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Article

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...

Article

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 ...

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Set of financial methods, instruments, and business models that are used in the Art market. Important developments since the 1960s include the spreading availability and use of art price information and price indexes (see Art index), the emergence of loans collateralized by artworks, repeated efforts to create art investment structures, and a strong growth in art market advisory services provided by wealth managers and new entrepreneurs (see also Investment).

The first major development has been the spread of art price information and art price indexes over the last half-century. After a few difficult decades, art price levels and public interest in the art market were going up again in the 1950s and 1960s. A number of books on the history of the art market and on art investment that were published around that time—Le Vie Etrange des Objets (1959) by Maurice Rheims, Art as an Investment...

Article

Sylvia Ficher and João Masao Kamita

(b Curitiba, Jun 23, 1915; d São Paulo, Jan 6, 1985).

Brazilian architect, teacher, and writer. He graduated as an engineer–architect from the Escola Politécnica of the University of São Paulo in 1937 and together with Duílio Marone opened the firm Marone & Artigas, where he worked on some fifty residences. In order to move away from the academic eclecticism that dominated São Paulo at the time, he soon became influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright; for example, the Rio Branco Paranhos house (1943) was clearly inspired by Wright’s prairie houses. In 1944 he opened his own design office together with engineer–architect Carlos Cascaldi (1918–2011); their work was increasingly influenced by the rationalist Modernism of Le Corbusier that began to spread from Rio de Janeiro and often employed pilotis, brises-soleil, and roof gardens, as in the Louveira blocks of flats (1948), São Paulo, and the bus station (1950), Londrina.

During this period Artigas was also heavily involved in cultural and political activities. He became a professor of architecture at the Escola Politécnica, São Paulo (...

Article

Mark Castro

[Murillo, Gerardo]

(b Guadalajara, Oct 3, 1875; d Mexico City, Aug 14, 1964).

Mexican painter, printmaker, writer, theorist, volcanologist, and politician. Murillo first studied art in his native Guadalajara with the painter Félix Bernardelli (1866–1905). Murillo relocated to Mexico City in 1896, studying briefly at the Academia de San Carlos, before securing support from the government to continue his education in Europe. He stopped briefly in Paris in 1897 before moving on to Rome and beginning his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti and the Real Academia de España. Murillo’s encounters with European art had a profound impact on him, particularly Impressionism. He also achieved a measure of success on the European art scene, and his Self-portrait (1899; priv. col.) was awarded the silver medal at the Paris Salon. During his six-year stay Murillo also became absorbed by French and Italian socialist political theory.

Murillo returned to Mexico in 1904, joining the staff of the Academia de San Carlos, where he became an agitator for reform, clashing with the school’s administration over teaching methods and becoming a hero to students, among them José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. The debates culminated in the student strike of ...

Article

Veerle Poupeye

(b St. Andrew, Jamaica, Mar 17, 1946).

Jamaican artist and art historian. He studied at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, where he was awarded a PhD in 1975. He studied briefly under the American painter Fred Mitchell (1923–2013) while at Cornell, although he was essentially self-taught as an artist. He developed a coherent but continuously evolving iconography consisting of complex and often highly personal metaphors that commented on the human condition and the anguish of modern existence. Although he also produced non-figurative works, he usually concentrated on the human figure (e.g. Pietà in Memory of Philip Hart, 1986; Kingston, N.G.). He often worked with “appropriated images” borrowed from myth, religion, music, history, archaeology, and art history. These images, often mechanical reproductions of his sources, were transformed, cruelly assaulted sometimes, through a surrealist method of association.

The major multimedia installation Headpiece. The Riefenstahl Requiem (1986; Kingston, N.G.) summarized some of Boxer’s major thematic concerns, namely the self-destructive forces in the individual as well as in society, through references to war, genocide, and natural catastrophe; the juxtaposition of Classical Apollonian and Dionysiac motives; and mythological figures such as Icarus, Narcissus, and the Three Graces. Boxer worked in a wide variety of media, ranging from experimental painting techniques to collage and assemblage, photography and video. In ...

Article

Brian Austen

(Hicks)

(b ?Sheffield, 1785; d Port of Spain, Trinidad, Nov 1846).

