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Article

Juliana Nedeva-Wegener

(b Kazanlŭk, Feb 19, 1897; d Sofia, Jan 25, 1927).

Bulgarian painter, stage designer, printmaker and stained-glass designer. At the time of his graduation in 1925 from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia, he had already had three successful solo exhibitions in which his interest in decorative paintings of ethnic themes was already apparent. He continued to work in a rather avant-garde style, painting Bulgarian folk themes that avoided the excesses of academic realism and ethnographic detail. He worked in a wide variety of media, executing figure compositions, portraits and landscapes that depict the romance and fantasy of Bulgarian folklore and mythology, as in St Elijah (distemper and ink, 1923; Sofia, priv. col.), a Rebec-player (watercolour, 1924; Sofia, N.A.G.) and Shepherds (India ink, 1926; Sofia, N.A.G.). He also painted frescoes and designed stained glass. In 1926, after returning from Italy and Austria, he held a further exhibition in Sofia and worked as senior scene-painter at the National Theatre (Naroden Teatâr Ivan Vazov) in Sofia, a position he held until his death in ...

Article

Matthias Ulrich

(b Lubin, Poland, Sept 11, 1967).

Polish draughtsman, sculptor, video, performance, and mixed media artist, active in the USA. She grew up in Sweden, where she studied Communications at Schillerska/Gothenburg University in Gothenburg from 1986 to 1987. After moving to New York, Mir earned her BFA for Media Arts at the School of Visual Arts in 1992, and from 1994 to 1996 she studied Cultural Anthropology at the New School for Social Research.

Mir’s practice as an artist refers to popular culture in general, focusing on images and ideas that influence and represent social reality, and investigating popular myths and technologies such as the cinematographic representation of images. The journey to the moon, for example, symbolizing the dominance of the United States during the Cold War, receives through Mir’s appropriation in First Woman on the Moon (1999) a critical reflection, taking into consideration patriarchal power structures as well as the apparent staging of reality through mass media. In her work ...

Article

Judith Wechsler

(Bonaventure)

(b Paris, June 7, 1799; d Paris, June 3, 1877).

French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, writer and actor. He is best known for his satire of the mid-19th-century Parisian bourgeoisie, epitomized in the character of Joseph Prudhomme. Monnier worked as a supernumerary and then as a copy clerk in the bookkeeping department of the Département de la Justice. (He would later satirize office life in his work.) In 1817 he enrolled briefly in the studio of Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, he then moved to the studio of Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, where he remained for two years before he was expelled. Known as a prankster, he impersonated various character types in improvised scenes. These and subsequent performances as a mimic and monologist in studios and salons became the basis of his first published work, Scènes populaires dessinées à la plume (1830), which he both wrote and illustrated and which was reprinted 12 times in various editions during his life. The same themes extended throughout Monnier’s activities as a caricaturist, writer and actor....

Article

Leonor Morales

(b Guadalajara, Feb 19, 1887; d Mexico City, Oct 13, 1968).

Mexican painter, printmaker, illustrator and stage designer. In 1903 he began studying painting in Guadalajara under Félix Bernardelli, an Italian who had established a school of painting and music there, and he produced his first illustrations for Revista moderna, a magazine that promoted the Latin American modernist movement and for which his cousin, the poet Amado Nervo, wrote. In 1905 he enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, where Diego Rivera was also studying, and won a grant to study in Europe. After two years in Madrid, Montenegro moved in 1907 to Paris, where he continued his studies and had his first contact with Cubism, meeting Picasso, Braque and Gris.

After a short stay in Mexico, Montenegro returned to Paris. At the outbreak of World War I he moved to Barcelona and from there to Mallorca, where he lived as a fisherman for the next four years. During his stay in Europe he assimilated various influences, in particular from Symbolism, from Art Nouveau (especially Aubrey Beardsley) and from William Blake....

Article

Arthur Silberman

(b near Redstone, OK, Aug 28, 1900; d Anadarko, OK, Feb 14, 1974).

Native American Kiowa painter. He was brought up with full opportunity to participate in Kiowa religious and cultural life. In his youth, the Feather Dance (the Kiowa version of the Ghost Dance) was still being practised, with symbolic imagery on clothing. The Peyote religion, with its strong designs and colour visions, was also important. Mopope’s first art teachers were his great-uncles Ohettoint (Oheltoint, Charles O. Buffalo; 1852–1934), a former Fort Marion prisoner (see Native North American art, §IV, 2, (i)), and Silverhorn. He helped Ohettoint, Silverhorn, and others of the family in painting a new version of the ‘Tipi with Battle Pictures‘ (1916–18; destr.; original tipi design, c. 1840; model of original by Ohettoint, 1890s, see Ewers), and was one of a group of young Kiowas encouraged to draw and paint by Suzie Peters (1873–1965), a government field matron. Years later, in 1927, she secured their admission to the University of Oklahoma as non-matriculated art students. Oscar B. Jacobson (...

