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Article

Denise Carvalho

(b Belo Horizonte, Oct 23, 1920; d Rio de Janeiro, Apr 25, 1988).

Brazilian painter, sculptor, interactive artist, and art therapist. She was a cofounder in 1959 of the Neo-Concrete movement, whose members laid the foundation for much of Brazilian contemporary art. The Neo-Concretists broke with the rigidity of the rationalism of Concrete art and advocated a more sensorial, interactive art. Lygia Clark and her creative soul-mate, Hélio Oiticica, created participatory works that challenged not only longstanding artistic dogmas, but also the role of the art object itself, as well as the role of the artist, the spectator, and the art institution. Their most groundbreaking works required the viewer to be part of the artwork and thereby experience it sensorially, all of which made their work difficult to categorize. Clark came to see even her exhibitions at major art events as meaningless, and her emphasis on person-to-person dialogue eventually led her into art therapy. Without a therapeutic license, she devoted her last decades solely to treating patients with her own form of art therapy....

Article

Navajo  

Margaret Moore Booker

Tribe of Native Americans who call themselves Diné (“the people”) and whose Dinetah (homelands) are situated on a c. 15 million-acre-reservation in northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and southern Utah. The Navajo have rich artistic traditions in the Southwest dating back at least five centuries. Greatly influenced by Pueblo Indians of the region, the Navajo made textiles, basketry and pottery for utilitarian and religious purposes. Traditionally, it was the Navajo women who made pottery and wove textiles, while the men were silversmiths. The latter, who learned this art from the Spanish, led the way in the development of silver and turquoise jewelry in the Southwest. Their forms and decorative styles influenced other Native American jewelers.

The Navajo excel at weaving. Their earliest works were woolen blankets made on an upright loom and meant to be worn. After trading posts were established on the reservation in the early 1870s, the traders encouraged the Navajo to weave heavier textiles that could serve as rugs. Often given materials and designs by the traders to follow, the Navajo weavers made their own adaptations that evolved into the exquisite rugs they are famous for. A wide range of patterns and colors and a number of distinct regional styles exist (...

Article

Daniel Montero

(b Albesa, Lérida, 1934).

Mexican multimedia and textile artist of Spanish birth. Palau’s parents were exiled during the Franco regime in Spain, and she moved to Mexico in 1940, where she became a naturalized citizen. From 1955 to 1965 she studied at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura y Escultura “La Esmeralda” of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA) in Mexico City, later traveling to San Diego and Barcelona to specialize in tapestry. In the 1970s she was one of the first artists in Mexico to make explicit her concerns about women and their relationship with art. In her work she explored different techniques and media such as engraving, painting, sculpture, and above all tapestry, conducting material experiments that invoke the expressiveness of textiles and their symbolic character in indigenous traditions and rituals. Palau approached her materials not only as formal exploration; through her work, she tried to show how the materiality can express certain social relations with ritual and magical bonds. In this sense, her work is an exploration of physical and social space....

Article

Elisabeth Roark

(b San Pedro, Aug 9, 1913; d Dax, Nov 4, 1982).

Argentinian sculptor, tapestry designer and weaver active in France. After studying drawing and painting in Buenos Aires, Penalba received a scholarship from the French government in 1948. In Paris she enrolled at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in printmaking but began to concentrate exclusively on sculpture after entering the studio of Ossip Zadkine in 1950. Committed to abstraction from 1951, Penalba exhibited with other young, non-objective sculptors such as Etienne-Martin and Etienne Hajdu, with whom she shared a preference for organic form. Her sculpture of the 1950s was chiefly of vertical orientation, composed of modular forms arranged around a central axis in a totemic or columnar manner, as in Middle Totem (1954; Rio de Janeiro, Mus. A. Mod.). Despite its organic allusions, Penalba denied any direct reference to plant, rock or animal prototypes, insisting that her work was motivated by a desire to ‘spiritualize the symbols of eroticism, the source of all creation’ (...

Article

Susanna Temkin

(b San Rafael de Mucuchíes, nr. Mérida, May 16, 1900; d San Rafael de Mucuchíes, Apr 18, 1997).

Venezuelan sculptor, furniture designer, weaver, and architect. He was self-taught as an artist. After various odd jobs including puppeteer, baker’s assistant, and clown, he learned to weave on a loom, making traditional blankets, and later hats (see Grupo Cinco 1982, 143–147). In 1935 he carved his first sculptural group representing Christ, the Virgin, and Mary Magdalene (untraced). In 1943 Sánchez moved from San Rafael to El Potrero. There, in 1946, he constructed the only loom in Venezuela with three heddles. In 1952 he began the construction of the Complejo de El Tisure, located in an immense isolated valley near Mérida. His major life’s work, this artistic and religious center included various chapels, shrines, and sculptural ensembles conceived and hand-built by Sánchez. Driven by a seemingly atavistic religious mysticism, Sánchez’s uniquely individual artistic vision can be compared with Antoni Gaudí.

Located near the Complejo de El Tisure’s arched stone entrance, a rough-hewn small shrine adorned with sea shells and corals was created in ...

Article

Teresa del Conde

revised by Deborah Caplow

(b Juchitán, Oaxaca, Jul 17, 1940).

Mexican painter, sculptor, textile designer, printmaker, and collector. He grew up in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, an area that was rich in legends, rites, and beliefs springing from a strong Zapotec tradition predating the Spanish conquest of Mexico. He began to draw and paint at a very early age, studying first in Oaxaca, where he produced linocuts in the graphic workshop run by Arturo García Bustos (1926–2017). In 1957 he moved to Mexico City to attend the Escuela de Diseño y Artesanía of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. After holding his first solo shows of gouaches and prints in 1959 in Fort Worth, Texas, and Mexico City, he moved in 1960 to Paris, where until 1963 he studied printmaking under Stanley William Hayter. While continuing to work within Western traditions, he became interested in the art of Asian cultures and in ancient Mexican art, especially in those forms that were not officially sanctioned....