English sculptor, designer and architect. In 1810 he exhibited at the first Liverpool Academy Exhibition and showed models and drawings there in 1811, 1812 and 1814. These included designs for the restoration of the screen in Sefton church, Merseyside, and for a chimney-piece for Speke Hall, Liverpool, and two drawings of Joseph Ridgway’s house at Ridgmont, Horwich, Lancs. Bridgens designed furniture and furnishings in Gothic and Elizabethan styles for George Bullock. In 1814 he moved to London with Bullock, using his address at 4 Tenterden Street, Hanover Square, and prepared designs for Sir Godfrey Vassal Webster (1789–1836) for improvements to Battle Abbey, E. Sussex, and similarly for Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford House, at Melrose on the Borders. Two chair designs for Battle Abbey were published in Rudolph Ackermann’s Repository of Arts in September 1817, and Bridgens was also involved in the design of chairs supplied to Abbotsford House in ...

Article

W. Iain Mackay

(b Carhuás, Ancash, Oct 2, 1857; d San Miguel de Tucumán, Dec 1922).

Peruvian painter, photographer, teacher, and critic. At the age of four he was brought to Lima, where he began to take lessons in art. From 1885 he traveled through France, Italy, and Belgium, and on returning to Latin America he settled in Buenos Aires, where he took up photography. In 1905 he returned to Lima, where he set up a workshop and art college at the Quinta Heeren, introducing the latest photographic techniques. On visiting Spain in 1908 Castillo discovered the historical genre paintings of Mariano Fortuny, y Marsal, and once back in Lima worked as a painter and as art critic for the magazines Prisma, Variedades, Actualidades, and Ilustración peruana. He later supported Daniel Hernández in founding (1919) the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima (see also Peru, Republic of, §XI). In parallel with the writer Ricardo Palma, Castillo was concerned with recording the traditions of Lima’s colonial past, and such paintings as the ...

Article

Xavier Moyssén

(L.)

(b Koblenz, Feb 20, 1903; d Mexico City, Apr 5, 1980).

Mexican architect, architectural historian, and teacher, of German birth. He studied at the technical universities of Darmstadt, Munich, and Berlin. At the latter he studied with Hans Poelzig, graduating as an engineer–architect in 1926. In 1927 he took part in the plan for the headquarters of the League of Nations in Geneva, and he was a founder-member of CIAM. He moved to San Francisco, CA, in 1938, where he worked in the studio of Richard Neutra. He settled in Mexico in 1939 and became a naturalized Mexican in 1947. As well as having a natural affinity with Mexico, he was able to incorporate his European experiences into what he built there. The respect for nature he had learned from Neutra is evident in his handling of the volcanic terrain of the Jardines del Pedregal, Mexico City, where he collaborated with Luis Barragán, constructing various houses amid the impressive scenery of the place without disturbing the volcanic lava or the vegetation. He also showed skill and great sensitivity in using the materials and techniques of the region. Notable examples of his work there are his own house (...

Article

Daniel R. Quiles

Conceptualism designates art for which the “concept”—as idea, information, language, action, experience, or documentation—defines the work more so than any painting, sculpture, or other object that may be a component (see also Conceptual art). In Latin America, conceptualism has not been a single movement so much as a tendency found in multiple milieux since the 1960s. The earliest works date to the early 1960s, taking the form of actions and participatory situations that used prevailing genres as points of departure. In Brazil, neo-concrete artists such as Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica systematically folded their paintings off the wall into three-dimensional space, gradually calibrating them for manipulation by viewers (see also Concrete art in Latin America and Neoconcretism). In December 1959 critic Ferreira Gullar coined the term “non-object” to describe an artwork “freed from any signification outside the event of its own apparition” that yields “a synthesis of sensorial and mental experiences” (Asbury ...

Article

Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro

The development of geometric abstraction in 20th-century art in Latin America was heavily influenced by European Concrete art. The latter emphasized the objective nature of abstract painting.

In 1930 Theo van Doesburg, with Otto G. Carlsund, Jean Hélion, and Leon Tutundjian (1905–1968) published “The Basis of Concrete Art” in the single issue of Art Concret magazine. In it they advocated a completely objective approach to abstract form conceived by the mind prior to its execution. This approach was in stark contrast to that of many of the pioneers of non-figurative painting, such as Piet Mondrian or Vasily Kandinsky, for whom abstraction aimed for transcendental and quasi-religious meanings.

