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Article

Kathleen James

(b Hörde, May 4, 1874; d Interlaken, 1949).

German architect and sculptor. As a youth he worked as a stonecutter. In 1897 he enrolled as a sculpture student in the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf. In 1900 he went to Paris and stayed there for seven years. He was initially influenced by the work of Rodin but later looked to archaic Greek sculpture. In 1905 he participated in the first Salon d’Automne and in 1907 he returned to Germany. He became a member of the artists’ colony in Darmstadt in 1911. The colony transformed the Mathildenhöhe, a ducal estate, into a display of Art Nouveau architecture and design. His contribution was a set of sculptures (1912–14) in the grove of plane trees planted in the park’s main terrace, which stood in front of the Wedding Tower and Exhibition Hall, built by Joseph Maria Olbrich in 1908. The sculptures include a fountain decorated with four reliefs entitled Sleep, Resurrection, Life and Spring. At the end of the terrace his sculpture of a dying mother and her child, a classically inspired grouping, looks back at the tower. Elsewhere in the grove, friezes of standing and crouching nude youths hint at the beginning of his appreciation of German Expressionism, the movement with which most of his architecture is associated. Their self-consciously awkward forms suit their folkloric themes....

Article

Ruth Rosengarten

(Manuel Navarro)

(b Lisbon, Feb 4, 1914; d Lisbon, June 17, 1988).

Portuguese painter and printmaker. He was known primarily as a landscape painter, although the imagery of his graphic work is often fantastic and dream-like. The expressionism of his early paintings gave way in the 1940s and 1950s to a more sober style emphasizing the density and plasticity of the landscape in broad planes of earthy colours. At around the time of his first solo exhibition (1951; Lisbon, Soc. N.B.A.) Hogan experimented briefly with figure paintings and interiors reminiscent of Vuillard. From 1957 he taught graphics at the Cooperative Society of Portuguese Engravers, specializing in black and white techniques. He spent some time in Paris, Belgium and the Netherlands on a fellowship in 1958. In 1971 his work was included among those selected for the redecoration of the Lisbon café A Brasileira. While there is great stylistic consistency in the uninhabited landscapes that he painted throughout his career, from the early 1970s his work became more stylized, for example ...

Article

(b Bekenreihe, Holstein, June 12, 1877; d Bad Segeberg, June 21, 1949).

German architect. He was the son of a carpenter and himself served an apprenticeship as a carpenter (1895–6) before attending the Baugewerkschule, Hamburg (1897–9). From 1901 to 1905 he worked in the architectural practice of Lund & Kallmorgen in Hamburg, and from c. 1905 to c. 1907 he worked for the building firm of his father-in-law Fritz Oldenburg. Höger absorbed the North German building traditions, particularly of brickwork, which had been characteristic of the area since the Middle Ages. He also felt an affinity with the Gothic, which he expressed by trying to create a 20th-century Gothic architecture, without actually imitating Gothic forms.

Having established an independent practice in Hamburg (1907), Höger’s first buildings exemplified the prevailing style of late historicism, particularly the brick-built office blocks in Mönckebergstrasse, Hamburg, such as the Klöppnerhaus (1913), which was decorated with August Gaul’s bronze Mercury...

Article

(b Amsterdam, Dec 4, 1868; d Bloemendaal, Dec 31, 1938).

Dutch painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer and stained-glass artist. He trained at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (1886–90), under the directorship of August Allebé. Having initially painted and drawn Impressionistic landscapes, he started working in the ’t Gooi region in 1892, where, influenced by Vincent van Gogh and Jan Toorop, he made a number of Symbolist drawings and lithographs. In 1896 he married the Dutch writer Henriette van der Schalk. They both devoted themselves to the recently founded Sociaal Democratische Arbeiders Partij. In the years up to c. 1900 Holst produced among other things a series of lithographs of political cartoons with socialist content, as well as serene landscapes and paintings of girls from the village of Huizen. His allegorical murals (1902; in situ), on topics such as ‘Industry’ or ‘Commerce’, in the new Koopmansbeurs in Amsterdam by H. P. Berlage (1876–1903), marked an important point in his career as his first opportunity to construct a monumental piece of work. Partly inspired by the murals in the town hall at ’s Hertogenbosch by Antoon Derkinderen, he developed a tight, stylized type of design, which he believed to be ideal for visually representing idealistic and exalted thoughts. In his murals (...

