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Article

M. N. Sokolov

(Arkadevich)

(b Smolensk, Feb 19, 1900; d Moscow, Aug 30, 1983).

Russian painter. He trained in Moscow under Fyodor Fyodorovsky (1886–1956) at the Stroganov Institute (1912–17), under Pyotr Konchalovsky at Svomas (the State Free Art Studios; 1917–19), and also at Vkhutemas (the Higher State Art-Technical Studios; 1921–4). One of the organizers of the Society of Easel Painters (OST), Labas was among the most original artists in the group. The Constructivism of the 1920s and his early experiments in abstract art (e.g. Colour Composition (Oval), 1920–21; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) left their stamp on his entire oeuvre, which is informed by a restlessly questing spirit. Labas reacted in a distinctive ‘post-Futurist’ style to modern technology. His free compositional shifts and his painting technique, which lends oils the transparent lightness of watercolour (which he also used), endow his pictures with a sensation of movement (e.g. In an Aeroplane Cockpit, 1928; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.). He was a remarkable landscape painter, and the world of technology is always organically interconnected with nature in his work. His portraits are laconic, accurate studies of the inner character of his subject, as in ...

Article

Éva Bajkay

(b Budapest, April 15, 1936).

Hungarian painter, conceptual artist and teacher. By 1956 he was familiar with most modernist tendencies. In 1960 he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, having already taken part in exhibitions as an undergraduate. Lakner’s unique Hungarian mixture of Surrealism and naturalism was primarily influenced by the Hungarian painter Tibor Csernus (b 1927). Lakner’s first works were precisely executed naturalistic life studies and still-lifes, imbued with a magical quality (e.g. Scraps of Metal, 1960; Budapest, priv. col.). In other works repetition and density are used to create special effects. From 1962 the influence of Pop art is apparent in his works representing everyday objects, which lacked emotional or personal meaning (e.g. Microscopes, 1960; Budapest, N.G.). Dark tones and metallic shadows characterize his use of colour. Robert Rauschenberg’s art was influential after Lakner saw it at the Venice Biennale of 1964. He was also influenced by montage, in particular John Heartfield’s Dada and Neo-Dada works. He drew upon his knowledge of art history for such montages as ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Holmfirth, W. Yorks, May 14, 1938).

English painter. He studied from 1961 to 1965 under Richard Hamilton at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where he also taught from 1965 to 1966. He first visited New York in 1964, where he worked briefly as an assistant to Andy Warhol, bringing back to England information and ideas that influenced artist friends such as Stephen Buckley and Keith Milow. His early paintings, for example Cambridge Green (1968; London, Tate), and related paintings produced during his residency at King’s College, Cambridge, from 1968 to 1970, bear the mark of American abstract art, particularly of Frank Stella’s early paintings, with a rigorous emphasis on systems and self-evident process; a favourite device in expressing this logic was that of a grid or overlapping patterns of paint application.

Lancaster returned to New York in 1972 and became private secretary to Jasper Johns for more than a decade; for several years he acted also as the principal designer and artistic adviser to ...

Article

(b St Ives, Cornwall, Feb 8, 1918; d Taunton, Somerset, Aug 31, 1964).

English painter and sculptor. After private lessons with Borlase Smart (1881–1947) in 1936, he trained at the Penzance School of Art (1936–7). In 1937 he met Adrian Stokes, who is thought to have given him his first introduction to contemporary painting and sculpture, and whose notion of the ‘identification of inner states with specific objects, animate or inanimate in the outside world’, in his book Colour and Form (1937), matches Lanyon’s mature aesthetic. Lanyon’s work is central to any assessment of St Ives painting, since he experienced at first hand the invigorating influence of Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo, when they moved to St Ives in 1939. Private lessons with Nicholson led Lanyon to make reliefs and constructions, for example White Track (mahogany, jarrah wood, three-ply and string, 1939–40; Mrs Sheila Lanyon priv. col., see 1978 exh. cat., p. 8); these comprised stacked planes or implied movement. Lanyon also made a number of constructions directly inspired by Gabo’s poetic spatial forms, or indirectly perhaps also by Hepworth’s more figurative curving forms. After World War II he was actively involved with the Crypt group and the Penwith School of Art....

Article

Anthony Parton

(Fyodorovich)

(b Tiraspol, Moldova, June 3, 1881; d Fontenay-aux-Roses, nr Paris, May 10, 1964).

Russian painter, stage designer, printmaker, illustrator, draughtsman and writer of Moldovan birth. He was a leader of the Russian avant-garde before World War I but came to prominence in the West through his work for Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. During the 1920s he played a significant role within the Ecole de Paris and continued to live and work in France until his death.

