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Latvian, 20th century, male.

Born 7 October 1930, in Riga, Latvia; died 11 February 2002, in Riga.

Painter, graphicist, draughtsman, and academician. Landscape, genre, still-life, human figure, and abstract subjects.

Boriss Bērziņš’s artistic training began in childhood when the electrician’s son was exposed to Russian Orthodox icons. He copied reproductions of famous paintings and took lessons from watercolourist Jānis Skučs. He studied at Riga’s Janis Rozentāls Art High School ...

Article

Latvian, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 6 September 1943, in Riga, Reichskommissariat Ostland (now Latvia).

Painter, scenographer, poster designer, graphicist, and book illustrator. Literary, allegorical and historical subjects; abstractions and symbolic representations; installations, performance, and soundworks.

Ilmārs Blumbergs spent his childhood in Siberian exile, then studied in the Department of Stage Design at Riga’s Secondary School of Applied Arts ...

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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 ...

Article

Anne Kirker

Australian photographer and installation artist. Hall began her career as a photographer in the mid-1970s, relinquishing a formal training in painting. She produced black-and-white modernist images of people embedded in their surroundings, favouring the incidental and over-looked. However by 1978, when she had lived for a time in London, Hall shifted away from the documentary tradition. Impressed by the ...

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Rebecca Arnold

Venezuelan fashion designer, active also in the USA (see fig.). While Herrera’s designs always contain elements of current fashion, her work is more about the cultivation of a sleek international style that is classically feminine. Her upbringing amongst the élite, leisured classes of South America encouraged her to view clothing as a visual expression of good taste and ease. Rather than following trends, her designs tend to favour clean lines, with a focus on detail....

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Morgan Falconer

American sculptor. Lee came to prominence as a Minimalist in the 1970s. An interest in modernism and the monochrome, as well as a hostility to narrative, made the grid her starting point; following which she began to paint predominantly in black. In the mid-1980s she began to divide up her surfaces with dynamic diagonals and introduced more colour. ...

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Deborah Cullen

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family, §1 to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (...

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Morgan Falconer

English painter and printmaker. He received an MFA from Goldsmiths’ College, London, in 1982. While his earliest work was entirely abstract, it bore the influence of Modernist collage, and in that it suggested a search for more direct systems of reference which resolved itself in a turn towards figurative painting in large canvases of the early 1980s. A residency at the National Gallery, London, in ...

Article

Latvian, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 23 July 1948, in Riga, Latvian SSR (now Latvia).

Painter and performance artist. Cityscape, landscape, genre painting, allegorical, literary, and portrait subjects, appropriated imagery modified with ultrarealistic self-portraiture, and individual and collaborative performance art.

Miervaldis Polis is Latvia’s postmodernist paradox, challenging notions of originality and authorship in painting, yet in a manner singularly his own, and elevating individual personality to the status of cultural institution through a sustained work of performance art that simultaneously denatures and distinguishes the self. Polis first studied at the Janis Rozentāls Riga Art School, and after matriculating in ...

Article

Public housing, typically dwellings for working-class and lower-income residents built and maintained by the state, emerged from the ideals of Progressive-era urban reformers seeking to improve the living conditions of the urban poor. But by the late 20th century it stood as an emblem of failed urban policies and devastated inner cities. Government-funded housing, beginning with the New Deal (...

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Paula J. Birnbaum

American conceptual artist. Reichek earned a BFA from Yale University and a BA from Brooklyn College, where she studied painting with Ad Reinhardt. Well versed in the traditions of modernist painting, Reichek began critiquing those traditions in the 1970s by making art using the vehicles of embroidery, knitting, and weaving. She then engaged in a range of large-scale installation projects that retool domestic media and formats to analyse the patriarchal and modernist assumptions of American culture. In her series of samplers, including ...

Article

Hiroshi Watanabe

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 (...

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Sean Keller

Architect and architectural theorist with French and Swiss citizenship, active in America and France. Tschumi studied in Paris and at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH; Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich, where he received his degree in 1969. He established an architectural office in Paris in ...

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Deborah A. Middleton

American architect. An important San Francisco-based architect, Warnecke emerged as the forerunner of contextual modernism in the early 1950s. Contextualism aimed to create a sense of place through a humanistic design approach informed by the pre-existing context of the building’s specific site and the more general locale. This approach was in contrast to pure Modernism, which emphasized non-contextual abstraction without explicit references to architectural history. Spatial volumes, rather than mass and solidity, were highlighted, and buildings evidenced a structural regularity and absence of ornament....