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Article

Lin Barton

English exhibiting society founded in November 1913. On its foundation it absorbed many members of the Camden Town Group and also incorporated the more avant-garde artists influenced by Cubism and Futurism, some of whom afterwards joined the Vorticist movement (see Vorticism). Among the founder-members were David Bomberg, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Jacob Epstein, Harold Gilman (the group’s first president until his death in 1919), Charles Ginner, Spencer Gore, Percy Wyndham Lewis, John Nash, Christopher Nevinson and Edward Wadsworth. The group was organized in opposition to the conservatism of the Royal Academy and the stagnation of the formerly radical New English Art Club. Though, as can be judged from the names of its founders, it had no homogeneous style or aesthetic, it acted as a focal point for the more progressive elements in British art at that time.

The first unofficial manifestation of the London Group was an exhibition held in Brighton (...

Article

Troels Andersen

(Severinovich)

(b Kiev, Feb 26, 1878; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 15, 1935).

Russian painter, printmaker, decorative artist and writer of Ukranian birth. One of the pioneers of abstract art, Malevich was a central figure in a succession of avant-garde movements during the period of the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 and immediately after. The style of severe geometric abstraction with which he is most closely associated, Suprematism (see fig.), was a leading force in the development of Constructivism, the repercussions of which continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. His work was suppressed in Soviet Russia in the 1930s and remained little known during the following two decades. The reassessment of his reputation in the West from the mid-1950s was matched by the renewed influence of his work on the paintings of Ad Reinhardt and on developments such as Zero, Hard-edge painting and Minimalism.

Article

Daniel Robbins

[Markus, Louis Casimir Ladislas]

(b Warsaw, Nov 10, 1878; d Cusset, nr Vichy, Oct 22, 1941).

French painter and printmaker of Polish birth. The second son in a cultivated family of Jewish origin that had converted to Catholicism, he began studying law in Warsaw but left to enrol in the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. When he refused to follow decorative arts and design, potentially useful in the family’s carpet manufacturing business, his father cut off his allowance, reinstating it only after he won honours in drawing and decided to continue his studies in Paris. In 1903 he enrolled under Jules Lefebvre at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he became friendly with Roger de La Fresnaye and the French painter Robert Lotiron (1886–1966). A casual student, he spent most of his time visiting the Louvre, salon exhibitions, galleries and cafés until 1905, when the subvention from home ended. The first work he exhibited in Paris was an Impressionist landscape at the Salon d’Automne in ...

Article

Sascha Scott

(b Vlachovo Březí, Bohemia [Czech Republic], Nov 7, 1890; d Bronx, New York, June 24, 1972).

American painter and printmaker of Czech birth. Matulka was raised in South Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) and began his artistic training in Prague in 1905, which was interrupted when he immigrated to the USA with his parents in 1907. They settled in the Bronx, and soon after he enrolled in the National Academy of Design. He completed his training in 1917, at which time he was awarded the National Academy of Design’s Joseph Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship, which came with a $1500 prize. Unable to travel abroad due to complications in securing a passport, he traveled instead to New Mexico, Arizona and Florida between 1917 and 1918. In 1918, he married Ludmila Jirouskova, a fellow Bohemian immigrant. From 1917 through 1919 was a period of frequent travel and artistic experimentation for Matulka. Around this time he adopted a Cubist-inspired style, apparent in works such as Cubist Nudes (1916–19; Lincoln, U. NE, Sheldon Mem. A.G.) and ...

Article

Alina-Ioana Şerbu

(b Braila, Oct 26, 1895; d Bucharest, July 19, 1971).

Romanian painter. He studied first in Bucharest (1913–15) under Camil Ressu and Iosif Iser, then in Berlin (1922) under Arthur Segal. In Berlin he exhibited with the Novembergruppe. Such works as Diagonal Construction (1922; priv. col., see exh. cat., no. 12) show Maxy’s complete assimilation of late Cubism and his awareness of wider currents of abstraction. On his return to Romania he became one of the leading members of the avant-garde, introducing Cubism and organizing with Marcel Janco, Victor Brauner and Corneliu Michăilescu the exhibitions of the Contimporanul group in 1924, 1930 and 1935, in which the work of Romanian artists was shown with that of major figures in the European avant-garde, such as Klee. At the same time Maxy was editor of Integral and the organizer of the Group of New Art (Grupul de Artă Nouă). In 1924 he co-founded the Academy of Modern Decorative Arts in Bucharest, which was intended as a Romanian version of the Bauhaus and which continued until ...

Article

David Elliott

(Vladimirovich)

(b Bagdadi, Georgia, July 19, 1893; d Moscow, April 14, 1930).

