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Alexandra Kennedy

(b Quito, Sept 10, 1913; d Quito, Apr 11, 1990).

Ecuadorean sculptor and engraver. He studied sculpture at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Quito, graduating in 1932. He was a pupil of Luigi Cassadio (fl. 1915–1933), an Italian sculptor who stimulated sculptural activity in the school and whom Andrade succeeded as professor. With his Mother Earth (Quito, Mus. Mun. Alberto Mena Caamaño), Andrade won the Mariano Aguilera national prize in 1940. His early work was realist and academic, but in 1941 he studied mural composition with the Ecuadorean artist Camilo Egas at the New School for Social Research in New York. His previous low reliefs in stone and wood were transformed into vast murals depicting stylized and geometric human scenes (e.g. the untitled mural, 18×9 m, at the Universidad Central del Ecuador in Quito, 1949–1954). In the late 1960s he used hammered steel sheeting in his sculptures, and in the 1970s he executed what he called his “flying sculptures” (e.g. ...


Cuban, 20th century, male.

Born 1925, in Havana.

Painter, sculptor, engraver.

Arcay was a student at the academy of fine arts in Havana, where he won first prize for sculpture. He went to Paris in 1949. From 1950 to 1952, he was a student at Dewasne's and Pillet's studio for abstract art in Montparnasse. He began to exhibit at collective events in ...


Nelly Perazzo

(b Arezzo, Feb 2, 1916; d Buenos Aires, Feb 11, 2001).

Argentine sculptor, painter, printmaker, and draftsman of Italian birth. After completing his studies at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires in 1945, he went on study trips around Latin America (1945–1946) and Europe (1949). He became a naturalized citizen of Argentina in 1947 and from 1949 he participated in the Salones Nacionales, winning various awards. He soon won a reputation as one of Argentina’s most outstanding sculptors, working in marble, bronze, wood, cement, and clay. Torrent (marble, 1953; Buenos Aires, Mus. N. B.A.), a semi-abstract female nude composed of smooth curved planes, typifies one aspect of his work: his treatment of themes of fecundity, motherhood, and the family, using rounded forms to which he attached a symbolic value. The titles associated with some of these material forms, such as Time (bronze, 1959; Buenos Aires, Mus. A. Mod.), indicate the way they are meant to be read....


Brazilian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 19 August 1948, in Olinda.

Engraver, sculptor.

José Barbosa da Silva's father was a carpenter and taught him woodwork, which was to prove influential in his later work.

Folklore and the popular and religious art of his country are common features in Barbosa da Silva's engravings and low reliefs. Most typical of his work are small, engraved caskets showing connections with fetishism....


Nelly Perazzo

(b Torroella de Montgri, Catalonia, Mar 3, 1911; d Buenos Aires, Oct 8, 1966).

Argentine painter, printmaker, illustrator, sculptor, and stage designer of Spanish Catalan birth. He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1913. Although his uncle, José Planas Casas (b Catalonia, 1900; d Argentina, 1960), taught him the rudiments of art, he was basically self-taught and began to exhibit his work in 1934. Synthesizing ideas from Zen philosophy, psychoanalysis, and the theories on cosmic energy espoused by the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich with his interests in automatism, poetry, and painting, he found a creative sense of direction from an early age. He applied his methods not only to paintings but to stage designs, illustrations, collages, prints, polychrome sculptures, and boxlike constructions; as a painter he worked both in tempera and in oil, and he also produced seventy-two murals.

In 1936 Batlle Planas inaugurated a Surrealist phase with a series entitled Paranoiac X-rays, followed by another group of pictures, Tibetan Series, populated by spectral figures related to works by Yves Tanguy. Between ...


Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Born 14 May 1905, in Rosario (Santa Fé); died 13 October 1981, in Buenos Aires.

Painter, sculptor, engraver, collage artist, photomontage artist, assemblage artist. Figure compositions, landscapes, portraits, still-lifes, scenes with figures.

Nouvelle Figuration, Figuration Narrative.

Nuevo Realismo Group.

