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Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Tahlequah, OK, July 8, 1941; d Muskogee, OK, Aug 13, 1967).

Creek–Seminole painter. Son of Loucinda Lewis and Rev. John Tiger, and father of Dana, Lisa, and Jerome Tiger, who all became recognized artists. Tiger, also known as Kocha, grew up near Eufaula, OK. His youth was spent accompanying and assisting his grandfather’s roving Indian Baptist Church. He learned English at public school in Muskogee, OK, but dropped out of high school. He enrolled at the Engineering Institute in Cleveland, OH, 1963–4, despite not having a high school diploma. He was committed to becoming an artist. Not only inventive and highly prolific, he possessed an uncanny ability to draw virtually anything after a momentary glance.

Producing hundreds of paintings between 1962 and 1967, his natural sense of color, design symmetry, draftsmanship training, and knowledge of anatomy expedited his output. Appealing beauty and spirituality demonstrated to many observers, not just Native American, images recalling emotional connections with preceding historic events. Reminiscences of the dismal treatment of Native American throughout history, without resorting to explicit depictions, provided haunting, poetic, and pensive impressions. His later work became even more eloquent, accompanied by potent shades of mysticism and spirituality. His style was unique and new in Native painting. Delicate and subtle use of line and muted colors brought drama to scenes that conveyed the inhumane treatment of Native Americans. Never going over the top, Tiger nevertheless evoked melancholy emotions. In ...

Article

Ronald J. Onorato

(b Quebec, May 11, 1944).

American sculptor of Canadian birth. Educated in Montreal and in New York City, where he attended the Brooklyn Museum Art School, Hunter College, and received a BS from New York University in 1969. Trakas created site-specific landscape installations in America and Europe from the 1970s. He has received numerous awards including NEA and Guggenheim fellowships and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Merit Award for Sculpture and has taught at Cooper Union and Yale University. Trakas moved to the USA in 1963 and since his earliest completed outdoor works, like Rock River Union (1976), he has been a leading proponent of hand-constructed environments. His work shared aspects of scale, audience participation and architectural form with such artists as Alice Aycock, Mary Miss, Richard Fleischner and Siah Armajani. They all extended the tradition of earlier, less accessible earthworks into the realm of more approachable, often urban, spaces that a viewer can engage spatially as well as understand for their symbolic and narrative content. Trakas’s own projects were primarily constructed of welded steel with wood and stone elements, sometimes recycled from the sites themselves....

Article

June F. Engelbrecht and Lloyd C. Engelbrecht

(b Toledo, OH, March 5, 1860; d El Paso, TX, Sept 19, 1933).

American architect and designer. As an architect Trost is best known as the principal architect of the firm of Trost & Trost, formed in El Paso in 1903. Others active with the firm included his twin brothers Gustavus Adolphus Trost and Adolphus Gustavus Trost (1876–1957), his nephew George Ernst Trost, and Everett Bradt. A highlight of the firm’s achievements is the largest reinforced concrete building in the world at the time of its completion, the 1911 Mills Building in El Paso, for which Adolphus Gustavus Trost was engineer. Another highlight was the first high-rise hotel in the Hilton chain, opened in El Paso in 1930.

As a designer Trost’s most appealing work was accomplished in Chicago from about 1888 to 1896, when he was an influential designer in ornamental metal for the Chicago Ornamental Iron Company and other firms. An architect who influenced Henry Trost was Louis Sullivan...

Article

Doug Singsen

(b Baltimore, MD, March 16, 1921; d Washington, DC, Dec 23, 2004).

American sculptor. Truitt was raised in the town of Easton on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She received a BA in psychology from Bryn Mawr College, where she graduated cum laude in 1943. In 1947, she married James McConnell Truitt, a journalist, whose career caused the couple to relocate frequently in subsequent years.

Truitt’s artistic training began in 1945 with night classes in sculpture in Boston. She continued her studies at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Washington, DC, in 1949–50, where she studied with Alexander Giampietro (1912–2010) and befriended fellow student Kenneth Noland . In the early 1950s she also studied with Octavio Medellin (1907–99) at the Museum School in Dallas, with Peter Lipman-Wulf (1905–93) in New York City, and with Noland and Peter Blanc in Washington, DC. Throughout the 1950s, Truitt experimented with a wide variety of materials and styles in sculpture and drawing.

