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Christine Mullen Kreamer

(b Jan 25, 1930; d Lomé, Jan 4, 2010).

Togolese painter, sculptor, engraver, stained glass designer, potter and textile designer. Beginning in 1946, he received his secondary education in Dakar, where he also worked in an architecture firm. He travelled to France and received his diplôme supérieur from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. A versatile artist, Ahyi is best known for his murals and for monumental stone, marble and cement public sculptures. His work reflects the fusion of his Togolese roots, European training and an international outlook, and he counts among his influences Moore, Braque, Modigliani, Tamayo, Siqueiros and Tall. His work combines ancient and modern themes and materials, maternity being a prominent topic. The messages of his larger, public pieces operate on a broad level to appeal to the general populace, while smaller works often reflect his private engagement with challenges confronting the human condition. His compositions are both abstract and figurative and evoke the heroism and hope of the two world wars, Togo's colonial period and the struggle for independence from France, as well as the political efforts of the peoples of Vietnam, South Africa and Palestine. Ahyi has won numerous international prizes, including the prize of the city of Lyon (...

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Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Valerie Holman

(b Mennecy, Seine-et-Oise, Feb 3, 1895; d Paris, June 6, 1979).

French painter, sculptor, draughtsman, graphic artist, ceramicist and tapestry designer. He attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, from 1911, until he joined the army in 1915. After World War I he devoted himself primarily to painting. In 1922 he met Juan Gris with whose encouragement his early Matisse-influenced rhythmical compositions acquired greater stability. In the late 1920s he was promoted by Tériade as a successor to the Cubists, with such works as The Mirror (1929; Paris, Pompidou), in which a highly simplified figure and its mirror-image are defined by patches of flat colour and fragments of linear contrast, and by the 1940s he was seen as one of the major representatives of the Ecole de Paris. In the 1950s his earlier predilection for curvilinear shapes gave way to a more angular and dynamic geometry, as in the First Race (1952; Paris, Pompidou). His subject-matter was taken from daily life, with marked preferences for the nude in movement, as in ...

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British, 20th century, male.

Active in Crays Pond, near Reading.

Born 1909, in Essex; died November 1996, in London.

Painter, printmaker, sculptor, ceramicist, textile designer. Portraits, landscapes, urban landscapes.

London Group.

André Bicât was a self-taught artist. Born to French and Anglo-Irish parents, he worked as a theatre designer and scene painter in the 1930s. His theatre work included work for Mercury Theatre Productions in ...

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Portuguese, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1963.

Born 1926, in Lisbon.

Painter, engraver, sculptor, ceramicist, illustrator. Designs for stained glass, tapestries.

A graduate of the school of decorative arts in Lisbon, Julio Pomar worked in the art colleges of Lisbon and Paris. He was originally influenced by Socialist Realism, especially by Portinari. A virtuoso graphic artist, his realism excels in the curlicues of a decorative style exaggerated to the point of being non-representational. He has illustrated Cervantes's ...

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German, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 20 June 1868, in Munich; died 15 April 1957, in Munich.

Painter, sculptor, decorative designer, designer, architect, interior designer. Genre scenes. Furniture, fabrics, ceramic, glassware, carpets, toys.

Richard Riemerschmid trained in painting at the Kunstakademie of Munich from 1888...

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Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1922, in Besançon, of Corsican origin.

Painter, sculptor, potter. Designs for stained glass, tapestries.

Jean Rigazzi studied law in Paris and went to sea for a number of years before settling down to work in Antwerp. He started out as a painter but subsequently turned to sculpture, stained glass, ceramics and tapestry work. His paintings, typically by palette-knife, hover at the fringes of the figurative and the informal, with a mixture of ochres, reds, yellows and blues combining to produce strikingly luminous compositions....

