[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...
(b Ordrup, July 14, 1919; d Munkerup, nr Dronningmølle, Hillerød, June 29, 1982).
Danish painter, sculptor, designer and writer. He studied at the Kunsthåndvaerkerskole (1936–9) and the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi (1939–46), both in Copenhagen. He experimented with non-figurative forms of expression in numerous media. He was a co-founder of Groupe Espace in 1951, and his work was important for the development of Concrete art internationally.
From 1947 to 1950 Aagaard Andersen developed a new, pure pictorial dynamic, moving from fine-lined drawings and faceted landscapes towards an abstract formal language that explored form in terms of light, shadow and reflection. His ‘picture boxes’, in which various elements manifested rhythmic and dynamic growth, explored the concept of painting as object. He began to use the techniques of folding and pleating (e.g. Black Picture Surface with Three Folded Sections, 1964; Esbjerg, Kstpav.), and his work was dominated by his interest in light and shadow.
Besides paintings, Aagaard Andersen produced a number of sculptures, for example the abstract steel work ...
(b Kuortane, Feb 3, 1898; d Helsinki, May 11, 1976).
Finnish architect and designer, active also in America. His success as an architect lay in the individual nature of his buildings, which were always designed with their surrounding environment in mind and with great attention to their practical demands. He never used forms that were merely aesthetic or conditioned by technical factors but looked to the more permanent models of nature and natural forms. He was not anti-technology but believed that technology could be humanized to become the servant of human beings and the promoter of cultural values. One of his important maxims was that architects have an absolutely clear mission: to humanize mechanical forms.
His father was a government surveyor working in the lake district of central Finland and became a counterforce to his son’s strong artistic calling. Instead of becoming a painter, which tempted him for a long time, Alvar chose the career of architect as a possible compromise. He never became a planner dominated by technological thinking, however, but always gave his creations an artistic, humanistic character. He studied at the Technical College in Helsinki (...
(b Marttila [Swed. St Mårtens], March 8, 1894; d Helsinki, May 30, 1966).
Finnish sculptor and painter. He was the most significant sculptor of the early decades of Finnish independence (after 1917). His style combined classical tranquillity with a modern sensitivity and disclosed the beauty of granite as a sculptural material. He studied painting at the School of Drawing of the Turku Art Association between 1910 and 1915 but on graduation began to practise moulding techniques and to teach himself stone sculpting. In 1916 his firm instincts and talent for monumental sculpture were remarked on at a general exhibition. His Granite Boy (1917–20; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.) is one of the masterpieces of his youth, the timid austerity of the child’s figure conveying an Egyptian quality. The marble sculptures Little Wader (1917–22; priv. col., see Okkonen, 1926) and Wader (1924; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.) are both good examples of Aaltonen’s tonal carving. His main concerns were light and shadow and the atmosphere they create around the sculpture. In ...
Jan Jaap Heij
(b The Hague, Aug 18, 1871; d Amsterdam, Oct 19, 1934).
Dutch printmaker and painter. He trained at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague, where he subsequently taught graphic art (1893–1911). In 1911 he succeeded Pieter Dupont as professor in graphics at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam under the directorship of Antoon Derkinderen. In the early years of his career Aarts produced some paintings using the pointillist technique, mostly landscapes (The Hague, Gemeentemus.); he also carved some sculptures in wood. He is, however, best known for his graphic work. In technique and subject-matter, his prints have a great deal in common with those of Dupont. As the latter’s successor he devoted himself to the revival of engraving, which his predecessor had reintroduced; his own experiments in this medium (in particular his scenes with diggers and beggars, all c. 1900) are considered milestones in early 20th-century Dutch printmaking. He also applied his skills to etching, lithography, woodcutting and wood-engraving; of the latter his ...
(b Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag, April 21, 1933).
