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Article

Hungarian, 20th century, male.

Died 1941.

Painter, draughtsman. Figure compositions. Murals.

Allazio de Abacco spent some time in Rome. Influenced by German Expressionism in 1910, he was very active in Hungary between the wars producing murals for public spaces to publicise social schemes.

Article

Roberto Pontual

revised by Gillian Sneed

(b Araraquara, 1903; d Asunción, Paraguay, 1992).

Brazilian printmaker and teacher. Abramo was born into a middle-class Italian immigrant family in Araraquara, in the state of São Paulo, before moving to the city of São Paulo in 1909. In 1911 he studied drawing with painter Enrico Vio (1874–1960) at the Colégio Dante Alighieri in São Paulo. In 1926 he came into contact with German Expressionism and the work of engraver Oswaldo Goeldi, and made his first woodcut print, Vista Chinesa (1926; Echauri de Muxfeldt 2012, pl. 122), depicting a village bridge in an Expressionist style. Initially self-taught in printmaking, his work addressed social themes such as the São Paulo working class. In 1928 and 1929 he created linocuts depicting images of the working class in a Cubist style for the newspaper Lo Spaghetto. In the early 1930s he became influenced by the paintings of Tarsila’s anthropophagic phase (1928–1929) and Lasar Segall’s Expressionism. In 1930 Abramo joined the Communist Party (PCB), but he was expelled in 1932 after he was accused of being a Trotskyist. In 1931 he began working as a draftsman for the ...

Article

David Anfam

Term applied to a movement in American painting that flourished in the 1940s and 1950s, sometimes referred to as the New York School or, very narrowly, as Action painting, although it was first coined in relation to the work of Vasily Kandinsky in 1929. The works of the generation of artists active in New York from the 1940s and regarded as Abstract Expressionists resist definition as a cohesive style; they range from Barnett Newman’s unbroken fields of colour to De Kooning family, §1’s violent handling of the figure. They were linked by a concern with varying degrees of abstraction used to convey strong emotional or expressive content. Although the term primarily denotes a small nucleus of painters, Abstract Expressionist qualities can also be seen in the sculpture of David Smith, Ibram Lassaw and others, the photography of Aaron Siskind and the painting of Mark Tobey, as well as in the work of less renowned artists such as ...

Article

David Anfam

Term applied to the work of American Abstract Expressionists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and, by extension, to the art of their followers at home and abroad during the 1950s. An alternative but slightly more general term is gestural painting; the other division within Abstract Expressionism was colour field painting.

The critic Harold Rosenberg defined action painting in an article, ‘The American Action Painters’ (1952), where he wrote: ‘At a certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act. …What was to go on canvas was not a picture but an event’. This proposition drew heavily, and perhaps crudely, upon ideas then current in intellectual circles, especially in the wake of Jean-Paul Sartre’s essay L’Existentialisme est un humanisme (Paris, 1946; Eng. trans., 1948), which claimed that ‘there is no reality except in action’. In the 1940s Herbert Ferber, Barnett Newman and others had already characterized their creative process in similar terms; Rosenberg was probably also inspired by photographs of Pollock at work (rather than the actual paintings) that emphasized his apparent psychological freedom and physical engagement with materials (e.g. ...

Article

British-Pakistani, 20th century, female.

Born 1917, in London, England; died 1994, in Lahore (Punjab), Pakistan.

Painter.

Modern Expressionism.

Anna Molka, born in London of Polish and Russian-Jewish parents, studied at St. Martin’s School of Art in London and then at the Royal College of Art (RCA). During this period she converted from Judaism to Islam and married Sheikh Ahmed, then an Indian student at the RCA. They moved to India permanently in ...

Article

Annie Dell’Aria

Term coined during the height of Abstract Expressionism in the USA, with particular relevance to the work of painter Jackson Pollock. The ‘all-over’ quality of works such as Lavender Mist: Number 1, 1950 (Washington, DC, N.G.A.) refers to its lack of compositional structure (no apparent foreground, middleground, or background) as in traditional representational painting. It also suggests the lack of spatial delineations or focal points of any kind, creating an entirely abstract work that asserts the canvas’s flat surface and eschews any attempt at representational or symbolic interpretation (see fig.). The large scale of Pollock’s drip paintings made their all-over quality all the more impressive as the sprawled paint made the viewer survey the entire surface. Though initially used to describe Pollock’s drip paintings, the term was later applied to the colour field painters of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists. Furthermore, the term ‘all-over’ can be applied to a variety of abstract design strategies (for example, some works by Cy Twombly)....

