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Ludovico C. Koppmann

[Konstantinovsky, Wladimir]

(b Odessa, Russia, Jun 23, 1900; d Buenos Aires, Jul 11, 1967).

Argentine architect. He studied architecture at the Istituto di Belle Arti in Rome, graduating in 1919. From 1922 he worked in Germany, gaining experience in building engineering and urban design, before moving to Argentina in 1928. He worked in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala, and, from 1954 to 1957, in the USA, where he taught (1956) at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. On his return to Argentina he was appointed Professor of Architectural Composition (1957–1966) at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Acosta was an early exponent of an approach to architecture through environmental design and engineering, which he promoted through his book Vivienda y clima (1937) and his “Helios” buildings. These were based upon correct orientation, cross-ventilation, and the control of solar radiation by means of brises-soleil, with minimal mechanical intervention. Like the architects of the Modern Movement in Europe, he saw architecture as a social phenomenon and became dedicated to the provision of mass housing for rapidly growing urban populations. His early work included individual houses in Buenos Aires, for example the Casa Stern, Ramos Mejía (...


Isabelle Gournay

(b Mexico City, Jan 18, 1902; d Paris, Dec 29, 1988).

French architect. He graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and worked for a time in the office of André Ventre (1874–1951). In the late 1930s, when he was unable to obtain larger commissions in Depression-stricken France, his activity was limited to ceremonial decorations and exhibition displays such as the Pavillon de l’Elégance at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, Paris (1937), and the Salle de la Haute Couture in the French pavilion at the World’s Fair, New York (1939), which gave him a taste for theatrical settings. In 1945 he was appointed Chief Architect of the Houillères de Lorraine, a coal-mining conglomerate in a drab area where reconstruction and industrial modernization was urgently needed; as well as industrial structures, he also designed some single-family workers’ housing such as the Cité Bellevue (1945–7) in Creutzwald, and this marked the beginning of his dedication to the improvement of low-cost housing....


Horacio Safons

(b Federal, Entre Ríos, Aug 22, 1928; d Buenos Aires, Feb 19, 1996).

Argentine painter, draftsman, and collagist. He studied under Juan Batlle Planas from 1950 to 1953 and quickly established the terms of his work, rooted ideologically in Surrealism and indebted in particular to the work of René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico. All the elements of his mature art are evident in an early painting, Burning of the Hasidic School in Minsk in 1713 (1954; artist’s col.): architecture, space, light, and ordered series. He developed an essentially intellectual approach, working in a variety of media (paintings, drawings, gouaches, and collages) in rigorous sequences and picturing objects in cold impersonal light that confers on them a sense of distant majesty. The most common motif is that of a geometric, almost abstract, structure, often in the form of a tower pierced by rows of large plain windows. Aizenberg’s work, while far removed from the Surrealist presumption of achieving a synthesis of wakefulness and dream, acquires its strength through the ordering of the unreal and the strange in the search for a transcendent essence capable of perturbing and jolting the viewer by bringing into play the archetypes of silence and solitude....


Monica E. Kupfer

(b Panama City, Sept 5, 1949).

Panamian painter. A graduate of the University of Panama’s Architecture School, he became a full-time painter following his first solo exhibition in 1979. From 1980 to 1983 he studied at the Art Students League in New York, his only formal training as an artist. Alfaro is best known for his beautifully rendered oil paintings but has also produced drawings, pastels, and three-dimensional pieces. His first images were portraits of young women surrounded by surreal elements or in dream settings. From 1983 he painted humorous images of traditional or religious subjects such as church processions, as well as portraits of imaginary ecclesiastical figures and war heroes; capitalizing on Panama’s strong Catholic tradition. Alfaro even invented his own saints, including the Virgin of All Secrets (1986; see color pl. I, fig.). By 1990, his compositions became increasingly baroque, crowded with human figures in often menacing natural environments that suggest abundant iconographic, literary, and historical interpretations. Towards the end of the decade, Alfaro began to isolate and increasingly distort his models, achieving an expressive deformation characteristic of his disturbing view of humanity and personal vision of surrealism. After ...


Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Jan 25, 1923; d Jul 31, 1993).

