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Göran Schildt

Finnish architect and designer, active also in America. His success as an architect lay in the individual nature of his buildings, which were always designed with their surrounding environment in mind and with great attention to their practical demands. He never used forms that were merely aesthetic or conditioned by technical factors but looked to the more permanent models of nature and natural forms. He was not anti-technology but believed that technology could be humanized to become the servant of human beings and the promoter of cultural values. One of his important maxims was that architects have an absolutely clear mission: to humanize mechanical forms....

Article

Ramón Vargas

Mexican architect, theorist and writer, of Japanese descent. The son of a Japanese ambassador in Mexico, he studied philosophy, espousing neo-Kantianism and becoming politically a socialist. He became a supporter of Functionalism, with its emphasis on the social applications of architecture, and was a founder, with ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

Brazilian painter. In the first half of the 1940s, while still in his native state of Ceará, he was very active in the introduction of modernist ideas. In 1945 he moved to Rio de Janeiro and in 1946 to Paris, where he spent most of the rest of his life. In Paris, where he studied at the Ecole Supérieure de Beaux-Arts and at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, he first painted landscapes and portraits (e.g. ...

Article

Louise Noelle

Mexican architect. As no architectural course was offered in Guadalajara, he entered the city’s Escuela Libre de Ingenieros, graduating in 1924. He then undertook complementary studies to qualify as an architect, but these were cut short by a trip to Europe (1925–6), which included a visit to southern Spain; here he was able to study Spain’s Moorish architectural heritage and to become familiar with the theories of the French writer, painter and landscape architect Ferdinand Bac (...

Article

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

After the closure in 1933 of the Bauhaus in Berlin, its staff and students dispersed. Many found their way to the USA, where they became highly influential teachers as well as artists and architects. The pedagogical methods developed at the school, particularly in the preliminary course, became commonplace in all levels of art education, as the former centrality in America of life drawing to instruction in the visual arts was now challenged by experimentation with abstract principles of composition and the qualities of individual materials....

Article

Robert Winter

American architect. Although Becket was based in the Los Angeles area, he also had an international reputation. His work was in the modernist mode and he was important in popularizing the style in public buildings throughout Southern California and elsewhere.

Becket studied architecture at the University of Washington (...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 14 June 1904, in New York City; died 27 August 1971, in Darien, Connecticut.

Photographer, photojournalist. Social documentary, advertisements, landscapes, genre scenes.

Modernism.

Margaret Bourke-White received her first training in photography at the Clarence White School of Photography in 1922, while a student at Columbia University. Bourke-White was intrigued by the American industrial landscape, and her first important industrial series featured the Otis Steel Mills near Cleveland. At this time Bourke-White developed her hallmark style, using the cinema trick of magnesium flares to flood the dark factory floor with bright light. Her commercial images similarly used multiple light sources and crisp focus to highlight repeated forms and shapes....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 10 July 1868, in Boston; died 1962, in New Jersey.

Draughtsman, illustrator, poster artist. Toys.

Art Nouveau.

Will Bradley was the son of a caricaturist who worked on the Daily Item, a newspaper published in Lynn, Massachusetts. At the age of 12, he became apprentice to a printer and then began drawing and illustrating, making this his full-time occupation ...

Article

Felipe Chaimovich

Brazilian art after 1980 developed a growing dialogue with international contemporary art, sometimes challenging the latter’s hegemony. The revision of constructive modernism and its criticism in Brazilian art since the 1960s were at stake when young artists faced the globalization of the art world during the 1990s. During the 2000s, a more political concern reinforced collective alliances....

Article

Brazilian, 20th century, male.

Active also active in France.

Born 22 February 1894, in São Paulo; died 17 December 1955, in São Paulo.

Sculptor. Figures. Busts, groups, monuments.

Art Deco.

Brecheret lived in Europe and at first in Rome, where he studied sculpture under the supervision of the sculptor Arturo Dazzi between ...

Article

Anna Rowland

American furniture designer and architect of Hungarian birth. In 1920 he took up a scholarship at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, but he left almost immediately to find a job in an architect’s office. A few weeks later he enrolled at the Bauhaus at Weimar on the recommendation of the Hungarian architect Fred Forbat (...

Article

Danish, 20th century, male.

Born 1941, in Copenhagen.

