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Article

A. C. F. Morris

(Kamil)

(b Baghdad, Dec 6, 1926).

Iraqi architect. He trained in London at the Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts from 1946 to 1952 when he returned to Baghdad and established Iraq Consult, one of the most influential practices in the Middle East. His singular initiative was to evolve a successful philosophy of design that reconciles modern building technology and needs with the specific Arab aesthetic and cultural traditions. His commitment to this reconciliation was informed by his experiences as head of the building department of Waqaf (1954–7), the government body responsible for the building and conservation of old houses, khans and mosques, and as Director General of Housing at the Ministry of Planning (1958–63). Chadirji’s search for a contemporary Iraqi architecture was refined during the 1960s. Notable works include the Iraq Consult offices (1965), the building for the Iraqi Federation of Industries (1966), and offices for the Central Post, Telegraph and Telephone Administration (...

Article

Ita Heinze-Greenberg

(b London, Dec 20, 1885; d Jerusalem, April 23, 1950).

English architect active in Palestine. His father was the well-known Rabbi Avigdor Chaikin, Chief Minister of the Federation of Synagogues in London. Chaikin gained his professional training at the Architectural School in London. He served in the British Army, in both World Wars, as a major at the headquarters of the Royal Engineers. He was a Fellow of the RIBA and a member of the Institute of Structural Engineers. His qualification as a district surveyor in London before World War I took him to Palestine under the military leadership of Lord Allenby. After demobilization (1920) he established a practice in Jerusalem. His larger projects in the 1920s included the first buildings for the Hebrew University, designed in conjunction with Patrick Geddes and his son-in-law Frank Mears, namely the Einstein Institute of Mathematics (1927–8), the Einstein Institute of Physics (1928–30) and the Jewish National Library (...

Article

Sarah Scaturro

[Çaglayan, Hüseyin]

(bNicosia, Aug 12, 1970).

British fashion designer born in Turkish Cyprus. Chalayan won the British Fashion Award for Designer of the Year in 1999 and 2000. He is best known for his cerebral designs that reference architecture, geopolitics and technology, as well as exploring the theme of transformation.

Chalayan was educated in Cyprus before moving to London to attend Central St Martins College of Art and Design, where he graduated with honours in 1993 with a BA in fashion. His innovative final year collection titled ‘The Tangent Flows’ consisted of silk and cotton garments that had been covered in iron shavings and buried for six weeks in a garden. These garments, exhumed right before his show, had developed a rusty, earthy patina that commented on the beauty of decay by echoing the process of burial and rebirth. Soon afterwards, his collection was featured in the windows of the London store Browns.

Chalayan founded his eponymous line the next year with his first commercial collection ‘Cartesia’ for Autumn/Winter ...

Article

(Ivan)

(b Groznyy, Azerbaijan, Oct 8, 1900; d Wellfleet, MA, May 8, 1996).

British–American architect of Russian birth. Chermayeff was educated in Moscow before immigrating to England in 1910 and completing his education at Harrow. In 1917 he served briefly as an interpreter to General Maynard in Murmansk and from 1918 to 1923 worked as a journalist for Amalgamated Press in London, where, because of his taste for jazz and ballroom dancing, he obtained the editorship of Dancing World magazine. Chermayeff studied art and architecture at various schools in Europe (1922–5), and in 1924 he became chief designer for the decorators E. Williams Ltd, doing ‘period’ rooms.

In 1928 Chermayeff was naturalized as a British citizen and became director of the Modern Art Department of Waring & Gillow, where he collaborated with the French designer Paul Follot; here he organized the first exhibition of modern furnishings in England, Modern Art in French and English Furniture and Decoration. From 1930 to 1932...

Article

Francis Summers

American photographers and conceptual artists of Irish and Israeli birth. Collaborating under a corporate-sounding name, Michael Clegg (b Dublin, 1957) and Martin Guttman (b Jerusalem, 1957) began making photographs together in 1980. Using corporate group portraits as their resource material, they made constructed photographs in the manner of 17th-century Dutch paintings. A Group Portrait of the Executives of a World Wide Company (1980; see 1989 exh. cat., p. 33) shows five suited men seated in a brooding darkness, their heads and hands illuminated in a chiaroscuro effect. The reference to historical paintings is made particularly explicit in The Art Consultants (1986; see 1989 exh. cat., p. 37): the figures are posed directly in front of a canvas so as to mirror the painted figures, illustrating Clegg & Guttman’s proposition that within the hierarchies of power, the essential nature of pose, emblems and dress have remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Pushing these images to the point of indetermination, Clegg & Guttman also occasionally carried out actual commissions (although not always successfully), as well as creating collaged and altered portraits such as ...

Article

Susan T. Goodman

(b Meknès, Morocco, 1942).

