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Article

Brazilian, 20th century, male.

Born in Pernambuco.

Painter. Designs (wallpapers).

Ayres exhibited wallpapers at the Salon d'Automne in 1913.

Article

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Born 1895, in Pergamino; died 1977.

Painter, illustrator, decorative designer. Figures, still-lifes.

Basaldua was a student at the national academy Buenos Aires and then went to work in Paris. He produced almost all the scenography for the opera and ballet productions at the Colon Theatre in Buenos Aires between ...

Article

Uruguayan, 20th century, male.

Born 1900, in Montevideo; died 1984.

Painter, engraver. Figure compositions, landscapes with figures. Wall decorations.

Berdia began his studies in the Montevideo circle of fine arts; then later in Buenos Aires, he worked under the supervision of Guillermo Laborde and frequented the studios of Giambaggi, Gomez Cornet and Falcini. In ...

Article

Biombo  

Sofía Sanabrais

Name used in Mexico and throughout Latin America for a folding screen. The word biombo is a transliteration of the Japanese word for folding screen—byōbu—an acknowledgement of its place of origin. The Japanese byōbu has long been a quintessential example of Japanese art and was a common diplomatic gift to foreign courts in the early modern period (see Screen, §1). Referred to as the ‘face of Japanese diplomacy’, byōbu were presented as ambassadors of Japanese culture to places as far off as London and Mexico City. Byōbu also found their way to New Spain as exports in the Manila Galleon trade. In 17th-century Mexico the Japanese screen was admired by artists and patrons, and was adapted and reinterpreted on a grand scale. The unique format of the biombo provided new ways for artists to depict subject-matter, and locally made biombos began appearing in the archival record in the first years of the 17th century. ...

Article

Brian Austen

(Hicks)

(b ?Sheffield, 1785; d Port of Spain, Trinidad, Nov 1846).

English sculptor, designer and architect. In 1810 he exhibited at the first Liverpool Academy Exhibition and showed models and drawings there in 1811, 1812 and 1814. These included designs for the restoration of the screen in Sefton church, Merseyside, and for a chimney-piece for Speke Hall, Liverpool, and two drawings of Joseph Ridgway’s house at Ridgmont, Horwich, Lancs. Bridgens designed furniture and furnishings in Gothic and Elizabethan styles for George Bullock. In 1814 he moved to London with Bullock, using his address at 4 Tenterden Street, Hanover Square, and prepared designs for Sir Godfrey Vassal Webster (1789–1836) for improvements to Battle Abbey, E. Sussex, and similarly for Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford House, at Melrose on the Borders. Two chair designs for Battle Abbey were published in Rudolph Ackermann’s Repository of Arts in September 1817, and Bridgens was also involved in the design of chairs supplied to Abbotsford House in ...

Article

Mexican, 20th century, male.

Born 1905, in Mexico City; died 1947, in Mexico City.

Painter, lithographer. Figure compositions, scenes with figures, landscapes. Wall decorations, stage sets.

Julio Castellanos studied at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City. He then travelled around Latin America, the USA, and Europe. He was appointed director of theatrical enterprises at the ministry of art, and designed numerous ballet sets. He also painted mural decorations, notable for a school in Coyoacan and another in Peralvillo. As a result of his official duties and the fact that he was also teaching, his output was fairly small....

Article

Uruguayan, 20th century, male.

Born 1921, in Salto.

Painter, decorative designer. Murals.

José Echave was self-taught. He produced mural paintings and theatrical sets and was influenced by the Expressionist trend that characterised the development of painting in Latin America. He first exhibited in his native town of Salto. He later moved to Montevideo where he worked on a fresco with Portinari. His first solo exhibition took place in Salto around ...

Article

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1929, in Buenos Aires.

Painter (including gouache), sculptor, decorative designer.

Kinetic Art.

GRAV (Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel).

