Term used to describe a style in architecture and the applied arts, directly inspired by Cubist painting and sculpture, which was developed by architects and designers active in Prague shortly before World War I; the term itself was not used until the 1960s. The leaders of the style were the members of the Group of Plastic Artists (1911–14), which broke away from the Mánes Union of Artists in 1911 and for two years published its own journal, Umělecký měsíčník (‘Art monthly’). The architects in the group were Josef Gočár, Josef Chochol, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964) and Pavel Janák; other members included Emil Filla, Václav Špála, Antonín Procházka and Otto Gutfreund. The group was reacting against the austere rationalism of such architects as Jan Kotěra, seeking instead to sustain architecture and the applied arts as branches of art rich in content. Their approach was expounded in various articles, particularly by Janák, who developed the principles of architectural Cubism; based on the thesis of Cubism in painting and sculpture, that art should create a distinctive, parallel picture of reality, it attempted to dematerialize a building’s mass by the three-dimensional surface sculpturing of the façade with abstract, prismatic forms....
(b Rome, June 29, 1927; d Perugia, May 17, 2005).
Italian painter. He began painting shortly after World War II. His first works were influenced by Cubism and show a knowledge of the work of artists in Rome who were at that time engaged in the figurative renewal of Italian art. However, the influence of Futurist works and his acquaintance with the Russian avant-garde and De Stijl led Dorazio to adopt an abstract idiom. In 1947, with Giulio Turcato, Pietro Consagra, Carla Accardi, Ugo Attardi (b 1923), Antonio Sanfilippo (1923–80), Mino Guerrini (b 1927) and Achille Perilli (b 1927), he founded the Forma group, declaring himself to be a ‘formalist’ and to have the aim of creating ‘objective abstract forms’ in which ‘the form is both the means and the end’. He made frequent visits to France and to the USA, where he exhibited for the first time in 1950 at the Museum of Non-objective Painting in New York. Here he came into contact with the American abstract painters and with action painting, both of which played a key role in helping him perfect his own form of abstraction. The USA became very important to him, and during the 1950s he made several prolonged visits there, returning to teach at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, in ...
Francis M. Naumann
(b Blainville, Normandy, July 28, 1887; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, Oct 2, 1968).
French painter, sculptor and writer, active also in the USA. The art and ideas of Duchamp, perhaps more than those of any other 20th-century artist, have served to exemplify the range of possibilities inherent in a more conceptual approach to the art-making process. Not only is his work of historical importance—from his early experiments with Cubism to his association with Dada and Surrealism—but his conception of the ready-made decisively altered our understanding of what constitutes an object of art. Duchamp refused to accept the standards and practices of an established art system, conventions that were considered essential to attain fame and financial success: he refused to repeat himself, to develop a recognizable style or to show his work regularly. It is the more theoretical aspects implicit to both his art and life that have had the most profound impact on artists later in the century, allowing us to identify Duchamp as one of the most influential artists of the modern era....
Marie-Noelle de Grandry-Pradel
(b Damville, Eure, Nov 5, 1876; d Cannes, Oct 7, 1918).
French sculptor and draughtsman. The second son of a Normandy notary, he played a central role in the development of modern aesthetics, as did his elder brother Jacques Villon and his younger brother (Henri-Robert-)Marcel Duchamp. He came from an educated family and was an assiduous student at secondary school in Rouen; in 1894 he registered at the Faculté de Médecine in Paris, where he attended classes for several years. Rheumatic fever forced him to break off his studies in 1898 just before completion and left him immobilized for a considerable length of time; this unforeseen event altered the whole course of his life. During this period of enforced leisure (1899–1900), he modelled small statuettes (of subjects such as familiar animals and female figures), discovering his true vocation as a sculptor. He was essentially self-taught and rapidly attained a high level of mastery and maturity. He settled in Paris ...
Group of Bohemian painters established in 1906 with the aim of making colour the dominant element in their art. The members, all graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, were Emil Filla, Friedrich Feigl (1884–1965), Antonín Procházka, Willy Nowak (1886–1977), Otokar Kubín, Max Horb (1882–1907), Bohumil Kubišta and Emil Artur Pittermann-Longen (1885–1936). Filla, Feigl and Procházka had undertaken further study journeys in Europe, which had opened up their artistic horizons and convinced them of the need for innovation in Czech art. At their initial meetings, held at a Prague coffee-house, the Union, they planned to publish their own magazine and put on an exhibition in the prestigious Topič salon in Prague. Eventually they succeeded in renting a shop in Králodvorská Street, Prague, where a hastily organized exhibition was opened on 18 April 1907, with a catalogue consisting of a sheet of paper headed ...
(b Culan, Cher, May 2, 1904; d June 27, 2001).
