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Article

V. V. Vanslov

(Pavlovich)

(b Kharkiv, April 16, 1901; d Moscow, Sept 6, 1968).

Russian stage designer, director, painter and graphic artist of Ukranian birth. He studied in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) from 1915 to 1919 in an artists’ workshop under Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Aleksandr Yakovlev and Vasily Shukhayev. From 1920 to 1922 he worked as a stage designer in Khar’kov (now Kharkiv). In 1923 he returned to Petrograd, where he worked as a book illustrator and stage designer at the Theatre of Musical Comedy, the Theatre of Drama and the Gor’ky Bol’shoy Theatre of Drama; he also worked in Moscow, at the Theatre of the Revolution, the Vakhtangov Theatre and the Moscow Art Theatre (MKhAT). From 1929 he worked as a director, designing his own productions. He was the Art Director of the Leningrad Theatre of Comedy (1935–49), where the most notable productions he directed and designed were Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (1938), Lope de Vega’s Dog in the Manger and ...

Article

Ukranian, 20th century, male.

Born 16 April 1901, in Khar'kov (now Kharkiv); died 16 September 1968, in Moscow.

Painter, stage designer, graphic artist, theatre director.

Nikolay Pavolovich Akimov studied under Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Aleksandr Yakovlev and Vasily Shukhayev in St Petersburg from 1915 to 1919. He worked as a stage designer in Kharkiv ...

Article

French, 20th century, female.

Painter, illustrator. Figures, fruit. Stage costumes and sets.

A graduate of the École des Arts appliqués, Géraldine Allier started out as a graphic illustrator in the advertising and publishing industries. With the help of Louis Bercut, with whom she worked for several years, she then started making her own sets and costumes: ...

Article

John E. Bowlt

(Andreyevich)

(b Moscow, Oct 14, 1873; d Moscow, Dec 24, 1932).

Russian sculptor, graphic artist and stage designer. He trained at the Stroganov School in Moscow (1883–91) before entering the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he studied under the sculptor Sergey Volnukhin (1859–1921). He graduated in 1900 before joining the Wanderers in 1902.

Andreyev was well aware of contemporary European trends in sculpture, especially the work of Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and Auguste Rodin, which he saw during a stay in Paris in 1900. However, he remained strongly attached to the 19th-century academic tradition, an allegiance that perhaps facilitated his acceptance of many official commissions both before and after the October Revolution of 1917. For example, he was responsible for the figure and pedestal of the monument to Nikolay Gogol’ on the Boulevard Ring in Moscow (1909; now at Suvorovsky Boulevard, 7) and for the bronze and granite monument to Aleksandr Ostrovsky (1929) in front of the Maly Theatre, Moscow. Andreyev was a principal contributor to Lenin’s Monumental Propaganda Plan from ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born February 1903, in Tunis; died 24 January 1978, in Aix-en-Provence.

Painter, architect, decorative designer, designer, poster artist. Wall decorations, stage costumes and sets, furniture, advertising art.

Art et Lumière.

Félix Tahar Marie Aublet was the son of the Orientalist painter Albert Aublet. He was brought up both in Neuilly, France, and in a Moorish palace in Tunis, where the family spent six months of the year. His second forename, Tahar, means 'blessed one' in Arabic. In ...

Article

Balthus  

Jean Clair

[Count Balthazar Klossowski de Rola]

(b Paris, Feb 29, 1908; d Rossimiere, Feb 18, 2001).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. Appreciated for many years by only a handful of collectors, and ostensibly out of step with the modern movement, Balthus’s classically inspired work won the recognition and admiration of a wider public only late in his career. Although he received no formal training, he came from a highly artistic family background. His father, Erich Klossowski (1875–1949), was a painter and art historian, born to an aristocratic family in East Prussia and the author of a book on Daumier; his brother, Pierre Klossowski, was to become a painter and writer; and his mother, Elizabeth Spiro, was also a painter. Beginning in 1919, she engaged, under the name of Baladine, in a long-lasting relationship with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, providing etchings to accompany many of his poems. In this environment Balthus met the writers André Gide and Pierre-Jean Jouve, as well as Pierre Bonnard, who gave him his earliest guidance. Rilke also acted as Balthus’s mentor, writing the preface for an album of drawings by the 13-year-old artist entitled ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Pergamino, Buenos Aires, Sept 22, 1894; d Buenos Aires, Feb 21, 1976).

