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Article

Zebra  

German artists’ group formed in Hamburg in 1965 by the painters Dieter Asmus (b 1939), Peter Nagel (b 1942), Nikolaus Störtenbecker (b 1940) and Dietmar Ullrich (b 1940). They were all graduates of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg and shared a common interest in Photorealism. Their work was characterized by the setting of objects and figures against an indistinct background. Despite the precise delineation of objects, sometimes approaching trompe l’oeil in the work of Nagel, their paintings were not naturalistic. Colour and form were used in an anti-realistic way, and the artists sometimes adopted the convention of using monochrome for figures and bright, arbitrary colours for inanimate objects, as in Asmus’s Vitamin-Bomb (1976; Bochum, priv. col., see 1978-80 exh. cat., pl. 8). From photography they took the device of cutting off figures and objects, thus robbing their images of traditional compositional structure. Störtenbecker, in particular, employed a precise, minutely detailed realism that gave his work the impression of being a photograph, rather than a painted image. In the work of all four artists there was a tendency to suppress dramatic and expressive content by means of an apparently objective manner and by their attempts to dissociate their subjects from any ‘meaning’ that might have attached to them. This is as true of Ullrich’s paintings featuring sport (e.g. ...

Article

Zhong Hong

[Mao Tse-tung; zi Runzhi]

(b Shaoshan, Hunan Province, Dec 26, 1893; d Beijing, Sept 9, 1976).

Chinese Marxist theorist, statesman and poet. He was born into a well-to-do peasant family, had a traditional classical education and attended a teacher-training college in the provincial capital Changsha from 1911 to 1918. After graduation he went to Beiping (Beijing), where he worked briefly as a library assistant at Beiping University. He became actively involved in politics as part of the May Fourth Movement in 1919 and was a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1921. After the Communist–Guomindang (or KMT) split in 1927, Mao worked in the mountains of south China to establish rural Soviets and to build the Red Army. He later led the Long March to Yan’an (1934–5), and became leader of the party en route in 1935. When the Japanese invasion of 1937 forced the CCP and Guomindang once again to form a united front, the Communists gained legitimacy as defenders of the Chinese homeland, and Mao rose in stature as a national leader. During this period he established himself as a military theorist and laid claim to recognition as one of the most important Communist thinkers. When the People’s Republic of China was established in ...

Article

Isabelle Gournay

( Louis )

(b Angers, Oct 20, 1911; d 1996).

French architect . He studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1928–39), winning the Premier Grand Prix de Rome in 1939. In 1942 he went to Tunisia as a volunteer in the Free French Army. From 1943 to 1948 he practised there as Chief Government Architect, directing a team involved in modernization; they designed housing projects, markets and schools, which were notable for their respect of local traditions. Although he returned to private practice in Paris (1948), he still received large public commissions from the Tunisian government (for example buildings for the University of Tunis, 1960–64). In Paris he was instrumental in the implementation of the Camus process, a prefabrication method that he used in the housing complex at the Pont de Sèvres, Boulogne-Billancourt (1949–52). The Renault industrial complex, Flins (1950–55), is in a straightforward International style, although its façades are enlivened by a polychrome composition by the painter ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Istanbul, 1901; d Amman, Sept 5, 1991).

Turkish painter . The daughter of Shakir Pasha, a Turkish general, diplomat and historian, she was brought up in a distinguished family of statesmen and intellectuals. She went to the Academy of Fine Arts, Istanbul, in 1920, where she studied under Namık Ismail (1890–1935), and then to Paris in 1927, where she studied at the Académie Ranson under Roger Bissière. On returning to Istanbul, she joined an association of young Turkish painters known as the D Group, which was founded in 1933. In 1934 she married the Hashemite prince Zeid El-Hussein, a diplomat, and accompanied him on postings to Berlin, London and Paris. She had private exhibitions in Istanbul in 1944 and 1945, and then in 1946 at Izmir and the Musée Cernuschi, Paris. After World War II, when she moved back to western Europe, she had further exhibitions in London, Paris, Brussels, New York and elsewhere. She participated in the ...

