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Article

M. Sue Kendall

(Wesley)

(b Columbus, OH, Aug 12, 1882; d New York, Jan 8, 1925).

American painter and lithographer. He was the son of George Bellows, an architect and building contractor. He displayed a talent for drawing and for athletics at an early age. In 1901 he entered Ohio State University, where he contributed drawings to the school yearbook and played on both the basketball and the baseball teams. In the spring of his third year he withdrew from university to play semi-professional baseball until the end of summer 1904; this, and the sale of several of his drawings, earned him sufficient money to leave Columbus in September to pursue his career as an artist.

Bellows studied in New York under Robert Henri at the New York School of Art, directed by William Merritt Chase. He initially resided at the YMCA on 57th Street. In 1906 Bellows moved to Studio 616 in the Lincoln Arcade Building on Broadway; over the following years the other tenants at this location included the urban realist painter Glenn O. Coleman (...

Article

Louise Noelle

(b Mexico City, March 22, 1923; d Mexico City, April 20, 2002).

Mexican painter, printmaker and illustrator. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas and with Carlos Alvarado Lang. Although he painted some murals and a good number of easel pictures, he was active primarily as a printmaker and as an illustrator of books, magazines and journals. He founded the satirical newspapers Ahí va el golpe (1958) and El coyote emplumado (1960) and from its inception in 1962 acted as art director and illustrator for the newspaper El día. From 1945 to 1959 Beltrán was associated with the Taller de Gráfica Popular in Mexico City, acting as its president for several years and sharing its populist, political and nationalist principles. Placing his art at the service of social concerns and using protest as his main weapon, he expressed himself with particular force in his prolific production of drawings and in masterful linocuts such as Exodus (...

Article

Bailey Van Hook

(b Salem, MA, March 24, 1862; d Salem, Nov 15, 1951).

American painter, etcher and teacher. Benson attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from 1880 to 1883 as a student of Otto Grundmann (1844–90) and Frederick Crowninshield (1845–1918). In 1883 he travelled with his fellow student and lifelong friend Edmund C(harles) Tarbell to Paris, where they both studied at the Académie Julian for three years with Gustave(-Clarence-Rodolphe) Boulanger and Jules(-Joseph) Lefebvre. Benson travelled with Tarbell to Italy in 1884 and to Italy, Belgium, Germany and Brittany the following year. When he returned home, Benson became an instructor at the Portland (ME) School of Art, and after his marriage to Ellen Perry Peirson in 1888 he settled in Salem, MA. Benson taught with Tarbell at the Museum School in Boston from 1889 until their resignation over policy differences in 1913. Benson rejoined the staff the next year and taught intermittently as a visiting instructor until ...

Article

Henry Adams

(b Neosho, MO, April 15, 1889; d Kansas City, MO, Jan 19, 1975).

American painter, illustrator, and lithographer. One of the most controversial personalities in American art, both in his lifetime and today, Thomas Hart Benton was a key figure in the American Regionalist movement of the 1930s, when he focused on working-class American subject-matter and was outspoken in his denunciation of European modern painting. Today he is best remembered for this phase of his life, and much criticized because of it. But Benton’s long career is not easily reduced to a single moment or achievement: his legacy was more complex. As a young struggling artist in Paris and New York, he was a leading American modernist and abstractionist, and in his early maturity he became the teacher and lifelong father figure for Jackson Pollock, the most famous of the Abstract Expressionists. He was also a major American writer, who wrote on art and whose autobiography of 1936 became a best-seller. He was also a notable figure in American music who collected American folk songs and devised a new form of harmonica notation that is still in use....

Article

Susanne Rajka

(b Stockholm, May 29, 1909; d Grasse, July 24, 1987).

Norwegian painter and graphic artist. She grew up in Norway and studied at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole and the Kunstakademi in Oslo between 1926 and 1928. The few paintings and drawings that survive from this period are figurative, inspired by Edvard Munch and French contemporary art. After further study in Vienna (1928) and Paris (1929) she had her first one-woman exhibition in Dresden (Johannes Kühl Gallery, 1931), where she lived with her husband, the German artist Hans Hartung. She made near-satirical drawings of bourgeois life, related to George Grosz’s work of the same period, along with watercolours that show her interest in architecture and the precise delineation of form. When war broke out Bergman returned, alone and ill, to Norway. For a long time she abandoned painting while studying the possibilities of the Golden section and such historical subjects as Classical and Renaissance architecture, and the use of gold and silver in medieval paintings. Her first abstract works from ...

