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Article

Absalon  

John-Paul Stonard

[Eshel, Meir]

(b Tel Aviv, Dec 26, 1964; d Paris, Oct 10, 1993).

Israeli sculptor. He adopted the name Absalon on his arrival in Paris in the late 1980s. During his short career he achieved widespread recognition for the 1:1 scale architectural models that he constructed of idealized living units. These wooden models, painted white, demonstrate an obsession with order, arrangement and containment, and have associations both of protective shelters and monastic cells. They were designed to be placed in several cities and to function as living-pods for the artist as he travelled. Exhibiting a series of six ‘cellules’ in Paris in 1993, he described how they were fitted both to his body and to his mental space, but were also able to condition the movements of his body in line with their idealized architecture. Although he denied their apparent utopianism, the sculptures can be viewed as the reduction of the utopian aims of early modern architecture (as seen in the work of the Constructivists, de Stijl and Le Corbusier) to the level of individual subjectivity. This suggests both the failure of architectural social engineering and its inevitable basis in subjective, anti-social vision. Absalon’s habitational units also have an element of protest. In an interview for the ...

Article

Iranian, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA since 1960.

Born 1939, in Tehran.

Sculptor. Architectural installations.

New Image (related to).

Siah Armajani trained as an architect while studying the philosophy of mathematics. He moved to Minnesota.

Architecture constitutes his main source of inspiration and he has brought together all his works in a ...

Article

Frederick N. Bohrer

Style of the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th, inspired by Assyrian artefacts of the 9th to 7th centuries bc. These were first brought to public attention through the excavations by Paul-Emile Botta (1802–70) at Khorsabad and Austen Henry Layard at Nimrud in the 1840s. By 1847 both the Louvre in Paris and the British Museum in London had begun to display these objects, the size and popularity of which were such that the Louvre created a separate Musée des Antiquités Orientales, while the British Museum opened its separate Nineveh Gallery in 1853. The same popularity, fuelled by Layard’s best-selling Nineveh and its Remains (London, 1849) and Botta’s elaborate Monument de Ninive (Paris, 1849–50), led to further explorations elsewhere in Mesopotamia.

Assyrian revivalism first appeared in England rather than France, which was then in political turmoil. The earliest forms of emulation can be found in the decorative arts, such as the ‘Assyrian style’ jewellery that was produced in England from as early as ...

Article

Dikran  

Armenian, 20th century, male.

Active from 1945 active in France, then naturalised.

Born 25 April 1913, in Mersin; died 21 April 1991, in Grisy-les-Plâtres.

Sculptor.

After studying architecture, Dikran began his career as a sculptor at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris in ...

Article

Susan T. Goodman

(b Tiberias, Palestine [now Israel], 1920).

Israeli painter and sculptor. After studying at the Teachers’ Seminary in Jerusalem from 1936 to 1940, he studied architecture at the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa (1943–5) and art at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1951–4). In 1954 he returned to Israel and began working as a painter and sculptor in the artists’ village of Ein Hod. In early paintings such as A Roof and a Window (1966–7; Jerusalem, Israel Mus.) Gross simplified form in order to concentrate on proportion, on boldly juxtaposed broad areas of colour and on the size and placement of each element; a similar reductive process was applied also to his early sculptures and to later pieces, whether in painted iron or in other materials such as white concrete (e.g. the monumental sculpture at Simon Bolivar Park in Jerusalem, 1974). In later paintings such as Light of Jerusalem...