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Article

(b Rādāuţi, Bukovina, April 28, 1929; d Paris, April 29, 2010).

Israeli painter, draughtsman, printmaker and writer, of Romanian birth, active in France. The drawings he made in deportation from Nazi labour camps at the age of 13 and 14 saved his life by attracting attention to his precocious talent. In 1944 he emigrated to Israel, living in a kibbutz near Jerusalem and studying art at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem; after being severely wounded in 1948 in the Israeli War of Independence, he continued his studies in Paris (which he made his home in 1954) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1949–51). He first made his name as an illustrator, for example of an edition of Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Way of Love and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke (Jerusalem, 1953), for which he was awarded a gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1954. From 1957 to 1965 he produced abstract paintings, such as Noir basse...

Article

Dennis Raverty

(b Tehran, Jul 10, 1939).

American sculptor of Iranian birth. Armajani studied in Iran at the University of Tehran before immigrating to the USA in 1960 to complete his studies in philosophy at Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN, where he settled permanently. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1967. Armajani used the language of vernacular architecture in his sculpture to create spaces into which the viewer moves, sometimes being literally surrounded by the sculpture. Cellar doors, back stairways, loading docks, benches, bridges, porches, gazebos, and other such homely architectural elements are the inspiration for his sculptures and installations. Early in Armajani’s career he was on the faculty of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where he lectured on philosophy and conceptual art, but he left teaching in 1975 to concentrate exclusively on his sculpture.

Armajani stated repeatedly that his intention was to create a “neighborly” space, that is, a space that brings people together. His public sculpture is perhaps best thought of as social sculpture, in the sense meant by postwar German artist Joseph Beuys: a community-seeking, politically progressive, public art. Armajani’s many commissions include the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge in Minneapolis (...

Article

(b Kharkiv, Ukraine, 1908; d Jerusalem, Oct 15, 1974).

Israeli painter of Ukrainian birth. His family settled in Palestine in 1924 and he then studied at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem for a year and a half. In 1934 he travelled to Paris where he studied at the Académie Colarossi under Léger, returning to Tel Aviv in 1935. In 1937 he produced stage designs for the Habimah and Ohel theatres in Tel Aviv and the following year had his first one-man show at the Santee Landwer Gallery in Amsterdam. He worked with Zvi Mairovich at Zichron Yaacov in 1942 and also exhibited landscape works with the Group of Seven. Typical of his paintings of this period is Street in a Rural Settlement (1942; Tel Aviv Mus. A.)

From 1942 to 1946 Aroch fought with the British army and on his discharge settled in Tel Aviv. In 1948 he was one of the founder-members of the ...

Article

Lale H. Uluç

(b Istanbul, 1875; d 1971).

Turkish art historian . The son of the grand vizier Ahmed Esad Pasha (1828–75), he was forced in 1891 to follow family tradition and enrol at the Military Academy rather than at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul as he desired. Nevertheless, he pursued his artistic interests among a group of military artists and resigned shortly after he was graduated. He then travelled extensively, researching and writing about Turkish art until 1912, when he became a civil servant. In 1920 he started teaching municipal administration, town planning and architectural history at the Academy of Fine Arts. A highly versatile intellectual, he was also an administrator, academician, editor, film director, musician, painter, photographer, novelist and translator. He wrote about the functioning of municipalities, urbanism, the history of Istanbul, modern architecture, the history of Turkish art and music, photography, painting techniques and librarianship, as well as his memoirs, a dictionary and an encyclopedia of art. His most significant contribution to the history of culture was his effort to establish Turkish art as distinct from Islamic art....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Arab. Al-fann wa’l-ḥurriyya]

Egyptian group of Surrealist writers, artists and intellectuals founded on 9 January 1939 by the poet Georges Hunain (1914–73). The group included the Egyptian painters Ramsis Yunan (1914–66), Fu’ad Kamil (1919–73) and Kamil al-Talamsani (1917–72). Inspired by the work of André Breton, whom Hunain met in Paris in 1936, the aim of the group was to defend freedom in art by stressing the liberating role of the individual imagination. On 22 December 1938 Hunain and his colleagues signed a manifesto entitled ‘Vive l’Art Dégénéré’, which protested against Fascism, particularly Hitler’s claim that modern art was degenerate. The manifesto was followed by further writings, conferences and debates. Artists from the group exhibited work in June 1939 at the premises of Art and Freedom at 28 Shari‛ al-Madabigh in Cairo. In January 1940 the magazine al-Ta ṭawwur was launched, which presented ideas behind modern art to an Egyptian audience. This was followed in ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Morristown, NJ, Oct 29, 1955).