Article

( Heinrich )

(b Braunsdorf, Jan 11, 1926).

Canadian architect of German birth. He studied at the Staatliche Bauhaus, Weimar (1948), and graduated in engineering and architecture from the Technische Hochschule, University of Karlsruhe, in 1949. He began his career as a designer for the architectural firm of Eiermann & Lindner, Karlsruhe. In 1951 Zeidler emigrated to Canada and worked for Blackwell & Craig of Peterborough, Ontario, becoming a partner in the firm in 1954. He taught modern architectural design at the University of Toronto (1953–5; Adjunct Professor from 1984). He became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1956. In 1962 Zeidler moved the practice from Peterborough to Toronto, where it evolved as Craig, Zeidler & Strong (1963–75), and later as the Zeidler Partnership/Architects (1975–80). In 1980, when Zeidler joined with new partner Alfred C. Roberts (b 1931), the name was changed again to the Zeidler Roberts Partnership/Architects. Zeidler was best known for designing such megastructures as the McMaster Health Sciences Centre in Hamilton (completed ...

Article

Kari Horowicz

[née Stricker, Éva Amália; Weissburg, Mrs Alexander]

(b Budapest, Nov 13, 1906; d New City, NY, Dec 30, 2011).

Hungarian ceramicist, designer and teacher. Zeisel began her career studying painting at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts (Magyar Képzőmüvészeti Főiskolá) in Budapest and, after a short tenure at the Academy, Zeisel began an apprenticeship with a traditional potter, Jakob Karapancsik. While working for Karapancsik she became the first woman to gain admittance to the guild of potters and ovensetters. In 1925 she began making her own pottery and displayed it in local fairs and was subsequently discovered by the Kispester Pottery and the Hungarian government. Representatives from the government requested that her work represent Hungary in the Philadelphia Sesquicentennial. Zeisel was employed by Kispester for less than a year after which she travelled to Germany to work in Hamburg briefly and then moved to Schramberg where she worked as a ceramic designer at the Schramberger Majolika Fabrik for two years beginning in 1928. In the summer of 1930, Zeisel’s mother rented her and her brother an apartment in Berlin. It was in Berlin that she met her first husband Alexander Weissburg. Zeisel thrived in the artistic and intellectual café community. She stayed in Berlin and designed for a number of manufacturers including Christian Carstens Kommerz and Staatliche Porzellan Manufaktur. At Carstens Zeisel was involved in every aspect of production from design to manufacture and marketing. In ...

Article

A. N. Lavrentiev

( Anatol’yevich )

(b Tashkent, 1906; d Moscow, 1984).

Russian photographer of Uzbek birth. He moved to Moscow in 1921. After training as a photographer, he worked in the Proletkino film studio and then as an apprentice photographer at the Russfoto agency (1923–4). His early photographs include pictures of old Moscow and a toy factory at Zagorsk. Russfoto sent Zel’ma to Tashkent as a correspondent. His photographs of life in the Central Asian republics began to appear in the national press and were included in 10 let Uzbekistana (‘10 years of Uzbekistan’, 1934), an album of photographs designed by Aleksandr Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova. Zel’ma was one of the leading photojournalists in the USSR. In the 1930s he worked for the newspapers Izvestiya and Krasnaya Zvezda. Together with Maks Al’pert he photographed a number of subjects for the magazine USSR in Construction, including pictures of collective farms and aerial views of the USSR as well as a series on the building of the Beryoznikovsk and Solikamsk chemical complexes. He also produced expressive photographs on the theme of aviation (e.g. ...

