Born in Paris in 1934, he moved to New York in 1965, and then to Los Angeles in 1968. He worked for a time as an assistant for the sculptor Larry Bell. Between 1975 and 1977 he taught at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, giving courses focusing on performance art.
His text works on canvas and on paper were based on systems of cryptography. He produced many encrypted publications including a completely encoded newspaper, ACRCIT.
His performance pieces combined literary puzzles inspired by the works of Raymond Roussel and the tropes of TV soap opera. The pieces were performed by actors such as Factory 'superstar' Viva and diminutive comedian Billy Barty. Theater critic Frantisek Deak once wrote of Cointet's structuralist approach in plays such as Tell Me (1979) in which fashionably attired actresses variously describe a white cardboard square featuring the black capital letters A, D, M, and T - the artist juxtaposed "lifelike casual conversation with contrived literary language ... [pointing] out that both are particular styles and that, with a certain distance, the casual conversation will appear contrived as well."
His work has influenced that of Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, and Catherine Sullivan, among others.
Guy de Cointet: Tempo Rubato by Magali Arriola, Jay Sanders, Guy de Cointet and Patrick Charpenel
Hardcover: 197 pages
Publisher: Fundación/Colección Jumex; Har/Pstr/B edition (February 28, 2014)
Amazon: Guy de Cointet: Tempo Rubato
The installations, books, films and plays of Guy de Cointet (1934-1983) offer conceptually playful and witty treatments of codes, ciphers and optical tensions between language and image. Born in France and based in Los Angeles from 1965 until his death, de Cointet was also an important mentor as a teacher at the Otis Art Institute for a generation of Californian artists, including Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley. Long esteemed by artists and critics but little exhibited until recently, his work has been the subject of considerable renewed interest over the past decade or so. This volume, published for a 2012/13 survey show at Fundación/Colección Jumex in Mexico, includes extensive documentation (playscripts, photographs) of his plays Tempo Rubato, IGLU and Tell Me, alongside relevant works on paper, archival photographs and essays by Magalí Arriola, Jay Sanders and Marie de Brugerolle.
More Artists at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art
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