(b Madrid, Feb 26, 1937).
Spanish painter, sculptor, potter, printmaker and stage designer . As a painter he was mainly self-taught. After working as a journalist in 1957, he left Spain in 1958 to avoid military service, settling in Paris. There he continued to work both as a journalist and painter. From 1968 to 1972 he lived in Milan, returning to Paris in 1973. His work developed from expressionism to realism (Nueva figurina), which reflected on the pictorial language and function of painting and the artist’s role in society. He manipulated ready-made images, words and elements derived from commercial art and the work of other painters. His pieces formed series whose titles referred to the legacy of the Spanish Civil War and the contemporary political situation to help make their critical point. His work frequently provoked controversy, for example his series Arcole Bridge and St Bernard’s Pass (1962–6) was based on the theme of Napoleon Bonaparte as a symbol of imperialism (e.g. ...
Athena S. E. Leoussi
(b Paris, Feb 15, 1802; d Annet-sur-Marne, June 27, 1868).
French painter and pastellist. The son of a porcelain-maker, he first learnt painting in the studio of a porcelain decorator. After a period as a theatre decorator and a dancer, he became a pupil of the animal painter Joseph François Pâris (1784–1871). He devoted himself to landscape painting and became one of the precursors of plein-air painting. Referring to himself as a ‘romantique-naturaliste’, he was a member of the new Naturalist school of landscape painting that emerged in the 1830s in opposition to the official classicism of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He was one of the first to paint sur le motif (from life) in the forest of Fontainebleau, and he also made frequent visits to Barbizon, joining that group of artists known as ‘le groupe de Marlotte’. His works consist largely of views of Normandy and the Paris environs; he concentrated on thatched cottages, farmyards, prairies, ponds and riverbanks. He made his début at the Salon in ...
(b Paris, Oct 31, 1883; d Paris, June 8, 1956).
French painter, stage designer and illustrator. After studying porcelain painting at the Sèvres factory (1901) and drawing in Paris under the French flower painter Madelaine Lemaire (1845–1928), in 1903–4 she studied at the Académie Humbert in Paris, where she met Georges Braque and Francis Picabia. In 1907 she first exhibited paintings at the Salon des Indépendants, met Picasso at Clovis Sagot’s gallery and through Picasso was introduced to the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Laurencin and Apollinaire were soon on intimate terms, their relationship lasting until 1912.
Laurencin became a regular associate of the painters and poets associated with the Bateau-Lavoir, who included Picasso, Braque, Gris, Max Jacob and André Salmon. She was present at the banquet given by Picasso in honour of Henri Rousseau in 1908 and produced the first version of Apollinaire and his Friends (1908; Baltimore, MD, Mus. A.) in a highly simplified style, in which she pictured herself and the poet with Picasso and his companion Fernande Olivier. Both this and a larger version with additional figures (...
(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 ...
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 ...
(b Bohuňovice, July 27, 1934).
Czech photographer. He trained as a porcelain modeller in Karlovy Vary and studied stage design in Prague. He took up photography seriously in 1958. He first worked as a graphic artist in advertising, then as a photographer at the Museum of Industrial Art in Prague and from 1983 freelance. From the beginning Svoboda intentionally followed the style, and even the lifestyle, of Josef Sudek. Svoboda concentrated exclusively on the world of intimate images, photographing static objects belonging to his immediate surroundings and expressing intimate feelings through depictions of his flat or workplace. He enlarged from medium or large format negatives, and light plays a meaningful role in his images....
[Gr.: ‘drinking together’]
Highly ritualized drinking party that developed in Archaic and Classical Greece. Initially restricted to aristocratic circles, participants were exclusively male; women, if they attended at all, attended in subordinate roles as servants, dancers, musicians, prostitutes or more refined courtesans (Gr. hetairai). A symposion took place in specially constructed room, the andron (men's room), fitted to accommodate a series of klinai (dining couches) along the walls and usually recognizable in the archaeological footprint of a house through its off-centre doorway. Food was a secondary element; it was offered first and served on small, low tables standing in front of the couches. After the meal and a sacrifice, the drinking began. Revellers elected one of their number as symposiarch, or master of proceedings, whose task it was to decide the pace of drinking and ratio of wine to water to be imbibed (Greeks always diluted their wine; drinking it undiluted was considered barbaric); he would also determine a topic for conversation. Symposia could range from highly philosophical discourse (as immortalized in Plato's famous dialogue, ...