Article

Alena Adlerová

Czech centre of glass production. It is situated in the Jizerské Mountains in an area where stonecutting and glass engraving have flourished for centuries. The rise of glassmaking at Železný Brod is associated with the specialist glassmaking school founded in 1920. The artistic nature of the school and the outstanding local industry between 1918 and 1939 was the responsibility of the various teaching schools run by graduates of the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague: the director, Alois Metelák (1897–1980), produced many cut-glass designs, and Ladislav Přenosil (1893–1965) taught glass engraving. Examples of the cottage industry work done at Železný Brod included small glass figures for beads or miner’s lamps designed by Jaroslav Brychta (1895–1971). Important artists working at the school and in production after World War II include Břetislav Novák (1913–82), Miloslav Klinger (b 1922), Ladislav Oliva (b...

Article

A. S. Ciechanowiecki

(b Jasienica, Nov 1, 1931).

Polish sculptor . He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, becoming an assistant (1958), a professor (1970) and Dean of the faculty of sculpture (1979–81). He took part in numerous exhibitions in Poland and elsewhere and received many Polish prizes and awards. His works range from portraits, tomb sculptures and near-abstract smaller compositions to grandiose state commissions, for example the monument to the Silesian Insurgents (1967; Katowice), to the Warsaw War Dead (1973; Warsaw) and to the Polish Achievement (1979; Szczecin). Zemła never adopted official Socialist Realism, and these, his main monuments, have a strong Romantic and personal Baroque flavour, with a tendency towards abstraction. In 1980 Zemła’s work shifted from patriotic state art to the religious, with the commission for the monumental bronze sculptural décor for the new Church of the Virgin and St Maximilian Kolbe at Mistrzejowice, Nowa Huta, Kraków, which consists of three over life-size figures for the sanctuary, two life-size figures for the side altars and the Stations of the Cross in high relief. The bronze figure of ...

Article

Zen 49  

Claudia Büttner

German association of non-objective artists, founded in the Galerie Otto Stangl in Munich on 19 July 1949. Its seven founder-members were the painters Willi Baumeister, Rolf Cavael (1898–1979), Gerhard Fietz (b 1910), Rupprecht Geiger, Willi Hempel (1905–85), Fritz Winter and the sculptor Brigitte Matschinsky-Denninghof. Originally called the Gruppe der Ungegenständlichen, the group took the name Zen 49 in 1950 and saw itself as keeper of the traditions of the Blaue Reiter in Munich and of the Bauhaus, taking up artistic positions that had been vilified by the Nazis as ‘degenerate’. The new name of Zen 49 was inspired by a general understanding of Zen Buddhism rather than by any intensive preoccupation with the subject. Through Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in der Kunst des Bogenschiessens (Konstanz, 1948) and Daisetz Taitaro Suzuki’s Die grosse Befreiung (Leipzig, 1939; 3rd edn, Konstanz, 1948), Zen was known as a spiritual pathway, along which the unconscious was made conscious, and the group’s name was chosen in reference to the philosophy’s open and non-specific character. The date of foundation was affixed in order to indicate that the group was not to be identified exclusively with the oriental philosophy....

Article

Article

(b Tehran, 1937).

Iranian painter and printmaker . He studied at the College of Fine Arts and the College of Decorative Arts in Tehran and began to exhibit his work early in his career, at the Biennales in Paris (1959–63), Tehran (1960–66), São Paulo (1963) and Venice (1964), receiving a number of awards. He first began to be influenced by Iranian Shi‛ite folk art in 1959, presenting it in his work in a distinctive way, with neither parody nor satire. He went to live in Paris in 1961 but continued to take a close interest in the development of art in Iran. At the third Tehran Biennale in 1962, held in the Abyaz Palace in the Gulistan compound, he exhibited canvases that consisted of geometric patterns of squares, triangles and circles, using colours characteristic of religious folk art, and covered with calligraphy to create a distinctive texture. It was on this occasion that the Iranian art critic ...

Article

Alexander Koutamanis

(b Athens, 1926; d Athens, June 28, 1977).

