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Article

Roman Prahl

(b Poděbrady, April 16, 1863; d Prague, Nov 30, 1956).

Czech painter. He trained initially as a musician, entering the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in 1890. He studied under Maximilián Pirner from 1890 to 1893, and between 1893 and 1895 at the Académie Julian in Paris. He completed his studies at Anton Ažbe’s school in Munich, which was attended by many Slavs. Kuba’s interest in Slav folklore dates from this period. From 1904 till 1911 he lived mostly in Vienna, where he was active on behalf of the Hagenbund association of artists. Kuba preferred to paint his surroundings and people close to him (e.g. Among the Roses, 1906; Prague, N.G.); he also worked on a series of self-portraits throughout his life (examples from 1899 to the 1930s, Prague, N.G.). In spite of his association with national-ethnographic Czech art, his painting was much influenced by the traditions of naturalism and the expressionistic development of late Impressionism—in other words, by the traditions of the broader European environment in which he moved. After an initial period of social and exhibition activity he mainly lived in seclusion, devoting himself to establishing a collection of Slav folk-songs and ethnographica (Březnice Castle). As a painter he achieved recognition later than some of his contemporaries, but he retained his reputation until the end of his life....

Article

Marian Burleigh-Motley

(Mikhaylovich)

(b Astrakhan, March 7, 1878; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 26, 1927).

Russian painter and stage designer. While studying at the Astrakhan Theological School, he was impressed in 1887 by an exhibition of the Russian Realist painters, the Wanderers, and he subsequently decided to become a painter. In 1896 he enrolled at the Academy of Arts, St Petersburg, where he studied with Il’ya Repin. In 1904 he studied briefly in Paris under René Menard (1869–1930) and travelled to Spain, where he especially admired the paintings of Diego Velázquez. Like Andrey Ryabushkin before him, Kustodiyev concentrated on painting Russian provincial festivities, as in Shrovetide (1916; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). But in his paintings of the merchant class Kustodiyev added a new note of satire. Using the bright reds and blues of Russian folk art, he delighted in painting the merchants’ plump wives in their leisure activities. One of his most striking images is Merchant’s Wife Drinking Tea (1918; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.), where the ample figure dominates the tea table and the surrounding area by her bulk and her self-satisfied expression. She is as round and as succulent as the fruit on the table. This work, like many others, has an oriental richness of colour that Kustodiyev saw as part of his Astrakhan heritage....

Article

N. A. Yevsina

(Aleksandrovich)

(b Nikol’skoye-Cherenchitsy estate, nr Torzhok, 1751; d Moscow, 2/Jan 3, 1804).

Russian architect, theorist, illustrator, poet, Musician and inventor. An enlightened dilettante and encyclopedist from a princely family, he studied architecture on his own and travelled in western Europe (1775, 1776–7), above all in France and Italy. On his return to Russia L’vov worked at the Foreign Ministry and acquired a reputation as an architect from the early 1780s. His earliest works—the Neva Gate (1780–87) of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg, the single-domed cathedral of St Joseph (1780–98) in Mogilyov and the similar five-domed church (1785–96) at the monastery of SS Boris and Gleb in Torzhok—are characterized by their austere simplicity, spareness of form and pronounced monumentality. They became the model for many Russian Neo-classical churches of the late 18th century and the early 19th. L’vov’s works for St Petersburg include the Post Office (1782–9), unexecuted designs for the Cabinet on the Nevsky Prospect (...

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(b Wasco, CA, 1945).

American installation, video and performance artist. The oldest of three children of a father from Tennessee and a mother with a Canadian–Scottish background, Lacy attended Bakersfield Junior College in 1963 and continued her studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. After receiving her BA in Zoology she joined Volunteers in Service Training to America (VISTA), administrated by the Maryland School of Social Design, becoming a community organizer in health care.

