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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

Renato Barilli

(b Rosario, Santa Fé, Feb 19, 1899; d Comabbio, nr Varese, Sept 7, 1968).

Italian painter, sculptor and theorist of Argentine birth. He moved with his family to Milan in 1905 but followed his father back to Buenos Aires in 1922 and there established his own sculpture studio in 1924. On settling again in Milan he trained from 1928 to 1930 at the Accademia di Brera, where he was taught by the sculptor Adolfo Wildt; Wildt’s devotion to the solemn and monumental plasticity of the Novecento Italiano group epitomized the qualities against which Fontana was to react in his own work. Fontana’s sculpture The Harpooner (gilded plaster, h. 1.73 m, 1934; Milan, Renzo Zavanella priv. col., see 1987 exh. cat., p. 118) is typical of his work of this period, with a dynamic nervousness in the thin shape of the weapon poised to deliver a final blow and in the coarse and formless plinth. Soon afterwards, together with other northern Italian artists such as Fausto Melotti, Fontana abandoned any lingering Novecento elements in favour of a strict and coherent form of abstraction. In ...

Article

Latvian, 20th century, male.

Born 24 October 1962, in Riga, Latvian SSR (now Latvia).

Painter, graphic artist, multimedia artist. Allegorical subjects, abstraction and portraiture. Sculptural objects, conceptual installations.

Of the generation that came of age during Latvia’s transition from Soviet occupation to political independence, Kristaps Ģelzis distinguished himself as the most cerebral of that nation’s artists while, paradoxically, anchoring his work in intrinsic properties of base materials, the timelessness of simple forms, and labour-intensive craft. The son and younger brother of renowned architects, Ģelzis resolved to pursue another creative vocation, first studying violin while attending Riga’s 50th Secondary School, then taking preparatory classes for the Latvian Art Academy in lieu of attending the art high school. As a student in the academy’s department of graphic art ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 9 November 1943, in Cholet.

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor, engraver, mixed media.

Michel Jouët was attracted to art early on. From the start he applied himself to working on the geometric expression of abstract art which was itself, for some of its advocates, the mathematical representation of the world. His vocabulary is minimal, the line or metaphors of the line, his colours binary, black and white but worked in varied techniques. Michel Jouët creates series of works, on rhythms in ...

Article

Lolo  

Cuban, 20th century, female.

Born 1911, in Pinar del Rio.

Painter, collage artist, sculptor.

Lolo was a follower of the geometrically-inclined abstract art movement deriving from the work of Sophie Taüber-Arp and the Suprematism of Malevich.

After becoming heavily involved in trade union activities, Lolo was made cultural representative of the Republic of Cuba in Europe. In this position, in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 12 May 1936, in Malden (Massachusetts).

Painter, collage artist, sculptor, printmaker, mixed media.

Colour Field Painting, Post-painterly Abstraction, Minimal Art.

Frank Stella studied painting at the Phillips Academy in Andover and history at Princeton University, graduating in 1958. In 1959 he moved to New York, and took part in his first major exhibition, Sixteen Americans, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The following year he held his first solo exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York, showing his earliest irregularly shaped canvases. Stella visited Europe in 1961, staying mainly in Britain, Spain, and France, before moving on to Morocco. In the same year he married the art critic Barbara Rose. In 1982, he spent a year in Rome at the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1983, he was appointed a professor at Harvard University and gave a series of lectures there....