(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 (...
(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....
(b Budapest, March 18, 1887; d Budapest, Sept 10, 1953).
Hungarian painter and poster designer. He studied in Budapest in 1904, then from 1905 at the Académie Julian in Paris. His early works, for example Self-portrait in a Straw Hat (1906; Budapest, N.G.), show the influence of Cézanne and Fauvism. Still-life with a Jug (1910; Budapest, N.G.) is a clearly Cubist-inspired work. In 1908 he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Indépendants in Paris. Returning to Hungary in 1911 he became a member of the Eight (see Eight, the). Paintings from this period are Expressionist. An intellectual, Berény was influenced by Freud, especially in his approach to portraiture (e.g. Béla Bartók, 1913; Budapest, N.G.). In Scene 1 (1912; Budapest, N.G.) he experimented with Cézanne’s interpretation of space and colour decomposition.
Berény played an active part in the arts administration of the Council Republic of 1919 and designed an outstanding agitprop poster Call to Arms...
(b Salzburg, May 1, 1753; d Prague, June 25, 1829).
Austrian painter, printmaker, draughtsman, illustrator and teacher, active in Bohemia. He was taught by his father, the sculptor and painter Josef Bergler the elder (1718–88), and, during his stay in Italy, by Martin Knoller in Milan and Anton von Maron in Rome. An accomplished portrait painter, he was employed as official painter by bishops and cardinals at Passau and painted a number of altarpieces in Austria and especially in Bohemia. He helped establish the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (1800), which placed a new emphasis on draughtsmanship, composition and Classical subjects and models. As the first Director of the Academy, Bergler won new academic prestige for art in Bohemia and, for himself, a privileged position in obtaining commissions such as the Curtain at the Estates Theatre (sketches, 1803–4; Prague, N.G., Convent of St Agnes). He also published albums of engravings intended as models (Compositions and Sketches...
(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 ...
D. C. Kurtz
(b Helsinki, Oct 24, 1854; d April 9, 1895).
Finnish painter and illustrator. He studied under Adolf von Becker (1831–1909) at the drawing school of the Finnish Art Association in 1869 and in the drawing class of Helsinki University from 1872 to 1875, also studying privately with E. J. Löfgren (1825–84) and Bernhard Reinhold (1824–92). In 1876 Berndtson was awarded a scholarship to Paris, and he spent most of his time there studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Jean-Léon Gérôme, whose influence can be seen in such works as Berndtson’s Game of Chess (1878; Mänttä, Serlachius A. Mus.). Berndtson was also much influenced by the detailed genre and costume paintings of Ernest Meissonier, as seen for example in Art Lovers in the Louvre (1879; Mänttä, Serlachius A. Mus.), shown at the Salon of 1879, which reveals his technical skill and accuracy in the treatment of costume and interiors. The Bride’s Song...
(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 ...
Italian family of typographers, engravers, publishers and print dealers. Members of the family were active in Venice and Padua in the 16th century and the early 17th. Most notable among them were Luca Bertelli (fl Venice, c. 1560; fl Padua, 1594), Orazio Bertelli (fl Venice, 1562–88), who was possibly Luca’s brother, and Ferdinando (Ferrando, Ferrante) Bertelli (fl Venice, 1561–72). It is difficult to determine the extent of Luca Bertelli’s participation in the execution of the prints he published; they were mainly historical, religious and mythological. Orazio Bertelli probably encouraged Agostino Carracci’s visit to Venice in 1582. Orazio’s engravings included the works of Federico Barocci, Domenico Tibaldi and Paolo Veronese, notably a Pietà (De Grazia, p. 125, no. 102). Ferdinando Bertelli was best known for his publication of a vast number of maps, by both Italian and foreign cartographers.DBI; Thieme–Becker D. De Grazia: Le stampe dei Carracci...
(b Dolni Dŭbnik, nr Pleven, July 24, 1901; d Sofia, Jan 23, 1958).
