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Article

Italian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 17 July 1947, in Milan.

Painter, sculptor, theorist.

Arte Povera, Conceptual Art.

Adriano Altamira put forward his first critical observations on the phenomena of vision in 1967. Next he began to use minimalist structures, plaits and interlacings, like some of the methods used in France by the ...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(Mikhailovich)

(b Moscow, June 10, 1925; d Feb 29, 2012).

Russian painter, sculptor, theorist and teacher. He attended the Surikov Institute of Art in Moscow (1942–7), where he completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies; his teachers there were Aristarkh Lentulov, Pavel Kuznetsov and Lev Bruni. He obtained a doctorate in art history and was a specialist in the historiography of Russian art. In 1948 he established an independent studio, which was unique for its time and which provided the base for the New Realist movement, a kind of monumental tachism. Over several years approximately 600 artists and architects passed through the studio. In 1962 he organized one of the first public exhibitions of avant-garde art in Moscow. Displayed at the Central Exhibition Hall (Manezh), it was wildly slandered by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the moment that proved most symptomatic of the end of a period of political thaw. From 1964 artists of the New Realist movement worked at Belyutin’s dacha at Abramtsevo, north of Moscow; unofficial exhibitions of their work were held there annually. In ...

Article

Hans Frei

(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).

Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....

Article

Ester Coen

(b Reggio Calabria, Oct 19, 1882; d Sorte, Verona, Aug 17, 1916).

Italian sculptor, painter, printmaker and writer. As one of the principal figures of Futurism, he helped shape the movement’s revolutionary aesthetic as a theorist as well as through his art. In spite of the brevity of his life, his concern with dynamism of form and with the breakdown of solid mass in his sculpture continued to influence other artists long after his death.

Boccioni spent his childhood years in Forlì, Genoa and Padua, then finished his studies in Catania and began to involve himself with literature. In 1899 he moved to Rome, where he developed a passionate interest in painting and frequented the Scuola Libera del Nudo. In Rome he met Gino Severini, with whom he made visits to the studio of Giacomo Balla, who taught them the basic principles of the divisionist technique and encouraged them to experiment with the application of colour in small overlapping brushstrokes. Inspired by his own pictorial experiments, Balla also urged them to develop a compositional method using angles and foreshortening analogous to photographic techniques. It was Balla who first introduced them to the use of complementary colours, which Boccioni later expressed in increasingly dramatic and violent ways, and it was Balla who instilled in him the love of landscape and nature that remained a constant feature of all his painting. In his first years of activity, closely following his master’s teaching, Boccioni produced oil paintings, sketches, pastels, studies in tempera and advertising posters....

Article

Kenneth G. Hay

(b Buntingford, Herts, April 28, 1913; d Berkhamsted, Herts, Oct 23, 1981).

English sculptor, draughtsman, architect and writer. After training as an architect from 1933 to 1936, he taught at the Architectural Association in London and practised as an architect as Cotterell Butler until 1939; among the buildings designed by him were two houses at Bushey (1935) and Great Munden, Herts (1939), as well as the clock-tower of Slough Town Hall (1936), designed while working for C. H. James & Bywaters & Roland Pierce (for illustrations, see exh. cat., p. 9). From 1941 to the end of World War II he worked as a blacksmith in Iping, West Sussex, as a conscientious objector; from 1946 until 1950 he worked as a technical editor for the Architectural Press, acted as consultant to various firms, including Ove Arup and Partners, and attended life-classes at Chelsea School of Art.

Butler began to sculpt in 1944, without having had any formal training, and held his first one-man show at the Hanover Gallery, London, in ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 7 June 1931, in Eatonton (Georgia).

Painter, draughtsman (including ink), collage artist, print artist, sculptor, collector, art historian. Religious subjects, figures, portraits, figure compositions, scenes with figures, landscapes. Designs for stained glass.

David C. Driskell earned a BFA at Howard University in ...

Article

Annamaria Szőke

(b Budapest, July 4, 1928; d Budapest, May 22, 1986).

