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Article

Phillip Dennis Cate

(Benjamin Jean Pierre)

(b Paris, May 11, 1864; d Paris, Aug 24, 1951).

French printmaker, illustrator and shadow-theatre designer. Born in Montmartre, Rivière lived and worked in that area of Paris throughout his long and active career. He trained briefly with a local academic artist, Emile Bin (b 1825). The first of many visits to Brittany, in 1880, profoundly influenced the future subject-matter of his art. By 1883 Rivière was a full participant in the activities of the artistic and literary Chat Noir cabaret and served as a sub-editor and illustrator of the Chat Noir journal. During this period Paris and Brittany became the two primary subjects of his art and remained so for the rest of his career. His urban and rural themes during the late 1880s and 1890s were inspired by the shadow theatre and by Japanese woodblock prints.

In 1886 Henry Somm and Rivière began to experiment with shadow-theatre performances at the Chat Noir. Rivière was responsible for the sophisticated technical development of this theatrical forerunner of cinema. Subtle nuances of colour were back-projected on to a screen across which cut-out zinc figures and landscapes were silhouetted and moved. This visual effect was combined with verse and music in the production of forty-four shadow-theatre programmes by a variety of artists over a ten-year period. Two of the most popular shows were Rivière’s ...

Article

Michelle Facos

(b Stockholm, Nov 15, 1916).

Swedish painter, printmaker, stage designer and teacher. He studied portrait painting under the Swedish painter Edward Berggren (1876–1961) and at the Technical School in Stockholm from 1934 to 1936. He spent the next two years studying with Peter Rostrup Bøyesen (1882–1952) in Copenhagen and completed his studies at the School of Art in Stockholm from 1938 to 1944. From 1949 to 1951 he travelled extensively in Norway, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and North Africa. In 1953 he began teaching at the School of Art in Stockholm, becoming a full professor there in 1958; from 1958 to 1968 he was director of the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm.

Rodhe’s works range from figurative to abstract and show the influence of artists such as Picasso and Klee. They are marked by a strong graphic quality and by the interpenetration of clearly defined, angular areas of unmodulated colour. During the 1950s he executed several commissions for wall decorations in glass mosaic, notably for Svenska Handelsbanken in Stockholm and the Östersund Post Office (...

Article

Helen Langdon

(b Arenella, Naples, June–July 1615; d Rome, March 15, 1673).

Italian painter, draughtsman, etcher, poet and actor. He was one of the most original artists and extravagant personalities of the 17th century. His most popular and influential works were his landscapes, the wild and mountainous beauty of which contrasted with the pastoral scenes of Claude Lorrain. Yet Rosa also painted macabre subjects, erudite philosophical allegories and grand historical themes; he was, moreover, the most significant satirical poet of the Italian 17th century, and there is a close relationship between his poetry and painting. His earliest biographers, Filippo Baldinucci and Giovanni Battista Passeri, both of whom knew him well, described at length his fiery temperament, his immense ambition, his learning and vivacious wit, and his often outrageous treatment of his patrons.

He first studied painting in Naples and Neapolitan energy and violence informed his art profoundly throughout his life. His admiration for Jusepe de Ribera is evident in his rich and expressive brushwork and in the brutality of his early altarpieces and large-scale figure paintings; there are echoes of Ribera’s hermit saints and exuberantly naturalistic representations of philosophers—usually three-quarter-length single figures—throughout his oeuvre. He studied with his brother-in-law ...

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Ester Coen

(b Portogruaro, Venice, April 30, 1885; d Cerro di Laveno, Varese, Feb 6, 1947).

Italian painter, printmaker, writer and composer. The fourth of five children, he was trained in music by his father, who was a clockmaker and organist. In 1901 he went to Milan to join his family, who had moved there so that his two brothers, Giovanni and Antonio, could study music at the conservatory. Diverging from his father’s inclinations, Luigi was attracted towards other forms of art, especially painting. Though not actually enrolled at the Accademia di Brera, through new friends he indirectly followed the ideas taught there. In the same period he worked for the restorer Crivelli in Milan, serving his apprenticeship working on the interior decorations of the Castello Sforzesco and on Leonardo’s Last Supper in the refectory of S Maria delle Grazie. In December 1909 he took part in the exhibition Bianco e nero at the Famiglia Artistica in Milan, contributing a series of etchings, made during the preceding year, which show a definite leaning towards Symbolist forms and images. The undulating quality of the line in such etchings as his portrait of ...