Bulgarian cartoonist, illustrator, draughtsman, painter, teacher, editor and critic. In 1926 he studied painting at the Academy of Art, Sofia, and although he was later known for his paintings, he achieved greater fame as a political and social cartoonist and newspaper and magazine illustrator. His early cartoons are courageous commentaries on political events in Bulgaria from 1925 to 1934, wittily satirizing the monarchy and dictatorships. He also mocked the machinations of the various bourgeois political parties as they fought for power. Among his most celebrated cartoons are the Kidnapping of the Constitution and the Tsar’s Family, published in the Sofia newspapers Zemedelsko Zname and Sturetz, as well as Suvremennik and other left-wing publications. He also illustrated the series Spanish Chronicle (1936). In 1940 he began freelancing for the anti-Fascist satirical newspaper Sturshel (Sofia) and in 1941 became its editor. During World War II he executed many political cartoons opposing Fascism and Nazism (e.g. ...
M. B. Whitaker
British fashion boutique. Established in 1963 by fashion illustrator Barbara Hulanicki (b 1936) as a mail-order catalogue, Biba swiftly evolved into a popular London boutique, and finally, from 1973 to 1975, a short-lived department store. Biba offered eclectic and affordable clothing, accessories, cosmetics and other products to students and teenagers, consequently becoming a fundamental driving force behind street fashion during the 1960s and 1970s (see fig.).
Barbara Hulanicki, born in Warsaw, worked as a fashion illustrator in London for a variety of magazines in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This introduced her to the privileged and dictatorial world of haute couture, which turned her away from high fashion. With the encouragement of her husband, Steven Fitz-Simon, she began designing and started the Biba Postal Boutique in 1963. This mail-order catalogue, named after her sister, was a quick success. Her most popular design for the catalogue was a gingham frock and kerchief that later became a staple of the Biba shop (...
Roy R. Behrens
(b Cleveland, OH, Aug 23, 1906; d Red Wing, MN, Dec 26, 2004).
American painter and theorist. Biederman worked as a graphic designer for several years before studying art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1926 to 1929. A week after his arrival he saw a painting by Cézanne that greatly influenced his subsequent thought. He lived in New York from 1934 to 1940, except for a nine-month period in 1936–7 when he lived in Paris. He began to make reliefs in 1934. His visits in Paris to the studios of Mondrian, Georges Vantongerloo, César Domela and Antoine Pevsner made him aware of De Stijl, Neo-Plasticism, Abstraction-Création and Constructivism. He also met Léger, Miró, Arp, Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay, Alberto Giacometti, Picasso and Brancusi.
Shortly before returning to New York in 1938, Biederman made his first abstract reliefs, which he termed ‘non-mimetic’ (e.g. New York, Number 18, 1938; New York, Met.). In the same year, while visiting Chicago, he attended a seminar given by the Polish-born writer Alfred Korzybski, founder of the General Semantics Institute, which strongly influenced his later theories about history as an evolutionary process. He moved to Red Wing, near Minneapolis, MN, in ...
Priscilla P. Soucek
[Kamāl al-Dīn Bihzād; Behzad]
(b c. 1450; d Tabriz, 1535–6).
Persian illustrator. The most famous master of Persian painting, he is important both for the paintings he executed and for the wider influence of the style associated with his name. Evidently orphaned at a young age, Bihzad is said to have been raised and trained by Mirak, a painter and calligrapher employed in Herat by Sultan Husayn (see Timurid family §II, (8) and Islamic art, §III, 4(v)(d)) and his minister ‛Alishir Nava’i. The earliest literary reference to Bihzad’s work is contained in the Khulāṣat al-akḥbār (‘Essences of the eminent’), a history of the Timurid dynasty composed by Khwandamir in 1499–1500 but recounting events before 1471. Khwandamir described Bihzad as one of several skilled painters associated with these two patrons. The senior artist among them was Bihzad’s teacher, Mirak, but greatest praise was reserved for another painter, Qasim ‛Ali. By 1524, when Khwandamir completed his general history, Habīb al-siyar...
