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Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Guatemala City, Nov 2, 1922; d 1999).

Guatemalan sculptor and painter. After studying at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Guatemala City (1937–44), he received a grant that enabled him to continue his studies from 1945 to 1949 at the Escuela de Artes Aplicadas of the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile. He was part of a generation of artists who revitalized art in Guatemala after World War II; like Guillermo Grajeda Mena, Roberto González-Goyri and, later, Efraín Recinos, he was associated with the efforts of several architects to integrate the arts in their new buildings.

As both a sculptor and a painter Vásquez maintained a consistent artistic line without obvious changes, achieving a personal synthesis of expressionism and abstraction with a great simplicity of form. His sculptures were made of a variety of materials, including marble, bronze, clay, sheet brass, wood and concrete. Among his most important works, all in Guatemala City, are the ...

Article

Alexandra Kennedy

(b Cuenca, July 1829; d Cuenca, Dec 1, 1892).

Ecuadorean sculptor. He received his training in the workshop of the Cuencan painter Eusebio Alarcón (fl 1835–64). From a young age he was interested in polychromed wood-carving on religious themes, a medium that was greatly esteemed by the Quito school during the colonial period. Vélez, however, transformed the former Baroque language into Neo-classicism, inspired by imported examples and incorporating the academic teachings brought so late into Ecuador. Especially worthy of mention are his Crucifixes (e.g. Holy Christ; church of Señor de las Aguas, Girón, Azuay), as well as his images of the Infant Christ and Calvary, which were sought by collectors, religious communities and museums throughout the country. Together with Gaspar de Sangurima (1787–fl 1833), his disciple Daniel Alvarado (c. 1867–1953) and other local engravers, Vélez managed to make Cuenca the most important centre of 19th-century sculpture in the country. His portraiture was also significant, and he created a series of busts of public figures in wood and marble, including that of the celebrated Franciscan journalist ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, July 27, 1928).

Argentine painter and sculptor. Basing his work on the rigorous structural application of the straight line as his basic unit, he was one of the main creators in the late 1950s of a style of painting called Arte generativo. Tending to work in series to which he gave titles such as Dynamic Structures, Displacements, Integrations, Radiations, Fugues and Reflections, he revealed his inexhaustible inventiveness in elaborating his fundamental system, for example in Homage to Albers (1965; Buenos Aires, Mus. A. Mod.), in which he acknowledged his debt to a pioneer of geometric abstraction, Josef Albers.

Vidal favoured strong centrifugal and centripetal tensions and often made his lines converge on a point in bundles, generating luminous irradiant foci and superimposed meshes that create fleeting sensations, as in First Vision (1968; New York, Guggenheim). By concentrating on the luminous energy of the lines and the poetic suggestiveness of space within a severely restricted geometric vocabulary, he was, by the 1980s, creating work that was almost mystical in tone. He applied these principles not only to paintings but also to sculptures made of plastic and metal, some of them using boxlike forms and systems of modular development....

Article

Ana Tapias

(b Valencia, Carabobo, Aug 4, 1926; d Caracas, April 22, 2014).

Venezuelan painter, ceramicist and sculptor. He started painting around 1942. His work was initially abstract but it became figurative with surrealistic elements, as in The Tetragramist (1943) and Composition (1943–4; both artist’s col.). He attended the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas in Caracas irregularly from 1948 to 1951. In 1949 he joined the Taller Libre de Arte, an avant-garde group active between 1948 and 1952, which sought to explore Venezuelan historical and cultural roots. His interest in Pre-Columbian Venezuelan cultures influenced his subsequent work. From 1952 to 1964 he lived in Paris, where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and frequented the studio of Marcel Joudon. Later Vigas produced both pottery and sculpture, in addition to paintings.

G. Diehl: Oswaldo Vigas (Caracas, 1990)Vigas Oswaldo (exh. cat., Caracas, Grupo Li Cent. A., 1997)

Venezuela, §IV, 3: Painting, graphic arts and sculpture, after c 1900...

Article

Fausto Ramírez

(b Barcelona, Nov 15, 1812; d Mexico City, Nov 25, 1860).

Catalan sculptor and teacher, active in Mexico. He studied at the Escuela de Nobles Artes (Llotja) in Barcelona under Damián Campeny and from 1834 on a scholarship in Rome under Antonio Solá at the Accademia di S Luca. He also attended the studios of Bertel Thorvaldsen and Pietro Tenerani in Rome. He adhered to the aesthetic doctrines of purism, and professed an admiration for the Italian ‘primitives’ of the 13th to 15th centuries. In 1846, with his friend Pelegrín Clavé, Vilar accepted the Mexican government’s invitation to reorganize the departments of sculpture and painting at the Academia de S Carlos in Mexico City. They restructured the curriculum and between 1849 and 1858 mounted regular art exhibitions, to which teachers, students, and artists independent of the academy contributed their works. The interest generated raised art criticism in Mexico to a professional level. (The Civil War, started over the antagonism between the conservative and liberal parties, interrupted these annual expositions; in ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Sept 6, 1899; d Paris, May 16, 1953).