Article

Lija Skalska-Miecik

(b Bohdanów, nr Vilna [now Vilnius, Lithuania], Dec 10, 1870; d Bohdanów, Oct 30, 1936).

Polish painter, printmaker and stage designer. In 1890–92 he studied law at the University of St Petersburg, but from the autumn of 1892 dedicated all his time to painting classes at the Academy of Fine Arts. He was a student of the Russian landscape painters Ivan Shishkin and Arkhip Kuindzhi. During his studies Ruszczyc went twice to the Crimea (1894 and 1895) to paint seascapes. In 1896 and 1897 he went to the Baltic islands of Rügen and Bornholm and to the southern coast of Sweden to paint studies of northern landscape. He also went several times to Berlin, where he first saw works by German Symbolist painters. The influence of Arnold Böcklin may be detected in works on fantastical themes, while Spring (1897; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) recalls Kuindzhi’s luminism and the lyrical Russian landscape tradition. After graduation Ruszczyc made an extensive tour of western Europe, thus substantially enlarging his knowledge of contemporary European art. At the end of his journey (...

Article

Celia Rabinovitch

(b Basle, July 20, 1900; d Sugar Loaf, NY, Jan 2, 1962).

American painter, printmaker, sculptor, stage designer and writer of Swiss birth. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva (1920) and at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence (1927). From this training he drew upon two dominant influences, combining a predilection for the illusionistic deep space and the clear vibrant colour of the Italian tradition with the fantastic narratives explored by earlier Swiss artists such as Johann Heinrich Füseli, Ferdinand Hodler, Urs Graf and Niklaus Manuel Deutsch.

In 1929 Seligmann moved to Paris, where he remained until 1938 and where he became associated with Surrealists. While in Paris he also became a member of Abstraction–Création and an acquaintance of Le Corbusier as well as Hans Arp, whose example led him to explore deliberately ambiguous biomorphic imagery. Although he did not formally join the Surrealist movement until 1937, he participated in Surrealist exhibitions throughout the 1930s and made use of organic and fantastic forms, often fusing natural with artificial elements. His paintings and etchings of this period, distinguished by their high degree of finish, make striking use of masks and of dancing figures constructed of abstract forms. Their sense of play, secrecy and concealment recalls the animism of the fairy tale and the Gothic tradition of northern Europe. The element of drama, tension and struggle in the dance is particularly apparent in his depiction of multiple figures. He worked in white tempera on a reddish ground, glazing over that layer with transparent colour and black outline. The highlights were added at the end in keeping with a traditional systematic approach to the illusionistic depiction of space....

Article

dele jegede

[ Prince Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Oyekale Osuntoki ]

(b Ibadan, May 1944; d Ibadan, June 16, 2011).

Nigerian painter, draughtsman, printmaker and textile designer. In 1964, while working as a dancer for a herbalist, he participated in the Mbari Mbayo Workshop in Oshogbo, producing drawings and prints. After Ulli Beier left Oshogbo, Twins Seven Seven switched to oils as a preferred medium. He drew illustrations for Amos Tutuola’s Palmwine Drinkard and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. In pen and ink drawings, etchings and paintings he created highly patterned representations of Yoruba life, populated by figures both natural and supernatural. A compulsive artist, Twins Seven Seven allowed his pieces to ‘unfold’ as they were created. His compositions are dense with overlapping figures, and every space of the pictorial plane is filled with some decorative or integral detail, as in his Baptist Church of Bush of Ghost (etching, 375 × 305 mm, c. 1969; Oxford, priv. col.). His paintings of the 1970s are covered with a luminous varnish, and it was during this time that he developed a layered style on plywood, a palette of earth tones sprinkled with bright greens and yellows, and a pictorial field in which figures are delineated in dark hues....

Article

Midori Yoshimoto

(b Seattle, WA, 1939).

American painter of Japanese ancestry (sansei or third generation). The subjects in Shimomura’s paintings, prints and performances have largely stemmed from his personal experience of living as an ethnic minority in the Midwest and his grandmother’s diaries chronicling her immigration and adjustment to the USA in the early 20th century. By incorporating the seemingly disparate images from the historical and contemporary sources, Shimomura has presented captivating visual essences that bespeak of the multi-generational experience not only of Japanese–Americans, but also of Asian Americans. His works constituted significant critiques of the racial prejudices deeply rooted in the American society, alarming the viewer that the roots of prejudice could be found in all individuals.