Argentine draftsman, painter, and printmaker. He was self-taught and in 1943 began to illustrate publications throughout Latin America, continuing to do so for more than twenty years. His early work consisted of highly emotive ink drawings marked by an intricacy of design and lack of idealization, for example The Vacuum II (1976). He later worked in both pastels and oils to create spectral images of love, death, eroticism, and the obscure world of nightmares, fears, and terrors. Critics sometimes spoke of these in terms of Magic Realism, although he did not subscribe to any specific stylistic tendency. He often treated human heads and figures in fragmentary form, as if they were the victims of violent torture, and with a veiled but sarcastic humor.

With time Alonso gradually simplified his drawings and replaced his invented characters with fictional objects and childhood memories, moving towards more intimate and abstract work, for example in the pastel ...


Nicola Coleby

revised by Mark A. Castro

(b Mexico City, Aug 29, 1892; d Mexico City, Apr 4, 1985).

Mexican painter, printmaker, illustrator, draftsman, and muralist. Alva de la Canal grew up in Mexico City, where his father helped develop the city’s first movie theaters. He enrolled in the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City in 1910, where he studied under Saturnino Herrán, Ignacio Rosas (1880–1950), Mateo A. Saldaña (1875–1951), and Leandro Izaguirre. Although all were familiar with current trends in European art, their works were largely focused on nationalistic themes and subjects. It was during his time at the Academia that he befriended numerous fellow students who would later become important figures in the Mexican cultural world, among them the painters David Alfaro Siqueiros, Agustín Lazo, and Francisco Díaz de León (1987–1975), as well as the sculptor Germán Cueto.

In 1917, along with several of his classmates, he received commissions to produce illustrations for several book publications. Later that year he worked as a draftsman for the Secretaría de Agricultura and an illustrator for the editorial department of the Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP), working alongside ...


Architectural partnership in Bogotá, Colombia, established in 1972 by Cecilia Alvarez Pereira (b Manizales, Jul 23, 1934) and Emese Ijjasz de Murcia (b Budapest, May 18, 1936). Alvarez studied at the University of Javeriana School of Architecture in Colombia from 1953 to 1958. Before establishing her own firm she worked with the firms Guillermo González Zueleta and Pizano Pradilla & Caro between 1957 and 1964. Between 1964 and 1979 she worked in the Department of Works, Special Projects, and Urban Politics at the Instituto Crédito Territorial. De Murcia studied at the National University of Argentina from 1956 to 1958, Catholic University, Santiago, Chile, from 1958 to 1961, and the National University of Colombia at Medellín in 1962. De Murcia also worked for the Instituto Crédito Territorial from 1964 to 1971 and designed more than 17,000 dwellings during this time. From 1970 she taught at the University of the Andes, Bogotá, becoming Vice-Dean in ...


Kathryn O’Rourke

(b Mérida, Dec 24, 1914; d Mexico City, Nov 29, 1995).

Mexican architect. He graduated from the Universidad Nacional de México (UNAM), Mexico City, in 1939. In the 1950s and 1960s, more than any other architect, he brought the language of International Style Modernism, as typified by the mature work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, to Mexico City. His tall, steel and glass office buildings expressed the affluence and ambition of private corporations in Mexico in those decades and differed markedly from the publicly sponsored buildings of the same era that were characterized by visual mass, abstract allusions to ancient Mexican architecture, and the prominent inclusion of sculpture and painting. Álvarez’s work embodied the modernization and internationalization of the Mexican economy at midcentury and, in hindsight, seems to have augured the transformation of the city decades later into a major global metropolis. Despite the formal differences between his early and later works, his oeuvre was marked by a fidelity to the ideals of rationalist construction and composition....


Ludovico C. Koppmann

(b Buenos Aires, Nov 14, 1913; d Nov 5, 2011).

Argentine architect. He studied architecture at the University of Buenos Aires, graduating in 1937 with two gold medals and the Ader Scholarship, which enabled him to spend a year studying architecture in Europe. He joined the Ministry of Public Works and then became Municipal Architect at Avellaneda (1942–1947); he established his own office in Buenos Aires in 1947. Alvarez became one of the most prolific and successful architects in Latin America, winning first prize in a large number of competitions and building a great number of works. His designs were based on a rationalist approach, developing consciously simple structural form in the manner of Mies van der Rohe; his goal was to produce functional buildings utilizing modern technology and efficient workmanship, allowing for flexibility and change and contributing to the quality of the environment. Important works include the Medical Centre (1936–1937) at San Martín; the Roncatti Restaurant (...


