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Article

Els Maréchal

(b Brussels, Oct 19, 1927).

Belgian painter, draughtsman, printmaker and film maker. He studied book illustration and typography at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et des Arts Décoratifs from 1944 to 1946. In 1947 he became a member of the Jeune Peinture Belge group and had his first one-man exhibition in the Galerie Lou Cosyn in Brussels. In 1949 he became a founder-member of the Cobra movement after meeting Christian Dotremont. With a number of artist friends he set up a type of research centre and meeting-place in Brussels, the Ateliers du Marais. Towards the end of 1951 he went to Paris, moving to Japan in 1955 to study the art of calligraphy, also making a film called Calligraphie japonaise (1956). He adopted the Oriental manner of painting, whereby the paper is spread on the floor and the artist leans over the work holding the bottle of ink, allowing a greater freedom of movement. In ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 17 June 1931, in National City (California).

Painter, video artist, photographer. Artist’s books.

Conceptual Art.

John Baldessari lives and works in Santa Monica, California. At the end of the 1950s, he decided to abandon painting and burned his pictures. He has stated that he profoundly disagreed with art in general, and therefore decided to give people what they understood best: written language and photography....

Article

Uruguayan, 20th century, male.

Active in Spain.

Born 5 February 1898, in Montevideo; died 12 February 1929, in Montevideo.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, draughtsman, illustrator, scenographer. Religious subjects, genre scenes, scenes with figures, landscapes, urban landscapes. Stage sets, comic cartoons.

The son of Spanish emigrants, Rafaél Pérez Barradas spent most of his artistic life in Spain, where he was soon contributing illustrations to the press. In 1913, he traveled in Italy and France, then settled in Condal. In 1928, he decided to return to Uruguay. He died prematurely of an illness. He is considered to have formed part of the Spanish artistic avant-garde at the beginning of the 1920s. Starting in a Post-Impressionist style that was soon influenced by Gauguin, he rapidly lightened his palette and became interested in the Cubist vision of reality while breaking out of the unitary vision of form. His canvases, with grey and ochre colours, represent landscapes and burlesque scenes from daily life. ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 26 May 1943, in Long Eaton (Derbyshire); died 14 October 2005, in London.

Painter, printmaker, draughtsman, photographer, film maker. Artists’ books.

Artist Placement Group.

Ian Breakwell studied at the Derby College of Art (1961-1965). After graduation, he moved to Smithfields in London. In the 1970s he was a member of the Artist Placement Group (APG) and was posted to the Department for Health and Social Security where he produced a film, ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1973, in Hong Kong.

Video artist, multi-media artist, activist, and publisher. Artists’ books

Paul Chan spent his early childhood in Hong Kong but immigrated to Omaha, Nebraska, in his youth. He began his BFA in video and digital arts at the Art Institute of Chicago in ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 22 May 1963, in Paris.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, mixed media, assemblage artist, video artist. Multimedia, artists' books.

Neo-Conceptual Art.

Groupe des Frères Ripoulin.

Claude Closky studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and was a founder member of the Frères Ripoulin group. He was awarded the ...

Article

Fiona Bradley

(Felip Jacint )

(b Figueres, May 11, 1904; d Figueres, Jan 23, 1989).

Spanish Catalan painter, draughtsman, illustrator, sculptor, writer and film maker. One of the most prolific artists of the 20th century, his fantastic imagery and flamboyant personality also made him one of the best known. His most significant artistic contribution, however, was through his association with Surrealism.

Dalí was born into the happy, if ideologically confusing, family of a respected notary. His father was a Republican and atheist, his mother a Roman Catholic. He was named Salvador in memory of a recently dead brother. This had a profound effect: his subsequent experimentation with identity and with the projection of his own persona may have developed out of an early understanding of himself as ‘a reply, a double, an absence’ (Dalí, 1970, p. 92). His childhood provided him with the fertile memories, both true and false, that fill his autobiography and resound in his art. Catalonia remained important to Dalí, but for its landscape rather than its separatist politics. He painted for much of his life in a house he bought in Port Lligat, near the family holiday home in Cadaqués, but the radical political beliefs that his father had taught him were to be replaced by a self-conscious monarchism and Catholicism. Dalí’s first contact with painting was through Ramon Pichot (...

