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Allan Doig

(b Utrecht, Aug 30, 1883; d Davos, Switzerland, March 7, 1931).

Dutch painter, architect, designer and writer. He was officially registered as the son of Wilhelm Küpper and Henrietta Catharina Margadant, but he was so convinced that his mother’s second husband, Theodorus Doesburg, was his father that he took his name. Little is known of his early life, but he began painting naturalistic subjects c. 1899. In 1903 he began his military service, and around the same time he met his first wife, Agnita Feis, a Theosophist and poet. Between about 1908 and 1910, much influenced by the work of Honoré Daumier, he produced caricatures, some of which were later published in his first book De maskers af! (1916). Also during this period he painted some Impressionist-inspired landscapes and portraits in the manner of George Hendrik Breitner. Between 1914 and 1915 the influence of Kandinsky became clear in such drawings as Streetmusic I and Streetmusic II (The Hague, Rijksdienst Beeld. Kst) and other abstract works....

Article

(b Kinderdijk, Alblasserdam, July 4, 1897; d Feb 21, 1988).

Dutch architect, urban planner, writer and teacher. Born into a family of building contractors, he was apprenticed to a firm of builders and carpenters in Dordrecht (1912–14) and then worked for Willem Kromhout in Rotterdam before studying architecture at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam (1915–17). He obtained his diploma in 1917 and continued his studies at the Academie van Bouwkunst, Amsterdam (1919–22). In 1922 he won the prestigious Prix de Rome with a design (unexecuted) for the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science building, which was clearly inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. The scholarship specified a study of traditional North German brick building but van Eesteren spent most of the year visiting the Bauhaus and various architects’ offices in Germany and Sweden, including those of Walter Gropius, Adolf Behne (b 1885), Hans Richter and László Moholy-Nagy. Behne introduced him to Theo van Doesburg...

Article

Sjarel Ex

(b Budapest, Jan 5, 1884; d Hierden, nr Harderwijk, Sept 8, 1960).

Hungarian painter, decorative artist, typographer and writer, active in the Netherlands. He studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Budapest from 1901 to 1903, and then at the academy in Munich (1904). For a short period he was a member of the artists’ colonies of Tecsö and Nagybánya in Hungary, before moving to The Hague in 1906 as a portrait painter to the local aristocracy. Huszár’s interest in the work of van Gogh and in modern developments in Paris and London gradually led him from portraits and landscapes in bright colours, such as Reclining Female (1913; Otterlo, Kröller-Müller), to an abstract style in painting and stained glass influenced by Cubism and Futurism; an example of this is Vincent (1915; Amsterdam, J. P. Smid priv. col.)

In 1916 Huszár met Theo van Doesburg, who admired his work and was influenced by his stained-glass windows. In 1917...

Article

Leland M. Roth and Gordon Campbell

(John)

(b Vienna, Sept 22, 1890; d New York, Dec 27, 1965).

American architect, stage designer, furniture designer and writer of Austrian birth. In 1920 he worked with Adolf Loos in Vienna. He was also in contact with the artists associated with De Stijl and began experimenting with innovative theatre designs. In 1924 he produced the Endless Theatre design. The ‘Endless’ was a double-curved shell of reinforced concrete that could enclose any irregularly traditional divisions into floor, wall, and ceiling but offered the inhabitant an open interior that could be modified at will. For the theatre he adapted the ‘Endless’ by devising a double-spiral stage interconnected by ramps and rings of spectator seats. Kiesler believed that the Endless Theatre, without proscenium or curtain, projecting out into the audience, with perpetually moving walls bathed in light of ever changing colour, would promote greater interaction between actors and audience.

For the celebrated Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925...

Article

(b Amersfoort, March 7, 1872; d New York, Feb 1, 1944).

Dutch painter, theorist, and draughtsman. His work marks the transition at the start of the 20th century from the Hague school and Symbolism to Neo-Impressionism and Cubism. His key position within the international avant-garde is determined by works produced after 1920. He set out his theory in the periodical of Stijl, De, in a series of articles that were summarized in a separate booklet published in Paris in 1920 under the title Le Néo-plasticisme (see Neo-plasticism) by Léonce Rosenberg. The essence of Mondrian’s ideas is that painting, composed of the most fundamental aspects of line and colour, must set an example to the other arts for achieving a society in which art as such has no place but belongs instead to the total realization of ‘beauty’. The representation of the universal, dynamic pulse of life, also expressed in modern jazz and the metropolis, was Mondrian’s point of departure. Even in his lifetime he was regarded as the founder of the most ...