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Article

Francis Summers

(b West Bromwich, W. Midlands, May 18, 1961; d London, March 4, 1998).

English installation artist and photographer. He studied from 1981 to 1985 at Trent Polytechnic, where he met Keith Piper (b 1960) and Eddie Chambers (b 1960), both of whom, like Rodney himself, featured prominently in black political art of the later 1980s. He also studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, from 1985 to 1987. Rodney’s work often combined elements of his personal life with a political statement. A good example is The House that Jack Built (1987; see 1990 book, p. 3), for which he arranged found x-rays into the shape of a house onto which he painted the slogans ‘save our shit, save our souls, save our struggle’, and in front of which he placed a headless mannequin as a kind of self-portrait. He used a variety of media to comment on the situation of black people in Britain, as in ...

Article

Italo Zannier

(b Meolo, nr Venice, Nov 1, 1926).

Italian photographer. A self-taught photographer, he began taking pictures as an amateur in 1947. From 1948 he was a member of La Gondola photographic club, founded in Venice by Paolo Monti with the aim of promoting more penetrating research into photographic aesthetics. In 1953 he became professional and produced his first photographic book on Venice, Venise à fleur d’eau, establishing his international reputation. In 1956 he was awarded the Prix Nadar for his book Ombrie, terre de Saint-François (Lausanne, 1955). Also around this time he began travelling throughout the world, producing a large number of photographic books of great iconographic potency. In 1977 his work Essere Venezia (Udine, 1977) became one of the major best-sellers of its kind. Roiter used photography to render visible an intangible, archaic reality, thus revealing a kind of beauty unpolluted by the contemporary world.

G. Turroni: Nuova fotografia italiana (Milan, 1959) A. Moravia...

Article

(b Paris, Aug 14, 1910; d Paris, Sep 12, 2009).

French photographer and writer. He worked as a meteorologist in the French air force. In 1936 Ronis became a freelance photographer, winning the Kodak National Prize in 1947 and the Gold Medal at the Venice Bienniale in 1957, among other prizes. His work centres on human relationships and environments, displaying a harmonious world and a faith in mankind; he stated that ‘to transform chaos into harmony is the constant quest of the seekers of images’ (Eveno, 1983, p. 177). In 1951 he participated in the exhibition Five French Photographers: Brassaï, Cartier–Bresson, Doisneau, Izis, Ronis at MOMA, New York. He wrote two books on photography, Photo reportage et chasse aux images (1951) and Sur le fil du hasard (1980).

Photo reportage et chasse aux images (Paris, 1951)Il manuale del perfetto fotoreporter (Rome, 1953)Sur le fil du hasard (Paris, 1980) T. Mahoney: U.S. Camera Album...

Article

Daniela Mrázková

(b Smilov, May 25, 1902; d 1990).

Czech photographer. From a Czech–German family, he was trained and later worked at the famous Prague portrait studio of František Drtikol. The first photographer connected with the Czech artistic avant-garde of the 1920s, Rössler experimented with Cubo-Futurism in 1922. On the occasion of Alexander Archipenko’s exhibition in Prague, Karel Teige, the theorist and spokesman of Czech ‘Poetism’, an anti-academic movement that celebrated photography, film and architecture as new technological art forms, enlisted Rössler in the group Devětsil—Svaz moderní kultury (Devětsil—the Union of Modern Culture). Rössler published his photographs and phototypographical montages in the Czech avant-garde journals ReD—Revue Devětsilu, Pásmo, Disk and Stavba. In 1925 he left for Paris and worked at the Manuel Frères studio for a year. After his return to Prague he worked for the avant-garde Free Theatre (Osvobozené divadlo) and for the illustrated magazine Pestrý týden.

Rössler returned to Paris in 1927 and dedicated himself to publicity photography, much of the time at the ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Paris, 1947).