Article

(b Scobje, Macedonia [now Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia], March 23, 1909; d 1993).

Turkish painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Belgrade School of Fine Arts (1927–8) and at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence (1929–35), where he also worked on engravings. In 1935 he exhibited his work at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul and in 1937 took up a position in a new printmaking workshop there, where he taught for many years. In 1948 Berkel studied book illustration and production with the French painter Jean-Gabriel Daragnès (1886–1950) in Paris. During the 1950s the style of his work progressed from linear geometric compositions, such as Bagel Seller (1952; Istanbul, Mimar Sinan U., Mus. Ptg & Sculp.), to include the first abstract calligraphic composition in Turkish art, Monogram (1957; priv. col., see Renda and others), exhibited in the Turkish Pavilion at the Exposition Universelle et Internationale in Brussels in 1958. In both his earlier figurative paintings and his later abstract works form takes precedence over colour, with a concern for composition and balance. He exhibited his work at the São Paulo Biennales in ...

Article

Giulio V. Blanc

(b Havana, Sept 3, 1914; d Westchester, Oct 30, 2008).

Cuban painter, ceramicist and printmaker. He studied at the Academia de S Alejandro in Havana (early 1930s) and at the Academia de S Carlos in Mexico City (1938), where he also became familiar with the work of the muralists. He had his first one-man exhibition at the Lyceum in Havana in 1942.

Bermúdez shared with many of his contemporaries an interest in Cuban realities and themes painted in a manner that was in keeping with 20th-century art movements. His work from the 1940s is characterized by popular Cuban scenes and types depicted in an almost caricatural, naive style with loud tropical colours (e.g. The Balcony, 1941; New York, MOMA).

In the 1950s Bermúdez abandoned the folkloric themes and tropical voluptuousness of his earlier paintings, instead depicting elongated, barely human, Byzantine-like figures. The most accessible of these paintings are of acrobats and musicians. In 1967 Bermúdez left Cuba for political reasons and settled in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There he continued to evolve metallic colour harmonies and surrealistic imagery including clocks, ladders and turbaned figures in his paintings. He also produced murals and lithographs, and his best-known print is the silkscreen entitled ...

Article

Jorge Glusberg

(b Rosario, May 14, 1905; d Buenos Aires, Oct 13, 1981).

Argentine painter, sculptor and printmaker. He trained at the stained-glass window workshop of Buxadera & Compañía, Rosario, province of Santa Fé, and with Eugenio Fornels and Enrique Munné. He held his first exhibition in 1920. At the age of 20 he won a scholarship for study in Europe awarded by the Jockey Club of Rosario, which enabled him to study in Paris under André Lhote and with Othon Friesz at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. After showing his European works in Buenos Aires in 1927 he obtained another scholarship, this time from the government of the province of Santa Fé, as a result of which he established contact with the Surrealists in 1928; in particular he befriended Louis Aragon and the French philosopher Henri Lefebvre.

Berni returned to Argentina in 1930. In 1933 he established an artistic–literary group, Nuevo Realismo, and began to depict Argentina’s social reality. From the 1960s, through two characters he created (Juanito Laguna and Ramona Montiel) he began to create works from pieces of metal and wood, buttons, burlap, wires and other debris gathered by him in the shantytowns surrounding Buenos Aires. Combining in these works commonplace materials and a brutal realism (e.g. ...

Article

Jure Mikuž

(b Gunclje, nr Ljubljana, Sept 6, 1933).

Slovenian painter, printmaker, sculptor, illustrator and poet. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Ljubljana, in 1955 and later received his MFA in painting and engraving. He continued his studies in 1959 with Johnny Friedlaender in Paris. After 1970 he taught painting at the Ljubljana Academy. He was one of the most outstanding Yugoslav artists after the early 1960s and won several major international awards, including the Grand Prix of the Tokyo, Ljubljana and São Paulo biennales of graphic art.

