with minimalism, Stella did not regard himself as a minimalist.
The early 1970s mark an important transition in his work, seen best in his later Exotic Bird series (see Washington Island Gadwall, 1980-81, in Dillards Court). Stella’s restrained minimalism evolved into dynamic, colorful, and vibrant works that melded painting, printing, and sculpture. The artist is regarded as relentlessly experimental and is a totem of American modernism.
Michael Craig-Martin (b.1941) is regarded by many as one of the central figures of the British conceptual art scene in the 1960s. Craig-Martin was born in Dublin and educated at Yale University, graduating with a degree in fine art. He taught at Goldsmith’s College School of Art from 1974-88 and 1994-2000. At Goldsmiths, Craig-Martin influenced a generation of students now known as the Young British Artists, including figures such as Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas.
Craig-Martin’s work consistently examines the relationship between recognizable objects and their representation. He states, “I started making drawings of ordinary objects, one at a time, in 1977. I drew them on A4 paper with a pencil and then traced them in very fine tape onto acetate to remove all trace of their being handmade.”
Michael Craig Martin is widely exhibited throughout the world, including solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Arp Museum in Remagen, Germany.