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Article

Acosta, Wladimiro  

Ludovico C. Koppmann

[Konstantinovsky, Wladimir]

(b Odessa, Russia, Jun 23, 1900; d Buenos Aires, Jul 11, 1967).

Argentine architect. He studied architecture at the Istituto di Belle Arti in Rome, graduating in 1919. From 1922 he worked in Germany, gaining experience in building engineering and urban design, before moving to Argentina in 1928. He worked in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala, and, from 1954 to 1957, in the USA, where he taught (1956) at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. On his return to Argentina he was appointed Professor of Architectural Composition (1957–1966) at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Acosta was an early exponent of an approach to architecture through environmental design and engineering, which he promoted through his book Vivienda y clima (1937) and his “Helios” buildings. These were based upon correct orientation, cross-ventilation, and the control of solar radiation by means of brises-soleil, with minimal mechanical intervention. Like the architects of the Modern Movement in Europe, he saw architecture as a social phenomenon and became dedicated to the provision of mass housing for rapidly growing urban populations. His early work included individual houses in Buenos Aires, for example the Casa Stern, Ramos Mejía (...

Article

Alÿs, Francis  

Francis Summers

revised by Martin R. Patrick

(b Antwerp, Aug 22, 1959).

Belgian-born interdisciplinary artist, active in Mexico. He studied architecture at the Institut d’Architecture de Tournai in Belgium (1978–83) and at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice (1983–6). Alÿs moved to Mexico in 1987 and his art practice initially concentrated on Mexico City as a laboratory of urban living, often documented in the form of evocative, conceptually layered photographs, sculptures, and videos. In the slide series Ambulantes (Pushing and Pulling) (1992–2002), Alÿs photographed street vendors and workers as they passed by carting a wide variety of goods within a ten-block vicinity of his studio. For his project entitled The Liar, The Copy of the Liar (1997) Alÿs created small images of suited men inspired by the commercial sign painters of Mexico City, and subsequently commissioned from them larger versions in their own styles. In this process Alÿs deferred authorship into a semantic chain. Hovering between the banal and the surreal, these works have an uncanny theme, of individuals observed in situations that defy explanation....

Article

Azevedo, Francisco de Paula Ramos de  

Carlos A. C. Lemos

(b São Paulo, Dec 8, 1851; d Guarujá, Jun 13, 1928).

Brazilian architect. He studied at the Escola Militar in Rio de Janeiro (1869–1872) and then trained as an engineer–architect, graduating in 1878 from the University of Ghent, Belgium, under the patronage of the Visconde de Parnaíba, who subsequently provided him with his first commissions in Rio. His architectural education was based on the classicism of the Beaux-Arts tradition, and one of his designs represented his school at the Exposition Internationale (1878) in Paris. He began his career in 1883 in Campinas, where his family had originated, when he completed some unfinished work on the 18th-century parish church; this project became well known for his use of the taipa de pilão (Port.: “pounded gravel wall”) construction techniques of the earlier builders, a considerable engineering feat.

In 1886 Azevedo began to work in São Paulo and designed for the government two neo-Renaissance buildings, the Tesouraria da Fazenda Nacional (...

Article

Bonet, Antonio  

Ludovico C. Koppmann

(b Barcelona, Jun 2, 1913; d Barcelona, Sept 13, 1989).

Spanish architect, urban planner, and designer, also active in Argentina and Uruguay. He graduated from the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura, Barcelona, in 1936, having also worked during 1932–1936 in the offices of Josep Lluís Sert and, in Paris, of Le Corbusier. In 1938 he went to Buenos Aires and there became a founder member of Grupo Austral, together with (among others) Jorge Ferrari Hardoy (1914–1977) and Juan Kurchan (1913–1972), with whom he had worked in Paris. Bonet applied the rationalist principles of the group’s manifesto Voluntad y acción (1939) in a wide range of architectural and urban-design projects in Argentina and Uruguay over the next two decades. He is perhaps most widely known for his individual houses, and especially for the Casa Berlingieri (1946) at Punta Ballena, Uruguay, and (with Jorge Vivanco and Valera Peluffo) for the four pavilions at Martínez, Buenos Aires, in a manner reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s work of a decade or so earlier, although quite original in expression. As a planner Bonet was involved in the master plans for Mendoza (...

