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Article

Emily Braun

(b Sassari, Sardinia, May 12, 1885; d Milan, Aug 13, 1961).

Italian painter, sculptor, architect, stage designer and illustrator. He was brought up in Rome where his family moved in 1886. In 1902 Sironi enrolled in the Engineering Faculty of the University of Rome, but after a long illness abandoned his studies to devote himself to painting. In 1903 he attended the Scuola Libera del Nudo at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome and frequented the studio of Giacomo Balla. Following a short spell in Milan in 1905–6, he travelled to Paris in 1906 and shared a room with his close friend Umberto Boccioni. Several family and self-portraits painted in a divisionist technique (see Divisionism) date from this period. Sironi also visited Germany several times between 1908 and 1911, where he was exposed to contemporary Expressionist currents. He lived in Rome from 1909 until he moved to Milan in late 1914 or early 1915.

Sironi experimented with Futurism from ...

Article

Daniela Mrázková

(b Bohuňovice, July 27, 1934).

Czech photographer. He trained as a porcelain modeller in Karlovy Vary and studied stage design in Prague. He took up photography seriously in 1958. He first worked as a graphic artist in advertising, then as a photographer at the Museum of Industrial Art in Prague and from 1983 freelance. From the beginning Svoboda intentionally followed the style, and even the lifestyle, of Josef Sudek. Svoboda concentrated exclusively on the world of intimate images, photographing static objects belonging to his immediate surroundings and expressing intimate feelings through depictions of his flat or workplace. He enlarged from medium or large format negatives, and light plays a meaningful role in his images....

Article

Whitney Chadwick

revised by Amy Lyford

(b Galesburg, IL, Aug 25, 1910; d New York, NY, Jan 31, 2012).

American painter, sculptor, illustrator, stage designer, and writer. She studied at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1932 before moving to New York, where she saw the exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism (1936–7; New York, MOMA) and was inspired to become a painter. After meeting Max Ernst in 1942 she became part of the group of exiled Surrealists living in New York during World War II; see Children’s Games (1942) and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1943). Her first one-woman exhibition took place at the Julien Levy Gallery in 1944.

One of Tanning’s first Surrealist paintings was the self-portrait, Birthday (1942; Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.), influenced by the illusionistic Surrealism of René Magritte and Max Ernst that she had seen at the MOMA exhibition. To support herself in the 1940s, she worked as an advertising illustrator for Macy’s, and some of her paintings express an affinity with the conventions of fashion advertising (see ...

Article

Fani-Maria Tsigakou

(b Piraeus, Jan 13, 1910; d Athens, July 20, 1989).

Greek painter, stage designer, illustrator and writer. From 1928 to 1934 he worked as an apprentice in the workshop of Fotis Kontoglou, studying from 1932 to 1934 at the Higher School of Fine Arts in Athens, where he was taught at the Asylon Technis Gallery. Like most of the avant-garde intellectuals of his generation, he became actively involved with the popular art movement and the search for a Greekness in art. He travelled extensively in Greece, and went to Constantinople (now Istanbul) and Asia Minor studying Byzantine music, painting, textiles and the traditional shadow theatre. In 1935 he went to Paris where he was influenced by Matisse, in particular by such works as Cyclist in a Mauve Singlet (1936; see Tsarouchis, pl. 23), and by Demetrios Galanis. After 1938 he contributed costume and set designs for both the National and the Karolos Koun Theatre in Athens. While serving in World War II he executed numerous sketches of soldiers; these men were to become his favourite subject. From ...

Article

Alan Bird

(Grigor’yevich)

(b Melitopol’, Ukraine, July 26, 1898; d Moscow, June 23, 1980).

Russian painter, graphic artist, stage designer and sculptor of Ukrainian birth. He was born into a Jewish family of carpenters. From childhood he was fascinated by itinerant showmen, puppeteers, gypsies and market traders who carried their wares in large baskets or their booths on their heads. From 1912 to 1917 he studied at the Kiev school of art. At the time of the 1917 revolution he was working in Alexandra Exter’s studio, where he met other young artists interested in the theatre, notably I. Rabinovich (1894–1961) and N. Shifrin (1892–1961). After service in the 12th Army he returned in 1919 to Melitopol’, where he created propaganda posters and cartoons for ROSTA (the Russian Telegraph Agency). In 1921 he went to Moscow and undertook some teaching in Vkhutemas (the Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops). He was a founder member of the Society of Easel Painters where, among other works, he exhibited ...

Article

Paul Louis Bentel

(b Vienna, 1872; d New York, July 10, 1933).