French photographer and installation artist . He makes large colour photographs of old buildings, dilapidated and disused stairwells and rooms, in which he has drawn or painted across the surfaces; these images were initially figurative and suggested past inhabitants of the buildings. From 1984 Rousse worked with abstract shapes that, from the particular monocular view of the photograph by which they are documented and displayed, have illusionistic depth and form, appearing to float in space. The installation is removed after documentation, leaving the photograph as the sole record. The three-dimensional forms, ordinarily exhibited as photographs and preparatory sketches, are laboriously constructed perspectival illusions that refer to the tradition of trompe l’oeil in painting. The sleight of hand involved in their production is not always evident in the photographs, however, which can appear themselves simply drawn on. Towards the end of the 1980s Rousse’s approach to perspective, photography, drawing and optical illusion broadened, as seen in ...

Article

Gjergj Frashëri

(b Shkodër, Oct 23, 1887; d Shkodër, Jan 27, 1961).

Albanian painter and photographer. He studied at the Italian School of Art and Handicrafts in Shkodër (1902–6), where he was discovered by the Albanian painter Kolë Idromeno, who helped him to enter the Academia di Belle Arti (Brera), Milan (1910–15). On his return to Albania he worked as a photographer and designer, and from 1922 he taught drawing and history of art at the Gymnasium in Shkodër. His one-man exhibition in Shkodër in 1957 and his retrospective exhibition in Tiranë in 1987 included more than 200 easel paintings and hundreds of drawings and sketches in charcoal, ink, watercolour and tempera.

The realist character of Rrota’s work is clearly evident in his 100 oil portraits, such as Young Woman (1928; Shkodër Mus.). Among his most highly regarded works are the figure compositions on social themes, which are imbued with patriotic feelings, for example Battle of Skanderbeg...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Zell am Harmersbach, 1958).

German photographer. He studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (1977–85) under Bernd Becher. Although Becher’s documentary photography had a strong early influence on his work, Ruff questioned the ‘truth-value’ of the documentary image in his work of the 1980s and 1990s. After completing a series of photographs documenting domestic interiors (1979–81), Ruff embarked on the series of portraits with which he made his name. Monumental, highly detailed and immaculately finished, these were unglamorous portraits of ordinary people, devoid of expression—actually Ruff’s friends at the Kunstakademie. After experimenting with pose and background Ruff focused on a full frontal with neutral surround, lit with an even, pastel light. The Porträts suggest that it is impossible to photographically represent a subject’s inner life, positing instead a more democratic, socially based mode of representation. Any residue of charm that these works may have had was entirely drained from the series Ruff began in ...

Article

Stephan Mann

(b Velbert, nr Essen, June 30, 1937).

German sculptor and photographer. After training in photography in Velbert he worked freelance, photographing street scenes among other things, before attending the Staatliche Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf (1962–8), studying under Joseph Beuys. From 1980 he combined his work as a sculptor with teaching at the Kunstakademie in Münster. Ruthenbeck’s objects and installations deal with the formal problem of equilibrium and the abolition of polarities, and are distinguished by a simplicity that communicates peace and stillness. Using diverse materials, including metal, felt, and paper, Ruthenbeck attempted to sustain the tension in the work with a unity of form (e.g. White Heap of Paper, 1979; see 1983 exh. cat., pl. 159); he was also concerned with the properties of materials and their effect on the construction. He related his installations to their spaces by using simple geometrical structures, attaining abstract qualities in parallel to the objective reality evoked by the materials. The perception of disturbance in familiar phenomena and the quest for balance and unity of form took on a meditative character for Ruthenbeck, and related to his studies of transcendental meditation in the early 1970s. From ...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(b Berlin, April 28, 1886; d Auschwitz, July 7, 1944).