(b Tarkhovka, St Petersburg, Aug 4, 1876; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Feb 7, 1942).
Russian graphic artist and stage designer. The son of a naval doctor, Bilibin was educated in St Petersburg, studying law at the University (1896–1900) and art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1895–8); then, under Il’ya Repin, he studied at both Princess Maria Tenisheva’s Art School (1898–1900) and the Academy of Arts (1900–04). From 1899 he exhibited with the group known as the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) and was elected chairman of its reconstituted exhibition society in 1916. He also contributed to the Mir Iskusstva journal. Meanwhile he taught graphic art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1907–17).
Bilibin had a strong interest in Russian medieval and folk art and became famous for his book illustrations of Russian fairy tales, especially those by Pushkin. His most celebrated theatrical works were his set and costume designs for operas by ...
(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).
Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....
Michael D. Willis
(b Ormskirk, Lancs, Oct 17, 1879; d Vancouver, Oct 15, 1957).
Canadian painter and illustrator of English birth. She briefly attended the Liverpool Art School, the Lambeth School of Art, London, and finally, from 1900, the Slade School of Art, London, where she studied with Henry Tonks and others. From 1901 Biller was a successful illustrator of children’s magazines, books and Christmas annuals, chiefly for T. C. & E. C. Jack of London. Many titles were translated into German, and they enjoyed wide circulation in Europe. After marrying John Biller (1912), she emigrated to Canada. While her commercial work virtually ceased there, she never stopped illustrating her life and surroundings in letters and sketchbooks. After her husband’s death in World War I, Biller settled with her two children on James Island (near Victoria) in 1919. In 1927 she moved to Victoria, where she was an active member of the (Vancouver) Island Arts and Crafts Society, founded by Josephine Crease. Biller’s watercolours often appeared in the Society’s exhibitions. Relocation to Vancouver in ...
(b Zurich, April 26, 1916; d Andes Mountains, Peru, May 16, 1954).
Swiss photographer. He studied photography from 1932 to 1936 with Hans Finsler at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich. From 1936 he worked as a freelance photographer and graphic artist, until obtaining a post with the Graphis publishing house in Zurich in 1938. Between 1942 and 1944 he published photographs of war damage in Europe in the magazine Du. His first collection 24 Photos von Werner Bischof was published shortly afterwards. He won success in 1948 with his coverage of the winter Olympic Games in St Moritz for Life magazine: he was awarded contracts by Picture Post, Weekly Illustrated and the Observer and became a member of the Magnum agency. Thereafter until his death in 1954 he travelled as a photojournalist through Europe, Asia and South America, reporting on famine, war and daily life in the Third World.
In the photographs of this period, he abandoned the single shot and began to use the thematically linked series. His images of famine in India, published later as ...
M. N. Sokolov
(b Sevastopol, June 27, 1925).
Russian illustrator and printmaker. He studied at the Polygraphic Institute in Moscow (1947–52). From the 1960s he was counted as one of the leading Soviet book illustrators. He combined in his work both keen attention to the techniques of 20th-century foreign graphic artists and the tradition of the Russian school of book design. He was particularly impressed by the style of the Taller de la Gráfica Popular founded in Mexico by Leopoldo Méndez. In his book illustrations Bisti combined expressive succinctness in the use of image and symbol, rough emotionalism and a perfection of rhythm, achieving a fine understanding of the poetic style of the authors he illustrated. Among his best works are the woodcut illustrations to Vladimir Mayakovsky’s poem V. I. Lenin (Moscow, 1967) and to the Iliad (Moscow, 1978). Bisti also made independent prints.Bisti, DmitryD. S. Bisti: Grafika [D. S. Bisti: graphics], text by ...