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Article

Courtney Ann Shaw

(b Fort Plain, NY, Oct 27, 1925; d San Francisco, 2006).

American tapestry artist, painter and stained-glass designer. Adams studied painting at Syracuse University and with Hans Hoffmann in New York, where he was influenced by the medieval tapestries in the Cloisters and also by the work of Matisse. In the 1950s Adams was apprenticed to the influential French tapestry designer Jean Lurçat, from whom he learnt the bold colours and clear imagery that characterize his work. He also studied at the Ecole Nationale d’Art Décoratif in Aubusson before beginning to use a series of workshops, notably that of Marguerite and Paul Avignon, who wove his first nationally acclaimed tapestry, Phoenix and the Golden Gate (1957). Flight of Angels (1962) was exhibited at the first Biennale Internationale de la Tapisserie in Lausanne. In 1976 his cartoon of California Poppies (San Francisco, CA Pal. Legion of Honor) was woven for the Five Centuries of Tapestry exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, as a demonstration piece. Later tapestries, for example ...

Article

Andrew Weiner

(b Beirut, 1925).

Lebanese painter and writer active in the USA. Daughter of a Greek Christian mother and a Syrian Muslim father, Adnan was educated in Lebanon before going on to study philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and the University of California, Berkeley. For many years she taught aesthetics at Dominican College, San Rafael, CA; she also lectured and taught at many other colleges and universities. During the 1970s Adnan regularly contributed editorials, essays, and cultural criticism to the Beirut-based publications Al-Safa and L’Orient-Le Jour. In 1978 she published the novel Sitt Marie Rose, which won considerable acclaim for its critical portrayal of cultural and social politics during the early years of the Lebanese Civil War. Adnan published numerous books of poetry, originating in her opposition to the American war in Vietnam and proceeding to encompass topics as diverse as the landscape of Northern California and the geopolitics of the Middle East. Her poetry served as the basis for numerous works of theater and contemporary classical music....

Article

Christine Mullen Kreamer

(b Jan 25, 1930; d Lomé, Jan 4, 2010).

Togolese painter, sculptor, engraver, stained glass designer, potter and textile designer. Beginning in 1946, he received his secondary education in Dakar, where he also worked in an architecture firm. He travelled to France and received his diplôme supérieur from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. A versatile artist, Ahyi is best known for his murals and for monumental stone, marble and cement public sculptures. His work reflects the fusion of his Togolese roots, European training and an international outlook, and he counts among his influences Moore, Braque, Modigliani, Tamayo, Siqueiros and Tall. His work combines ancient and modern themes and materials, maternity being a prominent topic. The messages of his larger, public pieces operate on a broad level to appeal to the general populace, while smaller works often reflect his private engagement with challenges confronting the human condition. His compositions are both abstract and figurative and evoke the heroism and hope of the two world wars, Togo's colonial period and the struggle for independence from France, as well as the political efforts of the peoples of Vietnam, South Africa and Palestine. Ahyi has won numerous international prizes, including the prize of the city of Lyon (...

Article

maiden name: Fleischmann

German, 20th century, female.

Active in the USA.

Born 12 June 1899, in Berlin; died 10 May 1994, in Orange (Connecticut), USA.

Draughtswoman, textile designer, printmaker.

Having studied in Berlin and Hamburg, Anni Albers went on to study at the Bauhaus from 1922 to 1930. She married Josef Albers and became an assistant teacher at a weaving workshop. In 1933, the two emigrated to the USA, founding the art department at Black Mountain College, a newly established liberal arts school in North Carolina. In 1949, Anni and Josef moved to New Haven (Connecticut) where he served as chair for the design department at Yale University.

As early on as her first teaching post at the Bauhaus, where she ran technical classes, she taught students to combine natural and synthetic materials in weaving, saying: ‘The material determines its own limits in the face of the tasks imposed by the imagination.’ After emigrating to the USA, she continued to teach this philosophy at Black Mountain College and was thus part of the considerable influence exerted by the college on the artistic movement that would go on to become the American School of the 1940s. Challenging historical distinctions between high and low art forms, she carved out space for fibre arts within the discourse of fine art. Her pedagogical approach not only integrated art, craft, and industry, but also emphasised the cultivation of moral character, self-sufficiency, and independence from machinery....

Article

Chika Okeke-Agulu

(b Cairo, May 22, 1963).

