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Absalon  

John-Paul Stonard

[Eshel, Meir]

(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 ...

Article

Filipino, 20th century, male.

Born 1930, in Bohol, Philippines.

Sculptor. Figures, historical subjects, religious subjects, allegory, myths.

Napoleon Veloso Abueva graduated in 1953 from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts (UPCFA), where he was mentored by the first National Artist for Sculpture, Guillermo Tolentino. He received another scholarship from the Fulbright/Smith–Mundt Foundation and in ...

Article

Turkish, 20th century, male.

Born 1928, in Istanbul; died 1976.

Sculptor.

Born of Turkish-Ethiopian parents, Kuzgun Acar studied sculpture under German artist Rudolf Belling at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul, where he gravitated towards abstract, non-objective forms. Acar was selected to represent Turkey at the Biennale des Jeunes in Paris and at the São Paulo Biennale, both of which were held in ...

Article

Achiam  

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 10 February 1916, in Bet-Gan; died 16 March 2005, in Paris.

Sculptor. Public art.

Achiam studied initially at the college of agriculture in Jerusalem and was active in the Israeli resistance against the British occupying forces. He started to teach himself sculpture at the age of 24, working directly with the dark grey basalt stone readily available in the environs of Jerusalem. Achiam moved to Paris in ...

Article

(b Istanbul, 1898; d Istanbul, 1957).

Turkish sculptor. After military service in World War I he went in 1918 to the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul, where he studied under the sculptor Ihsan Özsoy (1867–1944). With the help of his father he then went to Germany, where he studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. From Munich he went to Paris, where, after failing to get lessons from Aristide Maillol, he worked independently, inspired by the work of Maillol and Emile-Antoine Bourdelle. After returning to Turkey in 1925 and passing an examination he was able to go back to Paris, where he entered the Académie Julian and worked under the sculptors Henri Bouchard (1875–1960) and Paul Landowski (1875–1961). He returned to Turkey in 1928 and worked first as an art teacher at Edirne Teachers' College and then at various middle schools in Istanbul until his death. His principal works included the monument in Menemen to ...

Article

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active from 1951 also active in France.

Born 11 May 1928, in Rishon LeZiyyon.

Painter, sculptor. Wall decorations, monuments.

Op Art, Kinetic Art.

The son of a rabbi, Yaacov Agam was educated at the Bezalel art college in Jerusalem. He was arrested by the British in ...

Article

D. C. Barrett

(b Rishon-le-Zion, Palestine [now Israel], May 11, 1928).

Israeli painter and sculptor. He studied at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem under Mordecai Ardon in 1946, and from 1951 in Paris at the Atelier d’Art Abstrait and at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. The major influences on his early work were Kandinsky’s Über das Geistige in der Kunst (1912), the Bauhaus ideas disseminated by Johannes Itten and Siegfried Giedion, with whom he came into contact in Zurich in 1949, and the work of Max Bill. Between 1951 and 1953 his work consisted of a series of Contrapuntal and Transformable Pictures, such as Transformable Relief (1953; Paris, R. N. Lebel priv. col., see Metken, p. 6). In 1953 he held his first one-man exhibition at the Galerie Craven in Paris. Although his claims that this was the first exhibition of kinetic art, and that he was the first optical-kinetic artist, have been disputed, he was certainly among the first artists to encourage spectator participation in such a direct way....

Article

Ainu  

Hans Dieter Ölschleger

[Emishi; Ezo; Mishihase]

Peoples who once lived in northern Japan and are now restricted to the islands of Hokkaido (Japan), southern Sakhalin and the Kuril chain. The Ainu live in an area that has been influenced by Chinese, Siberian and especially Japanese culture. Until the 17th century, when the Ainu began to practise small-scale agriculture in south-western Hokkaido, they subsisted by fishing and hunter–gathering. Although the gradual Japanese colonization of Hokkaido had almost eradicated Ainu culture by the early 20th century, the post-war period has witnessed a revival of Ainu culture and language.

Ainu art is characterized by the preponderance of geometric designs. Some have parallels in Japan proper, while others show similarities with motifs found in the art of the Gilyaks, their northern neighbours on Sakhalin, of the Ostyaks and Samoyeds of northern Siberia and even of the peoples of the north-west coast of North America. Human and animal motifs are extremely rare and restricted to the decoration of libation ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Delhi, India, Feb 4, 1941; d Lahore, Pakistan, Jan 18, 1999).