Russian poet, critic, graphic designer and painter of Georgian birth. Although best known as a poet and playwright he studied painting at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1911–14) and, as a member of the Futurist group Hylea, was a pioneer of what later became known as Performance art. Mayakovsky’s family moved to Moscow on the death of his father in 1906, and he soon became involved in left-wing activities, for which he was repeatedly arrested. On passing the entrance examination of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in August 1911, his political activities shifted their focus to bohemian épatage. In the class for figure painting Mayakovsky met David Burlyuk, who with his brothers Nikolay Burlyuk (1890–1920) and Vladimir Burlyuk (1886–1917) and the ‘aviator poet’ Vasily Kamensky (1864–1961), formed the core of the Russian Futurist movement. Adopting a stance similar to that of Marinetti, whose Futurist manifesto (...

Article

Daniel Robbins

(b Nantes, June 24, 1883; d Paris, Nov 3, 1956).

French painter, critic and poet. Although he came from a military family, following the early death of his father he pursued his own interests in mathematics, music and painting. By 1900 he was a student at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, where he worked under the portrait painter Hippolyte Touront. After sending three pictures to the Salon des Indépendants in 1903, he moved to Paris with the proceeds from their sale. Thus, from the age of 20, Metzinger supported himself as a professional painter, a fact that may account for some of the shifts to which his art submitted in later years. He exhibited regularly in Paris from 1903, taking part in 1904 in a group show with Touront and Raoul Dufy at the gallery run by Berthe Weill and also participating in the Salon d’Automne in that year. By 1906 he had enough prestige to be elected to the hanging committee of the Salon des Indépendants. By the time he began dating his works around ...

Article

John Steen

[Dut.: ‘Modern art circle’]

Group of Dutch artists founded in November 1910 on the initiative of John Conrad Theodor Kickert (1882–1965), a Dutch painter and critic, who had moved to Paris in 1909. The objective was to convey to the Netherlands the latest developments in painting in Paris. Its members included a large number of Dutch painters who either had connections with Paris or lived there. Kickert financed the venture. The first exhibition was held between 6 October and 5 November 1911 at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. It was a great success, attracting 6000 visitors. Of the 166 works shown, half came from abroad. As ‘father of Cubism’, Paul Cézanne was well represented by 28 works from the Hoogendijk collection; also exhibited were 19 works by Auguste Herbin, 7 by Pablo Picasso and 6 by Georges Braque. The Paris-based painter Lodewijk Schelfhout (1881–1943), one of the first Dutch artists to paint in a Cubist style, submitted 12 works; other Dutch artists, such as ...

Article

(b Amersfoort, March 7, 1872; d New York, Feb 1, 1944).

Dutch painter, theorist, and draughtsman. His work marks the transition at the start of the 20th century from the Hague school and Symbolism to Neo-Impressionism and Cubism. His key position within the international avant-garde is determined by works produced after 1920. He set out his theory in the periodical of Stijl, De, in a series of articles that were summarized in a separate booklet published in Paris in 1920 under the title Le Néo-plasticisme (see Neo-plasticism) by Léonce Rosenberg. The essence of Mondrian’s ideas is that painting, composed of the most fundamental aspects of line and colour, must set an example to the other arts for achieving a society in which art as such has no place but belongs instead to the total realization of ‘beauty’. The representation of the universal, dynamic pulse of life, also expressed in modern jazz and the metropolis, was Mondrian’s point of departure. Even in his lifetime he was regarded as the founder of the most ...

Article

María Teresa Dabrio González

(b Madrid, Dec 27, 1929; d 1998).

Spanish painter and printmaker. He studied drawing at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid from 1949 to 1954. Freeing himself gradually from academic discipline, he became acquainted with Cubism, Expressionism, abstract art and other modernist tendencies and also experimented with collage. After taking part in a group show in Madrid in 1955 he spent a year in Paris (1955–6), where he became involved with Art informel and matter painting, taking a particular interest in the textures of his materials. He was particularly innovative in his prints and in works on wood rather than in oil paintings. Far from assigning a merely supportive role to wood, he incorporated it fully into the overall concept of works such as Panel 21 (1959; London, Tate), sometimes scorching it, scratching deep cuts into it or covering it with a thick layer of oil paint into which he mixed marble dust, sawdust and pulverized minerals. He referred to these works by the ironic term ...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Benešov, Jan 11, 1880; d Prague, April 4, 1959).

Czech architect, designer, teacher and writer. He graduated (1903) in architecture from the Academy of Applied Arts, Prague, where he studied under Jan Kotěra. He worked for a year in Kotěra’s studio, then set up his own practice. Novotný was a notable member of the generation that laid the foundations for modern architecture in Czechoslovakia. He was initially influenced by the Viennese Secession style, as seen in his finely decorative Otto villa (1909), Zbraslav, but at this time he was also developing an individual style using bare brickwork with great skill. Perhaps the best examples of this modern, rationalist approach are found in the Štenc house and publishing offices (1909–11), Prague, for which he also designed some elegant black-and-white furniture, and in his clubhouses (1911 and 1912) for the Sokol national physical education movement in Holice and Rakovník. He was less influenced by Czech Cubism, although he did design three houses (...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Nov 29, 1922 ; d 2015).

