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Article

Finnish, 20th century, male.

Born 3 February 1898, in Kuortane; died 11 May 1976, in Helsinki.

Architect, designer, painter, draughtsman, watercolourist. Figures, landscapes, landscapes with figures, urban landscapes, still-lifes. Models (furniture/glass).

Alvar Aalto was adamant that his experience as a painter was an indispensable adjunct to his profession as an architect, noting repeatedly that modern architecture had its roots in painting. As an architecture student, he took private lessons with the Finnish painter Eero Järnefelt. He moved in artistic circles and was frequently to be found in the company of the sculptor Wäinö Altonen and the painters Henry Ericsson and Eemu Myntti. For a period, he also worked as an art critic....

Article

Ingeborg Wikborg

(Sigurd)

(b Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag, April 21, 1933).

Norwegian sculptor, designer and medallist. He became familiar with handicraft in his father’s furniture workshop. In 1954 he began five years’ study as a commercial artist at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole in Oslo and from 1957 to 1963 he worked as an illustrator for a newspaper. He studied at the Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1959 to 1962 under the sculptor Per Palle Storm (1910–94) who advocated naturalism in sculpture. As an assistant to Arnold Haukeland from 1961 to 1964, Aas lost his apprehension of the untried and cultivated his sense of daring, as he gained experience with welding techniques. Highly imaginative and versatile, Aas worked in both abstract and figurative modes and is reckoned one of the foremost sculptors in Norway; in 1990 he was honoured with St Olav.

Aas’s first sculpture was an equestrian monument in snow, made in Inderøy while he was a schoolboy. His first public project was the abstract steel figure ...

Article

French, 16th century, male.

Active in Normandy at the beginning of the 16th century.

Sculptor, designer of ornamental architectural features.

Gaillon School.

In 1507 Adrian du Trait produced various pieces of furniture for the Château de Gaillon, which belonged to the cardinal of Amboise.

Article

Spanish, 17th century, male.

Active in Madridc.1623.

Sculptor (wood).

Best known for his furniture, particularly cabinets and wardrobes.

Article

Ađalsteinn Ingólfsson

(b Reykjavík, Feb 4, 1922).

Icelandic painter, writer and designer. He studied engineering in 1941–2 at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík, and architecture privately. He then studied at the Icelandic School of Arts and Crafts (Myndlista-og handíÐaskóli Íslands), Reykjavík (until 1943), the Kongelige Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1945–6), the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris (1947–8) and with Marcel Gromaire in Paris (1949–50). He promoted the movement towards abstract art in Iceland in 1948–52, particularly in its theoretical aspects.

Ágústsson came to geometric abstraction through an interest in Renaissance compositional theory and the theories of the Bauhaus. His meeting with Victor Vasarely in Paris in 1953 encouraged him to continue with a highly reductive series of paintings on which he had embarked shortly before. Later that year Ágústsson was one of the organizers of the Autumn Exhibition (Haustsýningin), the first group show of geometric abstraction in Iceland. At its opening he gave a lecture that became a kind of manifesto for the movement. He followed it up with a series of articles in the cultural review ...

Article

British, 19th century, male.

Born 1817, probably in Dumfries; died 1876, in Birmingham.

Painter, draughtsman.

William Aitkin moved to Birmingham at around 20 years of age and worked there as a teacher and industrial designer.

Birmingham: James Watt's Room, Birmingham (two drawings)

Article

Andrea Nulli

(b Robbiate, Como, Oct 17, 1905; d Milan, Nov 1, 1977).

Italian architect, urban planner and furniture designer. After graduating from the Polytechnic of Milan (1929), he set up individual practice in Milan. One of the group of Rationalist architects who formed around the magazine Casabella, his work in the 1930s ranged from workers’ housing in Milan (1936, 1938; with Renato Camus and Giancarlo Palanti) to an ideal flat and furniture, exhibited at the Triennale in Milan in 1936. Immediately after World War II a series of masterplanning projects included schemes for the City of Milan (1946; with BBPR, Piero Bottoni, Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini) and for Reggio Emilia (1947–8; with Giancarlo De Carlo). Albini’s post-war architecture has a Rationalist clarity combined with sensitivity to context, tradition and history. Expressed first in the Rifugio Pirovano (1949–51) at Cervinia, Aosta, it was the office building for the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA; 1950), Parma, with its simply stated concrete frame that set the pattern developed later in La Rinascente department store (...