French painter, draughtsman and lithographer. Like Jean Bazaine and Charles Lapicque, Estève belongs to the generation whose early work was influenced by late Cubism. He himself particularly admired Fernand Léger. Estève became aware of his vocation extremely early in life and had already begun to paint when he arrived in Paris at the age of 15. Extreme attention to execution, already evident in early paintings such as Still-life with Basket of Eggs (1927; Paris, Conchon priv. col., see Vallier and others, p. 8), was to characterize all his work. Gradually Estève abandoned post-Cubist rigour and the sharp, flat colour that he used until the early 1930s in works such as First Steps (1930; Bourges, Mus. Estève); he began to follow Pierre Bonnard’s example, working towards softened forms enriched by a profusion of colour, as in The Meal (1937; Bourges, Mus. Estève). The problem of subject-matter concerned Estève increasingly as abstraction came to dominate the post-war period. In his paintings the powerful presence of colour invading the entire composition made the subject less and less legible, as in ...
Mark Allen Svede
[EKR; Est. Eesti Kunstnikkude Rūhm.]
Estonian group of painters and sculptors active from 1923 to c. 1930. The group continued the progressive internationalist orientation of their predecessors in the Young Estonia movement and united a new generation of painters committed to Cubist experimentation. The group was founded in Tartu by Eduard Ole (b 1898) and Friedrich Hist (1900–41), joined by Felix Randel (1901–77, named Johansen until 1936). Their work, like that of much of their colleagues, was primarily distinguished by modest geometricized abstraction and decorative colourism suggested by Synthetic Cubism, rather than by explorations of simultaneity, collage etc. It also often displayed strong characteristics of Neue Sachlichkeit and Purism. The earliest Estonian practitioners of Cubism were among the group’s members: Jaan Vahtra (1882–1947) and Hist, who from 1921 studied in Latvia, where he kept company with the modernists of the Riga Artists’ group. In 1924 EKR exhibited in Tartu and Tallinn with the Latvians, by which time membership had grown with the critical additions of ...
(b Belostok, Russia [now Białystok, Poland], Jan 6, 1882; d Fontenay-aux-Roses, Paris, March 17, 1949).
Russian painter and designer of Polish birth. After graduating in 1906 from art school in Kiev, Exter married in 1908 and went to Paris, where she studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. The following year she rented a studio in Paris and became acquainted with Picasso, Braque, Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob and with the Italian Futurists Filippo Marinetti, Giovanni Papini and Ardengo Soffici (with whom she shared a studio in 1914). In Paris she also attended the Vasil’yeva Free Russian Academy, where Fernand Léger gave two important lectures on modern art. In the years 1909–14 Exter travelled extensively between Paris, Moscow and Kiev, playing an important role in disseminating Cubist and Futurist ideas among the Russian avant-garde. She participated in many important avant-garde exhibitions in Russia and the Ukraine, including David Burlyuk’s Link (Kiev, 1908), the first and second Izdebsky Salons (Odessa, 1909–10; Kiev and St Petersburg, ...
(b Moscow, Nov 8, 1886; d Moscow, Oct 1, 1958).
Russian painter. He studied under Konstantin Yuon and in the studio of Il’ya Mashkov (1904–5), then at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin. In 1909 he exhibited with Golden Fleece and in 1910 was a founder-member of the avant-garde exhibiting society, the Jack of Diamonds, of which he remained an active member until its dissolution in 1916. Fal’k was well known for his portraits and still-lifes of this period. His elongated seated figures of 1913 reveal a study of Cézanne, while the portraits and still-lifes of 1914 betray the influence of Picasso’s early Cubist work. The Portrait of the Tatar Journalist Midkhata Refatov (1915; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) shows his mature style in the Cubist idiom.
After the 1917 Revolution, Fal’k taught painting at Svomas (Free Art Studios) (1918–20) and Vkhutemas (Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops) (1920–28...
(b Chropyně, Moravia [now Czech Republic], April 4, 1882; d Prague, Oct 6, 1953).
Czech painter, printmaker, sculptor, writer and collector. After a short period at a business school and in an insurance office in Brno, he became a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1903). In 1904 he won the Academy’s first prize. At the end of the year he set out on a lengthy journey to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy. He became absorbed in the Old Masters, especially Rembrandt. His own style passed from Post-Impressionism to a more expressive dominance of colour. In 1907 he took part in the first exhibition of The Eight (see Eight, the) with a programme painting, the Reader of Dostoyevsky (Prague, N.G., Trade Fair Pal.), partly influenced by the Munch exhibition in Prague in 1905. At the same time the picture is a very personal manifesto reflecting the Angst and scepticism of his generation. At the second exhibition of The Eight in ...