Article

Spanish, 20th century, male.

Also active in France.

Born 11 May 1904, in Figueras (Catalonia); died 23 January 1989, in Port-Lligat.

Painter, sculptor, printmaker, illustrator, filmmaker, writer.

Paris Surrealist group.

Dalí was born into a middle-class family in Catalonia and named after a brother who had died the year before he was born, a fact that would later affect his conception of his own identity. Dalí’s exposure to art began early. The Impressionist painter Ramon Pichot (1872–1925) was a friend of his father’s, and as a child, Dalí attended the municipal drawing school in Figueras. By the age of 10 he had painted two ambitious works: ...

Article

Maria Elena Buszek

(b Toronto, 1958).

Canadian photographer, video artist, and writer, active in USA. Davey variously studied design, drawing, and painting at Montreal’s Concordia University, finally settling on photography, in which she received a BFA in 1982. She later earned an MFA at the University of California San Diego, and began post-graduate studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1988. Frustrated by the tendencies of such contemporaries as Andreas Gursky and Gregory Crewdson to, as she put it, ‘overproduce, overenlarge, overconsume’, Davey sought rather to draw on ‘the inherently surrealist, contingent, “found” quality of the vernacular photograph’(Davey 2014).

Davey’s photographs and videos consist predominantly of quiet vignettes from everyday life: homes filled with dusty, over-stuffed shelves, crammed with books, albums, bottles, and art supplies, and tables with momentary arrangements of these objects in use; lovingly rendered still-lifes of the near extinct, ad-hoc displays of button vendors, newsstands, and hi-fi equipment; always suggesting but rarely depicting the acquisitive, inquisitive people living and working in these humble, very much lived-in spaces. Her breakthrough ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in Germany.

Born 12 November 1965, in Canterbury.

Painter, draughtswoman, filmmaker, photographer, installation artist. Artists' books.

Tacita Dean studied painting at the Falmouth School of Art (graduated 1988), the Supreme School of Fine Art in Athens (1989...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Active in Belgium.

Born 1940, in New Jersey.

Sculptor, draughtsman, installation artist, collage artist, photographer, screen printer, video artist. Artists’ books.

Peter Downsbrough lives and works between New York and Brussels. His works, founded on concepts of spatiality and temporality, are intended for the urban environment in the form of installations, sculptures, books, collages, photographs, screen prints, postcards and films. Since the 1960s he has been producing three-dimensional works, exploring various materials in a serial process. In the 1970s he enlarged these two concepts to include notions of movement and space, notably in the series ...

Article

Swiss, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1963, in Geneva.

Installation artist, video artist. Multimedia, artists' books.

In 1989, Graumann graduated from the École Supérieure d'Art Visuel in Geneva. He has participated in group exhibitions, including 1995, the Biennale de Lyons with his work Raoul Pictore Tries to Find his Style...

Article

Canadian, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1957 in Toronto.

Active in London.

Printmaker (etching, offset lithography, digital prints), installation artist, film and video artist, curator. Artists’ books

DeniseHawrysio studied fine art at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario before completing a master’s degree at San Francisco Art Institute. Her work includes site-specific installations (often involving plasterboard), super-8 film, etching, and lithography but using social engagement, reminiscent of performance. Her artists’ books are typically small in edition and involve cutting up pre-existing materials, for example, ...

Article

Lee M. Edwards

(b Waal, Bavaria, May 26, 1849; d Budleigh Salterton, Devon, March 31, 1914).