Article

Fani-Maria Tsigakou

[Yiannis, Giannis]

(b Arta, April 23, 1916; d Athens, Dec 20, 2009).

Greek painter, printmaker, illustrator, stage designer and decorative artist. From 1931 to 1936 he studied painting and printmaking at the Higher School of Fine Arts in Athens under Konstantinos Parthenis and Yannis Kefallinos (1893–1957). As soon as he graduated he participated in the exhibition of Greek printmakers that was organized in Czechoslovakia in 1936. The same year, on a scholarship from the Academy of Athens, he went to Rome and then to Paris to study at the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and the Ecole des Arts et Métiers. He returned to Athens in 1940, when he participated in the last pre-war panhellenic exhibition, in which he was awarded the first prize. During the period of the German occupation (1941–4) he started painting portraits to earn his living. In these his restricted palette and the opposition of light and shadow with as little half-tone as possible reveal his concern with the flattening of form and space. His post-war canvases are painted with a directness of execution and solidly modelled forms. His concern with the structure of form led him gradually to geometrical compositions. In ...

Article

D. C. Barrett

(b Cholet, Maine-et-Loire, April 30, 1926; d Cholet, Maine-et-Loire, May 11, 2016).

French painter, sculptor and stage designer. A self-taught artist, he began his career in 1952, painting endless repetitions of tirets (Fr.: ‘hyphens’), which formed optically vibrating patterns. In the late 1950s he began series of trames, grids of small squares (see From Yellow to Purple, 1956), then of lines drawn on paper and finally of aluminium rods. In works such as 8 Grids (1958; Paris, Pompidou) the vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines at times form circles, creating the sparkling effect of a galaxy. In more sculptural works such as Sphere-grid (1962; priv. col., see 1986 exh. cat., p. 83) straight metal rods form a sphere that revolves when hung.

Morellet was a founder-member of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV) in 1960. Besides contributing experiments with lines and spaces, like other members of GRAV he worked with optical effects, light and movement, producing grids of randomly flashing light bulbs, and from ...

Article

Kate Wight

(b Lafayette, AL, 1900; d New Orleans, LA, July 8, 1980).

American painter, musician and evangelical preacher. Morgan lived in Alabama and Georgia in her early life and was married to Will Morgan in 1928. At the age of 38 she experienced a divine calling, which prompted her to become a street evangelist. Morgan believed she was called by God to preach the Gospel and serve through her art. She left her family and husband and moved to New Orleans. There, she ran a mission and orphanage for 17 years until in 1956 she again heard the voice of God, this time specifically telling her to paint.

The subject of her art was primarily the Bible, and particularly the Book of Revelation. Morgan’s drawings and paintings were often figural and featured text with apocalyptic messages. A popular phrase in her works was “Jesus is my airplane.” After a later revelation, Morgan believed she was the bride of Christ and began wearing only white garments. She began portraying herself in this way within her works....

Article

Ronald Alley

(b Copenhagen, Oct 23, 1910; d Copenhagen, Jan 12, 1993).

Danish painter and stage designer. He studied at the art academy in Copenhagen from 1931 to 1932. In 1932 he visited Berlin with the painter Ejler Bille and saw paintings by Vasily Kandinsky, after which he began to make abstract pictures with pure, geometrical forms. He was also attracted by Surrealism and in his paintings of 1933–4 sometimes incorporated fragments of reality, such as an eye and a pair of lips, in otherwise abstract compositions, which gave them a fantastic and erotic character. In 1934 he made some paintings that were purely Surrealist (influenced by Salvador Dalí and Yves Tanguy) as well as drawings of an automatist nature; his works were already exceptionally striking in colour.

From January 1934 Mortensen was associated with the magazine Linien, edited by Vilhelm Bjerke-Petersen, and from September 1934 he became its co-editor with Bille. By 1935 he had turned against the more naturalistic kinds of Surrealism; he was inspired by two summers spent on the island of Bornholm to paint a series of pictures based on fantastic impressions of botanical forms, with vigorous interwoven patterns and rich colours. In ...

Article

Andrew Wilson

(b Grodnau, Burgenland, June 16, 1925; d Portugal, May 26, 2013).