After living in San Francisco from ...

Article

Aileen June Wang

(b Hong Kong, 1950; d New York, March 10, 1990).

Chinese–American performance artist and photographer. Tseng grew up in Hong Kong, but immigrated to Canada with his family in 1966. He attended two years of university there before studying art in Paris from 1970 to 1974 at the Ecole Superior d’Arts Graphiques and the Académie Julian. He inherited an interest in photography from his father, who frequently photographed his family with a camera acquired while he was in the Nationalist Army. Experiences as a Chinese living abroad inspired Tseng’s East Meets West project, which defined his career from 1979 until his death from AIDS in 1990. The series of photographs examined the significance of tourist attractions as signs of nation and power, the intersection of local and visitor at these sites and the reception of the Chinese as the cultural other.

Tseng met Keith Haring after settling in Manhattan’s East Village in 1978 and the two became close friends and collaborators. He photographed Haring in the act of painting in his studio, the subway and other public venues, producing more than 40,000 images (Keith Haring Documentary Archives, Tseng Kwong Chi Estate). Both artists believed that the process of making art was like a performance and contributed to the meaning of the work. This perspective informed Tseng’s ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

[ Yazzie Bahe ; Little Grey ]

(b Rough Rock/Wide Ruins/Chinle, AZ, Nov 19, 1918; d Nov 2000).

Navajo Salt River Bend painter. Son of Navajo artist Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie. Tsinajinnie enjoyed drawing and painting as a child by drawing and carving horses, cows, and sheep on smooth rocks. Later he sketched on wrapping paper and pencils from the local trading post. At 15, he began studying art at the Fort Apache Indian School, Santa Fe, NM. From 1932 to 1936, he attended the Santa Fe Indian School, together with Hopi, Zuni, and Pueblo tribal artists. At Santa Fe, he began depicting tribal dances and ceremonies. Under Dorothy Dunn, he perfected his unique painting style. Dunn wrote “he was a paradoxical painter, fluctuating between creations of high artistry and the chameleon aspect of his world.” He became expert at bringing forth exclusive Navajo events, remote people and landscapes. Tsinajinnie served in the South Pacific during 1944–6, and he studied at the Oakland College of Arts in Craft before commencing his artistic career....

Article

Donlyn Lyndon

(b New York City, NY, April 1, 1935; d Sausalito, CA, June 26, 1997).

American architect. Educated at Princeton University, Turnbull pursued graduate work including studies with Jean Labatut, Charles W. Moore and Louis I. Kahn, who guided his Master’s degree thesis in 1959. Subsequently he worked in the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill before joining Moore, Donlyn Lyndon and Richard Whitaker to form MLTW/Moore Lyndon Turnbull Whitaker in Berkeley, CA, in 1962. He founded his own office in San Francisco in 1970. William Turnbull Associates eventually became Turnbull Griffin Haesloop and was continued by partners Mary Griffin and Eric Haesloop after his death.

Turnbull developed a crisp vision that was rooted in the experience of the landscape, and the acts of building. He was a skillful and incisive collaborator, bringing to all his work a firm sense of discipline and restraint, fused with a fluid sense of natural process and human presence. His drawings were impeccably clear.

The works most widely known are Condominium One (...

Article

Sandra Sider

(b Groningen, The Netherlands, June 6, 1942; d Los Angeles, CA, Jan 10, 2009).

Belgium sculptor, critic and curator. Van Bruggen is best known for her collaboration with Claes Oldenburg , whom she married in 1977. Van Bruggen had two children from her first marriage, which ended by 1975. She earned an MA in art history at the University of Groningen in 1967, and worked as an assistant curator in Painting and Sculpture at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam from 1967 until 1971. Van Bruggen was involved with the first wave of conceptual art, including environmental artists and the Dutch avant-garde. Oldenburg and van Bruggen met in 1970, when his retrospective exhibition traveled to the Stedelijk Museum. She taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Enschede from 1971 until 1976, while collaborating with Oldenburg on large-scale sculptural projects. Van Bruggen also continued her career as a critic, publishing monographs on artists such as John Baldessari, Hanne Darboven , and Bruce Nauman , and a study of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. She became an American citizen in ...

