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Article

Enrique Larrañaga

[James]

(b Caracas, Sept 14, 1932).

Venezuelan architect. After finishing elementary and middle school in Caracas, where he was born, Alcock attended St. Edmund’s College High School (1946–1949) and University of Cambridge School of Chemistry (1949–1952), both in England. Back in Caracas, he enrolled in the School of Architecture of Central University, graduating in 1959. While a student, he worked for Venezuelan architect Alejandro Pietri and Brazilian landscapist Roberto Burle-Marx on various landscape architecture projects.

With José Miguel Galia (1919–2009), who had been his tutor at School, Alcock founded Galia & Alcock, Arquitectos Asociados (1959–1962). For Galia, a respected Uruguayan architect who had been working in Venezuela since 1948, architecture should at once respond to a building’s function climate, and incorporate technological innovations and operate as an assemblage of materiality and location that celebrates and intensifies both. Among the projects Galia and Alcock designed together, those for public spaces in both urban and natural environments were the most celebrated, particularly the Macuto Beachfront (...

Article

Paulo J. V. Bruna

revised by Iliana Cepero

(b São Paulo, Aug 4, 1909; d nr. Rio de Janeiro, Jun 4, 1994).

Brazilian landscape architect, painter, and designer. Burle Marx grew up in São Paulo and traveled to Europe in 1928 to study painting at a private school in Berlin. During this time he frequented the Botanical Gardens at Dahlem where the plants were arranged by geography, providing useful lessons in botany and ecology. It was here that he first became acquainted with many examples of tropical flora from Brazil, since they were out of fashion and rarely used in Brazilian gardens. After his return to Brazil in 1930, he took a course in ecology at the Botanical Gardens in Rio and entered the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro to study painting. One of his professors was the Modernist architect Lúcio Costa, who in 1932 enlisted Burle Marx to design a garden for the Schwartz house in Rio de Janeiro. This project initiated a life-long collaboration with Costa and a few years later with ...

Article

Stephen Bann

(b Nassau, Bahamas, Oct 28, 1925; d Dunsyre, Scotland, March 27, 2006).

Scottish sculptor, graphic artist and poet. Brought up in Scotland, he briefly attended Glasgow School of Art and first made his reputation as a writer, publishing short stories and plays in the 1950s. In 1961 he founded the Wild Hawthorn Press with Jessie McGuffie and within a few years had established himself internationally as Britain’s foremost concrete poet (see Concrete poetry). His publications also played an important role in the initial dissemination of his work as a visual artist. As a sculptor, he has worked collaboratively in a wide range of materials, having his designs executed as stone-carvings, as constructed objects and even in the form of neon lighting.

In 1966 Finlay and his wife, Sue, moved to the hillside farm of Stonypath, south-west of Edinburgh, and began to transform the surrounding acres into a unique garden, which he named Little Sparta. He revived the traditional notion of the poet’s garden, arranging ponds, trees and vegetation to provide a responsive environment for sundials, inscriptions, columns and garden temples. As the proponent of a rigorous classicism and as the defender of Little Sparta against the intrusions of local bureaucracy, he insisted on the role of the artist as a moralist who comments sharply on cultural affairs. The esteem won by Finlay’s artistic stance and style is attested by many important large-scale projects undertaken throughout the world. The ‘Sacred Grove’, created between ...

Article

Monica E. Kupfer

(b Horconcitos, Chiriquí, Feb 11, 1927).

Panamanian painter, ceramicist, printmaker, tapestry designer, and landscape architect. He studied both architecture and painting in Panama, holding his first exhibition in 1953; he then continued his studies in Madrid (1954–1958) at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, at the Escuela de Cerámica de la Moncloa, and at the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura. In 1959 he returned to Panama, where he began a long teaching career at the Universidad de Panamá. In the early 1960s Trujillo painted social satires, such as The Commissioners (1964; Panama City, Mus. A. Contemp.) with small monstrous figures in cavernous settings. Later his palette brightened as he turned to new subjects based on nature, including numerous still lifes and semi-abstract paintings with botanical allusions, for example Still Life with Fruit (1975; Washington, DC, A. Mus. Americas).

Always a versatile and prolific artist, in the 1970s and 1980s he based his subjects both on his rich imagination and on his knowledge of Panama’s indigenous cultures. He made recurring reference to the patterns of Pre-Columbian ceramics, natural and biomorphic forms, mythological and primitive figures, and Indian symbols and ceremonies, all treated as elements of an iconography strongly related to his Panamanian origin. Although generally classified as belonging to the return to figuration among Latin American artists, he ranged stylistically from realism to abstraction....