Argentine painter, stage designer and illustrator. He studied drawing in Buenos Aires under the Italian painter Augusto Bolognini (b 1870) and at the Academia Nacional before moving in 1923 to Paris, where he worked in Charles Guérin’s studio and at the Académie Colarossi. He also studied in the studios of André Lhote and Othon Friesz and became associated with other Argentine artists based in Paris. Like others of his generation and nationality, he sought in the 1920s to escape from pictorial provincialism by rejecting academic norms, as in Still-life (1926; Rosario, Mus. Mun. B.A.). He learnt how to paint while living in France and developed a range of imagery typical of Argentine art without showing any great originality.

More than any other painter, Basaldúa depicted life in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, concentrating humorously and without sentimentality on the wide boys, dance-hall girls, loose women and handsome, dangerous men of the tango in such pictures as the ...

Article

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

Arthur J. Pulos

(b Adrian, MI, April 27, 1893; d New York, May 9, 1958).

American designer and writer. He studied at the Cleveland School of Art, OH, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and by 1914 he had established a reputation as an illustrator, making portraits of operatic luminaries for the New York Times. After producing plays in Los Angeles (1917), he joined the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1918) and became a leading stage designer; he invented the high-wattage spotlight and developed modern theatrical productions that blended the play, its lighting, its performers, and their costumes into a cohesive whole. He gained international attention for his stage set (1921; unexecuted) for Dante’s Divine Comedy, which revolutionized theatrical and operatic productions; it was conceived as a single, massive set with lighting coming first from below, signifying Hades, and then, as the play progressed, from high above, signifying Paradise. This led Max Reinhardt, the distinguished German producer, to commission him to design the settings for a production of ...

Article

British, 20th century, female.

Born 13 May 1879, near London; died 7 April 1961, in Sussex.

Painter, engraver, illustrator, designer, graphic designer. Still-lifes, landscapes, portraits. Designs for wallpapers and fabrics, furniture, stage sets.

Bloomsbury Group, Omega Workshops, London Group, Euston Road School.

Vanessa Bell was the daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen, the sister of Virginia Woolf and the wife of the art historian Clive Bell. She started her training with the Royal Academician Sir Arthur Cope, and continued it at the Royal Academy of Art under the direction of the American portrait painter John Singer Sargent between 1900 and 1904....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 29 January 1878, in Suresnes; died 26 January 1957, in Paris.

Painter, watercolourist, poster artist. Stage sets.

Emile Bertin began his artistic career as a painter, studying under Eugène Carrière. He presented a number of wax models at the Salon d'Automne of ...

Article

Kenneth Archer

(Yakovlevich)

(b Tarkhovka, St Petersburg, Aug 4, 1876; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Feb 7, 1942).

Russian graphic artist and stage designer. The son of a naval doctor, Bilibin was educated in St Petersburg, studying law at the University (1896–1900) and art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1895–8); then, under Il’ya Repin, he studied at both Princess Maria Tenisheva’s Art School (1898–1900) and the Academy of Arts (1900–04). From 1899 he exhibited with the group known as the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) and was elected chairman of its reconstituted exhibition society in 1916. He also contributed to the Mir Iskusstva journal. Meanwhile he taught graphic art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1907–17).

Bilibin had a strong interest in Russian medieval and folk art and became famous for his book illustrations of Russian fairy tales, especially those by Pushkin. His most celebrated theatrical works were his set and costume designs for operas by ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b Riga, Sept 6, 1943).

Latvian painter, stage designer and graphic designer. After a childhood spent in Siberian exile, he studied decorative art and trained as a painter in the Latvian Art Academy (1963–72), preparing for a career as a stage designer. Stage design and the applied arts were less constrained by Socialist Realist dictates during the 1970s, and he quickly became one of Latvia’s most innovative artists. His fluency with process art and installation, for example, was already evident in his designs for a 1973 Riga production of Žanna d’Arka (Joan of Arc) by Andrej Upīts, the stage metamorphosing from Minimalist cavity to an assemblage in Arte Povera style. Abandoning the theatre in 1987, Blumbergs continued his prolific output. His compositions, sometimes abstract, often figurative and allegorical, are notable within Latvian art for their spare elegance and uncontrived expressiveness, successfully combining grand literary allusion and subtle metaphysical content. His graphic virtuosity earned him a degree of international celebrity rare among his Latvian peers. Exceptional, too, for his political candour, he was a harbinger of ...

