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Article

Croat, 20th century, male.

Born 1890, in Jastrebarsko.

Painter, art critic.

Ljubo Babic studied in Zagreb, Munich and Paris. His painting evolved from the 1920s Yugoslavian Neo-Realism to a style of Expressionism depicting simplified forms in vivid colours. He was also known as an art critic....

Article

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

(b Karlsruhe, April 12, 1883; d Darmstadt, Feb 20, 1959).

German architect and writer. Bartning studied at the Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe and at the Technische Hochschule and the University in Berlin. In 1905 he established a practice in Berlin. By 1918 he had received c. 50 commissions, but he only began to publish his work after World War I. The upheavals of the period prompted him to propose the spatial and stylistic reorganization of German Protestant church building as a means of restoring social harmony. His book, On New Church Buildings, appeared in 1919 and spurred a revolution in German sacred architecture. During the 1920s Bartning joined the Novembergruppe, the Arbeitsrat für Kunst, and Der Ring, the principal German avant-garde artistic and architectural groups. His most interesting contribution to the brief period of German Expressionism was the Sternkirche project (1922). The centralized church is surmounted by a roof of layered concrete shells that are supported by a thicket of columns, intended as a reinterpretation of Gothic construction....

Article

Lenka Bydžovská

(b Velké Lišice, nr Chlumec nad Cidlinou, Jan 22, 1883; d Prague, March 27, 1979).

Czech painter, writer and theorist. In 1902–4 he studied at the Prague School of Applied Art and in 1904–7 at the Academy of Fine Arts. After visiting Dresden, Berlin, Munich and Paris, he returned to Prague and joined Eight, the, which had been set up by his former fellow students; he exhibited at the group’s second show in 1908. His early work was influenced by the ideas of Bohumil Kubišta, with whom he shared a workshop. Although basically an uncomplicated, sensual painter, he attempted to keep well informed about contemporary artistic trends. In 1910–14 he became a fervent devotee of Cubism and, together with Emil Filla, adhered faithfully to the style of Picasso and Braque. He was one of the founders (1911) of the Group of Plastic Artists and contributed theoretical articles to its journal, Umělecký měsíčník. No consistent reconstruction of his paintings before World War I can be made because most of his Cubist works were later destroyed. His process of crystallization in relation to the painting of space culminated in ...

Article

Pieter Singelenberg

(b Amsterdam, Feb 21, 1856; d The Hague, Aug 12, 1934).

Dutch architect, urban planner, designer and writer. He abandoned early his intention to become a painter and instead trained in architecture at the Bauschule of the Eidgenössiche Polytechnikum (now Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) in Zurich under Gottfried Semper’s followers. Semper was a major influence on Berlage, especially for Berlage’s emphatic use of a variety of materials and an acute attention to construction. The other major influence was the work of Viollet-le-Duc. After his training Berlage visited Germany and Italy from 1878 to 1881, returning to Amsterdam to become an associate of the classicist architect and businessman Theodorus Sanders, who very soon handed over to him the task of designing. The shop and office-block for Focke & Meltzer (1884–5), Kalverstraat, Amsterdam, was critically acclaimed for its correct application of the Venetian Renaissance style favoured by Semper and for the grandeur of its shopping area, with its unusually large windows. Berlage voiced doubts in ...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1896, in Termonde; died 1965, in Antwerp.

Painter, poet.

Dadaism.

Primarily an Expressionist poet, Gaston Burssens wrote several collections of poems. His painting was Expressionist at the outset, later developing into Dadaistic and Surrealist figuration.

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Hronov, March 23, 1887; d Bergen-Belsen, April 1945).

Czech painter, printmaker and writer. He studied weaving (1901–3) in Vrchlabí and then from 1904 to 1910 decorative painting at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, where he was influenced by the highly decorative art of the Secession. During this period he wrote stories with his brother, the novelist Karel Čapek (1890–1938). In 1910 they went to Paris for nearly a year, where Josef Čapek studied painting at the Académie Colarossi and became a friend of Apollinaire. In 1911 he and his brother co-founded the Cubist-orientated Group of Plastic Artists. Čapek attempted to modify Cubism by introducing elements of Expressionism and Symbolism. His efforts dumbfounded some members of the group, and in 1912 he and various of his friends parted company with it. From 1915 he began to achieve a synthesis of Cubism, Neo-classicism and a personal symbolism (e.g. the Man in the Hat, 1915...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Kraków, June 13, 1884; d Barvish, nr Moscow, Aug 20, 1944).

