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Article

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

(b Chicago, June 5, 1947).

American performance artist, sculptor, draughtsman, and writer. She completed her BA in art history at Barnard College, New York, in 1969 and had her first one-woman show there in 1970, exhibiting sculptures and drawings among other works. She then trained as a sculptor at Columbia University, New York, receiving her MFA in 1972. Much of her work has built on her childhood instruction as a classical violinist, and she achieved popular notoriety in 1981 when her song ‘O Superman’ became a popular hit in England. Her first performance piece, Automotive, took place in 1972 at Town Green in Rochester, VT, and involved a concert of car horns. In 1974 she staged another music-based performance entitled Duets on Ice in which she appeared at four different locations on New York sidewalks wearing a pair of ice skates with their blades frozen in blocks of ice, and she proceeded to play one of several altered violins until the ice melted into water. In subsequent years, she has continued to work primarily as a performance artist, using projected photographs, films, texts, and music to create technologically sophisticated and elaborately staged events. Many of these performances have featured instruments of her own invention. The most famous of these was a violin with a recording head on its body and a strip of audio tape in the place of the hairs on its bow. This piece allowed her to play the human voice as an instrument by changing its speed and cadence with the movements of her arm. The most complex and spectacular of her performances, ...

Article

John E. Bowlt

(Andreyevich)

(b Moscow, Oct 14, 1873; d Moscow, Dec 24, 1932).

Russian sculptor, graphic artist and stage designer. He trained at the Stroganov School in Moscow (1883–91) before entering the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he studied under the sculptor Sergey Volnukhin (1859–1921). He graduated in 1900 before joining the Wanderers in 1902.

Andreyev was well aware of contemporary European trends in sculpture, especially the work of Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and Auguste Rodin, which he saw during a stay in Paris in 1900. However, he remained strongly attached to the 19th-century academic tradition, an allegiance that perhaps facilitated his acceptance of many official commissions both before and after the October Revolution of 1917. For example, he was responsible for the figure and pedestal of the monument to Nikolay Gogol’ on the Boulevard Ring in Moscow (1909; now at Suvorovsky Boulevard, 7) and for the bronze and granite monument to Aleksandr Ostrovsky (1929) in front of the Maly Theatre, Moscow. Andreyev was a principal contributor to Lenin’s Monumental Propaganda Plan from ...

Article

V. Rakitin

[Georges] (Pavlovich)

(b Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan, July 23, 1889; d Paris, July 18, 1974).

Russian painter, draughtsman and stage designer. He studied at the University of St Petersburg (later Petrograd) in 1908 and in the private studio of Savely Zeidenberg (1862–1924). In 1909–10 he attended the studio of Yan Tsyonglinsky (1850–1914) in St Petersburg, where he became acquainted with the avant-garde artists Yelena Guro (1877–1913), Mikhail Matyushin and Matvey Vol’demar (1878–1914). In 1911–12 he worked in the studios of Maurice Denis and Félix Vallotton in Paris, then in Switzerland (1913) before returning to St Petersburg. As a painter he was a modernist, and his work developed rapidly towards abstraction, although he did not adhere to any particular branch of it. His works of the time use various devices of stylization and decorativeness, and some of them echo the free associations of Marc Chagall, but fundamentally they remain geometrically based compositions. In 1919–20 he made a series of abstract sculptural assemblages and a great number of abstract collages....

Article

(b Geneva, June 24, 1948).

Swiss draughtsman, performance artist, painter, and sculptor. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Geneva (1966–7) and at the Glamorgan Summer School, Britain (1969). Armleder is known primarily for his involvement with Fluxus during the 1960s and 1970s, which included performances, installations, and collective activities. He was a member of the Groupe Luc Bois, based in Geneva in 1963. In 1969, with Patrick Lucchini and Claude Rychner, he was a founder-member of the Groupe Ecart, Geneva, from which stemmed the Galerie Ecart (1973) and its associated performance group (1974) and publications. Armleder’s first exhibition was at the Galerie Ecart in 1973, followed in the same year by one at the Palais de l’Athénée, Geneva. The anti-establishment and anti-formalist philosophy of the Fluxus groups continued in Armleder’s mixed-media works of later years, which include the Furniture Sculpture of the 1980s. In works that couple objects (second-hand or new) with abstract paintings executed by Armleder himself, and which often refer ironically to earlier modernist abstract examples, he questioned the context in which art is placed and the notion of authenticity in art. Such concerns continued to appear in his work. Armleder’s ...

