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Article

John Milner

[Rus. agitatsionnaya propaganda: ‘agitational propaganda’]

Russian acronym in use shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 for art applied to political and agitational ends. The prefix agit- was also applied to objects decorated or designed for this purpose, hence agitpoyezd (‘agit-train’) and agitparokhod (‘agit-boat’), decorated transport carrying propaganda to the war-front. Agitprop was not a stylistic term; it applied to various forms as many poets, painters and theatre designers became interested in agitational art. They derived new styles and techniques for it from Futurism, Suprematism and Constructivism.

The characteristics of the new art forms were defined as public, political and communal in purpose and execution. The poet Mayakovsky called for artists to abandon their studios and make the streets their brushes and the squares their palettes. Mass spectacular theatre provided vigorous examples of agitprop either by re-enacting recent events or by providing pageants of the progress of Communism. In 1920, for example, the theatre director ...

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

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

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

Jeremy Howard

(Maksimovich)

(b Moscow, Jan 16, 1888; d Moscow, Feb 22, 1945).

Russian theorist and critic. He trained as a lawyer at Moscow University but never practised law, devoting himself instead to art and literature. Prior to the October Revolution of 1917 his apartment was a meeting-place for Futurist poets and he was an active member of the Formalist group OPOYAZ (the Society for the Study of Poetical Language). After the Revolution he worked in the Fine Arts department (IZO) of Narkompros and as a commissar of the Petrograd (now St Petersburg) Svomas (Free Art Studios) in 1919. In 1918 he established the group IMO (Iskusstvo Molodykh: Art of the Young). Gaining Anatoly Lunacharsky’s support and a subsidy from Narkompros, this group was able to publish its views through the radical newspaper Iskusstvo kommuny (‘Art of the Commune’) (1918–19). Brik promoted Russian Futurism as a revolutionary Communist art and actively participated in the setting up of Kom-Fut, a Communist Futurist collective in Petrograd in ...

Article

Russian, 20th century, female.

Active in France from 1924.

Born 1882 or 1884, in Bielostok (Kiev); died 1949, in Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.

Painter, decorative artist. Stage sets, stage costumes.

Symbolism, Futurism, Constructivism.

Groups: Golubaya Roza (Blue Rose), Bubnovy Valet (Jack of Diamonds).

A student at the school of fine art in Kiev, Aleksandra Exter exhibited for the first time with the ...

Article

Russian, 20th century, male.

Born 1953, in Leningrad.

Book artist, printmaker (lithography), graphic artist.

Mikhail Karasik graduated with an art-graphics degree from the Leningrad State Pedagogical Institute. He is credited with pioneering the form of the artists’ book in Russia. Not only did he make them, he also encouraged his contemporaries to do so as well by curating numerous exhibitions and organising collective books, for example the ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 21 October 1889, in Pont-sur-Sambre (Nord); died 2 December 1952, in Courbevoie (Hauts-de-Seine).

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor.

Futurism, Musicalism (the attempt to interpret music in painting), Constructivism.

Groups: Vouloir, Espace.

Félix Aimé del Marle studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Valenciennes, then at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lille, and went to Paris in 1911....

Article

Christina Lodder

(Sergeyevna)

(b Ivanovskoye, nr Moscow, April 24, 1889; d Moscow, May 25, 1924).

Russian painter and designer. She was born into a wealthy family and trained as a teacher before beginning her artistic studies with Stanislav Zhukovsky (1873–1944) and Konstantin Yuon. Their influence, particularly through their interest in luminous tonalities reminiscent of Impressionism, can be seen in early works by Popova such as Still-life with Basket of Fruit (1907–8; Athens, George Costakis Col.; see Rudenstine, pl. 725). Popova travelled extensively: in Kiev (1909) she was very impressed by the religious works of Mikhail Vrubel’; in Italy (1910) she admired Renaissance art, especially the paintings of Giotto. Between 1910 and 1911 she toured many parts of Russia, including Suzdal’, Novgorod, Yaroslavl’ and Pskov. Inspired by Russian architecture, frescoes and icons, she developed a less naturalistic approach. A more crucial influence was the first-hand knowledge of Cubism that she gained in Paris, which she visited with Nadezhda Udal’tsova during the winter of ...

Article

Shin’ichiro Osaki

(b Tokyo, May 4, 1904; d Yokohama, June 13, 2001).

Japanese painter and sculptor. Self-taught as an artist, in the 1920s he met David Burlyuk and others involved with such movements as Futurism, Constructivism and Dada. From 1931 Saitō concentrated on a career as an artist, initially producing Constructivist reliefs. At that time a celebrated incident occurred when he refused to exhibit pieces at the Nikakai (Second Division Society) exhibition on the grounds that his pieces were neither painting nor sculpture: he was first chosen for the Nikakai exhibition in 1936. In 1938, together with Jirō Yoshihara and Takeo Yamaguchi (1902–83), he established the ‘Room Nine Society’ (Kyūshitsukai) with artists of the Nikakai whose works tended towards abstraction. He collaborated on Toro-wood, a series of reliefs (c. 1939) destroyed in World War II (for reconstruction see 1984 exh. cat., p. 54). During the war he was persecuted by the military authorities for his avant-garde activities....

Article

Toru Asano

[Tetsuharu]

(b Kagoshima, April 28, 1897; d Kumamoto, April 25, 1978).

Japanese painter. He moved to Tokyo at an early age and graduated from Aoyama Gakuin Middle School in 1914. He became familiar with the work of the Futurists, Cubists and Expressionists through the composer Kōsaku Yamada (1886–1965), who had recently returned from studying in Germany. In 1915 Tōgō held a one-man show in Hibiya, Tokyo, of works that revealed the influence of these European styles. On the recommendation of Ikuma Arishima (1882–1974), an oil painter and one of the founder-members of the Nikakai, he showed the Futurist work Woman with Parasol (priv. col., see Uemura, pl. 2) in the third exhibition of the Nikakai (Jap. ‘second division society’; an association of artists influenced by Western styles founded in 1914) in 1916, for which he was awarded the Nika prize. In 1921 he went to France, also visiting Marinetti in Turin. There he participated briefly in the ...

Article

Russian, 20th century, male.

Painter, draughtsman, designer.

Constructivism.

Little is known of Aleksandr Toporkov, except that he was a member of the Institute of Artistic Culture (INKHUK), the body set up by the Futurists in 1920 to define the principles and rules of production art, and whose aim was to direct Constructivist theory towards the production of utilitarian mass objects....

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1880, in Destelbergen; died 1961, in Duffel.

Painter. Figures, genre scenes, interiors with figures, rustic scenes, scenes with figures, architectural views, still-lifes.

Futurism, Constructivism.

Prosper de Troyer was a student at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Oostakker, and at the Académie in Mechelen....

Article

Dutch, 20th century, male.

Born 7 March 1900, in Amsterdam; died 1983, in Amsterdam.

Painter, engraver, draughtsman. Figures, scenes with figures, urban landscapes, architectural views.

Constructivism, Futurism, Symbolism, Magic Realism.

Carel Willink studied architecture at the royal institute of engineering in Delft between 1918 and 1920. He then went on to study under Hans Baluschek in Berlin, living there between 1920 and 1923 and mixing with members of ...