Polish painter, Theoretician, philosopher and mathematician. He had little artistic training, spending half a year at the studio of Józef Mehoffer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (1903–4) and studying drawing in Paris in 1913–14. He began exhibiting in 1917, but only in Poland. From 1906 he taught mathematics, first at a secondary school, then at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and from 1930 as Professor of Mathematical Logic at Jan Kazimierz University in Lwow (now Lviv, Ukraine). In 1941 while fleeing from the Germans he stayed in Tbilisi and then Moscow, where he associated with the Polish communist authorities.

In his youth Chwistek had links with the artistic circle in Zakopane and was a friend of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz. From the moment of his first exhibition he was committed to the Formist movement (see Formists) and became its leading theoretician, producing his article ‘Wielość rzeczywistości w sztuce’ (‘Plurality of reality in art’) in ...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Przyszów, Dec 28, 1880; d Kraków, May 6, 1945).

Polish painter, critic and poet. In 1902–7 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków in the painting studios of Józef Mehoffer and Leon Wyczółkowski. From 1908 he travelled frequently to the West, particularly to Paris, acquainting himself with the latest artistic trends. He began exhibiting in 1906, often abroad (including at the Salon des Indépendants, Paris). During his first visit to France he discovered the work of Cézanne, and he started using more vivid colours (e.g. Salome, 1909; Kraków, N. Mus.). He also discovered El Greco, whose work he admired until his death.

From World War I onward Czyżewski was the moving spirit behind modern art in Poland. In 1917, with the brothers Zbigniew Pronaszko and Andrzej Pronaszko (1888–1961), he organized in Kraków the first exhibition of the Polish Expressionists (later the Formists) and showed multi-planar polychrome compositions (untraced). Until the break-up of the Formists in ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Chropyně, Moravia [now Czech Republic], April 4, 1882; d Prague, Oct 6, 1953).

Czech painter, printmaker, sculptor, writer and collector. After a short period at a business school and in an insurance office in Brno, he became a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1903). In 1904 he won the Academy’s first prize. At the end of the year he set out on a lengthy journey to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy. He became absorbed in the Old Masters, especially Rembrandt. His own style passed from Post-Impressionism to a more expressive dominance of colour. In 1907 he took part in the first exhibition of The Eight (see Eight, the) with a programme painting, the Reader of Dostoyevsky (Prague, N.G., Trade Fair Pal.), partly influenced by the Munch exhibition in Prague in 1905. At the same time the picture is a very personal manifesto reflecting the Angst and scepticism of his generation. At the second exhibition of The Eight in ...

Article

Claudia Büttner

(b Aachen, Feb 22, 1914).

German painter, photographer, film maker, draughtsman, printmaker, writer and teacher. From 1932 to 1933 he attended the Webe- und Kunstgewerbeschule in Aachen. Inspired by Picasso, Gris, Klee and the Expressionists, Götz reduced the figures in his painting to minimal linear outlines from 1933, as a result of which he was prohibited from painting and exhibiting from 1935 to 1936. During his military service from 1936 to 1938 he experimented with spray painting, overpainted photograms (of his wife), photograms (produced by laying objects on photographic paper exposed to light) and abstract cine-films. In 1938 he settled in Wurzen, Saxony, and from 1938 to 1939 attended the Kunstakademie in Dresden where he began to concentrate on abstract works, using a mixture of organic and geometric elements. In 1940 he moved to Dresden, where his friends included Will Grohmann and Otto Dix. He served in the German army in Norway from 1941 to 1945...

Article

(b Amsterdam, Dec 4, 1868; d Bloemendaal, Dec 31, 1938).

Dutch painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer and stained-glass artist. He trained at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (1886–90), under the directorship of August Allebé. Having initially painted and drawn Impressionistic landscapes, he started working in the ’t Gooi region in 1892, where, influenced by Vincent van Gogh and Jan Toorop, he made a number of Symbolist drawings and lithographs. In 1896 he married the Dutch writer Henriette van der Schalk. They both devoted themselves to the recently founded Sociaal Democratische Arbeiders Partij. In the years up to c. 1900 Holst produced among other things a series of lithographs of political cartoons with socialist content, as well as serene landscapes and paintings of girls from the village of Huizen. His allegorical murals (1902; in situ), on topics such as ‘Industry’ or ‘Commerce’, in the new Koopmansbeurs in Amsterdam by H. P. Berlage (1876–1903), marked an important point in his career as his first opportunity to construct a monumental piece of work. Partly inspired by the murals in the town hall at ’s Hertogenbosch by Antoon Derkinderen, he developed a tight, stylized type of design, which he believed to be ideal for visually representing idealistic and exalted thoughts. In his murals (...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Prague, March 12, 1882; d Prague, Aug 1, 1956).