Israeli painter and mixed-media artist of Moroccan birth. He emigrated to Israel in 1949 and studied art at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (graduating in 1971) and the Central School of Art in London before receiving a BA degree in Social Science and History of Art at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1973). His mixed-media works of the 1970s conveyed his sense of physical dislocation at being estranged as a Moroccan refugee in Israel; the human figure appeared as an essential element of this theme of displacement and homelessness. In 1975 he returned to drawing and painting in works such as Analogical Work on Computers (1977; Tel Aviv Mus. A.), in which faceless, generalized figures function as symbols in a non-specific space. From 1975 to 1977 Cohen Gan lived in New York, where he studied at Columbia University (MFA, 1977), before settling in Tel Aviv, where he combined scientific systems with introspective autobiographical references in narrative paintings such as the series ...

Article

W. Ali

(b Ghosta, 1852; d Beirut, 1930).

Lebanese painter. In 1870 he went to Rome and enrolled at the Academia di S Luca, where he trained under Roberto Bompiani (1821–1908), the Italian court painter, and was thus probably the first Arab artist to train abroad. During his five years in Italy, Corm studied the works of Renaissance artists, whose influence was evident throughout his works. He gained official recognition when he was commissioned to paint a portrait of Pope Pius IX (reg 1846–78). On his return to Lebanon in 1875, he painted portraits of many distinguished Arabs including Khedive Abbas II of Egypt (reg 1892–1914) in 1894. Corm was best known as a religious painter, and there are many of his paintings in churches in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Palestine. He trained under a number of pioneer artists, including Habib Srour (1860–1938) and Khalil Saleeby (1870–1928). His portraits are a source of information on national costumes of the period....

Article

Silvia Lucchesi

(b Tunis, Aug 15, 1909; d Rome, Sept 6, 2004).

Italian painter. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Tunis. From 1930 to 1937 he settled in Paris, travelling frequently to Tunisia and Italy. His first experiments in non-figurative art date from c. 1934. During this period he became part of a circle of Milanese abstract artists, including Lucio Fontana and Osvaldo Licini, who were linked to the Galleria Il Milione, where Corpora exhibited in 1939. In 1945 he settled in Rome. Of all the Italian artists active during the first years after World War II, Corpora was among the most determined in rejecting the isolationism of Italian painting during the Fascist years and in putting forward a renewal of pictorial language that followed in the modern tradition of Fauvism and Cubism. In 1946, at the Galleria del Secolo in Rome, he took part in the exhibition Corpora, Fazzini, Guttuso, Monachi, Turcato in which for the first time the term ‘...

Article

(b Berlin, June 26, 1916; d nr Ramla, Israel, July 11, 1977).

Israeli sculptor of German birth. His family went to Palestine in 1923, settling in Jerusalem. After attending schools both there and in England, he studied sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art in London (1934–7), and while there he regularly visited the British Museum to see the sculptures from Assyria, Egypt, Africa and India. After his return to Palestine in 1938, he produced his first important work, Nimrod (1939; Jerusalem, Israel Mus., which showed the influence of ancient sculpture. At the end of 1945 he travelled to Paris and until 1948 divided his time between Paris, Tel Aviv and London. During this time he worked as Ossip Zadkine’s assistant in Paris and also met Brancusi there in 1946. From 1948 to 1955 he lived in London, where he became acquainted with Kenneth Armitage and Eduardo Paolozzi.

On his return to Israel in 1955 Danziger associated with the ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Bandırma, 1935).

Turkish calligrapher, marbler, and connoisseur. He attended high school at Haydarpaşa Lisesi and then graduated from the School of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Medicine at Istanbul University. He worked as a pharmacist until 1977, when he became the director of the Türkpetrol Foundation, a position he held until 2007. Derman studied calligraphy and the arts of the book with many of the leading experts in Istanbul, including Mahir Iz, Süheyl Ünver, Macid Ayral, Halim Özyazıcı and Necmeddin Okyay, often said to have been the last representative of the Ottoman tradition of book arts. Derman received his license to practice in 1380/1960 following the traditional Ottoman system by replicating a copy (taqlīd) of a quatrain in nasta‛līq (Turk. ta‛līq) by the Safavid expert Mir ‛Imad. In the fall of 1985 he joined the faculty of Marmara University and Mimar Sinan University (formerly the State Academy of Fine Arts), where formal instruction in calligraphy was reinstituted in ...

Article

Ann Poulson

[Verginie, Jean Dimitre]

(b Alexandria, Aug 6, 1904; d Athens, Aug 2, 1970).

Greek fashion designer based in Paris. Dessès was born in Egypt to Greek parents and arrived in Paris in the 1920s to study law and diplomacy. By 1925 he had changed his mind and was employed as a designer for Maison Jane. He left Maison Jane to open his own couture house in 1937 at 37, Avenue George V, eventually moving to 17, Avenue Matignon. Dessès is best known for his silk chiffon evening gowns draped asymmetrically in a Neo-classical style.