Article

Alessandra Frabetti

[l’Argenta]

(b Argenta, nr Ferrara, 1546; d Ferrara, Dec 9, 1636).

Italian architect, engineer and designer. He was the son of Vincenzo Aleotti (not Francesco Aleotti, as is sometimes erroneously stated), from whom Giovanni Battista claimed he ‘learnt the art … as much as from all the other teachers I had’ (letter, 1583; see Coffin, p. 121). In 1575 he succeeded Galasso Alghisi as architect to Alfonso II d’Este (ii), Duke of Ferrara and Modena, who nicknamed him l’Argenta after the town of his birth. When, on the death of the Duke, the Este duchy devolved to the Papal States (1598), Aleotti was confirmed as official architect, with a stipend of 20 scudi per month. His activity extended to various parts of the Po plain, embracing different architectural genres and including some important urban projects.

Among Aleotti’s religious buildings were several churches in Ferrara, including S Barbara (1586–8), S Maria della Rotonda at Castel Tedaldo (1597...

Article

John F. Pile

(b Resistencia, June 1943).

American architect, industrial designer and museum curator of Argentine birth. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree in architecture from Princeton University, NJ, and then taught at Princeton, at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh and at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, Germany. From 1969 to 1976 he was Curator of Design for the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. In 1972 he produced the exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape and a related book for MOMA. The exhibition offered historical background and a presentation of contemporary Italian avant-garde work and theory. His architectural works include the Lucille Halsell Conservatory at San Antonio, TX (1987); Banque Bruxelles Lambert offices in Milan (1981), Lausanne (1983) and New York (1984); and offices for the Financial Guaranty Insurance Company in New York (1986), for which he won the International Interior Design Award. An innovative designer, Ambasz sought to reinterpret the poetic aspects of Modernism and the relationship between architecture and the landscape. As an industrial designer, he developed furniture, lighting, a diesel engine, and packaging and graphic designs. His work has won many honours and awards....

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Active in Parisc.1700.

Engraver, designer of ornamental architectural features.

Baptiste Anthéaume made a set of furniture for embroiderers and upholsterers.

Article

Spanish, 16th century, male.

Born in Triana.

Painter, fresco artist. Religious subjects.

Antonio Arfián worked in Seville. He started out as a commercial artist and sold his works abroad, mainly to Spanish America. In 1550 he joined the studio of Vargas, who had recently returned from Italy, and worked hard at changing his style, taking advice from Vargas; his efforts were soon rewarded. Among his works is a panel for the high altar of Seville Cathedral (...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Melbourne, May 5, 1951; d Melbourne, July 22, 1999).

Australian painter. While studying painting at Prahran College, Melbourne, from 1969 to 1971, he discovered airbrushes, technical tools employed by commercial artists which he adopted with alacrity as his favoured instrument for picture-making. At art school Arkley met the collage artist and painter Elizabeth Gower, who had a significant influence over his work. They married in 1973, later separating in 1980. In 1977 he travelled to Paris and New York on residencies, and it was during this time that he became fascinated by architectural motifs as inspirations for painting. In Paris he assiduously photographed Art Nouveau and Art Deco doorways in black and white, intending to use these images as reference points for paintings on his return to Australia. Once back there, however, he decided that he needed to find imagery and subject-matter relevant to his own identity as an Australian. While ringing the doorbell of his mother’s house in suburban Melbourne, he noticed the flywire screen door and realized at once that this indigenous architectural feature, banal and disregarded, would be a much more suitable subject than the artistic doorways of Paris. Following this revelation, he made a succession of identically sized paintings in an elongated vertical format corresponding to these flywire screens, but betraying an astonishing variety of motifs and colour schemes. ...