Francis Summers

revised by Martin R. Patrick

(b Antwerp, Aug 22, 1959).

Belgian-born interdisciplinary artist, active in Mexico. He studied architecture at the Institut d’Architecture de Tournai in Belgium (1978–83) and at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice (1983–6). Alÿs moved to Mexico in 1987 and his art practice initially concentrated on Mexico City as a laboratory of urban living, often documented in the form of evocative, conceptually layered photographs, sculptures, and videos. In the slide series Ambulantes (Pushing and Pulling) (1992–2002), Alÿs photographed street vendors and workers as they passed by carting a wide variety of goods within a ten-block vicinity of his studio. For his project entitled The Liar, The Copy of the Liar (1997) Alÿs created small images of suited men inspired by the commercial sign painters of Mexico City, and subsequently commissioned from them larger versions in their own styles. In this process Alÿs deferred authorship into a semantic chain. Hovering between the banal and the surreal, these works have an uncanny theme, of individuals observed in situations that defy explanation....


Monica E. Kupfer

(b Santiago de Veraguas, Mar 25, 1869; d Panama City, Nov 12, 1952).

Panamanian painter, draftsman, and printmaker. He is known chiefly as the designer of the national flag (1903) of Panama. He studied business administration and had a long career in public office. When Panama became independent in 1903, he became Secretario de Hacienda and in 1904 Consul-General ad honorem to Hamburg. In 1908 he moved to New York, where he studied with Robert Henri, who strongly influenced his style of vigorous drawing, loose brushwork, distorted expressionist images, and somber colors, as in Head Study (1910; Panama City, R. Miró priv. col.; see Miró 1966). He produced most of his work between 1910 and 1914 and again after the late 1930s; his main subject was the human figure, but he also painted portraits, landscapes, and still lifes. On his return to Panama in the 1930s he worked as an auditor in the Contraloría General. After his retirement he resumed painting and produced some of his most passionate works, such as ...


Humberto Rodríguez-Camilloni

(de )

(b Vacarisses, 1704; d Barcelona, Feb 14, 1782).

Spanish architect, engineer, and administrator, active in Peru. He was the second son of the Marquis de Castellbell and received military training at an early age. He served as Spanish governor in Chile (1755–61), acquiring a reputation there as a fortifications expert. In 1761 he was appointed Viceroy of Peru, where he launched a vast campaign of public works (see Peru, Republic of §III 1.). During his administrative term, which lasted until 1776, the city of Lima enjoyed a period of prosperity and splendour marked by the French Baroque taste favoured by the Spanish Court. The evidence strongly suggests that Amat was the designer of several monuments in Lima that were executed by the alarife (surveyor and inspector of works) Juan de la Roca, who may have also collaborated in the elaboration of some of the plans. Amat’s masterpiece was the church of Las Nazarenas (consecrated ...


Roberto Pontual

revised by Elaine Wilson

(b Areia, 1843; d Florence, 1905).

Brazilian painter. His precocious talent as a draftsman was recognized as early as 1853, when he accompanied the expedition led by the French naturalist Louis Jacques Brunet to the northeast of Brazil. He then went to Rio de Janeiro, where he entered the Academia Imperial das Belas Artes in 1855. Under the patronage of Emperor Peter II he lived in France from 1859 to 1864, studying with Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Horace Vernet at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His interests also included physics, philosophy, and literature. His essay “Refutation of the Life of Jesus by Renan” won him the decoration of the papal order of the Holy Sepulcher. He also painted one of his first important pictures at this time, Carioca (“Woman from Rio de Janeiro”; 1862; Rio de Janeiro, Mus. N. B.A.). On his return to Brazil he taught drawing (and, later, art history, aesthetics, and archaeology) at the Academia Imperial. When the Republic was proclaimed in ...


José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...


(b Paris, Aug 8, 1808; d Paris, Jan 11, 1886).

French painter, draftsman, and diplomat. While serving as French Vice-Consul in Lima (1834–1838), Angrand drew and painted scenes in Peru. His watercolors and sketches captured street views of architecture and social interaction in Arica, Arequipa, Lima, Cuzco, Ollantaytambo, Urubamba, and Tacna. He served as consul to other areas of Latin America (1839–1842 and 1845–1856), traveling to study and visually record ancient sites such as Tiwanaku and Copán among others. Angrand’s archaeological renderings are scientifically precise and accompanied by descriptions. As albums, his contemporary street scenes convey a sense of everyday life in 19th-century Peru, while also providing insight to race and class relations in urban settings.

