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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

Agostini, Angelo  

Roberto Pontual

revised by Elaine Wilson

(b Vercelli, Italy, 1843; d Rio de Janeiro, 1910).

Brazilian caricaturist and painter. He came to Brazil in 1859, having already acquired some knowledge of painting in Paris. He settled initially in São Paulo, where he at once started to publish caricatures attacking black slavery. There, in 1864, he was one of the founders of the comic newspaper O Diabo Coxo. His abolitionist spirit continued after he moved to Rio de Janeiro, through his frequent collaboration in periodicals such as A Vida Fluminense, O Mosquito, Don Quixote, and O Malho. In the Revista Ilustrada he began to publish in 1884 the first long-running strip cartoon in Brazil, the adventures of Zé Caipora, a sertão (hinterland) character, depicting a lesser-known side of Brazil. As a painter he specialized in landscapes but also produced portraits with the same fervor that fired his enjoyable and impassioned satirical drawings, for example Portrait of the Writer Joaquin Augusto Ribeiro de Sousa (c. 1890...

Article

Albert, Tótila  

Carlos Lastarria Hermosilla

(b Nov 30, 1892; d Sept 27, 1967).

Chilean sculptor. From 1902 to 1939 he lived in Germany; he studied under Franz Metzner in Berlin. On his return to Chile, he taught at a private school and then taught sculpture in the Academia Particular of the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, also executing important works such as the tomb of President Pedro Aguirre Cerda (1941; Cementerio General de Santiago) and a large relief, La naturaleza, in Parque Cousiño (1945; Santiago, Escuela Jard. Parque Cousiño).

Albert’s training in Germany, when Expressionism was at its height, led him to use distortion of form as the sign of vehement emotion. In his Ariel and Caliban (bronze, h. 8 m, 1960; Santiago, Parque Forestal), limbs are lengthened, muscles swell, tendons are visible beneath the skin, and one body yields and droops while the other rises imposingly into space. These traits are found in all his other sculptures, with the stress on subjectivity impelling him towards the metaphysical notion that the “real” materials with which he works are his own feelings. Yet there is also a meditative depth in his work and a calming effect arising from an idealized geometry of forms. Albert’s concern with mass, which brought out the sensual qualities of his materials, was part of a profound examination of the specific problems of sculptural language: rhythm, movement, and tension of surfaces....

Article

Alciati, Enrique  

Elisa García Barragán

(b Marseille; d after 1912).

Italian sculptor and teacher, active in France and Mexico. He began his career in Marseille as a sculptor of the French school, and in 1888 he received an honorable mention at the Salon des Artistes Français, where he exhibited regularly until 1913. He probably moved to Mexico at the end of 1889. He won critical acclaim for his first works there, marble and bronze busts of important Mexican figures. In 1891 the government commissioned him to create statues of national heroes and dignitaries for the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City; the statue of Col. Miguel López was exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, IL, in 1893 and at the World’s Fair in Atlanta, GA, in 1895, winning prizes on both occasions. This was Alciati’s most dramatic and realist work, and the influence of Rodin is clear. In 1895 he was appointed professor of sculpture, decoration, and modeling at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City. At the turn of the century he was commissioned to create, under the direction of ...

Article

Altmann, Roberto  

Cuban, 20th century, male.

Active in Liechtenstein and in France since 1962, naturalised citizen of Liechtenstein.

Born 10 August 1942, in Havana.

Painter.

Visual Poetry.

Roberto Altmann lives in Paris and Liechtenstein. Since 1962 he has taken part in many collective exhibitions in France, Germany, Belgium, England and America. In ...

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

Angel Card, Abraham  

Karen Cordero Reiman

(b El Oro, nr Acambaro, Mar 7, 1905; d Mexico City, Oct 27, 1924).

Mexican painter and teacher of Scottish descent. He studied briefly at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, where in 1921 he met the painter Manuel Rodríguez Lozano, who introduced him to Mexican avant-garde artists. Under Rodríguez Lozano’s tutelage he joined the “brigade” of teachers who trained primary and secondary school students using Adolfo Best Maugard’s method of teaching drawing based on the motifs of popular art. Angel developed a pictorial style characterized by a deliberately naive drawing technique and vivid, unnaturalistic colors; he typically made portraits of friends and relatives superimposed on backdrops of village scenes or simplified rural landscapes. A commemorative book published shortly after his death featured texts by major artistic and literary figures of the period, including Rodríguez Lozano, Diego Rivera, José Juan Tablada, and Xavier Villaurrutia, and revealed the process of romantic mythification of Angel, characterizing him as a “pure popular painter” and even inventing for him exotic Argentinian origins....

