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Amiet, Cuno  

Swiss, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 28 March 1868, in Solothurn; died 1961, in Oschwand (Bern).

Painter, watercolourist, pastellist, engraver, lithographer, sculptor. Figure compositions, portraits, landscapes, still-lifes.

Die Brücke group. School of Pont-Aven.

Cuno Amiet began his artistic training under Frank Buchser in Feldbrunnen from 1884 to 1886. From 1886 to 1888 he trained at the academy of fine art in Munich. From 1888 to 1891 he trained under the guidance of William Bouguereau and Tony Robert-Fleury at the Académie Julian in Paris. Up to that point he had been influenced by Impressionism, which was still very much in evidence. Then in 1892, he went to Pont-Aven and made contact with O'Connor, Émile Bernard, Sérusier and Armand Seguin. They introduced him to the ideas and techniques suggested by Gauguin to those who would soon be classed as the École de Pont-Aven. They would also call themselves 'Nabis'....


Beckmann, Max  

Christian Lenz

(b Leipzig, Feb 12, 1884; d New York, Dec 27, 1950).

German painter, draughtsman, printmaker and teacher. He was one of the most important German painters of the 20th century. He was initially influenced by traditional styles, but during World War I he rejected perspective and classical proportion in favour of a more expressive objective art. He was persecuted by the Nazis in the 1930s but continued to work, painting his celebrated secular triptychs in the late 1930s and the 1940s.

Beckmann showed artistic promise from an early age, painting as early as c. 1898 a Self-portrait with Soap Bubbles (mixed media on cardboard; priv. col.; see Lackner, 1991, p. 10). After training at the Kunstschule in Weimar (1900–03), he studied under the patronage of Julius Meier-Graefe in Paris. There he became acquainted with the works of the Impressionists, Cézanne, van Gogh and probably such early French paintings as the Avignon Pietà. From 1903 until the outbreak of World War I he lived mostly in or near Berlin. He began painting landscapes and from ...


Beerman, Miriam  

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1923, in Providence (Rhode Island).

Painter, printmaker. Figures, animals, beasts.

Figurative Expressionism.

Miriam Beerman studied painting with John Frazier at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and received her BFA in 1945. After RISD, Beerman studied with Japanese-American painter Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the Art Students League in New York, and Latvian-American abstract painter Adja Yunkers at the New School for Social Research. Beerman also spent two years in France on a Fulbright Scholarship (1954–1956), where she briefly studied at Atelier 17 in Paris. In the 1960s, Beerman and her husband moved to Brooklyn, New York, and she gave birth to her son Bill. Beerman had a one-woman show in 1971 at the Brooklyn Museum called The Enduring Beast. It was an aptly titled show for an artist whose work deals with human tragedy and who had witnessed the horrors of contemporary post–World War II society. The family lived in Brooklyn for 13 years before moving to Montclair, New Jersey, where she lived, worked, and taught painting for many years. In ...


Campendonk, Heinrich  

Timothy O. Benson

(b Krefeld, Nov 3, 1889; d Amsterdam, May 9, 1957).

German painter, printmaker and stained-glass artist. He attended the Fachschule für Textilindustrie and the Kunstgewerbeschule in Krefeld (1905–9), where his teacher Johan Thorn Prikker showed him the power of line and colour and introduced him to the work of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne. In 1911 he was invited by Franz Marc and Vasily Kandinsky to Sindelsdorf in Upper Bavaria. They knew of his work through August Macke whose cousin, Helmut, shared a studio with Campendonk. While Campendonk’s harmonious and often transparent application of luxurious Fauvist colours reflects the influence of Robert and Sonia Delaunay and of Macke, Marc’s geometric compositional approach is clearly visible in the experimental style of such paintings as Leaping Horse (1911; Saarbrücken, Saarland Mus.), shown in the first exhibition of Der Blaue Reiter in 1911–12 in Munich and illustrated in the almanac Der Blaue Reiter. Unlike Marc, however, he included figures in his mystical portrayals of animals in nature. This subject-matter was also explored in his first tentative graphic works, published in ...


Čapek, Josef  

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Hronov, March 23, 1887; d Bergen-Belsen, April 1945).