German photographer. He studied zoology and engineering in Berlin from 1906 to 1909, and then law. In World War I Salomon entered military service and was taken as a prisoner of war in France. He began working in the advertising department of the Ullstein publishing house in 1923 and as a result came into contact with photography, which he began practising in 1927. Until 1933 he worked mainly as a freelance photographer for Ullstein, the Berliner illustrierte Zeitung, the Münchner illustrierte Presse, Fortune, Life and the Daily Telegraph.

The introduction in 1920 of the compact, hand-held Ermanox camera and of more sensitive plates enabled him to photograph without flash and thus to work unobtrusively. He became a leading exponent of the ‘candid camera’, a term coined by the London Graphic specifically to describe his work. His cultivated and confident manner gained him entry to political events and discussions which were barred to other photographers, and some conferences were considered important only if they had been photographed by him. His photographic style is best shown in ...

Article

Hélène Bocard

(b Ribeauville, Alsace, April 14, 1824; d Paris, Feb 24, 1872).

French photographer, archaeologist and painter. A painter of landscapes and religious scenes and a keen archaeologist, he was fascinated by the Middle East from an early age. He visited Italy and Algeria with his friend Eugène Fromentin, and he was in Egypt at the time of the excavations of Auguste Mariette (1821–81). Taking advantage of a mission supported by the Ministère de l’Instruction Publique, he decided to set off for the Holy Land at the end of 1853. In his desire to support the disputed theses of the archaeologist Louis Félicien Caignart de Saulcy (1807–80) concerning the age and appearance of the monuments there, in 1854 he brought back from his trip c. 200 calotypes. The album Jérusalem (pubd 1855–6; Paris, Mus. Orsay; Paris, Bib. N.; priv. col.) contained 174 of them (see fig.). In 1863, he set off again with de Saulcy to carry out more intensive research, and his photographs were used to illustrate the archaeologist’s articles....

Article

Constance W. Glenn

(b Kastoria, Greece, Sept 14, 1936).

American painter, sculptor and photographer of Greek birth. He immigrated to West New York, NJ, in 1948 and graduated from Rutgers University in 1959. He participated in the earliest Happenings, and he studied art history with Meyer Schapiro and acting at the Stella Adler Studio Theater. In 1960 he created the first of his well-known boxes, for example Box No. 3, 1962–1963 (New York, Whitney). His choice of media ranged from the sensuous to the menacing, and he preferred opulent textures and colours. Tacks, pins and shards of glass encrusted such early works as Book #4 (Dante’s Inferno) (1962; New York, MOMA). Always self-referential, he first secreted a photograph of himself in early boxes and constructions. On moving to New York in 1964 he created another unconventional self-portrait: a gallery installation, Room, inspired by his claustrophobic New Jersey bedroom.

From 1969 Samaras began to produce photographs using his body as subject and metaphor in a series entitled ...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(b Herdorf, nr Siegen, Nov 17, 1876; d Cologne, April 20, 1964).

German photographer. After seven years as a miner and a period of national service, he studied painting in Dresden from 1901 to 1902, which allowed him to approach photography artistically. He had developed an interest in photography through work in photographic firms in Berlin, Magdeburg, Halle and Dresden from 1898 to 1899. In 1901 he went to Linz, where he first worked in the Greif Studio, which he ran from 1902 with his partner Franz Stukenberg as the Studio Sander & Stukenberg, until he founded the Studio August Sander für Kunstphotographie und Malerei in 1904. He sold the studio in 1909 and returned to Cologne, where he ran the Studio Blumberg & Hermann, and in 1910 he founded his own studio in Lindenthal.

At this point Sander started his major project, Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts, with which he was involved until the 1950s. The theme for the project grew out of the portraits he made of Westerwald farmers, in whom he saw the archetypal contemporary man. Building on this, Sander developed a philosophy that placed man within a cyclic model of society. In these terms, the peasant class constituted the basis of society, hence his title for the series of 12 peasant portraits, ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Lisbon, 1948).