Antiquités americaines: extrait de la Revue Générale de l’Architecture et des travaux publics. Paris, 1866. Available at: https://www.doaks.org/resources/rare-books/antiquita-c-s-ama-c-ricaines-extrait-de-la-revue-ga-c-na-c-rale-de-larchitecture-et-des-travaux-publics (accessed Nov 5, 2018).Desjardins, E. “Lettres sur les antiquités Tiaguanaco et l’origine presumable de la plus ancienne dans le Haut-Pérou, par Léonce Angrand.” ...


Maria Concepción García Sáiz

Italian family of engineers and architects. They were active in Spain and Spanish America in the service of the Spanish Habsburgs from 1559 to 1650. The most prominent member of the family was Juan Bautista Antonelli the elder (b Gaeteo, Italy, c. 1530; d Madrid, 17 March 1588), who settled in Spain from 1559 while working in the employ of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Most of his fortification works were carried out in the coastal south-east of Spain, where several members of his family settled, although he also worked in Oran and particularly in Portugal as a strategist and engineer. Many of his projects were not realized, including the creation of a navigable river network throughout the Iberian peninsula to facilitate the transport of merchandise from the ports to the interior. Several fortification plans for the Magellan Straits also failed to materialize.

Bautista Antonelli (b Rimini, ...


Myriam A. Ribeiro de Oliveira and Liliana Herrera



Julio Roberto Katinsky

revised by Alana Hernandez

(b Rio de Janeiro, Sept 1, 1905; d Rio de Janeiro, Mar 8, 1973).

Brazilian architect. He studied urban planning at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro and graduated in 1926. He received a gold medal and an award to study abroad at the Institut d’Urbanisme, University of Paris (1928–1929).

Antunes Ribeiro was a versatile architect who made significant contributions to the development of Brazilian architecture immediately after World War II. He was the President of the Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil from 1953 to 1956 and also served on the jury to choose the design for the capital city of Brasília. Initially Antunes Ribeiro’s style reflected the neocolonial movement that was popular in Brazil and greater Latin America. Later he based his work on the rationalist Modernism of Le Corbusier and CIAM. An early example of this can be seen in the plan for the city of Goiânia (1933; with Attilio Corrêa Lima). Other important works include: the Prudência office building in Salvador (...


Milan Ivelić

(b Santiago, 1918; d Jun 1993).

Chilean painter and printmaker. After studying architecture at the Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago he won a scholarship that enabled him to continue his studies at Columbia University, New York, from 1943 to 1945. Having painted sensitive watercolors from nature while living in Chile, his journey to New York had a disquieting effect on him: he translated his experience of the concrete city, with its massive buildings dwarfing the anonymous inhabitants wandering the streets, into nearly abstract geometric compositions. He remained in New York to work with Stanley William Hayter from 1948 to 1950 and later traveled to Spain.

On his return to Chile in 1953 Antúnez founded Taller 99, a workshop modeled on Hayter’s Atelier 17, which had far-reaching effects on the development of printmaking in Chile. His renewed contact in Chile with the natural landscape and its fields, beaches, and mountains allowed him to return to intimate, sensitively colored scenes, as in the ...


Kathryn O’Rourke

(b Mexico City, Mar 29, 1915; d Mexico City, May 25, 1959).

Mexican architect and theorist. He received a degree in architecture at the Escuela Nacional de Arquitectura (ENA) at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (UNAM) in 1940, and studied urbanism at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional in 1941–1942. In 1954 he received a doctorate in Philosophy and Letters at UNAM. Arai built relatively few buildings, but he was one of Mexico’s foremost theorists of architectural modernism. Early in his career he embraced the principles associated with the formally austere, politically engaged architecture that dominated Mexico City in the 1930s; later he became fascinated by the architecture of indigenous Mexico and its lessons for modern architects. Arai’s intellectualism distinguished him from many of his colleagues and his study of history and philosophy shaped his sophisticated writings on architecture, urbanism, and indigenous art.

Arai had a distinguished teaching career with appointments in multiple fields and at several institutions. He was professor of architectural theory at ENA from ...