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Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...

Article

Mark Castro

[Murillo, Gerardo]

(b Guadalajara, Oct 3, 1875; d Mexico City, Aug 14, 1964).

Mexican painter, printmaker, writer, theorist, volcanologist, and politician. Murillo first studied art in his native Guadalajara with the painter Félix Bernardelli (1866–1905). Murillo relocated to Mexico City in 1896, studying briefly at the Academia de San Carlos, before securing support from the government to continue his education in Europe. He stopped briefly in Paris in 1897 before moving on to Rome and beginning his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti and the Real Academia de España. Murillo’s encounters with European art had a profound impact on him, particularly Impressionism. He also achieved a measure of success on the European art scene, and his Self-portrait (1899; priv. col.) was awarded the silver medal at the Paris Salon. During his six-year stay Murillo also became absorbed by French and Italian socialist political theory.

Murillo returned to Mexico in 1904, joining the staff of the Academia de San Carlos, where he became an agitator for reform, clashing with the school’s administration over teaching methods and becoming a hero to students, among them José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. The debates culminated in the student strike of ...

Article

Julieta Ortiz Gaitán

(b Mexico City, Jun 27, 1943).

Mexican painter, printmaker, performance artist, writer, teacher, and publisher. He qualified as a printmaker at a very early age, then as a painter and engraver under the tutelage of several masters, among whom the most influential on his life was José Chávez Morado. Although he at first worked with traditional media, he possessed a constantly innovative and critical attitude and experimented with performances, installations, happenings, correspondence art, and media art, as well as writing, lecturing, and publishing on such themes as artistic experimentation, cultural promotion, professional management for artists, collective mural painting, and the publishing process. From 1968 to 1972 Ehrenberg lived in England where, with the architect Martha Hellion and the critic and historian David Mayor, he founded the Beau Geste Press/Libro Acción Libre in Devon, to propagate the work of artists involved with the Fluxus movement of the 1970s. He was also instrumental in the rise of many artistic groups, workshops and small publishing houses, such as ...

Article

Karen Cordero Reiman

(b Aguascalientes, May 30, 1900; d Mexico City, Aug 26, 1984).

Mexican painter, printmaker, writer, and ceramicist. He enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, in 1917 and soon became active in the post-revolutionary nationalist cultural movement, attempting to recuperate folk-art motifs and techniques. In 1920 he designed a ceramic frieze for the Colegio Máximo de San Pedro y San Pablo, Mexico City. He edited the influential art magazine Forma (1926–1928) and was involved in creating the Escuela Libre de Escultura y Talla Directa, Mexico City, the ¡30–30! group (which promoted the democratization and de-academization of the arts), and the Centros Populares de Pintura, which offered art education to people in industrial areas, encouraging the representation of their surroundings without academic constraints. In the 1930s he directed an exhibition space funded by the Ministerio de Educación Pública, for which, with Roberto Montenegro and Francisco Díaz de León, he designed posters and catalogs noted for their innovative typography. Fernández Ledesma also produced prints inspired by popular graphics and figurative paintings influenced by Picasso and by Pittura Metafisica; he also wrote several books on popular traditions and stage and costume designs....

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, Apr 16, 1900; d Buenos Aires, May 3, 1947).

Costa Rican painter, sculptor, engraver, and writer. After spending two years in London, in 1922 Jiménez moved to Paris, where he dedicated himself to sculpture, drawing, and painting. He came into contact with leading Spanish literary figures, and he discovered the African-influenced work of Picasso and Modigliani, as well as that of the Paris-based Brazilian painter Tarsila. These influences led to the monumentality and Afro-Caribbean elements present in Jiménez’s painting and sculpture, in which traditional concepts of beauty were disregarded and the subjects painted in an exuberant manner (e.g. Ileana; see Ulloa Barrenechea 1975, 231). In 1925 he returned to Costa Rica, but the lack of galleries or museums and of artistic activity (other than academic) frustrated Jiménez. Having been exposed in Paris to trends far in advance of Costa Rican art and feeling that his avant-garde ideas were not understood, he temporarily ceased to produce art.

