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Article

Els Maréchal

(b Brussels, Oct 19, 1927).

Belgian painter, draughtsman, printmaker and film maker. He studied book illustration and typography at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et des Arts Décoratifs from 1944 to 1946. In 1947 he became a member of the Jeune Peinture Belge group and had his first one-man exhibition in the Galerie Lou Cosyn in Brussels. In 1949 he became a founder-member of the Cobra movement after meeting Christian Dotremont. With a number of artist friends he set up a type of research centre and meeting-place in Brussels, the Ateliers du Marais. Towards the end of 1951 he went to Paris, moving to Japan in 1955 to study the art of calligraphy, also making a film called Calligraphie japonaise (1956). He adopted the Oriental manner of painting, whereby the paper is spread on the floor and the artist leans over the work holding the bottle of ink, allowing a greater freedom of movement. In ...

Article

Greek, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Germany.

Born 1954, in Athens.

Draughtsman, engraver, sculptor, video artist. Multimedia.

Michalis Arfaras first studied painting at the school of fine arts in Athens between 1972 and 1974. He continued his studies at the college of fine arts in Brunswick in Germany where he specialised in engraving and produced book illustrations and comic strips. He now lives and works in Hildesheim where he teaches graphic art at the university....

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in California.

Born 1940, in Cleator Moor (West Cumbria).

Painter, ceramicist, print artist, film maker, photographer. Textiles.

Conrad Atkinson graduated from Carlisle College of Art (1961), Liverpool College of Art (1962) and the Royal Academy Schools in London (...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 26 May 1943, in Long Eaton (Derbyshire); died 14 October 2005, in London.

Painter, printmaker, draughtsman, photographer, film maker. Artists’ books.

Artist Placement Group.

Ian Breakwell studied at the Derby College of Art (1961-1965). After graduation, he moved to Smithfields in London. In the 1970s he was a member of the Artist Placement Group (APG) and was posted to the Department for Health and Social Security where he produced a film, ...

Article

Michael Compton

(b Brussels, Jan 28, 1924; d Cologne, Jan 28, 1976).

Belgian painter, sculptor, printmaker, draughtsman, film maker and poet. He lived in poverty for 20 years as a bohemian poet in Brussels; with no artistic training he turned to visual art in 1964 as an ironic gesture, with an exhibition at the Galerie St Laurent in Brussels. He launched himself caustically into the art market with a brief text printed on the invitation: ‘I too wondered if I could not sell something and succeed in life … Finally the idea of inventing something insincere finally crossed my mind and I set to work straightaway’ (quoted in 1980 exh. cat., p. 13). In the 11 years that remained to him he established himself, in more than 70 one-man exhibitions, as an artist of considerable influence in terms not of style or sensibility but of attitude and approach.

Broodthaers regarded his art as a defence of European high cultural traditions in the face of barbarian threats and especially of western commercialism. His strategy allowed him to appropriate techniques and media from Nouveau Réalisme, Pop art, conceptual art and performance art so as to subvert them to his own aims; he emphasized the craftsmanship of his art but without any trace of academic technique or dexterity, as his work was often executed by others. At its most personal his work employed techniques associated with poetry but applied by him not only to words but to images and symbols, with a particular emphasis on irony, metonymy, tautology and synecdoche....

Article

Chaval  

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1915, in Bordeaux; died 1968, in Paris.

Draughtsman, engraver, film maker. Animated films.

Chaval attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, where he married the painter Fourtina who was a work colleague, and where he became friends with Edgard Pillet. At first an engraver, in the early years of his career until just after the war, his work was featured in various group exhibitions, including the Salon de Mai in Paris. In ...

Article

(Maurice)

(b Maisons-Laffitte, July 5, 1889; d Milly-la-Forêt, Oct 11, 1963).

French writer, film maker, draughtsman, painter, printmaker and stage designer. Self-taught and with an insatiable desire to experiment with a wide variety of media, Cocteau combined his activities as a writer and artist with the roles of catalyst, patron, socialite and man of the theatre. His production as a painter, draughtsman and printmaker is mostly regarded as tangential both to the development of French art from the 1920s to the 1950s and to his own creative activities. In general his art has been regarded as an elegant but slight and fundamentally decorative variation of elements from the work of Picasso, with whom he formed a lifelong friendship in 1915. The cult of personality surrounding him, which he did little to discourage, has continued to cloud assessment of his work as a serious artist. Nevertheless the correlations that he created among different media, through his poetry, highly imaginative films and influential work for the theatre, were essential in defining the experimental ambience and cross-fertilizations of art in Paris between the two World Wars....

Article

Spanish, 20th century, male.

Also active in France.

Born 11 May 1904, in Figueras (Catalonia); died 23 January 1989, in Port-Lligat.

Painter, sculptor, printmaker, illustrator, filmmaker, writer.

Paris Surrealist group.

