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R. Siva Kumar

(b Bankura, May 25, 1906; d Calcutta, Aug 2, 1980).

Indian sculptor and painter . The example of rural craftsmen inspired him to paint curtains for village theatre and posters for the nationalist demonstrations before he was taken in 1925 to the art college at Santiniketan in West Bengal by the nationalist leader, publisher and patron Ramananda Chatterjee (1865–1943). He was initially influenced by Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose but soon developed an individual perception and a keen interest in sculpture. His early outdoor sculptures, such as Sujata (1935), Santal Family (1939) and the Lamp Stand (1940), were made in situ in Santiniketan in concrete and were environmental in scale and theme.

Although best known for his sculpture, as a painter Baij, along with Benode Behari Mukherjee, was one of the first Indian artists to show a deep understanding of modern Western art. In the late 1930s and early 1940s he made reference in his formal language to Post-Impressionism, Cubism and Futurism, although he consistently derived his imagery from immediate visual experience. The combination of these influences with his natural ...

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Mark H. Sandler

[Shijun]

(b Kyoto, March 3, 1844; d Kyoto, February 20, 1895).

Japanese painter, book illustrator and art educator. Born the fourth son of Yasuda Shirobei, a Kyoto moneylender, the young Bairei was adopted into the Kōno family. In 1852 he began his artistic training under the Maruyama-school painter, Nakajima Raishō (1796–1871). After Raishō’s death, Bairei studied with the Shijō-school master Shiokawa Bunrin (1808–77). He also studied Chinese literature and calligraphy with Confucian scholars. In 1873 his talent was officially recognized when he was included among the painters selected to show at the second Kyoto Exhibition.

In 1878 he and the painter Mochizuki Gyokusen (1834–1913) successfully petitioned the governor of Kyoto Prefecture to establish the Kyoto Prefectural Painting School (Kyōto Fu Gagakkō) in 1880. Bairei was appointed instructor in the Kanō and Tōyō Sesshū styles of ink painting (suibokuga; see Japan §VI 4., (iii)), but in 1881 he resigned his post to open a private art academy. Among his students were ...

Article

Ioana Vlasiu

(b Bucharest, Jan 22, 1895; d 1979).

Romanian painter, illustrator, watercolourist, draughtsman and pastellist . She studied at the School of Fine Arts in Bucharest (1913–16) and had private lessons with the painters Eustaţiu Stoenescu (b 1885) and Gheorghe Petraşcu. Between 1919 and 1922 she studied in Paris at the Académies Julian and Ranson, and the Academia Pedro Correja d’Aranjò with Paul-Albert Laurens (b 1870), Othon Friesz, Maurice Denis, Paul Sérusier and Edouard Vuillard. During this period she showed works at the Salon des Artistes Français and the Salon d’Automne. In Romania between the World Wars she exhibited at the official Salon and with the groups New Art (Arta Nouă) and the Association of Women Painters (Asociaţia Femeilor Pictore). She was awarded prizes in Romania and abroad, for example at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, Paris, 1937. Her work included illustrations for books by Tudor Arghezi, ...

Article

Balthus  

Jean Clair

[Count Balthazar Klossowski de Rola]

(b Paris, Feb 29, 1908; d Rossimiere, Feb 18, 2001).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. Appreciated for many years by only a handful of collectors, and ostensibly out of step with the modern movement, Balthus’s classically inspired work won the recognition and admiration of a wider public only late in his career. Although he received no formal training, he came from a highly artistic family background. His father, Erich Klossowski (1875–1949), was a painter and art historian, born to an aristocratic family in East Prussia and the author of a book on Daumier; his brother, Pierre Klossowski, was to become a painter and writer; and his mother, Elizabeth Spiro, was also a painter. Beginning in 1919, she engaged, under the name of Baladine, in a long-lasting relationship with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, providing etchings to accompany many of his poems. In this environment Balthus met the writers André Gide and Pierre-Jean Jouve, as well as Pierre Bonnard, who gave him his earliest guidance. Rilke also acted as Balthus’s mentor, writing the preface for an album of drawings by the 13-year-old artist entitled ...

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Article

Anna Szinyei Merse

(b Katona [now Ketina, Romania], Jan 14, 1900; d Budapest, April 2, 1988).

Hungarian painter, graphic artist, mosaic designer and teacher . He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, from 1919 to 1924. Towards the end of the 1920s he spent some time in Paris and Italy on a scholarship. He joined the Szentendre colony in 1929, and he became the most influential practitioner of Hungarian Constructivism. He exhibited widely from 1924 onwards and won many awards.