Article

H. Alexander Rich

(b Segovia, Spain, June 20, 1903; d Bridgehampton, NY, Jan 10, 2001).

American painter and teacher of Spanish birth. One of the last surviving members of the first generation of Abstract Expressionists, Vicente arrived in New York from Spain as an innovative synthesizer of earlier European styles, working his way from portrait and nature painting through landscapes and Cubism before arriving at his mature New York School-inflected manner of large-scale abstract collage and stain paintings.

Born in Segovia, but growing up in Madrid, he was undoubtedly influenced by his father, a former military officer who also dabbled in painting and who often took his son to the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Vicente enrolled at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S. Fernando in Madrid to study sculpture in 1921.

Although sculpting occupied Vicente for three years at the Academy, where Salvador Dalí was a classmate, by the time he moved to Paris in 1929 Vicente had re-branded himself a painter. That same year, he showed his work for the first time in the Salon des Surindépendants. Vicente painted primarily from nature, composing landscapes that fused ...

Article

Julie Aronson

[ née Potter, Bessie Onahotema ]

(b St. Louis, MO, Aug 17, 1872; d New York, March 8, 1955).

American sculptor. Vonnoh was known for small, distinctive compositions of women and children in dress of the period. Created in an impressionistic style, her sculptures capture the essence of her subjects. Born Bessie Onahotema Potter, she grew up in Chicago. In 1886, she entered the studio of the sculptor Lorado Taft and enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he served as instructor of modeling. Newly arrived from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Taft taught Vonnoh the latest French techniques and stylistic tendencies, including a fluid approach to form and the retention of the evidence of her touch. After she graduated in 1891, her education advanced with the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), where she exhibited her work and gained practical experience as one of the “White Rabbits;” a group of women who assisted Taft with the enlargement of sculptors’ models.

In 1894, a circle of artists and writers calling themselves “The Little Room” convened in Vonnoh’s Chicago studio. Discussions ensued on the merits of American subject matter and Impressionism, a movement in painting that used active brushwork to engage with contemporary life. Seeking a three-dimensional equivalent to Impressionism, Vonnoh modeled statuettes of women in the dress of the day with lively surfaces, cast them in plaster and delicately tinted them with color. Some she assigned titles such as ...

Article

Klaus Ottmann

(Panagiotis Harry)

(b Bozeman, MT, Jan 29, 1924; d Bowling Green, OH, Feb 16, 2002).

American ceramic artist, known for his experimental clay sculptures. The third of five children of Greek immigrants, Voulkos studied painting and printmaking on the GI Bill in the late 1940s at Montana State College, Bozeman and ceramics at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland. One of the first artists to pioneer ceramics as an autonomous art form, his original clay works inspired a new ceramic movement in America. He is considered a pivotal force behind the so-called American “clay revolution” that begun in the 1950s. In 1953, while teaching a summer workshop at Black Mountain College in Asheville, NC, he met many East Coast avant-garde artists and writers, such as Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage and Charles Olsen, and afterward, in New York, De Kooning, Willem, Philip Guston and Franz Kline. Returning to California, he began to apply the Abstract Expressionist gestural energy of Jackson Pollock and de Kooning and the improvisational structure of jazz music to clay, combined with the Japanese practice of pottery and its Zen-like stillness, simplicity and acceptance of imperfections. Pollock once described Voulkos’s art as “energy made visible.”...

Article

Jacqueline S. Taylor

(b Hartford, CT, May 16, 1887; d Feb 3, 1948).

African American painter. Waring studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with Thomas Anshutz and William Merritt Chase . After graduating in 1914, she received a scholarship to study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, a popular atelier in Paris where she spent many years studying and perfecting her art. On returning to the United States, Waring founded the Department of Art and Music at the Cheney State Normal School, an African American teachers college (now Cheney University) in Pennsylvania.

