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Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy

American installation artists, active also in Puerto Rico. Jennifer Allora (b Philadelphia, Mar 20, 1974) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Richmond, Virginia (1996), and Guillermo Calzadilla (b Havana, Cuba, Jan 10, 1971) graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Escuela de Artes Plastica in San Juan, Puerto Rico (1996). Allora and Calzadilla met in Italy in 1995 during a study abroad program in Florence. They then lived together in San Juan for a year before moving to New York City where they started working collaboratively while each participated in different residency and study programs. In 1998–1999, Allora participated in the year-long Whitney Independent Study Program, while Calzadilla participated in the P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center National Studio Program.

Allora & Calzadilla’s first important international exhibition was the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo in 1998 curated by Paulo Herkenhoff, which investigated the idea of cultural cannibalism known in Brazilian literature as ...

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José Fernandes Pereira

(b Lisbon, 1700; d Lisbon, 1769).

Portuguese sculptor. He was the leading Portuguese sculptor of the mid-18th century, although only a small part of his work can be identified. He was sent to Rome by John V to study under Carlo Monaldi. Traces of his apprenticeship with Monaldi can be seen in his treatment of crumpled drapery. Almeida is known to have won a prize in a papal contest in competition with Italian sculptors. He returned to Lisbon about 1728 and formed a workshop that became very successful; it was renowned at the time, although almost all the production has been lost. He was the first Portuguese sculptor to carve well in stone at a time when most work in that medium was executed by foreigners and when other Portuguese sculptors generally preferred to work in clay or wood. Almeida’s work in marble includes the statue of St Paul on the façade of the chapel of the Palácio das Necessidades, Lisbon. His marble statues of ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(James)

(b Wigan, Oct 30, 1971).

English sculptor and film maker. He graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1993 and in 1995 had his first solo exhibition in London, showing a single work, KN120, which consisted of a large ceiling fan installed under London’s Westway and wired to his studio. He was awarded the ICA/Toshiba Art & Innovation Prize in 1996. For the exhibition Something Else (London, Exmouth Market, 1996), Almond displayed A Real Time Piece, a video-projected live satellite broadcast from his West London studio to the exhibition venue. His absence from the studio was highlighted by the amplified time-keeping of an industrial flip-clock. He repeated this procedure on 7 May 1997 for the installation HMP Pentonville (London, ICA), this time broadcasting live from an empty cell in Pentonville Prison to a gallery space. Both these works indicate his preoccupation with questions of time and endurance. Fan (wood, plastic, micro-processors, paints and motors, approx. diam. 4.5 m, ...

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Article

Deborah Cullen

(Henry) [Spinky]

(b Charlotte, NC, Nov 29, 1907; d April 27, 1977).

African American painter, sculptor, graphic artist, muralist and educator. In 1913, Charles Alston’s family relocated from North Carolina to New York where he attended DeWitt Clinton High School. In 1929, he attended Columbia College and then Teachers College at Columbia University, where he obtained his MFA in 1931. Alston’s art career began while he was a student, creating illustrations for Opportunity magazine and album covers for jazz musician Duke Ellington.

Alston was a groundbreaking educator and mentor. He directed the Harlem Arts Workshop and then initiated the influential space known simply as “306,” which ran from 1934 to 1938. He taught at the Works Progress Administration’s Harlem Community Art Center and was supervisor of the Harlem Hospital Center murals, leading 35 artists as the first African American project supervisor of the Federal Art Project. His two murals reveal the influence of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886–1957). His artwork ranged from the comic to the abstract, while often including references to African art. During World War II, he worked at the Office of War Information and Public Information, creating cartoons and posters to mobilize the black community in the war effort....