In Washington, DC, in 1969, she became radicalized as a feminist. She applied to graduate school at Fresno State University to study psychology. There she encountered Faith Wilding, a graduate student in English, and they began leading consciousness raising sessions. Soon after, artist Judy Chicago arrived from Los Angeles and started the Feminist Art Program; Lacy joined the program with Wilding and made the decision to become an artist (though she did continue to take classes in psychology at the same time). There, she learned to make art from her experience, including performances with other members of the program....

Article

(b Laval, June 2, 1821; d Chennevières-sur-Marne, Dec 13, 1908).

French painter. His father, a calligrapher and musician from Mayenne, moved to Paris in 1825 to take up a post as musician in the Tuileries. Ary Scheffer, whom Landelle met through his father’s contact with the Orléans court, encouraged him to become a painter. He registered at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts on 2 October 1837 as a pupil of Paul Delaroche and made his debut at the Salon in 1841 with a Self-portrait (Laval, Mus. Vieux-Château). His first success, Fra Angelico asking God for Inspiration (exh. 1842; untraced), indicated a sentimental, religious tendency in his work, which alternated with pretty pictures of young girls. Charity (exh. 1843; Compiègne, Mus. Mun. Vivenel), commissioned by Antoine Vivenel (1799–1862), was followed by Idyll and Elegy (untraced), which were bought by the dealer Adolphe Goupil on the opening day of the 1844 Salon. The contract to buy also included Goupil’s right of first refusal on the reproduction of all Landelle’s future work. Subsequently, he painted the ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b San Francisco, CA, Oct 5, 1937).

Native American (Maidu–Wintu) painter, printmaker, photographer, writer, educator, traditional dancer and poet. LaPena, also known as Tauhindauli, spent time with the Nomtipom Wintu and other regional neighboring elders to conserve and regain traditional cultural practices. He was taught traditional tribal songs, dances and ceremonial rituals of Northern California Native American culture that inspired his interest in reviving and preserving Northern California tribal culture and accompanying performance arts. His work, along with Frank Day (1902–76), a late Maidu elder and painter, aided the founding of the Maidu Dancers and Traditionalists, a group dedicated to carrying out traditional cultural forms and social practices. Earning his bachelor’s degree from California State University (CSU), Chico (1965), and an Anthropology Masters of Arts degree from CSU, Sacramento (1978), he taught for the next 30 years in the CSU, Sacramento American Indian Studies program.

For LaPena, his art was a spiritual act, which empowers the maker with an opportunity to achieve a stronger sense of understanding life. Inspired by prehistoric rock painting, some painted images are depicted in total abstraction, while others illustrate a narrative theme. His strong consciousness of his Californian Native American heritage is distinctive and many themes in his compositions provide a powerful commentary in their depiction of the struggles of Northern California Native Americans; “To let the world know what happened in California, and to the indigenous populations points out that survival issues are still of great concern.” His paintings and prints reached a popular acceptance. LaPena exhibited throughout the United States and internationally at the Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe, NM, the Chicago Art Institute, the San Francisco Museum, the Linder Museum, Stuttgart, the American Arts Gallery, New York, the George G. Heye Center of the Smithsonian, New York, and numerous galleries. In ...

Article

Article

Sandra Sider

(b Waterbury, CT, Oct 2, 1949).

American photographer. Born Anna-Lou Leibovitz, she was one of six siblings in a family that traveled extensively because her father was an officer in the US Air Force. Her mother, who taught modern dance, encouraged her daughter to pursue a career in the arts. While a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, Leibovitz at first focused on painting, but then she took a photography class that captivated her. After spending a brief period on a kibbutz in Israel, she earned her BFA in 1971. Leibovitz landed a job as a staff photographer with the new magazine Rolling Stone and began to document the rock music scene. For ten years Leibovitz was the publication’s chief photographer. In 1983 she began to work for Vanity Fair, photographing celebrities for numerous covers and feature articles and her work has been published in many other magazines. From the 1980s Leibovitz began working on advertising campaigns, for which she won a CLIO award in ...

