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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 (...

Article

Susan Pares

[Pak Sŏ-bo]

(b1931).

Korean painter and teacher. He graduated in 1954 from the Fine Arts College, Hong’ik University, Seoul, and exhibited in Korea, East and South-east Asia, the USA, Europe and elsewhere. He is regarded as a leader of Korean modernism. Park has used a variety of techniques. Typical of his Art informel stage is Painting No. 1 (1957; oil on canvas, priv. col., see Young-na Kim, p. 177), where paint was splashed on to the canvas. In his ‘white’ paintings, thin layers of gesso were applied over a period of time, then graphite and gesso were applied alternately to build up a surface. In 1989 he began to use tak (mulberry bark paper), laid in three layers on canvas, sealed with gesso and overlaid with acrylic paint. Further sheets of paper, soaked in acrylic medium or Korean ink, were then laid, and the surface was manipulated with the fingers or an implement. In working or marking the surface Park’s intention was to help the medium to express itself by adding nothing more than a sign of his involvement, which he termed his ‘écriture’; one of his works is titled simply ...

Article

Despina Stratigakos

(b Riga, Latvia, March 12, 1901; d Washington, DC, April 19, 1978).

American architect of Latvian birth, active also in Palestine. Gidoni was a Berlin-based architect who was among those who fled Nazi persecution and helped to bring European modernism to Palestine and the USA. She attended the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg in Russia and received further training at the Berlin Technical University, but did not graduate with a degree. In 1928 she opened an office for interior design in Berlin. When Adolf Hitler seized power in 1933, her Jewish background put her at peril. Hearing that people with technical skills were needed for the construction of new cities in Palestine, she resettled in Tel Aviv, where she maintained her own architecture office from 1933 to 1938. Both her design skills and the vision of a modern architecture that she had brought with her from Berlin were in demand. Tel Aviv was not only growing rapidly, but also developing a new style....

Article

Elisabeth Vitou

(b Istanbul, Nov 21, 1900; d Antibes, Oct 29, 1970).

American architect of Armenian birth. After studying at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna, he worked for a time with Josef Hoffmann and Oskar Strnad. He went to live in Paris in 1920 and became an important colleague of Robert Mallet-Stevens. His first projects included a design for a concrete villa on pilotis, which Siegfried Giedion considered a forerunner of Le Corbusier’s Villa Laroche, and which confirmed him to be an exponent of functionalism, favouring concrete, geometric volumes and smooth walls. He gained public recognition with his designs for Sonia Delaunay’s Boutique Simultanée and the Cubist garden at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925. This led to the commission for the garden of the villa for Vicomte Charles de Noailles at Hyères. In 1926, while working on Robert Mallet-Stevens’s Rue Mallet-Stevens in Paris, he set up his own firm and worked on a variety of projects for villas and large houses in the Paris area and on the Côte d’Azur. The widely publicized villa that he built for the couturier ...

Article

Kenneth Frampton

(b Oita, July 23, 1931).

Japanese architect, teacher and theorist. One of the leading architects of his generation, he became an influential proponent of the avant-garde conceptual approach to architecture that characterized the New Wave in Japan in the 1970s and after (see Japan, §III, 5, (iii), (b)). He studied at the University of Tokyo under Kenzō Tange and after graduating (1954) he worked for Kenzō Tange & Urtec until 1963. From 1960 Isozaki began to develop his own practice, first as an architectural designer, completing the Ōita Medical Center (1960) and Ōita Prefectural Library (1966), and then as a theorist, loosely associated with Japanese Metabolism and creating such ironic projects as his ‘Ruin Future City’ and ‘Clusters in the Air’ (both 1962). His first large public commission was the Ōita branch of the Fukuoka Mutual Bank, completed in 1967. Other important public works followed in relatively rapid succession, and he quickly established his reputation with such buildings as the ...

Article

Aba Elhanani

(b Vienna, Sept 23, 1890; d Jerusalem, 1954).

Israeli architect and graphic artist of Austrian birth. He graduated from the Technische Hochschule and Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna (1912), and later worked for Friedrich Ohmann until 1914, when he joined the Austrian Army. In 1919 he participated in an Expressionists’ exhibition in Vienna, and in the early 1920s he was engaged to prepare architectural drawings for the new Parliament building in Belgrade. In 1925 he moved to Palestine and, after working for Alexander Baerwald in Haifa, started his own architectural practice in Jerusalem (1926). He participated in many art exhibitions in Palestine, later Israel, after 1928, producing work in a restrained Expressionist style; as well as charcoal and crayon landscapes of the hills surrounding Jerusalem, he also produced drawings of the faces of beggars from Jerusalem’s Old City, which show the influence of Egon Schiele and Edvard Munch. In his architectural work he was an ardent disciple of functionalism, with a preference for the geometry of cubes and prisms that was influenced by De Stijl and Purism; these he could identify with the traditional morphology of the Arab villages in Galilee that he had studied in many of his landscape drawings. His style matched perfectly the ideals of community and austerity shared by the founders of the kibbutz movement, who became his most loyal clients. For them he designed common dining halls, children’s houses and general housing. His dining hall (...