Anne Cannon Palumbo
(b Philadelphia, PA, Jan 17, 1851; d Pasadena, CA, June 22, 1928).
American illustrator and painter. After a short apprenticeship to a wood-engraver and several years in a Philadelphia lithographic shop, he achieved recognition as a comic illustrator with the publication of Out of the Hurly Burly (London, 1874) by Max Adeler (the pseudonym of C. H. Clarke). Shortly thereafter he joined the staff of Harper and Brothers, New York, where, along with such artists as Edwin Austin Abbey and Howard Pyle (1853–1911), he contributed pen-and-ink and wash illustrations to the books and journals published by the firm.
During the last quarter of the 19th century, a period often characterized as the ‘golden age of American illustration’, Frost’s humorous, homely subjects and comic caricatures appeared regularly in American magazines such as The Century Illustrated and Collier’s as well as those of the Harper group. Best remembered are his illustrations for Joel Chandler Harris’s stories, particularly Uncle Remus: His Songs and his Sayings...
Anthony W. Lee
(b Gee Village [now Chu Village], Guangdong Province, China, Feb 22, 1906; d New York, NY, June 5, 1963).
American painter, poet, essayist and inventor. Gee traveled to San Francisco in 1921, joining his father, a merchant in Chinatown. In 1925 he enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) where he took classes with Otis Oldfield (1890–1969) and Gottardo Piazzoni and experimented for the first time in oils. A year later he co-founded two separate art collectives, the Modern Gallery, comprised mostly of white artists with substantial European-based training, and the Chinese Revolutionary Artists’ Club, comprised exclusively of young Chinese immigrants. The differences between the groups reflected an ongoing tension in Gee’s professional and political ambitions between the search for newer forms of modern art and the desire to ennoble a diasporic Chinese sensibility. He initially developed a style of short, choppy brushwork and the juxtaposition of hot and cold colors, and subjects based on the people, streets and goods of Chinatown. He would later call this practice “Diamondism.”...
Maureen S. Trappeniers
(b Woerden, Nov 22, 1881; d Hilversum, Nov 26, 1941).
Dutch painter and draughtsman. As the son of the director of an art school, he trained first as an art teacher at the Rijksnormaalschool, Amsterdam, with evening classes at the Rijksacademie (1900–03), before becoming an artist. For several years he managed to earn a living by illustrating books, by contributing drawings to newspapers and by designing advertising leaflets for his uncle Dimmen Gestel, an artist and printer who had painted outdoors with van Gogh. His friends called him Leonardo, a nickname that he adopted in a shortened form. For a short period Gestel’s development ran parallel to that of his former classmate Jan Sluijters. Gestel’s work, like Sluijters’s, is characterized by a variety of styles including a form of Divisionism, seen in Autumn Tree (1911; The Hague, Gemeentemus.), Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism and Expressionism. On the whole, however, Gestel’s paintings are more deliberate in style and spiritual in content. He was one of the leading figures of the avant-garde in ...
(b Paris, Dec 8, 1881; d Avignon, June 23, 1953).
French painter, printmaker and writer. He grew up in Courbevoie, a suburb of Paris, and as a student at the Collège Chaptal became interested in theatre and painting. At 19, his father put him to work in the family interior design and fabric business, an experience that contributed to a lifelong respect for skilled workmanship. The first paintings he exhibited, at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1902, were Impressionist in character, but the work accepted within two years at the Salon d’Automne showed a shift to social themes, a tendency that accelerated until 1908. Compulsory military service from 1903 to 1905 thrust him into the company of working-class people, arousing a permanent sense of solidarity with their aspirations and needs. The results were immediately apparent in the Association Ernest Renan, which he helped to establish in 1905, a kind of popular university with secular and socialist aims. He was also one of the founders of a community of intellectuals based near Paris, the ...
(b Semín, nr Pardubice, March 13, 1880; d Jičín, Sept 10, 1945).
Czech architect, designer, urban planner and teacher. In 1906 he completed his studies at the Academy of Applied Arts, Prague, under Jan Kotěra, in whose studio he worked until 1908. His earliest work was strikingly modern and rationalist in style, revealing a purity of expression in the use of reinforced concrete; for example the Wenke Department Store (1909–10), Jaroměř, was designed with a skeleton structure on which a lightweight, fully glazed wall was suspended to form the façade. In 1911, with Josef Chochol, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964), Pavel Janák and others, he became a founder-member of the Group of Plastic Artists, Prague, which sought to develop a more artistic approach to architecture; a year later he and Janák founded the Prague Art Workshops for the design of arts, crafts and furniture, and from 1914 he was a member of the Architects’ Club. Influenced by Janák, Gočár adopted the prismatic surface forms of ...
(b Negayevo, Tula Province, June 16, 1881: d Paris, Oct 17, 1962).