American sculptor. He studied Oriental and Middle Eastern cultures and languages before later graduating in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA 1993). Ashkin gained international recognition in the mid-1990s for his tabletop dioramas of inhospitable, often deserted, American landscapes. Influenced by Robert Smithson’s interest in the concept of entropy as well as more traditional landscape discourses such as Romanticism and the Sublime, Ashkin’s work has often suggested vast inhuman wastelands, although their real scale might only be a few square feet. His earliest works concentrated on semi-arid deserts, but soon the dominant motif switched to semi-stagnant marshes. No. 33 (1996; see exh. cat.), typical of the numerical nomination of his work, depicts a long, thin freeway in a swampy wilderness; a single truck drives along and telegraph wires line the road, suggesting vast distances. No. 15 (1996; see exh. cat.) is smaller in size, though again the tiny scale of the trucks that pass in convoy over a swampy, pock-marked landscape suggest great expanse. More recently Ashkin has expanded his practice into video and photography exploring the Sublime. ...

Article

[Association of Turkish Painters ; Turkish Fine Arts Society ; Turk. Osmanli ressamlar cemiyeti ; Türk ressamlar cemiyeti; Türk sanayi-i nefise birliǧi; Güzel sanatlar birliǧi]

Turkish group of painters founded in 1908 by students from the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul. They had their first exhibition in Istanbul in 1910 and also published the monthly journal Naşir-i efkâr (‘Promoter of ideas’), which was supported financially by Crown Prince Abdülmecid (1868–1944), himself a painter and calligrapher and honorary president of the Association. The members included Ibrahim Çallı, who was recognized as the most prominent in the group, Ruhi Arel (1880–1931), Feyhaman Duran (1886–1970), Nazmi Ziya Güran, Namık Ismail (1890–1935), Avni Lifij (1889–1927), Hikmet Onat (1886–1977) and Sami Yetik (1876–1945). It was not very active from 1910, when some of its painters left Istanbul to study art in Europe, but their return at the outbreak of World War I brought renewed activity. Some members were responsible for bringing Impressionism and other European movements to Turkey, and they acquainted the Turkish public with figurative and narrative compositions, as well as portraiture. The Association organized annual exhibitions at the Galatasaray High School in Istanbul, and some of the artists were given workshops and taken to the Front during World War I. Many of the painters also became influential teachers at the Fine Arts Academy: ...

Article

Frederick N. Bohrer

Style of the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th, inspired by Assyrian artefacts of the 9th to 7th centuries bc. These were first brought to public attention through the excavations by Paul-Emile Botta (1802–70) at Khorsabad and Austen Henry Layard at Nimrud in the 1840s. By 1847 both the Louvre in Paris and the British Museum in London had begun to display these objects, the size and popularity of which were such that the Louvre created a separate Musée des Antiquités Orientales, while the British Museum opened its separate Nineveh Gallery in 1853. The same popularity, fuelled by Layard’s best-selling Nineveh and its Remains (London, 1849) and Botta’s elaborate Monument de Ninive (Paris, 1849–50), led to further explorations elsewhere in Mesopotamia.

Assyrian revivalism first appeared in England rather than France, which was then in political turmoil. The earliest forms of emulation can be found in the decorative arts, such as the ‘Assyrian style’ jewellery that was produced in England from as early as ...

Article

Michael Jay McClure

(b Istanbul, 1961).

Turkish video and installation artist, active also in England and Pakistan. He was educated at Mimar Sinan University, the Sorbonne, Paris, Los Angeles Santa Monica College, and the University of California, Los Angeles (MFA, 1988). Ataman holds a prominent place among artists exploring identity, sexuality, documentation, and the cultural politics of the Middle East and its diasporas; his work echoes that of Shirin Neshat, Omer Fast, Mona Hatoum, and the more commercial filmmaker Fatih Akin, among others.

Producing multi-channel ‘video sculptures’, Ataman explores states of psychological, cultural, and social displacement, often employing massive amounts of footage in a quasi-documentary style. An early piece, Women Who Wear Wigs (1999; see images tab for additional illustration), is a representative example. On a four-channel display, four Turkish women reveal their reasons for donning wigs: a reporter who recently lost her hair due to chemotherapy, a transsexual prostitute forced to shave her head by the police, a targeted terrorist who disguises herself, and a student banned from wearing a traditional headscarf in school. The wig, which conceals and connects these women, parallels how Ataman uses video: as a medium that both reveals and obfuscates its subjects. A spectator must negotiate not only the truth of the stories but also their syncopated broadcasts distributed over the space of the exhibition. Indeed, Ataman often uses the situation of the screens to disorienting sculptural effect. In ...