Hungarian architect, sculptor, conceptual and performance artist, teacher, theorist and film maker. He came from a Jewish–Christian family, many of whom were killed during World War II. In 1947 he began training as a sculptor at the College of Fine Arts in Budapest, but he left and continued his studies in the studio of Dezső Birman Bokros (1889–1965), before training as an architect from 1947 to 1951 at the Technical University in Budapest. During the 1950s and early 1960s he worked as an architect and began experimenting with painting and graphic art, as well as writing poems and short stories. During this period he became acquainted with such artists as Dezső Korniss, László Latner and, most importantly, Béla Kondor and Sándor Altorjai (1933–79), with whom he began a lifelong friendship. In 1959 and 1963 he also enrolled at the Budapest College of Theatre and Film Arts but was advised to leave both times....

Article

Renato Barilli

(b Rosario, Santa Fé, Feb 19, 1899; d Comabbio, nr Varese, Sept 7, 1968).

Italian painter, sculptor and theorist of Argentine birth. He moved with his family to Milan in 1905 but followed his father back to Buenos Aires in 1922 and there established his own sculpture studio in 1924. On settling again in Milan he trained from 1928 to 1930 at the Accademia di Brera, where he was taught by the sculptor Adolfo Wildt; Wildt’s devotion to the solemn and monumental plasticity of the Novecento Italiano group epitomized the qualities against which Fontana was to react in his own work. Fontana’s sculpture The Harpooner (gilded plaster, h. 1.73 m, 1934; Milan, Renzo Zavanella priv. col., see 1987 exh. cat., p. 118) is typical of his work of this period, with a dynamic nervousness in the thin shape of the weapon poised to deliver a final blow and in the coarse and formless plinth. Soon afterwards, together with other northern Italian artists such as Fausto Melotti, Fontana abandoned any lingering Novecento elements in favour of a strict and coherent form of abstraction. In ...

Article

Sepp Kern

(b Marburg, Oct 6, 1847; d Munich, Jan 18, 1921).

German sculptor, theorist and writer. As a boy he developed an interest in drawing and, after spending two years at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Nuremberg, he went to Munich in 1866 to study under the sculptor Kaspar Clemens Zumbusch. In 1867 he accompanied Zumbusch on a trip to Verona, Florence and Rome. In Rome he made the acquaintance of the philosopher and art theorist Konrad Fiedler and the painter Hans Reinhard von Marées, both of whose ‘ideal-formalist’ theories of art were to be of great importance to him. At the end of 1869 the three friends met again in Berlin and in 1872 Hildebrand moved to Italy, which became his second home. In 1873 he assisted Marées in the decoration of the Stazione Zoologica in Naples, devising the designs for the frieze and pilasters, collaborating with him on the decorative paintings and producing the portrait busts of the scientists Charles Darwin...

Article

Danielle Derrey-Capon

(Paul Louis) [Saint-Georges]

(b Namur, Dec 30, 1873; d Woluwé Saint-Lambert, Brussels, Feb 22, 1957).

Belgian sculptor, medallist and critic. After secondary education with the Jesuits at Namur and Brussels, he studied law at the Université Catholique in Leuven. He later enrolled at the Institut Saint-Luc in Brussels and then from 1899 to 1903 studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels under Julien Dillens. He also frequented the studio of Constantin Meunier. Both exercised a considerable influence on his work, and in addition he benefited from the advice of Thomas Vinçotte. From 1908 to 1910 he wrote art criticism for the Brussels newspaper Le Patriote under the pseudonym Saint-Georges. As a medallist he produced portraits, commemorative and religious medals. Among his best-known sculptures are Queen Astrid at the Collège Saint Jean-Berchmans in Brussels and the statue of Justus Lipsius (h. 2.90 m), which stands in the square of the same name in Leuven. Between 1922 and 1930 he created several patriotic monuments in Belgium, including those at Walcourt, Rochefort and Casteau....

Article

Vanina Costa

(b Paris, Aug 9, 1905; d Paris, Aug 12, 2001).