He was the son of Fyodor Mikhailovich Larionov, a doctor and pharmacist, and Aleksandra Fyodorovna Petrovskaya, but he grew up in his grandparents’ home in Tiraspol. He completed his secondary education at the Voskresensky Technical High School in Moscow and in 1898 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Here he studied under Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin, and he also became friendly with Natal’ya Goncharova who was to remain his lifelong companion and colleague. Larionov’s work soon caught the imagination of collectors and critics. In ...

Article

Soili Sinisalo

(Olavi)

(b Uusikaupunki, nr Turku, Dec 1, 1925).

Finnish painter. He studied at the Drawing School of the Turku Art Association in 1943 and at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris in 1961. He later worked at various intervals in both Paris and Amsterdam for substantial periods. The earliest significant influence on his work was the modernist school in Turku, which during the 1920s and 1930s had concentrated particularly on Surrealism and abstract art. Lehtinen’s paintings of the 1950s and early 1960s show his desire to create an individual atmosphere and his highly developed interest in the nature of different materials, as in Head with Pink Background (1962; Tampere, Hildén A. Mus.). It was only when he became fascinated by the experimentation of Art informel, Neo-Dada and Nouveau Réalisme, particularly the work of Robert Rauschenberg and Jean Tinguely, that his spontaneous fantasy world was released. During the 1960s he also began to use the linear motif, as in ...

Article

Birgit Hessellund

(Henry)

(b Sundbyerne, May 26, 1893; d Copenhagen, May 9, 1950).

Danish painter. He trained as an artisan painter (1908–12), and he went to the Kunstakademi in Copenhagen, where he studied (1913–15) under Peter Rostrup-Bøyesen (1882–1952) among others. He made his début at the Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling (‘Artists’ Autumn Exhibition’) in Copenhagen in 1916 and exhibited there in subsequent years. Lundstrøm was a modernist, and with Svend Johansen (1890–1970), Axel Salto and Karl Larsen (1897–1977) he formed the group De Fire (the Four), active between 1920 and 1929. They were also all associated with the avant-garde periodical Klingen. Lundstrøm later took his place in the artistic establishment: from 1937 as a member of the Academy council, and from 1944 as a professor at the Kunstakademi.

Lundstrøm was the first to introduce abstract art to a Danish audience. Shortly before World War I he visited Berlin, where he saw Expressionist and Cubist works, in which he maintained an interest in the following years through art books, publications and through visits to the private collection of ...

Article

Leena Peltola

(b Turku, Aug 9, 1904; d Turku, June 22, 1955).

Finnish painter. He studied at the Drawing School of the Turku Arts Association from 1920 to 1924. He initially concentrated on human subjects, using dense tones, and his paintings attracted attention at the Finnish art exhibition in Stockholm in 1929. His earliest stimulus came from his teacher Edwin Lydén (1879–1956)—also from Turku—who had become familiar with the work of Paul Klee and Kurt Schwitters in Munich. Mäkilä’s style changed during his first trip to Paris in 1930–31. He began to concentrate on his individual vision in preference to painting from the model, creating fantastic, dream-like images with a refined use of colour. In 1939 Alvar Aalto helped him to obtain an invitation to the La Sarraz castle in Switzerland, whose owner, Hélène de Mandrot, was a generous patron. There he again came into contact with international art. Around this time he produced the significant works Poésie (1938...

Article

Troels Andersen

(Severinovich)

(b Kiev, Feb 26, 1878; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 15, 1935).

Russian painter, printmaker, decorative artist and writer of Ukranian birth. One of the pioneers of abstract art, Malevich was a central figure in a succession of avant-garde movements during the period of the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 and immediately after. The style of severe geometric abstraction with which he is most closely associated, Suprematism (see fig.), was a leading force in the development of Constructivism, the repercussions of which continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. His work was suppressed in Soviet Russia in the 1930s and remained little known during the following two decades. The reassessment of his reputation in the West from the mid-1950s was matched by the renewed influence of his work on the paintings of Ad Reinhardt and on developments such as Zero, Hard-edge painting and Minimalism.

Article

Cruz Barceló Cedeño

(b Uracoa, Monagas, Oct 18, 1926).

Venezuelan painter and graphic designer. He studied painting at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in Caracas (1942–6). At the age of 21 he won the highest award for national painters and went to France. He was a member of the Venezuelan group in Paris, Los Disidentes, who opposed traditional Venezuelan landscape painting. At this time he produced works of an abstract–lyrical tendency, which he varied so that they approached geometric abstraction. In 1952 he returned to Caracas, where, between 1953 and 1955, he executed a series of murals for the university campus. In 1957, with the sculptor Carlos González Bogen (b 1920), he founded in Caracas the Cuatro Muros gallery, with the purpose of propagating abstract art in Venezuela. Manaure was also one of the pioneers of graphic design in Venezuela. In 1958–67 he returned to easel painting, with works whose lyrical figuration and subjective landscapes border on the oneiric. Subsequently his art began to show the influence of Constructivism (e.g. ...

