Bruce Conner

Bruce Conner (November 18, 1933 – July 7, 2008) was an American artist renowned for his work in assemblage, film, drawing, sculpture, painting, collage, and photography, among other disciplines.
Conner produced work in a variety of forms from the 1960s forward. He was an active force in the San Francisco counterculture of the mid-1960s as a collaborator in light shows at the legendary Family Dog at the Avalon Ballroom. He also made—using the new-at-the-the-time felt-tip pens—intricate black-and-white mandala-like drawings, many of which he subsequently (in the very early 1970s) lithographed into prints. One of Conner's drawings was used (in boldly colored variations) on the cover of the August, 1967 issue (#9) of the San Francisco Oracle. He also made collages made from 19th-century engraving images, which he first exhibited as THE DENNIS HOPPER ONE MAN SHOW.

During the 1970s Conner focused on drawing and photography, including many photos of the late 1970s West Coast punk rock scene. A 1978 film used Devo's "Mongoloid" as a soundtrack. Conner in the 1970s also created along with photographer Edmund Shea a series of life-size photograms called ANGELS. Conner would pose in front of large pieces of photo paper, which after being exposed to light and then developed produced images of Conner's body in white against a dark background. Throne Angel, in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art, is an example with the artist crouching on a stool. Conner also began to draw elaborately-folded inkblots.

 In the 1980s and 1990s Conner continued to work on collages, including ones using religious imagery, and inkblot drawings that have been shown in numerous exhibitions, including the 1997 Whitney Biennial. Throughout Conner's entire body of work, the recurrence of religious imagery and symbology continues to underscore the essentially visionary nature of his work. 'May the Heart of the Tin Woodsman be with You from 1981, in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art, is an example of the artist's collages that are both mystical and symbolic. It is an engraving collage, with glue, melted plastic and charred wood.

In 1999, to accompany a traveling exhibition, a major monograph of his work was published by the Walker Art Center, titled 2000 BC: The Bruce Conner Story, Part II. The exhibition, which featured specially built in-gallery screening rooms for Conner's films as well as selected assemblages, felt-tip pen and inkblot drawings, engraving collages, photograms, and conceptual pieces, was seen at the Walker, the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, the de Young in San Francisco, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Late career (c. 2000 to 2008)

 Conner announced his retirement at the time of the "2000 BC" exhibition, but in fact continued to make art until shortly before his death. However, much of this work, including in particular the many inkblot drawings he made, including a series responding to 9/11, were presented using pseudonyms or the name "Anonymous." Conner also made collages from old engravings, and completed (depending on how they are counted) three or four experimental films. He also used computer-based graphics programs to translate older engraving collages into large-sized woven tapestries, and made paper-based prints in that way as well. Various other artistic projects were completed as well, including in the year of his death a large assemblage titled KING. Conner also in late 2007 directed and approved an outdoor installation of a large painting, resulting in what one observer suggested is a final work-in-progress.Wikipedia

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