Article

Kristina Van Kirk

(b Long Beach, CA, Sept 12, 1928).

American painter and sculptor. He studied at the Otis Art Institute (1948–50) and at the new and progressive Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles (1952–4), where he adopted an Abstract Expressionist painting style. Through his association with the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles (1959–66), he came into contact with such artists as Ed Moses (b 1926) and Billy Al Bengston. Irwin disdained his early paintings for their lack of ‘potency’. In the early 1960s he began a continuous series of experiments. He broke with figuration, searching like Minimalist artists for a way to make the work of art autonomous in content, that is representing nothing but itself, as in the Disc series that he began in 1966 (exh. 1968, Pasadena, CA, Norton Simon Mus. A.). Designed to exacting dimensions, colour tones, and lighting criteria, the Discs appeared suspended, free from the wall and comprising an uncertain mass that dematerialized into its environment....

Article

Ronald Alley

(b Copenhagen, June 4, 1912; d Tågelund, Jan 26, 1993).

Danish sculptor. He supported himself from 1926 by a variety of jobs. In 1930, self-taught, he began to make sculptures in wood. His early works were influenced by an exhibition of German Expressionism that he saw in Copenhagen in 1932; his pieces included roughly carved, primitive, doll-like figures, which were partly painted. In the early 1940s he turned to carving in stone and c. 1944–5 made some figures in granite of imps and goblins inspired by Viking art, for example Granite Sculpture (1944–5; Randers, Kstmus.). He was actively involved at this period in the movement that later led to the formation of Cobra and was a friend of Asger Jorn and Richard Mortensen.

In 1947 Jacobsen went to Paris, where Mortensen introduced him to Hans Arp, Jean Deyrolle, Jean Dewasne, Auguste Herbin, Alberto Magnelli, Serge Poliakoff and Victor Vasarely, and he started to make abstract sculptures such as Graphics in Iron...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Prague, March 12, 1882; d Prague, Aug 1, 1956).

Czech architect, designer, theorist and teacher. He graduated in architecture from the Czech Technical University, Prague, where he studied under Josef Schulz and Josef Zítek, and from 1906 to 1907 he was a student of Otto Wagner at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna. In 1908 he worked in Jan Kotěra’s studio in Prague. His early work was influenced by the modernism of Wagner and Kotěra, but he perceived a danger of uniformity in a purely rationalist approach to architecture. In 1911, together with Josef Chochol, Josef Gočár, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964), Emil Filla, Václav Špála, Antonín Procházka, Otto Gutfreund and others, he founded the Group of Fine Artists, which sought a more artistic approach to architecture, and in 1912 he and Gočár founded the Prague Art Workshops for the design of arts, crafts and furniture. Within the Group of Fine Artists, Janák developed the principles of Czech Cubism...

Article

Edward Kasinec and R. H. Davis jr

[Yavlensky, Aleksey (Georgevich); Alexis; Alexej von]

(b Torzhok, Russia, March 26, 1864; d Wiesbaden, March 15, 1941).

Russian painter and printmaker, active in Germany. When he was ten, his family moved to Moscow. Following family tradition, he was originally educated for a military career, attending cadet school, and, later, the Alexander Military School in Moscow. However, while still a cadet, he became interested in painting. At the age of 16, he visited the Moscow World Exposition, which had a profound influence on him. He subsequently spent all of his leisure time at the Tret’yakov State Gallery, Moscow. In 1884 he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Samogita Infantry–Grenadier’s Regiment, based in Moscow. In 1889 he transferred to a regiment in St Petersburg, and later enrolled in the Academy of Art (1889–96), where he was a student of Il’ya Repin. Indeed his works of this period reflected some of the conventions of Realism (e.g. W. W. Mathé Working, 1892; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). Seeking to escape the limitations on expression exhorted by the Russian art establishment, in ...