Horacio García-Rossi studied at the national fine arts school in Buenos Aires between 1950 and 1957. In 1960 he was one of the co-founders of the ...

Article

Mexican, 20th century, male.

Born 1915, in Mexico City; died 21 April 2000, in Mexico City.

Painter, decorative designer, illustrator.

Gunther Gerzso's family settled in Mexico from Eastern Europe. He moved to Lugano in 1922, where he came into contact with an avant-garde artistic milieu that foreshadowed Surrealism. Gerzso received his training in Switzerland and the USA. For many years he worked as a theatre and cinema set designer while continuing his career as a painter. During the 1930s he created many sets and costumes for films by Buñuel and Allégret. He returned to Mexico in ...

Article

Colombian, 20th century, male.

Born 1899; died 1984, in Medellín.

Painter, decorative artist.

After studying in Italy, where he became familiar with Italian fresco work, Pedro Nel Gómez returned to Colombia to pursue a career as a painter and architect. He was one of the first artists in his country to decorate a public building with paintings; this was the Palacio Municipal in Medellín. His social painting is in typically Latin American style with representations of the daily life of fellow-countrymen and subjects related to Colombian tradition....

Article

Cuban, 20th century, male.

Born 1920, in Havana.

Draughtsman, engraver, decorative designer.

Carmelo González studied at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro in Havana and then at the Art Students' League in New York. He taught fine arts in Cuba from 1948. Gonzalez executed several mural decorations for public buildings in Havana and has taken part in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Cuba and abroad....

Article

Mexican, 20th century, male.

Born 1908, in Guadalajara.

Painter, decorative artist. Local scenes.

After studying at the fine arts academy in his native city of Guadalajara, Jorge González Camarena went on to study at the school of fine arts in Mexico City.

His principal works (in the Guardiola building in Mexico City; the Social Security Administration Hall in Mexico City for example) are vast, realist mural paintings that owe much to Diego Rivera and borrow from pre-Columbian art and the folk traditions of his country....

Article

Mexican, 20th century, male.

Born 1910, in Tonala (Jalisco); died 1973.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist. Religious subjects, figures, portraits. Wall decorations.

After the revolutionary period from 1923 to 1930, many art schools were opened in Mexico. Initially a traditionalist, Jesús Guerrero-Galvan changed technique after teaching children at one of these schools to paint. Originally an easel painter, he executed his first mural painting in ...

Article

Homero  

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1985.

Born 1919, in Argentina, to a Greek father.

Painter, decorative artist. Figures, nudes, portraits, landscapes, still-lifes. Stage sets.

Homero studied at the school of fine arts in Buenos Aires before continuing his training in Europe. He taught drawing and painting in Buenos Aires and from ...

Article

Pauline Antrobus

(b Lima, 1889; d Lima, 1970).

Peruvian designer, painter and teacher. She taught drawing in local schools before entering the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima in 1919. Inspired by Peru’s indigenous heritage and the love of her country, Izcue often depicted Indian and Inca themes in her paintings (e.g. Untitled, 1924; Lima, Palacio de Gobierno). With her twin sister Victoria, she created the ‘Incaic decorative art’ style of interior design in the early 1920s. She illustrated the children’s book Manco Capac: Leyenda nacional (1923) at the request of Rafael Larco Herrera. He covered the publication costs of Izcue’s El arte peruano en la escuela (Paris, 1926), which showed children how indigenous motifs could be used to decorate various handicrafts. After graduating in 1926, Izcue received a grant to travel to Paris, where she attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and studied with Fernand Léger and Marcel Gromaire. To finance living in Paris, she produced Peruvian-influenced fashion accessories, and in ...

Article

Louise Noelle

(b Mexico City, May 7, 1931; d Mexico City, Dec 30, 2011.

