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Article

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

(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 ...

Article

Christina Maurer

(b Zurich, Jan 18, 1906; d Russikon, Zurich, Jan 27, 1980).

Swiss sculptor, painter and draughtsman. He was self-taught as a draughtsman and only turned to sculpture in 1936. His early sculptural work (1936–45) mainly comprises heads and torsos in addition to heavy, life-size female nudes. These works, mainly in marble and bronze, emphasize volume and were influenced by Aristide Maillol, Charles Despiau and Wilhelm Lehmbruck. During the 1940s Aeschbacher gradually subordinated the human form to a study of the stone’s own biomorphic structure. A series of amorphous Bumps heralded the final departure from naturalism. In 1952–3 Aeschbacher started to produce Stelae, a series of colossal but slender vertical structures that were influenced by the tectonic quality of Archaic Greek masonry. This new emphasis on verticality led after 1960 to the production of lighter, more airy works. Notable examples of work from this period are Figure IV (granite, h. 3.92 m, 1967; Bregenz, Kultzent. Schendlingen); Figure I (granite, h. 3.05 m, ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 20 January 1951, in Paris.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, illustrator.

Agid began his studies in 1970-1971 by taking one course of teaching and research on the environment. He studied architecture between 1971 and 1976, before registering in fine arts at the Université de Paris VIII....

Article

Christine Mullen Kreamer

(b Jan 25, 1930; d Lomé, Jan 4, 2010).

Togolese painter, sculptor, engraver, stained glass designer, potter and textile designer. Beginning in 1946, he received his secondary education in Dakar, where he also worked in an architecture firm. He travelled to France and received his diplôme supérieur from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. A versatile artist, Ahyi is best known for his murals and for monumental stone, marble and cement public sculptures. His work reflects the fusion of his Togolese roots, European training and an international outlook, and he counts among his influences Moore, Braque, Modigliani, Tamayo, Siqueiros and Tall. His work combines ancient and modern themes and materials, maternity being a prominent topic. The messages of his larger, public pieces operate on a broad level to appeal to the general populace, while smaller works often reflect his private engagement with challenges confronting the human condition. His compositions are both abstract and figurative and evoke the heroism and hope of the two world wars, Togo's colonial period and the struggle for independence from France, as well as the political efforts of the peoples of Vietnam, South Africa and Palestine. Ahyi has won numerous international prizes, including the prize of the city of Lyon (...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1966, in New York.

Sculptor, painter, installation artist. Murals.

Ricci Albenda studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, including courses in architecture, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1988. His interest in architecture (as well as in graphic design and physics) figures prominently in his installation art, in which he creates environments which challenge the viewer's spatial perceptions. He uses such materials as fibreglass, wallboard, aluminium and acrylic paint. In his exhibition ...

Article

German, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Hamburg.

Born 1954.

Sculptor.

Jürgen Albrecht has had solo shows in Germany and France.

His minimalist-shape structures reveal an architectural space delineated by light and shadow. These luminous 'boxes' invite meditation.

Paris (FNAC)

Barak, Ami...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1939, in Los Angeles.

Sculptor, painter, collage artist.

Minimal Art, Finish Fetish, Light and Space.

Peter Alexander studied at the University of Pennsylvania from 1957 to 1962, the Architectural Association of London from 1960 to 1962, and the University of California ...

Article

Spanish, 20th century, male.

Born in Alicante.

Sculptor.

Francisco Almansa was educated at the school of architecture in Barcelona and then at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. He made sculptures in steel, bronze and ceramics for parks in Barcelona, Brussels and Monte Carlo. His sculptures are made up of components with geometric cut-outs, linked together....

Article

Venezuelan, 20th century, male.

Born 1935, in Santo Domingo.

Environmental artist, sculptor.

Domingo Alvarez was an architect and his sculptural work was limited to the creation of practical environments, a form of plastic expression that was characteristic of the 1960s and 1970s.

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 27 January 1922, in Aix-en-Provence; died October 1995.

Sculptor, ceramicist. Architectural integration, monuments.

Jean Amado studied drawing and painting from 1940-1941. He then joined the Resistance against the German occupation until 1944 - first in Aix, then in the department of Drôme. In ...

Article

(b Chicago, June 5, 1947).

American performance artist, sculptor, draughtsman, and writer. She completed her BA in art history at Barnard College, New York, in 1969 and had her first one-woman show there in 1970, exhibiting sculptures and drawings among other works. She then trained as a sculptor at Columbia University, New York, receiving her MFA in 1972. Much of her work has built on her childhood instruction as a classical violinist, and she achieved popular notoriety in 1981 when her song ‘O Superman’ became a popular hit in England. Her first performance piece, Automotive, took place in 1972 at Town Green in Rochester, VT, and involved a concert of car horns. In 1974 she staged another music-based performance entitled Duets on Ice in which she appeared at four different locations on New York sidewalks wearing a pair of ice skates with their blades frozen in blocks of ice, and she proceeded to play one of several altered violins until the ice melted into water. In subsequent years, she has continued to work primarily as a performance artist, using projected photographs, films, texts, and music to create technologically sophisticated and elaborately staged events. Many of these performances have featured instruments of her own invention. The most famous of these was a violin with a recording head on its body and a strip of audio tape in the place of the hairs on its bow. This piece allowed her to play the human voice as an instrument by changing its speed and cadence with the movements of her arm. The most complex and spectacular of her performances, ...