Barcsay’s work developed from the heavily contoured Working Girl (1928; Budapest, N.G.) and emphatically structured landscapes (e.g. Hilly Landscape, 1934; Budapest, N.G.) to a strict Constructivism after 1945. In his landscapes and urban scenes of 1945–7 he abandoned perspective drawing and placed his whitewashed gable-walls on a plainly structured skeleton. Human figures are reduced to mere signs in the homogeneous space. Monumental works began with his design of 1949 for a huge mosaic (realized 1963) in the Assembly Hall of Miskolc University. Another huge mosaic (3×11 m; ...

Article

Régis Marin

(Charles Antoine)

(b Besançon, June 23, 1816; d nr Geneva, Sept 13, 1885).

French painter and illustrator . He was a pupil of Jean Gigoux in Paris c. 1835 and travelled through Italy with him and François-Louis Français. He made his début at the Salons of 1837 and 1838 with Under the Willows (1837; Tours, Mus. B.-A.) and Macbeth and the Witches in collaboration with Français and showing the paintings under Français’ name. Baron emerged as a reputable painter of genre and idyllic scenes, painting fanciful scenes, often set in Renaissance Venice. His rather precious style and romantic, dashing subject-matter won him lasting success with a clientele much enamoured of facile compositions. Such works included Sculpture Studio (1840), Fêtes galantes (1845) and the Mother of the Family (1847; Marseille, Mus. B.-A.). Baron paid homage to several famous painters in such anecdotal works as An Evening with Giorgione (1844) and Andrea del Sarto Painting (1847). Among other works were the spirited ...

Article

Aleca Le Blanc

(b São Paulo, Jun 20, 1914; d São Paulo, Dec 22, 2010).

Brazilian visual artist and designer. The formal training Barsotti received was in drawing and chemistry, and by the 1950s he had established a professional career in design, working in São Paulo during the postwar period. From 1954 to 1964 he ran a studio with Willys de Castro (1926–1988), a life-long collaborator and fellow artist, called Estúdio de Projetos Gráficos, where he created costume design, graphic design, and textile design, among other things. During this period he focused his artistic efforts exclusively on geometric abstraction, then the dominant style of the avant-garde in Brazil under the rubric of Concrete art. However, Barsotti did not immediately affiliate with any of the groups that promoted it, such as the dogmatic Grupo Ruptura in São Paulo. He was not, strictly speaking, a devotee of Concrete art, which required that the geometric composition be entirely preconceived, divorced from observed reality, and visually represent a mathematical formula. On this matter, de Castro applauded his friend in a ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Pergamino, Buenos Aires, Sept 22, 1894; d Buenos Aires, Feb 21, 1976).

Argentine painter, stage designer and illustrator. He studied drawing in Buenos Aires under the Italian painter Augusto Bolognini (b 1870) and at the Academia Nacional before moving in 1923 to Paris, where he worked in Charles Guérin’s studio and at the Académie Colarossi. He also studied in the studios of André Lhote and Othon Friesz and became associated with other Argentine artists based in Paris. Like others of his generation and nationality, he sought in the 1920s to escape from pictorial provincialism by rejecting academic norms, as in Still-life (1926; Rosario, Mus. Mun. B.A.). He learnt how to paint while living in France and developed a range of imagery typical of Argentine art without showing any great originality.

More than any other painter, Basaldúa depicted life in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, concentrating humorously and without sentimentality on the wide boys, dance-hall girls, loose women and handsome, dangerous men of the tango in such pictures as the ...

Article

Irma B. Jaffe

(b New Brunswick, NJ, Aug 15, 1922; d Northampton, MA, June 3, 2000).

American sculptor, illustrator and printmaker. Baskin studied at the New York University School of Architecture and Allied Arts (1939–41), the School of Fine Art (1941–3) and New School for Social Research (1949). He also studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris (1950) and the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence (1951). Inspired by the iconic, monolithic imagery of Ancient Egyptian and Sumerian art, and the similar stylistic qualities of Romanesque and Italian Gothic, he consistently and inventively made use of the archaic mode in such prints as the powerful woodcut Man of Peace (1952; see Fern and O’Sullivan, p. 61) as well as in his sculpture. A traditionalist, he carved in wood and stone, and modelled in clay, taking the human figure as his subject. He firmly believed that painting and sculpture should mediate between artist and viewer some moral insight about human experience, and he was convinced that abstract art could not do this. Throughout his career he rejected spatial penetration of form, preferring the holistic look of such works as the ...

Article

Aaris Sherin

(b New Haven, CT, June 15, 1917; d New York, NY, Feb 13, 2012).