Waring was best known for her portraiture, much of which epitomized the ideals of the Harlem Renaissance , countering class and racial stereotypes by portraying urban, educated blacks and ordinary working class citizens with a perceptive dignity and grace. Waring’s style blended aspects of realism with romanticism. Her portraits exhibited sensitive modeling and fine, energetic brushwork with a strong palette. Color in her landscapes and still lifes became lyrical with soft gradations and tonal hues. Waring’s work was exhibited at prestigious institutions including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Galerie du Luxembourg in Paris....

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b California, Feb 24, 1919; d April 17, 2010).

American architect. An important San Francisco-based architect, Warnecke emerged as the forerunner of contextual modernism in the early 1950s. Contextualism aimed to create a sense of place through a humanistic design approach informed by the pre-existing context of the building’s specific site and the more general locale. This approach was in contrast to pure Modernism, which emphasized non-contextual abstraction without explicit references to architectural history. Spatial volumes, rather than mass and solidity, were highlighted, and buildings evidenced a structural regularity and absence of ornament.

Warnecke was apprenticed in Oakland, CA, to his father who introduced him to the classical Beaux-Arts tradition of architectural design. His formal education in art and engineering at Stanford University was followed by a Masters in Architecture in 1942 from Harvard University, studying under Walter Gropius . Bernard Maybeck and Arthur Brown . worked with Warnecke’s father and became early influences, discouraging Warnecke’s adoption of the Modernist approach to design which dominated mainstream American architecture during the post-World War II era. ...

Article

John Schnorrenberg

American architectural firm founded in Birmingham, AL, in 1917 by William Tilman Warren (b Montgomery, AL, 3 Oct 1877; d 14 April 1962) and Eugene Herbert Knight (b Jacksonville, FL, 30 Nov 1884; d 6 Nov 1971). Knight sought the partnership with Warren and persuaded John Eayres Davis (b Mobile, AL, 4 Aug 1891; d 2 Jan 1961) to join them in 1921. Knight was principal designer, Warren the designer for details and Davis supervisor of execution of work. Warren was elected Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1934 and Knight in 1952. The sons of Knight and Davis, Albion Knight (1915–90) and John Eayres Davis Jr. (1916–89), joined the firm in 1946. The firm closed when the younger Davis died in 1989.

Warren obtained a BSc in engineering at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (later Auburn University) in 1897...

Article

Atteqa Ali

(b Lahore).

Pakistani painter, active also in America. Wasim’s images critique authority by using a painting technique that produces works described as “epic miniatures.” Prior to the 19th century, miniature painting was associated with royal courts in South Asia, but by the late 20th century it was being taught at the National College of Arts (NCA) in Pakistan. Wasim majored in miniature painting at NCA, graduating with a BFA in 1999. Her approach mirrors the philosophical and formal methods utilized by 16th-century Mughal family Empire court painters in that she addresses contemporary issues and incorporates new materials and styles, as did the Mughal artists (see also Indian subcontinent §VI 4., (i)).

Wasim is part of a group of NCA graduates that does not set limits on miniature painting’s purpose and form unlike many contemporary practitioners and viewers in Pakistan. Like Shahzia Sikander before her, Wasim has introduced a dynamic technique to audiences in the USA, where she moved in ...

Article

Adrienne L. Childs

(b Atlanta, GA, Nov 2, 1902; d Washington, DC, Jan 20, 1993).

American printmaker, painter and educator. Wells’s 70-year career had a major impact on the development of African American art in the 20th century. He studied at the National Academy of Design, Columbia University Teachers College and the Atelier 17 printmaking workshop, both in New York. In 1929 he began teaching at Howard University, Washington, DC, where he remained an influential professor of art until his retirement in 1968.

One of the first black artists to embrace modernism, Wells’s early linocuts such as African Phantasy (1928) and Sisters (1929) embody the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance as African American artists looked toward African ancestral arts for inspiration. His graphic works were included in journals such as The Crisis, Opportunity and New Masses and became central to the visual culture of the New Negro Movement. Wells’s graphic style was influenced by European Expressionism, African and Egyptian art as well as popular Art Deco motifs. His extensive repertoire as a printmaker incorporated lithography, linoleum cut and wood engraving; his subjects included Bible stories, the urban worker, mythology, Africa and the nude. Also known for his expressionistic painting style, the Harmon Foundation awarded Wells a gold medal in ...