Article

Antonelli family  

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

Italian family of engineers and architects. They were active in Spain and Spanish America in the service of the Spanish Habsburgs from 1559 to 1650. The most prominent member of the family was Juan Bautista Antonelli the elder (b Gaeteo, Italy, c. 1530; d Madrid, 17 March 1588), who settled in Spain from 1559 while working in the employ of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Most of his fortification works were carried out in the coastal south-east of Spain, where several members of his family settled, although he also worked in Oran and particularly in Portugal as a strategist and engineer. Many of his projects were not realized, including the creation of a navigable river network throughout the Iberian peninsula to facilitate the transport of merchandise from the ports to the interior. Several fortification plans for the Magellan Straits also failed to materialize.

Bautista Antonelli (b Rimini, ...

Article

Arciniega [Arziniega], Claudio de  

François-Auguste de Montêquin

(b Burgos, 1526–7; d Mexico City, 1593).

Mexican architect and sculptor of Spanish birth. In 1541 he moved from his native city to Madrid, where he served as an apprentice to Luis de Vega, one of the architects working in the High Renaissance style for Emperor Charles V. Arciniega worked with Vega in the remodelling of the Alcázar at Madrid. At intervals between 1542 and 1548 he worked under the direction of Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón as a sculptor on the Plateresque façade of the university at Alcalá de Henares. He was possibly also responsible for the main retable in the church of Santiago at Guadalajara.

In 1554 Arciniega arrived in New Spain (now Mexico) with his brother Luis de Arciniega (1537–99), who was also an architect. He settled in Puebla de los Angeles (now Puebla) and worked there between 1554 and 1558, primarily engaged in a large number of public works as master mason. He established his reputation with the fountain that he constructed (...

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

Balbás, Jerónimo de  

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(b Zamora, c. 1680; d Mexico City, 1748).

Spanish architect and sculptor, active in Mexico. Between 1702 and 1703 he worked in Madrid as a designer of stage machinery, later moving to Andalusia, where he produced the principal altar of the sacristy of Seville Cathedral in the Rococo style, completed in 1709 (destr. 1824). Ceán Bermúdez described it as having ‘four large estípites, pilasters, lots of angels prankishly tumbling about and a cornice broken and interrupted in a thousand places with tortuous projections and recessions, the whole topped by a huge arch’. In 1714 Balbás also carried out the plan for the choir-stalls of the church of S Juan in Marchena, carved by Juan de Valencia, equally playful in style and similarly using estípites. The same year he designed the lectern in the same church, though this was not constructed until 1735.

Around 1718 Balbás went to Mexico City to take charge of the ‘retablo del Perdón’ in the Chapel of the Kings at the Metropolitan Cathedral, using the ...

Article

Bandurek, Wolf  

Ticio Escobar

(b Dobrzyn, 1906; d Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1972).

Paraguayan painter and engraver of Polish birth. He studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Düsseldorf. As a result of Nazi persecution he settled in Paraguay in 1936, where his work was particularly influential on the development of late 20th-century art. Although he was not an innovator from the point of view of form, he introduced into painting a dramatic content drawn from Paraguayan history and comment on social injustice and recent wars, thus giving new life to a school of painting that until then had been bucolic. His somber and moving oil paintings had vitality and an impassioned expressiveness. In the late 1930s and early 1940s this intensity of expression in his work provided a useful complement to the formal clarity of Jaime Bestard; both helped to undermine the prevailing academicism of art in Paraguay. Bandurek’s black-and-white wood engravings confirm the drama in his work and his persisting social concern. They were published in Buenos Aires in ...

Article

Becerra, Francisco  

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Herguijuela, Extremadura, 1545; d 1605).

Spanish architect, active in South America. Both his father, Alonso (d ?1570), and his grandfather, Domingo, were architects; the latter was the Maestro Mayor of Toledo Cathedral (completed 1493). Francisco was considered one of the finest architects in Extremadura, where he was active on a wide range of schemes including the church of S Maria and the chapel of S Isabel (both Trujillo), patrician houses in Guevara, and a chapel between the cloisters in Guadalupe Monastery. In 1573 he left for America, one of the few architects permitted to do so by the Spanish government, which restricted the emigration of qualified personnel. The fact that Becerra was immediately associated with works of magnitude confirms his importance. In 1575 he became the Maestro Mayor of Puebla Cathedral in Mexico, assisted by Francisco Gutiérrez Cabello. By his own account his activity on this assignment lasted for five years and probably included the design and laying of the foundations; however, the plan was amended after ...

Article

Bisilliat, Maureen  

Erika Billeter

revised by Cynthia Neri Lewis

(b Surrey, Feb 16, 1931).