Norwegian sculptor, designer and medallist. He became familiar with handicraft in his father’s furniture workshop. In 1954 he began five years’ study as a commercial artist at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole in Oslo and from 1957 to 1963 he worked as an illustrator for a newspaper. He studied at the Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1959 to 1962 under the sculptor Per Palle Storm (1910–94) who advocated naturalism in sculpture. As an assistant to Arnold Haukeland from 1961 to 1964, Aas lost his apprehension of the untried and cultivated his sense of daring, as he gained experience with welding techniques. Highly imaginative and versatile, Aas worked in both abstract and figurative modes and is reckoned one of the foremost sculptors in Norway; in 1990 he was honoured with St Olav.
Aas’s first sculpture was an equestrian monument in snow, made in Inderøy while he was a schoolboy. His first public project was the abstract steel figure ...
(b Budapest, March 15, 1894; d Budapest, Sept 29, 1941).
Hungarian painter, draughtsman and etcher. He trained as a drawing teacher at the College of Fine Arts, Budapest (1912–14). In 1913 he worked at the Szolnok colony and he served in World War I. He taught drawing for a while at the Technical University, Budapest. In 1922 he learnt etching from Viktor Olgyay at the College of Fine Arts. His early works show an affinity with the Group of Eight; later he moved closer to the work of the Activists, especially József Nemes Lampérth and Béla Uitz. He instinctively sought a dynamic and powerful form of expression. His pen-drawings and etchings are frequently based on biblical subjects and are characterized by a heroic conception, an illusory atmosphere and romantic associations. The etching Savonarola (1925; Budapest, N.G.) reveals his extraordinary compositional abilities, especially in the rendering of crowds, and his use of strong chiaroscuro. His landscapes are dominated by carefully composed, naturalist details and the exploitation of the dramatic effect of reflections. In his drawings, Cubist arrangements gradually gave way to a more diffuse composition. His nudes in the landscape (e.g. ...
Zdisław Żygulski jr
(b Felenty, nr Warsaw, 1930).
Polish textile artist. She studied at the College of Fine Arts, Sopot, and graduated in 1955 from the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw. At the beginning of her career she was interested in drawing, painting and sculpture, but after 1960 she concentrated on textile arts in the broad sense of the term. Breaking with tradition, she initiated bold experiments with fibre and fabric. Her work contributed to the revolutionary textile movement known as Fibre art and finally entered the domain of modern sculpture.
Abakanowicz’s début, with a composition of forms made of white fabrics, was in 1962 at the first Biennale Internationale de la Tapisserie in Lausanne. At that time she also experimented with tapestry, giving it three-dimensional relief by introducing non-woven shapes. In the late 1960s her development of three-dimensional textiles was fully realized in her ‘abakans’. These took various forms—winged, open or round—and were red, orange or white. She also created fifteen heavy, monolithic ‘black forms’ and three large ‘black garments’. In ...
Community of French writers, artists and composers in operation from November 1906 to February 1908, located in a villa on the banks of the Marne at Créteil, south-east of Paris. Their choice of name paid homage to François Rabelais, whose Gargantua had established the Abbey of Thelema as a model monastery, a self-supporting commune whose members devoted part of each day to group labour and the rest to perfecting the self intellectually. The Abbaye de Créteil numbered among its members the painters Albert Gleizes, Charles Berthold-Mahn and Jacques d’Otemar, the poets Charles Vildrac (b 1882), Georges Duhamel (1884–1966), René Arcos, Alexandre Mercereau, Jules Romains, Henri-Martin Barzun (b 1881), the composer Albert Doyen, and the printer Lucien Linard, whom Gleizes had met while doing his military service. It was through Linard’s trade of printing and publishing that the Abbaye hoped to secure its material future....
(b Alfred, ME, July 17, 1883; d San Francisco, Nov 11, 1973).