Article

Paule Thévenin

[Antoine Marie Joseph]

(b Marseille, Sept 4, 1896; d Ivry-sur-Seine, March 4, 1948).

French writer, draughtsman, stage designer, actor and director . He learnt to draw and paint in 1918–19 while staying in an establishment near Neuchâtel where he had been sent suffering from a nervous complaint that had begun in 1914. There he was prescribed opium in May 1919. He arrived in Paris in the spring of 1920 and visited salons, galleries and studios, produced art criticism (see Oeuvres complètes, ii), continued to sketch small portraits of himself or his family and composed poems. In the atelier of Charles Dullin (1885–1949), where he trained as an actor, he was asked to design the costumes for several performances. Nevertheless, after an attempt in 1923 to paint the portrait of a young friend and her father, he abandoned painting and drawing. Through the painter Elie Lascaux (b 1888), whom he knew from Max Jacob’s circle, he met the art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and the artists of his gallery. He became a friend of André Masson in particular and soon became a regular visitor at Masson’s studio in the Rue Blomet, then also frequented by other painters such as Joan Miró, Jean Dubuffet and Georges Malkine and visited by writers Robert Desnos (...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(b Djadjur, Akhuryan district, July 20, 1928; d Erevan, Feb 24, 1975).

Armenian painter and stage designer . He studied at the Institute of Theatre and Art in Erevan (1952–4), as well as at the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) from 1954 to 1960. He benefited from the advice of the Armenian painter, Martiros Saryan, but developed a style of his own, with an intense use of colour similar to that of Fauvism. The influence of Armenian medieval art is strongly apparent in his landscapes, self-portraits and scenes of peasant life, for example Baking Lavash (1972; Erevan, Pict. Gal. Armenia). His work combines an uncommon and expressive richness of colour with a dramatic monumentality of composition. He had a one-man show in Erevan in 1962 and another in Moscow in 1969. In 1972 his studio was burnt down and a large number of his canvases destroyed. He was also a stage designer, producing designs, for example, for sets for Aram Khachaturian’s ballet ...

Article

Gjergj Frashëri

(b Tiranë, Aug 4, 1937).

Albanian painter and draughtsman . He studied at the Jordan Misja Arts Lyceum (1935–7) and later at the Higher Institute of Arts in Tiranë (1961–5). His cycles of drawings such as War Dance (1971; Tiranë, A.G.) typify his style and subject-matter, which were inspired by legendary epics and medieval Albanian art. Other cycles, in watercolours and drawings, and the postage stamp series, such as War of Shtimja (1981), are notable for their powerful symbolism and show Bakalli’s transition towards monumental painting. His murals on historical themes, Confrontation (18.4×5.6 m, 1982; Krujë, Mus. N. Hist.) and The Assembly of Dukagjin (4×3.2 m, 1986; Burrel, Hist. Mus.), successfully combine a historical subject with contemporary ideas of Albanian heroism, in their use of dynamic and psychologically eloquent outline and their wealth of traditional ethnographic elements.

New Albania, 5, 7 (1972); 2, 4 (1973); 1 (1974); 4, 12 (1975)...

Article

Libero Andreotti

(b Rovereto, Dec 10, 1896; d Milan, Sept 26, 1982).

Italian architect, stage designer and painter . After studying at the Scuola Reale Elisabettiana, an applied arts school in Rovereto, he joined the Futurist movement, headed locally by Fortunato Depero. After serving in World War I, he enrolled at the Scuola Superiore di Architettura del Politecnico, Milan, graduating in architecture in 1922. He then spent four years (1922–6) in Berlin working as a stage designer and frequenting the avant-garde milieu around Max Reinhardt, Erwin Piscator and Oskar Kokoschka. He returned to Italy in 1926 and set up his own practice. His first important commission, the remodelling of the Bar Craja (1930; with Figini and Pollini) in Milan, with its handsome glass and steel interior, established Baldessari’s reputation as an innovative designer. He collaborated again with Figini and Pollini on the De Angeli-Frua office building (1931–2) in Milan, a fine example of Italian Rationalism at its most restrained. Baldessari’s architectural masterpiece of this period was, however, the Press Pavilion (...

Article

Vincenzo Fontana

(b Rome, March 5, 1873; d Rome, March 30, 1939).