In 1944 in Buenos Aires the young Argentine artists Tomás Maldonado and Gyula Kosice and the Uruguayans Carmelo Arden Quin (1913–2010) and Rhod Rothfuss (1920–1969) published a single-issue magazine Arturo, in which they declared allegiance to many of the principles of Concrete art. By ...

Article

Sylvia Ficher and Andrey Rosenthal Schlee

(b Toulon, Feb 27, 1902; d Rio de Janeiro, Jul 13, 1998).

Brazilian architect, urban planner, and architectural historian of French birth. Son of Brazilian parents, he moved to Brazil in 1917 and entered the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes (ENBA), Rio de Janeiro. A gifted draftsman, he graduated in 1923 after winning prizes during his undergraduate years, as “A gate” (second place, 1922) and “A bench” (first place, 1923).

In his partnership with Fernando Valentim from 1923 on, they adopted an eclectic vocabulary, but shortly after were engaged in the Traditionalist Movement, which took its inspiration from 18th-century Brazilian colonial architecture in an attempt to develop a national style. They built several residences, such as: the Raul Pedrosa house (1924), the Álvaro Alberto Mota e Silva house (1926), the Evelina Klindelhoffer house (1927), and the Fernando Valentim house (c. 1926), all in Rio de Janeiro. Outside Rio, they built the Arnaldo Guinle house (...

Article

M. Esther Pérez Salas C.

Genre of art that depicts the habits and customs of people from different regions or classes and that reached a peak in Mexico in the 19th century. Costumbrismo refers to literary and visual art (painting and engraving) whose subjects are the daily life and circumstances of various social classes, featuring typified settings and figures, particularly picturesque Mexican scenes and characters. Costumbrismo was particularly successful in Mexico in the 19th century as the country was in the process of defining itself. The premise of costumbrismo was to seek out that which was Mexican, picturesque, and traditional; a search that identified fully with the sentiments prevailing in the newly independent nation (1821). Mexico was ripe for a way to express its individuality and reaffirm its identity. In costumbrismo, portaits of ‘tipos’ or characters preceded and were initially more popular than genre scenes. A ‘tipo’ is an individual defined by a particular, salient characteristic: their job or trade, their way of dress or speech, or their role in society. ...

Article

Henry Adams

(b Veracruz, Mar 13, 1880; d Stamford, CT, Jan 10, 1961).

Mexican illustrator, writer, gallery owner, and publisher, active in the USA. He was the son of a wealthy Mexican lawyer and publisher. De Zayas started his career as an artist by providing drawings for his father’s newspaper in Veracruz. In 1906 he moved on to Mexico City’s leading newspaper, El Diario, but a year later, after the ascension of the dictator Porfirio Diaz, whom the newspaper had opposed, he fled to the USA. There he landed a position making caricatures for the New York Evening World. Shortly after his arrival in the USA, he came into contact with Alfred Stieglitz, who staged solo shows of De Zayas’s caricatures at his gallery Gallery 291 in 1909 and 1910, both of which proved to be huge popular successes.

In 1910 De Zayas traveled to Paris, where he stayed almost a year, scouting out adventurous forms of modern art for Stieglitz, notably the cubist work of Picasso and African sculpture. On his return, equipped with knowledge of European modern art and inspired by the work of the French modernist ...

Article

Veerle Poupeye

(b Gayle, St Mary, Jamaica, Dec 22, 1923; d Brown’s Town, St. Ann, Jamaica, Apr 24, 2002).

Jamaican painter and writer. She studied at McGill University, Montreal, and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. She began painting in the 1940s and is best known for her depictions of life in rural Jamaica. Other works have surreal imagery and often include art historical and literary references. Typically, even her genre scenes have surreal overtones: slightly distorted figures appear alienated and isolated and are placed in desolate settings. In many works she combined figurative elements with abstract geometrical elements such as patterned borders or geometrically structured backgrounds. A fine colorist, she worked in oil and acrylic as well as watercolor and gouache. One of her masterworks is the five-panel ...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Quetzaltenango, Jan 26, 1897; d Guatemala City, Jun 1, 1970).

Guatemalan painter, collector, and writer. He began his artistic studies in Quetzaltenango, where he was fortunate to come into contact with the Spanish painter Jaime Sabartés (1881–1968) and Carlos Mérida, with whom he became friends. He continued his studies in Guatemala City and then in Mexico City at the Real Academia de San Carlos, where his fellow students included Rufino Tamayo, Roberto Montenegro, and Miguel Covarrubias. He returned briefly to Guatemala only to leave for Europe. He studied in Madrid at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and from 1924 to 1925 lived in Paris. He returned to Guatemala City in 1927 and in 1928 became director of the Academia de Bellas Artes. By then he had developed a style derived from French Impressionism, although he gradually moved toward a more naturalistic style, perhaps in response to the taste of his clients.

Garavito generally painted in oils on a medium or small scale, concentrating on the beautiful Guatemalan landscape, of which he can in a sense be considered the “discoverer.” His preferred subjects were the mountains, volcanoes, and lakes of the Guatemalan high plateau, and he was the first to incorporate in his works the Indians in their brightly colored clothes. He was the central figure and teacher of a group of figurative painters and painters working in a naturalistic style, such as ...

Article

Megan A. Sullivan

Term applied retrospectively to a range of non-figurative art characterized by a reliance on geometric forms and a rejection of representation, illusionistic space, and symbolic meaning. Pioneered in early 20th-century Europe by Kazimir Malevich, the Russian Constructivists (see Constructivism, §1), and the Dutch de Stijl group, among others, geometric abstraction found new adherents in the urban centers of many Latin American countries from the 1940s through the 1960s, most prominently in Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. Despite declining in popularity in the last decades of the 20th century, it still maintains a presence in art practice in the region.

Scholars generally agree that geometric abstraction from Latin America cannot be encapsulated within a single regional framework or conceived of as a unified continental movement. While many of its practitioners knew each other’s work through exhibitions, publications, and travel, ties with European predecessors were often stronger. Not only did Latin American artists position their projects in dialogue with developments of abstract painting in Europe, they also often conceived of their work in universal—rather than national or regional—terms....

Article

[emerging art markets]

Since the 1980s art markets have developed rapidly outside of Europe and the USA. In the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) this development has been particularly dynamic. With aggregate sales estimated at €11.5 billion, China is the second largest market for art and antiques in the world after the USA (McAndrew 2014). Works of art made by modern and contemporary artists from all four countries regularly fetch more than $1 million at auction.

The rise of the BRICs has coincided with the global integration of what used to be local art markets: demand for and supply of particular artists or artistic movements may now be dispersed across the globe. The boom which global art markets have witnessed in the new millennium can be attributed partially to new buyers from countries like China and Russia developing an interest in art, both old and new. In describing the emergence of the BRICs, the focus in this article will be on modern and contemporary art, since that is where market development has been most significant, both qualitatively and quantitatively....

Article

Genre of narrative painting depicting multi-figure scenes, particularly that which emerged with the foundation of royal and national academies of fine arts in Europe and the Americas, beginning in France in the mid-17th century.

Academies of fine arts in Europe and its colonies abroad as well as those of emerging nations designated history painting as the most noble and highest form of artist expression, as the main priority for an academy. History painting gained this status for the technical virtuosity it required and because it existed as an important vehicle for official and elite propaganda as well as the construction of state, imperial, and national identity.

The ability to produce a history painting began with a rigorous drawing education to master techniques of Western naturalism, including chiaroscuro, proportion, and linear perspective in order to enliven and valorize historical subjects that usually contained moral messages for a “public” audience. What began as a vehicle for nationalism and empire in Europe spread to the Spanish colonies by the late 18th century....

Article

Susan Snodgrass

(b Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1962).

Chicago-based multimedia artist, poet, and theorist. Kac’s pioneering works lie at the intersection of telecommunications and biotechnology, forging new, hybrid forms that merge biological processes and new media. Early works include body-based performances, holopoetry (Kac’s invented form of visual poems using holography; see Hologram), robotics, and innovative online projects at the Web’s infancy.

Kac’s interest in telecommunications, computers, and robotics led to experimental projects that integrated these various systems under the rubric of what the artist has termed “telepresence art” (2005; see Kac 2005, 127; see also Computer art). In 1989, he created the wireless robot Ornitorrinco (platypus in Portuguese), in collaboration with Ed Bennett, used in a nearly decade-long series of works that explored communication between humans and robots. A-positive (1997), in which a human and a robot engage in a physical exchange via an intravenous needle, probes the ethical implications of the human–machine interface. Working across disciplines, the artist defined (and redefined) the arena of electronic space to include “dialogical” means of interactivity and interspecies communication, as in ...