Article

Pierre Baudson

(b Borgerhout, nr Antwerp, May 22, 1887; d Brussels, Dec 1, 1970).

Belgian sculptor. The son of the Belgian sculptor Emile Jespers (1862–1918), he attended the Koninklijk Akademie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp from 1900 and the Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten from 1908 to 1911. At the beginning of his career he came under the influence of Auguste Rodin, Rik Wouters, Constantin Meunier and George Minne, and later that of Ossip Zadkine. He was a friend of the Belgian painter Paul Joostens (1889–1960) and of the poet Paul Van Ostaijen. He made his first direct carvings in 1917 in a tentative Cubist style. His Constructivism began to assert itself in 1921, while he was finding a balance between material and technique, but later in the decade he moved towards Expressionism. In Brussels he belonged to Sélection and then to Le Centaure, and he formed friendships with Constant Permeke, Gustave De Smet, Frits Van den Berghe and Edgard Tytgat....

Article

Vivian Endicott Barnett

[Vassily; Wassily] (Vasil’yevich)

(b Moscow, Dec 4, 1866; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, Dec 13, 1944).

Russian painter, printmaker, stage designer, decorative artist and theorist. A central figure in the development of 20th-century art and specifically in the transition from representational to abstract art, Kandinsky worked in a wide variety of media and was an important teacher and theoretician. He worked mainly outside Russia, but his Russian heritage continued to be an important factor in his development.

Kandinsky grew up in Odessa and from 1886 to 1893 studied economics, ethnography and law in Moscow, where he wrote a dissertation on the legality of labourers’ wages. He married his cousin Anya Shemyakina in 1892 (divorced 1911). In 1896 Kandinsky decided to become an artist and went to Munich. There he studied from 1896 to 1898 at the art school of Anton Ažbe, where he met Alexei Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin, and then in 1900 at the Akademie with Franz von Stuck. The following year he was a co-founder of the ...

Article

(b New York, July 24, 1927).

American painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He studied (1946–50) in New York and in Skowhegan, ME. In the early 1950s he was influenced by the work of Jackson Pollock and other Abstract Expressionists and produced swiftly executed pictures of trees as well as various works based on photographs. In the mid-1950s, working from life, he painted spare, brightly coloured works of landscape, interiors, and figures, and soon afterwards also produced simplified images in collage. These early works emphasized the flatness of the picture plane while remaining representational, and this insistence on figuration placed him outside the contemporary avant-garde mainstream, in which abstraction and chance were key qualities. He developed his style in the portrait works of ordinary people from the late 1950s, such as Ada with White Dress (1958; artist’s col., see Sandler, pl. 55). This resolution of the demands of formalism and representation looked forward to the Pop art of the following decade. In the 1960s Katz’s works became more realistic and were executed in a smoother, more impersonal style, as in ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b Riga, Feb 18, 1895; d Riga, Nov 30, 1920).

Latvian painter. Like many Latvian modernists, his formal artistic training and the choice of his most compelling subjects derived from his experience as a refugee during World War I. In 1915 he was evacuated from the Art School in Riga to the one in Penza, south-east of Moscow, where he remained until 1917. In Moscow he saw Sergey Shchukin’s and Ivan Morozov’s collections of modern French art. He was also profoundly inspired by the series of Refugee and Riflemen paintings of his fellow countryman Jāzeps Grosvalds, bringing to these themes his own intimist painter’s sensitivity. Refugees (1917; Riga, Latv. Mus. F.A.) combines the modesty and witty minutiae of naive art and a classical pictorial structure. Similarly, Kazaks often recorded his experiences as a soldier with humour and warmth, eschewing the overtly heroic or patriotic. After World War I, he became the leader in Latvia of the avant-garde association Ekpresionisti, which evolved into the ...