Italian architect. His father, Luigi Bazzani, was a painter and stage designer. Bazzani graduated in civil engineering from the university in Rome in 1896. In 1899 he won the competition for the international art scholarship with a plan for a cathedral in an Italian Gothic Revival style. His first significant building was the Alterocca printing company building (1907) at Terni, in Stile Liberty. He was joint winner with Raimondo D’Aronco and Ernesto Pivovano of the architectural prize at the Esposizione de Sempione, Milan (1906). A number of important competition-winning schemes followed. In 1905 Bazzani won the competition for the façade of S Lorenzo (unexecuted) in Florence, which stood him in good stead for his entry for the Biblioteca Nazionale (won 1907; completed 1935) at Santa Croce. An eclectic Renaissance building, its structure picked out in grey against white, it already suggests a putative monumentalism and sits awkwardly in its Florentine context. In ...

Article

Mary Emma Harris

Experimental liberal arts college at Black Mountain, NC, open from 1933 to 1957. In the 1940s and early 1950s Black Mountain College was a centre for a group of painters, architects, musicians and poets associated particularly with the development of abstract art and performance and multimedia work, crossing many disciplines. It was founded by John Andrew Rice (1888–1968) and a group of students and faculty from Rollins College, Winter Park, FL. It was located in the Blue Ridge Assembly Buildings, c. 29 km east of Asheville, NC, until 1941, when it moved to nearby Lake Eden until its closure. The progressive ideas of John Dewey influenced the integration of formal education with community life, the absence of conventional grades and credits and the central importance accorded to the arts. The college was owned and administered by the faculty. The setting was modest, and fewer than 1200 students attended in 24 years....

Article

Andrew Wilson

(b Ardning, Styria, Sept 27, 1938).

Austrian performance artist, draughtsman, painter and film maker. He studied commercial graphic art at the Akademie für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna between 1957 and 1960. Following visits to Spain and the Venice Biennale of 1960, he started to paint gestural abstractions and came into contact with the Austrian painter Alfons Schilling (b 1934). In 1961 this development was interrupted when he was called up for military service, after which he found it difficult to return to painting, and by the end of 1962 he had started to concentrate on the act of painting rather than on the finished works themselves. He was persuaded by Otto Muehl to create, with his wife Anni, his first Aktion or performance, Ana, in November 1964, which he recorded on film in the first of a series of collaborations with the film maker Kurt Kren (b 1920). This led to his first self-painting ...

Article

Andrew Causey

(b London, March 29, 1905; d Hastings, Oct 22, 1976).

English painter, illustrator and stage designer. As a student at the Chelsea Polytechnic (1921–3) and the Royal College of Art (1923–5) he became a talented figure draughtsman. In the second half of the decade he spent much time in France painting intricately detailed urban scenes, which depicted the low life of Toulon and Marseille. Works such as the watercolour Toulon (1927; priv. col., see Causey, cat. no. 33) were executed in a meticulously finished and vividly coloured decorative style. Burra usually used watercolour and tempera and occasionally collage oil paints.

Burra took ideas from Cubism, Dada (notably George Grosz) and, especially, Surrealism, but his work is also linked with the English satirical tradition of William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson and Isaac Cruikshank: Burra loved burlesque and poked fun at people’s pretensions and excesses of style and behaviour, as in John Deth (Homage to Conrad Aiken) (...

Article

Hugh Davies

(b Los Angeles, Sept 5, 1912; d New York, Aug 12, 1992).

American composer, philosopher, writer and printmaker. He was educated in California and then made a study tour of Europe (1930–31), concentrating on art, architecture and music. On his return to the USA he studied music with Richard Buhlig, Adolph Weiss, Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg; in 1934 he abandoned abstract painting for music. An interest in extending the existing range of percussion instruments led him, in 1940, to devise the ‘prepared piano’ (in which the sound is transformed by the insertion of various objects between the strings) and to pioneer electronic sound sources.

Cage’s studies of Zen Buddhism and Indian philosophy during the 1940s resulted in a decision to remove intention, memory and personal taste from music, based on the Oriental concern with process rather than result. According equal status to both structured sound and noise, he treated silence (the absence of intentional sounds) as an element in its own right. In the early 1950s he began his close collaboration with the pianist ...

Article

A. V. Ikonnikov

[Chekanauskas, Vitautas]

(b Šiauliuose, Lithuania, May 13, 1929).

Lithuanian architect. He studied from 1949 to 1955 in the architectural faculty of the Artistic Institute, Vilnius. His first major work, the residential buildings for the Union of Composers and the House of Composers (1961–6) on Mitskevichus Street, Vilnius, is a group of blocklike detached houses, which blends organically with its site, a pine grove on the bank of the River Neris. The contrast between surfaces of red brick, stucco and wooden panels adds to the picturesque effect. The Palace of Exhibitions (1964–7) on Muzējus Street, in the historic centre of Vilnius, was specifically designed to blend in with the context of the old quarter, partially destroyed during World War II. Its form balances internal factors, such as the functional arrangement of the main exhibition halls on the first floor as an adaptable system, against its external image determined by its environment. The residential district (...

