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Article

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Swiss, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 31 July 1863, in Rolle (Vaud); died 1948, in Lausanne.

Painter, engraver, decorative artist. Figure compositions, figures, portraits. Murals, designs for stained glass, furniture.

Art Nouveau.

Ernest Bieler was the uncle of André Charles Bieler. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Jules Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger. He divided his time between the mountainous regions of the Valais and the shores of Lake Geneva; his body of work evokes the everyday life of the peasant communities in the Valais and the Canton of Vaud at the beginning of the twentieth century. Bieler was commissioned to paint compositions for the ceiling of the Victoria hall in Geneva; decorative panels and windows for the federal government building in Bern; stained glass windows for the Vevey church of St-Martin; and decorations for the vintners' festival. Additionally, he exhibited woodcut engravings and designed furniture....

Article

French, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in the USA from 1940.

Born 4 August 1883, in Bordeaux; died 24 August 1950, in New York.

Decorative artist, architect, designer, draughtsman. Furniture.

Art Deco.

Pierre Chareau worked in France until 1939, then went to live in New York. He regularly participated in the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in Paris. In ...

Article

Polish, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1866, in Lubaczów; died 1924, in Cracow.

Painter, draughtsman, illustrator, decorative artist, ceramicist, sculptor, designer. Portraits, genre scenes, landscapes. Furniture.

Symbolism, Art Nouveau.

Debicki studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna from 1881 to 1884, then in Munich, Paris, Lemberg (now Lviv, Ukraine) and Cracow. He first settled in Lemberg and began teaching in ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1876, in Paris; died 1955.

Painter, designer.

Art Deco.

Maurice Dufrêne was essentially an interior designer and, in his day, an important contributor to furniture design. His approach was neat and precise by comparison with the excessive ornamentation of previous periods. He exhibited in Paris at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, of which he was a member from 1909. His work also featured prominently in the decorative arts section of the Salon d'Automne and he played a major role in the organisation of the 1937 Exposition Universelle in Paris....

Article

Swiss, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 20 March 1877, in Lancy (Geneva); died 7 June 1942.

Painter (lacquer), decorative designer, coppersmith, sculptor.

Art Deco.

Jules John Dunand trained at the École des Arts Industriels in Geneva, along with the wood engraver François Louis Schmied, who would be his friend and collaborator for the rest of his life. Together, they went to work in Paris in 1897. Dunand was one of the artists employed to make groups of winged horses for the Pont Alexandre III, in readiness for the opening of the Exposition Universelle of 1900. He also managed to find time for his own work, and began exhibiting some quite conventional sculptures at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts....

Article

French, 19th century, male.

Born 1846, in Nancy; died 1904, in Nancy.

Painter, ceramicist, decorative designer, glassmaker. Figures, still-lifes.

Art Nouveau.

Nancy School.

He studied art in Weimar. Émile Gallé was passionately interested in painting on glass and opened a glassware factory in Nancy in ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1878, in Charpentry (Meuse); died 1946, in Rheims.

Painter, designer, enameller.

Art Deco.

Jean Goulden initially studied medicine and in 1906 successfully defended his thesis on the physiology of the isolated heart. In 1914 he was mobilised as a doctor's assistant and travelled a great deal. He returned to France with some paintings on wood and some drawings. In ...

Article

Tim Benton

[Jeanneret, Charles-Edouard]

(b La Chaux de Fonds, Oct 6, 1887; d Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Alps-Maritimes, France, Aug 27, 1965).

Swiss architect, urban planner, painter, writer, designer and theorist, active mostly in France. In the range of his work and in his ability to enrage the establishment and surprise his followers, he was matched in the field of modern architecture perhaps only by Frank Lloyd Wright. He adopted the pseudonym Le Corbusier for his architectural work c. 1920 and for his paintings c. 1930. His visionary books, startling white houses and terrifying urban plans set him at the head of the Modern Movement in the 1920s, while in the 1930s he became more of a complex and sceptical explorer of cultural and architectural possibilities. After World War II he frequently shifted position, serving as ‘Old Master’ of the establishment of modern architecture and as unpredictable and charismatic leader for the young. Most of his great ambitions (urban and housing projects) were never fulfilled. However, the power of his designs to stimulate thought is the hallmark of his career. Before he died, he established the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris to look after and make available to scholars his library, architectural drawings, sketches and paintings....

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

Donna Corbin

(b Münster, May 16, 1872; d Baierbrunn, Upper Bavaria, April 5, 1943).

German designer, architect, sculptor and painter. He was the son of a cabinetmaker and studied painting at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1889–91) and in Berlin (1891–2) before settling in Munich in 1892. Working as a portrait painter and graphic designer, he contributed illustrations to a number of periodicals including Pan (from 1895) and Jugend (from 1896). His earliest furniture designs were a chair and mirror shown at the seventh Internationale Kunstausstellung held at the Glaspalast in Munich in 1897. In the following year he was commissioned by F. A. O. Krüger (b 1868), one of the founder-members of the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk, Munich, to produce designs for the workshop. Like other designers of the Vereinigte Werkstätten, such as Richard Riemerschmid, Peter Behrens or Bruno Paul, Pankok produced designs in a variety of media, although his designs for furniture are probably his most original. His early furniture designs are characterized by a certain heaviness and ‘organic’ look, recalling the work of Antoni Gaudí and representing the more expressionistic, less functional, aspect of ...