Czech painter, printmaker and writer. He studied weaving (1901–3) in Vrchlabí and then from 1904 to 1910 decorative painting at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, where he was influenced by the highly decorative art of the Secession. During this period he wrote stories with his brother, the novelist Karel Čapek (1890–1938). In 1910 they went to Paris for nearly a year, where Josef Čapek studied painting at the Académie Colarossi and became a friend of Apollinaire. In 1911 he and his brother co-founded the Cubist-orientated Group of Plastic Artists. Čapek attempted to modify Cubism by introducing elements of Expressionism and Symbolism. His efforts dumbfounded some members of the group, and in 1912 he and various of his friends parted company with it. From 1915 he began to achieve a synthesis of Cubism, Neo-classicism and a personal symbolism (e.g. the Man in the Hat, 1915...


Carréga, Nicolas  

French, 20th century, male.

Born 21 February 1914, in Bonifacio, Corsica; died 1992.

Painter, sculptor, lithographer, engraver.

Carréga attended art classes in studios around Montparnasse. His work is figurative with Expressionist undertones. Initially, he drew inspiration from the sea but as time went on his work became increasingly abstract and he started employing large areas of flatly-applied colour against transparent backgrounds....


Colescott, Robert  

Sharon Matt Atkins

(b Oakland, CA, Aug 26, 1925; d Tucson, AZ, June 4, 2009).

American painter, printmaker and teacher. Colescott produced highly expressive and gestural paintings that addressed a wide range of social and cultural themes and challenged stereotypes. Interested in issues of race, gender and power, his work critiqued the representation of minorities in literature, history, art and popular culture. Stylistically, his work is indebted to European modernism, particularly Cubism and Expressionism, but also makes references to African sculpture, African American art and post–World War II American styles.

Colescott was introduced to art at an early age. His mother was a pianist and his father was a classically-trained violinist and jazz musician. Through his parents’ social circles, he often found himself surrounded by creative individuals as he was growing up, like his artistic mentor, the sculptor Sargent Johnson (1888–1967). Colescott received his BA in 1949 and later his MFA in 1952 from the University of California, Berkeley. He also studied with ...


De Smet, Gustave  

Robert Hoozee

[Gust; Gustaaf]

(b Ghent, Jan 21, 1877; d Deurle, Oct 8, 1943).

Belgian painter and printmaker. He studied from 1889 to 1896 at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Ghent, and together with his younger brother Léon De Smet (1881–1966), also a painter, he helped his father Jules De Smet with the decoration of inns, stores and fairground buildings. From c. 1902 Gustave de Smet spent time in Deurle and with Frits Van den Berghe at Laethem-Saint-Martin near Ghent, where he was part of the second generation of artists who sought out the rural surroundings of the river Leie to live and paint. From 1911 he once again lived in Ghent. When World War I broke out he fled with his wife and son to the Netherlands and worked there in close contact with Van den Berghe, who had also left Belgium. He stayed in Amsterdam and in the villages of Laren and Blaricum.

During the years up to World War I, De Smet painted mostly cityscapes and landscapes in an impressionistic style, derived from the example of Emile Claus and Albert Baertsoen, for example ...


Dean, Peter  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 8 June 1934, in Berlin; died 14 March 1993, in New York.

Painter, printmaker. Figures, portraits, landscapes, animals, mythology.

Figurative Expressionism, Political Art.

Rhino Horn Group.

Peter Dean was born to Jewish parents during the rise of the Nazi regime. In 1938, when he was four years old, his family left Berlin and moved to the United States. They settled in the Bronx where Dean was raised. Dean received his bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin in 1956. There he studied art history and became passionate about painting, although he never took a studio art class. After graduation, he was hired as a mining engineer for the Anaconda Copper Company in Montana and Nevada. Dean meanwhile devoted his free time to painting.

Dean moved back to New York in 1962 with a desire to be a full-time painter. He studied with French painter André Girard at the City College of New York. During the late 1960s, Dean co-founded two artist groups that were motivated by political art. The first, called the Torque Group, was founded in ...


Désiro, Jean-Pol  

Belgian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1949.

Painter, engraver, lithographer.