Article

Willemijn Stokvis

(b Constantine, Algeria, Jan 23, 1913; d Paris, Feb 12, 1960).

French painter, lithographer and writer. The Jewish intellectual milieu in which he grew up led to his interest in philosophy and religion, and from 1930 to 1934 he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne. While in Paris, however, he was confronted with modern painting for the first time, and his interest in poetry was awakened. Recognizing a means of expressing his interest in magical phenomena, in 1941 he began to paint and write poetry. His activity in the Résistance and his Jewish ancestry led to his arrest in 1942; by pleading insanity he was able to save himself but was confined to the Sainte Anne asylum, where he wrote poetry and painted. In the autumn of 1944, shortly after leaving the asylum, his first and only collection of poems, Le Sang profond, was published, and he exhibited drawings at the Galerie Arc en Ciel.

During the immediate post-war years Atlan’s work was well received in Paris. He had a one-man show in ...

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

Ulrike Gaisbauer

(b Batum, USSR [now Batumi, Georgia], Sept 26, 1922).

Austrian sculptor of Greek descent. He was the son of Greek parents and grew up in Batum, where he studied at the Staatliche Kunstschule (1937–9). From 1939 to 1943 he was in Athens and in 1943 settled in Vienna. From 1945 to 1949 he studied painting at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna with Robin Andersen. From 1953 to 1956 he studied sculpture with Fritz Wotruba. The starting-point of all Avramidis’s sculptures was the human body, reduced to the simplest possible elements of a column and sphere. The archaic character, influenced principally by ancient Greek sculpture, merged with the notion of absolute beauty, which manifests itself in forms of perfect rotundity, for example Head II (bronze, h. 270 mm, 1965; Hamburg, Gal. Elke Dröscher). Whilst dispensing with individual details, he created bodies of immaculately tranquil harmony, their shape characterized by the interaction between individual parts and an imposingly dominant monumental whole. These often took the form of clusters of columnar forms suggesting intimate crowds of figures. From ...

Article

[Azmi, Musa ; al-Amidi, Hamid]

(b Diyarbakır, 1891; d Istanbul, May 10, 1982).

Turkish calligrapher . Originally called Musa Azmi, he was the grandson of Seyyid Adem, a famous calligrapher of Diyarbakır. He practised writing in Diyarbakır with his schoolteacher Mustafa Akif Tütenk and others, and in 1908 went to Istanbul to continue his education, first at the School of Law and then at the Fine Arts Academy. However, he was soon forced to give up his studies to earn a living. In 1910 he became a writing teacher at the Gülşen school in Istanbul, where he taught the calligrapher Halim Özyazıcı. He went on to direct the Rusumat press and then worked at the press of the Military Academy in Istanbul. During World War I he worked for one year in Germany, where he prepared military maps. After the war he resigned his job and began to work independently. He changed his name to Hamid Aytaç, and in the early years of the Turkish republic made labels and calling cards. As a calligrapher he practised the ...

Article

Yasir Sakr

(b Jerusalem, 1945).

Jordanian architect . He graduated from Darmstadt University in 1970. Badran’s career is marked by three distinct phases of development, all of which express his capacity for lucid visualization. In his early formalist phase his work reflected modernist inclinations. Committed to a utopian social vision, in each of his designs Badran proposed a redefinition of form, social function and associated modes of behaviour. This phase is exemplified by a low-cost housing project in Bonn (1972) and Handal’s Residence (1975) in Amman. In his second phase his works reflected historicist tendencies by drawing on traditional images for collective communication, for example Queen Alia neighbourhood (1982) in Amman and the Justice Palace Complex (1984) in Riyadh. Badran’s work further evolved into a third stage, a dialectic between modernism and traditionalism, expressed through metaphors operating at two levels. Sensory metaphors present tectonic and iconographic analogies with natural forms and historical artefacts, adapting the designed space-form to its immediate regional setting. Cognitive metaphors endeavour to establish conceptual analogies with the ordering principles and relationships that underlie tradition, through the overall configuration of the design. The third phase of Badran’s career is characterized by a winning entry for the international competition of the State Mosque (...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Berlin, 20 Feb. 1920).