Portuguese painter, photographer and film maker. He studied at the Escola Superior de Belas Artes, Lisbon, (1967–70 and 1974–6). His first work as a student was in painting but from the mid- to late 1970s he began to work in a variety of media such as photography, text and film. The concern with sexuality and the human body manifested in his later work first emerged in a series of photo-sequences that he has described as ‘trips around the body’. After losing much of this work in a fire in 1981, he returned to painting at just the moment that painting and figuration made a strong return internationally. His first series of pictures from that time involved a montage of large schematic symbols resembling primitive pictographs. Following these he began a series of fragmented images which featured roughly painted scenes of couples making love surrounded by smaller collections of diagrammatic signs and symbols in very different styles. Sarmento pursued this approach throughout the 1980s, though he moved towards greater compositional order towards the end of the decade, often also introducing sculptural or relief elements into the paintings. ...

Article

Daniela Mrázková

(b Prague, May 13, 1935).

Czech photographer. He studied at the School of Industrial Photography, Prague (1950–52). He worked as a reproduction photographer for various firms in Prague until 1980, when he became freelance. Saudek’s Jewish origins meant that during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia he was interned in a children’s concentration camp with his twin brother, Karel. These terrifying experiences of early childhood were instrumental in shaping his photography. In his ‘theatre of life’, as he called his work, he focused on the basic relationships of members of the family. He depicted the problems of childhood and adolescence as tormenting phantoms, and his work seems a quest for love, liberty and emotional reassurance.

Saudek arranged and produced his shots (mostly portraits) to a basic plan. Each composition is an intimate affair, and nudity is used as an emblem of emancipation, as are unusual costumes, decorations, masks, toiletries and marionettes with romantic hats, ballet shoes and parasols. His photographs have a philosophical depth, with their sensitivity, ambiguity and implicit sensuality. Towards the end of the 1970s Saudek began to hand-colour his black-and-white work, which increased its piquancy. He exhibited widely abroad but for a long time remained unrecognized in Czechoslovakia....

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Cambridge, May 7, 1970).

English painter and photographer. She studied at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1992 with a BFA. Saville was propelled to fame after being approached by the collector Charles Saatchi, who first exhibited her work in 1994 and who bought her entire production for several years thereafter. This first series of paintings consisted of composite portraits of the artist and various models, all on a large scale. In Branded (1992; London, Saatchi Gal.), words such as ‘supportive’, ‘decorative’ and ‘delicate’ are carved into the paint across the large, fleshy female torso. In Plan (1993; London, Saatchi Gal.), lines resembling vectors used to indicate height on maps are drawn onto the model’s body. The model gazes down at the viewer, with a look that is confrontational and intimidating. In 1995–6 Saville collaborated with fashion photographer Glen Luchford (b 1968) on a series of photographs of her nude body pressed against a sheet of glass, so that the body is distorted and appears almost mutilated; as in ...

Article

Astrid Schmetterling

(b Miesbach, Upper Bavaria, Aug 21, 1894; d Keilberg, nr Aschaffenburg, Feb 25, 1982).

German painter, collagist, printmaker and photographer. He studied briefly at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich (1913–14) and in 1913 began to make Expressionist woodcuts, which were published in magazines such as Die Aktion (Berlin), Die Weissen Blätter (Leipzig) and Sirius (Zurich). From 1915 to 1920 he lived in Zurich and Geneva, where he was associated with the Dada movement. He continued creating woodcuts but also made reliefs, paintings and collages from newspaper cuttings and other printed papers. At the same time he became interested in abstracting photography and using it in a more metaphoric way. In 1918, while living in Geneva, he created his first ‘schadographs’, such as Untitled (Fish; 1918; New York, MOMA), contact prints of collages and objects on photosensitive paper. Like Man Ray’s rayographs and Moholy-Nagy’s photograms, these cameraless photographs reproduced the negative image of the textures placed on them, creating a new form of representation....

Article

(b Groningen, July 1, 1942).

