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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 ...

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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 (...

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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

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 (...

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Carlos A. C. Lemos

Brazilian architect. He graduated in architecture from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 1952 and went to work for M. M. M. Roberto, one of the early Modernist practices. Roberto was then attempting to develop structures that transcended the static forms of early functionalism but in a different direction from the sculptural forms of Oscar Niemeyer’s experiments in Pampulha (...

Article

Rebecca Arnold

Venezuelan fashion designer, active also in the USA (see fig.). While Herrera’s designs always contain elements of current fashion, her work is more about the cultivation of a sleek international style that is classically feminine. Her upbringing amongst the élite, leisured classes of South America encouraged her to view clothing as a visual expression of good taste and ease. Rather than following trends, her designs tend to favour clean lines, with a focus on detail....

Article

Susan Fisher Sterling

Brazilian painter. Malfatti is acknowledged as the artist who brought European and American modernism to Brazil in 1917 and was a key figure in the Semana de Arte Moderna in São Paulo in 1922. The daughter of immigrants—her father was an Italian engineer and her mother was of German descent—Malfatti first studied at Mackenzie College in São Paulo before leaving for Berlin in ...

Article

Giulio V. Blanc

Cuban painter and teacher. He is generally considered to be the initiator of modernism in Cuba. From 1910 he studied at the Academia de S Alejandro in Havana and taught elementary drawing there until 1925, when he went to Paris. There he formed part of the Latin American artistic and literary ...

Article

Ramón Alfonso Méndez Brignardello

Chilean architect and teacher of Spanish birth. He moved to Chile as a child and studied architecture at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago from 1917 to 1922. In 1927 he won the first architectural competition to be organized in Chile, for the Chilean Pavilion at the Exposición Ibero-Americana ...