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Article

Jorge Alberto Manrique

(b Clayten Green, nr Chorley, Lancashire, April 6, 1917; d Mexico City, May 25, 2011).

Mexican painter, sculptor and writer of English birth. In 1936 she travelled to London, where she studied under Amédée Ozenfant and in 1937 met Max(imilian) Ernst, with whom she became involved artistically and romantically, leading to her association with Surrealism. They moved to Paris together in 1937. At the outbreak of World War II, Ernst was interned as an enemy alien, and Carrington escaped to Spain, where she was admitted to a private clinic after having a nervous breakdown; she later recounted the experience in her book En bas (1943). After marrying the Mexican poet Renato Leduc in 1941 (a marriage of convenience), she spent time in New York before settling in Mexico in 1942, devoting herself to painting. There she and Remedios Varo developed an illusionistic Surrealism combining autobiographical and occult symbolism. Having divorced Leduc in 1942, in 1946 she married the Hungarian photographer Imre Weisz.

Carrington remained committed to Surrealism throughout her career, filling her pictures with strange or fantastic creatures in surprising situations, notably horses, which appear in ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

(Resende )

(b Barra Mansa, Aug 10, 1899; d Valinhos, June 4, 1973).

Brazilian painter, draughtsman, architect and sculptor. He was in Europe from 1910 to 1922 and lived first in Paris and then in London; he studied civil engineering at Armstrong College, University of Durham, and painting in the evening at the King Edward VII School of Fine Arts. On his return to Brazil he settled in São Paulo. His design of 1927 for the headquarters of the government of São Paulo state, although never realized, made him one of the pioneers of modern Brazilian architecture (Dahler, pp. 130–31). During the 1930s in particular he was one of the liveliest figures in the cultural life of the country, responsible for radicalizing the initial successes of Modernism. In 1931 his interest in the psychology of the masses led him to put on the performance Experience No. 2 in São Paulo. In the same city in 1932 he founded the Clube dos Artistas Modernos and the Teatro de Experiência, where he mounted, to great public scandal, his ...

Article

Ricardo Descalzi

[Chili, Manuel ]

(fl Quito, 18th century).

Ecuadorean sculptor. An Indian nicknamed Caspicara (wooden face), he lived in Quito, and his name and work were discovered in 1791 by the doctor and journalist Eugenio Espejo. He was a pupil of Bernardo de Legarda. He is considered the outstanding sculptor of religious images in polychromed wood of the colonial period in Quito because of the delicacy, grace, and feeling that he gave to human expressions and his attention to the details of anatomy and the movement of his figures. The elegant but natural carving of the drapery adds a Baroque quality to his sculptures. The most outstanding of his works in Quito, all of unknown date, include the Four Virtues and the Holy Shroud in Quito Cathedral; St Francis, the Twelve Apostles, and the Assumption of the Virgin in S Francisco; and La Virgen del Carmen, St Joseph, and the Coronation of the Virgin in the Museo Franciscano in Quito. In certain of his works he grouped the figures as if in a painting, as in the ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

(b Paraisópolis, 1920; d Rio de Janeiro, Nov 22, 2002).

Brazilian sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker. Moving from the interior to the capital of Minas Gerais, he studied drawing and painting with Alberto da Veiga Guignard in Belo Horizonte from 1942 to 1950. He then went to Rio de Janeiro, where he began to show preference for sculpture and worked extensively as a graphic designer, making his name by redesigning the daily newspaper Jornal do Brasil. Already a Constructivist, in 1959 he signed the Neo-Concrete Manifesto, participating in exhibitions of the Grupo Neoconcreto until 1961 and in the international exhibition of Concrete art in Zurich (1960). Awarded a trip abroad by the Salão Nacional de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, from 1967 to 1969 he lived in New Jersey, where in 1968 he was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship. On his return to Brazil he settled in Belo Horizonte. In his sculpture, mainly in sheet iron, he continued to use a language of extreme economy (...

Article

Paul Von Blum

(b Washington, DC, April 15, 1915; d Cuernavaca, Mexico, April 3, 2012).

African American sculptor, printmaker, and art educator, active also in Mexico. One of the leading African American feminist and political artists of the 20th century and early 21st century, Catlett devoted her career of more than 60 years to expressing critical ideas in powerful visual form both in the United States and in her adopted country of Mexico. Her strong academic background began at Howard University, Washington, DC, where she studied under African American art luminaries James Porter (d 1939), James Wells (1902–93), and Lois Jones. After graduating in 1937, she completed her MFA in 1940 at the University of Iowa.

In 1941 she married the artist Charles White. Visiting Mexico, they found the Mexican mural and printmaking tradition artistically and politically engaging. After her first marriage ended in 1946, she moved to Mexico in the wake of American post-war political repression. While working at the Taller de Gráfica Popular in Mexico City, she met the Mexican artist Francisco Mora (...