Article

Raquel Henriques da Silva

(b Lisbon, 1812; fl Lisbon, 1840s).

Portuguese architect and stage designer of Italian descent. He was a son of Francisco Lodi, the impresario of the Teatro S Carlos, Lisbon. Nothing is known of his academic training, and his importance to the architecture of 19th-century Lisbon is largely due to his design of the Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II (1842–6), Praça do Rossio, Lisbon. When a public competition for the design of the theatre was proclaimed in 1841 none of the entries submitted was chosen, but the Conde de Farrobo, a powerful capitalist and the principal financial backer of the theatre, ensured the presentation and acceptance of the designs of Lodi, who was his brother-in-law. In spite of the unusual way in which Lodi was appointed to build the theatre, over the heads of more highly reputed and experienced architects and academics, the result was nevertheless a satisfactory one. The theatre was built swiftly and became a landmark in one of the most important squares in the city. Of Neo-classical derivation with Palladian elements, the design of the building is notable for the erudition of its central portico of six Ionic columns, which elegantly emphasizes the comparative austerity of the wings, and for its balanced proportions, which blend into the overall context of the city. The building became one of the most familiar sights of Lisbon. Lodi also designed the Teatro da Quinta das Laranjeiras (...

Article

(b Strasbourg, Oct 31, 1740; d London, March 11, 1812).

Alsatian painter, illustrator and stage designer, active in France and England. Loutherbourg’s father, Philipp Jakob (1698–1768), was an engraver and miniature painter to the court of Darmstadt. In 1755 he took his family to Paris, where Loutherbourg became a pupil of Carle Vanloo; he also attended Jean-Georges Wille’s engraving academy in the Quai des Augustins and Francesco Casanova’s studio. Wille directed Loutherbourg’s attention to 17th-century Dutch landscape artists, such as Philips Wouwerman and Nicolaes Berchem, and in 1763 Denis Diderot noticed the inspiration of the latter in Loutherbourg’s first Salon exhibit, a landscape with figures (Liverpool, Walker A.G.). In this and other works, focus is on the foreground figures, which are framed by natural formations that occasionally fall away to reveal distant horizons. This informal style found favour with the French public; Loutherbourg’s vivid, fresh colour and ability to catch specific light and weather conditions made the pastoral subjects of François Boucher and his school seem contrived and fey. Rather more romanticized were Loutherbourg’s shipwreck scenes (e.g. ...

Article

Julia Robinson

(b Kaunas, Lithuania, Nov 8, 1931; d Boston, MA, May 9, 1978).

American artist, architect and designer. Maciunias is best known as the key impresario of Fluxus, the international group of artists, composers, poets and performers who came together in 1962. Maciunas chose the name “Fluxus” to galvanize the radical activities of this group, and to define a sense of constant, dynamic, agitation and thus a politics for the work. Arriving in the USA in 1948, he studied graphic design at New York’s Cooper Union, architecture at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA, and art history at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. At this time he developed vast, genealogical art history charts, which he called “Learning Machines.” He later used this model to situate Fluxus within the genealogy of 20th century avant-gardes.

A 1960 class in Electronic Music with Richard Maxfield at the New School for Social Research introduced Maciunas to the New York avant-garde. In 1961 he opened the AG Gallery on Madison Avenue, New York, asking ...

Article

Raquel Henriques da Silva

(b Crema, March 8, 1848; d Brescia, 1936).

Italian architect and stage designer, active in Portugal. He studied at the Accademia di Brera (now Accademia di Belle Arti), Milan, under Carlo Ferrario (1833–1907), stage designer at La Scala, Milan. Manini was appointed stage designer of the Teatro S Carlos, Lisbon, in 1879, at a time when the theatre received the most important European operatic productions. In this position he succeeded his compatriot Giuseppe Cinatti and, like his predecessor, in addition to his work in the theatre he designed houses for middle-class clients with a taste for his late Romantic façades, influenced by scenery design. He carried over into his architectural designs his passion for painting and for trompe l’oeil landscapes, and his principal achievements were decorative: the interior decoration of the Teatro do Funchal, Madeira; the ceiling of the Teatro S João, Oporto; and the winter garden (1893) of the Teatro Dona Amélia, Lisbon. His contributions to the layout of the terrace of the Palácio da Cidadela, Cascais, and the Portuguese Pavilion at the Exposition Universelle, Paris (...