Bernik’s early works, such as his series of flat picture surfaces, Magmas, Quarries and Burnt Soil, were influenced by Art informel. In the mid-1960s Bernik was an important exponent of the type of European painting based on the use of words. The Great Letter (1964; Ljubljana, Gal. Mod. A.) combines the devices and texture of Art informel with evocations of Byzantine religious texts. At the same time he was also painting pictures with sensually explicit, almost sculpturally or haptically modelled traditional iconographic objects such as the apple, table and cloth, or bread, or pictures in which a written-out word with its meaning was a substitute for a certain object. Here he was responding to European Nouveau Réalisme, Pop art and conceptualism, and the work of Francis Bacon. In the late 1970s Bernik again dispensed with the object in his pictures, producing a series of abstract paintings entitled ...

Article

Francine-Claire Legrand

(b Wonck, Limbourg, Sept 2, 1910; d Feb 20, 1994).

Belgian painter, draughtsman and engraver. He formulated his style at the Ecole Saint-Luc in Brussels (1927–31), where he later taught (1956–62). He also studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts (1933) and at the academy at Saint-Josse (1936), where he joined up with Anne Bonnet (1908–60) and Louis Van Lint (b 1909). In 1945 he was a founder-member of the Jeune Peinture Belge group, which brought together and encouraged young artists. His self-portraits, interiors, seascapes and urban landscapes underline the unusual elements in everyday life by means of a witty stylization and a use of colour that sometimes gives the canvas a subdued appearance, sometimes with sharp accents of red and yellow (e.g. The Main Beach, 1940–43; Brussels, Mus. A. Mod.)

From 1949 Bertrand moved progressively towards non-figurative painting, firstly through studies of architectural ensembles, later exploring internal three-dimensional space through simplification, for example ...

Article

Taube G. Greenspan

(b Paris, June 2, 1849; d Paris, Dec 4, 1936).

French painter, printmaker and designer. He was born to an artistic family and was precociously talented. In 1866 he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he studied under Jean François Brémond (1807–68) and Alexandre Cabanel. His Salon début in 1868 and his subsequent entries were well received, and in 1874 he won the Prix de Rome with the Death of Timophanes, Tyrant of Corinth (Paris, Ecole N. Sup. B.-A.). Remaining in Italy for five years, Besnard worked in an academic style influenced by Pietro da Cortona and Michelangelo.

Besnard spent three years in London (1879–81), which were crucial to the development of his mature painterly style. In a climate favourable for the development of individuality, and far removed from academic circles in Paris, Besnard experimented with vibrant colour and spontaneous brushwork. With the opportunity in London to study Turner and British 18th-century portraits, Besnard recognized that ‘their colourists are more painters than ours, they draw with colour’. His successful assimilation of this painterly tradition brought him many portrait commissions from aristocratic patrons such as ...

Article

Justine Hopkins

(Polhill)

(b Hove, Aug 5, 1865; d London, July 8, 1925).

English painter and lithographer. He studied at the Westminster School of Art and in Paris. In 1890–91, having encountered Paul Sérusier at the Académie Julian in Paris, he made his first visit to Brittany, where he worked with the Pont-Aven group; he also developed an interest in lithography. After contact with Renoir, Bevan made a second visit to Brittany in 1893–4, when he met and was influenced by Gauguin. From the early 1900s Bevan adopted a divisionist or pointillist style in paintings that often depicted London street scenes and horse trading, as in Horse Sale at the Barbican (1913; London, Tate), and landscapes painted on summer holidays in Devon and Cornwall, of which Green Devon (1919; Plymouth, City Mus. & A.G.) is a striking example. In the last years of his life his style changed, the paint becoming thicker and more textural, with a new attention to the juxtaposition of masses. At times he approached a Cubist geometry of form, for example in rural scenes such as ...

Article

James Smalls

(b Gastonia, NC, April 13, 1924; d Houston, TX, Jan 25, 2001).

