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Article

pseudonym of Yaacov Gibstein

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active from 1951; also active in Paris, France.

Born 11 May 1928, in Rishon-le-Ziyyon, Palestine (now Israel).

Painter, sculptor, printmaker. Wall decorations, monuments.

Op Art, Kinetic Art.

The son of a rabbi, Yaacov Agam was educated at the Bezalel art college in Jerusalem. He was arrested by the British in 1945 and imprisoned for two years. On his release, he travelled extensively in Europe. He spent time in Switzerland, where he studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule under Johannes Itten, the colour theoretician and one of the driving forces behind the preparatory course for admission to the Bauhaus in Dessau. Agam arrived in Paris in 1951 and enrolled at the Atelier d’Art Abstrait presided over by Jean Dewasne and Edgard Pillet. He visited the USA and gave a lecture in Chicago in 1961 on ‘four-dimensional’ painting, a theme that pervades his own work.

In addition to individual paintings of a conventional size, Agam has frequently been commissioned to paint large decorative murals. Examples include his ceiling for the Jerusalem national convention centre; a ...

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Active in France since 1964.

Painter, engraver. Figure compositions, genre scenes, scenes with figures. Theatre decoration, designs for stained glass and for tapestries.

Mohamed Amich paints pictures of a Tunisia characterised by its traditions, festivals and crafts. Using a particularly wealthy range of colours, he construes and composes his works according to principal sketches and spatial structures, using a systematic approach stemming from Cubism via the teaching or example of André Lhote....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Tel Aviv, 1951).

Israeli designer, active in Britain. In 1981 Arad founded, with Caroline Thorman, One Off Ltd, a design studio, workshops and showroom in Covent Garden, London. In 1989, again with Caroline Thorman, he founded Ron Arad Associates, an architecture and design practice in Chalk Farm. In 1994 he established the Ron Arad Studio in Como (Italy). His most famous design is the Rover Chair, which recycled used Rover car seats. He has long had an interest in the use of steel, and the Bookwork bookshelves (...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Active in London.

Born 10 March 1903, in Braintree (Essex); died 21 November 1989, in Saffron Walden (Essex).

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, illustrator, printmaker, graphic designer. Military subjects, rustic scenes, landscapes, seascapes, harbour scenes, architectural views, church interiors. Decorative panels.

Edward Bawden studied at Cambridge School of Art ...

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Born 26 May 1921, in Tunis.

Painter, miniaturist. Genre scenes, local scenes, figures. Wall decorations, stage sets, designs for stained glass.

Jélal Ben Abdallah was a student at the school of fine art in Tunis. Initially he was a miniaturist, having studied traditional Islamic art and developed an oriental style, often defined as Tunisian. He portrays the traditions and ceremonies of Tunisian life in a make-up inspired by the ancient miniatures, using a range of warm ochres and soft browns. He also proved himself to be capable of adapting the images from these miniatures to a much larger format, that of murals, especially popular in the banks of Tunisia. His pleasant illustrations of Tunisian traditions are very popular with the public. As well as a certain ease of style and subject-matter, he can also achieve a certain poetic vein in his work....

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Born 25 December 1910, in Tunis.

Painter, watercolourist, miniaturist, decorative artist. Figures, animals. Designs for tapestries.

In 1932 Ali Ben Salem was involved in setting up the Musée d'Art Tunisien. His tapestry-like painting is highly decorative and reveals graceful outlines and tender colours, featuring elegant young women alongside nimble animals....

Article

British, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 13 May 1867, in Bruges, Belgium, to English parents; died 11 June 1956, in Ditchling.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, engraver, lithographer, illustrator. Religious subjects, figure compositions, figures, local scenes (carnival), rustic scenes, urban landscapes, architectural views, urban views, harbour scenes, seascapes...

Article

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active from 1948 active in Israel.

Born 16 December 1908, in Bucharest.

Painter, engraver, poster artist, graphic designer, decorative designer. Designs for tapestries, and stained glass windows.

He was an architecture student at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he later studied painting at the Scandinavian Academy and at the Académie Julian ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1940, in Cairo.

Painter, watercolourist, illustrator, decorative artist. Decorative motifs. Stage costumes and sets, designs for jewellery.

A pupil at the Académie Julian, the École des Arts Decoratifs and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Georges Doche went on to show his work in several public exhibitions and, in particular, at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants in Paris, as well as at several private galleries in Geneva, Tokyo and London. He had a number of solo exhibitions, including in Paris (...

Article

Turkish, 20th century, male.

Born 1911 or 1913, in Trabzon; died 1975.

Painter, illustrator, decorative artist, poet. Genre scenes, landscapes. Wall decorations.

Bedri Eyuboglu studied painting in Istanbul and at the André Lhote academy in Paris. A distant follower of Matisse and Dufy, he was basically a modernist, although at the same time he was also heir to the tradition of ancient oriental miniaturists. He was a notable illustrator, and carried out several mural decorations in Turkey....

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Born 2 June 1928, in Tunis.

Painter. Figure compositions, figures. Wall decorations.

Gorgi was a native of Georgia who lived and worked in Tunis. From 1949 onwards, he took part in group exhibitions in Tunis, as well as in the 1958...

Article

Walter Smith

revised by Carla Tilghman

(b Baghdad, Oct 31, 1950; d Miami, FL, Mar 31, 2016).