Mexican architect and furniture designer, active also in the USA. He graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Arquitectura, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, in 1953. He began as a draughtsman in the studio of José Villagrán García, the leader of Mexican Functionalism, becoming his partner between 1955 and 1960. During this period he was a follower of the International Style, as seen in the Hotel María Isabel (1961–2; with Villagrán García and Juan Sordo Madaleno), Mexico City. In 1960 he set up in partnership with Noé Castro (b 1929) and Carlos Vargas (b 1938), specializing in the design of factories and office buildings, the most notable project of this period being the office building for Celanese Mexicana (1966–8; with Roberto Jean) in Mexico City, with its prismatic outline and technical brio in the use of the hanging structure. In the late 1960s, influenced by ...

Article

James Yorke and Gordon Campbell

Rich reddish-brown wood of trees of the Central and South American genus Swietenia (family Meliaceae). In early use the term denoted Swietenia mahagoni (Cuban mahogany or ‘Spanish’ mahogany), but from the 18th century it increasingly denoted Swietenia macrophylla, which was imported from Jamaica. In the 1720s mahogany became the most widely used wood in English cabinetmaking. Robert Walpole (1676–1745) not only exempted Jamaican mahogany from import duty, making it cheaper than the more sought after Cuban or ‘Spanish’ mahogany, but he also had the staircase and panelling at Houghton Hall, Norfolk, made in this material. Mahogany was popular with cabinetmakers as it enabled crisp, high-quality carving, it was stable and resistant to warping and woodworm and it came in large planks, making it suitable for all kinds of furniture. The use of mahogany remained an English specialism until the 1760s, when it was taken up by French cabinetmakers; in the 1780s ‘anglomania’ in France created a fashion for mahogany chairs and dining-room tables. By the end of the century mahogany had become a fashionable wood all over Europe....

Article

Maria Helena Mendes Pinto

(fl Braga, 1692–1717; d Braga, 1720).

Portuguese cabinetmaker and metalworker. The most outstanding characteristic of his documented works—all commissioned by religious institutions—is his use of pau preto (Brazilian rose-wood), either solid or thickly veneered on to chestnut, worked em espinhado (in a herring-bone pattern) decorated with parallel grooves, mouldings and, more rarely, with almofadados (pillow panelling). In the contracts signed by Marques with the chapter of Braga Cathedral and various convents and Misericórdia churches in northern Portugal he is referred to as the enxamblador da Cónega (joiner) responsible for executing both the woodwork and decorative metalwork of the furniture commissioned. The application of pierced and gilded brass plaques in the form of borders, rosettes in relief, enormous escutcheons and impressive handles is a constant feature of his work. He played an important role in northern Portuguese furniture-making for the uniformity of his production. He specialized in balustrades, for example those for the pulpit of the Misericórdia church in Vila do Conde (...

Article

Veerle Poupeye

(b St. Andrew, Dec 29, 1902; d Sept 20, 1992).

Jamaican sculptor. He was initially self-taught, but later attended the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London. He worked as a furniture-carver in the 1930s for the Jamaican Art Deco furniture designer Burnett Webster (1909–1992). His own work of this period was influenced by Art Deco and by Edna Manley. Gradually it became more academic, and he became Jamaica’s most popular monumental sculptor. Among his best-known works are monuments in Kingston to Jamaica’s national heroes, including Norman Manley (1971) and Alexander Bustamante (1972), as well as to the reggae singer Bob Marley (1985). He worked in various materials, including bronze, but was at his best as a woodcarver. His outstanding achievement is the carved ceiling decoration and lectern of the university chapel, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.

Boxer, D. and Poupeye, V. Modern Jamaican Art. Kingston, 1998.Poupeye, V. Caribbean Art...

Article

Mexican, 20th century, male.

Active in Spain.

Born 19 February 1885, in Guadalajara; died 13 October 1968, in Patzcuaro (Michigan).

Painter (including gouache), draughtsman (including ink), illustrator. Figures, portraits, scenes with figures, still-lifes, animals. Wall decorations.

Montenegro began his artistic studies with Felix Bernardelli in ...