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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

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

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

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

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

David Anfam

(b New York, Jan 29, 1905; d New York, July 4, 1970).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, and writer. He was a major exponent of Abstract Expressionism whose reductive idiom employing large chromatic expanses exerted a considerable impact on abstract art after World War II. His writings and pronouncements also contributed to the accompanying theoretical debates during and after the 1960s about meaning in non-figurative expression.

After studies at the Art Students League, New York, in 1922 and 1929 Newman destroyed most of his basically realistic initial output and stopped painting by about 1939–40. He explained that the world historical crisis then had rendered traditional subject-matter and styles invalid, necessitating the search for a new, awe-inspiring content appropriate to the moment. A series of essays and catalogue introductions throughout the 1940s reiterated this aesthetic quest. Their polemical stance focused upon the need for a break with outworn European traditions (including such native continuations as American Scene painting), chaos as a wellspring of human creativity, and the irrelevance of beauty in times of terror. Instead, he resurrected the venerable concept of the Sublime for a metaphysical ‘art which through symbols will catch the basic truth of life which is its sense of tragedy’ (‘The Plasmic Image’, unpublished essay, ...

Article

Patrick Werkner

(Franz Walter)

(b Vienna, Sept 13, 1874; d Los Angeles, July 13, 1951).

Austrian composer, painter and writer. He became an American citizen in 1941. Schoenberg took painting lessons from c. 1906 from Richard Gerstl, who long after his death was recognized as one of the leading exponents of Austrian Expressionism. For personal reasons involving Gerstl’s affair with his first wife, Schoenberg later in general denied Gerstl’s influence, which in any case was not lasting; Schoenberg remained an amateur and his painting was secondary to his life’s work as a composer and writer of theoretical musical texts, for which he is much better known. He executed approximately 60 paintings and 200 drawings: only twelve of the extant paintings are dated, eleven 1910 and one 1912; most of this output dates from before the end of 1912, during a period of personal and professional difficulty. Schoenberg’s paintings are generally small in size and fall into two groups: a series of technically inept portraits and occasional landscapes on the one hand, and highly expressive visionary works on the other....

Article

Gisèle Ollinger-Zinque

(b Brussels, April 28, 1879; d Brussels, Jan 10, 1957).

Belgian painter, printmaker and writer. He learned to draw in his father’s lithography studio. In 1900 Tytgat entered the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and studied under Constant Montald. His first paintings were influenced by Symbolism and in particular the work of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, whom he admired. He met Rik Wouters in 1907, and the two became friends. World War I drove him into exile, and he lived as a refugee in England until 1920. There, he not only painted but also made prints, including woodcuts and linocuts with the help of his wife, Maria. She was also his model for the numerous canvases painted in London, for example The Pose (1918; Brussels, Mus. A. Mod.). His early work was full of sensitivity, using bright tones that accentuated delicate greys in an impressionistic manner. Towards 1925 Tytgat became aware of Expressionism. His plasticity grew stronger, and his colours darker, and his desire for simplification came to dominate the forms (e.g. ...

Article

(b Warsaw, Feb 24, 1885; d Jeziory, Polesie, Sept 17, 1939).

Polish writer, art theorist, painter and photographer . He was the son of the architect, painter and critic Stanisław Witkiewicz (1851–1915), creator of the ‘Zakopane style’ ( see Poland, Republic of §II 3. ). He spent his childhood in Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains and was educated at his family home, a place frequented by artists and intellectuals, and also through his many travels to Eastern and Western Europe. From his wide acquaintance with contemporary art, he was particularly impressed by the paintings of Arnold Böcklin. Witkiewicz’s often interrupted studies (1904–10) under Józef Mehoffer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków had less influence than his lessons in Zakopane and Brittany with Władysław Slewiński, who introduced him to the principles of Gauguin’s Synthetism. Witkiewicz abandoned the naturalism of his first landscapes, executed under the influence of his father, rejected linear perspective and modelling and began to use flat, well-contoured forms and vivid colours, as in ...