Article

Austrian, 20th century, male.

Born 3 April 1887, in Sankt-Michael, near Salzburg; died 16 April 1923, in Mödling, near Vienna.

Painter, designer, architect, designer. Designs for wallpapers, jewels, ceramics, fabrics and glass, furniture.

Art Nouveau.

Wiener Werkstätte group.

The brother of Ernst Peche, Dagobert Peche received his architectural training from Friedrich F. Ohmann at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. In Vienna he produced fabric designs for the decoration firms of Johann Backhausen, Philipp Haas, the Wiener Porzellanmanufaktur Böck, the Vereinigte Wiener und Gmunder Keramik. In ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 14 July 1887, in Nantes; died 1949.

Painter, designer, designer. Furniture.

Art Deco.

René Prou was responsible for the decoration of many luxury liners, in particular the La Fayette III, and contributed to the decoration of the Palais des Nations in Geneva and the Villa Noailles in Hyères. He was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 24 February 1882, in Paris; died 1938, in Paris.

Designer, draughtsman, designer, architect, watercolourist. Theatre decoration, furniture.

Art Deco.

Armand Rateau studied at the École Boulle from 1894 to 1898. After obtaining his diploma, he set himself up as a designer and sculptor. From ...

Article

Donna Corbin

(b Munich, June 20, 1868; d Munich, April 13, 1957).

German designer, architect and painter. The son of a textile manufacturer, he studied painting at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Munich (1888–90); he painted primarily at the beginning and end of his career, and he was a member of the Munich Secession. In 1895 Riemerschmid designed his first furniture, in a neo-Gothic style, for his and his wife’s flat on Hildegardstrasse in Munich. In 1897 he exhibited furniture and paintings at the seventh Internationale Kunstausstellung held at the Glaspalast in Munich. Immediately following the exhibition, the committee members of the decorative arts section, including Riemerschmid and Hermann Obrist, founded the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk. In 1898 Riemerschmid was commissioned to design a music room for the Munich piano manufacturer J. Mayer & Co., which was subsequently exhibited at the Deutsche Kunstausstellung exhibition in Dresden in 1899. The armchair and side chair, with its diagonal bracing, designed for this room, are some of his most original and best-known designs. In ...

Article

French, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 26 August 1869, in Paris; died 1933.

Painter, draughtsman, designer. Genre scenes, figures, landscapes. Furniture.

Art Deco.

The many drawings, landscapes, figures and caricatures that Émile Jacques Ruhlmann committed to notebooks are much admired, but his paintings are rarer. He used his talent primarily in the design and making of Art Deco furniture. He exhibited in Paris at the Salon d'Automne, and in Lyons, Strasbourg, Monaco, Ghent and Amsterdam. In ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 24 October 1883, in New York; died 18 November 1945, in Brandenburg.

Painter, engraver, draughtsman, decorative designer. Figures. Designs for ceramics, stage sets.

Jugendstil, Art Deco.

Paul Scheurich studied at the arts academy in Berlin from 1902 to 1904. In ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1902; died 2000.

Cabinet maker, designer, painter, draughtsman. Furniture.

Art Deco.

School of Lyons.

André Sornay was very much at ease with Art Deco forms, but he also excelled in the functionalist style of the 1960s. His 'golden age' was in the 1930s when he developed a new method of assembling veneers. Sornay was one of the last Art Deco cabinet-makers, 'rediscovered' at auction in ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b nr Cēsis, April 28, 1896; d Tbilisi, Georgia, July 14, 1944).

Latvian painter, printmaker, ceramicist, interior designer, tage and film set designer and theorist. He was the foremost ideologue for modernism in Latvia and was one of its greatest innovators. His militant defence of avant-garde principles befitted his experience as a soldier and as one of the artists who, after World War I, was denied a studio by the city officials and staged an armed occupation of the former premises of the Riga Art School. At the end of the war he painted in an Expressionist manner: In Church (1917; Riga, priv. col., see Suta, 1975, p. 19), for example, is an exaltation of Gothic form and primitivist rendering. Unlike his peers Jāzeps Grosvalds and Jēkabs Kazaks, he was extremely interested in Cubism and Constructivism, the theories of which informed his paintings, drawings, prints and occasional architectural projects of the 1920s. At this time he and his wife, the painter ...

Article

Jane Block and Paul Kruty

(b Antwerp, April 3, 1863; d Zurich, Oct 25, 1957).

Belgian designer, architect, painter, and writer. He was one of the leading figures in the creation of Art Nouveau in the 1890s.

From 1880 to 1883 Van de Velde studied at the Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, exhibiting for the first time in 1882. In 1883 he was a founder-member of the art group Als Ik Kan, which fostered the position of the artist outside of the Salon. His earliest paintings, such as the Guitar-player (1883; Brussels, priv. col., see Canning, p. 100), are in a Realist vein with sombre tones. In October 1884 Van de Velde travelled to Paris. Although he entered the studio of the academic painter Carolus-Duran, where he remained until the spring of 1885, he was strongly attracted to the works of Jean-François Millet (ii). His works after his stay in Paris, such as Still-life with Fruit Dish (1886; Otterlo, Kröller-Müller), display the characteristic broken brushstroke of the Impressionists, although this style is often combined with subjects drawn from Millet, seen in the ...