Painter.

Brøgger combines many different techniques, and his paintings, which reveal a highly critical attitude towards society, include elements of American Pop Art, Art Nouveau and spontaneous painting. He first exhibited at the autumn salon in Copenhagen in ...

Article

Experimental architectural program that ran from 1945 to 1966 and involved the building of Modernist houses, largely in California. John Entenza (1903–84) hit upon the idea just after World War II of spreading the word of the Modern Movement in architecture through an actual building program. As editor of the left-leaning journal ...

Article

Sandra L. Tatman

American architectural competition held in 1922 by the Chicago Tribune newspaper for its new corporate headquarters. The competition changed American views of European modernism and the course of American Skyscraper architecture. The 1922 Chicago Tribune Competition’s call for competitors attracted more than 260 architects from 23 countries with the offer of a $50,000 prize for the winning design. Although the company may have issued this competition as a way of attracting attention to its newspaper, competitors from around the world, drawn by what was in ...

Article

Sylvia Ficher

Brazilian architect, urban planner, architectural historian, teacher and writer of French birth. Son of Brazilian parents, he moved to Brazil in 1917 and entered the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, graduating as an architect in 1923. From 1922 he worked with Fernando Valentim, adopting the style favoured by the Traditionalist movement, which took its inspiration from 18th-century Brazilian colonial architecture in an attempt to develop a national style. He designed several houses and won two important competitions, both with neo-colonial designs: the Brazilian Pavilion at the International Exhibition (...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 12 April 1883, in Portland, Oregon; died 23 June 1976 in San Francisco, California.

Photographer. Portraits, figures, nudes, still-life, landscapes.

Pictoralism, Modernism. Group f/64.

With the aim of becoming a photographer, Cunningham majored in chemistry at the University of Washington, Seattle. To pay her tuition she photographed specimens for the botany department, establishing a life-long love of floral subject matter. After completing her degree, she worked in the photography studio of Edward S. Curtis (...

Article

Robert M. Craig

Architectural partnership formed in 1946 by Nathaniel (Cortlandt) Curtis Jr. (b Auburn, AL, Nov 29, 1917; d New Orleans, LA, June 10, 1997) and Arthur Quentin Davis (b New Orleans, LA, 1920), American architects.

Curtis and Davis was the most prominent early modern architecture and planning firm in New Orleans, designing some of that city’s most notable modernist landmarks, including the Rivergate (...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1894, in Blue Earth (Minnesota); died 1989.

Designer, graphic artist.

Art Deco.

Donald Deskey studied architecture at the University of California, before travelling to Paris in 1923 where he studied painting and worked as a graphic designer. In 1926 he moved to New York and started his own design firm. He created a wide variety of objects ranging from clocks to radios, furniture and machines, and his most notable commission was for the interiors of Radio City Music Hall in ...

Article

Sidney K. Robinson

American architect. Alden B. Dow was an architect who worked in the mid-century context of Modernism, not as part of a European revolution, but as an American alternative established by Wright family, §1. Having been an apprentice at Wright’s Taliesin in 1933, after graduating from the Beaux-Arts curriculum at Columbia University, Dow’s contributions were primarily located in Midland, MI, where his father, Herbert Henry Dow, had built the Dow Chemical Company. As the principle architect in town, Dow was able to design residences, civic and religious buildings, as well as recreational and industrial facilities. He designed furniture, including chairs of magnesium (a material his father’s company produced), plastic building units, stained glass and murals, and took special interest in photography and film, producing an evocative tour of his own studio and home....

Article

Lauretta Dimmick

American sculptor. An important proponent of modernism in America, he began studying painting in 1914 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In New York he met the painter Arthur B. Davies, who suggested Flannagan try wood-carving. By 1927 Flannagan had abandoned both painting and wood-carving and, essentially self-taught, settled on direct carving in stone, although he did later experiment with metal casting. Flannagan preferred natural fieldstone to quarried material, favouring its rude and basic qualities. Similarly, he eschewed academic art, preferring simplified and abstracted forms. He chiselled as little as possible from the stones that he chose, seeking solely to release in his small-scale works the pantheistic image he believed existed in every rock. Often he made only shallow incisions to delineate his generalized animal and human figures. He dealt particularly with mother and child themes, such as ...