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Article

Paule Thévenin

[Antoine Marie Joseph]

(b Marseille, Sept 4, 1896; d Ivry-sur-Seine, March 4, 1948).

French writer, draughtsman, stage designer, actor and director . He learnt to draw and paint in 1918–19 while staying in an establishment near Neuchâtel where he had been sent suffering from a nervous complaint that had begun in 1914. There he was prescribed opium in May 1919. He arrived in Paris in the spring of 1920 and visited salons, galleries and studios, produced art criticism (see Oeuvres complètes, ii), continued to sketch small portraits of himself or his family and composed poems. In the atelier of Charles Dullin (1885–1949), where he trained as an actor, he was asked to design the costumes for several performances. Nevertheless, after an attempt in 1923 to paint the portrait of a young friend and her father, he abandoned painting and drawing. Through the painter Elie Lascaux (b 1888), whom he knew from Max Jacob’s circle, he met the art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and the artists of his gallery. He became a friend of André Masson in particular and soon became a regular visitor at Masson’s studio in the Rue Blomet, then also frequented by other painters such as Joan Miró, Jean Dubuffet and Georges Malkine and visited by writers Robert Desnos (...

Article

Éva Bajkay

(b Budapest, Oct 14, 1914; d Budapest, May 3, 1986).

Hungarian painter, printmaker, critic and stage designer . He studied at the School of Applied Art, Budapest (1930–34). Bálint went to Paris for a short time and then attended János Vaszary and Vilmos Aba-Novák’s private school in Budapest, where he met his future brother-in-law Lajos Vajda, whose Constructivist–Surrealist style had a great influence on him. They spent their summers together at the Szentendre colony. Béla Czóbel’s lyrical expressive paintings also influenced Bálint’s early work. From 1939 to 1942 he edited the art column of the newspaper Népszava, to which his father had contributed until 1925, and also published his own articles. He destroyed many of his early works after World War II. The persecution of the Jews was the theme of a series of linocuts, By Candlelight (1939–41; see Román, nos 21–4). In 1946 he became a member of the European School in Budapest, and in 1947 he went to Paris and took part in the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme (Gal. Maeght). Subsequently his work changed, and in his ...

Article

Tessa Sidey

(b Stevenage, Jan 16, 1872; d Vence, France, July 29, 1966).

English theatre director, designer, theorist, printmaker and typographer. He was one of the great, if controversial, innovators of the modern theatre movement. The son of the actress Ellen Terry and the architect Edward William Godwin, Craig was born into a strong theatrical tradition. He abandoned a promising career as an actor with Henry Irving’s Lyceum Company in 1897 to concentrate on directing and developing ideas about ‘the theatre of the future’. Inspired by Hubert von Herkomer’s scenic experiments with auditorium lighting and three-dimensional scenery in productions at the Bushey Art School, Herts, Craig exchanged the conventions of realistic scenery for a suggestive, abstract interplay of form, light, movement and music. This new total theatre drew on the imagination to create an architectonic vision of choreographic movement, colour harmony, visual simplicity and atmospheric effect united under the sole control of a single artist. Influenced by his relationship with the dancer Isadora Duncan, he also proposed a concept of the rhythms and movements in nature acting as the vehicle for an emotional and aesthetic experience....

Article

Ester Coen

(b Fondo, Val di Non, Trentino, March 30, 1892; d Rovereto, Nov 29, 1960).

Italian painter, stage designer, illustrator, decorative artist and writer. After difficult years of study, during which he made his first artistic experiments, he travelled to Turin in 1910 and worked as an apprentice decorator at the Esposizione Internazionale. In spite of spending a year as apprentice to a marble-worker, on his return to Rovereto, he decided to become a painter, choosing subjects associated with Symbolism and social realism. Shortly after publishing Spezzature–Impressioni: Segni e ritmi (Rovereto, 1913), a collection of poetry, prose and illustrations, he moved to Rome, where he met Filippo Tommaso Marinetti at the Galleria Permanente Futurista, run by Giuseppe Sprovieri; through Marinetti he met the Futurists, with whom he exhibited at the same gallery in the spring of 1914 (see Furttenbach [Furtenbach; Furttembach], Josef [Joseph], the elder). This was followed by a one-man show at Trento in July 1914, which closed after a few days because of the outbreak of World War I. He succeeded in returning to Rome, where he was officially welcomed into the ...

Article

Fani-Maria Tsigakou

[Nicos]

(b Athens, Feb 26, 1906; d Athens, Sept 3, 1994).

Greek painter, printmaker, illustrator, stage designer and theorist. While still a schoolboy he studied drawing under Konstantinos Parthenis. In 1922 he enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris for a course in French and Greek literature, but soon moved to the Académie Ranson where he studied painting under Roger Bissière and printmaking under Demetrios Galanis. He first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants at the age of 17. His first one-man exhibition, at the Galerie Percier, Paris (1927), was enthusiastically reviewed by Tériade in Cahiers d’art. His first one-man exhibition in Athens was at the Galerie Strategopoulos in 1928.

Ghika returned to Athens in 1934 and became closely involved with aesthetic and educational issues, specifically the popular art movement and the search for Greekness in art. In 1936–7 he edited the Third Eye, an avant-garde magazine in which he was able to introduce new aesthetic trends into Greek cultural life. In collaboration with the leading architects in Greece, he became actively concerned with the problem of urbanism and the restoration of traditional architecture. As a leading member of several cultural and artistic societies and a theoretician of art, he wrote and lectured extensively on art and education. From ...

Article

Renato Barilli

(b Rome, May 3, 1933; d New York, April 17, 1970).