Dalí was born into a middle-class family in Catalonia and named after a brother who had died the year before he was born, a fact that would later affect his conception of his own identity. Dalí’s exposure to art began early. The Impressionist painter Ramon Pichot (1872–1925) was a friend of his father’s, and as a child, Dalí attended the municipal drawing school in Figueras. By the age of 10 he had painted two ambitious works: ...

Article

Reena Jana

(b Cologne, Germany, 1969).

American mixed-media artist of German birth and Asian descent. Ezawa studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1990–94) before moving to San Francisco in 1994. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995) and an MFA from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (2003). Ezawa is not a photographer, but his work centers around photography; he has used a variety of media, from digital animations to paper collages and aquatint prints, to revisit some of the world’s most familiar, infamous and historically significant news photographs, television broadcasts and motion-picture stills (see The Simpson Verdict). All of Ezawa’s work utilizes the artist’s signature style of flat, simple renderings that are cartoonlike and also suggest the streamlined and colorful style of Pop artist Katz, Alex.

Ezawa’s project, The History of Photography Remix (2004–6), exemplifies his approach to exploring the power of photographs as a mirror of reality and yet also a force that can manipulate memories of events and people. The project consists of images appropriated from art history textbooks, such as American photographer Cindy Sherman’s ...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Cartagena, 1920).

Colombian painter, sculptor, printmaker, film maker and stage designer. He studied at the Art Students League in New York from 1941 to 1943 and subsequently visited Italy, where he studied fresco and etching techniques before settling again in Colombia. Consistently devoted to the human form, he initially depicted figures with angular heads and striped tunics in a strong light, with symbolic objects such as eggs, masks or cages.

In such later paintings as Boy with Umbrella (1964; Washington, DC, A. Mus. Americas) Grau’s figures were transformed into plump, fleshy and voluptuous beings, richly arrayed with lace, feathers, hats and fans, like characters taken from the theatre or from popular turn-of-the-century postcards. His scenes were gradually filled with anecdotal details and numerous objects, including cupboards, easels, boxes, masks and flowers, through which he suggested emotionally charged atmospheres. Grau also produced murals, prints, stage sets, films and especially sculptures. The first of these were assemblages of antique and industrial objects, but he subsequently made cast-bronze sculptures that convey a sensuousness, mystery and nostalgia similar to that evoked by his paintings....

Article

Canadian, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1957 in Toronto.

Active in London.

Printmaker (etching, offset lithography, digital prints), installation artist, film and video artist, curator. Artists’ books

DeniseHawrysio studied fine art at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario before completing a master’s degree at San Francisco Art Institute. Her work includes site-specific installations (often involving plasterboard), super-8 film, etching, and lithography but using social engagement, reminiscent of performance. Her artists’ books are typically small in edition and involve cutting up pre-existing materials, for example, ...

Article

Lee M. Edwards

(b Waal, Bavaria, May 26, 1849; d Budleigh Salterton, Devon, March 31, 1914).

English painter, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, writer and teacher of German birth. He was the only child of Lorenz Herkomer (d 1887), a wood-carver, and Josephine (née Niggl), an accomplished pianist and music teacher. They left Bavaria for the USA in 1851 and lived briefly in Cleveland, OH, before settling in Southampton, England, in 1857.

Herkomer received his first art instruction from his father and from 1864 to 1865 he attended the Southampton School of Art. Later he often criticized the crippling academic methods to which he was exposed as a student. In 1865 he briefly attended the Munich Academy and spent the summer terms of 1866 and 1867 at the South Kensington Art School in London, where he found the teaching ‘aimless and undirected’. With the encouragement of his fellow student Luke Fildes, Herkomer took up black-and-white illustration; his first wood-engraving appeared in Good Words...

Article

Éva Bajkay

(b Beszterce [now Bistriţa, Romania], Dec 1, 1908; d Budapest, Aug 17, 1984).

Hungarian painter, printmaker, collagist, teacher and experimental film maker. In 1921 he attended the Artur Podolni-Volkmann private school in Budapest, and in 1923 he spent a year in Holland. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest (1925–30), exhibiting in a group show in 1930 with artists associated with Lajos Kassák’s Work Circle (Munka-kört). After a period in Paris and Holland in 1930, he worked at the Szentendre colony in a Constructivist-Surrealist style similar to that of Lajos Vajda, drawing upon local and folk art motifs (e.g. Szentendre Motif, 1935; Budapest, N.G.), and the musical theory of Béla Bartók. Korniss fought in World War II, returning from a prisoner-of-war camp in 1945. He went on to make small monotypes of rooftops (e.g. Illuminations, c. 1946; Budapest, N.G.). In 1946 he joined the European School, and in 1947–8 he taught at the School of Crafts and Design, Budapest. His work became abstract and geometric, although symbolic meaning is conveyed in the most effective works (e.g. ...

Article

Austrian, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in Rotterdam and Vienna.

Born 1970, in Vienna.

Painter, draughtswoman, engraver, video artist, performance artist, installation artist, photographer, mixed media. Artists' books.