At age three, Shimomura’s earliest visual memory was formed in Camp Minidoka in the southern Idaho desert, where he and his family, along with thousands of other Japanese–Americans, were detained from 1942 to 1944. Shimomura’s distant memory was revived after reading his grandmother’s diaries, which offered the ground narratives for many series of paintings: ...

Article

Pandit Chanrochanakit

(b Nakornsawan, Oct 7, 1957).

Thai performance artist, printmaker, anti-war activist, musician, writer and poet . Sitthiket graduated from the College of Fine Arts, Bangkok in 1981. Sitthiket’s work focused on alienation and social issues, such as the decaying political system, the environment, prostitution, migration and poverty. He was most recognised for his exhibition Inferno (1991), in which he was inspired by Traiphum phra ruang, the ancient Buddhist text, portraying images of how sinners would be punished according to their sins in hell. Instead of depicting traditional Buddhist sin and hell, he appropriated sinful acts and redemption for modern Thai society. For instance, in The Punishment of Those Corrupted Politicians Whose Flesh Would Be Cut in Pieces, Being Fried and Fed Him Until His Death. In In Hell, the Bad Politician Will Be Reborn to Consume Himself Forever, Sitthiket employed bold colour, simplified his use of line and employed crude and iconographic figures in association with narrative text to emphasize the modern sins committed by professionals, such as soldiers, teachers and artists....

Article

Theresa Leininger-Miller

(b New York, Sept 17, 1896; d Haute-Savoie, April 3, 1940).

African American painter, printmaker and jazz musician. Smith was an internationally renowned artist in the 1920s and 1930s. He was an only child to chauffeur Alfred Renforth Smith and Elizabeth Smith, immigrants from Bermuda. Smith studied piano and guitar while attending the Ethical Culture Art School on scholarship and DeWitt Clinton High School in New York. Later, he studied under William Auberbach-Levy (1889–1964), Charles Curran (1861–1942) and Kenyon Cox at the National Academy of Design (1915–18), where he won several prizes, and the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Liège, Belgium. (Smith had first been abroad with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.) Once he settled in Paris in 1920, he exhibited his etchings, lithographs, paintings and drawings of scenes in France, Italy and Spain. Among other places, Smith also exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1921 as well as in Cannes, Brussels, New York and Boston. His frequent illustrations in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and National Urban League magazines, ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b nr Cēsis, April 28, 1896; d Tbilisi, Georgia, July 14, 1944).

Latvian painter, printmaker, ceramicist, interior designer, tage and film set designer and theorist. He was the foremost ideologue for modernism in Latvia and was one of its greatest innovators. His militant defence of avant-garde principles befitted his experience as a soldier and as one of the artists who, after World War I, was denied a studio by the city officials and staged an armed occupation of the former premises of the Riga Art School. At the end of the war he painted in an Expressionist manner: In Church (1917; Riga, priv. col., see Suta, 1975, p. 19), for example, is an exaltation of Gothic form and primitivist rendering. Unlike his peers Jāzeps Grosvalds and Jēkabs Kazaks, he was extremely interested in Cubism and Constructivism, the theories of which informed his paintings, drawings, prints and occasional architectural projects of the 1920s. At this time he and his wife, the painter ...

Article

Maria Cristina Bandera Viani

(b Florence, Nov 2, 1727; d Milan, Nov 14, 1812).

Italian painter and engraver. He trained in Florence with Agostino Veracini (1689–1762) and Francesco Conti (1681–1760), and studied architecture and stage design under Antonio Galli-Bibiena. His earliest known painting is a fresco of 1758: Heavenly Father in Glory in the Dominican church in Livorno. He enriched his art by the study of Correggio’s works in Parma, and also those of Bolognese painters, making engravings (1764–7) after paintings by Guido Reni, Agostino Carracci, Annibale Carracci, Guercino and others. These were praised in 1765 by Pierre-Jean Mariette and were later collected in an album entitled Venticinque quadri ai maestri eccellenti incisi da Giuliano Traballesi (Milan, 1796).

In 1764 he won a competition at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Parma with the painting Furius Camillus Liberating Rome from the Gallic Senones, a work that is deeply influenced by the Bolognese tradition and by the Roman classicism of Nicolas Poussin. The success of this painting won Traballesi major commissions in his native Tuscany, where the transition from Rococo to Neo-classicism had been encouraged by the reforms initiated by Leopoldo II Habsburg-Lorraine when he became Grand Duke of Tuscany in ...