Czech architect, designer, theorist and teacher. He graduated in architecture from the Czech Technical University, Prague, where he studied under Josef Schulz and Josef Zítek, and from 1906 to 1907 he was a student of Otto Wagner at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna. In 1908 he worked in Jan Kotěra’s studio in Prague. His early work was influenced by the modernism of Wagner and Kotěra, but he perceived a danger of uniformity in a purely rationalist approach to architecture. In 1911, together with Josef Chochol, Josef Gočár, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964), Emil Filla, Václav Špála, Antonín Procházka, Otto Gutfreund and others, he founded the Group of Fine Artists, which sought a more artistic approach to architecture, and in 1912 he and Gočár founded the Prague Art Workshops for the design of arts, crafts and furniture. Within the Group of Fine Artists, Janák developed the principles of Czech Cubism...

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

Francis Summers

(b St. Helen’s, 12 Jan, 1948).

English painter and writer. She studied at Maidstone College of Art from 1968 until 1971 and then moved to London, studying at the Royal College of Art until 1973. Having worked in an Expressionist mode for some years, by the early 1990s Key was making more minimal abstract paintings. Her Baby: Face, Warm (1991; see 1993 exh. cat.) consists of just two colours, pink and yellow, and has an associative sense of small affectionate gestures and feelings. By contrast BOO and OO (both 1996; see Lomax, 1996) demonstrated a shifting of focus. In these works Key produced paintings that represent a playful breaking down of systems, the letters B O O and O O painted as both letters and abstract images, creating a visual relationship between sense, non-sense and sensation. 3 + 8 = 11, 6 + 5 = 11 (1999; see 1999 exh. cat., pp. 78–9) shows her interest in systems of numeracy as well as language, a four-panelled work that is at once an abstract painting and a counting machine. Key is also a writer, having published essays on such artists as Lucia Nogueira, Kiki Smith and Susan Solano. She has also curated exhibitions, such as ‘Craft’ which was held at Richard Salmon Gallery, London, and Kettles Yard, Cambridge in ...

Article

Ann Temkin

(b Münchenbuchsee, nr Berne, Dec 18, 1879; d Muralto, nr Locarno, June 29, 1940).

Swiss painter, draughtsman, printmaker, teacher, and writer. Klee’s work forms a major contribution to the history of 20th-century art. He is associated most commonly with the Bauhaus school in Weimar and Dessau. He is regarded as a major theoretician among modern artists and as a master of humour and mystery. In much of his work, he aspired to achieve a naive and untutored quality, but his art is also among the most cerebral of any of the 20th century (e.g. Disturbance, 1934; Turin, Gal. A. Mod.). Klee’s wide-ranging intellectual curiosity is evident in an art profoundly informed by structures and themes drawn from music, nature, and poetry.

Klee was brought up in Berne, where his father was a music teacher. As a boy, he displayed great talent both as a violinist and as a draughtsman. On leaving school he decided to study art in Munich, first with ...

Article

Edwin Lachnit

(b Pöchlarn, Lower Austria, March 1, 1886; d Montreux, Feb 22, 1980).

Austrian painter, printmaker and writer. He revolutionized the art of the turn of the century, adopting a radical approach to art, which was for him essential to the human condition and politically engaged. Kokoschka promoted a new visual effect in painting, related to making visible the immaterial forces active behind the external appearance of things, in which the object was a living, moving substance that revealed its inner essence to the eye. This applied to the portraits as well as to the townscapes (see Self-portrait, 1913). The art-historical basis for his work lies in the painting tradition of Austrian late Baroque and especially in the colourfully expressive visions of Franz Anton Maulbertsch. As was true of many artists of his generation, Kokoschka’s creative urge was also expressed in literature and showed a clear inclination towards music and theatre.

Article

Christoph Brockhaus

(Leopold Isidor)

(b Leitmeritz, northern Bohemia [now Litoměřice, Czech Republic], April 10, 1877; d Schloss Zwickledt, nr Wernstein, Aug 20, 1959).

