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Bruce Guldner Conner (1933-2008)

Aliases: Bruce Conner

Professions: Object Artist; Painter

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  • Bruce Conner (1933-2008)

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  • Bruce Conner (1933-2008)

  • Bruce Conner (b. 1933)

Bruce Guldner Conner Biography

Conner was an artist working in experimental film, painting, sculpture, collage, photography and drawing—to name but a few of his activities. Conner attended Wichita University and received a BFA degree in 1956 at Nebraska University. Following that, Conner received a scholarship to the Brooklyn Museum Art School and then attended the University of Colorado. In 1957he married Jean Sandstedt, whereupon they flew to San Francisco and became a part of the Beat community of artists that included Joan Brown, Jay DeFeo, Manuel Neri, and Michael McClure. While in school at Wichita, Conner knew McClure. Connor worked in the 1950s with found objects, which he made into sculpture or assemblages. In the late 1950s he started producing very short movies, many of which consisted of his editing footage already made – in a sense, move assemblages of found films. His work became influential in the avant-garde filmmaking field. His first film: A MOVIE (1958) was made from parts of newsreels, B minus movies and other footage. For a brief time, Conner and Sandstedt moved to Mexico (c. 1961) but returned with a son to the U.S. They were living in Massachusetts when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. This led to his making a film he entitled REPORT. The film was based on his edited stock footage of the assassination. As he edited and reedited the film it was issued several times, reflecting on the subject of violence. Conner subsequently issued a number of short films with sound tracks of contemporary music. Conner began to focus on drawing and photography manipulation in the 1970s while maintaining an active exhibition schedule. In 1999 a traveling exhibition of his work was published by the Walker Art Center, entitled 2000 BC:The Bruce Conner Story, Part II. Conner produced an extensive number of films as well as tapestries and prints based on digital technology. Twice he announced his own death (as an art or conceptual event) prior to his actual death on July 7, 2008.

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