Article

Swiss, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 28 March 1868, in Solothurn; died 1961, in Oschwand (Bern).

Painter, watercolourist, pastellist, engraver, lithographer, sculptor. Figure compositions, portraits, landscapes, still-lifes.

Die Brücke group. School of Pont-Aven.

Cuno Amiet began his artistic training under Frank Buchser in Feldbrunnen from 1884 to 1886. From 1886 to 1888 he trained at the academy of fine art in Munich. From 1888 to 1891 he trained under the guidance of William Bouguereau and Tony Robert-Fleury at the Académie Julian in Paris. Up to that point he had been influenced by Impressionism, which was still very much in evidence. Then in 1892, he went to Pont-Aven and made contact with O'Connor, Émile Bernard, Sérusier and Armand Seguin. They introduced him to the ideas and techniques suggested by Gauguin to those who would soon be classed as the École de Pont-Aven. They would also call themselves 'Nabis'....

Article

(b Solothurn, March 28, 1868; d Oschwand, July 6, 1961).

Swiss painter and sculptor. From 1884 to 1886 he received irregular lessons from the Swiss painter Frank Buscher (1828–90). In the autumn of 1886 he attended the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich and the following year met Giovanni Giacometti, who was to be a lifelong friend. In 1888 he visited the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Munich, where he was particularly impressed by the work of Jules Bastien-Lepage and Whistler. This prompted him to go to Paris to continue his studies, and from 1888 to 1891 he attended the Académie Julian, working under William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Tony Robert-Fleury and Gabriel Ferrier. While in Paris he also met Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis and other Nabis artists, though his own painting of this period was most influenced by Impressionism. In 1892 he was advised to visit Pont-Aven in Brittany, where he met Emile Bernard, Armand Séguin and Roderic O’Conor, as well as seeing the works of Vincent Van Gogh and Gauguin at first hand. This brief period had a decisive effect upon his work, leading to such Synthetist paintings as ...

Article

Allan Doig

Group of Expressionist architects and craftsworkers active mainly in Amsterdam from c. 1915 to c. 1930. The term was first used in 1916 by Jan Gratama in an article in a Festschrift for H. P. Berlage. From 1918 the group was loosely centred around the periodical Wendingen (1918–31). They were closely involved in attempts to provide architectural solutions for the social and economic problems in Amsterdam during this period.

The acute need for improved housing stock in the Netherlands was greatest in Amsterdam (see Amsterdam §II 5.), where the population had more than doubled (reaching half a million) during the last quarter of the 19th century. A growing number of housing associations were founded, and the standard of the dwellings produced under their auspices was enormously improved by the implementation of Amsterdam’s first building code in 1905. The greatest need, but the least profits, were to be found in the provision of good housing for the lowest-income groups. Legislation, subsidies and large-scale council ownership of the land scheduled for development allowed close governmental control, with a minimum of speculation by developers. Responsibility for the overall urban plan for the area known as Amsterdam South was given to ...

Article

Joan Marter

[Aleksandr ]

(b Kiev, Ukraine, May 30, 1887; d New York, Feb 25, 1964).

Ukrainian sculptor, active in Paris and in the USA. He began studying painting and sculpture at the School of Art in Kiev in 1902 but was forced to leave in 1905 after criticizing the academicism of his instructors. In 1906 he went to Moscow, where, according to the artist, he participated in some group exhibitions (Archipenko, p. 68). In 1908 he established himself in Paris, where he rejected the most favoured contemporary sculptural styles, including the work of Rodin. After only two weeks of formal instruction at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts he left to teach himself sculpture by direct study of examples in the Musée du Louvre. By 1910 Archipenko was exhibiting with the Cubists at the Salon des Indépendants, and his work was shown at the Salon d’Automne from 1911 to 1913.

A variety of cultural sources lies behind Archipenko’s work. He remained indebted throughout his career to the spiritual values and visual effects found in the Byzantine culture of his youth and had a strong affinity for ancient Egyptian, Gothic, and primitive art that co-existed with the influence of modernist styles such as Cubism and Futurism....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1907, in Raymond (Washington); died 1994.

Painter.

Darrel Austin set himself the task of rendering the dramas and conflicts of the human condition, via an Expressionist vision, between the two world wars.

New York, 11 Nov 1959: Lady of the Night...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1936.

Painter.

Edward Avedesian painting has evolved over the years from abstract expressionism, minimalism and pop-abstraction, through colour field painting in the 1970s, and then to a form of bold figuration. He has exhibited his work in New York and Los Angeles, notably at the Mitchell Algus Gallery in New York in ...