American painter, sculptor, fibre and installation artist of Egyptian birth. Amer, one of the few young artists of African origin to gain prominence in the late 1990s international art scene, studied painting in France at the Villa Arson EPIAR, Nice (MFA, 1989), and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique, Paris (1991). She subsequently moved to New York. She is best known for her canvases in which paint and embroidery are combined to explore themes of love, desire, sexuality, and women’s identity in a patriarchal world. Amer’s use of Embroidery, historically regarded as a genteel female craft, to create images of women fulfilling their sexual desires without inhibition, recalls the provocations and strategies of 1970s Western feminist art. However, her work also reflects her alarm at the incremental curbing of women’s social and political freedoms in her native Egypt following the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, especially after the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser ended in ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th — 21st century, female.

Active in the USA.

Born 1963, in Cairo.

Draughtswoman, embroiderer.

Ghada Amer grew up in Paris. She studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nice before traveling to the USA where she attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She lives and works in both New York and Paris.

Amer is best known for her embroidered canvases, a subversive practice she adopted during her studies in Nice, unable to enroll in painting classes reserved exclusively for her male counterparts. Amer first used embroidery, a craft traditionally associated with women’s labour, to depict feminine stereotypes in banal domestic scenes, commercial advertising, and Disney cartoons. In 1992 she made a bold move to incorporate pornographic imagery into her work, claiming feminine sexuality as a site of empowerment. Complex sequential overlapping images of women arousing themselves are visible only when one approaches the canvas; at a distance, they merge into a colourful textured weave. Her work is often regarded as feminist, with the domestic symbolism of her needlework creating an intimate, autonomous female arena in which women please themselves....

Article

Joan Marter

(b Atlanta, GA, March 16, 1938).

African American painter, printmaker, and weaver. Amos studied fine arts and textile weaving at Antioch College at Yellow Springs, OH, where she received her BFA in 1958. She went on to study etching and painting at the Central School of Art, London (1958–9), and the following year she moved to New York, where she began working at two printmaking studios: Robert Blackburn’s workshop and that of Letterio Calapai (an outpost of Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17). She completed her MA at New York University (NYU) in 1966. Through Hale Woodruff, an art professor at NYU and family friend, she was invited to exhibit with Spiral, an all-male art group founded by Woodruff and Romare Bearden and featuring recognized African American artists. Spiral, closely allied with the Civil Rights movement, dissolved in 1967 and subsequently Amos had trouble exhibiting her work. In 1974, after the birth of her two children, Amos found a position as an instructor in textile design at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts. She continued her own weaving in New York and benefited from the revival of interest in women’s traditional art forms in the early years of the feminist art movement....

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in California.

Born 1940, in Cleator Moor (West Cumbria).

Painter, ceramicist, print artist, film maker, photographer. Textiles.

Conrad Atkinson graduated from Carlisle College of Art (1961), Liverpool College of Art (1962) and the Royal Academy Schools in London (...

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 1910, in Mannheim; died 12 November 1982, in Mannheim.

Painter, sculptor. Designs for stained glass, tapestries, murals.

After a standard education Baerwind studied at the academies in Berlin and Munich before studying at the Académie Ranson in Paris in 1932...

Article

Polish, 20th century, male.

Active since 1966 active in France.

Born 13 February 1934, in Lesko.

Painter, weaver. Figures.

In the 1960s, Baran was a pupil at the academy of fine arts in Warsaw. He studied landscape painting and trained in the weaving studio. He was influenced by French painters from Bonnard to De Staël, but especially by Cézanne's conception of space. An admirer of Bayeux tapestry, he has a sort of haziness in his graphic execution reminiscent of embroidery. Edward Baran had a solo exhibition in Beauvais (...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1921; died January 1971, in La Celle-St-Cloud.

Painter, hand-weaver. Designs for tapestries.

A master loom setter, Pierre Baudouin taught mural art at the École des Beaux-Arts in Aubusson. He is particularly well known for his collaboration with Picasso, Le Corbusier, Calder, Estève, Masson, Arp and Ernst....

Article

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Valerie Holman

(b Mennecy, Seine-et-Oise, Feb 3, 1895; d Paris, June 6, 1979).