Article

Denise Carvalho

(b Belo Horizonte, Oct 23, 1920; d Rio de Janeiro, April 25, 1988).

Brazilian painter, sculptor, interactive artist and art therapist. She was a cofounder in 1959 of the Neo-Concrete movement, whose members laid the foundation for much of Brazilian contemporary art. The Neo-Concretists broke with the rigidity of the rationalism of Concrete art and advocated a more sensorial, interactive art. Lygia Clark and her creative soul-mate, Hélio Oiticica, created participatory works that challenged not only longstanding artistic dogmas, but also the role of the art object itself, as well as the role of the artist, the spectator, and the art institution. Their most groundbreaking works required the viewer to be part of the artwork and thereby experience it sensorially, all of which made their work difficult to categorize. Clark came to see even her exhibitions at major art events as meaningless, and her emphasis on person-to-person dialogue eventually led her into art therapy. Without a therapeutic license, she devoted her last decades solely to treating patients with her own form of art therapy....

Article

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Mexico City, June 10, 1940).

Mexican painter, sculptor, illustrator and stage designer. He was self-taught when he took up painting in 1956 with the encouragement of Diego Rivera, but from 1956 to 1960 he studied graphic design with Gordon Jones. During those years he worked in an Abstract Expressionist manner, although he soon incorporated figurative elements and, from c. 1963, elements of fantasy. In 1967 he went to Paris on a French government grant. In the following year he was a founder-member of the Salón Independiente, where he began to exhibit acrylic sculptures of the female torso. These were followed between 1974 and 1976 by a series entitled Mutations, in which he explored the possibilities of the cube and which opened the way to later sculptures and paintings in which geometry is balanced with sensuality. Venus and Mars (Mexico City, U. N. Autónoma) is one of the best of his public sculptures. He also worked as a stage designer, for example on a production in ...

Article

Carlos Lastarria Hermosilla

(b Chillán, June 22, 1915; d Santiago, Oct 27, 1995).

Chilean sculptor. She studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes of the Universidad de Chile in Santiago before travelling in 1948 to Paris on a French government grant, studying at the Sorbonne and at the Ecole du Louvre and frequenting Brancusi’s studio. Her teachers included Henri Laurens, Ossip Zadkine and Etienne-Martin. She visited London in 1949 and returned to Chile in 1950. In 1952, at the invitation of the British Council, she went back to London, studying there at the Slade School of Fine Art and receiving advice from Henry Moore. She began working in a realist style, but her interest in deforming volumes for expressive effect and her contact with innovative European art after World War II led her to ‘purify’ her sculpture of overt representation and to create organic forms suggestive of the living growth of nature. She moved towards a monumental expression of mass, but she was particularly affected by her discovery of Pre-Columbian art....

Article

Fausto Ramírez

(b Aguascalientes, January 20, 1866; d Mexico City, July 13, 1902).

Mexican sculptor. He studied under Miguel Noreña at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and collaborated with him in 1886–7 on the casting of the bronze statues for the Cuauhtémoc monument. Awarded a fellowship to complete his training in Paris, he pursued his studies there between January 1888 and December 1889, not at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts but in workshops renowned for casting (Gagnot, Thiébaut Frères) and stone-cutting (Colibert). While in Paris he completed 12 large bronze reliefs for the Mexican pavilion at the Exposition Universelle held in Paris in 1889, representing gods and kings of the pre-Hispanic period; these were later moved to Aguascalientes (six in Casa Cult.; two integrated into the monument to J. F. Contreras) and Mexico City (four integrated into the Monumento a la Raza; three of them now in the Museo del Ejército in Mexico City).

Both as a practising sculptor and as a teacher, Contreras understood clearly the need to incorporate industrial processes into the preparation of sculpture. On his return to Mexico City he conducted classes at both the Escuela de Artes y Oficios and the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, but his new concept of artistic training soon brought him into conflict with the academic authorities, and he was forced to give up teaching. In ...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Salvador, Bahia, 1947; d Salvador, Bahia, Aug 9, 2009).

Brazilian photographer and sculptor. In 1964 he trained as a photographer in Berlin, returning to Brazil in 1966. He worked with the photographer Hans Mann in Rio de Janeiro, and as Fulvio Roiter’s assistant on the latter’s journey to Bahia. In 1969 he visited New York, and in the 1970s worked as a sculptor and photographer in São Paolo. In 1980 Cravo Neto won the prize for the best photographer of 1980 from the society of Brazilian art critics. This was in recognition of his extraordinary work in portrait studies, which he produced in front of a dramatic black background, as in Tep, the Indian (1980; see 1988 exh. cat.).

Cravo Neto, Mario La Ciudad de Bahia (Brasília, 1980)Mario Cravo visto da Mario Cravo Neto (Brasília, 1983) Brasil, fotografie di Mario Cravo Neto (exh. cat., intro. J. Amado; Venice, Pal. Fortuny, 1988)Cartographies: 14 artistas latinamericanos...