Article

Michael Howard

(b Vercelli, Piedmont, March 11, 1806; d Dijon, March 5, 1867).

French painter, illustrator, set designer and poet. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Guillaume Lethière from 1821. The Punishment of Mazeppa (1827; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.), inspired by the scene from Byron’s poem, in which Mazeppa is tied to the back of a wildly stampeding horse, is his most important early painting and one of the key images of the Romantic movement.

Early in his career Boulanger became friendly with Eugène and Achille Devéria. Through them he met Victor Hugo, who became his ardent supporter and the source of many of his most typical works. Among Boulanger’s illustrations were those for Hugo’s Odes et ballades (1829), Les Orientales (1829), Les Fantômes (1829) and Notre-Dame de Paris (1844). Boulanger interpreted the macabre and romantic quality of Hugo’s texts with an imaginative power and freedom that anticipated Redon (e.g. ‘...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1942, in Salem (Arkansas); died 25 May 1994.

Draughtsman, painter, graphic artist, assemblage artist, illustrator, set designer.

Joe Brainard was born in Salem but grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his family had moved when he was still a young boy. His father was an amateur painter and draughtsman and his grandfather a poet, and Brainard's artistic talent showed early when he began winning local competitions. In high school he met the aspiring poets Ron Padgett and Dick Gallup, with whom he founded ...

Article

Alberto Cernuschi

(b Fresnaye-sur-Sarthe, nr Alençon, July 11, 1899; d Paris, March 1, 1979).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. He studied briefly at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux and from 1917 at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris under Eugène Morand (b 1885), whose innovative teaching influenced his later work.

Brianchon was an eclectic artist, and there are traces in his work of many of the styles that succeeded each other in Paris during the period in which he worked. Taking landscapes, cityscapes and images of women as his main subject-matter, he nevertheless managed to maintain a distinctive approach based on a harmonious colour sense and a concern with calm, silent or moonlit atmospheres. The Courtesans (1932; Paris, Mus. A. Mod. Ville Paris) and Rue La Fontaine (1946; Geneva, Petit Pal.) are typical of his work as a painter. He also produced murals (e.g. Symphony, 1936; Paris, Pal. Chaillot), book illustrations (e.g. lithographs for André Gide’s Le Théâtre complet...

Article

Andrew Causey

(b London, March 29, 1905; d Hastings, Oct 22, 1976).

English painter, illustrator and stage designer. As a student at the Chelsea Polytechnic (1921–3) and the Royal College of Art (1923–5) he became a talented figure draughtsman. In the second half of the decade he spent much time in France painting intricately detailed urban scenes, which depicted the low life of Toulon and Marseille. Works such as the watercolour Toulon (1927; priv. col., see Causey, cat. no. 33) were executed in a meticulously finished and vividly coloured decorative style. Burra usually used watercolour and tempera and occasionally collage oil paints.

Burra took ideas from Cubism, Dada (notably George Grosz) and, especially, Surrealism, but his work is also linked with the English satirical tradition of William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson and Isaac Cruikshank: Burra loved burlesque and poked fun at people’s pretensions and excesses of style and behaviour, as in John Deth (Homage to Conrad Aiken) (...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 24 January 1901, in Kharkov, Ukraine; died 18 June 1968, in Paris.

Painter, draughtsman, graphic designer, poster artist. Stage sets.

Art Deco.

Cassandre moved to Paris in 1915 and studied at the Académie Julian. He devoted himself to advertising as of 1922 and was responsible for publicity campaigns and poster artwork, including some of the most striking and memorable of the day: ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1910, in Nice.

Painter, poster artist. Stage sets.

Jean Cassarini taught at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Nice. He was a friend of Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard, with whom he co-founded in 1945 the Union Méditerranée pour l'Art Moderne in Nice, the object being to uncover and foster new artistic talent. Jean Cassarini painted in oils, produced posters and designed stage sets. He was greatly influenced by the Cubists. His intertwined figures are an amalgam of intimacy and modesty, painted in the forceful colours of the Mediterranean....

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 20 November 1936, in Milan.

Painter, poster artist. Sporting subjects, figures. Murals, film sets.

Luigi Castigloni learned scenography at La Scala in Milan between 1954 and 1956 and received his diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in ...