Dutch conceptual artist, film maker and television actor. He started to experiment with different coloured smoke in 1957. From the 1960s he was active as a Fluxus composer. In 1961 with Ger van Elk and the photographer Bob Wesdorp he founded the Adynamische Groep, which primarily reacted against post-war Expressionism. In 1962 he was given an exhibition at the Fodor Museum, Amsterdam, for which he covered the floor of a room with a 100 mm layer of salt and another with a few tonnes of broken glass. In pursuit of performance art, in 1963 he instigated a happening: he emptied a bottle of lemonade in the sea outside Petten, an action broadcast by Dutch television. In the same year he made a television programme about contemporary art (e.g. Fluxus, Pop art, Zero). Also in 1963 the fire brigade banned the performance of his Economic Concert (1958), which consisted of one single explosion on stage. Two years later he displayed a 5 m high purple chair in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam and organized an exhibition called ...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(b Weissenhorn, nr Ulm, Oct 6, 1917; d Lahnstein, nr Koblenz, Oct 22, 1986).

German photographer. Husband of Walde Huth-Schmölz. He learnt photography from his father, the architectural photographer Hugo Schmölz (1879–1932), with whom he began carrying out commissions in the 1930s, and he continued working on the commissions after his father’s death. After World War II he documented the destruction of the city of Cologne. His work for such architects as Bernhard Pfau (b 1902), Wilhelm Riphahn (1889–1963), Rudolf Schwartz and Gottfried Böhm portrays the period of reconstruction, as do his photographs for industrial concerns such as Dynamit Nobel, Olefin and Feldmühle. After his marriage he set up a studio for advertising and furniture photography with his wife under the name of Schmölz+Huth. He worked for all the leading furniture firms in Germany, helping to shape their public image. Among his architectural photographs, his pictures of the Deutsche Bank in Düsseldorf and the Züblinhaus in Stuttgart won him particular praise. His photographs of architecture and furniture were stylistically shaped by Neue Sachlichkeit and possess a cool aura, created by a combination of reticence and technical perfection....

Article

Martin Heller

(b Basle, May 16, 1945).

Swiss painter, conceptual artist and installation artist. After training as a photographer he had his first successes exhibiting works on panels derived from Pop art (1967–9). These were followed by further conceptual works and installations. In 1969 he had his first one-man show at the Galerie Toni Gerber, Berne, and made important contributions to the exhibitions When Attitudes Become Form, held in 1969 at the Kunsthalle, Berne, and Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany, in 1972. In 1971 he began to paint while continuing to produce three-dimensional objects (e.g. Amore; see 1986 exh. cat.). In these early works his affinity with popular and dilettante aesthetics, kitsch, trivia, and ‘do-it-yourself’ bricolage is evident. As a summation of such interests, in 1976–8 he created Apocalypso, an enormous picture on fabric that he considered a kind of ‘world view’. In the 1980s Schnyder systematically expanded and intensified his knowledge of painting and revived such traditional genres as animal painting and, particularly, landscape painting. Several small-scale series (e.g. ...

Article

William Main

(b Keboemen, Indonesia, 1915; d Australia, Aug 1985).

New Zealand photographer and decorative artist of Dutch origin. He was educated in the Netherlands and in New Zealand, where he attended the Canterbury School of Fine Arts, Christchurch, in 1939. Shortly after this he gradually withdrew from Western cultural influences and began to draw upon Asian and Polynesian influences for his artistic inspiration. While attempting to trace early examples of Maori art he studied cave drawings in remote parts of New Zealand, and also photographed geothermal formations in the centre of North Island. Influenced by the Maori artist Pine Taiapa, he revived an almost forgotten Maori art form by decorating gourds with intricate moko designs. Finally, he took up the carving of jade ornaments, and his success in this work led to the publication of his book Jade Country (1973). Dissatisfied with the way his work was received, he left New Zealand to live in Indonesia and Australia....