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Article

Egyptian, 20th century, female.

Born 1937, in Cairo.

Painter. Landscapes, architectural views.

Sawsan Amer received her diploma from the institute of fine art in Cairo in 1958 and works as a painter at the city's agricultural museum. Her painting is highly 'decorative-illustrative'. She often bases her work on features of traditional Islamic architecture, such as domes and minarets, with which she reconstructs views of imaginary towns, as in her work ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Tripoli, Libya, 1945).

Libyan painter. He returned to Libya in 1970 after graduating from the Plymouth School of Architecture and Design in England. In 1974 he was appointed consultant to the Festival of Islam in London, and in 1981 he settled in England. He typically uses individual letter forms based on the maghribī style of script typical of North Africa, setting one or two large letters against a richly textured abstract ground with accompanying excerpts from Arabic and world literature that address social and moral issues. His works have been exhibited in more than 60 solo and group exhibitions and can be found in many major museums. Chairman of Muslim Cultural Heritage Center in London, he has also been involved with several other cultural and intellectual institutions there.

A. O. Ermes: Ali Omar Ermes: Art and Ideas: Works on Paper (exh. cat., Oxford, Ashmolean, 1992)A. O. Ermeswith S. Rizvi: Reaching Out: Conversations on Islamic Art with Ali Omar Ermes...

Article

Timothy Ostler

(d’Alpoim Miranda) [Pancho]

(b Lisbon, May 13, 1925).

Portuguese architect, sculptor and painter, active in Africa. His childhood was spent in Mozambique and its offshore islands. From the age of 14 he was educated in Johannesburg, first at Maritz Brothers’ School and then at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Architecture, from which he graduated in 1949. After a brief period working as a draughtsman, he set up his own practice in Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), Mozambique, in 1950. His timing was fortunate: shortly afterwards a construction boom began that was to continue until the fall of the colonial government in 1974, and the bulk of his work was carried out during the 25 years preceding independence. He completed approximately 500 buildings, including churches, schools, houses, flats, restaurants and office buildings, in all parts of the country. The best of these rank among the finest post-war architecture in Southern Africa. In 1975 Guedes left Mozambique to take up the Chair in Architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. With the pressure to build now greatly reduced, Guedes was able to treat later projects in Portugal and South Africa as labours of love....

Article

Dennis Radford

(b Dresden, Oct 16, 1813; d Stellenbosch, Oct 8, 1898).

German architect, builder, painter and photographer, active in South Africa. He showed a talent for drawing at an early age. In 1825 he entered the Akademie der Künste, Dresden, to study architecture, qualifying in 1829. He emigrated to Cape Town in 1838. His first commission in 1840 was the new Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Mary, Cape Town, undertaken with his partner Carel Sparmann, which was an unsuccessful venture. Hager then moved to Stellenbosch living principally by portrait painting (examples in Stellenbosch Mus.). It was not until 1854 that his next building, the Lutheran Church, Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, was built. Only in 1863, however, did he receive his first major commission, the remodelling of the Dutch Reformed Church, Stellenbosch. This involved the addition of a large nave, aisles and tower to the existing cruciform church. All the additions were strongly Gothic Revival in character, and the rest of the church was given a Gothic appearance. It would be an exaggeration to claim that it was Hager who introduced the Gothic style into Dutch Reformed churches, but it can be said that he introduced a purer strain of the Revival, although this was still far from ‘correct’. The church at Stellenbosch differs most from previous attempts to Gothicize Dutch Reformed churches in the tower, which has triple-stage base tracery windows surmounted by a broach spire. The open Gothic trussed roof marks its first appearance in Dutch Reformed churches. In ...

Article

Togolese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 12 October 1956, in Lomé.

Painter, sculptor.

Jimi Hope is a self-taught artist. He studied architecture at the Da Silva Institute in Lomé, but then turned to painting, sculpture and song. He fills his paintings with African faces.

Persin, Patrick-Gilles...

Article

Elizabeth K. Mix

(b Addis Ababa, 1970).

Ethiopian painter, active also in the USA. She received a BA from Kalamazoo College, Michigan (1992) and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design (1997). Mehretu simultaneously references and breaks from the history of abstract modernist painting in her works, which combine multiple layers of drawing and painting, and are embedded with appropriated cultural references ranging from corporate logos and architectural structures to art history, comics, and graffiti.