Article

Bravo, Claudio  

Milan Ivelić

(b Valparaíso, Nov 8, 1936; d Taroudant, Jun 4, 2011).

Chilean painter and draftsman. He studied painting in Santiago in 1947–1948 with the Chilean painter Miguel Venegas, then lived in Spain from 1961 to 1972 before moving to Tangiers. His entire artistic career was conducted outside his native country.

Bravo initially worked as a portrait painter, supporting himself in Spain through commissions, which also introduced him into Spanish high society. His sitters included General Franco and his family. Later, while still in Spain, he began painting packages and wrapped objects in a polished, highly detailed realist style bordering on Photorealism but consciously related to the Spanish still-life tradition represented by Zurbarán and Velázquez, whose work he greatly admired. He remarked that he hoped to be regarded as one of the few 20th-century painters to have respected the work of the Old Masters and learned from it.

Working with both oil paints and pastels, after moving to Morocco, Bravo combined objects with human figures in interior spaces, displaying perfect control of the luminous atmosphere and the strict perspective. While his technical facility was undeniable, the ambiguity of his subject matter and the mysteriousness of his settings, tempering the clarity of the figures and objects, led him beyond the mere reproduction of appearances. Unlike the Photorealists, who tended to present their images as straightforward visual evidence, Bravo used his motifs as a way of dealing with obsessions such as narcissism or the random meeting of figures unconnected in time. An illusory and confusing interplay between reality and representation is central to Bravo’s work, leaving the spectator unsure whether what he is seeing lies inside or outside the painting....

Article

Camponovo, Antonio  

Teresa Gisbert

(b Medrissio, Ticino, 1850; d Buenos Aires, 1938).

Swiss architect, active in Bolivia. He studied at the Politecnico, Turin. At the end of the 1860s he emigrated to Argentina and later moved to Sucre, Bolivia, where with his brother Miguel Camponovo he planned and built the Banco Nacional (begun 1872). Its style is derived from early Renaissance forms, with characteristic mullioned windows, and it is among the first examples in Bolivia of Eclecticism, which was then in fashion in the European academies. He also worked on the Palacio de Gobierno (begun 1892), Sucre (see Bolivia, Republic of §II 2., (i)), and designed private houses, such as the country house (quinta) El Guereo, outside Sucre, and the Palacio de la Glorieta (c. 1900), Sucre, for the Argandoña family, which combines elements of the Romanesque, Renaissance, Arabic, and neoclassical styles in one of the most richly eclectic buildings in Bolivia. In 1900...

Article

Cetto, Max  

Xavier Moyssén

(L.)

(b Koblenz, Feb 20, 1903; d Mexico City, Apr 5, 1980).

Mexican architect, architectural historian, and teacher, of German birth. He studied at the technical universities of Darmstadt, Munich, and Berlin. At the latter he studied with Hans Poelzig, graduating as an engineer–architect in 1926. In 1927 he took part in the plan for the headquarters of the League of Nations in Geneva, and he was a founder-member of CIAM. He moved to San Francisco, CA, in 1938, where he worked in the studio of Richard Neutra. He settled in Mexico in 1939 and became a naturalized Mexican in 1947. As well as having a natural affinity with Mexico, he was able to incorporate his European experiences into what he built there. The respect for nature he had learned from Neutra is evident in his handling of the volcanic terrain of the Jardines del Pedregal, Mexico City, where he collaborated with Luis Barragán, constructing various houses amid the impressive scenery of the place without disturbing the volcanic lava or the vegetation. He also showed skill and great sensitivity in using the materials and techniques of the region. Notable examples of his work there are his own house (...

Article

Ciriani, Henri  

Christian Devillers

(b Lima, Dec 30, 1936).

French architect and teacher of Peruvian birth. He graduated from the Facultad de Arquitectura in Lima (1960) and from 1961 to 1964 was a project leader in government studios where he carried out housing projects at Ventanilla, Matute, Ríma and S. Felipe, all in Lima. He also taught there and designed some private houses (with Crousse and Páez). He moved to France in 1964 and began to teach architecture at the University of Paris in 1969. From 1969 to 1982 he was a member of the multi-disciplinary cooperative AUA and designed several projects including the public spaces (1968–74; with Michel Corajoud and Borja Huidobro) for AUA’s Villeneuve housing project in Grenoble; the experimental industrialized living module Tétrodon (1971; with J. Berce); and he collaborated on AUA’s competition entry (1972) for the centre of the new town of Evry. His own practice included the design of several housing estates such as Noisy 2 (...