French draughtsman, sculptor and writer. He was the son of the painter and art historian Erich Klossowski (1875–1949) and of Elizabeth Spiro (1886–1969), who painted under the name Baladine. Klossowski’s brother was Balthus. The family went to Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland) at the outbreak of World War I, but in early 1917 Baladine took the brothers to Geneva. There, in 1919, she met Rainer Maria Rilke, who assumed a guiding role for all of them. In Paris, Pierre Klossowski was associated with the Surrealists, forming particularly close friendships with the writer Georges Bataille and with André Masson. However, theology was a strong influence on Klossowski, and he began to study for the priesthood during the Nazi Occupation of Paris (1940–44). In his writings he mixed theological references with eroticism, and as a result he was for a long time considered a scandalous writer. Klossowski exhibited drawings, the earliest of which date from ...

Article

Jorge Glusberg

[Fallik, Fernando]

(b Košice, Czechoslovakia [now Slovak Republic], 1924; d Buenos Aires, May 25, 2016).

Argentine sculptor, theorist, and poet of Slovak birth. A resident of Argentina from 1928, he studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes “Manuel Belgrano” in Buenos Aires, and in 1944 he collaborated with Joaquín Torres García and the Argentine poet Edgar Bayley (1919–1990) on the magazine Arturo (one issue only), which proposed geometric abstraction for the first time in Argentina. He was also a leading figure of Arte Madí, together with Carmelo Arden Quin (1913–2010). During this period he produced his first articulated mobiles (e.g. Royi, 1944; see Glusberg 1985, 73), which involved the active participation of the spectator, and early examples of sculptures made of neon (e.g. Madí Aluminium Structure No. 3, 1946). Like his colleagues in Arte Madí, he proposed the radical autonomy of the art object, and in his later work he explored the possibilities of a diverse range of materials, including even water in his ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 27 February 1924, in New Orleans.

Painter, draughtswoman, watercolourist, print artist (including linocuts), sculptor, art historian. Figures, portraits, genre scenes, landscapes.

Samella Lewis studied with Elizabeth Catlett at Dillard University, New Orleans, and Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia. In 1951 she obtained her doctorate from Ohio State University, Columbus, the first African-American woman to receive her doctorate in art history and fine art. In ...

Article

Myroslava M. Mudrak

(Mykolayovych) [Masyutin, Masyuta-Soroka; Vasyl’ Nikolayevich]

(b Chernihiv, 1884; d Berlin, Dec 15, 1955).

Ukrainian printmaker, sculptor, medallist and art historian, active in Germany. He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under Vasyl’ Maté (1856–1917). After the 1917 Revolution he taught briefly at Vkhutemas (Higher Art and Technical Studios), moving to Berlin in 1921. He frequently sent works back to Ukraine to participate in the exhibitions of the Association of Independent Ukrainian Artists (ANUM), of which he became a member when it was formed in Lwów (L’viv) in 1931. His early graphic work includes etchings treated as symbolic fantasies bordering on the grotesque. He also produced a cycle of engravings, the Seven Deadly Sins, and illustrations to Aesop’s fables and to the works of Gogol and Balzac. He sculpted busts of Balzac and several hetmans and produced an entire series of commemorative medallions of the Cossack leadership, medieval princes and contemporary cultural figures, a total of 63 portraits rendered with historical accuracy. Examples of his work are in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. He also contributed to art pedagogy with his ...

Article

Éva Bajkay

(b Braşov, Aug 13, 1884; d Braşov, March 17, 1960).

Hungarian painter, printmaker, wood-carver, sculptor and writer. He studied at the School of Craft and Design in Budapest (1901–2), and at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich (1902–5). In 1906–8 he lived in Paris, carving picture frames. As a painter and printmaker he was influenced by the work of Matisse, Cézanne, van Gogh, Munch and Gauguin, as well as by German Expressionism. He was preoccupied with the force of colour and the effect of one colour on another. In his oil paintings, watercolours and linocuts he strove to express the emotions he experienced through landscape (e.g. Bright Landscape, oil on canvas, 1916; Pécs, Pannonius Mus.), but he did not go as far as Kandinsky towards total abstraction. He was associated with various avant-garde groups, including the Activists, the MA group, and Der Sturm in Berlin, and he had numerous one-man shows in Europe. His Soul Flowers...