Argentine sculptor active in France. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires before moving in 1925 to Paris, where he studied under Émile-Antoine Bourdelle. Living a tragic bohemian existence and feeling a strong nostalgia for Latin America, he returned incessantly to the theme of the gaucho, as in Gaucho in the Bough (gray granite, 1951; Buenos Aires, Mus. A. Mod.), and sought also to conjure the landscape of Argentina—with its light, its wind, and the contours of the Andes—in sculptures such as Totem Patagonia (wood, 1951; Buenos Aires, Mus. A. Mod.).

Basing his stark and violently contrasting intersecting planes on a close analysis of natural forms, Vitullo arrived at a symbolic visual language by which the horizontality of the pampa and the verticality of the mountains are equated with masculine and feminine archetypes. He carved a variety of materials, notably oak, marble, granite, and other stone....

Article

Patricia Hills

(b Roxbury, MA, April 14, 1922).

American sculptor, painter, printmaker and teacher. Raised in Roxbury, a suburb of Boston, Wilson was the second of five children of Reginald and Violet Wilson, immigrants from British Guiana (now the Republic of Guyana). He attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with a full scholarship and received a diploma with highest honors in 1945; a BS degree in art education followed in 1947 from Tufts University. With a fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, he spent 1947–9 in Paris, where he studied with Fernand Léger. Returning to Boston he taught briefly at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, married Julie Kowitch and moved to Mexico City with a John Hay Whitney Fellowship. There he became friends with Elizabeth Catlett and her husband Francesco Mora, both active in the graphic workshop organized by leftist artists, the Taller de Gráfica Popular, where he worked. In Mexico he learned the techniques of true fresco, which had been popularized by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, and painted the mural, ...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Guatemala City, Sept 18, 1888; d Guatemala City, April 17, 1942).

Guatemalan sculptor. He was first trained by his father, Baldomero Yela Montenegro (1859–1909), who was a sculptor and marble-carver. While still very young he worked with the Venezuelan sculptor Santiago González, a former student of Auguste Rodin, then resident in Guatemala, and with the Italian Antonio Doninelli, who ran a bronze foundry workshop. He was also extremely friendly with the Guatemalan painters Carlos Mérida and Carlos Valenti (1884–1912) and with the Spanish Catalan painter and sculptor Jaime Sabartés (1881–1968), who later became Picasso’s secretary. His first important sculptures, both in Guatemala City, were monuments to J. F. Barrundia (1905–6) in the General Cemetery and to Isabel La Católica (1915).

Around 1921 Yela Günther went to Mexico, where he came into contact with the anthropologist Manuel Gamio, who directed his attention towards Maya and Aztec art. He also had the encouragement of Diego Rivera, who wrote enthusiastically of his work in ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Dec 6, 1879; d Buenos Aires, March 4, 1950).

Argentine sculptor. He enrolled at the Escuela de la Sociedad Estímulo de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, in 1898 and soon afterwards joined the studio of the sculptor Lucio Correa Morales (1852–1923). In 1899 he won a scholarship to study in Europe. In Paris he attended the studio of the sculptor Jules-Félix Coutan, at the same time studying drawing at the Académie Colarossi; he made studies of corpses in the morgue and acquired a great mastery of human anatomy. At the Salon in Paris in 1903 he exhibited The Sinners (see Prins), a major group of six female figures, influenced by Rodin’s Burghers of Calais in its rhythmic arabesques, open treatment of line and soft modelling. In 1904 it was shown again at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, where it was awarded a major prize, but he renounced both the prize and associated commission because of a controversy about his youth....

Article

Xavier Moyssén

(b San José, Dec 27, 1912; d Aug 1998).

Mexican sculptor, printmaker, draughtsman and teacher of Costa Rican birth. He studied sculpture under his father, Manuel María Zúñiga, in San José, Costa Rica, and after his arrival in Mexico City in 1936 at the Escuela de Talla Directa under the direction of Guillermo Ruíz (1895–1964) and Oliverio Martínez. Martínez, together with the painter Manuel Rodríguez Lozano, helped motivate his monumental concept of form. Other lasting influences came from his encounter with Aztec sculpture and from the work of other sculptors, such as Auguste Rodin, Aristide Maillol and even Henry Moore, whose work, like his, was based primarily on the human body. Throughout his career Zúñiga was especially devoted to the female form, naked or clothed.

The monumental character of Zúñiga’s sculpture is evident not only in public commissioned works, such as the stone reliefs of the Allegory of the Earth and Communications (1953–4) at the Secretaría de Comunicaciones in Mexico City, but also in sculptures conceived for more private and intimate settings, for example ...