Greek architect . He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1946–54). His work is characterized by an exploration of technology following two principles: the first was that housing should be the most elaborate and luxurious product of society, in complete opposition to the trends toward low-cost, low-quality housing; the second was the concern to break up what he called the ‘cubic box’ of the Modernist private house in order to integrate the interior with the environment. This was achieved by means of extensive glazing to afford protection from multiple refractions of sunlight, as in the house (1961) at Xanthou 21, Glyfada, Attica, which has a commanding, hovering roof. He was also concerned with spatial flexibility and versatility and used extensively movable and removable parts, as in the block of flats (with M. Apostolidis, 1959), at Amalias 34, Athens, where sliding absorbent glass panels fitted above the balcony parapet offer protection from the sun....

Article

(b Chicontepec, Veracruz, Jan 1, 1947).

Mexican draughtsman, printmaker, painter, and illustrator. Zenil is known for his reworking of recognizable Pop Mexicanist imagery—or known icons of Mexicanismo (mexicanidad; Mexican identity and culture)—such as the Mexican flag, sacred heart, Virgin of Guadalupe, calaveras (skulls), and lotería (Mexican bingo) symbols among others—while collapsing boundaries of the sacred and the profane and challenging the heteronormative. Zenil has been dubbed a member of the stylistic movement neomexicanidad (Neo-Mexicanism), alongside such Mexican artists as Javier de la Garza (b 1954), Julio Galán, and Rocío Maldonado. Zenil has acknowledged Enrique Guzmán (1952–86) as the initiator of Neo-Mexicanism in his work Oh Santa Bandera (a Enrique Guzmán) (1996; Mexico City, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo), which is a reworking Guzmán’s ¡Oh! Santa bandera! (1977) that reiterates Guzmán’s early ironic reinterpretation of Mexican iconography as cultural critique.

A pioneer of Mexican Post-modernism in using strategies of appropriation, fragmentation, parody, and text, Zenil rejected the dominant style of ...

Article

Roman Prahl

(b Prague, May 25, 1849; d Prague, Nov 15, 1916).

Bohemian painter . From 1863 to 1877 he studied at the Prague Academy of Visual Arts and the Vienna Akademie der Bildenden Künste under Eduard Engerth (1818–97), Josef Mathias von Trenkwald (1824–97) and Jan Swerts (1820–79). He assisted Trenkwald and Swerts on large-scale decorative schemes (Trenkwald’s wall paintings in the Votivskirche, Vienna, and Swerts’s Hôtel de Ville, Courtrai, Belgium), which launched his successful career as a mural painter. His most important commission was the decoration of the National Theatre in Prague (1880–83), on which he worked partly with Mikoláš Aleš. Ženíšek’s principal works were both the first curtain of the theatre and the main hall’s ceiling decoration.

Ženíšek’s work draws on the idea of a national style, originated by Josef Mánes. A capable draughtsman with a smooth and elegant manner, he was active in many branches of art and became one of the principal official Czech painters of his time. His paintings of subjects from early Bohemian history won great acclaim, and he was also an outstanding portrait painter (the ...

Article

Zero  

Stephan von Wiese

International group of artists founded in Düsseldorf and active from 1958 until 1966. Membership of this informal association varied, but the core of the group was made by Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Günther Uecker. The range of art produced by Zero members ran from monochrome painting to Nouveau Réalisme, and to object art via kinetic art and light art. The common element was found in young artists who wanted to overcome the subjective expression inherent in Tachism and Art informel, which was still strongly characterized by post-war intellectual movements such as Existentialism. By challenging the artistic ideas of the 1920s again (e.g. Suprematism and Constructivism), it was hoped to find a way of revitalizing and spiritualizing ‘concrete’ means of expression that did not reproduce the old world but rather opened up new forms of perception and levels of consciousness.

The group’s history is linked to that of the eponymous journal, of which only three issues were published (...