Article

John E. Bowlt

(Andreyevich)

(b Moscow, Oct 14, 1873; d Moscow, Dec 24, 1932).

Russian sculptor, graphic artist and stage designer. He trained at the Stroganov School in Moscow (1883–91) before entering the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he studied under the sculptor Sergey Volnukhin (1859–1921). He graduated in 1900 before joining the Wanderers in 1902.

Andreyev was well aware of contemporary European trends in sculpture, especially the work of Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and Auguste Rodin, which he saw during a stay in Paris in 1900. However, he remained strongly attached to the 19th-century academic tradition, an allegiance that perhaps facilitated his acceptance of many official commissions both before and after the October Revolution of 1917. For example, he was responsible for the figure and pedestal of the monument to Nikolay Gogol’ on the Boulevard Ring in Moscow (1909; now at Suvorovsky Boulevard, 7) and for the bronze and granite monument to Aleksandr Ostrovsky (1929) in front of the Maly Theatre, Moscow. Andreyev was a principal contributor to Lenin’s Monumental Propaganda Plan from ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1953, in Paris.

Sculptor, draughtsman.

Symbolism.

Jean Anguera is the grandson of the sculptor Pablo Gargallo. He graduated in architecture in 1978 (UP2) in Paris. He also attended lectures by César Baldaccini at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris (...

Article

R. Ya. Abolina

(Konstantinovich)

(b Moscow, Oct 2, 1917; d May 17, 1997).

Russian sculptor. He studied (1935–41) at the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), working under Aleksandr Matveyev, from whom he gained an unbiased attitude to nature and a well thought-out pictorial system to interpret it. He fought at the front during World War II and graduated from the Institute only in 1947, with his diploma work The Soldier–Victor (St Petersburg, Acad. A., Mus.), at the heart of which lay his impressions of the front. In 1949 he won the competition for a monument to Pushkin in Leningrad. Work on the realization of the monument overflowed into a series of portrait sculptures of Pushkin, both monumental and small-scale, in which the poet is represented at different ages and in a variety of emotional states, but always agitated and inspired (statue, 1952, Moscow U.; portrait bust, 1955, St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). These culminated in the monument, executed in a severe classical style, which was erected in ...

Article

Kenneth W. Prescott

(b Erie, PA, May 23, 1930).

American painter, printmaker and sculptor. He trained at the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, OH (1948–53), and under Albers family, §1 at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture in New Haven, CT (1953–5). In his paintings of the late 1940s and early 1950s he depicted everyday city life, as in The Bridge (1950; artist’s priv. col., see Lunde, pl. 66). In 1957 he moved to New York, where from 1957 to 1958 he worked as a conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and from 1959 to 1961 as a silver designer for Tiffany and Co. During this period he began to produce abstract paintings, using either organic or geometric repeated forms, as in Winter Recipe (1958; New York, Mr and Mrs David Evins priv. col., see Lunde, pl. 100). These led in the early 1960s to asymmetric and imperfectly geometric works, such as ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Karachi, 1935).

Pakistani conceptual artist, sculptor, painter, writer and curator, active in England. He graduated in civil engineering from the University of Karachi in 1962 and moved to London in 1964. He began working as an artist without any formal training, producing sculptures influenced by Minimalism and by his engineering experience; the four-part Boo (1969; Liverpool, Walker A. G.), with its cage-like compartments, recalls in particular the work of Sol LeWitt. In 1972, appalled by the institutionalized racism that he found to be endemic in Britain, he became interested in radical politics and joined the Black Panther movement. Six years later he founded and began editing the journal Black Phoenix, which, in 1989, was transformed into Third Text, one of the most important journals dealing with art, the third world, post-colonialism and ethnicity. He continued to contribute to and edit Third Text, and was one of the pivotal figures in establishing a black voice in the British arts through his activities as a publisher, writer and artist. His performance ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1903, in Toulouse; died December 1969, in Paris.

Sculptor, decorative designer. Busts.

After an impressive career as an architect and decorator, André Arbus began working as a sculptor. He received numerous commissions for commemorative monuments, busts and torsos. He was selected for the Venice Biennale of ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 1941, in Aricò.

Sculptor, painter, glassmaker. Religious subjects, figures, animals.

Gianni Aricò received a diploma in architecture from Venice University in 1971. In 1974 he set up his sculpture studio in the de-consecrated church of S Andrea della Zirada in Venice....

Article

Iranian, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA since 1960.

Born 1939, in Tehran.

Sculptor. Architectural installations.

New Image (related to).

Siah Armajani trained as an architect while studying the philosophy of mathematics. He moved to Minnesota.

Architecture constitutes his main source of inspiration and he has brought together all his works in a ...