Désiro went through a major Expressionist period. His Crucifixion in Red ( Crucifixion en Rouge) shows the painter in a studio cluttered with paintings, in the middle of painting or crucifying a larger than life, suffering Christ. In his later work, he gave his abstract compositions a circular dynamism....


Detoni, Marijan  

Croat, 20th century, male.

Born 1905, in Križevci.

Painter, engraver.

Marijan Detoni studied at the academy in Zagreb, where he became professor in 1945. His first works were close to Expressionism, and revealed a profound anguish and violent social satire. After World War II, he adhered to the doctrine of Socialist Realism. He then evolved towards a somewhat abstract kind of painting, evoking complex imaginary worlds....


Dix, (Wilhelm Heinrich) Otto  

Reinhold Heller

(b Untermhaus, nr Gera, Dec 2, 1891; d Singen, July 25, 1969).

German painter, printmaker and watercolourist (see fig.). His initial training (1905–14) in Gera and Dresden was as a painter of wall decorations, but he taught himself the techniques of easel painting from 1909 and began concentrating on portraits and landscapes in a veristic style derived from northern Renaissance prototypes. After seeing exhibitions of paintings by Vincent van Gogh (Dresden, 1912) and by the Futurists (1913), he quickly fused these influences into a randomly coloured Expressionism. Volunteering as a machine-gunner during World War I, he served in the German army (1914–18), making innumerable sketches of war scenes, using alternately a realistic and a Cubo-Futurist style. The experience of war, moreover, became a dominant motif of his work until the 1930s. He later commented: ‘War is something so animal-like: hunger, lice, slime, these crazy sounds … War was something horrible, but nonetheless something powerful … Under no circumstances could I miss it! It is necessary to see people in this unchained condition in order to know something about man’ (Kinkel, ...


Dongen, (Cornelis Theodorus Maria) Kees van  

Anneke E. Wijnbeek

(b Delfshaven, nr Rotterdam, Jan 26, 1877; d Monte Carlo, May 28, 1968).

French painter and printmaker of Dutch birth. He took evening classes in geometric drawing from 1892 to 1897 at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Rotterdam. In 1895 he began working intermittently for the newspaper Rotterdamsche Nieuwsblad, for which he made, among other things, a series of bright watercolour drawings of Rotterdam’s red-light district and illustrations of Queen Wilhelmina’s coronation. Van Dongen’s first paintings used dark tones in imitation of Rembrandt, who remained the most important model for his work; his later book on Rembrandt was, in fact, a projection of his own life. By the mid-1890s he was using more vivid contrasts of black and white, for example in Spotted Chimera (1895; priv. col., see Chaumeil, pl. 1), his palette soon becoming brighter and his line more animated. In Le Muet Windmill (1896; priv. col., see Chaumeil, pl. 7), a red ochre monochrome painting, he successfully enlivened the colour by means of broad, energetic brushstrokes....


Dunoyer de Segonzac, André  

Eric Hild-Ziem

(Albert Maris)

(b Boussy-Saint-Antoine, nr Paris, July 7, 1884; d Paris, Sept 17, 1974).

French painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He began painting in 1903, studying in Paris and frequenting the Académie de la Palette and the studios of Luc Oliver Merson and Jean-Paul Laurens. After doing his military service he shared a studio with Jean-Louis Boussingault in 1907 and befriended Luc-Albert Moreau and Lucien Mainssieux. In 1908 he stayed for the first time in St Tropez, which became the setting for much of his work.

From 1909 Dunoyer de Segonzac exhibited regularly at the Salon des Indépendants, and at the Salon d’Automne in the following year he exhibited The Drinkers (1910; Paris, Pompidou), a work indebted in both its subject-matter and handling to the Realist tradition derived from the work of Gustave Courbet. He also took part in the Salon de la Section d’Or in October 1912 (see Section d’Or) and in the Armory Show in New York in 1913. His paintings of this period, such as ...


Filla, Emil  

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Chropyně, Moravia [now Czech Republic], April 4, 1882; d Prague, Oct 6, 1953).

