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Vito Acconci

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Vito Acconci

*  1940 Bronx/New York

Vito Acconci, one of the most important artists of performance art in North America, was born Hannibal Acconci in the Bronx, New York in 1940. Vito Acconci began his artistic education by studying literature at Holy Cross College, after a few semesters, he enrolled at the University of Iowa. As early as in 1968, Vito Acconci took on a teaching post at the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York (until 1971).
In his career as an artist Vito Acconci first walked on literary paths. Around 1970 he discovered action art for himself; and Vito Acconci soon gained particular fame in the field of Body Art.
Subject, tool and material of body art is the human body - often the artist's own body. Vito Acconci also primarily works with his own body. His art asks questions regarding personal identity and about the nature and the becoming of a work. In "Fall" from 1969, for instance, Vito Acconci picks falling as central theme. In his work "Trademarks", made a year later, he colored bite marks that he had inflicted on his body. Vito Acconci triggered a scandal with his action "Seedbed" ( 1972), in which the artist performed public masturbation at the Sonnabend Gallery.
Vito Acconci converts his performance art into lasting works of art, often close to works of conceptual art, using photography and video. Since the mid 1970s Vito Acconci has also been making three-dimensional works (installations and sculptures), which often touch the major theme complex "Privateness and Public", an issue the artist was sustainably fascinated by at this time. In his late works from the 1990s, Vito Acconci was occupied witth, among other things, problems in architecture as in the "Making Public" storefront, which he realized in New York in 1993.
Throughout the course of his distinguished career Vito Acconci had many solo exhibitions, for instance the show entitled "Vito Acconci: Le corps comme sculpture - vidéo - performances" at the Musée Rodin in Paris. In addition, the permanent collections of major international houses show works by Vito Acconci, including the Kunsthaus Zurich, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or the SMAK in Ghent.
Vito Acconci lives and works in New York.