Article

Valerio Rivosecchi

(b Ferrara, March 21, 1885; d Rome, Jan 4, 1958).

Italian painter, sculptor and writer. He began painting and sculpting at a very young age in his native city. In 1902 he was apprenticed to a wood-carver in Genoa and in the following year he took part in the activities of the artistic and literary publication Ebe. In 1910 he moved to Rome, where he lived for the rest of his life. Melli rapidly established himself as a prominent figure in Roman artistic circles. In 1914 he became a member of the steering committee of the Rome Secession, at which he showed Woman with Hat (Zoe Lampronti) (bronze, h. 375 mm, c. 1913; Rome, G.N.A. Mod.), and, with Vincenzo Constantini, Garzia Fioresi and Cipriano Efisio Oppo, founded the ‘Gruppo Moderno Italiano’. In 1918, together with Mario Broglio (1891–1948) and others, he founded the journal Valori plastici. He showed his paintings in the exhibitions that it promoted: a travelling exhibition in Germany in ...

Article

Terence A. Senter

(b Bácsborsod, Mohol Puszta, Hungary, July 20, 1895; d Chicago, Nov 24, 1946).

American painter, sculptor, photographer, designer, film maker, theorist, and teacher, of Hungarian birth. Moholy-Nagy’s importance in the 20th century is based as much on his theories as on his practical work. His ideologies related to the relationship between space, time, and light, and the interaction of man with these forces. His great achievement was that he applied his mystical outlook to highly practical enterprises and always recognized the purpose behind his creativity.

Moholy-Nagy’s ambition developed when he exchanged village life for the city of Szeged after his father left his family. Academically outstanding, Moholy-Nagy read law for a year at Budapest University before joining the artillery in World War I. Influential praise for his war sketches converted his aspiration from literature to art. His Expressionist style, social conscience, and investigation of light paralleled trends in the Hungarian avant-garde, from ...

Article

M. Dolores Jiménez-Blanco

(de)

(b Orio, Guipúzcoa, 1908; d San Sebastian, Spain, April 9, 2003).

Spanish Basque sculptor and theorist. He began to produce sculpture after giving up his studies at the Faculty of Medicine in Madrid, shortly before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. His earliest works fluctuated between the influence of Cubism and especially Expressionism, as in his portrait of Paulino Uzkudun (1935; ex-Luis Chávair priv. col., Buenos Aires, see 1988 exh. cat., p. 74). From 1935 to 1948 Oteiza worked in South America as a writer, as a teacher at the Escuela Nacional de Cerámica in Buenos Aires and as the official supervisor of the teaching of ceramics in Colombia. In 1944 he published ‘Carta a los artistas de América: Sobre el arte nuevo en la postguerra’ in Revista de la Universidad de Popayán, outlining the necessity for ‘objective aesthetics’. He developed these and related ideas in further essays in which he examined such matters as the selection of basic formal units, the three points of support in statuary and the opening and expansion of polyhedrons....

Article

Jeremy Hunt and Jonathan Vickery

At the turn of the millennium, public art was an established global art genre with its own professional and critical discourse, as well as constituencies of interest and patronage independent of mainstream contemporary art. Art criticism has been prodigious regarding public art’s role in the ‘beautification’ of otherwise neglected social space or in influencing urban development. Diversity and differentiation are increasingly the hallmarks of public art worldwide, emerging from city branding strategies and destination marketing as well as from artist activism and international art events and festivals. The first decade of the 21st century demonstrated the vast opportunity for creative and critical ‘engagement’, activism, social dialogue, and cultural co-creation and collective participation. New public art forms emerged, seen in digital and internet media, pop-up shops, and temporary open-access studios, street performance, and urban activism, as well as architectural collaborations in landscape, environment or urban design.

Intellectually, the roots of contemporary public art can be found in the ludic and the architectonic: in the playful public interventions epitomized in the 1960s by the ...