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Article

Russian, 20th century, female.

Painter, draughtswoman.

Constructivism.

Anna Akhtyrko was a student of Aleksandr Rodchenko and a member of his Constructivist group , set up in April-May 1921 in Vkhutemas. Her unusual, modest works could be seen at the exhibition The Russian Avant-Garde and Abstract American Artists...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 1933, in Worcester; died 1999.

Painter.

Constructivism.

Systems Group.

Richard Allen began his studies at the Shropshire Institute of Agriculture, but later decided to become an artist and in 1957 joined Bath Academy of Art at Corsham. In 1960 he won a government scholarship to study mosaics at Ravenna in Italy. In ...

Article

Uruguayan, 20th century, male.

Active also active in the USA.

Born 1919.

Painter.

Neo-Constructivism.

Atelier Torres García.

A student of Torres García, Alpuy lived in New York for several years, which was undoubtedly what enabled him to combine a free representational style with a more rigorously Constructivist composition. He usually worked on wooden boards that he painted and shaped according to his imagination. His figures are positioned according to Constructivist principles....

Article

Russian, 20th century, male.

Active also active throughout Europe.

Born 1894 or 1895, in Kherson; died 12 November 1982, in Paris.

Painter. Stage sets.

Constructivism.

Mikhail Andreenko studied at the Imperial School of Fine Art in St Petersburg. He devoted himself very early on to stage sets, first in Russia and then in various other European countries. He also painted abstract geometrical paintings from a very general design, with emphatically determined plans and signs. In 1915, at the age of 15 or 16, he participated at the exhibition ...

Article

Russian, 20th century, male.

Born 1897, in Kozliv.

Painter. Figures, nudes.

In the 1920s, Sergei Arkhipov was influenced by Suprematism, and then by Constructivism. In 1938, he became a member of the Union of Artists. His works are housed in the most important Russian museums....

Article

Venezuelan, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 6 March 1947.

Painter.

Neo-Constructivism.

Luis Arnal studied at the school of fine arts in Caracas and then in Paris at the École Pratique des Hautes Études and the University in Paris. He exhibits mainly in Venezuela. Arnal is a self-declared Constructivist and this is borne out in the technical rigour of his pieces and the phenomenological games he plays with contrasting, bright colours. He uses almost exclusively curves and counter-curves....

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 1900, in Remscheid; died 1988, in The Hague.

Painter, engraver.

Neo-Constructivism.

Stupid group, Gruppe Progressiver Künstler (Progressive Art Group).

Gerd Arntz studied at the art academy in Düsseldorf and was part of the Stupid group in Cologne from 1920, and a friend of Yankel Adler. After ...

Article

Greta Stroeh

[Jean] (Peter Wilhelm)

(b Strassburg, Germany [now Strasbourg, France], Sept 16, 1886; d Basle, Switzerland, June 7, 1966).

French sculptor, painter, collagist, printmaker, and poet of German birth. The son of a German father and French Alsatian mother, he developed a cosmopolitan outlook from an early age and as a mature artist maintained close contact with the avant-garde throughout Europe. He was a pioneer of abstract art and one of the founders of Dada in Zurich, but he also participated actively in both Surrealism and Constructivism. While he prefigured junk art and the Fluxus movement in his incorporation of waste material, it was through his investigation of biomorphism and of chance and accident that he proved especially influential on later 20th-century art in liberating unconscious creative forces.

Following a brief period at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Strasbourg (1900–01), Arp received instruction from 1901 from a friend and neighbour, the painter and printmaker Georges Ritleng (1875–1972). He then attended the Kunstschule in Weimar (1904–7) and the Académie Julian in Paris (...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1940, in Berchem (Antwerp).

Painter, sculptor, screen printer.

Neo-Constructivism.

Guy Baekelmans was briefly a member of the Centre International d'Art Constructif (International Centre of Constructive Art), and saw Constructivism as a framework within which he could develop his own spiritual aspirations. His three-dimensional works, in which he employs accents of light, are dynamic in character. Following visits to Japan, his paintings became more meditative, while the use of computers gave him new perspectives....

Article

Swedish, 20th century, male.

Born 1911, in Halmstad; died 1981.

Painter, sculptor.

Neo-Constructivism.

Olle Baertling settled in Stockholm in 1928 and started painting in 1938. At the beginning of his career he was an Expressionist, but then began to paint portraits under the influence of Matisse. He subsequently studied under André Lothe and Léger in Paris in ...

Article

Stephen Bann

(b Middelburg, Zeeland, Nov 1, 1925; d Amsterdam, June 29, 1991).