Article

Andrzej Rottermund

Polish family of artists of Italian origin. The Italian architect Francesco Marconi had two sons, Leandro Marconi (1763–1837), an architect, painter and stage designer who was active in Rome and taught at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Bologna, and Giovanni Battista Marconi, an architect and painter who worked in Mantua. Leandro’s son Ferrante Marconi (1798–1868), a sculptor, went to work in Poland at the request of his older brother (1) Henryk Marconi; Ferrante’s son Leonard Marconi (1836–99) was born in Warsaw and worked in Poland as an architect and sculptor. Of (1) Henryk’s eight children, Karol Marconi (1826–64) was a painter working in Poland and Italy, while (2) Leandro Jan Ludwik Marconi and (3) Władysław Marconi were both architects.

(b Rome, Jan 7, 1792; d Warsaw, Feb 21, 1863).

Architect. He began his training under his father Leandro Marconi and studied at both the University and the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Bologna (...

Article

Christina Lodder

(Vasil’yevich)

(b Nizhny Novgorod, 1861; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Oct 14, 1934).

Russian painter, patron, musician, writer and publisher. He pursued a highly original line of artistic thought and practice and developed an organic perception of the world, deriving his inspiration from nature rather than machines, unlike many of his Russian Constructivist contemporaries.

Matyushin trained initially as a musician at the Moscow Conservatory (1878–81) and played the violin in the Court orchestra in St Petersburg from 1881 to 1913. In 1889 he began to attend the School of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in St Petersburg, where he studied painting with Yan Tsionglinsky (d 1914). In Tsionglinsky’s studio he met the artist and writer Yelena Guro, whom he married. Later (1906–8) he studied with the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) painters Léon Bakst and Mstislav Dobuzhinsky at the Zvantseva School of Art in St Petersburg.

In 1909 Matyushin briefly joined the circle around Nikolay Kul’bin and the following year he founded the ...

Article

Harley Preston

(b Paris, Nov 23, 1821; d Charenton, Feb 14, 1868).

French printmaker. He was the illegitimate son of Lady Hester Stanhope’s companion and chronicler, Dr Charles Lewis Meryon, and Narcisse Chaspoux, a dancer at the Paris Opéra. He was acknowledged in 1824, but initial separation from his father and the stigma of illegitimacy oppressed him throughout his life. After private schooling at Passy, he entered the French Naval Academy at Brest in 1837 and travelled with his parents in western Europe and on voyages to North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean. A precocious draughtsman, Meryon took some drawing lessons on his return to Toulon in 1840 from Vincent Courdouan (1810–93), from whom he learnt to value the elegant precision of line he was later to develop to a supreme degree. He served as midshipman on the corvette Le Rhin during its mission to the French possessions in Oceania (1842–6). Meryon drew small but lively sketches of shipboard life, minor ethnographic studies and more laboured topographical views. Signs of incipient mental instability occurred as he resigned from the navy in ...

Article

[Karl Theodore Kasimir]

(b Penza, Feb 9, 1874; d Moscow, Feb 2, 1940).

Russian theorist, stage director and actor. He was the director of the imperial opera and drama theatres in St Petersburg, but he had established an avant-garde reputation before the appearance of Russian Futurism in late 1912. This was largely due to his innovative and experimental unofficial productions for the House of Interludes cabaret and the Terioki summer theatre of 1912. As early as 1906 Meyerhold had signalled his break with tradition through the production of Aleksandr Blok’s Balaganchik (‘Little fairground booth’) at the Kommisarzhevskaya Theatre. Through his use of such ‘low’ techniques as improvisation, buffoonery, masks, making-up the actors in the auditorium and direct audience involvement, Meyerhold anticipated many features employed in the visual arts by the Russian Neo-primitivists and Futurists.