Article

Philip Cooper

(b Boulogne-sur-Mer, Jan 27, 1921).

French painter, sculptor, designer and illustrator. He left Boulogne-sur-Mer in 1933 to attend the Lycée Hoche in Versailles, where he learnt Greek, Russian and Spanish. Over the next few years he was educated at various secondary and university institutions in Rouen, Cambrai and Douai, studying law at Douai in 1941. He started to paint landscapes and portraits in oils in 1942 and the following year taught English at the Lycée in Douai. He worked as an interpreter for the US Army at Cambrai in 1944 and in that year read Edward Crankshaw’s Joseph Conrad: Some Aspects of the Art of the Novel (London, 1936), which impressed upon him the importance of style; he cited it as an influence on his first experiments with abstraction, such as Inception (1944; artist’s col., see Quignon-Fleuret, p. 9), with dark amorphous forms suggestive of primordial creation. The following year he began to use drip techniques, as in ...

Article

José Corredor-Matheos

(b Barcelona, April 20, 1893; d Palma de Mallorca, Dec 25, 1983).

Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker and decorative artist (see fig.). He was never closely aligned with any movement and was too retiring in his manner to be the object of a personality cult, like his compatriot Picasso, but the formal and technical innovations that he sustained over a very long career guaranteed his influence on 20th-century art. A pre-eminent figure in the history of abstraction and an important example to several generations of artists around the world, he remained profoundly attached to the specific circumstances and environment that shaped his art in his early years. An acute balance of sophistication and innocence and a deeply rooted conviction about the relationship between art and nature lie behind all his work and account in good measure for the wide appeal that his art has continued to exercise across many of the usual barriers of style.

Article

John Steen

[Dut.: ‘Modern art circle’]

Group of Dutch artists founded in November 1910 on the initiative of John Conrad Theodor Kickert (1882–1965), a Dutch painter and critic, who had moved to Paris in 1909. The objective was to convey to the Netherlands the latest developments in painting in Paris. Its members included a large number of Dutch painters who either had connections with Paris or lived there. Kickert financed the venture. The first exhibition was held between 6 October and 5 November 1911 at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. It was a great success, attracting 6000 visitors. Of the 166 works shown, half came from abroad. As ‘father of Cubism’, Paul Cézanne was well represented by 28 works from the Hoogendijk collection; also exhibited were 19 works by Auguste Herbin, 7 by Pablo Picasso and 6 by Georges Braque. The Paris-based painter Lodewijk Schelfhout (1881–1943), one of the first Dutch artists to paint in a Cubist style, submitted 12 works; other Dutch artists, such as ...

Article

(b Amersfoort, March 7, 1872; d New York, Feb 1, 1944).

Dutch painter, theorist, and draughtsman. His work marks the transition at the start of the 20th century from the Hague school and Symbolism to Neo-Impressionism and Cubism. His key position within the international avant-garde is determined by works produced after 1920. He set out his theory in the periodical of Stijl, De, in a series of articles that were summarized in a separate booklet published in Paris in 1920 under the title Le Néo-plasticisme (see Neo-plasticism) by Léonce Rosenberg. The essence of Mondrian’s ideas is that painting, composed of the most fundamental aspects of line and colour, must set an example to the other arts for achieving a society in which art as such has no place but belongs instead to the total realization of ‘beauty’. The representation of the universal, dynamic pulse of life, also expressed in modern jazz and the metropolis, was Mondrian’s point of departure. Even in his lifetime he was regarded as the founder of the most ...

Article

Michael Corris

Term applied to a work of art predominantly of a single colour or tone (for which see Grisaille), or to a type of painting originally associated with the practice of 20th-century avant-garde artists in Russia. The paintings and writings of Malevich, Kazimir and Rodchenko [Rodčenko; Rodtchenko], Aleksandr were responsible for the two principal interpretations of monochrome painting: the transcendental and the materialist. Malevich’s White Square on White (1918; New York, MOMA), generally regarded as the source for 20th-century monochrome painting, was produced in the context of his programme of Suprematism. A fascination with the asceticism of monochromatic painting and its mystical or occult associations can be found in extreme form in the work of Yves Klein and of Anish Kapoor. Rodchenko’s Colour Pure Red, Colour Pure Yellow, Colour Pure Blue (1921; Moscow, priv. col.) established the antithetical position for the monochrome as the radical materialist analysis of painting. Materialist theories value the monochrome as pure painting, because it reduces the art form to its theoretical limit of a single colour uniformly dispersed on a ground. Although such work convinced Rodchenko that painting’s terminus had been reached, varieties of this analytical or formal approach have remained influential and vital to ...