Austrian draughtsman, illustrator, painter and writer. In 1892 he was apprenticed in Klagenfurt to the landscape photographer Alois Beer. Though learning very little, he remained there until 1896, when he attempted to commit suicide as a result of his unstable disposition. A brief period in the Austrian army in 1897 led to a nervous collapse, after which he was allowed to study art. In 1898 he moved to Munich, where he studied first at the private school run by the German painter Ludwig Schmidt-Reutte (1863–1909) and then briefly at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in the drawing class of Nikolaus Gysis in 1899. In Munich he first saw the graphic work of James Ensor, Goya, Max Klinger, Edvard Munch, Odilon Redon and Félicien Rops, finding Klinger’s work closest to his own aesthetic. He also read Arthur Schopenhauer’s pessimistic philosophy, which he found attractive, and befriended many artists, including the Elf Scharfrichter circle around Frank Wedekind. His work of the period largely consisted of ink and wash drawings modelled on Goya’s and Klinger’s aquatint technique. By their inclusion of fantastic monsters and deformed or maimed humans, these drawings revealed Kubin’s abiding interest in the macabre. Thematically they were related to Symbolism, as shown by the ink drawing ...

Article

Charles T. Little

(b Berlin, March 5, 1924; d London, May 19, 2003).

German curator and art historian of medieval art, active also in England. Born in Berlin, Lasko arrived in London in 1937 as a refugee from Nazi Germany. His first teacher was Professor Nikolaus Pevsner at Birkbeck College at the University of London. After continuing his studies at the Courtauld Institute, Lasko was appointed in 1950 as an Assistant Keeper at the British Museum in the Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities, a post he held until 1965. This position launched his interest in metalwork and ivories, which ultimately matured into his volume for the Pelican History of Art devoted to Ars Sacra: 800–1200. This volume was enriched by his involvement in a number of the Council of Europe exhibitions: Romanesque in Barcelona, European Art around 1400 in Vienna, Byzantine Art in Athens and Charlemagne in Aachen.

In 1965, Lasko became the founding Dean of Fine Arts and Music at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. As a brilliant administrator, he secured the gift of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts designed by Norman Forster. With his long time friend, George Zarnecki, he established the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland. Possessing a ...

Article

Shulamith Behr

(Baruch)

(b Bernstadt, Prussia [now Germany], April 18, 1884; d Darmstadt, May 14, 1966).

German painter, draughtsman, graphic artist, writer and teacher. He was born into a middle-class Jewish family during the late Wilhelmine period, and his parents wanted him to pursue a profession more practical than an artistic one. Nonetheless, while apprenticed to a bricklayer in 1901, Meidner produced highly accomplished pen-and-ink drawings. Their imagery reveals his attempts to align his Jewish heritage with that of modern-day Christianity and Socialism, an intellectual preoccupation that was to remain consistent throughout his career (e.g. Ibn Esra, 1901; Darmstadt, Stadtmus. & Städt. Kstsamml.). In 1903 he studied at the Königliche Akademie in Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland) and in 1905 moved to Berlin where, to earn a living, he designed advertisements for furriers. A stipend from an aunt enabled him to visit Paris between 1905 and 1907. There he met Modigliani, briefly attended the Académie Julian and Académie Cormon and generally broadened his experience of city life. Nonetheless, his correspondence at that time reveals his preference for Berlin, the ‘struggling, earnest burgeoning city…the world’s intellectual and moral capital’ (letter to Franz Landsberger, ...

Article

Ita Heinze-Greenberg

(b Allenstein [now Olsztyn, Poland], March 21, 1887; d San Francisco, Sept 15, 1953).

German architect, teacher, and writer, active also in England, Palestine, and the USA. Mendelsohn was one of the most influential exponents of architectural Expressionism, and his sketches of fluid organic building forms and his Einstein Tower, Potsdam, are among the best-known products of the movement. Although his later work abandoned three-dimensional forms in favour of more conventional, geometric designs, these often incorporated curvilinear plans and retained an innovative dynamism.

Mendelsohn grew up as one of six children of a Jewish business family in the small East Prussian town of Allenstein. Following his father’s wishes, in 1907 he began to study economics at the University of Munich but in 1908 followed his own inclinations and enrolled as an architecture student at the Technische Hochschule, Berlin. In 1910 he returned to Munich to complete his architectural studies under Theodor Fischer, one of the most progressive teachers at the Technische Hochschule, and as a student he met several Expressionist artists, including Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Vasily Kandinsky, and Hugo Ball. After graduating in ...