Finnish, 20th century, male.
Born 3 February 1898, in Kuortane; died 11 May 1976, in Helsinki.
Architect, designer, painter, draughtsman, watercolourist. Figures, landscapes, landscapes with figures, urban landscapes, still-lifes. Models (furniture/glass).
Alvar Aalto was adamant that his experience as a painter was an indispensable adjunct to his profession as an architect, noting repeatedly that modern architecture had its roots in painting. As an architecture student, he took private lessons with the Finnish painter Eero Järnefelt. He moved in artistic circles and was frequently to be found in the company of the sculptor Wäinö Altonen and the painters Henry Ericsson and Eemu Myntti. For a period, he also worked as an art critic....
(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 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. ...
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 ...
Daniel Le Couédic
(b Nantes, March 19, 1891; d Paris, Jan 20, 1966).
French architect and teacher. A student of Alfred-Henri Recoura (1864–1939), he graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 1920. He settled in Paris, and his first works were influenced by Art Deco. In 1923 he became one of the two architects of the new seaside resort of Sables-d’Or-les-Pins (Côtes-du-Nord). There, and in the nearby village of Val-André, Abraham began his analysis and rejection of the picturesque in such buildings as Villa Miramar (1928) and Villa Ramona (1929). In 1929, in partnership with Henry-Jacques Le Même (b 1897), he made his first design for a sanatorium, later executing three examples at Passy (Haute-Savoie), which are among his best works: Roc-de-Fiz (1931), Guébriant (1933) and Geoffroy de Martel de Janville (1939). Two blocks of flats built in Paris in 1931 (at 28 Boulevard Raspail and Square Albinoni) characterize the peak of his production in their precision and sobriety of composition, moderate use of the modernist vocabulary and use of new techniques and materials....
(b Tel Aviv, Dec 26, 1964; d Paris, Oct 10, 1993).
Israeli sculptor. He adopted the name Absalon on his arrival in Paris in the late 1980s. During his short career he achieved widespread recognition for the 1:1 scale architectural models that he constructed of idealized living units. These wooden models, painted white, demonstrate an obsession with order, arrangement and containment, and have associations both of protective shelters and monastic cells. They were designed to be placed in several cities and to function as living-pods for the artist as he travelled. Exhibiting a series of six ‘cellules’ in Paris in 1993, he described how they were fitted both to his body and to his mental space, but were also able to condition the movements of his body in line with their idealized architecture. Although he denied their apparent utopianism, the sculptures can be viewed as the reduction of the utopian aims of early modern architecture (as seen in the work of the Constructivists, de Stijl and Le Corbusier) to the level of individual subjectivity. This suggests both the failure of architectural social engineering and its inevitable basis in subjective, anti-social vision. Absalon’s habitational units also have an element of protest. In an interview for the ...
French, 20th century, male.
Born 17 September 1881, in Mulhouse.
Painter, engraver (etching), illustrator. Landscapes, architectural views.
Achener had a full training, first at the École des Beaux-Arts in Strasbourg, then in Munich in the studios of the engraver Peter Halm and the painter Ludwig von Loefftz. He was also a pupil of Jean-Paul Laurens in Paris....
Ludovico C. Koppmann
[Konstantinovsky, Wladimir ]
(b Odessa, Russia, June 23, 1900; d Buenos Aires, July 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 (1957–66) 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 (...
Colombian, 20th century, male.
Active and naturalised in the USA.
Born 18 March 1929.
Acunha studied architecture and then fine art at the Cranbrook Academy. In parallel with painting, he pursued a teaching career, principally at the University of Delaware in Newark. He showed his works in solo exhibitions: in ...
British, 19th – 20th century, male.
Born 12 October 1854, in Edinburgh; died 1929, in North Berwick.
Painter (including gouache). Interiors with figures, landscapes, urban landscapes, gardens, urban views, architectural views, interiors, portraits.
Having studied at the Royal Scottish Academy under George Paul Chalmers and MacTaggart, Patrick Adam went on to exhibit at the Royal Scottish Academy at the age of 18 and at the London Royal Academy ...
(b Bologna, March 17, 1935).