American photographer. Self-taught, Abbe started to produce photographs at the age of 12. From 1898 to 1910 he worked in his father’s bookshop and then worked as a reporter for the Washington Post, travelling to Europe in 1910. Having earlier produced photographs of ships and sailors for tourist cards, from 1913 to 1917 he worked as a freelance photojournalist in Virginia. In 1917 he set up a studio in New York, where he produced the first photographic cover for the Saturday Evening Post as well as photographs for Ladies Home Journal, the New York Times and other publications. From 1922 to 1923 he worked as a stills photographer, actor and writer for film studios. Though this was mainly for Mack Sennett in Hollywood, he also worked for D. W. Griffiths as a stills photographer on Way Down East (1920) and accompanied Lilian Gish to Italy to provide stills for Griffiths’s ...
Pamela H. Simpson
(b Philadelphia, PA, April 1, 1852; d London, Aug 1, 1911).
American painter, illustrator, and muralist, active also in England. Abbey began his art studies at the age of 14 in his native Philadelphia where he worked with Isaac L. Williams (1817–95). Two years later he enrolled in night classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art working under Christian Schussele (1824–1979), but by then Abbey was already a published illustrator. In the 1870s his drawings appeared in numerous publications, but it was his work for Harper & Brothers that proved most important to his career. In 1871 he moved to New York, and in 1878, Harper’s sent him on a research trip to England. He found such affinity with the country that he made it his home for the rest of his life. After 1889 he devoted more time to painting, was elected a Royal Academician in 1898, and in 1902 was chosen by Edward VII (...
Jacqueline Colliss Harvey
(b Brighton, Nov 23, 1894; d London, Dec 24, 1969).
English collector. Educated privately, he was commissioned to the Rifle Brigade in 1914. He was invalided home in November 1916 and made a director in his family’s brewing firm. He began his book collection in 1929, at first with an interest in modern bindings. In 1931 he commissioned Sybil Pye and R. de Coverley and Sons to produce a binding to his own design for Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of an Infantry Officer. Consistently stressing the importance of appearance and condition, Abbey began buying antiquarian books in 1933 and manuscripts (of which he ultimately owned 143) in 1946, with advice from Sydney Cockerell. After World War II he had the largest private collection of his time, including 1914 18th- and 19th-century books of watercolour prints.
Auctions of his collection were held between 1965 and 1967 (buyers included Paul Mellon and the Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart) and, after his death, between 1970 and 1975...
revised by Margaret Barlow
(b Springfield, OH, July 17, 1898; d Monson, ME, Dec 9, 1991).
American photographer. She spent a term at the Ohio State University in Columbus (1917–18) and then studied sculpture independently in New York (1918–21) where she met (Henri-Robert-)Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray. She left the USA for Paris in 1921 where she studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière before attending the Kunstschule in Berlin for less than a year in 1923. From 1924 to 1926 she worked as Man Ray’s assistant and first saw photographs by (Jean-)Eugène(-Auguste) Atget in Man Ray’s studio in 1925. Her first one-woman show, at the gallery Le Sacre du Printemps in Paris in 1926, was devoted to portraits of avant-garde personalities such as Jean Cocteau, James Joyce, and André Gide. She continued to take portraits, such as that of James Joyce (1927; see Berenice Abbott: Photographs, p. 26), until leaving Paris in 1929. After Atget’s death (1927) she bought most of his negatives and prints in ...
Sarah Urist Green
(b Kabul, June 5, 1973).
Afghan video and performance artist and photographer, active also in the USA. After fleeing Soviet-occupied Kabul with her family in the late 1980s, Abdul lived as a refugee in Germany and India before moving to Southern California. She received a BA in Political Science and Philosophy at California State University, Fullerton, and an MFA at the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. Abdul first returned to a post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2001, where she encountered a place and people transformed by decades of violence and unrest. Since that time, Abdul has made work in Kabul and Los Angeles, staging herself in performances and creating performance-based video works and photography that explore ideas of home and the interconnection between architecture and identity.