Berní was the son of Italian immigrants in Argentina. His childhood and early youth were marked by destitution. In 1915, when his father died, he went to live with his grandmother, where he had to travel 10 kilometres (six miles) on horseback to get to school every morning. From 1916, he was able to study stained glass window technique and attend a drawing course for young people. He was then influenced by the Post-Impressionism of the Spaniard, Joaquín Sorolla. He began to exhibit in 1918.From 1921 to 1924, he abandoned his studies and went to live among the peasants of the Pampa, where he painted landscapes. In 1925, he won a scholarship that enabled him to travel to Europe, where he stayed first in Madrid, then settled in Paris, where he frequented the studios of André Lhote and Othon Friesz at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Montparnasse and discovered the painting of Picasso, Braque and de Chirico. In 1928, still in Paris, he met the Surrealists, associating mainly with Aragon; he did not formally join the movement but he immersed himself in the psychological atmosphere of the group and its Marxist commitment. He read Marx, Engels and Lenin, and met Henri Lefebvre. His painting was influenced by his Surrealist friendships, particularly in the series of photomontages and collages that he embarked on in 1929. In 1930, he returned to Argentina, where he studied further and was still able in 1932 to exhibit his Surrealist paintings of 1929-1931, in which he had mainly applied Lautréamont's formula concerning encounters with random objects.On his return, he had founded the ...


Jorge Glusberg

(b Rosario, May 14, 1905; d Buenos Aires, Oct 13, 1981).

Argentine painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He trained at the stained-glass window workshop of Buxadera & Compañía, Rosario, province of Santa Fé, and with Eugenio Fornels and Enrique Munné. He held his first exhibition in 1920. At the age of 20 he won a scholarship for study in Europe awarded by the Jockey Club of Rosario, which enabled him to study in Paris under André Lhote and with Othon Friesz at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. After showing his European works in Buenos Aires in 1927 he obtained another scholarship, this time from the government of the province of Santa Fé, as a result of which he established contact with the Surrealists in 1928; in particular he befriended Louis Aragon and the French philosopher Henri Lefebvre.

Berni returned to Argentina in 1930. In 1933 he established an artistic–literary group, Nuevo Realismo, and began to depict Argentina’s social reality. From the 1960s, through two characters he created (Juanito Laguna and Ramona Montiel) he began to create works from pieces of metal and wood, buttons, burlap, wires, and other debris gathered by him in the shantytowns surrounding Buenos Aires. Combining in these works commonplace materials and a brutal realism (e.g. ...


Brazilian, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1965, in São Paulo.

Sculptor, engraver, draughtswoman.

Elisa Bracher lives and works in São Paulo.Bracher is interested in ephemeral phenomena which she addresses in the form of liminal drawings, engravings and sculptures. At the Capc-Musée d'Art Contemporain in Bordeaux she installed metal carvings along the walls; these black and white, horizontal and vertical geometric forms of varying thickness talk to each other acquiring density and marking out a barely perceptible path....


Brazilian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 18 August 1929, in Rio de Janeiro.

Sculptor, engraver.

Rolando Cabot was in Paris from 1950 to 1955, where he studied architecture, before returning to Rio de Janeiro in 1956 to study engraving. He exhibited in New York in ...


Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Guatemala City, Sept 16, 1781; d Guatemala City, Nov 21, 1845).

Guatemalan painter, printmaker, and medallist. He entered the mint in 1795 as an apprentice engraver but on the recommendation of its director, Pedro Garci-Aguirre, also became Master Corrector at the Escuela de Dibujo de la Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País, Guatemala City, in 1796, holding the post until 1804. He continued working at the mint until 1809 and demonstrated outstanding skill both as a medallist and engraver of coins and as an engraver and etcher. He returned to the mint in 1823 as second engraver, remaining in the post until his death.

Despite the quality of his work as a printmaker and medallist, Cabrera gained artistic recognition especially as a miniature painter, working mostly in watercolour on ivory in a meticulous technique. He produced some miniatures on religious themes and others of birds, but the majority, measuring no more than 50 mm in height or width, were portraits of members of the Guatemalan aristocracy and bourgeoisie. It is not known exactly how many he produced, but from the middle of the 1830s he began to number them, starting from 500; the highest known number of the approximately 200 authenticated miniatures is 745. Although he suffered some illness, he was most productive during the last five years of his life. An evolution can be discerned from his earliest works, dating from ...


