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German, 20th century, male.

Born 1900, in Remscheid; died 1988, in The Hague.

Painter, engraver.


Stupid group, Gruppe Progressiver Künstler (Progressive Art Group).

Gerd Arntz studied at the art academy in Düsseldorf and was part of the Stupid group in Cologne from 1920, and a friend of Yankel Adler. After ...


Greta Stroeh

[Jean] (Peter Wilhelm)

(b Strassburg, Germany [now Strasbourg, France], Sept 16, 1886; d Basle, Switzerland, June 7, 1966).

French sculptor, painter, collagist, printmaker, and poet of German birth. The son of a German father and French Alsatian mother, he developed a cosmopolitan outlook from an early age and as a mature artist maintained close contact with the avant-garde throughout Europe. He was a pioneer of abstract art and one of the founders of Dada in Zurich, but he also participated actively in both Surrealism and Constructivism. While he prefigured junk art and the Fluxus movement in his incorporation of waste material, it was through his investigation of biomorphism and of chance and accident that he proved especially influential on later 20th-century art in liberating unconscious creative forces.

Following a brief period at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Strasbourg (1900–01), Arp received instruction from 1901 from a friend and neighbour, the painter and printmaker Georges Ritleng (1875–1972). He then attended the Kunstschule in Weimar (1904–7) and the Académie Julian in Paris (...


Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1940, in Berchem (Antwerp).

Painter, sculptor, screen printer.


Guy Baekelmans was briefly a member of the Centre International d'Art Constructif (International Centre of Constructive Art), and saw Constructivism as a framework within which he could develop his own spiritual aspirations. His three-dimensional works, in which he employs accents of light, are dynamic in character. Following visits to Japan, his paintings became more meditative, while the use of computers gave him new perspectives....


Ukrainian, 20th century, male.

Born 1888, in Kiev; died 1986 (or 1979).

Sculptor, print artist, illustrator.

Constructivism, Socialist Realism.

Iosif Chaikov studied in Paris, at the École des Arts Décoratifs, in 1912-1913 at the École des Beaux-Arts, and under the Russian sculptor Naum Aronson from ...


Russian, 20th century, male.

Born 1894, in Kharkov; died 1968, in Kharkov.

Painter, lithographer, poster artist.


From 1905 to 1911 Vasili Ermolov studied decorative painting at the city school of design and painting and in private workshops in Kharkov; in 1912 he was admitted to the Institute of painting, sculpture and architecture in Moscow, then to the I. Mashkov and P. Konchalovsky workshop. In ...


Romanian, 20th century, female.

Active in Argentina from 1940 and in France from 1961; naturalised in 1981 in France.

Born 27 November 1923, in Bucharest.

Painter, engraver, ceramicist, collage artist. Figures, landscapes. Designs for stained glass.

Neo-Constructivism, Symbolism.

Simona Ertan took classes in drawing, painting and linoleum engraving in Bucharest from 1934 to 1940. At the end of 1940 she left with her family for Argentina and settled in Buenos Aires. There, while continuing to paint, she took classes in aesthetics and pottery. In 1950, her encounter with Picasso's ...


Russian, 20th century, male.

Active in Germany from 1922 to 1932, in France from 1933 to 1935, in England from 1936 to 1946, active from 1946 and naturalised in the USA.

Born 5 August 1890, in Bryansk; died 23 August 1977, in Waterbury (Connecticut), USA...


Dutch, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1868 or 1869, in Amsterdam; died 1938, in Amsterdam.

Painter, engraver, draughtsman, illustrator, fresco artist. Designs for stained glass, murals.

Symbolism, Constructivism.

Holst studied at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Amsterdam from 1885 until 1890 and taught there ...


Swiss, 20th century, male.

Born 1919, in Baar.

Painter, draughtsman, lithographer.


Max Huber lives and works in Sagno. He was a student in Zurich and at the Accademia de Belle Arti in Milan. From 1944 to 1947 he was a member of the Modern Swiss Artists' Association ...


Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Born 1926, in Rosario.



Arte Concreto Invención Group.

Enio Iommi trained with his father, a sculptor and engraver of Italian origin. He was one of the founders of the Arte Concreto Invención group in Buenos Aires and in 1960...


Ticio Escobar

(b Asunción, 1921; d Asunción, May 14, 1993).

Paraguayan painter and engraver. She studied under Jaime Bestard and Lívio Abramo in Asunción and from 1958 in São Paulo, Brazil. Her paintings of the 1950s were Cubist-inspired landscapes and still lifes in oils. In the late 1950s she began to transpose her schematized pictorial style into wood engraving; in the early 1960s her engravings were increasingly based on the simple play of black and white and textures, and she then passed through a phase of abstraction related to Art informel finally to reach a purified but effectively suggestive abstraction based on organic forms. Her engravings of this period show her skill in synthesis and her capacity for expression: large shapes are realized straightforwardly in black and white but are animated by an intense inner energy. In the 1970s she embarked on a new technique based on multiple impressions and the use of color: large masses of strong shades and contrasting tones were superimposed and juxtaposed to provoke special chromatic tensions. This series of engravings, entitled ...


Russian, 20th century, male.

Born 1953, in Leningrad.

Book artist, printmaker (lithography), graphic artist.

Mikhail Karasik graduated with an art-graphics degree from the Leningrad State Pedagogical Institute. He is credited with pioneering the form of the artists’ book in Russia. Not only did he make them, he also encouraged his contemporaries to do so as well by curating numerous exhibitions and organising collective books, for example the ...


Hungarian, 20th century, male.

Born 21 March 1887, in Érsekujvár; died 1967, in Budapest.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, graphic designer, engraver, collage artist, sculptor.