Italian painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He was given a rigorous training as a draughtsman between 1951 and 1954 in Achille Funi’s studio at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, which provided the basis for his mature work. Before developing his characteristic contour line and flat surfaces, he experimented briefly with an expressionistic style that combined violent and humorous imagery inspired by the explosive forms in space favoured by Roberto Matta and by strip cartoons; typical of this phase is one of his earliest large canvases, L’ora del sandwiche (1963; Camilla Adami priv. col., see Damisch and Martin, pl. 42). He settled in Paris in 1957 but divided his time between France and Italy. In such paintings as Stanze a cannocchiale (‘Telescoped rooms’, 1965; Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Mus. A.) he began to develop a highly decorative idiom of stylized images outlined in black on a surface of interlocking areas of intense, unmodulated colour. His usual starting-point was a photograph or several associated images, which he reworked, fragmented and presented in a schematic form. This remained Adami’s system of working in later years, although his subject-matter changed....
American, 20th century, male.
Born 20 February 1902, in San Francisco, California; died 23 April 1984, in Carmel, California.
Photographer. Landscapes, still-lifes, architectural studies, portraits.
Sierra Club, Group f/64.
Ansel Adams began taking pictures in 1916 on his family’s first trip to Yosemite Valley and returned for the next two summers, working during the rest of the year for a photofinisher, where he learned the basics of the medium. Adams joined the Sierra Club in ...
British, 19th – 20th century, male.
Active in England between 1873 and 1902.
Cole Adams handled mainly architectural subjects and exhibited six works at the London Royal Academy in about 1880.
American, 20th – 21st century, male.
Born 15 November 1948, in Des Moines (Iowa).
Environmental artist, video artist, installation artist.
Dennis Adams lives and works in New York and Berlin. Adams' work focuses on the relationship between architecture and images taken from political literature. He creates architectural environments that act as frameworks for text, photographs and other images. These environments, which are either temporary or permanent, are public places. The series of ...
British, 20th century, female.
Born 1924, in Stoke-on-Trent.
Having studied architecture in England, Elisabeth Adams travelled to Paris, where she joined the École des Beaux-Arts in 1946, before going on to study under Édouard MacAvoy at the Académie de la Grande-Chaumière, becoming student in charge of the studio before going on to work at Fernand Léger's atelier. In ...
T. Affleck Greeves
(b Burgess Hill, Sussex, 1849; d London, Aug 17, 1933).
English architect, editor and draughtsman. After completing his articles with H. N. Goulty of Brighton, he became assistant to William Ralph Emerson, and Architect to Brighton Council. Between 1872 and 1923 he was Editor of Building News. He instituted the Building News Designing Club, which enabled young architects to submit designs for his criticism. He contributed largely to the paper’s illustrations, redrawing designs for lithographic reproduction, and covered a wide range of subjects in a skilful and accurate, if somewhat dull, linear style. He also published several architectural books. Through the owner of Building News he obtained his major architectural commissions, notably Camberwell Polytechnic and Art Gallery (1902). He also designed country houses near London, for example Queensmead Cottage, Kings Road, Windsor, Berks (1883), for Reginald Talbot, as well as in Australia (e.g. Bellevue Hill, Double Bay, for Charles B. Fairfax in the mid-1880s) and America, where he designed timber houses in New Jersey for E. S. Wilde in ...
(b Northampton, Oct 5, 1917; d Gt Maplestead, Essex, April 5, 1984).
English sculptor and painter. He studied at the Northampton School of Art from 1933 to 1944. During World War II he was employed as an engineer, and after the war he spent two years teaching himself to sculpt in wood. Though he had participated in various group exhibitions during the war, it was not until 1947 that he had his first one-man show, of sculpture, at the Gimpel Fils Gallery in London. He also produced abstract paintings, but soon came to specialize in sculpture. His early sculpture of this period, such as Figure (1949–51; London, Tate), showed the influence of Henry Moore, whose works he knew from photographs. These comprised forms abstracted from natural objects, executed in wood, plaster and stone. After his one-man show he made several extended trips to Paris, where he became interested in the work of Brancusi and Julio González. In 1950 he received a Rockefeller award from the Institute of International Education to visit the USA. Having by then an established reputation, he was also commissioned to produce a 3-m high carving for the Festival of Britain in ...