Brazilian photographer and filmmaker of English birth. Having moved to Brazil, she studied painting with André Lhote in Paris (1953–1954) and with the American painter Morris Kantor (1896–1974) at the Art Students’ League in New York (1954–1966), before deciding to become a photographer. In 1957, she moved permanently to São Paulo. Between 1964 and 1972 she worked as a freelance photojournalist and filmmaker. She spent years working with the Xingu in the Amazon region, creating an important visual record of the Amazon Indians at a time when their culture was increasingly threatened. In 1975 this work brought her the Critics’ Prize at the São Paulo Biennale. In 1979 her illustrated book Xingu Tribal Territory appeared. Among her films were A João Guimarães Rosa (1986) and Xingu Terra (1980). Her photographic essay inspired by Mário de Andrade’s book, O Turista Aprendiz...

Article

Bitti, Bernardo  

Annick Benavides

[Bitti, Aloisio Bernardino Giovanni Demócrito]

(b Camerino, the Marches, 1548; d Lima, 1610).

Italian painter and sculptor active in Peru. One of seven children born to Pablo and Cornelia Bitti, Bernardo Bitti commenced formal training in the arts at the age of 14 in Camerino and completed his training in Rome. He was inducted into the Society of Jesus as a Coadjutor Brother on 2 May 1568 at the age of 20. The General of the Society of Jesus, Everardo Mecurián, assigned Bitti to the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1573 at the request of the Jesuit Provincial in Peru, Diego Bracamante, who believed religious imagery would facilitate the Catholic indoctrination of indigenous Andeans at missions. After spending 14 months in Seville, Bitti arrived in Lima on 31 May 1575 and worked there for 8 years. He subsequently embarked on a peripatetic career decorating the interiors of Jesuit sites in Cuzco, Juli, La Paz, Sucre, Potosí, Arequipa, and Ayacucho.

Bitti created the main and lateral altarpieces of the Jesuit provisional church of S Pedro in Lima with the assistance of the Andalusian Jesuit artist Pedro de Vargas (...

Article

Blanes Viale, Pedro  

Angel Kalenberg

(b Mercedes, May 19, 1878; d Montevideo, Jun 22, 1926).

Uruguayan painter. He first studied painting and drawing as a child with the Catalan painter Miguel Jaume i Bosch (1844–1900). As an adolescent he moved with his family to Spain, where he studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid and frequented the workshop of Santiago Rusiñol. After studying in Paris with Benjamin Constant, he visited Italy and Mallorca, where he first developed his talents as a landscape painter before returning briefly to Uruguay in 1899. During another prolonged visit to Europe from 1902 to 1907 he enthusiastically studied the work of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Lucien Simon, Henri Martin, Claude Monet, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler. After his return to Montevideo in 1907 he painted shimmering Impressionist-influenced landscapes such as Palma de Mallorca (1915; Montevideo, Mus. N. A. Visuales) and treated local rural and urban scenes in which he established himself as a remarkable colorist (see ...

Article

Boggio, Emilio  

María Antonia González-Arnal

revised by Leyla Dunia

(b Caracas, May 21, 1857; d Auvers-sur-Oise, Jun 7, 1920).

Venezuelan painter, active also in France. Dedicated to Impressionism, with his knowledge and his work he deeply influenced the generation of the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Caracas. He traveled to France in 1864 and studied at the Lycée Michelet in Paris until 1870. He returned to Caracas in 1873 and dedicated himself to the family business, but his artistic interests made him start a second journey to Paris in 1877 to study with Jean-Paul Laurens and William Bouguereau at the private Académie Julian. From his early years, he was interested in photography, which later had an influence on his painting. In 1885 he traveled to Italy with the French Impressionist painter Henry Martin, who expanded his interest in the atmospheric qualities of his painting. In 1889, Boggio was awarded the bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris where he participated in the Venezuelan pavilion with Arturo Michelena. From 1887 to 1891 he collaborated with different newspapers of the time as caricaturist. In the decade from 1890 to 1900, the Modern Style influenced his choice of subjects, including allegorical references. In these years, he also painted religious themes such as ...

Article

Bollar, Gorki  

Uruguayan, 20th century, male.

Active in the Netherlands.

Born 1944, in Montevideo.

Painter. Figure compositions.

Gorki Bollar left Uruguay for London in 1966 and later settled in Amsterdam. He took part in the Salon International d'Art Naïf in Paris founded during the 1980s.

Although authentically naive in approach, Bollar has a strong sense of the construction of perspective in space and of the relief of forms. His use of colour is discreet and harmonious and he tells pleasing stories such as the ...

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....