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Article

Robert A. Benson

(b Seattle, WA, Dec 1, 1912; d Detroit, MI, Feb 6, 1986).

American architect . He studied architecture at the University of Washington (1930–34) and at New York University (1934–5). He worked for important firms in New York and later in Detroit, where he established his own practice in 1949. The Lambert Air Terminal (1956), St Louis, MO, reflected technical principles of mainstream modernism in its thin shell concrete vaults and brought Yamasaki professional prominence. During international travels he became impressed with Gothic and Indian styles as well as indigenous Japanese building, from which he developed a romantic, non-functionalist and very personal modernism that incorporated delicacy, symmetry and understatement in a search for elegance and repose ( see fig. ). This synthetic style characterized the McGregor Center (1958), Detroit, with its prismatic glass skylights and reflecting pool; the Michigan Consolidated Gas building (1963), Detroit, with its precast surface tracery; and the Dhahran Air Terminal (...

Article

Patricia Masse

(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...

Article

Michelle Yun

[ Huei-Zu ]

(b Taipei, Taiwan, 1961; d New York, NY, Feb 8, 1997).

Taiwanese curator and art historian. Yang immigrated to the United States at age 15. She received a BA in Art History from Yale University in 1984 that included a six-month sabbatical to Jinan University in Guangzhou to study Chinese in 1982. Yang was exposed to art from a young age through her mother, Suhwa Chou Yang, who ran the Hunglin Art Gallery in Taipei in the 1970s. Upon graduation Yang held internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art , both in New York, before accepting a position as Assistant Curator at the New Museum, New York, in 1988. Notable exhibitions she curated during her time at the New Museum include 1+1+1: Works by Alfredo Jaar (1992); Skin Deep (1993); and The Final Frontier (1993). She left the New Museum in 1993 to work as an independent curator and critic while studying to earn a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. In early ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

[ Jimmy Toddy ]

(b Wide Ruins, AZ, 1928).

American painter. Bill Lippencott, owner of the Wide Ruins Trading Post, gave Yazz paints and paper, encouraging him to paint at the age of seven. Lippencott and wife Sallie recognized Yazz’s artistic talent and advised him to pursue art seriously. At the age of ten, his work was exhibited by a museum in Springfield, IL. Completing his education at Sherman Indian School, CA, he established himself as an artist with a long national career.

Yazz enlisted in the Marines during World War II as a Navajo Code Talker. After the war, he studied art at Mills College in Oakland, CA, working under Yasuo Kuniyoshi . Returning to the Navajo reservation near Wide Ruins, he earnestly began his artistic painting career.

Painting subjects familiar from his daily reservation life, Yazz specialized in typical daily and ceremonial scenes. His paintings utilize flat minimal backgrounds and suspend his subjects in a floating and entertaining world. The paintings record the natural movement of light and air with powerful drama....

Article

Jenifer P. Borum

(b Ash Grove, MO, Feb 20, 1890; d Chicago, IL, Dec 25, 1972).

American painter of African, Cherokee, Creek, and European ancestry. Although Yoakum claimed to have been born on a Navajo reservation in 1888, his birthplace and childhood home has been established as Ash Grove, MO. His aunt was adopted by a Navajo family, and although the artist drew great inspiration from the Navajo, his connection to them was imaginary. Yoakum’s life was indeed one of adventure and travel—he toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, the Ringling Bros. Circus, and also traveled around the world as stow-away and later as a soldier in World War I. Yet the line between fact and fantasy will always be blurred when contending with his lyrical landscapes that ostensibly offer a record of his far-ranging adventures to exotic locales.

While Yoakum began to draw by the 1950s, he did not devote himself to this calling until he had retired in the early 1960s. Settling in Chicago in ...

Article

Lawrence Wodehouse

(b Lebanon, NH, June 19, 1798; d Washington, DC, March 13, 1874).

American architect . Trained by his father as a builder, he designed houses, churches and collegiate buildings in New Hampshire and Vermont, including three utilitarian dormitories (1828–9, 1839–40) and an observatory (1852) for Dartmouth College. Although he lacked a formal architectural education, he obtained the commission for the Vermont State Capitol (1833–6), a Neo-classical building with a Doric portico, capped for exterior effect by a hemispherical dome as there was no internal domed space. (A new drum and dome were added after a fire in 1857.) In 1837 Young won a competition for the Boston Custom House; this was his largest commission, completed in 1847 at a cost of over one million dollars. In 1911–14 it became the base for a skyscraper for the federal government. The only surviving competition drawing (pencil, watercolour and gouache; Washington, DC, N. Archvs) illustrates the building’s magnificent internal domed space; monolithic granite columns surround the exterior of the building, which has pedimented ends and Doric porticos on the long sides....