Article

Friedeberg, Pedro  

Julieta Ortiz Gaitán

revised by Mark A. Castro

(b Florence, Jan 11, 1937).

Mexican painter, printmaker, draftsman, muralist, book illustrator, sculptor, and designer. Born in Italy to German Jewish parents, Friedeberg and his mother fled war-torn Europe and arrived in Mexico in 1940. He showed an interest in art and architecture from an early age and enrolled at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City in 1955. There he met the German sculptor Mathias Goeritz, who would become one of his mentors.

In the late 1950s, Friedeberg gave up architecture in favor of painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, and furniture design. His paintings were sometimes described as examples of Surrealism or Fantastic Realism, a notion that was reinforced by Friedeberg’s acquaintance with the Spanish painter Remedios Varo, as well as other Surrealist artists in Mexico, such as Leonora Carrington and Alice Rahon. Nevertheless, his work is not easily definable in terms of conventional categories, showing elements not only of late Surrealism but also of Pop art...

Article

Gego  

Gustavo Navarro-Castro

revised by Iliana Cepero

[Goldschmidt, Gertrudis]

(b Hamburg, Aug 1, 1912; d Caracas, Sept 17, 1994).

Venezuelan architect, sculptor, draftsman, and printmaker of German birth. She studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart until 1938; one of her principal teachers was Paul Bonatz. The following year she traveled to Venezuela, where she combined her artistic career as a sculptor, draftsman, and engraver with teaching. In 1952 she adopted Venezuelan nationality and in 1953 she moved to the coastal town of Tarma where she made watercolors, drawings, and prints. Upon her return to Caracas in 1956, and inspired by the kinetic art movement, she began experimenting with the conversion of planes into three-dimensional forms, exploring the media of drawing, watercolor, engraving, collage, and sculpture and integrating them into architectural spaces, defying artistic conventions. A pioneering example of this approach was her 1962 design for the headquarters of the Banco Industrial de Venezuela in Caracas, which comprised a 10 m tower of interlocking aluminum and steel tubes....

Article

Gottardi (Folin), Roberto  

Roberto Segre

(b Venice, Jan 30, 1927).

Italian architect, stage designer, and teacher, active in Cuba. He graduated from the Istituto Superiore d’Archittetura in Venice in 1952, where he was a pupil of Carlo Scarpa, Franco Albini, and Luigi Piccinato (1899–1983). He began his professional career in BBPR Architectural Studio in Milan. In 1957 he went to Venezuela to work in a local studio and in 1960 was invited to join a Cuban program. Thereafter he trained architectural students in the problems of creativity and plasticity as professor of Basic Design of the Faculty of Architecture in Havana. In 1961 he took part with Ricardo Porro and Vittorio Garatti in designing the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte at Cubanacán, Havana, his particular role being the designing of the Escuela de Artes Dramáticas. In this building he combined the compact volumetric tradition of brick walls and the irregular urban spaces of medieval Italian cities with the internal courtyards of Spanish colonial tradition. The work was broken off in ...

Article

Heep, (Adolf) Franz  

Julio Roberto Katinsky

revised by Alana Hernandez

(b Fechbach, Silesia, Jul 24, 1902; d Paris, Apr 3, 1978).

Brazilian architect of German birth. He studied architecture at the Kunstschule, Frankfurt am Main, where he was a pupil of both Adolf Meyer and Walter Gropius, with whom he worked in Frankfurt from 1924 to 1928. Heep moved to Paris in 1928 and finished his education at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris. It was in Paris that he met and worked for Le Corbusier for four years. In 1932 he set up an office with Jean Ginsberg, designing apartment blocks that successfully adapted the design principles of Le Corbusier’s villas to the typology of the infill building, and he became well known in the Paris region. He left Paris during World War II and moved to Brazil in 1947, where he settled in São Paulo, at first working in engineering and construction offices and then establishing his own architectural office in 1950. He became a naturalized citizen in 1952...