Russian painter, stage designer, printmaker and illustrator. She was a leading artist of the Russian avant-garde in the early 20th century but became a celebrity in the West through her work for Serge (de) Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. During the 1920s she played a significant role within the Ecole de Paris and continued to live and work in France until her death.
She was the daughter of Sergey Mikhaylovich Goncharov, an architect, and Yekaterina Il’icha Belyayeva but grew up in her grandmother’s home at Ladyzhino, near Kaluga, in Tula Province. She attended the Fourth Gymnasium for Girls in Moscow and in 1898 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture as a sculpture student where she was taught by Paolo Troubetskoy. At the school Goncharova became friendly with Mikhail Larionov. He became her lifelong companion and colleague, and he encouraged her to relinquish sculpture for painting. Goncharova’s early work comprised mainly pastels, which were exhibited in ...
[González Pérez, José Victoriano Carmelo Carlos]
(b Madrid, March 23, 1887; d Boulogne-sur-Seine, May 11, 1927).
Spanish painter, draughtsman, illustrator and writer, active in France. His artistic career was spent almost exclusively in France, where he was considered one of the leading Cubist painters from 1912 until his death. An artist valued for the depth and consistency of his approach rather than as an innovator, he is recognized for his independent and distinctive approach to Cubism and as one of its most influential later practitioners and theoreticians.
Gris specialized in mathematics, physics and engineering at the Escuela de Artes y Manufacturas in Madrid from 1902 to 1904; he later described this phase of his education as formative. His approach to Cubism, which has often been called scientific in its logic and precision, may well have been affected by his knowledge of technical drawings. He broke his scientific studies, however, to train briefly with the academic painter José Moreno Carbonero (1860–1942), and he decided to become an artist. From ...
[Czech: Skupina Výtvarných Umělců]
Bohemian avant-garde group, active 1911–17. In February 1911 a fundamental rift between the older and younger generations in the Mánes Union of Artists was occasioned by the fall in subscriptions to the union’s journal Volné směry after its new editors, Emil Filla and Antonín Matějček, reproduced Picasso’s work and published Filla’s article on the virtues of the new primitivism. The majority of the young contributors to the journal pointedly withdrew from the Mánes Union. Towards the end of 1911 they established the Group of Plastic Artists, oriented towards Cubism; its members were Vincenc Beneš, V. H. Brunner, Josef Čapek, Emil Filla, Josef Gočár, Otto Gutfreund, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964), Josef Chochol, Pavel Janák, Zdeněk Kratochvíl, František Kysela, Antonín Procházka, Ladislav Šíma, Václav Špála, the writers Karel Čapek (1890–1938) and František Langer, and the art historian V. V. Štech. For personal reasons and differences of opinion, Bohumil Kubišta, Otokar Kubín and Matějček remained outside the group and soon returned to the Mánes Union. Gočár was elected the group’s first president....
(b Dvůr Králové, Aug 3, 1889; d Prague, June 2, 1927).
Czech sculptor and draughtsman. One of the outstanding Czech sculptors of the early 20th century, he had a considerable influence both during his lifetime and subsequently. He studied at the Central School of Ceramics at Bechyně from 1903 and then under Professor J. Drahoňovský at the School of Applied Arts in Prague (1905–9) where his exceptional plastic sensibility became apparent. He then spent a year in Paris at the atelier of Emile-Antoine Bourdelle. Gutfreund’s work can be divided into two contrasting periods: the first, beginning in 1910, is largely Cubist while the second, beginning c. 1919, shows a move to realistic sculpture. (Unless otherwise stated, all sculptures by Gutfreund mentioned below are in Prague, National Gallery.) His early work was influenced by Michelangelo’s Slaves (c. 1514; Paris, Louvre; see fig.) and by Honoré Daumier’s modelling and treatment of light, which jointly inspired Anguish (1911) and ...
(b Warsaw, Dec 24, 1883; d Paris, May 12, 1970).
Polish painter, active in France. He began a course in engineering at Warsaw Polytechnic in 1902 but also enrolled as a student at the School of Fine Arts, and in 1905 he gave up engineering to devote himself entirely to painting. In 1907 he arrived in Paris, intending to stay for only a year, but lived in France until his death. He attended the Académie La Palette for several months and in 1909 visited Brittany, in particular Le Pouldu and Pont-Aven, where he went to work for a number of summers, and where he met and became friendly with the Polish painter Władysław Ślewiński, who had been a member of Paul Gauguin’s circle.
By 1911 Hayden’s work began to show the influence not only of Ślewiński and Gauguin but also of Paul Cézanne. His interest in formal simplification and pictorial construction in a manner indebted to Cézanne very gradually led him, from ...