Dutch artist . He attended the Amsterdam Institute of Design (1943–5) and initially painted in a neo-realist manner. In 1950 he began to produce paintings that were directly reminiscent of the Cubists and the Dutch De Stijl group. Like his contemporaries Victor Pasmore and Mary Martin, Baljeu rapidly moved towards the relief construction as his favoured mode of expression. Using both opaque and transparent coloured materials, he built up complex structures from basic orthogonal forms. He created free-standing sculptures based on the same constructional logic. From the late 1950s Baljeu extended his activities into a wide variety of environmental and architectural projects, such as Synthetic Construction WII (1957; Eindhoven, Stedel. Van Abbemus.)

Baljeu’s aim was not only to produce work in the De Stijl tradition, but also to revive the debate about art in its social and intellectual context, which had characterized the group activity of De Stijl in the 1920s. After he had established contact with the American artist and theorist Charles Biederman in the late 1950s, he founded the magazine ...

Article

Anna Szinyei Merse

(b Katona [now Ketina, Romania], Jan 14, 1900; d Budapest, April 2, 1988).

Hungarian painter, graphic artist, mosaic designer and teacher . He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, from 1919 to 1924. Towards the end of the 1920s he spent some time in Paris and Italy on a scholarship. He joined the Szentendre colony in 1929, and he became the most influential practitioner of Hungarian Constructivism. He exhibited widely from 1924 onwards and won many awards.

Barcsay’s work developed from the heavily contoured Working Girl (1928; Budapest, N.G.) and emphatically structured landscapes (e.g. Hilly Landscape, 1934; Budapest, N.G.) to a strict Constructivism after 1945. In his landscapes and urban scenes of 1945–7 he abandoned perspective drawing and placed his whitewashed gable-walls on a plainly structured skeleton. Human figures are reduced to mere signs in the homogeneous space. Monumental works began with his design of 1949 for a huge mosaic (realized 1963) in the Assembly Hall of Miskolc University. Another huge mosaic (3×11 m; ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 17 August 1932, in Poyanne (Landes).

Sculptor, draughtsman. Monuments, jewels.

Neo-Constructivism.

Vincent Batbedat settled in Paris in 1950 and studied at the École Spéciale d'Architecture and then at the École des Beaux-Arts while attending the Académie Julian. In this period he concentrated on sculpture. In ...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1896, in Liège; died 1995.

Painter, collage artist, watercolourist, illustrator, decorative designer, designer.

Futurism, Constructivism.

Groupe 7 Arts.

Baugniet attended the art academy in Brussels where he studied under the Belgian Symbolist painter Jean Delville. He married the dancer and painter Akarova (Marguerite Acarin). His early paintings were figurative, and he was then influenced by French Cubism and international Constructivism. In 1922, Baugniet became a member of the Belgian group ...

Article

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Swiss, 20th century, male.

Born 3 May 1886, in Basel; died 9 October 1942.

Painter, sculptor.

Dadaism, Neo-Constructivism.

Groups: Artistes Radicaux, Das Neue Leben.

From 1917, Baumann exhibited at the Galerie Dada in Zurich and in 1918 he became a member of the group The New Life...

Article

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Active also active in Italy.

Born 1892, in Tenque-Lauquen; died 1978.

Painter.

Futurism, Neo-Constructivism.

Grupo Madí.

In 1908, Bay emigrated from the outskirts of Buenos Aires to Milan. He studied drawing and painting until 1914. From 1911 in Milan and throughout Italy until ...

Article

German, 20th century, female.

Born 20 October 1896, in Paderborn; died 8 August 1971, in Schmelz.

Painter, collage artist.

Constructivism.

From 1915 to 1918, Ella Bergmann studied at the academy of fine arts in Weimar, where she married her fellow student Robert Michel in 1919...

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Warsaw, Oct 30, 1894; d Paris, Aug 2, 1967).

Polish painter, designer and writer, active in France. He studied at the School of Art, Warsaw (1904–9), in Antwerp, and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1911–12). In the 1910s he was attracted to Futurism and the work of the Russian avant-garde, and he became one of the originators of Polish Constructivism. His early works show the influence of the Section d’Or, Cubism and Purism. He was a member of the Jung Jiddisch group in 1921–2. He lived in Berlin in 1922–3, exhibiting twice at the Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellungen. Back in Warsaw, he joined the Constructivist Block group.

In 1924 Berlewi had a one-man show at the premises of the Warsaw branch of the Austro-Daimler automobile company and published the booklet Mechano-Faktura (‘Mechano-Texture’). Both of these events were declarations of the union between art and technology. His works from 1924–6 are abstract compositions of basic geometrical forms and basic colours—as if in preparation for mechanical multiplication. In ...

Article

Polish, 20th century, male.

Active from 1928 in France.

Born 1894, in Warsaw; died 2 August 1967, in Paris.

Painter.

Constructivism, Op Art.

Blok Group.

An acknowledged pioneer of kinetic art, Henryk Berlewi studied at the schools of fine art in Warsaw (1906-1909) and Antwerp (...