Article

Hilary Pyle

(Austin Ernest)

(b Dublin, May 17, 1915; d Dublin, April 7, 1986).

Irish sculptor. He studied languages at Trinity College, Dublin, from 1933 to 1937. A scholarship to study philology in Frankfurt am Main brought him into contact with German Expressionism and the work of Ernst Barlach. Among his other influences were Gothic sculpture in Ireland and the work of David Jones. On his return from Germany he attended evening classes at the National College of Art in Dublin and studied wood-carving, settling again in Dublin in 1946 but studying briefly under Henry Moore in England from 1947 to 1948. As early as Dancing Man (1946; M. Scott priv. col., see 1978 exh. cat., p. 30), a small carving in wood, Kelly consistently favoured traditional Irish subjects worked in a simplified Expressionist idiom; later examples of such themes include Children of Lir (1966; Dublin, Garden of Remembrance) and Chariot of Fire (1978; Dublin, Irish Life Cent.)

From 1949 Kelly produced many religious works, often on commission, including carved reliefs such as the ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b St. Helen’s, 12 Jan, 1948).

English painter and writer. She studied at Maidstone College of Art from 1968 until 1971 and then moved to London, studying at the Royal College of Art until 1973. Having worked in an Expressionist mode for some years, by the early 1990s Key was making more minimal abstract paintings. Her Baby: Face, Warm (1991; see 1993 exh. cat.) consists of just two colours, pink and yellow, and has an associative sense of small affectionate gestures and feelings. By contrast BOO and OO (both 1996; see Lomax, 1996) demonstrated a shifting of focus. In these works Key produced paintings that represent a playful breaking down of systems, the letters B O O and O O painted as both letters and abstract images, creating a visual relationship between sense, non-sense and sensation. 3 + 8 = 11, 6 + 5 = 11 (1999; see 1999 exh. cat., pp. 78–9) shows her interest in systems of numeracy as well as language, a four-panelled work that is at once an abstract painting and a counting machine. Key is also a writer, having published essays on such artists as Lucia Nogueira, Kiki Smith and Susan Solano. She has also curated exhibitions, such as ‘Craft’ which was held at Richard Salmon Gallery, London, and Kettles Yard, Cambridge in ...

Article

Lucius Grisebach

(b Aschaffenburg, May 6, 1880; d Frauenkirch, June 15, 1938).

German painter, printmaker, and sculptor. He is one of the most important representatives of Expressionism (see Expressionism, §1). He was the leading figure in Brücke, Die, which was active in Dresden and Berlin from 1905 to 1913. His pictures of urban life have become the incarnation of the nervously agitated modern state of mind in Europe on the eve of World War I. After 1917, with his depictions of the Swiss mountain landscape of Davos and its inhabitants, he made one of the most important contributions to landscape painting in the 20th century.

Kirchner came from a middle-class family with artistic interests. He ended his schooldays in Chemnitz, after spending his childhood in various parts of Germany and Switzerland. Although his artistic talents were fostered by drawing and watercolour lessons at home, his parents did not support his wish to become an artist. After taking the school-leaving examination in ...

Article

Ann Temkin

(b Münchenbuchsee, nr Berne, Dec 18, 1879; d Muralto, nr Locarno, June 29, 1940).

Swiss painter, draughtsman, printmaker, teacher, and writer. Klee’s work forms a major contribution to the history of 20th-century art. He is associated most commonly with the Bauhaus school in Weimar and Dessau. He is regarded as a major theoretician among modern artists and as a master of humour and mystery. In much of his work, he aspired to achieve a naive and untutored quality, but his art is also among the most cerebral of any of the 20th century (e.g. Disturbance, 1934; Turin, Gal. A. Mod.). Klee’s wide-ranging intellectual curiosity is evident in an art profoundly informed by structures and themes drawn from music, nature, and poetry.

Klee was brought up in Berne, where his father was a music teacher. As a boy, he displayed great talent both as a violinist and as a draughtsman. On leaving school he decided to study art in Munich, first with ...