American graphic designer and photographer. After attending Textile High School in Manhattan, Bassman worked briefly on mosaic murals for the World’s Fair in New York. In 1935 she married photographer Paul Himmel (b 1914), whom she had known since childhood. After briefly taking night classes in fashion illustration at Pratt Institute of Art, she became a student of Alexey Brodovitch, the Russian émigré art director of Harper’s Bazaar, at the New School, New York. Bassman worked as an assistant to Elizabeth Arden (1878–1966), but was soon asked to become Brodovitch’s first paid assistant at Harper’s Bazaar. In 1945 Hearst Magazines, the publisher of Harper’s Bazaar, launched Junior Bazaar and Bassman and Brodovitch became its co-art directors, responsible for the overall vision of the magazine. Junior Bazaar ran as a stand-alone magazine from November 1945 until May 1948. It was the incubation ground for numerous talented young artists, designers and writers, many of whom went on to high-profile jobs in the industry. Bassman’s bold use of colour and asymmetrical compositions gave the magazine pages a lively attitude that was quite different in character from the more sophisticated and conservative layouts in ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Torroella de Montgri, Catalonia, March 3, 1911; d Buenos Aires, Oct 8, 1966).

Argentine painter, printmaker, illustrator, sculptor and stage designer of Spanish Catalan birth. He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1913. Although his uncle, José Planas Casas (b Catalonia, 1900; d Argentina, 1960), taught him the rudiments of art, he was basically self-taught and began to exhibit his work in 1934. Synthesizing ideas from Zen philosophy, psychoanalysis and the theories on cosmic energy espoused by the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich with his interests in automatism, poetry and painting, he found a creative sense of direction from an early age. He applied his methods not only to paintings but to stage designs, illustrations, collages, prints, polychrome sculptures and boxlike constructions; as a painter he worked both in tempera and in oil, and he also produced 72 murals.

In 1936 Batlle Planas inaugurated a Surrealist phase with a series entitled Paranoiac X-rays, followed by another group of pictures, Tibetan Series, populated by spectral figures related to works by Yves Tanguy. Between ...

Article

Stephen Stuart-Smith

(b Braintree, Essex, March 10, 1903; d Saffron Walden, Essex, Nov 21, 1989).

English printmaker, graphic designer, illustrator and painter. He studied at the School of Art in Cambridge (1918–22) and at the Design School of the Royal College of Art (1922–6), where he was a contemporary of Eric Ravilious and was taught by Paul Nash. While still a student he and Ravilious were commissioned by Sir Joseph Duveen to paint a mural at Morley College (destr. 1940; repainted as the Canterbury Tales in 1958), London. After graduating he worked on a large variety of projects for the Curwen Press at Plaistow, London, and subsequently for many other publishers, producing book illustrations and cover designs, posters and advertisements, leaflets and calendars, including commissions for Shell-Mex, Westminster Bank and the London Transport Board. He held his first one-man show, mainly of landscapes showing the influence of Nash, at the Zwemmer Gallery in London in 1933. During World War II he served as an Official War Artist in the British Army, travelling to Belgium, France and the Middle East and portraying such places as ...

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Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Haag, Austria, April 5, 1900; d Santa Barbara, CA, Sept 30, 1985).

American painter, designer, photographer and typographer, of Austrian birth. After serving in the Austrian army (1917–18), Bayer studied architecture under Professor Schmidthammer in Linz in 1919 and in 1920 worked with the architect Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying mural painting (with Vasily Kandinsky) and typography; it was at this time that he created the Universal alphabet, consisting only of lowercase letters. In 1925 he returned to the Bauhaus, then in Dessau, as a teacher of advertising, layout and typography, remaining there until 1928. For the next ten years he was based in Berlin as a commercial artist: he worked as art manager of Vogue (1929–30) and as director of the Dorland advertising agency. Shortly after his first one-man exhibitions at the Galerie Povolotski, Paris, and at the Kunstlerbund März, Linz (both 1929), he created photomontages of a Surrealist nature, such as ...

Article

(b London, 1734; d Twickenham, Surrey, 1808).

English painter and illustrator. The eldest daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough, she married the 2nd Lord Bolingbroke in 1757. They divorced in 1768, and two days later she married the scholar and man of fashion Topham Beauclerk. Her work as an illustrator included Horace Walpole’s Mysterious Mother...

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Valerie Holman

(b Mennecy, Seine-et-Oise, Feb 3, 1895; d Paris, June 6, 1979).

