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Article

Ewa Mikina

[Pol. artysci rewolucyjni: ‘revolutionary artists’]

Polish group of avant-garde artists that flourished between 1929 and 1936. Its members were the sculptor Katarzyna Kobro, the painters Władysław Strzemiński and Henryk Stażewski, and the poets J. Brzękowski and J. Przyboś. It was founded by Strzemiński after he, Kobro and Stażewski left the Praesens group. The group’s programme chiefly reflected the views of Strzemiński. In two leaflets entitled Kommunikaty a.r. (‘a.r. bulletins’) the group declared itself in favour of a ‘laboratory’ version of Constructivism and an avant-garde art that influenced social life in an indirect and gradual manner. It opposed the politicization and popularization of art, which it regarded as a debasement of artistic expression, but the group also believed that rigorous, formal discipline, the organic construction of a work, its coherence, effectiveness and economy of means, made art somewhat synthetic or contrived. From 1933 the group’s announcements regarding its programme appeared in the Łódź art magazine Forma...

Article

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 (...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1940, in Berchem (Antwerp).

Painter, sculptor, screen printer.

Neo-Constructivism.

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....

Article

Swedish, 20th century, male.

Born 1911, in Halmstad; died 1981.

Painter, sculptor.

Neo-Constructivism.

Olle Baertling settled in Stockholm in 1928 and started painting in 1938. At the beginning of his career he was an Expressionist, but then began to paint portraits under the influence of Matisse. He subsequently studied under André Lothe and Léger in Paris in ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 17 August 1932, in Poyanne (Landes).

Sculptor, draughtsman. Monuments, jewels.

Neo-Constructivism.

Vincent Batbedat settled in Paris in 1950 and studied at the École Spéciale d'Architecture and then at the École des Beaux-Arts while attending the Académie Julian. In this period he concentrated on sculpture. In ...

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

Swiss, 20th century, male.

Born 3 May 1886, in Basel; died 9 October 1942.

Painter, sculptor.

Dadaism, Neo-Constructivism.

Groups: Artistes Radicaux, Das Neue Leben.

From 1917, Baumann exhibited at the Galerie Dada in Zurich and in 1918 he became a member of the group The New Life...

Article

Czechoslovak, 20th century, male.

Born 30 August 1930, in Preslany.

Sculptor.

Stefan Beloharadsky first undertook technical studies before entering the school of fine arts in Bratislava. His work was inspired by Constructivism, and placed geometrical forms in space with both rigour and elegance. He had a solo exhibition of his work in Cracow in ...

Article

Canadian, 20th century, male.

Born 1919, in Vaudreuil (Quebec).

Sculptor, designer.

Neo-Constructivism, Kinetic Art.

Jean-Jacques Besner lives in Montreal. After studying at the University of Montreal, he applied what he had learnt to his sculptural creations. He continued his training at the International School of Architecture. In ...

Article

Hans Frei

(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).

Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....

Article

Polish, 20th century, male.

Active in Argentina.

Born 1920, in Berlin, to Israeli-Polish parents.

Sculptor, painter.

Neo-Constructivism.

Grupo Madì.

After studying drawing and painting in Poland with Henri Barcynsky, with Jankel Adler in Danzig (now Gdansk) and with Chagall in Paris, Blaszko settled in Buenos Aires in ...

Article

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1952.

Born 23 January 1926, in Buenos Aires; died 31 January 1995, in Chartres, France.

Painter, sculptor.

Neo-Constructivism.

From 1943 to 1950 Carlos Cairoli studied at the academy of art in Buenos Aires, rising to the rank of lecturer, then ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1942, in Hampton Hill (Middlesex).

Sculptor, painter.

Constructivism.

John Carter studied at Twickenham School of Art from 1958 and at Kingston School of Art until 1963. He was awarded a Leverhulme Travelling Scholarship to study at the British School at Rome. He taught at London College of Printing, Hornsey College of Art, Colchester Institute, Reading University, Wimbledon School of Art and Chelsea College of Art and Design from ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Brazilian, 20th century, female.

Born 23 October 1920, in Belo Horizonte; died 1988.

Sculptor, painter.

Neo-Constructivism, Conceptual Art, Body Art.

Grupo Frente.

Clark studied in Brazil under the direction of Burle-Marx in 1947, then went to Paris in 1948 and worked with Fernand Léger, Arpad Szenes and Dabrinsky. In ...

Article

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 27 November 1937, in Buenos Aires.

Installation artist, painter, draughtsman, sculptor, photographer, mixed media.

Neo-Constructivism.

Cafone was a student at the school of art in Buenos Aires and at the Slade School in London. A sculptor who abandoned his sculptor's tools very early on, he looked to drawing as a medium through which to find an equivalent, a medium in which he proved to have astonishing dexterity. His paintings employ mixed media, incorporating sheets of lead, for example. Harking back to his work as an installation sculptor, he also took the venue in which he was exhibiting into account, if needs be creating certain works directly onto the walls of the gallery. If a certain preciousness of materials, and in particular the ornamental details, are set aside, there is a relationship here between Cofone's work and Minimalism, given their common refusal to attach any meaning to the completed object other than the one that defines - in the most material terms possible - its physical relationship with the artist who has created it, not in his image, but on his scale....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 23 July 1914, in Greece. Died 23 November 2010, in Provincetown, Massechusetts.

Painter, sculptor.

Neo-Constructivism.

Nassos Daphnis emigrated to the USA in 1930 and took part in numerous group exhibitions - notably the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh in 1958 and ...

Article

Romanian, 20th century, male.

Active and naturalised in Cuba from 1941.

Born 1908, in Romania.

Painter, sculptor.

Neo-Constructivism, Kinetic Art.

Sandu Darie grew up in France and moved to Havana in 1941, taking Cuban nationality. An abstract painter since 1946, he belonged to the South American Neo-Constructivist movement. In his compositions the triangle predominated in combination with vertical and horizontal lines. He also used interchangeable mobile panels. From ...

Article

Leyla Dunia

(b Caracas, Mar 14, 1925).

Venezuela painter, sculptor, and muralist. He was a prominent artist of the abstract movement in Venezuela. His best-known work uses cylinders, cubes, and other volumetric shapes displayed serially in order to investigate the dialog between geometric forms and light. From 1940 to 1945 he studied at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas in Caracas. In 1945 he participated in a students’ protest that aspired to revolutionize the pedagogical system of the academy, considering it obsolete and restricted. The leaders of the protest were expelled and created the groups La Barraca de Guaicaipuro and La Barraca de Mariperez, in which Debourg was an active participant. In 1948 he assisted the Taller Libre de Arte, attracted by their experimentation with figuration and cubism. In 1949 he traveled to Paris and started working with geometry and abstractionism. In 1950 he joined the group of Venezuelan artists and intellectuals Los Disidentes, who were interested in abstract-geometric visual language and what they considered to be an esthetic renewal of the Venezuelan art canon. Debourg participated in the group’s discourse not only through his paintings but also by publishing several articles in the homonym magazine ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 9 March 1923, in Buxy; died 4 November 1985, in Paris.

Painter, sculptor.

Neo-Constructivism.

Madí Group.

At the age of 16 Roger Desserprit attended a painting course in Chalon-sur-Saône and then became a pupil at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris ...