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Harry Rand

[Adoian, Vosdanig Manoog]

(b Dzov, Turkish Armenia, April 15, 1904; d Sherman, CT, July 21, 1948).

American painter of Armenian birth. One of the most illustrious artists of the post-war New York School, he began his life in possibly the most obscure circumstances of any international modern master. His father emigrated to the USA to avoid conscription into the Turkish Army in World War I; in the Turkish persecution of the Armenians, Gorky’s mother died in her son’s arms after a 120-mile march. With his sister (who later figured prominently in his paintings) Gorky made his way to the coast and then, by ship, to the USA, arriving at New York in April 1920.

Gorky settled into a community of Armenians in New England and attempted a reconciliation with his father, but when that failed he moved from Massachusetts to New York City (c. 1925). There he assumed his pseudonym, claiming to be a cousin of the Russian writer, Maksim Gor’ky whose name, however, was a ...

Article

Adam M. Thomas

[Osvaldo Luigi]

(b Cairo, Egypt, April 9, 1906; d Amagansett, NY, Sept 3, 1956).

American painter of Italian origin. After residing in Europe, his family relocated to New York in 1914. Guglielmi studied at the National Academy of Design from 1920 to 1925 and became a naturalized citizen in 1927. He arrived at his first mature painting style in the early 1930s. Guglielmi was among the principal practitioners of Social Surrealism, an American variant of European Surrealist art that adapted some of its imagery and techniques but eschewed its sexual symbolism and psychic automatism. Guglielmi rooted his pictures in the physical world in order to address social and political issues but, unlike Social Realism, did so through the use of unexpected or irrational juxtapositions and disorienting variations in scale. Although Guglielmi was not actively engaged in politics, many of his paintings contain expressly political, if sometimes ambiguous, content, such as Phoenix (The Portrait in the Desert) (1935; Lincoln, U. NE, Sheldon Mem. A.G.), in which a foreground portrait of Vladimir Lenin presides over a deserted landscape of factories and rubble....

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Active from 1926 in France.

Born 27 December 1901, in London; died 4 May 1988, in Paris.

Painter, engraver, illustrator. Figure compositions, portraits, landscapes.

Surrealism.

London Group.

Stanley William Hayter was a painter's son who studied science at King's College, London, taking degrees in organic chemistry and geology. From 1922 to 1925, he worked for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. in Abadan, but then decided to abandon this career for art. In 1926, he settled in Paris, remaining there apart from his many journeys abroad and the years 1940 to 1950 which he spent in the USA. In Paris, he attended the Académie Julian, studying under the Polish engraver Joseph Hecht and Jacques Villon. In 1927, he set up his own studio in the Rue du Moulin Vert, open to all comers and to all kinds of research, later, in 1933, moving to 17 Rue Campagne Première, which became known as Atelier 17. Many of the great artists of the time joined him there, including Miró, Arp, Tanguy, Giacometti, Matta, Brauner, Kandinsky, Vieira da Silva, Alechinsky, Courtin, Ubac, as well as André Masson, with whom he explored automatic drawing. In the USA in the 1940s, Hayter came into contact with other European and American painters, such as Pollock, Rothko, Motherwell, Gorky and Baziotes. Subsequently, he returned to Paris and, in 1972, was awarded the Grand Prix of the City of Paris for his engraved work....

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Born 1937, in Tunis.

Painter.

Belgacem Lakhdar graduated from the Tunis school of fine arts in 1961 and from the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1965. His work has connections with Surrealism in its choice of imagery and air of strangeness. However, he is a Surrealist more in style than true affinity, as he did not seriously subscribe to the practice of automatic writing that was so important for the Surrealist movement....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1924, in Cairo.

Painter.

Gamal Mahoud attended classes in fine arts at Cairo University, then obtained a scholarship for the fine arts studio in Luxor. He has exhibited in Egypt and abroad: at the 1947 Surrealist exhibition in Paris; in Vienna (...

Article

W. Ali

[Mudarris, Fātiḥ]

(b Aleppo, 1922; d 1999).

Syrian painter and sculptor. Initially a self-taught painter working in a realistic style, he was inspired by Surrealism in the 1940s and 1950s, and he explained his work in verse and prose to the public. After studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Rome (1954–60), he returned to Syria and developed a highly personal style that he described as ‘surrealistic and figurative with a strong element of abstraction’ (see Ali, 1989, p. 131). Moudarres’s work was influenced by the icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Syrian Classical art, which he studied in the National Museum of Damascus. His work became increasingly abstract in the 1960s, although after 1967 he expressed political themes. From 1969 to 1972 he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His paintings have an accomplished sense of composition and balance of colour. As one of the leaders of the modern art movement in Syria, Moudarres trained several generations of artists in his classes at the College of Fine Arts at the University of Damascus....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, female.

Active in France since 1985.

Born in Egypt.

Painter. Designs for tapestries.

Mona Zaalouk was a student of Fouad Kamel, one of the precursors of Surrealism and Abstract art in Egypt, and a friend of Breton. She began by making tapestries from the thick woollen thread used by nomads to weave their clothes. She then devoted herself to painting, using sand, rocks and minerals for her colours....