American painter, draftsman, printmaker and sculptor. John (Thomas) Biggers, the youngest of seven children, grew up in segregated Gastonia, NC. Upon the death of his father in 1937, his mother sent him away to Lincoln Academy to receive a high quality education. While there, he learned a great deal about African art and the value of African culture; these were lessons he would carry with him throughout his career. Although African influences were most noteworthy in his works, he also managed to synthesize elements from American Regionalism, the African American figurative tradition and Native American sources. In 1941, Biggers entered the Hampton Institute (later renamed Hampton University) in Virginia, where he studied art. In 1943, his mural Dying Soldier was featured in the landmark exhibition Young Negro Art, organized for the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In that same year, he was drafted into the United States Navy. After receiving an honorable discharge three years later, he enrolled at the Pennsylvania State University. He received his BA and MA degrees in ...

Article

Martin H. Bush

(b Cincinnati, March 3, 1902; d New York, Feb 19, 1988).

American painter, draughtsman and etcher. Bishop moved to New York in 1918 to study at the New York School of Applied Design for Women and from 1920 at the Art Students League under Guy Pène du Bois and Kenneth Hayes Miller. During these years she developed lifelong friendships with Reginald Marsh, Edwin Dickinson and other figurative painters who lived and worked on 14th Street, assimilating these influences with those of Dutch and Flemish painters such as Adriaen Brouwer and Peter Paul Rubens, whose work she saw in Europe in 1931.

From the early 1930s Bishop developed an anecdotal and reportorial Realist style in pictures of life on the streets of Manhattan such as Encounter (1940; St Louis, MO, A. Mus.), in which an ordinary-looking man and woman are shown meeting under a street lamp. Throughout her long career Bishop concentrated on the subtleties of fleeting moments in the daily routine of people who lived and worked in and around Union Square, giving these simple occasions a sense of timelessness: shopgirls seated at a lunch counter (...

Article

Ian North

(Foster)

(b Burnside, Adelaide, Dec 23, 1881; d Adelaide, Sept 13, 1951).

Australian painter and printmaker. She worked in an undistinguished tonal Impressionist style following her studies at the South Australian School of Art and Crafts, Adelaide, from c. 1909 and from 1915 at Julian Ashton’s Sydney Art School. Between 1927 and 1929 she learnt a more modern style and philosophy at the Grosvenor School of Art, London, and André Lhote’s academy in Paris, supplemented by lessons with Albert Gleizes: paintings such as the mildly Cubist Mirmande (c. 1928; Adelaide, A.G. S. Australia) were the result. Black was particularly influenced by the artistic theories of Clive Bell and at the Grosvenor School by the linocut teacher Claude Flight (1881–1955). In 1929 she returned to Sydney, where she attempted to promote the linocut as an original art form that the ordinary person could afford. Black’s most notable linocuts were produced between 1927 and 1937, for example Music (1927)....

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Nantes, Oct 22, 1956).

French painter and printmaker. He began studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Reunes, in 1974, obtaining his diploma in 1979. His work of the 1980s was part of a wider effort to reassess the role of figurative painting, challenging the popularity of abstraction and conceptualism. His focus on strong figurative imagery can be compared with the work of Georg Baselitz in Germany or Julian Schnabel in the USA. During this decade he made many works on torn poster surfaces, on which he painted images of heavy figures moving clumsily through landscapes, emphasizing a crude monumentality, as in Untitled (3×4 m, 1985; Aachen, Neue Gal.). The supports used in these works recall those employed by the Nouveau Réaliste artists known as affichistes, who also worked with torn posters using a technique known as décollage. During the 1980s and 1990s Blais’s work underwent a simplification both of form and palette, with the sometimes grotesque humour of his earlier figures exchanged for a more lyrical, suggestive style. These images were often rendered in black and white on increasingly regular surfaces; ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Dartford, Kent, June 25, 1932).