Israeli historian of Islamic art. Forced to emigrate from Nazi Germany in 1938, Baer spent the years of World War II in Palestine. She received her B.A. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and met and married Gabriel Baer (1919–82), an historian of modern Egypt. She earned her Ph.D. in 1965 from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She then returned to Jerusalem, where she served as Curator of the L. A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art. In 1970 she began teaching at Tel Aviv University, from which she retired as professor in 1987. Baer lectured and taught at museums and universities throughout Europe and the USA. Her major publications focused on the history of Islamic metalwork and the iconography of Islamic art.

E. Baer: Sphinxes and Harpies in Medieval Islamic Art: An Iconographical Study (Jerusalem, 1965)E. Baer: Metalwork in Medieval Islamic Art...

Article

(b Seattle, WA, Aug 7, 1929).

American painter. Baer was educated at the University of Washington, Seattle. She worked during the spring and summer of 1950 on a kibbutz in Israel before moving to New York City, where she studied with the Graduate Faculty at the New School for Social Research from 1950 to 1953. In 1953, she married television writer Robert Baer and moved to Los Angeles, CA. Her son Joshua was born in 1955. By the late 1950s, she was working in an abstract painting style inspired by Abstract Expressionism, which she later rejected, and was peripherally associated with the activities of the avant-garde Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.

In 1959, she began living with the artist John Wesley, whom she married in 1960 before moving back to New York City with him; they divorced in 1969. By 1960, her painting became more hard-edged and reductive. Two years later, she met Donald Judd and ...

Article

Ita Heinze-Greenberg

(b Berlin, March 3, 1877; d Jerusalem, Oct 25, 1930).

German architect, teacher and writer, active in Palestine . He studied architecture (1895–1901) at the Technische Hochschule, Charlottenburg, Berlin, spending one summer term at the Technische Hochschule, Munich. His student works revealed exceptional skill as a draughtsman and he won the Schinkel Medal (1906) for his design (unexecuted) of an architectural museum. In the following year he became Königlicher Regierungsbaumeister for the Prussian state, where his early work included various houses and shops and the restoration of a residential block (1908), Kaiserin–Augusta Street, all in Berlin. He also assisted the architect Ernst Ihne in the construction of the neo-Baroque Preussische Staatsbibliothek (1908–13), Berlin. In 1909 he was sent to Haifa, Palestine (now Israel), by the Jüdisches Institut für Technische Erziehung to take over the architectural design and building of the Technion, which was carried out in stages (1912–24). Sited on the slopes of Mount Carmel, near Haifa, the main building is symmetrical with an emphasis on the central entrance. Middle Eastern elements, such as the dome, the flat roof with pointed crenellations and the arcaded passages, together with symbolic Jewish forms such as the Star of David, in the sparse decoration, testify to Baerwald’s intention to create an architecture that was a synthesis of Middle-Eastern culture and Western technique. The whole complex was built in locally quarried sandstone and limestone, reflecting the architect’s preference for stone....

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. 1905; d. Hamburg, 1951).

Iranian scholar of Persian art. After graduating from the Dar al-Moallemin in Tehran in 1931, he worked at the court of Riza Pahlavi (r. 1925–41) until 1934, when he was sent to study art and archaeology in Europe. There, he studied at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris and under Ernst Kühnel at the Kaiser-Friedrich Museum in Berlin. In 1937 he received his doctorate and returned to Tehran, where he specialized in the study of Islamic pottery at the Archaeological Museum and taught at the University. He was later appointed chief curator and then director of the museum. In 1948 he helped organize the Iranian exhibition at the Musée Cernuschi to coordinate with the XXI International Congress of Orientalists in Paris; in the following year, on the occasion of the Shah’s state visit to the USA, he brought an exhibition of Iranian art to New York (Met.) and Boston (Mus. F.A.)....

Article

Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

(b Tehran, Sept 19, 1906; d Istanbul, 1971).

Turkish sculptor . His family moved to Turkey when he was young. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul (1923–7) and after graduating went to Paris on a bursary, where he studied sculpture under Henri Bouchard at the Académie Julian and then under Charles Despiau. On returning to Turkey (1930) he became an assistant teacher at the Fine Arts Academy. During the 1930s he worked on the Adana Monument (1935) and the monument to Atatürk (1937) at the military residence in Istanbul. With Zühtü Müridoğlu he also worked on the statue of the 16th-century Ottoman admiral Barbarossa in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, which was erected in 1946 on the 400th anniversary of Barbarossa’s death, and the monument of Atatürk and Ismet Inönü on Horseback in Zonguldak. He visited Paris again between 1949 and 1950 when he was inspired by non-figural sculpture, which thereafter took precedence in his work. After returning to Istanbul, he taught sculpture at the Fine Arts Academy with ...