Elke Krystufek paints her own body, produces self-portraits and writes her thoughts across her works; a woman's life constantly historiated and revisited. Her work is a feminist claim that also illustrates the increasingly artificial boundary between private and public life today and the logical consequences of this: the representation of our emotions, 'déjà-vu' replacing the true 'ego' that the artist is actually trying to reach. Though she accepts an affinity with the Expressionist Egon Schiele, she does not recognise any association with Viennese Actionism. Among her performances, mention may be made of the following: ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

English sculptors, printmakers and film makers. Benjamin Langlands (b London, 10 June 1955) and Nikki Bell (b London, 27 May 1959) began working collaboratively while studying at Middlesex Polytechnic, London (1977–80). Their first joint venture was The Kitchen (1978; see exh. cat., 1996, p. 6), an installation consisting of two kitchen interiors, side by side, one shabby and antiquated, the other clean and modern, constructed with glass, chrome and steel. Their intention, as in many of their subsequent works, was to show how environments and structures can affect behaviour. This concern was developed in their work in a way that blurred the boundaries of art and architecture. Their expanded definition of architecture, placed within a high-art context, showed that it involved not only the objects we use to relate to an environment (such as chairs and cutlery), but also the dimensions of memory and history that shape our relationship to buildings and places. These ideas were crystallized in ...

Article

Judi Freeman

(b Argentan, Orne, Feb 4, 1881; d Gif-sur-Yvette, Seine-et-Oise, Aug 17, 1955).

French painter, draughtsman, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, and ceramicist. Among the most prominent artists in Paris in the first half of the 20th century, he was prolific in many media and articulated a consistent position on the role of art in society in his many lectures and writings. His mature work underwent many changes, from a Cubist-derived abstraction in the 1910s to a distinctive realist imagery in the 1950s. Léger attracted numerous students to his various schools, and his ideas and philosophy were disseminated by modern artists throughout Europe and the Americas.

Born in rural Normandy, Léger often said that he was of ‘peasant stock’. Although his father was a cattle merchant, Léger was sent by his family to Caen in 1897 to be an apprentice in an architect’s office, where he remained until 1899. In 1900 he went to Paris and again worked in an architect’s office as a draughtsman. After compulsory military service in ...

Article

Belgian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947, in Zottegem.

Collage artist, draughtsman, engraver, photographer, video artist. Cartoons for tapestries.

Neo-Pop Art.

Danny Matthys has created vast collages, verging on Pop Art, in which he has integrated any materials he could find, including textiles, plastics, nylon and wood. He has taken part in collective exhibitions in Ghent and Knokke-le-Zoute and has had solo exhibitions in Ghent....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1930, in Strasbourg; died 1961 or 1965.

Painter, lithographer, illustrator. Stage sets, stage costumes.

Jacques Pajak attended at the École d'Architecture in Strasbourg in 1948 and studied cinematography in 1951. From 1960 he spent much of his time working on graphic works and industrial aesthetics. In ...

Article

(b Leith, nr Edinburgh, March 7, 1924; d London, April 22, 2005).

British sculptor, collagist, printmaker, film maker and writer. Born of Italian parents, he attended Edinburgh College of Art in 1943 with a view to becoming a commercial artist. After brief military service, in 1944 he attended St Martin’s School of Art in London, and from 1945 to 1947 he studied sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art (then based in Oxford). While in Oxford he saw ethnographic sculpture at the Pitt Rivers Museum and also became friendly with William Turnbull and Nigel Henderson. The influence of art from non-Western cultures is evident in such early works as Fisherman and Wife (ink, wash and collage, 1946; London, Tate). In 1947 he had his first one-man show at The Mayor Gallery Ltd in London, and in the summer of that year he moved to Paris. He remained there until 1949, meeting artists such as Arp, Braque, Brancusi, Giacometti, Jean Hélion, Léger and Tristan Tzara. He was attracted to Surrealist art and ideas and was also impressed by the ...

Article

German, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 5 October 1939, in Dresden, Germany.

Painter (including gouache), sculptor, engraver, performance artist, filmmaker, writer, musician.

New Fauves.

A. R. Penck produced his first paintings (landscapes and portraits) at the age of ten and subsequently studied commercial art in 1955. He was self-taught, practised different professions, and pursued many activities, such as music, poetry, and editing scientific, political, and aesthetic texts. He was a pupil of the painter Jürgen Böttcher-Strawalde and collaborated with him on joint works. He worked with a great many other artists from the West, such as Jörg Immendorf and Georg Baselitz, whom he met in 1961 in the former West Berlin. In 1980, he decided to live in the West, near Cologne; then he settled first in England and then in Ireland. In 1987, he became a teacher at the school of fine art in Düsseldorf. He recorded records with the painters Martin Kippenberger and Immendorf. During his career as an artist, he changed his identity several times: in 1969 to ‘Penck’, in 1973 to ‘Mike Hammer’, in 1974 to ‘TM’, and in 1976 to ‘Y’. He lives and works in Dublin....