Article

Jaar, Alfredo  

Sarah Urist Green

revised by Julia Detchon

(b Santiago, Chile, Feb 5, 1956).

Chilean architect, public interventionist, installation artist, photographer, and filmmaker, active in the USA. He first studied architecture at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, then filmmaking at the Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano de Cultura, Santiago, concluding in 1981. Throughout his career, Jaar’s works have taken many forms in order to address global themes of injustice and illuminate structures of power. In over fifty projects he termed “public interventions,” Jaar conducted extensive research around the world to create site-specific works that reflect political and social realities near and far from his sites of exhibition. He created works—in gallery spaces and in public, often engaging spectator involvement—that present images critically and confront the social and political interests they serve.

Jaar’s first public intervention was Studies on Happiness (1979–1981), a three-year series of performances and exhibitions in which he asked the question, “Are you happy?” of people in the streets of Santiago. Inspired by ...

Article

Kaspé, Vladimir  

Alberto González Pozo

(b Harbin, Manchuria [now China], May 3, 1910; d Mexico City, Oct 7, 1996).

Mexican architect, teacher, and writer, of Russian descent. In 1926 he settled in Paris, where between 1929 and 1935 he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under Georges Gromort. He moved to Mexico in 1942, where he combined editorial work on the periodical Arquitectura México, run by Mario Pani, with his first commissions in Mexico City, among them the “Albert Einstein” Secondary School (1949), with walls of exposed brick. Other examples of his educational architecture, notable for their formal austerity, include the Liceo Franco-Mexicano (1950) and the Facultad de Economía (1953; with J. Hanhausen), Ciudad Universitaria, both in Mexico City. From the 1950s to the 1970s Kaspé continued building in Mexico City; outstanding examples of his work are the Centro Deportivo Israelita (1950–1962), Periférico Norte; the Laboratorios Roussel (1961), Avenida Universidad y M. A. Quevedo; and the offices of Supermercados S. A. (...

Article

Manglano-Ovalle, Iñigo  

Susan Snodgrass

(b Madrid, 1961).

Chicago-based American sculptor, photographer, video artist, installation artist of Spanish birth. He received a BA in art and art history and a BA in Latin American and Spanish literature from Williams College in 1983. In 1989 he earned a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Manglano-Ovalle’s hybrid practice emerged with Tele-vecindario: A Street-Level Video Block Party, a public art project created for Culture in Action, a community-based art program in Chicago in 1992–1993. Working with Latino youth in Chicago’s West Town community, an area often challenged by substandard housing, drugs, and gang violence, the artist facilitated a multimedia portrait of their lives in which these youth constructed their own images and concept of self. Issues of identity, community, and migration, as they relate to both cultural and geographic borders, have been explored throughout his career that includes collaborative modes of working, as well as individual works sited within the museum or gallery. For Manglano-Ovalle, culture encompassed a broad network of systems—artistic, political, environmental, scientific—in constant dialogue, negotiated by both artist and viewer....

Article

Mindlin, Henrique E(phim)  

Carlos A. C. Lemos

revised by Mariana von Hartenthal

(b São Paulo, Feb 1, 1911; d Rio de Janeiro, Jul 6, 1971).

Brazilian architect, writer, and teacher. He was the son of Russian immigrants and grew up in an artistic environment. He graduated in 1932 as an engineer–architect from the Mackenzie School of Engineering, São Paulo, and went into practice in São Paulo, carrying out some Modernist work. In 1942 he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he came into contact with the architects who had been influenced by Le Corbusier, including Lucio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer, Alfonso Eduardo Reidy, and Jorge Moreira. Like them, Mindlin became involved with the development of a Brazilian version of Le Corbusier’s rationalist Modernism. His first project in Rio was a prizewinning design for the new Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1942; unexecuted) at Itamaraty; thereafter he won several prizes, becoming well known for his participation in competitions and exhibitions. In 1943–1944 he studied architecture and construction projects in the USA. He then embarked on a prolific career, designing houses, apartment blocks, offices, industrial buildings, hotels, and shops. His domestic work was highly creative, often using butterfly roofs, sunscreens, and naturally finished wall planes, and his commercial work incorporated the latest technology, for example the Avenida Central Building (...

