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Article

Finnish, 20th century, male.

Born 3 February 1898, in Kuortane; died 11 May 1976, in Helsinki.

Architect, designer, painter, draughtsman, watercolourist. Figures, landscapes, landscapes with figures, urban landscapes, still-lifes. Models (furniture/glass).

Alvar Aalto was adamant that his experience as a painter was an indispensable adjunct to his profession as an architect, noting repeatedly that modern architecture had its roots in painting. As an architecture student, he took private lessons with the Finnish painter Eero Järnefelt. He moved in artistic circles and was frequently to be found in the company of the sculptor Wäinö Altonen and the painters Henry Ericsson and Eemu Myntti. For a period, he also worked as an art critic....

Article

Russian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 18 February 1912, in Baku.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman, engraver, decorative designer. Religious subjects, figures, nudes, scenes with figures, landscapes, seascapes, architectural views, still-lifes, animals. Designs for tapestries, designs for mosaics, murals, church decoration.

A self-taught artist of Armenian origin, George Akopian went to France in ...

Article

Andrea Nulli

(b Robbiate, Como, Oct 17, 1905; d Milan, Nov 1, 1977).

Italian architect, urban planner and furniture designer. After graduating from the Polytechnic of Milan (1929), he set up individual practice in Milan. One of the group of Rationalist architects who formed around the magazine Casabella, his work in the 1930s ranged from workers’ housing in Milan (1936, 1938; with Renato Camus and Giancarlo Palanti) to an ideal flat and furniture, exhibited at the Triennale in Milan in 1936. Immediately after World War II a series of masterplanning projects included schemes for the City of Milan (1946; with BBPR, Piero Bottoni, Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini) and for Reggio Emilia (1947–8; with Giancarlo De Carlo). Albini’s post-war architecture has a Rationalist clarity combined with sensitivity to context, tradition and history. Expressed first in the Rifugio Pirovano (1949–51) at Cervinia, Aosta, it was the office building for the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA; 1950), Parma, with its simply stated concrete frame that set the pattern developed later in La Rinascente department store (...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born c. 1950.

Painter (including gouache), draughtswoman, lithographer. Figures, interiors with figures. Wall decorations.

Dominique Andrier studied architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1970 to 1975. She has mostly painted since 1976. Since 1988, she has devoted herself to figurative painting, notably of women in their daily occupations, especially at their toilette....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1903, in Toulouse; died December 1969, in Paris.

Sculptor, decorative designer. Busts.

After an impressive career as an architect and decorator, André Arbus began working as a sculptor. He received numerous commissions for commemorative monuments, busts and torsos. He was selected for the Venice Biennale of ...

Article

Richard Guy Wilson

Richard Guy Wilson

Stylistic term applied to architecture and decorative arts of the 1920s and 1930s whose origin partially lies with the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris (see Art Deco). The term was invented in 1966 and initially applied just to French 1920s design but shortly thereafter grew to encompass a wide variety of modernist architecture and design that displayed decorative traits that stood in contrast to the more austere Modern style sometimes known as Functionalism, Bauhaus style, or International Style. Synonyms for Art Deco have included Style moderne, Art Moderne, Modernistic, Cubistic, Manhattan style, skyscraper style, setback style, zigzag style, streamlined, stripped Classicism, Greco Deco, and others.

The Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925 was a lavish spectacle of pavilions and exhibits that showcased the latest modern tendencies in French and foreign design. Originally scheduled for ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born February 1903, in Tunis; died 24 January 1978, in Aix-en-Provence.

Painter, architect, decorative designer, designer, poster artist. Wall decorations, stage costumes and sets, furniture, advertising art.

Art et Lumière.

Félix Tahar Marie Aublet was the son of the Orientalist painter Albert Aublet. He was brought up both in Neuilly, France, and in a Moorish palace in Tunis, where the family spent six months of the year. His second forename, Tahar, means 'blessed one' in Arabic. In ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 10 September 1890, in Anthony; died 1978.

Draughtsman, decorative designer, designer.

Eric Bagge sought in his work to combine architecture and decoration, and took a keen interest in different artistic techniques. He designed, sometimes in collaboration with Bernard Huguet, suites of furniture, china collections and carpets. With the stained glass maker Gaëtan Jeannin, he designed a window ...

Article

James D. Kornwolf

(b Ramsgate, Oct 23, 1865; d Brighton, Feb 10, 1945).

English architect, interior designer, garden designer and writer . He was articled to Charles Davis (1827–1902), City Architect of Bath, from 1886 until 1889 but learnt little and was largely self-taught. In 1889 he started his own practice on the Isle of Man, where he built a number of buildings, including his own Red House, Douglas (1893). He was a leading member of the second-generation Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and was among the first to build on the simpler, more abstract and stylized designs of C. F. A. Voysey, a refinement of the ideas of William Morris, Philip Webb, R. Norman Shaw and others from the period 1860–90. From about 1890 until World War I, the Arts and Crafts Movement, as represented by Baillie Scott, Voysey, C. R. Ashbee, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Parker & Unwin and others, became the most important international force in architecture, interior design, landscape and urban planning. The work of these architects influenced Adolf Loos and Josef Hoffmann in Austria, Joseph Maria Olbrich and Peter Behrens in Germany, Eliel Saarinen and others in Scandinavia, and Frank Lloyd Wright, Irving Gill, Greene & Greene in the USA....

