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Article

Hans Frei

(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).

Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....

Article

Italian, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1900.

Born 12 February 1856, in Milan; died 1940, in Molsheim (Bas-Rhin), France.

Painter, sculptor, designer of ornamental architectural features, decorative artist. Portraits. Furniture.

Orientalism, Art Nouveau.

Carlo Bugatti studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, then at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was originally interested in architecture, producing work that was heavily influenced by the strong styles of ancient Egypt and Islam. He later decided to devote himself to designing furniture and ornamentation. His talent was soon recognised and he was awarded many distinctions at exhibitions in London, Turin and at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. He sold his company in Milan and settled in Paris, then in 1910 in Compiègne. At the end of his life, beset by tragedies, including the suicide of his son Rembrandt in 1916, he went to live with his other son, Ettore, who had the car factory at Molsheim. Giovanni, Ettore's son and heir, was killed when testing a car in 1939....

Article

Swiss, 20th century, male.

Active from 1925 active in France.

Born 1902, in Stampa; died 15 July 1985, in Paris.

Sculptor, designer of ornamental architectural features. Bestiaries, birds, cats. Furniture.

Diego Giacometti was the younger brother of Alberto Giacometti and went to live with him in Paris in ...

Article

Gjergj Frashëri

[Nikollë]

(b Shkodër, Aug 15, 1860; d Shkodër, Dec 12, 1939).

Albanian painter, architect, sculptor and photographer. His grandfather Andrea Idromeno was a painter and a doctor of theology; his father, Arsen Idromeno, was a furniture designer and painter. Kol Idromeno took private lessons in painting (1871–5) at the studio of the photographer and painter Pietro Marubi (1834–1903). In 1875 he won a competition and began studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice. However, due to arguments with his teacher, he abandoned the school and continued his studies in one of the large studios in Venice (1876–8).

At first Idromeno produced works with both religious and secular themes that were noted for their highly realistic rendering of the human form (e.g. St Mary Magdalene, oil on canvas, 1877; Shkodër Mus.). Many of his biblical works were executed in churches within the Shkodër district, with perhaps his best work being the frescoes of the Orthodox Church in Shkodër, especially the fragment depicting ...

Article

German, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 30 September 1864, in Lörrach; died 12 December 1952, in Lörrach.

Painter, architect, draughtsman, sculptor, potter. Designs (fabrics/furniture/ceramics).

Max Laeuger began training as a painter in 1881 at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Karlsruhe under Franz Sales Mayer, before finishing his studies at the Académie Julian, Paris, from ...

Article

Geoffrey R. Edwards

(b Melbourne, Feb 9, 1929; d New York, April 19, 2005).

Australian sculptor and designer, active in the USA. He studied aeronautical engineering and later industrial design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, but left without finishing the course. From 1949 to 1953 he worked as an industrial designer, specializing in furniture. Marketed widely in Australia during these years, his furniture was distinguished by its simplicity. It was constructed with plain, undisguised materials such as steel rods, timber laminates, and cord; his tables, chairs, and shelving systems exercised a delight in linear and open structure that conveyed an impression of virtual weightlessness.

In his free time Meadmore began to produce sculptures, carving wooden shapes whose forms were similar to those of tensioned strings, and from 1950 to 1953 experimenting with mobiles. After extensive travel in 1953 in Europe, where he was particularly impressed by modern sculptures that he saw in Belgium, he produced his first large abstract sculptures in welded steel. Some of these, for example ...

Article

Elisabeth Lebovici

(b Béziers, Hérault, Dec 25, 1924).

French painter and sculptor. He studied drawing and painting in Pau from 1939 to 1945 while qualifying as an engineer there. From 1945 to 1955 he worked as an aeronautics designer and draughtsman within the firm Turboméca before deciding to devote himself full-time to painting, taking as his starting-point Art informel and particularly the work of Jean Dubuffet. He wrote, in a sort of graffiti, directly on to the substances from which he made his pictures, favouring materials that offered resistance and that could be built up and modelled, such as crushed flint mixed with a synthetic resin and coloured with powdered pigments. Through such methods an affinity was suggested with ancient palimpsests covered in successive layers of writing.

Noël lived in New York from 1969 to 1981 and under the influence of Minimalism subjected his work to a more formal structure. His signs lost their resemblance to mysterious writing, instead becoming enmeshed in patterns of latticework, grids and patchworks that defined the painted surface. On his return to France he again took up the large scale and themes of murals that he had painted on commission before moving to New York, for example at the Lycée du Grand Lac in Var, Alpes Maritimes, in ...

Article

German, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 20 June 1868, in Munich; died 15 April 1957, in Munich.

Painter, sculptor, decorative designer, designer, architect, interior designer. Genre scenes. Furniture, fabrics, ceramic, glassware, carpets, toys.

Richard Riemerschmid trained in painting at the Kunstakademie of Munich from 1888...

Article

Susanna Temkin

(b San Rafael de Mucuchíes, nr. Mérida, May 16, 1900; d San Rafael de Mucuchíes, Apr 18, 1997).

Venezuelan sculptor, furniture designer, weaver, and architect. He was self-taught as an artist. After various odd jobs including puppeteer, baker’s assistant, and clown, he learned to weave on a loom, making traditional blankets, and later hats (see Grupo Cinco 1982, 143–147). In 1935 he carved his first sculptural group representing Christ, the Virgin, and Mary Magdalene (untraced). In 1943 Sánchez moved from San Rafael to El Potrero. There, in 1946, he constructed the only loom in Venezuela with three heddles. In 1952 he began the construction of the Complejo de El Tisure, located in an immense isolated valley near Mérida. His major life’s work, this artistic and religious center included various chapels, shrines, and sculptural ensembles conceived and hand-built by Sánchez. Driven by a seemingly atavistic religious mysticism, Sánchez’s uniquely individual artistic vision can be compared with Antoni Gaudí.

Located near the Complejo de El Tisure’s arched stone entrance, a rough-hewn small shrine adorned with sea shells and corals was created in ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 1931, in Rome.

Sculptor. Furniture.

Phases group.

Fabio de Sanctis studied architecture in Rome, qualifying in 1956. In 1963, together with Ugo Sterpini, he founded the Office Eleven ( Ufficina Undici ), a studio/workshop. In 1964, he met André Breton and the Surrealist group....

Article

Leena Ahtola-Moorhouse

(Arvi Johannes)

(b Kuopio, Sept 24, 1927; d April 27, 1994).

Finnish sculptor. He attended the Turku Art Association School of Drawing in 1947, the Central School of Industrial Design, Helsinki, in 1948–9, the architecture department of the Technical Institute, Helsinki, between 1949 and 1953, and the School of the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, from 1953 to 1956. His first large public sculpture, Winter Navigation Memorial (erected 1961; Turku, shore of River Aura), tends towards abstraction but clearly shows two men and a ship struggling against the frozen ice. Newspaper Boy (erected 1961; Kuopio) is similar in style. The abstract sculpture (1963) on the façade of the Scout Centre in Tel Aviv climbs straight and steadily up the wall and creates impenetrable shadows.

At the end of the 1960s Utriainen began a period of experimental constructivism, as can be seen in the imposing memorial to the actress Ida Aalberg (1960–72; Helsinki, Kaisaniemi Park) and the mechanically operated composition ...