American architect, stage designer, interior designer and illustrator of Austrian birth. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna under Karl Hasenauer. Urban first received recognition as an architect in the USA in 1904 when his design for the interior of the Austrian Pavilion at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, was awarded a Gold Medal. He subsequently established himself in Europe as a stage designer; in 1911 he emigrated to the USA to assume a position as set designer with the Boston Opera Company.

After the completion of the Ziegfield Theater (1922), New York, Urban solidified his reputation as an architect with unexecuted proposals for several large theatres. For the Metropolitan Opera House, intended as the focal point of the first schemes for the Rockefeller Center (1926–8), he proposed a semi-circular seating arrangement, to which he added galleries that projected from the proscenium into the seating area to break down the separation between audience and stage. In ...

Article

Fani-Maria Tsigakou

(b Galaxidi, April 27, 1902; d Athens, March 22, 1985).

Greek painter, printmaker, illustrator and stage designer. He studied painting at the Higher School of Fine Arts in Athens from 1921 to 1927 and had his first one-man show in Athens in 1929. In the years that followed he had numerous one-man shows in almost all the capital cities of Europe and participated in 80 group exhibitions internationally. In 1930 he received an Academy of Athens award for his fresco designs for the church of St Dionysios the Areopagite in Athens (1930–39), the first of many ecclesiastical commissions in Greece, including St Vlassios of Xylokastro (1936–45), St Charalambos in Akrata and St Nicholas in Pefkakia. In 1935 he won commissions to design and execute the frescoes in SS Constantine and Helen, Detroit, MI. During and immediately after World War II he made illustrated manuscripts and woodcuts of Greek patriotic subjects. He was one of the founder-members of the ...

Article

Grischka Petri

(b Leverkusen, nr Cologne, Oct 14, 1932; d Berlin, April 3, 1998).

German painter, sculptor, décollagist, composer, video artist, and performance artist. He was one of the fathers of the European Happening movement. Vostell studied typography, lithography, and painting in Cologne, Wuppertal, Paris, and Düsseldorf (1950–58). In 1959 he married Mercedes Guardado Olivenza in Cáceres, Spain. Early in his career he discovered Décollage , a technique of cutting, tearing away or otherwise removing pieces of an image. His spelling of the term, dé-coll/age, underlined the term’s dialectical implications of destruction and creation. In the 1960s he worked with chemicals to transfer the process to photography, video, and film, turning it into an all-encompassing strategy of image deconstruction, often within the iconographic framework of violence and sexuality as communicated by mass media.

Vostell’s combined décollage with car parts and television sets, being one of the first artists using such a device as part of a sculpture in 1958. In 1962 he joined the ...

Article

(b Teufen, April 8, 1877; d Zurich, 1943).

Swiss painter, printmaker, illustrator and theatre designer. He studied with a decorative painter in Stuttgart and briefly at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Strasbourg (1902), though he was chiefly self-taught through study trips to Belgium, France, Spain, Italy and Japan, which impressed him deeply. His freely brushed, figurative style and preoccupation with such Symbolist artists as Ferdinand Hodler and Arnold Böcklin allied him with the avant-garde of his day. He was a member of the Berlin Secession, and the connections he made through the group, together with the acknowledged clarity of his stylish book illustrations, won him many commissions. In a prolific career he also produced costume and stage designs, wall frescoes and numerous prints. Later paintings showed his admiration for the flat, all-over colour planes of Cézanne. He was the brother of the writer Robert Walser (1878–1956) and illustrated a number of his books, for example Seeland...

Article

Lija Skalska-Miecik

(b Kraków, Jan 15, 1869; d Kraków, Nov 28, 1907).

Polish painter, pastellist, decorative artist, illustrator, writer and theatre director . He was the son of the Kraków sculptor Franciszek Wyspiański (1836–1902) and studied at the Kraków School of Fine Arts, mostly under Władysław Łuszczkiewicz (1828–1900) and Jan Matejko. In 1889 Wyspiański and Józef Mehoffer, the school’s most talented students, were appointed to complete Matejko’s painted decorations for St Mary, Kraków, a task that prompted Wyspiański’s interest in both decorative painting and stained glass. In 1890 he travelled in Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany, and also to Prague. In 1891 he continued his training in Paris, where he remained with intervals until 1894, studying at the Académie Colarossi under Joseph Blanc, Gustave Courtois (1852–1924) and Louis Auguste Girardot (b 1858). Wyspiański also worked independently in Paris, studying paintings in the museums and fascinated by contemporary art. Through Władysław Ślewiński, he met Paul Gauguin and members of the Nabis....