Karen Cordero Reiman

(b Cadereyta, nr. Monterrey, Mar 3, 1908; d Mexico City, Jan 29, 1989).

Mexican painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He studied at the Escuela de Pintura al Aire Libre at Coyoacán in the early 1920s and independently with Spanish sculptor Mateo Hernández and the Catalan José de Creeft. Although younger than the major figures of post-revolutionary Mexican art, his work reflected their influence in the use of Pre-Columbian themes in his mural and sculptural work and in occasional references to indigenous types. In general, however, it was distinguished by the ephemeral, melancholic, linear quality of his figures, clearly influenced by Botticelli and by Picasso’s Blue Period; harlequins, romantic poets and women with flowing hair were common subjects in his paintings, which were primarily portraits, religious scenes, and allegorical compositions. In 1945 he began an association with the printmaker Carlos Alvarado Lang, and the resulting engravings showed fine linear elegance (e.g. the Communion Rail, 1945–1946; Monterrey, La Purísima). Throughout the 1960s he produced sculpted reliefs and freestanding sculptures for the buildings of the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social; in these works Cantú came close to the massive qualities associated with the Mexican school, but his figures’ volume was still tempered by linear detailing....


Roberto Pontual

(b Paraisópolis, 1920; d Rio de Janeiro, Nov 22, 2002).

Brazilian sculptor, draftsman, and printmaker. Moving from the interior to the capital of Minas Gerais, he studied drawing and painting with Alberto da Veiga Guignard in Belo Horizonte from 1942 to 1950. He then went to Rio de Janeiro, where he began to show preference for sculpture and worked extensively as a graphic designer, making his name by redesigning the daily newspaper Jornal do Brasil. Already a Constructivist, in 1959 he signed the Neo-Concrete Manifesto, participating in exhibitions of the Grupo Neoconcreto until 1961 and in the international exhibition of Concrete art in Zurich (1960). Awarded a trip abroad by the Salão Nacional de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, from 1967 to 1969 he lived in New Jersey, where in 1968 he was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship. On his return to Brazil he settled in Belo Horizonte. In his sculpture, mainly in sheet iron, he continued to use a language of extreme economy (...


Paul Von Blum

(b Washington, DC, Apr 15, 1915; d Cuernavaca, Mexico, Apr 3, 2012).

African American sculptor, printmaker, and art educator, active also in Mexico. One of the leading African American feminist and political artists of the 20th century and early 21st century, Catlett devoted her career of more than sixty years to expressing critical ideas in powerful visual form both in the United States and in her adopted country of Mexico. Her strong academic background began at Howard University, Washington, DC, where she studied under African American artists James Porter (d 1939), James Wells, and Lois Jones. After graduating in 1937, she completed her MFA in 1940 at the University of Iowa.

In 1941 she married the artist Charles White. Visiting Mexico, they found the Mexican mural and printmaking tradition artistically and politically engaging. After her first marriage ended in 1946, she moved to Mexico in the wake of American postwar political repression. While working at the Taller de Gráfica Popular in Mexico City, she met the Mexican artist ...


Paraguayan, 20th century, male.

Born 1937, in Concepcion.

Painter, sculptor, engraver.

After a period of geometric abstraction, Colombino's work evolved towards figuration, the formal vocabulary of which is somewhat along the lines of Pop Art. These works are occasionally an expression of political criticism. He was awarded a prize at the exhibition ...


Chilean, 20th century, male.

Active from 1952 active in France.

Born 19 February 1927, in Santiago.

Painter, watercolourist, sculptor, engraver.

Kinetic Art.

Contreras-Brunet started painting in 1943 and did not return to the school of art in Santiago until 1947. He painted his first abstract canvases in ...


Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Guatemala City, Dec 5, 1939).