French painter, sculptor, draughtsman, graphic artist, ceramicist and tapestry designer. He attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, from 1911, until he joined the army in 1915. After World War I he devoted himself primarily to painting. In 1922 he met Juan Gris with whose encouragement his early Matisse-influenced rhythmical compositions acquired greater stability. In the late 1920s he was promoted by Tériade as a successor to the Cubists, with such works as The Mirror (1929; Paris, Pompidou), in which a highly simplified figure and its mirror-image are defined by patches of flat colour and fragments of linear contrast, and by the 1940s he was seen as one of the major representatives of the Ecole de Paris. In the 1950s his earlier predilection for curvilinear shapes gave way to a more angular and dynamic geometry, as in the First Race (1952; Paris, Pompidou). His subject-matter was taken from daily life, with marked preferences for the nude in movement, as in ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active also active in Italy.

Born 31 October 1957, in Bordeaux.

Architect, designer, draughtswoman. Furniture, rug design.

Martine Bedin was awarded a bursary to study architecture in Florence in 1978, and then graduated from the École d'Architecture in Paris. She began her formal research in ...

Article

German, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 14 April 1868, in Hamburg; died 27 February 1940, in Berlin.

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, architect, designer, decorative artist, graphic designer. Posters, furniture, wallpaper, carpets, glassware, ceramics, table services, jewellery, silverwork, objets d'art, typefaces.

Jugendstil, functional school.

Die Sieben (Group of Seven), Deutscher Werkbund...

Article

French, 20th century, female.

Born 23 April 1940, in Hyères.

Painter, decorative designer. Designs for carpets, designs for jewellery.

Andrée Bellaguet studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, where she won the first prize for painting.

She has created decorative works, particularly in 1972 for Claude Parent's architecture of inclined plains. Her murals, paintings and reliefs can be found on various public buildings in Paris, Épernay, Créteil and Giens. She has also designed carpets and baroque-style jewellery....

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA.

Born 15 March 1883, in Stuttgart; died 29 May 1972, in New York.

Painter, sculptor, graphic designer, poster artist, illustrator, architect, designer, decorative artist. Designs for carpets, advertising art, furniture, lamps, wallpaper.

Jugendstil.

Deutscher Werkbund.

Lucian Bernhard studied painting at the Kunstakademie in Munich, but taught himself design. He was active in Berlin. In ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 26 June 1909, in Dijon; died 6 December 1996, in Paris.

Painter, collage artist, engraver, draughtsman. Wall decorations, designs for mosaics, stained glass windows, tapestries, stage costumes and sets.

A pupil at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyons in 1930, Bertholle studied in Paris from 1932-1934, and subsequently attended classes run by the painter Roger Bissière at the Académie Ranson, where he met his friends and associates Manessier, Etienne-Martin, Le Moal and Véra Pagava. He was artistic director of the Gien porcelain factory from 1943-1957, and taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1965-1980. He was a member of the Institut de France, a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur and a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Initially an admirer of Puvis de Chavannes, whose work he had encountered at the city museum in Lyons, Bertholle later discovered Manet (at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1932), and through the latter, Van Gogh and Renoir. Following his early, highly-coloured Expressionist period, Bertholle was greatly influenced by the Flemish fantasies of Breughel and Heironymus Bosch, and ultimately by the Surrealists - as may be seen in his painting of the ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 30 August 1927, in Paris.

Painter. Designs for mosaics, stained glass windows, tapestries.

A pupil at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. From 1953-1965, Bertrand's work featured in a number of group exhibitions at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris. His decorative mosaics, stained glass and tapestries are generally conceived in the context of a specific architectural setting: like many contemporary French artists, he has received numerous commissions arising from the French law obliging 1 per cent of the budget of any new public building or infrastructure project to be spend on integrated artistic features....

Article

Mark Jones

(b Paris, Jan 17, 1913; d Paris, 1994).

French painter, sculptor, medallist and designer. He studied in Paris, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and was much influenced by his friendship with Maurice Denis. He worked principally as a painter, adopting the saturated colours of Henri Matisse in landscapes and figure studies often based on observation of ‘exotic’ cultures, notably Mediterranean and North African. In the mid-1960s a new rawness emerged in his work, derived from ‘primitive’ examples and new materials associated with his experiments in other media. He executed tapestry designs for Aubusson, posters (winning the Grand Prix de l’Affiche Française in 1984), costumes and sets for ballets at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, reliefs and murals. In 1965 he took up medal-making, expressing in his numerous metallic works for the Paris Mint that obsession with found objects which is also evident in his large-scale sculpture and in his posters.

Bénézit Roger Bezombes: Nice, débarcadère du Levant...