Italian painter and stage designer. His interest in art was encouraged by his father, the art historian Umberto Gnoli, and his mother, the painter and ceramicist Annie de Garon, but his only training consisted of lessons in drawing and printmaking from the Italian painter and printmaker Carlo Alberto Petrucci (b 1881). After holding his first one-man exhibition in 1950, he studied stage design briefly in 1952 at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome; he enjoyed immediate success in this field, for example designing a production of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It for the Old Vic Theatre in London in 1955. He then began to live part-time in New York, where he began to work as an illustrator for magazines such as Sports Illustrated. During this period he drew inspiration from earlier art, especially from master printers such as Jacques Callot and Hogarth, from whom he derived his taste for compositions enlivened by large numbers of figures stylized to the point of caricature. In other works he emphasized the patterns of textiles or walls, boldly succumbing to the seduction of manual dexterity and fantasy in a style that was completely out of step with the prevailing trends of the 1950s....

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 10 July 1912, in London; died 2 November 1965.

Painter, illustrator, designer, art historian. Figures, stage sets.

Robin Ironside trained at the Courtauld Institute in London and abroad. He is above all remembered for his writings on art, but was also a painter and designer. His writing, gouache painting and design are all informed by Surrealism. He made theatre sets, often in collaboration with his brother Christopher. These include ...

Article

Vivian Endicott Barnett

[Vassily; Wassily] (Vasil’yevich)

(b Moscow, Dec 4, 1866; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, Dec 13, 1944).

Russian painter, printmaker, stage designer, decorative artist and theorist. A central figure in the development of 20th-century art and specifically in the transition from representational to abstract art, Kandinsky worked in a wide variety of media and was an important teacher and theoretician. He worked mainly outside Russia, but his Russian heritage continued to be an important factor in his development.

Kandinsky grew up in Odessa and from 1886 to 1893 studied economics, ethnography and law in Moscow, where he wrote a dissertation on the legality of labourers’ wages. He married his cousin Anya Shemyakina in 1892 (divorced 1911). In 1896 Kandinsky decided to become an artist and went to Munich. There he studied from 1896 to 1898 at the art school of Anton Ažbe, where he met Alexei Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin, and then in 1900 at the Akademie with Franz von Stuck. The following year he was a co-founder of the ...

Article

Anthony Parton

(Fyodorovich)

(b Tiraspol, Moldova, June 3, 1881; d Fontenay-aux-Roses, nr Paris, May 10, 1964).

Russian painter, stage designer, printmaker, illustrator, draughtsman and writer of Moldovan birth. He was a leader of the Russian avant-garde before World War I but came to prominence in the West through his work for Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. During the 1920s he played a significant role within the Ecole de Paris and continued to live and work in France until his death.

He was the son of Fyodor Mikhailovich Larionov, a doctor and pharmacist, and Aleksandra Fyodorovna Petrovskaya, but he grew up in his grandparents’ home in Tiraspol. He completed his secondary education at the Voskresensky Technical High School in Moscow and in 1898 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Here he studied under Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin, and he also became friendly with Natal’ya Goncharova who was to remain his lifelong companion and colleague. Larionov’s work soon caught the imagination of collectors and critics. In ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 21 January 1895, in Livorno; died 1 May 1960, in Rome.

Draughtsman, watercolourist, architect, scenographer, decorative designer, art theorist.

Futurism.

Virgilio Marchi studied architecture in Siena and Lucca and met the members of Nuove Tendenze in Milan. Drafted into the military in ...

Article

Mariana Katzarova

[Sirak; Christov, Panayot Todorov]

(b Sliven, Oct 22, 1883; d Sofia, March 5, 1943).

Bulgarian painter, draughtsman, stage designer, writer, critic, editor and publisher. He studied (1908–12) under Léon Bakst at the Academy of Arts (Akademiya Khudozhestv) in St Petersburg and became a follower of the aesthetic concept of World of Art, dominated by the innovative decorative designs of Vera Komissarzhevskaya and Tairov. After he returned to Bulgaria, Skitnik was engaged in a variety of projects, writing poetry, critical reviews of exhibitions and plays and monographs on other artists such as Bencho Obreshkov. He also designed sets for the National Theatre (Naroden Teatâr) in Sofia. He painted mainly landscape and still-lifes in oils (e.g. Interior with Flowers, 1920), tempera (e.g. Russian Monastery, 1912), gouache (e.g. the Kiss of Judas, 1920; all Sofia, N.A.G.) and watercolour; he also drew in coloured pencil. During the 1920s and 1930s he became known in Bulgaria as an innovator who experimented with new problems of colour and form. Both his poetry and his original and highly emotional painting show his allegiance to the Symbolist movement. From ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b nr Cēsis, April 28, 1896; d Tbilisi, Georgia, July 14, 1944).

Latvian painter, printmaker, ceramicist, interior designer, tage and film set designer and theorist. He was the foremost ideologue for modernism in Latvia and was one of its greatest innovators. His militant defence of avant-garde principles befitted his experience as a soldier and as one of the artists who, after World War I, was denied a studio by the city officials and staged an armed occupation of the former premises of the Riga Art School. At the end of the war he painted in an Expressionist manner: In Church (1917; Riga, priv. col., see Suta, 1975, p. 19), for example, is an exaltation of Gothic form and primitivist rendering. Unlike his peers Jāzeps Grosvalds and Jēkabs Kazaks, he was extremely interested in Cubism and Constructivism, the theories of which informed his paintings, drawings, prints and occasional architectural projects of the 1920s. At this time he and his wife, the painter ...