Article

Reiko Tomii

[Zero Jigen]

Japanese group of performance artists founded in Nagoya, Japan, around 1959 and active until 1971. Zero Dimension was initially formed in Nagoya as a group of young painters, which held a few local exhibitions between 1960 and 1962. In 1963 Yoshihiro Katō (b 1936) and Iwata Shin’ichi (b 1935) emerged as two new leaders when more than 30 clothed members staged Crawling Procession Ritual on the streets of downtown Nagoya on New Year’s Day, in conjunction with the Insanity Nonsense Exhibition held at Aichi Culture Hall. With this first street performance by the group, the focus of its activity shifted to performances—which Katō called ‘rituals’ (gishiki)—in order to ‘bring human acts to the state of zero’. The driving force of Zero Dimension as a performance collective was Katō, who moved to Tokyo in late 1963 and started an electrical goods store, the income from which financed the group’s subsequent activities in Tokyo and other cities....

Article

Zervos  

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine

French collectors, writers and patrons. Christian Zervos (b Cephalonia, Greece, 1 Jan 1889; d Paris, 12 Sept 1970) was of Greek origin and worked briefly for the magazine L’Art d’aujourd’hui, before founding Cahiers d’art in 1926. Covering contemporary painting and sculpture, music, architecture, film and photography, this magazine was internationally acclaimed not only for its promotion of major modernist artists but also for its immaculate presentation and typography. Its authors included critics, historians and aestheticians (Zervos himself, Tériade, Maurice Raynal, Georges Duthuit, P. G. Bruguière, Dupin), lending each issue a balance of historical analysis and poetic sensibility. Zervos’s concern with the relationship of image to text also extended to confrontations between contemporary art and non-European or primitive sources, such as Cycladic, African, or Oceanic art.

In addition to his editorial work, Zervos published his own monograph on Henri Rousseau (1927) and then books by other authors on Frank Lloyd Wright (...

Article

(b Lidköping, Nov 21, 1831; d Stockholm, 1907).

Swedish architect and restorer . After gaining early experience as a builder, he studied at the Academy of Arts from 1853 to 1859 and then worked for his former teacher F. W. Scholander. In 1860 Zettervall was appointed cathedral architect at Lund, where he remained in charge of the restoration works for the following 20 years. The restoration of the Romanesque cathedral at Lund necessitated the structural rebuilding of large parts of the edifice, especially the west front, with its twin towers. Zettervall followed the fashion of the time in valuing stylistic accuracy and uniformity above archaeological considerations. From a historical perspective his work was destructive, but as architecture Lund Cathedral is a tour de force. In the 1880s and 1890s the Gothic cathedrals of Skara and Uppsala were restored along the same lines, the interiors being particularly successful. Despite his involvement in these projects, Zettervall was not a true ecclesiologist so much as a gifted and versatile architect. While he was working at Lund, for example, he also designed a series of new or rebuilt churches and public buildings. For the complete rebuilding of Malmö Town Hall (...

Article

Weihe Chen

[Chiang Chao-ho]

(b Luzhou, Sichuan Province, May 9, 1904; d Beijing, April 15, 1986).

Chinese painter. He is considered one of the most important representatives of figure painting in 20th-century China. His long artistic career can be divided into three phases. From 1920 to 1928 he worked to familiarise himself with various arts. He worked in Shanghai as a commercial artist, doing portraits to order, designing advertisements and dressing shop windows. In his spare time he taught himself sketching, oil painting, gouache and sculpture. He mastered the structure, anatomy and proportions of the body, gained a good command of portraiture and developed a faculty for analysing and faithfully representing objects.

The period from 1925 to 1936 was one of comprehensive practice and exploration. In 1927 he became acquainted with Xu Beihong and the following year he became a teacher in the art department at National Central University in Nanjing. From 1930 to 1932 he gave sketching lessons at the School of Fine Arts in Shanghai. His first recorded oil painting, ...