Dadaism, Constructivism.

Lajos Kassák ran away from home aged 13. He started his working life as a blacksmith and locksmith. He came into contact with the workers' movement and contributed to the Social Democrat magazine ...


Éva Bajkay

(b Ersekujvar, Hungary, March 21, 1887; d Budapest, July 22, 1967).

Hungarian writer, painter, theorist, collagist, designer, printmaker and draughtsman. His family moved to Budapest in 1904, and, after finishing an apprenticeship as a blacksmith, in 1908 he began publishing stories and poems. In 1909–10 he travelled across Western Europe and spent some time in Paris, becoming acquainted with modern art and anarchist ideas. He published short stories, plays and poems in Budapest and from November 1915 he edited the periodical A Tett (‘The deed’), which was anti-militarist and discussed socialist theories and avant-garde ideas. In summer 1916 he spent time in the Kecskemét artists’ colony with his brother-in-law Béla Uitz and under his influence executed his first ink drawings (e.g. Landscape, 1916; Budapest, N.G.). Progressive young artists and aesthetes grouped themselves around Kassák; after A Tett was banned in September 1916, he started in November a new periodical, MA (‘Today’; see MA group), which he edited with Uitz (to ...


Latvian, 20th century, male.

Born 4 January 1895 , in Rŭjiena, Latvia; died 26 February 1938 , in Moscow

Painter, collage artist, photomontage artist, poster artist, lithographer, sculptor.

Constructivism, Vhutemas, Productivism, Suprematism.

Unovis, October.

Gustav Klucis studied at the City Art School in Riga (1913-1915), then at the school of design under the aegis of the Imperial Society for the Fostering of Art (1915-1917) in Petrograd (now St Petersburg). He completed his training at Vasily Meshkov’s school of design and painting, Il’ya Mashkov’s studio in the State Free Art Studio (Svoma) in Moscow, and the higher artistic and technical workshops (Vkhutemas) under the direction of Kazimir Malevich and Antoine Pevsner. An associate member of the INKhUK (Institute of Artistic Culture) productivist group in Moscow from 1921 to 1925, he taught courses at the Vkhutemas from 1924 to 1930. He was a founder member of the October group in 1928....


Croat, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1980.

Born 23 April 1924, in Osijek; died 7 December 2004, in Paris.

Painter, draughtswoman, screen printer.

Neo-Dadaism, Conceptual Art, Neo-Constructivism.

Gorgona Group.

Julije Knifer was a student at the academy of fine arts in Zagreb from 1951 to 1957...


Lajos Németh

(b Pestlőrinc [now in Budapest], Feb 17, 1931; d Budapest, Dec 12, 1972).

Hungarian painter and printmaker. He studied graphic art at the Budapest College of Fine Arts from 1951 to 1955. His symbolic etchings, which are both expressive and constructivist, broke new ground in modern Hungarian art. His works were exhibited with great success abroad (e.g. at the Venice Biennale, 1968), while in Hungary his first one-man exhibition was held in Budapest in 1960, followed by controversial exhibitions elsewhere in Hungary up to the time of his death, after which commemorative exhibitions were held, and a retrospective (1984).

The composition of Kondor’s early paintings shows the influence of medieval icons, in particular in their use of metallic hues and decorative coloration. From the 1960s a more ‘polyphonic’ type of composition and style characterized his work, often moving between different spatial and temporal dimensions within the same picture. His colours altered from a decorative, deep luminosity to transparent glazes. The symbolism in his pictures was based on a powerful system derived from a combination of Classical, Christian and private mythologies. Drawing on the great ...


Éva Bajkay

(b Beszterce [now Bistriţa, Romania], Dec 1, 1908; d Budapest, Aug 17, 1984).

Hungarian painter, printmaker, collagist, teacher and experimental film maker. In 1921 he attended the Artur Podolni-Volkmann private school in Budapest, and in 1923 he spent a year in Holland. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest (1925–30), exhibiting in a group show in 1930 with artists associated with Lajos Kassák’s Work Circle (Munka-kört). After a period in Paris and Holland in 1930, he worked at the Szentendre colony in a Constructivist-Surrealist style similar to that of Lajos Vajda, drawing upon local and folk art motifs (e.g. Szentendre Motif, 1935; Budapest, N.G.), and the musical theory of Béla Bartók. Korniss fought in World War II, returning from a prisoner-of-war camp in 1945. He went on to make small monotypes of rooftops (e.g. Illuminations, c. 1946; Budapest, N.G.). In 1946 he joined the European School, and in 1947–8 he taught at the School of Crafts and Design, Budapest. His work became abstract and geometric, although symbolic meaning is conveyed in the most effective works (e.g. ...


German, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1933 and naturalised from 1953.

Born 8 April 1910, in Lüneburg; died 19 October 1991, in Paris.

Painter, lithographer, illustrator.


Jean Leppien was born into an old Huguenot family that had settled in northern Germany and been active in commerce and as members of the clergy. He started to draw and paint in 1927 and enrolled as a student at the Bauhaus in Dessau two years later, where he studied under Albers, Klee and Kandinsky (whose writings he later translated into French at the request of Nina Kandinsky). 1931 and 1932 saw Leppien in Berlin, where he painted alongside Moholy-Nagy and studied photography with Lucia Moholy at the Johannes Itten school....


Swiss, 20th century, male.

Born 28 June 1893, in Zurich; died 1972, in Zurich.

Painter, sculptor, lithographer.


Groups: Dada, Die Allianz.

Léo Leuppi studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule (college of arts and crafts) in Zurich. He was aligned with the Zurich Dadaist movement and worked for a period as a Cubist. In 1937, he founded and presided over the ...