Article

(Jörgensen Hungerholt)

(b Kemi, 1927).

Finnish sculptor, painter, printmaker and stage designer. In 1938 his family moved to Sweden, where in 1945 Ultvedt enrolled at the Konsthögskola in Stockholm; the following year he attended Sven Erixson’s decorative art school in Stockholm. In 1947 and 1948 he visited Paris, and in 1950 he had his first one-man show at the Galleri Noa-Noa in Copenhagen. At this time he was producing drawings, watercolours and engravings. In 1954 he designed the décor for the ballet Spiralen, performed at the Konserthus in Stockholm. From the mid-1950s he turned to collage, welded-metal sculptures and wood-and-paper assemblages, producing such works as Pig Trough (1958; see 1988 exh. cat., p. 16), a rectilinear object made from fragments of wood. In the early 1960s he made a number of shallow relief works using open layers of wood, as in Mobile (1961; Stockholm, Mod. Mus.). From the same period were a number of installations using wood, wire and other materials that were loosely assembled and often included moving parts, as in that for the ...

Article

Lynn Boyer Ferrillo

(b Dieppe, Aug 8, 1869; d ?Paris, Jan 2, 1952).

French painter, printmaker and stage designer. He spent much of his youth in Versailles, moving in 1887 to Paris, where he studied under Gustave Moreau at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and under Jules Dupré at the Académie Julian. There he met Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Albert André. With a keen interest in both artistic precedents and contemporary trends, he absorbed in the mid-1890s the chief tenets of Impressionism, van Gogh’s work and Pointillism before slowly developing his own style. In 1895 he collaborated with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and André on the set of Aurélien-François Lugné-Poë’s play Chariot de terre cuite, performed at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre, Paris. Under Toulouse-Lautrec’s influence, his own works darkened both in colour and sentiment, for example Chez Maxim’s (1895; Geneva, Petit Pal.), in which he depicted two gaunt, severe-looking women seated in a murky café. By 1896 he painted contemporary French life with an overall sunnier, more optimistic air, as 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

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....

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

Patti Stuckler

(b Waco, TX, Oct 4, 1941).

American performance artist, writer, draughtsman, printmaker and stage designer. He studied painting in Paris under the American painter George McNeil (b 1908) in 1962, before completing a degree in interior design at the Pratt Institute in New York from 1962 to 1965. After serving an apprenticeship in architecture to Paolo Soleri in Phoenix, AZ, from 1965 to 1966, he returned to New York and began to work as a performance artist, creating a range of theatrical productions that combine music, text, dance and design. He earned his reputation with productions such as Deafman Glance (first staged in 1970 at the University Theater in Iowa City, IA) and A Letter to Queen Victoria (première at the Teatro Caio Melisso in Spoleto, Italy, and extensively toured in 1974); many of these were large-scale, marathon extravaganzas in which a series of images, formed from the conjunction of actors, dancers and set designs, unfolded to the accompaniment of music. Abandoning traditional theatrical elements such as ordered narrative content and the compression of real time, he favoured an avant-garde approach influenced by composers, choreographers and artists active in New York from the early 1960s....

Article

Shin’ichiro Osaki

(b Nishiwaki, Hyōgo Prefect., 1936).

Japanese stage designer, printmaker and painter . In 1960 he went to Tokyo and began his career as a stage designer. He was responsible for the design of such avant-garde drama as the Situation Theatre (Jōkyō Gekijō) of Jūrō Kara (b 1940) and the Upper Gallery (Tenjō Sajiki) of Shūji Terayama (1935–83). He also produced prints and in 1967 exhibited works in the Word and Image exhibition at MOMA, New York. Although he used photographs as the basis of his designs, Yokoo’s prints drew upon aspects of traditional Japanese woodcuts that coincided with the style of contemporary Pop art, using in particular flat areas of colour and overtly sexual subject-matter (e.g. X-sex IV, screenprint, 1968; priv. col., see Yokoo, 1990, p. 13). In addition to his activity as a commercial designer, from the late 1960s he became interested in mysticism and psychedelic art, influenced in particular by travels in India in the 1970s. He produced posters with eclectic imagery similar to that of contemporary psychedelic ‘underground’ magazines. In ...