Finnish architect and designer, active also in America. His success as an architect lay in the individual nature of his buildings, which were always designed with their surrounding environment in mind and with great attention to their practical demands. He never used forms that were merely aesthetic or conditioned by technical factors but looked to the more permanent models of nature and natural forms. He was not anti-technology but believed that technology could be humanized to become the servant of human beings and the promoter of cultural values. One of his important maxims was that architects have an absolutely clear mission: to humanize mechanical forms....
Kathryn O'Rourke and Ramón Vargas
(b Mexico City, Mar 29, 1915; d Mexico City, May 25, 1959).
Mexican architect, theorist, and writer, of Japanese descent. The son of a Japanese ambassador in Mexico, he studied philosophy, espousing neo-Kantianism and becoming politically a socialist. He became a supporter of Functionalism, with its emphasis on the social applications of architecture, and was a founder, with Enrique Yañez, of the Unión de Arquitectos Socialistas (1938), helping to draw up a socialist theory of architecture. He was one of the most active participants in the Unión and attempted to put his socialist theory into practice on two unexecuted projects in the same year: the building for the Confederación de Trabajadores de México and the Ciudad Obrera de México, both with Enrique Guerrero and Raúl Cacho. Later, when Mexico opted for a developmental policy, Arai became a standard-bearer for nationalism in architecture. He re-evaluated traditional building materials, such as tree trunks, bamboo, palm leaves, and lianas, using them in a plan for a country house that was adapted to the warm, damp climate of the Papaloapan region. The building of the Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, gave him his greatest architectural opportunity when he designed the Frontones (...
Brazilian painter. In the first half of the 1940s, while still in his native state of Ceará, he was very active in the introduction of modernist ideas. In 1945 he moved to Rio de Janeiro and in 1946 to Paris, where he spent most of the rest of his life. In Paris, where he studied at the Ecole Supérieure de Beaux-Arts and at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, he first painted landscapes and portraits (e.g. ...
Mexican architect. As no architectural course was offered in Guadalajara, he entered the city’s Escuela Libre de Ingenieros, graduating in 1924. He then undertook complementary studies to qualify as an architect, but these were cut short by a trip to Europe (1925–6), which included a visit to southern Spain; here he was able to study Spain’s Moorish architectural heritage and to become familiar with the theories of the French writer, painter and landscape architect Ferdinand Bac (...
After the closure in 1933 of the
American architect. Although Becket was based in the Los Angeles area, he also had an international reputation. His work was in the modernist mode and he was important in popularizing the style in public buildings throughout Southern California and elsewhere.
Becket studied architecture at the University of Washington (...
American, 20th century, female.
Born 14 June 1904, in New York City; died 27 August 1971, in Darien, Connecticut.
Photographer, photojournalist. Social documentary, advertisements, landscapes, genre scenes.
Margaret Bourke-White received her first training in photography at the Clarence White School of Photography in 1922, while a student at Columbia University. Bourke-White was intrigued by the American industrial landscape, and her first important industrial series featured the Otis Steel Mills near Cleveland. At this time Bourke-White developed her hallmark style, using the cinema trick of magnesium flares to flood the dark factory floor with bright light. Her commercial images similarly used multiple light sources and crisp focus to highlight repeated forms and shapes....
American, 20th century, male.
Born 10 July 1868, in Boston; died 1962, in New Jersey.
Draughtsman, illustrator, poster artist. Toys.
Will Bradley was the son of a caricaturist who worked on the Daily Item, a newspaper published in Lynn, Massachusetts. At the age of 12, he became apprentice to a printer and then began drawing and illustrating, making this his full-time occupation ...
Felipe Chaimovich and Roberto Conduru
Brazilian art after 1980 developed a growing dialogue with international contemporary art, sometimes challenging the latter’s hegemony. The revision of constructive modernism and its criticism in Brazilian art since the 1960s were at stake when young artists faced the globalization of the art world during the 1990s. During the 2000s, a more political concern reinforced collective alliances.
In the early 1980s, Brazil experienced the euphoria of the waning moments of dictatorship, which lasted from 1964 to 1985, and the beginning of a new democratic regime. Dictatorship had compromised the collective project of the avant-garde of the 1960s, as advocated by Hélio Oiticica in the catalog text of the group exhibition Nova Objetividade Brasileira (Brazilian New Objectivity) at the Museu de Arte Moderna of Rio de Janeiro in 1967. Brazilian New Objectivity aimed at a transformation of the national culture by means of experimental art, but dictatorship had prohibited group meetings since ...