Austrian performance artist, painter, writer and film maker. He served with the German Army between 1943 and 1945, during which time he reached the rank of Lieutenant and was awarded both the Infantry Storm decoration and the Iron Cross; this period fuelled the subsequent direction of his work in many ways. He attended the University of Vienna (1947–52) and the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna (1952–7). After beginning to work as a drawing therapist and mathematics tutor at the University of Vienna, where he remained until 1968, he soon became dissatisfied with painting, which for him had always involved violent and energetic activity and unorthodox techniques, and after experimenting with Junk sculpture he began creating performances or Aktionen. These involved an expressive use of the male and female body, both of which he subjected to a variety of forms of ritualistic physical abuse. By 1964...

Article

Jure Mikuž

(b Velika Pisanica, nr Bjelovar, May 4, 1921; d Zagreb, Jan 2, 2005).

Croatian painter, printmaker, stage designer, graphic designer and illustrator. Before World War II he studied at the Zagreb Academy. In 1943 he joined the partisan forces where he founded, together with another painter Zlatko Prica (1916–2002), an engraver’s printshop and edited a portfolio of prints in illustration of the epic poem Pit by I. G. Kovačić. In 1951 he abandoned his Post-Impressionist style of painting Adriatic landscapes after a stay in the USA and Canada. In 1953 he exhibited in Belgrade and Zagreb the cycle Experience of America (1950–51), which contained about 30 paintings and was greatly criticized. These pictures (now Zagreb, Gal. Mod. A. and Mun. A. G.; Belgrade, Min. Foreign Affairs; priv. cols) conveyed impressions of American megalopoles such as Pittsburgh and New York in the manner of American Abstract Expressionism. Mimetic elements began to disappear from his work, and by the late 1950s Murtić developed his own dramatic brushwork. Around ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

Jiří Bureš

(b Prague, June 26, 1900; d Prague, Nov 1, 1974).

Czech painter, draughtsman, typographer, stage designer, writer and teacher. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague from 1919 to 1924, under Jakub Obrovský (1882–1949), Karel Krattner (1862–1926) and, later on, Jan Štursa. In 1921 he became a member of the important group of avant-garde artists Devětsil, and in 1922 he participated in their Spring exhibition with a group of 12 paintings. In 1923 he also joined the Mánes Union of Artists. After graduating from the Academy he spent a year at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He attended lectures by František Kupka and was in contact with Josef Šíma and Jan Zrzavý. In 1927 he started working with the Prague publishing house Aventinum as a book designer, typographer, caricaturist and art critic. At the same time he began to work for the theatre, and from 1927 to 1947 he created 107 stage designs. He took part in the international ...

Article

Movement initially associated with British painting, illustration, literature, film, and theatre in the years during and surrounding World War II, but more broadly described, work with a focus on the natural or magical. Neo-Romantic artists derived their compositions from aspects of 18th- and 19th-century Romanticism centred on natural and poetic interpretations of landscape and sensitive, figural depictions of humanity in response to Modernism, and war.

Neo-Romanticism took shape as a movement in response to Modernism, rationalism, and the urban commercial society. Directly influenced by the theories and the visionary landscapes of the earlier Romanticists, especially the poetry of William Wordsworth and prints of William Blake and Samuel Palmer, Neo-Romanticism adopted themes of spirituality, idealism, imagination, intuition, individualism, feeling and sensitivity, escapism, mysticism, naturalism, and nationalism. Concurrently, the movement also borrowed from modernists including Pablo Picasso and André Masson and was strongly influenced by Expressionism. Beginning in the years directly preceding World War II, the Neo-Romantic movement was significant in presenting a distinct heritage and a romantic vision of rural scenery in a time of national conflict. Neo-Romanticism gained popularity in response to anxieties before, during, and after the war, and offered a distinct expression of individuality, natural freedom, and national spirit....

Article

[il Riccio]

(b ?Siena, 1505–10; d before July 12, 1571).

Italian painter, illuminator, architect, stage designer, and engineer. His earliest surviving documented works, illuminations for an Antiphonal, signed and dated 1531–2 (ex-Olivetan convent, Finalpia; Genoa, Bib. Berio), suggest training with or sympathy for Sodoma, and later he seems to have been drawn more broadly into the orbit of other influential painters in Siena, such as Domenico Beccafumi, and Baldassare Peruzzi, the latter having returned there after the Sack of Rome (1527). Although he shows an affinity with all three at one time or another, the breadth of Neroni’s activities, from painting to engineering and especially his architectural work, most closely resembles the arc of Peruzzi’s career, and Vasari describes him as a follower.

Neroni’s first independent large-scale commission, in which he reveals the strong influence of Sodoma, is the fresco depicting the Departure of SS Maurus and Placid, executed in 1534 for the cloister of the convent of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. In the same year he was also commissioned to decorate the chapel of the master masons in the cathedral, Siena. Fragments of the fresco survive, notably scenes depicting the ...

Article

Andrew Wilson

(b Vienna, Aug 29, 1938).