Though Dessès was raised in Egypt, he considered Greece his native land and the influence of Greek antiquity is clearly seen in his signature draped evening gowns. In appearance they resembled garments represented in ancient sculpture, but in construction they were more closely allied to the moulded and heavily structured gowns of the 19th century, being mounted on corseted bodices and stiffened petticoats. Over this foundation he skilfully manouevered the fabric into pleats and twists, bunches and braids, occasionally releasing it into a flowing scarf. When Dessès used materials stiffer than his favourite silk chiffon, he would often incorporate similar techniques, using sunray pleating or knotting the material, sometimes gathering it at the hips to suggest paniers....

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(Tabatabai)

(b Tehran, March 5, 1937).

Iranian architect, urban planner and painter. He studied architecture at Howard University, Washington, DC, graduating in 1964 and then adding a year of post-graduate studies in sociology. He returned to Tehran in 1966 and a year later became President and Senior Designer of DAZ Consulting Architects, Planners and Engineers. DAZ undertook numerous and diverse projects in Iran and grew rapidly; it had a staff of 150 in 1977. Diba worked entirely in the public sector in Iran and was interested in both vernacular traditions and the demands of modern urban society, especially for human interaction. The partially completed Shushtar New Town (1974–80) in Khuzestan, where he was both architect and planner, owes much of its success to the traditional construction patterns and building types used by Diba in place of the Western-style planning favoured by the authorities. The town, planned for a population of 30,000, was designed along a central communications spine with crossroads and public squares around which small neighbourhoods were established, with gardens and bazaars to encourage community life. The poetic brick-clad buildings produce a unified architecture that is elegant, and the sequencing of the urban spaces is highly refined. Other significant works in Iran include several buildings at Jondi Shapour University (...

Article

Mark Dike DeLancey

[Jenne] [Friday Mosque]

Malian mosque that was built in 1906–7 in the Sudanese style under the direction of master mason Ismaïla Traoré. Local historical traditions state that a mosque was first built on this site in the 12th century, replacing the palace of Djenné’s ruler Koi Konboro after he converted to Islam. By the turn of the 20th century the mosque was in ruins.

The mosque’s heavy earthen walls (see fig.) are inset with wooden timbers that act as scaffolding for replastering, while numerous pilasters create a sense of verticality. The horizontal emphasis of the eastern qibla wall is broken by three huge towers, creating a rhythmic alternation of reserved horizontal wall surfaces and projecting vertical towers. Towers in the centre of the north and south walls provide rooftop access for the call to prayer via internal staircases. A monumental entrance on the north side is composed of three projecting pillars enclosing two deep recesses. Seven projections at the top of the portal echo the tops of the pilasters extending beyond the roofline of the mosque walls....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Ehden, Lebanon, Sept 14, 1912; d 1994).

American painter and stained-glass artist, of Lebanese birth. After an apprenticeship with the Lebanese painter Habib Srour (1860–1938) in Beirut, he studied from 1932 to 1936 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. In 1934 he received the top award for drawing at the school and later exhibited his work at the Salon des Artistes Français. After graduating in 1936, he returned to Lebanon, opening a studio in Beirut, and becoming well known in the early 1940s for his frescoes in the Maronite church at Diman. At the same time his paintings of Lebanese life and the countryside came to public notice when he exhibited at the gallery of the Hotel St–Georges, Beirut, though by the late 1940s he had begun to simplify the style of his work. In 1950 he moved to New York, where his paintings became increasingly abstract, consisting of flat forms of brilliant colour with hard straight edges. Although he was influenced by the artistic life around him, and by his acquaintance with Rothko, Hans Hofmann and Ad Reinhardt, he did not join any group or movement. He became an American citizen in ...

Article

W. Ali

[Durra Muḥanna]

(b Amman, 1938).

Jordanian painter. He was the first Jordanian artist to be sent on a government scholarship to the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome (1955–8). From 1959 to 1960 he taught history of art at the Teachers Training College in Amman, and from 1960 to 1970 he was press attaché at the Jordanian Embassy in Rome. In 1971 he was appointed director of the Department of Culture and Arts in Amman and, upon his suggestion, the department established the Institute of Music and Arts under his directorship. This was the first institution in Jordan to offer formal training in art. In 1977 Durra received the State Appreciation Award for his contribution to cultural development, and in 1983 he became ambassador in the Arab League and was posted successively to Tunis, Rome, Cairo and Moscow. A prolific artist, he cultivated a distinctive style early in his career. His expressive monochrome portraits and fractured landscapes reveal an ability to manipulate colour, tonality and the distribution of masses (e.g. ...

Article

Susan T. Goodman

(b Beirut, 1936).