British architect, designer and teacher, of Iraqi birth. She studied at the Architectural Association, London, from 1972 to 1977 and then joined the Office for Metropolitan Architecture founded by Rem Koolhaas, one of her teachers; there she worked on the Dutch Parliament Building extension (1978), The Hague. In 1979 she opened her own practice in London, designing a flat in Eaton Place that won a gold medal from Architectural Design in 1982. She also began teaching at the Architectural Association (1980–87). During the 1980s she entered several architectural competitions, winning those for the Hong Kong Peak (1983, see fig.), the Kurfürstendamm (1986), Berlin, and for an art and media centre in Düsseldorf (1989). She also designed furniture and interiors (1985) for Bitar, London, and interiors (1990) for the Monsoon Restaurant, Sapporo, Japan. Her work seeks to develop the traditions of Modernism; it is inspired by Cubism, Futurism and Constructivism, but perhaps most profoundly by the Suprematism of Kazimir Malevich: she believed that the possibilities inherent in the work of such figures as Malevich had only begun to be realized. Sometimes described as ‘Neo-Suprematist’ and as resembling spaceships, her designs are typified by fragmented convex geometrical forms that engage and define the space around them, incorporating a Futurist sense of dynamic movement....

Article

[Oscar; Oskar]

(b Újszentanna [now Santa Ana, Romania], Feb 2, 1873; d Budapest, Sept 6, 1956).

Hungarian architect and interior designer, active in Germany and Palestine. After studying music in Budapest, he studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule, Karlsruhe, where he obtained his Diploma of Architecture in 1899. In 1900 he settled in Berlin, where he worked first as an interior designer for private clients. Later he specialized in designing theatres and cinemas. In contrast with reform movements, he advocated the strict separation of the stage from the auditorium (the realm of illusion from that of reality), and the traditional arrangement of the auditorium with balconies and intimate boxes. His first major work was the Hebbeltheater (1907–8; with San Micheli Wolkenstein and Albert Weber), Berlin. The almost monolithic severity of the façade and the building’s imposingly dynamic composition are emphasized by the intimate, refined elegance of the interior, a contrast characteristic of his subsequent work. The wall-coverings of silk and wood and the decentralized light-sources combine to create a warm, salon-type interior. Similar designs include the Municipal Theatre (...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1926, in Paris.

Painter, illustrator. Wall decorations.

Samir Rafi won the national award for fine arts in Cairo with his composition Time. In 1946, he formed the Contemporary Art association, with the aim of returning to specifically Egyptian inspiration and breaking away from the School of Paris. In ...

Article

Lebanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 23 November 1954, in Lebanon.

Painter.

Raouf Rifai trained at the École des Beaux-Arts. His work suggests a formal semiotic mix. He is also an interior designer and set designer.

He has shown his work in various group exhibitions, such as ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Active in France and naturalised from 1930.

Born 10 August 1887, in Alexandria; died 9 December 1951, in Paris.

Painter, pastellist, watercolourist, engraver, decorative artist. Nudes, portraits, landscapes, still-lifes.

Orientalism.

Georges Hanna Sabbagh left Egypt in 1906 for Paris, where he was the student of Maurice Denis, Paul Sérusier and Félix Valloton. He became a professor at the Académie Ranson in Paris and at the school of fine arts in Cairo ...

Article

[Sa‛id, ‛Isam Sabaḥ al-]

(b Baghdad, Sept 7, 1938; d London, Dec 26, 1988).

Iraqi architect, painter and designer. The grandson of the Iraqi prime minister Nuri el-Said (d 1958), he studied architecture in England at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1958–61), and attended Hammersmith College of Art and Design, London (1962–4). From the early 1960s he incorporated sentences and words in kufic and other scripts into his paintings. He designed the interior of the Central Mosque and the Islamic Cultural Centre in London (1976–7), and he was consultant to PPA Ltd of Canada for the Abdul Aziz University master plan in Jiddah (1977–8) and to TYPSA Ltd of Spain for the Imam Saud Islamic University master plan in Riyadh (1978–9). In Baghdad he designed the Aloussi Mosque (1982–8) and al-Aboud Mosque (1984). In addition to his paintings in oil and watercolour he worked with such materials as paleocrystal (a transparent material made of polyester resin) and enamel on aluminium. His ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b nr Cēsis, April 28, 1896; d Tbilisi, Georgia, July 14, 1944).

Latvian painter, printmaker, ceramicist, interior designer, tage and film set designer and theorist. He was the foremost ideologue for modernism in Latvia and was one of its greatest innovators. His militant defence of avant-garde principles befitted his experience as a soldier and as one of the artists who, after World War I, was denied a studio by the city officials and staged an armed occupation of the former premises of the Riga Art School. At the end of the war he painted in an Expressionist manner: In Church (1917; Riga, priv. col., see Suta, 1975, p. 19), for example, is an exaltation of Gothic form and primitivist rendering. Unlike his peers Jāzeps Grosvalds and Jēkabs Kazaks, he was extremely interested in Cubism and Constructivism, the theories of which informed his paintings, drawings, prints and occasional architectural projects of the 1920s. At this time he and his wife, the painter ...

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Born 19 November 1924, in Tunis.

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor. Local scenes, local figures. Low reliefs, wall decorations.

Zoubeir Turki was a student at the school of fine arts in Tunis, then spent a period in Stockholm from 1953 to 1958, where he attended the school of fine arts. He lives and works in Tunis. He portrays the figures in his compositions with a great deal of wit and affectionate humour, making them lively, vivacious, and malicious. His drawing is linear, very pure, and reminiscent of Matisse's, but is nevertheless full of detail, meaning, and the psychology of its figures. He especially excels in mimicking the Tunisian middle classes. He also executed some mural decorations and low reliefs in Tunisia....

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Sculptor. Figures, nudes, portraits, animals.

Béchir Zribi worked for a long period as a cabinetmaker and was known for his copies of bourgeois styles of the past. Staying with the material and the technique from his previous profession, he went on to sculpt directly from wood. He occasionally works with stone, also cutting directly, using the chisel in place of the gouge....