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Giancarlo Gentilini

Italian family of sculptors and potters. They were active in Florence from the early 15th century and elsewhere in Italy and France well into the 16th. Family members were traditionally employed in the textile industry, and their name derives from rubia tinctorum, a red dye. (1) Luca della Robbia founded the family sculpture workshop in Florence and was regarded by contemporaries as a leading artistic innovator, comparable to Donatello and Masaccio. The influence of antique art and his characteristic liveliness and charm are evident in such works as the marble singing-gallery for Florence Cathedral. He is credited with the invention of the tin-glazed terracotta sculpture for which the family became well known. His nephew (2) Andrea della Robbia, who inherited the workshop, tended to use more complex compositions and polychrome glazing rather than the simple blue-and-white schemes favoured by his uncle.

Several of Andrea’s sons worked in the shop. Marco della Robbia (...

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Rococo  

Richard John and Ludwig Tavernier

A decorative style of the early to mid-18th century, primarily influencing the ornamental arts in Europe, especially in France, southern Germany and Austria. The character of its formal idiom is marked by asymmetry and naturalism, displaying in particular a fascination with shell-like and watery forms. Further information on the Rococo can be found in this dictionary within the survey articles on the relevant countries.

Richard John

The nature and limits of the Rococo have been the subject of controversy for over a century, and the debate shows little sign of resolution. As recently as 1966, entries in two major reference works, the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture and the Enciclopedia universale dell’arte (EWA), were in complete contradiction, one altogether denying its status as a style, the other claiming that it ‘is not a mere ornamental style, but a style capable of suffusing all spheres of art’. The term Rococo seems to have been first used in the closing years of the 18th century, although it was not acknowledged by the ...

Article

Anna Bentkowska

(b Łódź, May 3, 1924).

Polish sculptor, draughtsman, painter, ceramicist, printmaker and tapestry designer. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Łódź, graduating in 1951. His style derives from Constructivism and from the ‘Unism’ of his teacher Władysław Strzemiński. Starczewski’s complex art uses the complementary treatment in combination with different visual disciplines. He was particularly interested in rhythmic, precise arrangements of forms and signs (e.g. MF 7/9, embossed paper, 1972, see D. Wróblewska: Polish Contemporary Graphic Art (Warsaw, 1983), fig.). One of his earliest works was a large-scale ceramic bas-relief entitled Disposition for Two Hands (1959–60), a geometric abstraction made for the University Library in Łódź. In 1963 he produced his first Alphabet of sculptural signs, a series of works that led to his conception of Tables (examples of both in Łódź, Mus. A.), which he started to create in 1973. On a long, rectangular table covered with a white tablecloth, Starczewski arranged alternate rows of identical forms, such as potatoes or bread rolls (ceramic or real), or sequences of three objects (e.g. a wine glass, toothbrush and tube of toothpaste). These arrangements are accompanied by graphic compositions that explore different types of signs (print, braille, handwriting) and examine their relationship (e.g. ...

Article

Aleksandr U. Grekov

Russian estate lying 18 km from Smolensk. It was acquired in 1893 by Prince Vyacheslav Tenishev (1843–1903) and his wife Mariya Tenisheva. In the 19th century and the early 20th Princess Tenisheva, with the help of her husband’s capital (he was a leading industrialist and businessman), turned Talashkino into a unique artistic centre in the forefront of the revival of peasant handicrafts. She founded various workshops for joinery, ceramics, wood-carving, wood painting, metal chasing and fabric dyeing, where local craftsmen and apprentices from the peasantry worked under professional artists. They manufactured different objects for everyday life, including towels, clothes, wooden bowls, plates and toys. This took place in the context of the mutual enrichment of folk crafts and professional Art Nouveau in Russia at that time. Tenisheva formed a large collection of objects from traditional folk life, and of artistic products. Originally they were housed on the estate, where a museum, Russkaya Starina (‘Russian antiquity’), was opened to all in ...

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Czech, 20th century, male.

Born 1882, in Prague, to German and Austrian parents; died 1976, in Bad Ischl.

Sculptor, draughtsman, designer. Designs for mosaics, glassware, metal objects, ceramics, fabrics, wallpapers.

Wolfgang von Wersin studied painting and architecture in Prague. In 1901 he settled in Munich where he pursued both of his careers. He was attracted to the quality of Jugendstil, particularly the innovations of Endell or Riemerschmid. He entered the private school founded by Hermann Obrist and Wilhelm Debschitz. He later became a teacher of modelling ...