Article

AUA  

Christian Devillers

[Atelier d’Urbanisme et d’Architecture]

French multi-disciplinary architectural cooperative founded in Paris in 1960. Initial members, among whom were urban planners, architects, engineers and designers, included Jacques Allegret (b 1930), Jacques Berce (b 1929), Valentin Fabre (b 1927), Georges Loiseau (b 1928), Jean Perrottet (b 1925), Michel Steinebach (b 1928), Jean Tribel (b 1929), Paul Chemetov, Jean Deroche (b 1931), Annie Tribel (b 1933), Jacques Kalisz (b 1928), Michel Corajoud (b 1937), Jean-François Parent (b 1930), Henri Ciriani, Borja Huidobro (b 1936), Maria Deroche (b 1938) and Christian Devillers (b 1946). A total of about 200 architects and technicians collaborated at AUA between 1960 and 1986, when it was dissolved.

AUA was created in response to the situation prevailing in the building industry in France at the end of the 1950s, when much was being built, but badly, and when urban planning was little developed. It was thus considered necessary to bring together the different skills required for the proper planning of space, from the social sciences and urban planning to landscape and industrial design, and to enable architects and engineers to work together. This multi-disciplinary approach countered the corporatism of the architectural profession; members of AUA were also left-wing political activists and intellectuals, publishing the review ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born February 1903, in Tunis; died 24 January 1978, in Aix-en-Provence.

Painter, architect, decorative designer, designer, poster artist. Wall decorations, stage costumes and sets, furniture, advertising art.

Art et Lumière.

Félix Tahar Marie Aublet was the son of the Orientalist painter Albert Aublet. He was brought up both in Neuilly, France, and in a Moorish palace in Tunis, where the family spent six months of the year. His second forename, Tahar, means 'blessed one' in Arabic. In ...

Article

Elizabeth Anne McCauley

(b Paris, June 3, 1811; d Paris, March 23, 1877).

French photographer. For more than 30 years Aubry worked as an industrial designer. In January 1864 he formed a Parisian company to manufacture plaster casts and photographs of plants and flowers. Although unsuccessful (he filed for bankruptcy in 1865), he continued to sell photographs to drawing schools throughout the 1870s. His albumen prints are often striking close-ups of natural forms taken with a flat perspective and symmetrical arrangement that was inspired by the lithographic plates traditionally used by industrial design students. The failure of Aubry’s ideas on the use of photographs in the industrial design process can be attributed to both the French government’s reluctance to introduce photography into art schools and the shift in French taste towards more abstract, simplified decorations for manufactured goods. His work is included in the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs and Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA....

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Active in Parisc.1720.

Engraver, designer of ornamental architectural features.

Bacqueville left a Book of Ornamentations Suitable for Paintings and Furniture.

London (Victoria and Albert Mus.): collection of his designs

Article

French, 16th century, male.

Active in Lorraine.

Sculptor (wood).

Jacques Barat worked in 1577 for the Duchess of Brunswick, providing her with pieces of carved furniture.

Article

French, 17th century, male.

Died 1679.

Sculptor (wood).

In 1668, Jacques Barbe became a member of the Académie de St-Luc in Paris. In 1670, he sculpted four large oak cabinets for the King's furniture store. He worked in St-Germain-en-Laye, Versailles and Clagny.

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born in Wassy (Haute-Marne).

Decorative designer.

Georges de Bardyere designed modern furniture, exhibiting it at the Salon d'Automne and Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in Paris between 1919 and 1934.

Paris (MAM)

Rennes (Mobilier Nat.)

Article

Gordon Campbell

[Antonio di Neri]

(b 1453; d 1516).

Italian intarsia designer, civil engineer, architect and engraver, was a native of Siena. From 1483 to 1502 he worked in Siena Cathedral, providing carving and intarsia for the choir-stalls in the chapel of San Giovanni (1483–1502; seven panels survive in La Collegiata in San Quirico d’Orcia and one in the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Vienna) and building the benches for the Piccolomini library (...