Czech painter, printmaker, sculptor, writer and collector. After a short period at a business school and in an insurance office in Brno, he became a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1903). In 1904 he won the Academy’s first prize. At the end of the year he set out on a lengthy journey to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy. He became absorbed in the Old Masters, especially Rembrandt. His own style passed from Post-Impressionism to a more expressive dominance of colour. In 1907 he took part in the first exhibition of The Eight (see Eight, the) with a programme painting, the Reader of Dostoyevsky (Prague, N.G., Trade Fair Pal.), partly influenced by the Munch exhibition in Prague in 1905. At the same time the picture is a very personal manifesto reflecting the Angst and scepticism of his generation. At the second exhibition of The Eight in ...


Gallen-Kallela, Akseli  

Sixten Ringbom

(Valdemar) [Gallén, Axel until 1904]

(b Pori [Swed. Björneborg], Finland, April 26, 1865; d Stockholm, March 7, 1931).

Finnish painter, graphic artist and designer. He learnt the elements of drawing and painting in Helsinki at the School of the Finnish Arts Society and the studio of the painter Adolf von Becker (1831–1909).

His first significant painting, The Boy and the Crow (1884; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.), shows his ambition to keep abreast of developments in Naturalism, a style introduced to him through the works of young Finnish and Scandinavian painters in Paris. In the autumn of 1884 he arrived in Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian and the studio of Fernand Cormon. In 1885 he completed his oil painting Old Woman with a Cat (Turku, A. Mus.), a veristic study of poverty and deprivation. Gallén’s single-figure compositions of this period followed a formula exploited by Jean-François Millet, Jules Breton and Jules Bastien-Lepage. In these seemingly static images, the life story of the protagonist was suggested through significant attributes, physiognomic elaboration and background details....


Ganay, Sébastien de  

French, 20th century, male.


Sébastien de Ganay first exhibited in Paris in a solo exhibition at the Galerie Jacqueline Moussion.

His work is suggestive of Abstract Expressionism but is based on an original process. He covers the stretcher with sheets of plastic film containing paint and waits for several weeks for the colour to set....


Götz, Karl-Otto  

Claudia Büttner

(b Aachen, Feb 22, 1914).

German painter, photographer, film maker, draughtsman, printmaker, writer and teacher. From 1932 to 1933 he attended the Webe- und Kunstgewerbeschule in Aachen. Inspired by Picasso, Gris, Klee and the Expressionists, Götz reduced the figures in his painting to minimal linear outlines from 1933, as a result of which he was prohibited from painting and exhibiting from 1935 to 1936. During his military service from 1936 to 1938 he experimented with spray painting, overpainted photograms (of his wife), photograms (produced by laying objects on photographic paper exposed to light) and abstract cine-films. In 1938 he settled in Wurzen, Saxony, and from 1938 to 1939 attended the Kunstakademie in Dresden where he began to concentrate on abstract works, using a mixture of organic and geometric elements. In 1940 he moved to Dresden, where his friends included Will Grohmann and Otto Dix. He served in the German army in Norway from 1941 to 1945...


Grosvalds, Jāzeps  

Mark Allen Svede

(b Riga, April 24, 1891; d Paris, Feb 1, 1920).

Latvian painter, printmaker and diplomat. Raised in a family of patriots, he was naturally suited to become the founder and chief proponent of a modern national style in Latvian painting. His awareness of uniquely Latvian cultural traits grew apace with his dissatisfaction with the training he received from 1909 to 1914 in the studios of Simon Hollósy in Munich and Hermen-Anglada Camarasa, Charles Guérin and Kees van Dongen in Paris; concomitantly, Latvia’s struggle for independence during World War I galvanized his devotion to nationalist art, and he was a member of both the Ekspresionisti and the Riga Artists’ group. For younger colleagues working in Riga before the War, Grosvalds was a conduit of information about French and German modernism, though much of it was cautionary. His period of military service inspired him to produce Refugee and Riflemen, an influential series of paintings and prints that demonstrated his preference for classical monumentality and communicated the epic forbearance of the Latvian peasantry and infantry in exile and in battle. As he had intended, the painting the ...


Grub, Émile  

French, 20th century, male.

Born 11 February 1893, in Metz; died 1983.

Painter, engraver.

Grub's style is Expressionistic.