Article

Morales de los Ríos (y García Pimentel), Adolfo  

Alberto Villar Movellán

(b Seville, Mar 10, 1858; d Rio de Janeiro, Sept 3, 1928).

Spanish architect, writer, and teacher, active in Brazil. He was educated by the Jesuits at Puerto de Santa María and the Real Seminario de Nobles, Vergara. After an original preference for studying engineering in Madrid, he attended the École d’Architecture in Paris from 1877 to 1882. His teachers included Jules de Mérindol (1814–1888) and Genepin, through whom he met Viollet-le-Duc. After finishing his studies he returned to Spain and took part in numerous competitions: for the Casino at San Sebastián, the Mercado Central, Valencia, the Banco de España, Madrid, the Gran Teatro, Cadiz, and others. He also became active in politics, in the Reformista party, but was unsuccessful as a candidate and left for South America in 1889, settling permanently in Brazil. Based in Rio de Janeiro, he established an architectural career and became one of the more prominent exponents there of late 19th-century eclecticism. He typically worked on large, monumental projects, with spacious ground-plans and façades divided (in the French style) by projecting bays. Outstanding among these are the Escola (now Museu) Nacional de Belas Artes (...

Article

Piqueras Cotolí, Manuel  

Pauline Antrobus

(b Lucena, Andalusia, 1886; d Lima, June 26, 1937).

Spanish sculptor and architect, active in Peru. After an eight-year apprenticeship in Madrid with the sculptor Miguel Fábregas Blay, he travelled to Rome in 1913 and a year later was awarded a scholarship for the Academia de España. He was officially appointed professor of sculpture at the newly opened Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima on 1 June 1919. Piqueras was instrumental in the plans for modernizing Lima drawn up by President Augusto B. Leguia (1919–30). He designed plans for the urbanization of the suburb of San Isidro and the remodelling of Plaza San Martín; designed the chapel dedicated to Francisco Pizarro in the cathedral, and sculpted the figures adorning the conquistador’s tomb (1929).

Piqueras was responsible for creating the neo-Peruvian architectural language, a re-working of the mestizo style of colonial architecture. By incorporating Pre-Columbian architectural elements and indigenous motifs within a European framework, he believed that the neo-Peruano style represented the ‘biological psychology’ of the emerging Peruvian nation. Three state commissions enabled Piqueras to explore the potential of his eclectic neo-Peruvian vocabulary: the façade of the Escuel Nacional de Bellas Artes, Lima (...

Article

Porro (Hidalgo), Ricardo  

Albert Lopez

(b Camagüey, Nov 3, 1925; d Paris, Dec 25, 2014).

Cuban architect and urban planner, also active in France. Porro trained as an architect at the School of Architecture of the University of Havana, graduating in 1949. He studied for two years at the Institut d’urbanisme at the Sorbonne in Paris. While in Europe, he became acquainted with the Cuban painter Wifredo Lam. From this contact he developed an interest in Afro-Cuban culture as well as in in Marxism (an ideology he would eventually reject). In 1952 he attended a CIAM workshop held in Venice and taught by Le Corbusier, Giulio Carlo Argan, Ignacio Gardella, Ernesto Rogers, Carlo Scarpa, and Bruno Zevi. Rogers’s influence was critical for Porro, as he claimed to have gained a deeper understanding of architectural tradition, or “continuity,” from the Italian architect.

Porro designed a handful of houses in Havana built prior to the Cuban Revolution of 1959. They display a rapid development of personal style, from the rationality of his Armenteros House (...

Article

Reinoso, Pablo  

Argentinian, French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 8 March 1955, in Buenos Aires.

Sculptor, installation artist.

Pablo Reinoso studied architecture at Buenos Aires University from 1973 to 1976. He now lives in Paris, where he wears a number of hats: as artistic director for the Givenchy perfume house and as a consultant to the French luxury consumer goods manufacturer Moët-Hennessy Louis Vuitton, in addition to running his own independent design consultancy, lecturing on corporate branding and being active in the world of theatre. Reinoso's sculptures are comprised of canvases inflated by air from heating ducts. As metaphors for the human form, they juxtapose transience and permanence, empty space and artefact....