English painter, printmaker and sculptor. He studied at Gravesend Technical College and School of Art from 1946 to 1951, and from 1953 at the Royal College of Art, London, where he was awarded a First-Class Diploma in 1956. He then travelled through Europe for a year on a Leverhulme Research Award to study the popular and folk art that had already served him as a source of inspiration. While still a student Blake began producing paintings that openly testified to his love of popular entertainment and the ephemera of modern life, for example Children Reading Comics (1954; Carlisle, Mus. & A.G.), and which were phrased in a faux-naïf style that owed something to the example of American realist painters such as Ben Shahn. In these works Blake displayed his nostalgia for dying traditions not only by his preference for circus imagery but also by artificially weathering the irregular wooden panels on which he was then painting. His respect for fairground art, barge painting, tattooing, commercial art, illustration and other forms of image-making rooted in folkloric traditions led him to produce some of the first works to which the term ...

Article

Ticio Escobar

(b Asunción, 1921; d 2008).

Paraguayan painter and engraver. She studied under the painters Ofelia Echagüe, João Rossi, and Lívio Abramo, and her work contributed fundamentally to the revival of Paraguayan art in the 1950s. Until then representational art was still tied to 19th-century Naturalism, but in 1954 the Arte Nuevo group, founded by Blinder, Josefina Plá, Lilí del Mónico, and José Laterza Parodi, organized the Primera Semana de Arte Moderna, which helped bring to a head the struggle with entrenched academicism. She began by painting still lifes and landscapes that emphasized structure, but she soon turned to thematic and expressive content centered on the human condition; later her work was concerned as much with intensity of meaning as with the severity of formal arrangement. Sensitive and intellectual, subjective, and socially aware, her work turned into an individual lyrical expressionism, enlivened by tension but carefully formal. This complexity can be seen in the techniques she used at different stages: the severe images that she developed in paintings and wood engravings during the 1960s; the engravings made with zincograph blocks in the 1970s that incorporate conceptual analysis based on her existential and social preoccupations; and finally painting, which she resumed in the 1980s....

Article

Dieuwertje Dekkers

(Johannes)

(b The Hague, Jan 31, 1845; d The Hague, Dec 15, 1914).

Dutch painter and printmaker. He was already an accomplished lithographer when he went to study with Christoffel Bisschop (1828–1904) in The Hague. Until 1868 he was taught by Johan Philip Koelman at the Hague Academie where he met Willem Maris. In 1870 he visited Paris and stayed with Jacob Maris. His work from this period—interiors of fishermen’s cottages, usually with two figures, such as the Fisherman’s Breakfast (1872; The Hague, Gemeentemus.)—is strongly reminiscent of the early work of Jozef Israëls. Critics thought it showed a search for truth and colour. In the early 1870s Blommers constructed a Scheveningen fisherman’s interior in his studio in which he painted half-length figures of muscular fishermen’s wives, presumably based on his own wife, who came from Scheveningen. His Where Are the Little Doves? (c. 1875; untraced), which shows a mother lifting up her child to look at the doves, was particularly successful. The critic Jacobus van Santen Kolff (...

Article

Ester Coen

(b Reggio Calabria, Oct 19, 1882; d Sorte, Verona, Aug 17, 1916).

Italian sculptor, painter, printmaker and writer. As one of the principal figures of Futurism, he helped shape the movement’s revolutionary aesthetic as a theorist as well as through his art. In spite of the brevity of his life, his concern with dynamism of form and with the breakdown of solid mass in his sculpture continued to influence other artists long after his death.

Boccioni spent his childhood years in Forlì, Genoa and Padua, then finished his studies in Catania and began to involve himself with literature. In 1899 he moved to Rome, where he developed a passionate interest in painting and frequented the Scuola Libera del Nudo. In Rome he met Gino Severini, with whom he made visits to the studio of Giacomo Balla, who taught them the basic principles of the divisionist technique and encouraged them to experiment with the application of colour in small overlapping brushstrokes. Inspired by his own pictorial experiments, Balla also urged them to develop a compositional method using angles and foreshortening analogous to photographic techniques. It was Balla who first introduced them to the use of complementary colours, which Boccioni later expressed in increasingly dramatic and violent ways, and it was Balla who instilled in him the love of landscape and nature that remained a constant feature of all his painting. In his first years of activity, closely following his master’s teaching, Boccioni produced oil paintings, sketches, pastels, studies in tempera and advertising posters....