Article

Austrian, 20th century, male.

Active from 1920 active in Germany, and from 1946 in the USA.

Born 5 April 1900, in Haag (Lower Austria); died 15 August 1985, in Santa Barbara (California), USA.

Painter, collage artist, photomontage artist, designer, decorative designer, architect.

In 1919 Bayer studied under the architect Georg Schmidthammer in Linz, and 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

Peyton Skipwith

(b London, April 14, 1863; d London, Nov 27, 1933).

English decorative artist and painter. He was articled to an architect and studied at Westminster School of Art under Frederick Brown and at the Royal Academy Schools. Later he worked in the studio of Aimé Morot in Paris and travelled to Italy. Bell belonged to the group of artist–craftsmen who brought about the last flowering of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. He painted in oil and watercolour and was among the pioneers of the revival of the use of tempera. He was an illustrator and also worked in stained glass and mosaic. He is best known for a series of bas-reliefs in coloured plaster, a group of which was used in the interior decoration at Le Bois de Moutiers, a house in Varengeville, Normandy, designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1898. Bell’s understanding of early Italian art underpinned his work in mosaic, a medium he used to great effect in three public commissions in London: the ...

Article

(b London, Oct 17, 1854; d Manorbier, Dyfed, July 5, 1924).

English designer. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford, and in 1877 he was articled to the architect Basil Champneys. Encouraged by William Morris, in 1880 Benson set up his own workshop in Hammersmith specializing in metalwork. Two years later he established a foundry at Chiswick, a showroom in Kensington and a new factory at Hammersmith (all in London), equipped with machinery to mass-produce a wide range of forms, such as kettles, vases, tables, dishes and firescreens. Benson’s elegant and spare designs were admired for their modernity and minimal use of ornament. He is best known for his lamps and lighting fixtures, mostly in copper and bronze, which are fitted with flat reflective surfaces (e.g. c. 1890; London, V&A). These items were displayed in S. Bing’s Maison de l’Art Nouveau, Paris, and were used in the Morris & Co. interiors at Wightwick Manor, W. Midlands (NT), and Standen, East Grinstead, W. Sussex. Many of Benson’s designs were patented, including those for jacketed vessels, which keep hot or cold liquids at a constant temperature, and for a ‘Colander’ teapot with a button mechanism for raising the tea leaves after the tea has infused. Benson sold his designs, labelled ‘Art Metal’, through his showroom on Bond Street, which opened in ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1881, in Avignon; died August 1971, in Manosque.

Painter, watercolourist, decorative designer. Landscapes, architectural views.

Groupe des Treize.

Alfred Bergier was a pupil of Pierre Grivolas in (most probably) Avignon; he was one of the first Provençal artists to paint out of doors. Bergier was a friend of Auguste Chabaud and Louis Montagné, and a member of the ...

Article

(Gustav)

(b Norrköping, May 10, 1879; d Stockholm, April 22, 1935).

Swedish architect and designer. After studies at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan and the Kungliga Akademien för de fria Konsterna in Stockholm (1897–1903), he travelled in Europe and became acquainted with modernist architecture in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. He participated in the architectural debate both as a teacher and as the editor of the Arkitektur (1912–16), and he joined the opposition to academic training when with Ragnar Östberg, Ivar Tengbom and others he started the Klara School, a free studio, for a group of young architects, which included Gunnar Asplund, Sigura Lewerentz and Osvald Almqvist. Bergsten’s early works show the influence of Joseph Maria Olbrich, for example Olai Primary School (1908), the Lithografen Printing Co. (1911) and the Scandinavian Bank building (1906–8), all in Norrköping. These buildings combine structural as well as decorative use of concrete with dark brickwork, in expressive and heavily massed volumes. Bergsten contrasted symmetry with asymmetry, and his preference for displaced or angled motifs sometimes created eccentric effects. In Hjorhagen Church (...

Article

Swiss, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in Germany.

Born 31 December 1849, in St Gall; died 1921, in Planegg.

Architect, painter, decorative designer, theorist. Designs (furniture/fabrics/metal objects/ceramics).

Jugendstil.

From 1868 to 1871 Hans Eduard von Berlepsch-Valendas was a student of architecture with Gottfried Sempers in Zurich. After graduating he abandoned architecture while he was living in Frankfurt, to go and train as a painter in Munich (...

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

Dutch, 20th century, male.

Born in Amsterdam.

Decorative artist, architect.

Bijvoet collaborated with Jan Duiker on designs for houses and furniture. He exhibited at the Salon d'Automne from 1924 to 1927.

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Active from 1964 active in France.

Born 10 July 1940, in Florence.

Painter, illustrator. Scenes with figures, landscapes, ruins, architectural views. Wall decorations.

Sergio Birga studied at the fine arts academy in Florence and was then tutored in engraving by Lucien Coutaud at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He spent some time in Germany in ...