Pakistani painter, sculptor and printmaker. Educated in Pakistan and abroad, he has consciously and successfully synthesized Eastern and Western aesthetic traditions. In 1963, a year after graduating from the National College of Arts, Lahore, he joined the faculty as a lecturer in art, later becoming a professor and head of the Department of Fine Arts. His studies abroad have included post-graduate work in London (1966–7, 1968–9) and the United States (1987–9).

Like many of his colleagues, Zahoor was influenced by his mentor, Shakir ‛Ali, principal of the National College of Art from 1961 to 1975. Both artists were motivated by art history, philosophy and aesthetics. Zahoor’s non-figurative paintings of the 1960s evolved into tangible—though not always realistic—images addressing the dualities of space and time, East and West. Most of his triptychs and single canvases were conceived within a grid that provides a stabilizing structure for their compositions. This grid refers to Zahoor’s admiration for the American artist ...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Active also in France and Germany.

Born 1937, in Hiroshima.

Sculptor. Monuments.

In Tokyo, Hiromi Akiyama studied painting from 1954 to 1957, then sculpture until 1961. In 1966 he went to Paris, where he attended the École des Beaux-Arts until 1968...

Article

Lebanese, 19th century, male.

Painter. Religious subjects, portraits.

Little is known of this painter, other than that he was also a sculptor and physician reputed to have been taught painting by an Italian Orientalist painter who lived north of Beirut during the final two decades of the 19th century. Ibraim Al-Georr produced portraits of leading personalities of his day in a style that was meticulously detailed, but somehow hesitant to the point of being almost naive....

Article

Syrian, 21st century, female.

Born 1981, in Aleppo, Syria.

Sculpture, painting, installation.

The Syrian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Diana Al-Hadid is best known for creating meticulous large-scale works through which she investigates architecture and historical and mythological narratives. Al-Hadid received a bachelor of fine arts degree in sculpture from Kent State University in ...

Article

Dutch, 20th century, female.

Active in the Netherlands.

Born 31 July 1903, in Yogyakarta (Java), Indonesia.

Painter. Landscapes.

Alexandrine left her native island in 1916, lived several years in Spain, then married the painter and sculptor Toon Kelder in The Hague. She made a great number of trips to Spain and France, but she did not start to paint until she was in Vence in ...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 1889, in Ibaragi; died 13 May 1970.

Sculptor.

Jiro Amenomiya studied at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, where he graduated in 1923 and was awarded a prize. He was vice president of the Japan Sculptors Association.

1918, Cultural Department, Tokyo...

Article

C. Hobey-Hamsher

(fl first quarter of the 5th century bc).

Greek sculptor. The Greek city states that defeated the Persians at Plataia in 479 bc set aside a tithe for Zeus at Olympia from which was made a bronze statue of the god, 10 cubits tall. When Pausanias visited Olympia he saw the statue standing near the Bouleuterion and assigned it to Anaxagoras (...

Article

Japanese, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1947.

Sculptor.

At the end of the 1980s, Yasuhiko Ando spent a long time in Stuttgart, Germany. During this same period he exhibited in Paris at the Salon Grands et Jeunes d’Aujourd’hui. His sculptures follow a horizontal plan, mingling abstract or metaphorical elements with precise representations, such as figures....

Article

French, 20th century, female.

Born 29 March 1943, in Perezac-le-Blanc (Corrèze).

Painter, sculptor, lithographer, screen printer. Scenes with figures, mythological subjects, figures, nudes.

Anne-Lan's father is Vietnamese and her mother is French. Both are doctors. She spent her childhood in the Limousin region. She studied at the École Nationale des Arts Appliqués in Paris. She lives and works in Paris....

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 1933, in Tokyo.

Sculptor.

Kinetic Art.

Hiroshi Aoki studied fine arts at Musashino University, Tokyo. He displayed his works in solo exhibitions in Tokyo in 1966 and 1967.

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Tehran, 1934).

Iranian sculptor. Trained at the College of Decorative Arts, Tehran, he held his first solo exhibition at the Iran-India Center, Tehran in 1964. Inspired by Achaemenid and Assyrian art as well as by Babylonian carvings and inscriptions, Arabshahi has been associated with Hussein Zenderoudi, Parviz Tanavoli, and the Saqqakhana movement. His work has been shown in Iran, Europe, and the United States. Among his major commissions are sculptures and architectural reliefs for the Office for Industry and Mining, Tehran (...

Article

Pakistani, 20th century, male.

Active in Britain.

Born 1935, in Karachi.

Installation artist, painter, sculptor.

Conceptual Art.

Araeen initially studied to be a civil engineer. He has exhibited in Karachi, New York and in a number of British cities. His work often addresses issues facing ethnic groups in Britain. He is also a writer and editor and founded the ...