Article

Julia Robinson

(b Bern, ID, Oct 13, 1935).

American composer. Young was an exponent of experimental “drone” music and an originator of Minimalism (whose diverse practitioners include Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass). Educated at the University of California, Los Angeles (1957–8), he completed his graduate studies in composition at the University of California, Berkeley. An avid and talented jazz musician, Young performed with legendary figures Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. In 1959, he attended Summer Courses at Darmstadt, the center of New Music, taking advanced composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen. There he discovered the work of John Cage and met Cage’s great interpreter David Tudor, who put Young in contact with Cage. Back in California, Young presented Cage’s work, adopting some of his radical strategies in his own music. A landmark Young composition of this period is Poem for Tables, Chairs, Benches, etc. (1960), a piece of indeterminate duration.

In 1960 Young moved to New York and galvanized a receptive circle of Cage-inspired artists and composers. Young’s most significant contribution to this milieu were his ...

Article

Roberta K. Tarbell

( Mackintosh )

(b Salt Lake City, UT, Aug 9, 1877; d Norwalk, CT, Nov 2, 1957).

American sculptor, painter, etcher and teacher. Grandson of Mormon leader Brigham Young, Young spent his childhood on a farm near his father’s company, Deseret Woolen Mills and in Salt Lake City, both in the Utah Territory. As a youth, he sketched farmers and workers constructing the transcontinental railroads. From 1897 to 1899 he studied with a Beaux-Arts trained teacher, James T. Harwood (1860–1940), and worked as an artist and engraver for the Salt Lake Tribune, the Salt Lake Herald and the Deseret News (1894–1901). Young experienced the “Old West” directly.

Young’s teachers at the Art Students League in New York (1899–1900) were Kenyon Cox and George Bridgman (1865–1943). During his years in Paris (1901–5), Young befriended Stein family, §2 and Alfred H(enry) Maurer and took classes with Jean-Paul Laurens and Charles Raoul Verlet (1857–1923) at the Académie Julian, and with ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b St Louis, MO, March 25, 1926).

American painter and sculptor. His studies at several institutions were interrupted by service during World War II: University of Missouri (1943–4); University of Carolina (1944–6), where he first studied drawing; again at the University of Missouri (1947), where he completed a BA in journalism; and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1947), where he met Ellsworth Kelly, among others. He returned to the USA and settled among artists in New York in 1956. While in Paris, Youngerman was influenced by the woodcuts of Vasily Kandinsky and Hans Arp and by Henri Matisse’s cut-outs, in response to which he developed a hard-edged style, a predilection for frontality, flatness and simple motifs. By the late 1950s, in seminal works such as Red White (1958; see 1986 exh. cat., p. 32) his forms were increasingly consolidated around a central motif marked out in a starkly contrasting palette. Soon influenced by the emerging Pop art of the 1960s, Youngerman moved away from the scumbled surface textures of his work during the 1950s towards smoother expanses with more varied colour relationships; white took over from black as the dominant colour, and sweeping, open curves were introduced, for example in ...

Article

(b Riga, July 15, 1900; d New York, Dec 24, 1983).

American painter and printmaker of Latvian birth. He enrolled in art school in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) and then travelled through Russia. Early influences were Vasily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich. He left the country after the Revolution (1917). During the 1920s he lived variously in Europe and Latin America, establishing contact with such leading artists as Emil Nolde, Karl-Georg Heise (1890–1979), and Diego Rivera. Yunkers fought in the Spanish Civil War (1936–9) and moved to Stockholm from 1939 to 1947, where he edited and published the periodicals Creation, Ars, and Art Portfolio (1969 exh. cat., pp. 30–31). In 1947 ten years’ work was lost in a studio fire.

Yunkers immigrated to the USA in 1947, acquiring citizenship in 1953. At this time he embarked on ambitious projects of prints and paintings including Polyptych, a five-panel woodcut, 4 m long, and in 1957 a series of large-scale pastels culminating in ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Philadelphia, May 16, 1962).

American painter. She studied at Tyler School of Arts, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, where she was awarded her BFA in 1984, and completed her MFA in 1996 at Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT. Her paintings address the female body and notions of internalized misogyny, both in the artist and the viewer. Her Bad Baby I (1991; see A. America, lxxxi, June 1993, p. 103) shows a depersonalised and sexualised child figure, painted in hot lollipop colours. Making a link between the visual pleasures of modernist aesthetics and the scopophilic instincts of pornography, Yuskavage’s paintings present figures undergoing a form of violation (cultural as well as sexual and visual) in front of an implicated viewer. She often uses misogonystic forms well-worn through their cultural usage to show the objectification within the familiar, as in Blond, Brunette and Redhead (1995; see R. Brooks article). Using exaggerated naked figures with gigantic breasts and buttocks, they offer no resistance to visual mastery by the viewer, but actively encourage it. This over-visibility is taken to a monstrous height in ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b Elizabeth, NJ, May 24, 1935).