In August 1918 Meyerhold joined the Bolshevik Party and embarked on a second period of experimentation. By the autumn he had become head of the Petrograd section of TEO, the Theatre department of ...

Article

Virginie Bobin

(b New York, NY, Nov 20, 1942).

American composer, performer, choreographer, vocalist, filmmaker and visual artist. After graduating from a combined performing arts program at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY, in 1964, Monk joined the Judson Church group, which influenced her use of gestural movements in dance and her denial of the proscenium, already at stake in early pieces such as Juice: A Theater Cantata in 3 Installments (1969), which was performed in the spiraled ramp of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Minor Latham Playhouse at Barnard College and at her own New York loft. She founded her own company in 1968, the House, to explore an interdisciplinary approach to performance and quickly imposed her own style through pioneering site-specific works that established correspondences between dance, cinema, music and theater, and often explored cosmic themes such as spirituality, the quest of identity or the building of a community, as in Vessel, an Opera Epic...

Article

Judith Wechsler

(Bonaventure)

(b Paris, June 7, 1799; d Paris, June 3, 1877).

French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, writer and actor. He is best known for his satire of the mid-19th-century Parisian bourgeoisie, epitomized in the character of Joseph Prudhomme. Monnier worked as a supernumerary and then as a copy clerk in the bookkeeping department of the Département de la Justice. (He would later satirize office life in his work.) In 1817 he enrolled briefly in the studio of Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, he then moved to the studio of Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, where he remained for two years before he was expelled. Known as a prankster, he impersonated various character types in improvised scenes. These and subsequent performances as a mimic and monologist in studios and salons became the basis of his first published work, Scènes populaires dessinées à la plume (1830), which he both wrote and illustrated and which was reprinted 12 times in various editions during his life. The same themes extended throughout Monnier’s activities as a caricaturist, writer and actor....

Article

Kate Wight

(b Lafayette, AL, 1900; d New Orleans, LA, July 8, 1980).

American painter, musician and evangelical preacher. Morgan lived in Alabama and Georgia in her early life and was married to Will Morgan in 1928. At the age of 38 she experienced a divine calling, which prompted her to become a street evangelist. Morgan believed she was called by God to preach the Gospel and serve through her art. She left her family and husband and moved to New Orleans. There, she ran a mission and orphanage for 17 years until in 1956 she again heard the voice of God, this time specifically telling her to paint.

The subject of her art was primarily the Bible, and particularly the Book of Revelation. Morgan’s drawings and paintings were often figural and featured text with apocalyptic messages. A popular phrase in her works was “Jesus is my airplane.” After a later revelation, Morgan believed she was the bride of Christ and began wearing only white garments. She began portraying herself in this way within her works....

Article

Isabella Di Resta

(b San Miniato al Monte, Florence, April 21, 1772; d Naples, March 9, 1850).

Italian architect, stage designer and writer. He grew up in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, where his father, who worked as a prison guard, was interested in architecture and encouraged his son when, at the age of 14, he began to make drawings of buildings in Florence and to study the treatises of Vitruvius, Alberti and Palladio. He painted frescoes of architectural views in the workshop of the painter Pasquale Cioffi and was introduced to the art of theatrical design by Francesco Fontanesi (1751–95). Niccolini was greatly drawn to the culture and art of central Europe and was undoubtedly influenced also by the circle of the dramatist Vittorio Alfieri who had founded an academic theatre in the Palazzo d’Albany, Florence, for which Niccolini painted the scenery. He was also engaged in restoring and designing sets for a number of other Tuscan theatres, and his reputation for this work soon spread outside the Grand Duchy. In ...