English painter, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, writer and teacher of German birth. He was the only child of Lorenz Herkomer (d 1887), a wood-carver, and Josephine (née Niggl), an accomplished pianist and music teacher. They left Bavaria for the USA in 1851 and lived briefly in Cleveland, OH, before settling in Southampton, England, in 1857.

Herkomer received his first art instruction from his father and from 1864 to 1865 he attended the Southampton School of Art. Later he often criticized the crippling academic methods to which he was exposed as a student. In 1865 he briefly attended the Munich Academy and spent the summer terms of 1866 and 1867 at the South Kensington Art School in London, where he found the teaching ‘aimless and undirected’. With the encouragement of his fellow student Luke Fildes, Herkomer took up black-and-white illustration; his first wood-engraving appeared in Good Words...

Article

Austrian, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in Rotterdam and Vienna.

Born 1970, in Vienna.

Painter, draughtswoman, engraver, video artist, performance artist, installation artist, photographer, mixed media. Artists' books.

Elke Krystufek paints her own body, produces self-portraits and writes her thoughts across her works; a woman's life constantly historiated and revisited. Her work is a feminist claim that also illustrates the increasingly artificial boundary between private and public life today and the logical consequences of this: the representation of our emotions, 'déjà-vu' replacing the true 'ego' that the artist is actually trying to reach. Though she accepts an affinity with the Expressionist Egon Schiele, she does not recognise any association with Viennese Actionism. Among her performances, mention may be made of the following: ...

Article

Judi Freeman

(b Argentan, Orne, Feb 4, 1881; d Gif-sur-Yvette, Seine-et-Oise, Aug 17, 1955).

French painter, draughtsman, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, and ceramicist. Among the most prominent artists in Paris in the first half of the 20th century, he was prolific in many media and articulated a consistent position on the role of art in society in his many lectures and writings. His mature work underwent many changes, from a Cubist-derived abstraction in the 1910s to a distinctive realist imagery in the 1950s. Léger attracted numerous students to his various schools, and his ideas and philosophy were disseminated by modern artists throughout Europe and the Americas.

Born in rural Normandy, Léger often said that he was of ‘peasant stock’. Although his father was a cattle merchant, Léger was sent by his family to Caen in 1897 to be an apprentice in an architect’s office, where he remained until 1899. In 1900 he went to Paris and again worked in an architect’s office as a draughtsman. After compulsory military service in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Active from 1954 in France.

Born 26 November 1929, in the Bronx (New York City).

Draughtsman, engraver (etching), illustrator. Figures, nudes, landscapes, interiors, still-lifes. Stage costumes and sets, videos, artists' books.

Gregory Masurovsky studied at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1933; died 19 November 2008.

Painter, film maker, photographer, illustrator.

After a less than enthusiastic reception that greeted one of his exhibitions in 1964, Charles Matton decided to stop showing his work, and became the star illustrator of the American magazine ...

Article

Matthias Ulrich

(b Lubin, Poland, Sept 11, 1967).

Polish draughtsman, sculptor, video, performance, and mixed media artist, active in the USA. She grew up in Sweden, where she studied Communications at Schillerska/Gothenburg University in Gothenburg from 1986 to 1987. After moving to New York, Mir earned her BFA for Media Arts at the School of Visual Arts in 1992, and from 1994 to 1996 she studied Cultural Anthropology at the New School for Social Research.

Mir’s practice as an artist refers to popular culture in general, focusing on images and ideas that influence and represent social reality, and investigating popular myths and technologies such as the cinematographic representation of images. The journey to the moon, for example, symbolizing the dominance of the United States during the Cold War, receives through Mir’s appropriation in First Woman on the Moon (1999) a critical reflection, taking into consideration patriarchal power structures as well as the apparent staging of reality through mass media. In her work ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Active in Mountain View (California).

Born 22 October 1876, in Montevideo; died 1947.

Sculptor, illustrator, writer.

Joseph Jacinto Mora, a pupil of his father Domingo Mora, J. Decamp and J.C. Bechwith, sculpted genre works and commemorative monuments such as the Cervantes Monument...