Austrian performance artist, painter, writer and composer. He attended the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt in Vienna from 1953 until 1958, after which he worked in the Technisches Museum in Vienna as a graphic designer. Most of his work of the 1950s was conceived as a form of written preparation for the projected staging of a large-scale Gesamtkunstwerk, the form of which, as a six-day festival, was first thought up in 1957 and entitled the Orgies–Mysteries Theatre. In 1960, following his return to painting influenced in particular by Arnulf Rainer, he held his first performances at the Technisches Museum, which were based around the art of painting, but which gradually came to incorporate such props as animal carcasses. In this year he also met Otto Muehl, Günter Brus and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. By 1962 he had moved from the painting performance to the performance or Aktion itself, when, tied to the wall of Muehl’s flat in Vienna as if crucified, blood was poured over him. This established the crucifixion as one of the major themes of the ...

Article

Jane Clark

(Robert)

(b Melbourne, April 22, 1917; d London, Nov 28, 1992).

Australian painter, draughtsman, printmaker and stage designer. Australia’s most honoured and internationally acclaimed modern painter, and one of the most travelled artists of his generation, he worked prolifically in a variety of media on themes that often related closely to the story of his own life. He remained a controversial figure, considered by Kenneth Clark to be one of the major artists of the 20th century, but often criticized for trying to do too much. Alternating bright moods with blackest drama, he tended to work in series, reviving formal elements and iconography from previous works and maintaining a spontaneous style by devising new painting techniques in the process of execution.

Nolan was enrolled twice at the National Gallery of Victoria’s School of Art (1934 and 1936) while employed as a commercial artist, but he preferred to educate himself in the public library. Reproductions of works by Picasso, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse and the Surrealists influenced his idiosyncratic, quasi-abstract works of the late 1930s, for example ...

Article

dele jegede

revised by Kristina Borrman

(b Idumuje-Ugboko, Delta State, Dec 20, 1935).

Nigerian painter, sculptor, architect, and set designer. Nwoko’s works of art and architecture have been understood as exhibiting the tensions between modernism and indigenous design. Nwoko’s own published discussions of the political history of Nigeria and his recommendations for improvements in education, medicine, environmental conservation, and mechanical engineering have inspired art histories that describe him as not only an artist–architect but as an advocate for social reform.

Nwoko was one of the first of his generation of contemporary Nigerian artists to study fine arts at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria (1957–61). During his time as a student in Nigeria, Nwoko (along with classmate Uche Okeke) designed the Pavilion of Arts and Crafts, Lagos, in celebration of Nigerian Independence (1960). After his graduation, Nwoko won a scholarship from the Congress for Cultural Freedom to study scenic design at the Centre Français du Théâtre. Nwoko continued his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, choosing to add the disciplines of fresco painting and architectural decoration to his educational programme....

Article

A. S. Ciechanowiecki

(b 1728; d Warsaw, Jan 31, 1800).

Grand Hetman of Lithuania, Polish politician, amateur painter, musician and patron. He instigated and financed the ‘Ogiński canal’, which joined the confluents of the Baltic with those of the Black Sea, and he was responsible for some of the most important highways in eastern Poland. He reconstructed and redecorated the castle of Nieborów near Warsaw (1766–74) and in 1775 moved to the palace at Słonim, which he totally rebuilt creating an artistic court, known as the ‘Athens of Polesia’. In 1780 Innocenzo Maraino (fl 1770–96) added a famous theatre and opera house, which seated 2000. At Słonim and at his summer residences of Telechany and Honoratówka he had gardens laid out and follies erected, and he was instrumental in the reconstruction of his wife’s palatial residence in Siedlce. He established two major artistic manufactories on his properties. The first in Telechany (1780) made maiolica in the international late Baroque style, but after Orgiński’s visit to England in ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

(b Rio de Janeiro, June 1937; d Rio de Janeiro, March 22, 1980).

Brazilian painter and performance artist. In 1954 he began studies with Ivan Serpa at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro. He immediately devoted himself to a geometric vocabulary and joined the new Frente group (1954–6) and later the Neo-Concrete movement (1959–61). From 1964 to 1969 he made environmental, participatory events—among them Parangolé (1964), Tropicália (1967) and Apocalipopótesis (1968)—either in art centres or in the street. He was one of the leading exhibitors in the exhibition Nova objetividade brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, 1967), which reactivated the country’s avant-garde. In 1969 he exhibited an installation at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, and the following year his work was included in the show Information (New York, MOMA). A Guggenheim Fellowship took him in 1970 to New York, where he lived until 1978. During that period he prepared various multi-media projects in the form of texts, performances, films and environmental events. The 25 successive years of his ...