Article

Margaret F. MacDonald

(b Lowell, MA, July 11, 1834; d London, July 17, 1903).

American painter, printmaker, designer and collector, active in England and France. He developed from the Realism of Courbet and Manet to become, in the 1860s, one of the leading members of the Aesthetic Movement and an important exponent of Japonisme. From the 1860s he increasingly adopted non-specific and often musical titles for his work, which emphasized his interest in the manipulation of colour and mood for their own sake rather than for the conventional depiction of subject. He acted as an important link between the avant-garde artistic worlds of Europe, Britain and the USA and has always been acknowledged as one of the masters of etching (see Jacque, Charles(-Emile)).

From his monogram jw, Whistler evolved a butterfly signature, which he used after 1869. After his mother’s death in 1881, he added her maiden name, McNeill, and signed letters J. A. McN. Whistler. Finally he dropped ‘Abbott’ entirely.

The son of Major George Washington Whistler, a railway engineer, and his second wife, Anna Matilda McNeill, James moved with his family in ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Arizona, 1950).

American jeweler, sculptor, painter, and silversmith, of Mescalero Apache–Navajo descent. White Eagle began his career as a silversmith under the tutelage of legendary Navajo artisan Fred Peshlakai , at age five, learning by observation and developing an artistic understanding of Peshlakai’s aesthetic approach. At nine, he began making and selling his own jewelry at Union Square in Los Angeles. Later moving to Palm Springs, CA he continued to generate and sell his jewelry on the street under the date palms trees.

Always handmade, his jewelry pieces used the finest available quality of semi-precious stones. Singular details and features demonstrated his exclusive and unique artistic vision and styling. In 1973, the Yacqui artist, Art Tafoya, began a silversmith apprenticeship with White Eagle, studying the hand-stamped old style embossing skills of jewelry; he continued the historic creation of extraordinary designs.

Bold and substantial, White Eagle’s jewelry balanced a focal fluid turquoise stone against deeply carved flora and linear design lines. His pieces represented transcultural combinations of traditional Navajo silver interwoven with mainstream expectations of Native American style. He daringly counterbalanced mixed semi-precious stonework with irregular fusions of silver positive space. Smooth, amazingly detailed stamp work combined with bent offset features providing an overall asymmetrical daring quality....

Article

Paul Von Blum

(Wilbert)

(b Chicago, IL, Apr 2, 1918; d Los Angeles, CA, Oct 3, 1979).

American painter and printmaker. White was one of the finest African American artists of the mid-20th century and an important figure in African American art history. Throughout his distinguished career, he combined outstanding technical skill in painting and printmaking with a lifelong commitment to chronicling the hopes and struggles of African Americans. His artworks celebrated both African American heroes and everyday women and men struggling to maintain dignity in a racially segregated society. He achieved major national and international acclaim at a time when Abstract Expressionism dominated the mainstream art world and African American artists were consigned critical marginality in galleries, art journals, newspapers, magazines, and colleges and universities.

Most of White’s artistic career was devoted to visual social commentary, which solidified his standing within the tradition of renowned political artists, including Francisco de Goya, Honoré Daumier, Käthe Kollwitz, and the Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. White’s artworks revealed the influence of a generation of American Social Realist artists, including Ben Shahn, William Gropper, Philip Evergood, and many others....

Article

Tracy Fitzpatrick

( Donald J. )

(b New York, NY, April 7, 1961; d New York, Oct 2, 1998).

African American painter. One of the best known and respected graffiti artists who influenced and mentored a generation of younger writers. White was the youngest of five brothers, raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn by Catholic Italian and African American parents. Nicknamed Dondi by his mother, at age 9 White began scribbling on street lamps in his neighborhood, a practice that led to writing on buildings and train cars in his teens and 20s.

In 1976, White’s parents moved to a new house within three yards of three New York City train yards. White practiced his craft in the basement, worked with other writers in his bedroom and began writing on trains in earnest, using the tags NACO and DONDI. Many of the youths in White’s neighborhood were involved in gangs, including many of the writers. White, however, resisted gang writing and activity, preferring to focus on his style. During this time he refined his work and began working increasingly large-scale....