American painter. He received a BA from the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art in 1958, and he subsequently moved to New York to work as a commercial artist. He turned to painting in response to his exposure to Abstract Expressionism , and he later developed a style based on Colour field painting of the 1950s. He became widely known, however, as an exponent of Pattern and Decoration art after he began introducing floral motifs into his paintings in 1974. He was also central in organizing a group of artists with a shared interest in decorative painting as an alternative to the austerity of minimalism and the intellectualism of conceptual art that included Valerie Jaudon, Joyce Kozloff, Robert Kushner , Kim MacConnel (b 1946) and Miriam Schapiro .

Like many of the other Pattern and Decoration painters of the 1970s, Zakanitch arrived at his approach after concluding that reductionism of modernist art had exhausted itself, and in response he began applying floral patterns to the compositional grids of his abstract paintings. He developed this approach partly through his encounter with critics and other artists, particularly during his time teaching at the University of California, San Diego, in ...

Article

Margaret Graves

(b. Ventura, California, 1942).

American calligrapher. Having converted to Islam in the 1960s while still a teenager, he studied Islamic calligraphy, training with A. S. Ali Nour in Tangier, Morocco, and later studying at the British Museum in London. In the 1980s he felt his work had reached a plateau and decided to re-learn the art of calligraphy in the Ottoman style. Hence in 1984 he went to Istanbul to train with the Turkish calligraphers Hasan Çelebi and Ali Alparslan at the Research Center for Islamic History, Art, and Culture (IRCICA), where he was tutored in thuluth, naskh and nasta‛līq scripts. In 1997 he became the first American to receive an icazet or diploma from IRCICA for his abilities as a calligrapher. His calligraphic works are executed within meticulously observed traditional modes, reflected also in his insistence on making his own reed and bamboo pens. His works typically reflect the traditions of the Ottoman masters of the 19th century, with illuminations in the Turkish Baroque style. A pioneer in the field of Islamic calligraphy in the USA, his works have been exhibited widely in the USA and the Middle East. He has also revived the ancient art of making astrolabes, and examples of this aspect of his work are held in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the USA. Based for many years in Arlington, Virginia, in ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

American centre of ceramics production. In 1875 the American Encaustic Tile Factory was founded in Zanesville, OH, and in 1888 Samuel A. Weller moved his pottery from nearby Fultenham. Weller was followed by other potteries, such as the Roseville Pottery Company (1892) and in 1895 Weller bought the ...

Article

Molly Rogers

(Thomas)

(b Beaufort County, SC, Oct 8, 1814; d Social Circle, GA, Dec 13, 1892).

American daguerreotypist. He specialized in studio portraits but is now known for his images of enslaved men and women intended to support an early theory of race formation. He became an itinerant daguerreotypist in the early 1840s and in 1846, at the request of local citizens, opened a photographic portrait studio in Columbia, SC, the first establishment of its kind in that city. The success of his business as a portrait photographer is apparent from period advertisements, in which he touts the latest techniques and materials, and from the regular appearance of his name in the editorials of photographic trade journals. His customers considered him to be ‘the best artist in the up country’ (Louis Foster Perrin to his sister, 16 Oct 1856, James Rion McKissick Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina). Success enabled him to become a respectable member of his community, joining the Freemasons and owning slaves....

Article

( Heinrich )

(b Braunsdorf, Jan 11, 1926).

Canadian architect of German birth. He studied at the Staatliche Bauhaus, Weimar (1948), and graduated in engineering and architecture from the Technische Hochschule, University of Karlsruhe, in 1949. He began his career as a designer for the architectural firm of Eiermann & Lindner, Karlsruhe. In 1951 Zeidler emigrated to Canada and worked for Blackwell & Craig of Peterborough, Ontario, becoming a partner in the firm in 1954. He taught modern architectural design at the University of Toronto (1953–5; Adjunct Professor from 1984). He became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1956. In 1962 Zeidler moved the practice from Peterborough to Toronto, where it evolved as Craig, Zeidler & Strong (1963–75), and later as the Zeidler Partnership/Architects (1975–80). In 1980, when Zeidler joined with new partner Alfred C. Roberts (b 1931), the name was changed again to the Zeidler Roberts Partnership/Architects. Zeidler was best known for designing such megastructures as the McMaster Health Sciences Centre in Hamilton (completed ...