Beginning in the late 1990s, Abdul made emotionally intense performance art informed by that of Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramović and Cuban-born American artist Ana Mendieta. At the time unable to travel to Afghanistan, Abdul created and documented performances in Los Angeles that probed her position as Afghan, female, Muslim, a refugee and a transnational artist. In ...
Jonathan M. Bloom
revised by Sheila S. Blair
(b Kishorganj, East Pakistan [now Bangladesh], Nov 18, 1914; d Dhaka, May 28, 1976).
Bangladeshi painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Government School of Art in Calcutta from 1933 to 1938, and then taught there until 1947. His work first attracted public attention in 1943 when he produced a powerful series of drawings of the Bengal famine. After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 he worked as chief designer in the Pakistan government’s Information and Publications Division, and also became principal of the Institute of Fine Arts in Dhaka (later known as the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts), which he helped to found in 1948 and where he remained until 1967. From 1951 to 1952 he visited Europe and, in addition to exhibiting his work at several locations, worked at the Slade School of Art in London, and represented Pakistan at the UNESCO art conference in Venice in 1952. An exhibition of his work in Lahore in 1953 became the starting-point for a series of ...
Giulio V. Blanc
(b San Antonio de los Baños, nr. Güines, 1889; d Havana, 1965).
Cuban painter and caricaturist. He graduated from the Academia de S. Alejandro in Havana in 1920 and lived in Paris from 1927 to 1929. There he studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and abandoned academicism, developing a modernist “Cuban” style, in which folkloric scenes of peasant life were depicted in a colorful, energetic, pseudo-naive manner reminiscent of Jules Pascin and Amedeo Modigliani. An outstanding work of this period is Triumph of the Rumba (c. 1928; Havana, Mus. N. B.A.). After a trip to Italy in the early 1930s, Abela began to paint canvases such as Guajiros (“Peasants”; 1938; Havana, Mus. N. B.A.), in which the classical sobriety and order is the result of his contact with Italian medieval and Renaissance art. His style underwent a radical change in the early 1950s, and from this time until his death he painted small works that recall in their use of fantasy the drawings of children as well as the works of Marc Chagall....
Sandra L. Tatman
(b Philadelphia, PA, April 29, 1881; d Philadelphia, PA, April 23, 1950).
African American architect. Born and educated in Philadelphia, Abele was the chief designer in the firm of Horace Trumbauer. Unknown for most of his life, Julian Abele has become renowned as a pioneer African American architect.
Abele attended the Institute for Colored Youth and Brown Preparatory School before enrolling at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art, where in 1898 he earned his Certificate in Architectural Drawing and the Frederick Graff Prize for work in Architectural Design, Evening Class Students. Abele then enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. Again he distinguished himself in the architectural program, and at his 1902 graduation he was awarded the prestigious Arthur Spayd Brooke Memorial Prize. Abele’s work was also exhibited in the Toronto Architectural Club (1901), the T-Square Club Annual Exhibition (1901–2), and the Pittsburgh Architectural Club annual exhibition of 1903.
As an undergraduate Abele worked for Louis C. Hickman (...
(b Ashton-upon-Mersey, June 6, 1879; d Aston Tirrold, Oxon, March 23, 1957).
English urban planner, architect and writer. He was educated at Uppingham, Leics, and was an apprentice in architectural offices, first in Manchester and then in Liverpool. In 1907 Charles H. Reilly appointed him to the School of Architecture at the University of Liverpool, and in 1909, following the foundation of the School of Civic Design, the first urban planning school in Britain, he became deputy to its professor, S. D. Adshead. He helped found its publication, the Town Planning Review, and became a major contributor; he wrote a series of articles on American and European cities, giving a detailed account of his conception of history, architectural styles and the analysis of urban planning. In 1915 he became Professor of Civic Design and was nominated Librarian for the Town Planning Institute. He was active as an editor and conference organizer as well as a teacher and practising architect, involved in work stimulated by the Housing and Town Planning Act of ...