Works such as Dispersion (2002; see 2006 exh. cat., p. 81) first suggest topographical drawings combined with geometric coloured shapes and swirling lines in a controlled chaos that simultaneously deconstructs and regenerates. Her work has been influenced by a range of art historical sources: a Baroque theatricality (alluded to specifically in The Seven Acts of Mercy (2004), inspired by Caravaggio (see 2006 exh. cat., pp. 132–3); Italian Futurism’s anarchistic revolution fueled by speed and technology; and the utopian social visions of Russian Constructivism. Geometric shapes associated with Kazimir Malevich are referenced in ...

Article

Ruth Rosengarten

(José Sobral de)

(b Cape Verde, April 7, 1893; d Lisbon, June 15, 1970).

Portuguese painter, draughtsman and writer. His early caricatures attracted the attention of the poet Fernando Pessoa whose posthumous portrait he painted in 1954 (Lisbon, Câmara Mun.; replica, 1964, Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian). He choreographed, designed and danced in a number of ballets (1915–19), before spending a year (1919–20) in Paris. In 1925 two of his paintings were among those chosen to hang in the Lisbon café A Brasileira. After returning to Lisbon from a sojourn in Madrid (1927–32), he married in 1934 the painter Sara Affonso with whom he portrayed himself in a double portrait (1934–6; Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian). He retained the sinuous, elegant quality of his line which in the 1930s and 1940s owed a great deal to Picasso.

Almada’s most important pictorial projects were frescoes (see Portugal, fig.) for the two principal quays of the port of Lisbon: the Gare Marítima de Alcântara (...

Article

dele jegede

revised by Kristina Borrman

(b Idumuje-Ugboko, Delta State, Dec 20, 1935).

Nigerian painter, sculptor, architect, and set designer. Nwoko’s works of art and architecture have been understood as exhibiting the tensions between modernism and indigenous design. Nwoko’s own published discussions of the political history of Nigeria and his recommendations for improvements in education, medicine, environmental conservation, and mechanical engineering have inspired art histories that describe him as not only an artist–architect but as an advocate for social reform.

Nwoko was one of the first of his generation of contemporary Nigerian artists to study fine arts at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria (1957–61). During his time as a student in Nigeria, Nwoko (along with classmate Uche Okeke) designed the Pavilion of Arts and Crafts, Lagos, in celebration of Nigerian Independence (1960). After his graduation, Nwoko won a scholarship from the Congress for Cultural Freedom to study scenic design at the Centre Français du Théâtre. Nwoko continued his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, choosing to add the disciplines of fresco painting and architectural decoration to his educational programme....

Article

Tunisian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1955, in Tunis.

Painter. Figures, landscapes, architectural views, still-lifes.

Marc Perez is the grandson of Moses Levy and nephew of Nello Levy. He lives and works in Paris. Perez captures the mark of time on the city, its walls, and its architecture, working in blurry flat washes in medium tints (beige, grey, pale pink, sky blue) dappled with dark and light. Objects are typically presented in his still-lifes as simplified volumes (cylinders), a style reminiscent of that of the Italian artist Morandi. After working on architectural themes and still-lifes, he turned the same technique and muted range of colours to figures and faces....

Article

El Hadji Sy

(b Tivaoune, 1935).

Senegalese painter, tapestry designer, and administrator. Along with Iba N’Diaye (1928–2008), he is considered a pioneer of Senegalese painting. After receiving a scholarship to study architecture in France, he studied painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and tapestry, ceramics, and graphic arts at the Centre Pedagogie Artistique, Sèvres. In 1959 he organized a fine arts exhibition at the Congress of Black Artists and Novelists in Rome. On his return to Dakar he held a variety of government posts with the Ministry of Culture, and in 1960 he founded the department Recherches des Arts Plastiques Negres, where he worked with Pierre Lods, founder of the Poto-Poto school of painting in Brazzaville, Congo, Democratic Republic of . In 1962 Tall held a solo exhibition at the Hotel Croix de Sud, Dakar. A Gobelin workshop was opened in his Dakar studio in 1964 and transferred to Thiès in 1965, where it became the Manufactures Senegalaise des Arts Decoratifs. In ...