Brazilian, 20th century, male.
Active also active in France.
Born 22 February 1894, in São Paulo; died 17 December 1955, in São Paulo.
Sculptor. Figures. Busts, groups, monuments.
Brecheret lived in Europe and at first in Rome, where he studied sculpture under the supervision of the sculptor Arturo Dazzi between ...
American furniture designer and architect of Hungarian birth. In 1920 he took up a scholarship at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, but he left almost immediately to find a job in an architect’s office. A few weeks later he enrolled at the Bauhaus at Weimar on the recommendation of the Hungarian architect Fred Forbat (...
Danish, 20th century, male.
Born 1941, in Copenhagen.
Brøgger combines many different techniques, and his paintings, which reveal a highly critical attitude towards society, include elements of American Pop Art, Art Nouveau and spontaneous painting. He first exhibited at the autumn salon in Copenhagen in ...
Experimental architectural program that ran from 1945 to 1966 and involved the building of Modernist houses, largely in California. John Entenza (1903–84) hit upon the idea just after World War II of spreading the word of the Modern Movement in architecture through an actual building program. As editor of the left-leaning journal ...
Sandra L. Tatman
American architectural competition held in 1922 by the Chicago Tribune newspaper for its new corporate headquarters. The competition changed American views of European modernism and the course of American
Brazilian architect, urban planner, architectural historian, teacher and writer of French birth. Son of Brazilian parents, he moved to Brazil in 1917 and entered the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, graduating as an architect in 1923. From 1922 he worked with Fernando Valentim, adopting the style favoured by the Traditionalist movement, which took its inspiration from 18th-century Brazilian colonial architecture in an attempt to develop a national style. He designed several houses and won two important competitions, both with neo-colonial designs: the Brazilian Pavilion at the International Exhibition (...
American, 20th century, female.
Born 12 April 1883, in Portland, Oregon; died 23 June 1976 in San Francisco, California.
Photographer. Portraits, figures, nudes, still-life, landscapes.
Pictoralism, Modernism. Group f/64.
With the aim of becoming a photographer, Cunningham majored in chemistry at the University of Washington, Seattle. To pay her tuition she photographed specimens for the botany department, establishing a life-long love of floral subject matter. After completing her degree, she worked in the photography studio of Edward S. Curtis (...
Robert M. Craig
Architectural partnership formed in 1946 by Nathaniel (Cortlandt) Curtis Jr. (b Auburn, AL, Nov 29, 1917; d New Orleans, LA, June 10, 1997) and Arthur Quentin Davis (b New Orleans, LA, 1920), American architects.
Curtis and Davis was the most prominent early modern architecture and planning firm in New Orleans, designing some of that city’s most notable modernist landmarks, including the Rivergate (...
American, 20th century, male.
Born 1894, in Blue Earth (Minnesota); died 1989.
Designer, graphic artist.
Donald Deskey studied architecture at the University of California, before travelling to Paris in 1923 where he studied painting and worked as a graphic designer. In 1926 he moved to New York and started his own design firm. He created a wide variety of objects ranging from clocks to radios, furniture and machines, and his most notable commission was for the interiors of Radio City Music Hall in ...
Sidney K. Robinson
American architect. Alden B. Dow was an architect who worked in the mid-century context of Modernism, not as part of a European revolution, but as an American alternative established by
American sculptor. An important proponent of modernism in America, he began studying painting in 1914 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In New York he met the painter Arthur B. Davies, who suggested Flannagan try wood-carving. By 1927 Flannagan had abandoned both painting and wood-carving and, essentially self-taught, settled on direct carving in stone, although he did later experiment with metal casting. Flannagan preferred natural fieldstone to quarried material, favouring its rude and basic qualities. Similarly, he eschewed academic art, preferring simplified and abstracted forms. He chiselled as little as possible from the stones that he chose, seeking solely to release in his small-scale works the pantheistic image he believed existed in every rock. Often he made only shallow incisions to delineate his generalized animal and human figures. He dealt particularly with mother and child themes, such as ...