Argentine painter and diplomat. Although trained as an architect, he began painting while living in Paris as a diplomat from 1948 to 1950, taking a particular interest in the structural methods of Cubism, the color sense of Pierre Bonnard, and the subtlety of Paul Klee’s paintings; his concern with light also emerged at this time. On his return to Buenos Aires in 1950 he generally used geometric motifs in his paintings, creating dynamic compositions from the tensions and rhythms produced by scattered squares, triangles, and, above all, circles. In 1952 he helped found the Artistas Modernos de la Argentina.

Ocampo returned to Europe as a diplomat in 1956, living in Rome until 1959 and in Paris from 1961 to 1966. Although he softened the geometrical severity of his work, he continued to employ a meticulous technique, using a form of pointillism to render evanescent forms and a diffuse atmosphere. He concentrated his attention on the relationship between large and small forms, leading to their fusion with the background into single planes of color, with the smaller elements gathered together or expanded in freely rendered rhythms so as to occupy the whole surface. He continued to use these dynamic patterns of colored shapes, but after ...

Article

Orphism  

Hajo Düchting

Term coined by Guillaume Apollinaire c. 1912 to refer to the work of several painters in Paris. He applied it to a new kind of joyously sensuous art, whose roots were in Cubism and which had a tendency towards abstraction. The word orphique had been used by the Symbolists and originated in the Greek myth of Orpheus, who was significant as the ideal artist for the Symbolists. In 1907 Apollinaire had written a collection of quatrains under the title Bestiaire ou cortège d’Orphée (Paris, 1911), with woodcuts by Raoul Dufy, into which he incorporated the figure of Orpheus as a symbol of the poet and the artist in general. For Apollinaire, however, as for the generation of Symbolists who preceded him, the myth of Orpheus meant the study of mystic, occult and astrological sources, which gave rise to artistic inspiration. ‘The voice of light’, which he described in his Orphic poems, was a metaphor, common in mystic texts, for ‘inner experiences’. In a footnote to his volume of poetry he identified the ‘voice of light’ by means of a line drawing, although it was still not fully articulated; once it had totally expressed itself, it would take on colour and become painting. The metaphor of light, therefore, represented the artist’s power to create entirely new forms and colours, and in the process referred to the creation myth of hermetic, Orphic texts. Accordingly, Orphism could signify a direct sensuous address by means of colour and light, as well as an innovative creative process....

Article

Horacio Safons

(b La Plata, Oct 1, 1892; d Paris, Oct 16, 1971).

Argentine painter and museum director. He began to paint at the age of 14 and in 1911 travelled to Italy on a state scholarship. He studied in Florence with Giovanni Giacometti and in 1913 settled in Milan, later engaging in discussions about Futurism with Carlo Carrà, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Alberto Sartoris. His paintings, however, showed very little influence from Futurism, owing more to Synthetic Cubism. In 1923 he exhibited 35 works at the Sturm-Galerie in Berlin. He met Juan Gris in Paris in 1924, just before returning to Buenos Aires, where his first exhibition produced such violent reactions that his paintings—the first Cubist works seen there—had to be protected by glass from being spat on.

Works painted by Pettoruti after his return to Argentina continued to show his mastery of a late Cubist style; The Quintet (1927; San Francisco, CA, MOMA), for instance, is reminiscent both of the work of Gris and of Picasso’s ...

Article

Marianne Heinz

[François] (Marie Martínez)

(b Paris, Jan 22, 1879; d Paris, Nov 30, 1953).

French painter and writer. He was one of the major figures of the Dada movement in France and in the USA but remained as stubbornly uncategorizable as he was influential. In his rejection of consistency and of an identifiable manner, he called into question attitudes to the artistic process that had been regarded as sacrosanct and in so doing guaranteed the intellectual force of his ideas for subsequent generations of artists.

After attending the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris on an irregular basis from 1895 to 1897, he was able to begin his career as a painter thanks to a substantial inheritance from his mother. He gained early recognition with Impressionist-influenced landscapes and townscapes depicting resorts near Paris such as Villeneuve-sur-Yonne and Moret-sur-Loing, for example Banks of the Loing (1905; Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.). These paintings, which he exhibited in Paris at the official salons and in commercial galleries, were particularly close to the work of Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley; in spite of their sometimes mediocre quality they sold easily because of the ready market for this kind of work....

Article

Melissa McQuillan

(b Málaga, Oct 25, 1881; d Mougins, France, April 8, 1973).