Article

(b Hamburg, Sept 14, 1876; d Pansdorf, nr Lübeck, May 13, 1954).

German painter, printmaker, poster and stage designer. He attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg (c. 1894), and art academies in Düsseldorf and Berlin (c. 1897). In the first decades of the 20th century he exhibited with the New Secessionists. He drew and painted still-lifes and figures in landscapes and interiors in a strongly Expressionist style, which revealed his admiration for Cubism and for the work of Ferdinand Hodler. He was an assiduous worker; besides paintings, woodcuts and lithographs, he designed stained-glass windows, mosaics (e.g. Kaiser Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, Berlin), murals and painted ceilings. He also decorated the interiors of a number of Berlin theatres, as well as the Marmorhaus cinema (1913). Klein and Gerhard Marcks joined Gropius to organize the 1914 Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Cologne.

In the post-World War I ferment of cultural and political activity, Klein, with Max Pechstein and others, founded the Novembergruppe in Berlin in ...

Article

Pieter Singelenberg

(b Amsterdam, Nov 24, 1884; d Amsterdam, Nov 24, 1923).

Dutch architect and furniture designer. He left secondary school before completing his final exams to work in the studio of Eduard Cuypers. There he met P. L. Kramer, who later became his friend and collaborator. De Klerk remained in Cuypers’s studio from 1898 to 1910, apart from a brief trip to London in 1906; during this period he also attended an evening course at the Industrieschool van de Maatschappij voor den Werkenden Stand. Both his employer and his teachers were sympathetic to the principles of the English Arts and Crafts Movement, and de Klerk was influenced by contemporary British architects, such as M. H. Baillie Scott. Study of the rural architecture of Denmark and Sweden is also apparent in his designs and woodwork. From these various sources de Klerk forged a highly personal style.

After returning to Amsterdam, de Klerk worked for a short time in various building firms. A notable commission from this period is the luxury block of flats on the Johannes Vermeerplein (...

Article

Edwin Lachnit

(b Pöchlarn, Lower Austria, March 1, 1886; d Montreux, Feb 22, 1980).

Austrian painter, printmaker and writer. He revolutionized the art of the turn of the century, adopting a radical approach to art, which was for him essential to the human condition and politically engaged. Kokoschka promoted a new visual effect in painting, related to making visible the immaterial forces active behind the external appearance of things, in which the object was a living, moving substance that revealed its inner essence to the eye. This applied to the portraits as well as to the townscapes (see Self-portrait, 1913). The art-historical basis for his work lies in the painting tradition of Austrian late Baroque and especially in the colourfully expressive visions of Franz Anton Maulbertsch. As was true of many artists of his generation, Kokoschka’s creative urge was also expressed in literature and showed a clear inclination towards music and theatre.

Article

Sook-Kyung Lee

One of the characteristics of Korean contemporary art is a continuous effort in employing and interpreting international art practices and discourses. Art movements from Europe and North America in particular, including Abstract Expressionism, Art informel, Minimalism, Conceptual art and Post-modernism, have influenced many Korean artists’ styles and ideas since the 1950s, providing formal and conceptual grounds for critical understandings and further experiments. Whilst some artists who maintained traditional art forms such as ink painting and calligraphy exercised modernist styles and abstract forms largely within the norms and conventions of traditional genres, a large group of artists proactively adapted to Western styles, employing new materials and techniques as well as the notions of avant-garde and experimentalism (see fig.).

A major critique of the reception of Western art and aesthetics came from ‘Minjung art’ (People’s Art) in the 1980s as part of instigating a nationalist and politically charged art strategy. Several art historians and critics who emerged in the 1990s also expanded the scope of the debate with postcolonial and pluralist points of view. The shift in social, economic and political environments played an important role in changing sensibilities in art, along with the advances of technology and new media in the 2000s. The high degree of diversity and sophistication of Korean art in terms of media and subject matters became widely acknowledged within and outside the nation, and an increasing number of artists started to work on the cutting edge of international art....