Article

(b London, June 7, 1931).

English painter, active in the USA. After attending the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London from 1952 to 1953, he studied at the Royal College of Art, London, from 1954 to 1957. Deeply impressed by the Abstract Expressionist paintings in an exhibition of American art (London, Tate, 1956), he made a brief visit to the USA in 1957 and settled permanently in New York in 1958. While earning his living as a waiter he developed an abstract idiom influenced by Barnett Newman, limiting himself primarily to horizontal bands in black and white, as in Battle of Hastings (1964; see 1983–4 exh. cat., p. 75).

After trying in 1964 to paint a ship from real life Morley turned to photographs of ships, which he copied in a meticulous trompe l’oeil style with the aid of a grid, as in Empire Monarch (1965; Kansas City, KS, Larry and Cindy Meeker priv. col.; see ...

Article

María Teresa Dabrio González

(b Madrid, Dec 27, 1929; d 1998).

Spanish painter and printmaker. He studied drawing at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid from 1949 to 1954. Freeing himself gradually from academic discipline, he became acquainted with Cubism, Expressionism, abstract art and other modernist tendencies and also experimented with collage. After taking part in a group show in Madrid in 1955 he spent a year in Paris (1955–6), where he became involved with Art informel and matter painting, taking a particular interest in the textures of his materials. He was particularly innovative in his prints and in works on wood rather than in oil paintings. Far from assigning a merely supportive role to wood, he incorporated it fully into the overall concept of works such as Panel 21 (1959; London, Tate), sometimes scorching it, scratching deep cuts into it or covering it with a thick layer of oil paint into which he mixed marble dust, sawdust and pulverized minerals. He referred to these works by the ironic term ...

Article

Theodor Enescu

(b Constanţa, March 26, 1932).

Romanian painter, engraver and tapestry designer. He studied at the Fine Arts Institute, Bucharest (1950–56). Although his artistic education in Romania neglected the work of modern European artists, he acquired a sound knowledge of classical art and managed to discover the expressive values of modern art. His first figurative works reveal a sensitive use of colour and a taste for chromatic nuances in the contours. From 1963 to 1968 he worked and exhibited in Rome. Here he turned towards an allusive abstract art with a tendency to lyricism, comparable to the abstract allusive style of Adolph Gottlieb. After 1965 Nicodim moved towards a lyrical abstraction of reality in his paintings, as he depicted in symbolic form such natural phenomena as fields, birds and lakes, e.g. Tranquil Lake (Bucharest, N. Mus. A.). He also made a series of colour engravings entitled The Rainbow in the Grass (Bucharest, N. Mus. A.). In the mid-1970s he produced some compositions with figurative–human themes containing a profoundly tragic message, such as ...

Article

Bengt von Bonsdorff

(b Helsinki, Aug 19, 1924).

Finnish painter, sculptor and printmaker. He studied at the Central School of Industrial Arts in Helsinki (1946–9) and practised drawing at the Free Art School. His earliest work consisted mostly of figure drawings and still-lifes (e.g. the coloured wood engraving Chair Still-life, 1946; see 1982 exh. cat., no. 1). He was drawn to Synthetic Cubism in the spirit of Juan Gris and to faces and masks similar to those in the works of Picasso or in non-Western art. These representations soon gave way to the purely abstract. Nordström first exhibited in 1947 at Nuorten näyttely (‘Exhibition by young artists’; Helsinki, A. Exh. Hall). Two years later he held his first one-man exhibition. It was the first in Finland that consisted entirely of paintings influenced by Constructivism. Nordström developed his abstract programme in a very short time at the end of the 1940s and the beginning of the 1950s. It was then that the foundation of his painting was laid, both technically and formally. This also applied to the prints and three-dimensional constructions, which were small at first (e.g. the coloured wood engraving ...

Article

(b Snovsk, Russia [now Shchors, Ukraine], March 27, 1922; d New York, NY, Feb 4, 2007).

American painter and sculptor. Born shortly after the political execution of his father, Jevel Demikovsky, in 1921, he was taken to New York by his mother and grandmother in 1923; his mother remarried in 1926. He showed an early love for drawing and attended art classes on Saturday mornings in New York in 1935. He was much impressed by seeing works by Rembrandt at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, and in 1940 he studied landscape painting informally under Samuel Rothbort (1882–1971). From 1940 to 1942 he studied at the National Academy of Design in New York under Sidney Dickinson (1890–1980) while taking sculpture classes in the evenings at the Beaux-Arts Institute, working in clay. During this period he first came into contact with abstract art in New York at the Museum of Non-objective Painting, which later served as the basis of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In ...