Spanish painter, sculptor, draughtsman, printmaker, decorative artist and writer, active in France. He dominated 20th-century European art and was central in the development of the image of the modern artist. Episodes of his life were recounted in intimate detail, his comments on art were published and his working methods recorded on film. Painting was his principal medium, but his sculptures, prints, theatre designs and ceramics all had an impact on their respective disciplines. Even artists not influenced by the style or appearance of his work had to come to terms with its implications.

With Georges Braque Picasso was responsible for Cubism, one of the most radical re-structurings of the way that a work of art constructs its meaning. During his extremely long life Picasso instigated or responded to most of the artistic dialogues taking place in Europe and North America, registering and transforming the developments that he found most fertile. His marketability as a unique and enormously productive artistic personality, together with the distinctiveness of his work and practice, have made him the most extensively exhibited and discussed artist of the 20th century....

Article

Christina Lodder

(Sergeyevna)

(b Ivanovskoye, nr Moscow, April 24, 1889; d Moscow, May 25, 1924).

Russian painter and designer. She was born into a wealthy family and trained as a teacher before beginning her artistic studies with Stanislav Zhukovsky (1873–1944) and Konstantin Yuon. Their influence, particularly through their interest in luminous tonalities reminiscent of Impressionism, can be seen in early works by Popova such as Still-life with Basket of Fruit (1907–8; Athens, George Costakis Col.; see Rudenstine, pl. 725). Popova travelled extensively: in Kiev (1909) she was very impressed by the religious works of Mikhail Vrubel’; in Italy (1910) she admired Renaissance art, especially the paintings of Giotto. Between 1910 and 1911 she toured many parts of Russia, including Suzdal’, Novgorod, Yaroslavl’ and Pskov. Inspired by Russian architecture, frescoes and icons, she developed a less naturalistic approach. A more crucial influence was the first-hand knowledge of Cubism that she gained in Paris, which she visited with Nadezhda Udal’tsova during the winter of ...

Article

Lenka Bydžovská

(b Vážany u Vyškova, June 5, 1882; d Brno, June 9, 1945).

Czech painter and designer. In 1902–4 he studied at the Academy of Applied Arts (Vysoká Škola Uměleckoprůmyslová) and in 1904–6 at the Academy of Fine Arts (Akademii Výtvarných Uměni) in Prague. In 1906 he made a study journey through Europe with his fellow students Emil Filla and Friedrich Feigl (1884–1965) and subsequently several journeys with his wife, the painter Linka Scheithauerová (b 1884). He was one of the founders (1907) of the avant-garde group known as the Eight (1907), based in Prague (see Eight, the), and the Cubist-oriented Group of Plastic Artists. His early work was influenced by Expressionism and Fauvism and his stay in Paris in autumn 1909 stimulated his interest in Cubism, resulting in Cubo-Expressionistic works (e.g. Prometheus, 1910–11; Brno, Morav. Gal.). By late 1912 he had assimilated some aspects of Analytical Cubism, modifying them with a certain personal sensuality and skittishness (e.g. ...

Article

Daniel Robbins

[Puteaux-Courbevoie group; Salon Cubists]

Term applied from the mid-20th century to a group of artists associated with Cubism who came to prominence in the wake of their controversial showing in room 41 of the Salon des Indépendants in spring 1911. The name given to them, in order to distinguish them from the narrower definition of Cubism developed by Picasso and Braque from 1907 to 1910 in the Montmartre district of Paris, is that of the suburban village west of Paris where two of the core members of the group, Jacques Villon and his brother Raymond Duchamp-Villon, held regular gatherings.

Villon had moved in 1906 to the Rue Lemaître in Puteaux, where he was the neighbour of František Kupka; Duchamp-Villon arrived soon after, and their brother Marcel Duchamp later lived in nearby Neuilly. Their family gatherings in Puteaux on Sundays were enlarged after their participation in the Salon des Indépendants in spring 1911, and from that time they were often received on Mondays by another Cubist painter, ...

Article

Lourdes Cirlot

(b Barcelona, Feb 2, 1923).

Spanish Catalan painter. He first became aware of avant-garde art in the late 1930s through magazines published in Spain, and he produced his first drawings at this time under the influence of Cubism and Futurism. He began studying architecture in 1942 at the University of Barcelona and in 1945 enrolled in painting and drawing classes at the Academia Tàrrega in Barcelona, where he produced his first paintings, still influenced by Cubism, for example Figure (1945; see 1985 exh. cat., p. 234). By 1950 he had begun to develop a personal figurative style that owed much to abstract art. He produced his first pure abstractions in 1957, initially concentrating exclusively on the interaction of the background with geometrically arranged shapes in sharply defined colours and faintly defined outlines; a typical example is Quarry (1958; Barcelona, Antoni de Senillosa priv. col., see 1985 exh. cat., p. 95). From 1959 to 1963...