Israeli painter, sculptor, printmaker and film maker of Lebanese birth. He studied from 1959 to 1961 under Yehezkel Streichman at the Avni Art Institute in Tel Aviv. From 1966 to 1976 he lived in London, where he studied at St Martin’s School of Art and created sculptures concerned with movement, time and energy, for example Corners (1967; Jerusalem, Israel Mus.). He became involved with conceptual art after settling in New York in 1976, producing drawings, prints and photographs that explore energy, space and process of duration, and expanding on problems of perception in sculptural installations. In works such as August from Undercover Blues Series (1980; New York, Jew. Mus.) he used light to define the relationships between an object and its shadows, while in conceptual films such as Putney Bridge (1976) he used the environment to analyse the relationship between reality and illusion. On returning to Europe in ...

Article

Lale H. Uluç

(b Istanbul, ?June 24, 1861; d Istanbul, Nov 16, 1938).

Turkish museum director and historian. He was the youngest son of the grand vizier Ibrahim Edhem Pasha (?1818–93), who was one of the first Ottomans to be educated in Europe. His elder brother was the painter Osman Hamdi. Halil Edhem was schooled in Berlin, Zurich, Vienna and Berne, where he received his doctorate in natural sciences and chemistry. He also studied history and archaeology on his own initiative and spoke French, German, Turkish, Arabic and Persian. On his return to Istanbul in 1885, he became a civil servant and taught natural sciences in several schools as a volunteer. In 1892 he became vice-director of the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul and in 1910 on the death of the former director, his brother Osman Hamdi, he was promoted to director. Both the Museum of the Ancient Orient and the Topkapı Palace Museum were opened to the public during his tenure. He organized the ...

Article

Sibel Bozdogan

(b Istanbul, Aug 18, 1908; d Istanbul, Sept 7, 1988).

Turkish architect. He was descended from an élite Ottoman family. He trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul (1924–8) and in the office of Hans Poelzig in Berlin (1929–30). Inspired by Auguste Perret, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, Eldem was a committed modernist searching for a culturally relevant Turkish architecture. His early works include the State Monopolies General Directorate (1934–7), Ankara, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (1942–3), Istanbul, and Faculty of Sciences (1943–5), Ankara, the latter two, in their monumentality and use of stone, reflecting the acknowledged influence of Paul Bonatz with whom Eldem collaborated in this period. His paradigmatic Taşlık Coffee House (1947–8; destr. 1988), Istanbul, was modelled after a 17th-century timber house and reflected Eldem’s lasting preoccupation: the reinterpretation of the timber-frame Turkish house in modern terms using reinforced concrete. Wide overhanging eaves, modular window patterns and traditional plan types constitute the leitmotifs of his personal style, elaborated over decades in numerous private houses along the banks of the Bosphorous in Istanbul and employed on larger scales in a number of embassy buildings in Ankara. Eldem also directed the architectural department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul where, in ...

Article

(Fazıl)

(b Istanbul, 1902; d ?Ankara, 1974).

Turkish painter. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul, graduating in 1924 and then went to Paris where he worked under the painter Paul-Albert Laurens (1870–1934) at the Académie Julian until 1928. On returning to Istanbul he was a founder-member of the Association of Independent Painters and Sculptors (Müstakil ressamlar ve heykeltraşlar birliği) in 1928 and became assistant teacher at the Fine Arts Academy. His paintings of this period, for example The Bar (c. 1930; Istanbul, Mimar Sinan U., Mus. Ptg & Sculp.), were notable for introducing new European ideas, and Epikman was acknowledged as at the forefront of modernism in Turkey. He settled in Ankara in 1932 to teach in the new art department at the Gazi Teachers’ College, where he was influential on a younger generation of Turkish painters. His works included a number of large-scale paintings dealing with the Turkish War of Independence and Atatürk. After World War II he participated with several other Turkish artists at the Exposition Internationale d’Art Moderne, organized by UNESCO at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris in ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Tripoli, Libya, 1945).

Libyan painter. He returned to Libya in 1970 after graduating from the Plymouth School of Architecture and Design in England. In 1974 he was appointed consultant to the Festival of Islam in London, and in 1981 he settled in England. He typically uses individual letter forms based on the maghribī style of script typical of North Africa, setting one or two large letters against a richly textured abstract ground with accompanying excerpts from Arabic and world literature that address social and moral issues. His works have been exhibited in more than 60 solo and group exhibitions and can be found in many major museums. Chairman of Muslim Cultural Heritage Center in London, he has also been involved with several other cultural and intellectual institutions there.

A. O. Ermes: Ali Omar Ermes: Art and Ideas: Works on Paper (exh. cat., Oxford, Ashmolean, 1992)A. O. Ermeswith S. Rizvi: Reaching Out: Conversations on Islamic Art with Ali Omar Ermes...