Article

Susan Pares

[Lee Kang-so; Yi Kang-so]

(b Taegu, 1943).

Korean artist. He studied at Seoul National University and Kyemyong University, Taegu, and has exhibited in Korea, Japan, the USA, Europe and elsewhere. A leading modernist and active member of the Korean Avant Garde Association, Lee played a decisive role in the first Korean contemporary art festival in 1974. He has experimented with many techniques, from painting, drawings, prints and photography to installation, performance and video art. In the mid-1980s he began to concentrate on paintings in oil, employing subdued blues and greys. On such surfaces he placed images of ducks, deer and boats, executed in brushstrokes that in their calligraphic quality acknowledge Korean traditions. His subjects are seen as symbolic of shamanist images (see Korea, §I, 5) and reveal a perceptive awareness of nature. His use of after-images, especially of ducks, hints at the shifting movement of the birds.

Flow from the Far East (exh. cat., ed. ...

Article

Malcolm Reading

(b Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec 14, 1901; d Bristol, Oct 23, 1990).

British architect, planner and critic of Georgian birth. He was born into a prosperous Georgian family: his father was an admiral, and the family enjoyed numerous vacations throughout Europe. Lubetkin was in Moscow during the revolutionary year of 1917 and enrolled in the Vkhutemas, the school of art and architecture. He was taught by leading innovators of 20th-century art, including Kasimir Malevich, Aleksandr Rodchenko and Vladimir Tatlin. In 1922 Lubetkin went to Berlin as assistant to El Lissitsky and David Shterenberg, who were preparing the first exhibition of progressive Soviet art outside the USSR at the Van Diemen Gallery. For the next two years he studied at the Textilakadamie and at the Baukunstschule, Charlottenburg, Berlin; he also worked for the architect Bruno Taut. After further study in Vienna and Warsaw, in 1924 he worked briefly for Ernst May in Frankfurt am Main. During this period he became committed to the Modernist ideals of a socially responsible architecture and the search for new forms to express this....

Article

Kenneth Frampton

(b Niigata, May 14, 1905; d Tokyo, June 26, 1986).

Japanese architect. One of the masters of Japanese architecture in the period immediately after World War II, he was particularly known for his attempt to evolve an approach that synthesized Modernism and Japanese tradition. He studied architecture at the University of Tokyo, graduating in 1928. He then served a lengthy apprenticeship, first in the studio of Le Corbusier in Paris (1928–30) and then in the office of Antonin Raymond in Tokyo (1930–35). The extent to which Maekawa was influenced by Le Corbusier is apparent in his competition entry (1931; unexecuted) for the National Museum in Tokyo. Maekawa came to the fore with his designs for a series of prefabricated timber houses that were mass-produced between 1945 and 1950 in an effort to deal with the massive housing shortages that prevailed in Japan after the war. He came to maturity with his first major work in reinforced-concrete construction, the Nihon Sōgō Bank, built in downtown Tokyo in ...

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 ...

Article

Indian, 20th century, male.

Born 1945.

Painter.

Gogi Saroj Pal is one of the generation of Indian artists whose work follows on from that of the generation that brought modernity to Indian art. Pal’s painting is zoomorphic in spirit and occasionally evocative of myth, with its representations of animals with human faces, and women with cows or birds bodies....

Article

Hiroshi Watanabe

[Masahirō]

(b Tokyo, June 22, 1941).

Japanese architect. He graduated from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music in 1965 and in that year entered the office of Arata Isozaki. He left to open his own office in Tokyo in 1969. Critical of modernist architecture, Rokkaku took a more intuitive approach to design, drawing inspiration from pre-modern rituals such as geomancy. The Zasso Forest Kindergarten (1977) in Kyoto Prefecture incorporated wind-driven sculpture by Susumu Shingu on top of each tower, creating what Rokkaku called ‘wind-games architecture’. This reflected the desire of the Basara group, of which he was a member, to use playfulness and other forms of self-expression in architecture. Other works include the Konkōkyō Hall of Worship (1980) in Fukuoka City, a cannon-shaped building for a popular religion that incorporates the symbolic geometry of the circle, and the large, ambitious Metropolitan Martial Arts Hall in Tokyo (1989).

C. Fawcett...

Article

Uriel M. Adiv

(b Jaroslaw, Poland, May 28, 1900; d Tel Aviv, July 26, 1984).