Article

Kari Horowicz

[née Stricker, Éva Amália; Weissburg, Mrs Alexander]

(b Budapest, Nov 13, 1906; d New City, NY, Dec 30, 2011).

Hungarian ceramicist, designer and teacher. Zeisel began her career studying painting at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts (Magyar Képzőmüvészeti Főiskolá) in Budapest and, after a short tenure at the Academy, Zeisel began an apprenticeship with a traditional potter, Jakob Karapancsik. While working for Karapancsik she became the first woman to gain admittance to the guild of potters and ovensetters. In 1925 she began making her own pottery and displayed it in local fairs and was subsequently discovered by the Kispester Pottery and the Hungarian government. Representatives from the government requested that her work represent Hungary in the Philadelphia Sesquicentennial. Zeisel was employed by Kispester for less than a year after which she travelled to Germany to work in Hamburg briefly and then moved to Schramberg where she worked as a ceramic designer at the Schramberger Majolika Fabrik for two years beginning in 1928. In the summer of 1930, Zeisel’s mother rented her and her brother an apartment in Berlin. It was in Berlin that she met her first husband Alexander Weissburg. Zeisel thrived in the artistic and intellectual café community. She stayed in Berlin and designed for a number of manufacturers including Christian Carstens Kommerz and Staatliche Porzellan Manufaktur. At Carstens Zeisel was involved in every aspect of production from design to manufacture and marketing. In ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Sausalito, CA, Sept 6, 1965).

American sculptor and installation artist. She studied painting and sculpture at San Diego State University in San Diego, CA, graduating in 1988. She then went on to study for her MFA in sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, graduating in 1990. In 1992 she set up A–Z Administrative Services, a company which aimed to streamline domestic objects and rituals. For Prototypes for Container, Cover, Support (1993; see 1993 exh. cat., pp. 29–30), Zittel made the objects itemized in the title and gave them to a group of volunteers who then recorded their experiences of using them. Each object was designed to be as multi-functional as possible: the container, for example, could be used as a bowl, a holder and a vase. Zittel expanded on these ideas of functional living by making self-contained units for dining, study and recreation. In 1993 she began to customize the units according to the client for whom they were designed, such as the ...

Article

Roberta K. Tarbell

American artists.

Roberta K. Tarbell

(b Santa Rosa, CA, Sept 25, 1887; d New York, June 27, 1968).

Painter, textile artist, and printmaker. She represents an early modernist who applied Cubism and German Expressionist approaches to both painting and textile design. In Paris from 1908 to1911 she studied with Jacques-Emile Blanche and J. D. Fergusson at the Académie de la Palette, a small modernist school where she met William Zorach. She was especially inspired by German Expressionist painters and Henri Matisse, whose work she encountered in avant-garde circles. Travelling in Belgium, Spain, Germany, and France with Jessica Dismorr (later an English Vorticist), Zorach created a few etchings and painted landscapes with agitated brush strokes, Expressionist colour, and blue outlines in the manner of Whistler. She exhibited with the American Women’s Art Association (1910), and in 1911 at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne in Paris. Dismorr and Thompson contributed abstracted pen-and-ink figure drawings to the English avant-garde publication ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b Chicago, IL, 1941).

American painter. He received a BFA (1964) and an MFA (1966) from the Art Institute of Chicago, and he subsequently moved to New York. In 1979, his work was included in the important New Image Painting exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and it has subsequently been compared with that of other artists of this generation, including Jennifer Bartlett, Neil Jenney and Robert Moskowitz (b 1935). He is particularly known for using cotton balls dipped in acrylic paint to make mosaic-style images that reflected on, among other things, the history of cotton and Byzantine mosaics.

During the early 1970s, Zucker began making images by applying cotton balls in gridded arrangements to the surfaces of his canvases. The resulting compositions presented idiosyncratic elaborations of modernist painting’s medium specificity under the guise of the image’s return. Zucker achieved this effect by substituting cotton balls for the stretched cotton canvas that was so often described as the essence of painting by modernist critics. His work has often featured whimsical subjects such as pirate ships, wizards and blimps, but he has typically subjected them to a process of formal transformation that downplayed their conventional meanings. In a series of compositions from the early 1990s, for example, he stretched sash cord across wooden panels to create eccentric grids that suggested the contours of cactuses in radically abstract form. Subsequently, he made a series of “box paintings” in which he poured liquid paint into the recessed spaces of partitioned wooden panels and allowed it to dry. The resulting compositions evoked the flat, modernist geometry of works by Picasso in the late 1920s or ...