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 John Scott Dugger  (1948 - )

About: John Scott Dugger


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Lived/Active: California / England      Known for: societal message banner art

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Biography from Fancyman Productions:
John Dugger is an Berkeley-based artist known in Europe where he has spent much of his career but hardly known in his country of origin.

He began in the 1960s by creating participatory art events in London, working and showing alongside other expatriates like Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica.  His heartfelt happenings were staged at important spaces throughout Europe, including the Institute for Contemporary Art  and the Whitechapel Gallery, London.  This work culminated in Dugger being given a pavilion by Harold Szeemann in the 1972 Documenta.

In the late 1970s he started making banners, an ancient art form that was largely being ignored by western artists.  He has since gone on to create banners for the Dali Lama, the Black Panthers, The Queen of England, The Clash and the Olympics.  His first banner was designed to protest the military dictatorship in Chile and was hung guerilla-style from Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square during a massive protest.

In the 1980s, Dugger began climbing mountains, and this resulted in the mountain banners, large geometric tapestries with an elegantly detailed drawing of mountains at the center.  Dugger makes the drawings on site then uses a dye-transfer process to fix them to fabric in the studio.  These monochromatic panels then become the central focus of colorful banners that are hung using state of the art mountain riggings designed by Dugger himself.

His vision for the mountain banners has evolved during the course of climbs around the world but perhaps no more so than when he was invited to work alongside the banner maker to the Dalai Lama in the early 1990s.

Dugger’s work has been documented in nearly every book written about radical British art of the 1960s and is in the collection of the Tate Museum, London.

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