Israeli architect, urban planner and writer, of Polish birth. He settled originally in Palestine in 1920 with a group of young pioneers who were intent on reviving Jewish nationhood. He joined the kibbutz at Gan Shemuel, later taking charge of the planning and execution of the farm buildings and dwelling units. He studied architecture and building construction in Germany from 1926 to 1929 at the Bauhaus, Dessau. Under the overall leadership of Walter Gropius and from 1928 Hannes Meyer, he took the basic design course of Josef Albers, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky and the architectural course under Meyer and Hans Wittwer. In 1929 he married Gunta Stölzl, artistic director (1927–31) of the weaving workshop at the Bauhaus. In 1929–31 he directed Meyer’s office in Berlin, where he helped to execute the latter’s design for the Allgemeiner Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund school, Bernau.

Sharon returned to Palestine in 1931, strongly imbued with the Functionalist approach of the Bauhaus, and particularly of Meyer. He set up a private practice in Tel Aviv and began designing a wide variety of projects, including public buildings, cooperative housing estates, urban plans and rural ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b nr Cēsis, April 28, 1896; d Tbilisi, Georgia, July 14, 1944).

Latvian painter, printmaker, ceramicist, interior designer, tage and film set designer and theorist. He was the foremost ideologue for modernism in Latvia and was one of its greatest innovators. His militant defence of avant-garde principles befitted his experience as a soldier and as one of the artists who, after World War I, was denied a studio by the city officials and staged an armed occupation of the former premises of the Riga Art School. At the end of the war he painted in an Expressionist manner: In Church (1917; Riga, priv. col., see Suta, 1975, p. 19), for example, is an exaltation of Gothic form and primitivist rendering. Unlike his peers Jāzeps Grosvalds and Jēkabs Kazaks, he was extremely interested in Cubism and Constructivism, the theories of which informed his paintings, drawings, prints and occasional architectural projects of the 1920s. At this time he and his wife, the painter ...

Article

J. Schilt

(b Wormerveer, Feb 1, 1894; d Zandvoort, May 28, 1974).

Dutch architect. He was trained and first employed as a civil engineer in the former Dutch East Indies (Java). He was repatriated in 1926 after a serious attack of polio. A year later he decided to become a housing architect. After settling in Rotterdam, he designed plans for housing and residential areas, working variously with Johannes Hendrik van den Broek, Leendert Cornelis van der Vlugt and Ben Merkelbach. These designs aroused great interest among the architects of Nieuwe Bouwen, of which he soon became an influential representative. Through his contacts with progressive-liberal entrepreneurs, van Tijen was also able to have several unusual residential complexes realized in prefabricated units, including the block of flats Bergpolder (1934), Rotterdam, which established his reputation. Van Tijen’s unshakeable belief in an open and democratic society convinced him in the late 1930s that the rational pragmatism of Nieuwe Bouwen was not an adequate means of giving form to life in all its multiplicity. During the German occupation, therefore, he was the moving force behind a dialogue with more traditionally-minded architects. In the 1950s he agreed to major industrialization in order to alleviate housing shortage. He built many prefabricated houses, usually in residential neighbourhoods that he had laid out (Rotterdam, Delft, Vlaardingen, The Hague and Amsterdam). He struggled until ...

Article

Eizo Inagaki

(b 1894; d 1966).

Japanese architect . After graduating in engineering from the School of Architecture at Tokyo Imperial University in 1920, he founded the Japan Secession Group (Bunriha Kenchikukai) with other students from the university, including Sutemi Horiguchi. This was the first movement in support of modern architecture in Japan, and its members were greatly influenced by the German Expressionists, the Vienna Secession and Art Nouveau. In 1920 they staged an exhibition of drawings and models, and, although they had little opportunity to demonstrate their ideas in actual projects, the group was important in introducing Expressionism to Japan. Yamada then became an engineer in the Communications Ministry (1920–45), and his early work for the Ministry clearly reveals an Expressionist style. For example the Central Telegraph Building (1925; destr.), Tokyo, which incorporated the parabolic curve as a motif, was the first building in Japan to break away from a strictly formalist style. In later works the Expressionist influence was replaced by a simpler modernism. The Communications Ministry Hospital (...

Article

(b Tokyo, Dec 19, 1894; d Tokyo, March 24, 1974).

Japanese architect . He graduated from Tokyo Art School in 1923 and travelled to Europe in 1925. Recognizing elements of Modernism in sukiya (tea house), a traditional style of Japanese residential architecture ( see Japan §XV 2. ), Yoshida formulated a modern version of the style with a distinctive freedom of planning and individuality that broke away from the traditional modular structural system. By enclosing structural members within the wall using the ōkabe (large wall) system, he was able to ignore the structural grid and place columns where he wished. Other technical innovations included the replacement of corner columns with windows and the introduction of special lighting effects and a sense of the opulence found in kabuki and other traditional Japanese stage design. The modern Sukiya style, for which Yoshida established his reputation in the 1930s, was one of the most successful attempts to reconcile tradition and modernity in Japanese architecture in the 20th century....