Article

Croat, 20th century, male.

Born 1890, in Jastrebarsko.

Painter, art critic.

Ljubo Babic studied in Zagreb, Munich and Paris. His painting evolved from the 1920s Yugoslavian Neo-Realism to a style of Expressionism depicting simplified forms in vivid colours. He was also known as an art critic....

Article

Swedish, 20th century, male.

Born 1911, in Halmstad; died 1981.

Painter, sculptor.

Neo-Constructivism.

Olle Baertling settled in Stockholm in 1928 and started painting in 1938. At the beginning of his career he was an Expressionist, but then began to paint portraits under the influence of Matisse. He subsequently studied under André Lothe and Léger in Paris in ...

Article

Dutch, 20th century, male.

Born 1912, in Eindhoven.

Painter, watercolourist. Scenes with figures.

Bakel was self-taught. He was interested in Flemish expressionists and organized exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum in Eindhoven. In 1946, he spent some time in Paris and he spent further periods at Pont-Aven (in ...

Article

Yvonne Modlin

(b Wedel, nr Hamburg, Jan 2, 1870; d Rostock, Oct 24, 1938).

German sculptor and printmaker. He experimented with several media because he believed that conventional forms of communication were too formulaic and often failed to make tangible the essence of artistic vision. In his plastic and literary oeuvres Barlach sought to define and externalize the inner processes of humanity and nature through depriving his subject of its superficial mask and extraneous detail.

Barlach studied sculpture at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg (1888–9) and at the Dresden Akademie (1891–5), where he became the chief pupil of the sculptor Robert Diez (b 1844). After two brief visits to the Académie Julian in Paris, he returned to Germany and collaborated with his friend Karl Garbers (b 1864) on a commission for architectural sculptures for the city halls of Hamburg and Altona. Barlach’s early work was influenced by the sinuous, wavy line of Jugendstil. In 1899 he moved to Berlin, where he lived for two years, but he later returned to Wedel, hoping to find inspiration in a familial environment. In the winter of ...

Article

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

(b Karlsruhe, April 12, 1883; d Darmstadt, Feb 20, 1959).

German architect and writer. Bartning studied at the Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe and at the Technische Hochschule and the University in Berlin. In 1905 he established a practice in Berlin. By 1918 he had received c. 50 commissions, but he only began to publish his work after World War I. The upheavals of the period prompted him to propose the spatial and stylistic reorganization of German Protestant church building as a means of restoring social harmony. His book, On New Church Buildings, appeared in 1919 and spurred a revolution in German sacred architecture. During the 1920s Bartning joined the Novembergruppe, the Arbeitsrat für Kunst, and Der Ring, the principal German avant-garde artistic and architectural groups. His most interesting contribution to the brief period of German Expressionism was the Sternkirche project (1922). The centralized church is surmounted by a roof of layered concrete shells that are supported by a thicket of columns, intended as a reinterpretation of Gothic construction....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1886, in Lyons; died 1926.

Painter, pastellist. Landscapes, flowers.

Lyons School.

Adrien Bas participated in the Salon d'Automne in Paris, notably in 1919 and 1920. His landscapes have rather an Expressionist feel, particularly when executed in pastel. This is achieved by emphasising the volumes and planes with the use of luminous colours....

Article

Judith Zilczer

Term applied to a group of American artists active in San Francisco from 1950 to the mid-1960s who forged a vibrant brand of figurative expressionism. Originating in the studios and art schools of postwar San Francisco, the movement transcended its regional identity to attain national recognition as a major trend in mid-20th-century American art.

Around 1950, painters David Park, Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn and James Weeks (1922–98) adapted the gestural style and painterly techniques of Abstract Expressionism to create luminous canvases devoted to recognizable subjects including genre scenes, figure paintings and the local landscape of the Bay Area. These four “founders” were soon joined by slightly younger artists—Nathan Oliveira, Paul Wonner (1920–2008) and Theophilus Brown (b 1919), as well as former students Joan Brown (1938–90), Bruce McGaw (b 1935) and the lone sculptor, Manuel Neri (b 1930). Although Park and his fellow artists would deny they had created a new movement, their shared sensibilities resulted in the cohesive style and widespread influence of the Bay Area Figurative school....

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 1878.

Painter. Landscapes.

Der Blaue Reiter group.

In around 1911 or 1912, Bechtejeff formed part of the Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) group, in which he does not seem to have played an active part. He sought to give his art a modernist style....