In 1928 Jiménez returned to Europe; his collection of poems, ...

Article

Julieta Ortiz Gaitán

(b Mexico City, Feb 26, 1896; d Mexico City, Oct 7, 1964).

Mexican painter, printmaker, and critic. He was educated at the Escuela al Aire Libre de Santa Anita, Ixtapalapa, and at the Escuela al Aire Libre de Coyoacán. Leal worked in several media, including engraving, lithography, and various painting techniques; he also wrote art criticism. The field in which he produced his most successful work was, however, mural painting. He belonged to the first generation of Mexican muralists, those called on by José Vasconcelos to decorate the public buildings in post-revolutionary Mexico. Leal was notable for his sense of color, his skillful use of mural painting techniques, and for the early use he made of popular Mexican subjects, particularly in his first mural the Dancers of Chalma (1922–1923; Mexico City, Escuela N. Prep.). Other important murals followed, including the Scale of Life (1927; Mexico City, Ministry of Public Health; destr.), Bolívarian Epic (1930; Mexico City, Escuela N. Prep.), ...

Article

Ana Tapias

revised by Susanna Temkin

(b Memel [now Klaipéda], Jun 9, 1914; d Caracas, Jan 22, 1998).

Venezuelan graphic designer, printmaker, painter, photographer, sculptor, museum curator, and teacher of Lithuanian birth. He studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hannover, at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Mainz, and, after briefly completing his obligatory military service, at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich with typographer Fritz H. Ehmcke (1878–1965). He moved to Venezuela in 1951, becoming a citizen in 1954. He is acknowledged for his contributions to the Venezuelan postwar art scene and, in particular, to the field of graphic design.

In Venezuela he briefly worked for the Grant Advertising company, and later as Director of Art of McCann Erickson, taking over the position from Carlos Cruz-Diez. In 1952 he met the artist Gego, who became his life partner and with whom he collaborated on projects at the Centro Comercial Cediaz (1967) and the Instituto de Cooperación Educativa (INCE) (1968). From 1957 to 1959 he was art director of the magazine ...

Article

W. Iain Mackay

(b Arequipa, 1912; d 1988).

Peruvian painter, teacher, printmaker, and writer. He studied until 1935 at the Universidad Nacional de S. Agustín, Arequipa, where he continued to teach history of art and aesthetics until 1950, although he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to study in the USA between 1943 and 1945; as an artist he was self-taught. He later settled in Lima, where he executed a number of large murals (e.g. Construction of Peru, 6 × 16 m, 1954; Lima, Min. Econ. & Finanzas). In these and in watercolor paintings he combined social realism with a degree of caricature reminiscent of the work of Pancho Fierro. In 1954 Núñez Ureta was awarded the Premio Nacional de Pintura, and from 1973 to 1976 he was Director of the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima. His written works include a number of books on Peruvian art.

La vida de la gente. Lima, 1982.Gente de mi tierra...

Article

Patricia Masse

revised by Alana Hernandez

(b Chicago, Sept 6, 1925; d Mexico City, May 2, 2002).

Mexican photographer, printmaker, and writer of American birth. After studying humanities in Chicago, in 1944 she emigrated to Mexico. From 1945 to 1958 she worked as an engraver in the Taller de Gráfica Popular with Leopoldo Méndez. She was a founder-member in 1951 of the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana. As a photographer Yampolsky studied under Lola Álvarez Bravo at the Academia de San Carlos Mexico City. Álvarez Bravo’s influence can be seen in Yampolsky’s photographs of rural Mexico, in particular vernacular architecture and harmonious depictions of sites used for either daily or ceremonial functions. She also photographed Indian or mestizo peasants engaged in domestic activities and celebrations, and she published educational and art books.

La casa que canta: Arquitectura popular mexicana. Mexico City, 1982.Estancias del olvido. Mexico City, 1987.La raíz y el camino. Mexico City, 1988.Mazahua. Toluca, 1993.Haciendo Poblanas, text by R. Rendón Garcini...