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Nelly Perazzo

(b Torroella de Montgri, Catalonia, March 3, 1911; d Buenos Aires, Oct 8, 1966).

Argentine painter, printmaker, illustrator, sculptor and stage designer of Spanish Catalan birth. He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1913. Although his uncle, José Planas Casas (b Catalonia, 1900; d Argentina, 1960), taught him the rudiments of art, he was basically self-taught and began to exhibit his work in 1934. Synthesizing ideas from Zen philosophy, psychoanalysis and the theories on cosmic energy espoused by the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich with his interests in automatism, poetry and painting, he found a creative sense of direction from an early age. He applied his methods not only to paintings but to stage designs, illustrations, collages, prints, polychrome sculptures and boxlike constructions; as a painter he worked both in tempera and in oil, and he also produced 72 murals.

In 1936 Batlle Planas inaugurated a Surrealist phase with a series entitled Paranoiac X-rays, followed by another group of pictures, Tibetan Series, populated by spectral figures related to works by Yves Tanguy. Between ...

Article

Julieta Ortiz Gaitán

(b Mexico City, June 27, 1943).

Mexican painter, printmaker, performance artist, writer, teacher and publisher. He qualified as a printmaker at a very early age, then as a painter and engraver under the tutelage of several masters, among whom the most influential on his life was José Chávez Morado. Although he at first worked with traditional media, he possessed a constantly innovative and critical attitude and experimented with performances, installations, happenings, correspondence and media art, as well as writing, lecturing and publishing on such themes as artistic experimentation, cultural promotion, professional management for artists, collective mural painting and the publishing process. From 1968 to 1972 Ehrenberg lived in England where, with the architect Martha Hellion and the critic and historian David Mayor, he founded the Beau Geste Press/Libro Acción Libre in Devon, to propagate the work of artists involved with the Fluxus movement of the 1970s. He was also instrumental in the rise of many artistic groups, workshops and small publishing houses, such as ...

Article

Xavier Moyssén

(b Mexico City, June 17, 1915; d Mexico City, April 21, 2000).

Mexican painter and printmaker. He was sent by his parents to Cleveland, OH, to study stage design. On his return to Mexico in 1935 he joined the national film industry and worked for years on a large number of films. Soon afterwards he began to concentrate on painting; he had Julio Castellanos and Juan O’Gorman as mentors but was essentially self-taught. He was particularly influenced by Wolfgang Paalen and other Surrealist artists who arrived in Mexico during World War II. The impact of Surrealism was evident in the paintings shown at his first exhibition in 1950, by turns dramatic, witty and erotic. His feeling for colour was already much in evidence.

Still following Paalen’s example, though without imitating him, in the mid-1950s Gerzso moved towards abstraction, basing his first such paintings on prehispanic architecture, as in Landscape at Papantla (1955; Mexico City, Mus. A. Carrillo Gil). Even after 1960, when he began to concentrate on subtle relationships of colour within a geometric structure, he continued to hint at sensory and even erotic responses. While linear elements dominate the compositions of his mature and meticulously executed paintings and screenprints (e.g. ...

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

Mari Carmen Ramírez

(b Santurce, Puerto Rico, 1939).

Puerto Rican printmaker, painter, draughtsman, illustrator and performance artist. He studied in Spain in 1961–2 under Julio Martín Caro and with Lorenzo Homar at the graphic arts workshop of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (1962–5). He inherited a social and political commitment from Puerto Rican artists working in the 1950s, but introduced wit and irony to his satirical treatment of political themes in prints, posters and illustrations. From the late 1960s, for instance, he produced portfolios of woodcuts in which he combined texts and images as a way of commenting on social and political events.

Martorell founded the Taller Alacrán in 1968 with the aim of mass-producing art at affordable prices. In the 1970s he began to experiment with innovative printmaking techniques, for example in a series of cut-out works influenced by Pop art, in which he played on stereotypes of authoritarianism in Latin America. In subsequent prints he explored the painterly qualities of woodcuts on a monumental scale. From the late 1970s, however, he was increasingly concerned with innovative live performances that combined printmaking and painting with the movement of actors. From ...

Article

Leonor Morales

(b Guadalajara, Feb 19, 1887; d Mexico City, Oct 13, 1968).

Mexican painter, printmaker, illustrator and stage designer. In 1903 he began studying painting in Guadalajara under Félix Bernardelli, an Italian who had established a school of painting and music there, and he produced his first illustrations for Revista moderna, a magazine that promoted the Latin American modernist movement and for which his cousin, the poet Amado Nervo, wrote. In 1905 he enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, where Diego Rivera was also studying, and won a grant to study in Europe. After two years in Madrid, Montenegro moved in 1907 to Paris, where he continued his studies and had his first contact with Cubism, meeting Picasso, Braque and Gris.

After a short stay in Mexico, Montenegro returned to Paris. At the outbreak of World War I he moved to Barcelona and from there to Mallorca, where he lived as a fisherman for the next four years. During his stay in Europe he assimilated various influences, in particular from Symbolism, from Art Nouveau (especially Aubrey Beardsley) and from William Blake....

Article

Brazilian, 20th century, female.

Born 1929, in Nova Friburgo; died 3 May 2004, in Rio de Janeiro.

Draughtsman, engraver, sculptor, film producer, performance artist.

Lygia Pape studied philosophy and aesthetics before taking up the visual arts. She was a member of the Frente group in Rio in ...