Guatemalan painter, sculptor, printmaker, and architect. Although he studied architecture at the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala (1959–1961), as an artist he was essentially self-taught. One of the most important abstract artists in Guatemala, he worked in a variety of media, favoring new materials and bold geometric forms. As an architect he co-designed two important public buildings in Guatemala City: a library at the Universidad de San Carlos known as the Edificio de Recursos Educativos (1969; with Augusto de León Fajardo), and the Instituto de Fomento Municipal (1973). He produced a number of murals in Guatemala City: Genesis (clay, 5 sq. m) in the residence of the architect Max Holzheu; Genesis (1972; Banco Inmobiliario Col.); Nest of Quetzals (acrylic, 1974; Inst. Fomento Mun.); Fissure (concrete, 9 sq. m, 1975; Casa Salem); Untitled (concrete and mirror, 160 sq. m, 1980) at the Cámara Guatemalteca de la Construcción; and ...


Cynthia Haveson Veloric

(Pablo Ramón)

(b San Juan, 1933).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, and jazz percussionist of Puerto Rican birth. Ferrer was born into a financially stable household where “there were problems which had to do with family turmoil of a psychological kind” (interview with C. H. Veloric, 1990). His strict upbringing merged with an awareness of leftist politics gained from exiles from the Spanish Civil War who lived at his grandmother’s house. Fleeing Catholic school, he attended Staunton Military Academy in Virginia, where he learned to play the drums. At Syracuse University he rejected formal classes, preferring the company of musicians and artists. He became the leader of a Latin band while simultaneously painting on his own. His frustrations and inclinations were supported by his half-brother, the actor José Ferrer (1912–1992).

In 1952 he entered the University of Puerto Rico where he took painting classes with the exiled Spanish painter and writer Eugenio Granell (...


Ricardo Pau-Llosa


(b Santiago de Cuba, Jan 15, 1928; d Miami, FL, Nov 17, 2015).

Cuban sculptor, painter, printmaker, and tapestry maker. He graduated from the Academia de San Alejandro in Havana in 1955 and went to Mexico, where he studied with David Alfaro Siqueiros in Mexico City. In 1962 he traveled to Italy on a UNESCO scholarship. As a political exile from Cuba he lived for several years in Europe, the USA, and Puerto Rico before settling in Miami in 1978. He worked in bronze and steel, realized murals, drawings, lithographs, and tapestries. His tapestries echo the concern with gestural brushwork and grainy texture evident in his drawings and lithographs. His painting and sculpture were initially influenced by Abstract Expressionism, but as a sculptor working in bronze and steel, his affinities were with Arnaldo Pomodoro. García’s originality lay in the tensions he created between smooth and coarse textures, and between geometric and asymmetrical forms as a means of suggesting metaphors within an essentially abstract formal language. For example, in ...


Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1976, naturalised French.

Born 23 August 1940, in Salta.

Painter, sculptor, engraver, draughtsman.

Alfredo Garzón taught at the school of fine arts in Salta and then at the national university of Córdoba where, in 1966, he was awarded the school of fine arts gold medal. He has lived and worked in Villeneuve-St-Georges since ...



Gustavo Navarro-Castro

revised by Iliana Cepero

[Goldschmidt, Gertrudis]

(b Hamburg, Aug 1, 1912; d Caracas, Sept 17, 1994).

Venezuelan architect, sculptor, draftsman, and printmaker of German birth. She studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart until 1938; one of her principal teachers was Paul Bonatz. The following year she traveled to Venezuela, where she combined her artistic career as a sculptor, draftsman, and engraver with teaching. In 1952 she adopted Venezuelan nationality and in 1953 she moved to the coastal town of Tarma where she made watercolors, drawings, and prints. Upon her return to Caracas in 1956, and inspired by the kinetic art movement, she began experimenting with the conversion of planes into three-dimensional forms, exploring the media of drawing, watercolor, engraving, collage, and sculpture and integrating them into architectural spaces, defying artistic conventions. A pioneering example of this approach was her 1962 design for the headquarters of the Banco Industrial de Venezuela in Caracas, which comprised a 10 m tower of interlocking aluminum and steel tubes....