Article

A. V. Ikonnikov

(Nikolayevich)

(b Shostka, Ukraine, Aug 22, 1901; d Moscow, Oct 29, 1981).

Russian architect and stage designer of Ukrainian birth. From 1923 to 1929 he studied under Aleksey Shchusev in the architectural faculty of the Vkhutemas (Rus.: Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops), Moscow. As a theatre designer he was responsible for the designs for productions in a number of Moscow theatres. He built the Polytechnical Institute (1929–31), Gor’ky (now Nizhny Novgorod), employing Constructivist devices, and his Neo-classical competition design (1931; with A. F. Zhukov; unexecuted) for the Palace of Soviets in Moscow received a first prize. Thereafter his work combined Neo-classical monumentality with contrasts of generalized forms and a widespread use of colour, for example the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (1938–40), with a large elliptical amphitheatre, and the Peking Hotel (1939–51), both in Moscow. The freely-treated decorative classicism of the Komsomol’skaya (1935) and Kievskaya (1937) metro stations and the ground-level vestibule of the Dinamo metro station (...

Article

Rory Spence

(Russell)

(b Daylesford, Victoria, May 6, 1939).

Australian architect and stage designer. He graduated from the University of Melbourne (1966) and then studied at Yale University, New Haven, CT (1966–9), and worked briefly for several notable architectural firms in the USA, including those of Paul Rudolph and Philip Johnson. He was impressed by Robert Venturi’s attempt to use popular culture to forge a new regional idiom (see Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown), and, on his return to Australia in 1974, he began to develop a new ‘poor architecture’ based on a provocative, angular reinterpretation of everyday suburban forms and materials, combined with elements from canonical works of Modernism. In 1975, together with Maggie Edmond (b 1953), he formed the firm of Edmond & Corrigan; and he also began to teach at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in the late 1970s. His work and teaching subsequently had a powerful influence on younger architects in the city. Corrigan typically used bright clashing colours, patterned brickwork and awkward colliding and distorted forms in his buildings. Notable early work included the Resurrection Church, primary school and housing (...

Article

Silvia Lucchesi

[Marius Pictor]

(b Bologna, Sept 8, 1852; d Venice, March 18, 1924).

Italian painter, photographer, architect and illustrator. He trained initially as a musician and only later became a painter, studying (1872–8) at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna under the history and portrait painter Antonio Puccinelli (1822–97). He made several short trips to Paris and London before moving to Rome where he became friends with Vincenzo Cabianca (1827–1902), a plein-air painter, and joined the group founded by Nino Costa, In Arte Libertas (see Rome, §III, 7). He made his name in 1885 when he exhibited 18 paintings at the group’s first exhibition. In the 1880s he experimented with photography, and in certain cases photographs acted as preliminary stages for his paintings. In 1892 he settled definitively in Venice and two years later adopted the pseudonym ‘Marius Pictor’. His work expressed the romantic and literary climate of the fin-de-siècle, and his painting is linked with the work of such writers as Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe. De Maria’s work derives from flower painting and from the painting of Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps; brushstrokes are carefully built up, and rough, chalky colour is thickly applied. He was extremely skilful in his manipulation of colour and light to express the richness of his imagination. He liked to create evocative images and to represent the most fantastic and unusual aspects of nature, as in the famous painting the ...

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

Anne Pastori

(b Lucerne, Feb 21, 1909; d March 21, 2015).

Swiss painter, draughtsman, sculptor and stage designer. He took an apprenticeship as a draughtsman-architect (1924–7) and then studied at the Ecole des Arts et Métiers in Lucerne (1927–8). Between 1928 and 1929 he stayed for the first time in Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian. He continued his training at the Vereinigte Staatschulen für freie und angewandte Kunst, Berlin (1929–30). The works of this period are signed François Grècque, a pseudonym that shows his admiration for ancient Greek art, traces of which are found in his works. In the course of many visits to Paris between 1932 and 1934, he had contacts with many artists, including Brancusi, Alexander Calder, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Henry Moore, and he was strongly influenced by the works of Braque and Picasso. In October 1933 he joined the Abstraction–Création group. In 1935 he collaborated in the exhibition Thèse, antithèse, synthèse...