French painter, sculptor, draughtsman, graphic artist, ceramicist and tapestry designer. He attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, from 1911, until he joined the army in 1915. After World War I he devoted himself primarily to painting. In 1922 he met Juan Gris with whose encouragement his early Matisse-influenced rhythmical compositions acquired greater stability. In the late 1920s he was promoted by Tériade as a successor to the Cubists, with such works as The Mirror (1929; Paris, Pompidou), in which a highly simplified figure and its mirror-image are defined by patches of flat colour and fragments of linear contrast, and by the 1940s he was seen as one of the major representatives of the Ecole de Paris. In the 1950s his earlier predilection for curvilinear shapes gave way to a more angular and dynamic geometry, as in the First Race (1952; Paris, Pompidou). His subject-matter was taken from daily life, with marked preferences for the nude in movement, as in ...

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S. Kontha

Hungarian family of artists. The two brothers (1) Fülöp Beck and (2) Vilmos Fémes Beck both worked as sculptors and medallists. Fülöp Beck’s son András Beck (b 1911) was a realist sculptor and poster artist.

(b Pápa, June 23, 1873; d Budapest, Jan 31, 1945).

Sculptor and medallist. He began his career as a goldsmith, but he achieved his first significant success with medals. In Paris in 1894 and 1895–6 he studied with Hubert Ponscarme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1896–7 and between 1905 and 1909 he was often in Munich, where he became acquainted with Adolf von Hildebrand, a decisive influence on his sculpture after 1910. Travels to Rome (1911) and Greece (1912) also had an important effect on his work. His early works (e.g. the animal gate-reliefs, 1910–11, for the Szentendre Road School, Budapest; and Bride’s Head, red marble, ...

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Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Kraków, July 25, 1953).

Polish sculptor and poster designer. Between 1973 and 1978 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the sculpture studio of Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz. From 1978 he exhibited and took part in sculptural symposia (on marble and granite) in Poland, Italy, France and Germany. Between 1976 and 1981 he designed posters for the Laboratory Theatre (Teatr Laboratorium) of Jerzy Grotowski.

Bednarski became one of the leading representatives in Poland of the ‘new sculpture’ of the 1980s. He produced individual sculptures (up to the early 1980s in small numbers) and later tended towards installations and performances. Several recurrent elements (e.g. the plaster head of Karl Marx in different arrangements and variants shown at exhibitions in 1978, 1986 and 1988) and repeated motifs are evident in his work. He often drew on literature (Herman Melville and Joseph Brodsky) and on the realities of Polish Communism, usually employing familiar signs and symbols. These equivocal and diverse sculptures and installations are primarily autobiographical. His most important installation, ...

Article

Iain Boyd Whyte

(b Hamburg, April 14, 1868; d Berlin, Feb 27, 1940).

German architect, designer and painter. Progressing from painting and graphics to product design and architecture, Behrens achieved his greatest successes with his work for the Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG), in which he reconciled the Prussian Classicist tradition with the demands of industrial fabrication.

After attending the Realgymnasium in Altona, he began his painting studies in 1886 at the Kunstakademie in Karlsruhe. From there he moved to Düsseldorf, where he studied with Ferdinand Brütt. In December 1889 Behrens married Lilli Krämer, and the following year the couple moved to Munich, where he continued his studies with Hugo Kotschenreiter (1854–1908). Behrens was one of the founder-members of the Munich Secession (see Secession, §1) in 1893 and, shortly afterwards, a founder of the more progressive Freie Vereinigung Münchener Künstler, with Otto Eckmann, Max Slevogt, Wilhelm Trübner and Lovis Corinth. He also joined the circle associated with the magazine Pan, which included Otto Julius Bierbaum, Julius Meier-Graefe, Franz Blei, Richard Dehmel and Otto Eckmann....

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Arthur J. Pulos

(b Adrian, MI, April 27, 1893; d New York, May 9, 1958).

American designer and writer. He studied at the Cleveland School of Art, OH, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and by 1914 he had established a reputation as an illustrator, making portraits of operatic luminaries for the New York Times. After producing plays in Los Angeles (1917), he joined the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1918) and became a leading stage designer; he invented the high-wattage spotlight and developed modern theatrical productions that blended the play, its lighting, its performers, and their costumes into a cohesive whole. He gained international attention for his stage set (1921; unexecuted) for Dante’s Divine Comedy, which revolutionized theatrical and operatic productions; it was conceived as a single, massive set with lighting coming first from below, signifying Hades, and then, as the play progressed, from high above, signifying Paradise. This led Max Reinhardt, the distinguished German producer, to commission him to design the settings for a production of ...