Article

Alexander Nagel

[Fr. postautel, retable; Ger. Altar, Altaraufsatz, Altarbild, Altarretabel, Altarrückwand, Retabel; It. ancona, dossale, pala (d’altare); Sp. retablo]

An image-bearing structure set on the rear part of the altar (see Altar, §II), abutting the back of the altarblock, or set behind the altar in such a way as to be visually joined with the altar when viewed from a distance. It is also sometimes called a retable, following the medieval term retrotabulum [retabulum, retrotabularium].

The altarpiece was never officially prescribed by the Church, but it did perform a prescribed function alternatively carried out by a simple inscription on the altarblock: to declare to which saint or mystery the altar was dedicated. In fact, the altarpiece did more than merely identify the altar; its form and content evoked the mystery or personage whose cult was celebrated at the altar. This original and lasting function influenced the many forms taken by the altarpiece throughout its history. Since the altarpiece was not prescribed by the Church, its form varied enormously. For this reason, it is often impossible, and historically inaccurate, to draw neat distinctions between the altarpiece and other elements occasionally associated with the altar apparatus. For example, movable statues, often of the Virgin and Child, were occasionally placed on altars according to ritual needs, and at those times fulfilled the function of the altarpiece....

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(b Rödichen-Schnepfenthal, Thuringia, Nov 22, 1926; d Dresden, Dec 30, 1989).

German painter, printmaker and sculptor. He studied at the Hochschule für Baukunst and Bildende Kunst in Weimar under H. Hoffmann-Lederer (b 1899). From the start his interest was directed towards modernism, especially by its literary aspects, which inspired him to produce lyrical works of his own. Even in his first drawings, for example Ecce homo I (1949; priv. col., see 1969 exh. cat., no. 142), in which he addressed the painful experience of war, he achieved a marked individual style. His determined preoccupation with modern art and the vocabulary of form set him at odds with the prevailing artistic ideology until late in his life. In the 1940s and 1950s, although his plants and figures were depicted objectively, he produced tight-woven but reduced abstract shapes that anticipated the meticulously applied successive layers of non-objectivism. His work was always closely influenced by the area in which he was born and lived, particularly his landscapes, for example ...

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Mieke van der Wal

(b The Hague, Jan 6, 1876; d The Hague, Dec 11, 1955).

Dutch sculptor and ceramicist. He trained at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague (1894–7) and in various sculpture studios. In 1898 he decorated the shop-front of the gallery Arts and Crafts in The Hague after a design by Johan Thorn Prikker, who advised him to set up on his own. From 1901 Altorf exhibited regularly and successfully; he was represented at the Prima Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Decorativa Moderna in Turin in 1902, where he won a silver medal, and at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925.

Altorf was a leading exponent of Dutch Art Nouveau. His work is characterized by a strong simplification of form. It is often compared with that of Joseph Mendes da Costa but is somewhat more angular and austere. At first Altorf made mainly animal forms from various types of wood, ivory, bronze and ceramic. In firing his modelled figures, he worked with the ceramicist ...

Article

(b Salamanca, 1727; d Madrid, 1797).

Spanish sculptor. He was a member of the first generation of sculptors trained at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Fernando, Madrid. He won a scholarship to Rome, which he was unable to take up for health reasons. His knowledge of Classical sculpture won him the nickname of ‘el Griego’, although the influence of the Rococo is also evident in his work. In the Spanish tradition he carved in wood as much as in stone.

Alvarez de la Peña took part in the programme of decoration for the Palacio Real, Madrid, to which he contributed statues of kings (c. 1750) and a relief, Council of War (c. 1760). In 1762–5 he carved three medallions with scenes from the Life of the Virgin and a series of saints and angels, all for the chapel of the Virgin in the church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, Saragossa. The elegant Fountain of Apollo (...

Article

Wifredo Rincón García and Alberto Villar Movellán

Spanish family of sculptors and architects.

Wifredo Rincón García

(b Priego, Córdoba, April 23, 1768; d Madrid, Nov 26, 1827).

Sculptor, also active in Italy. He was the most important and the most rigorous of the Spanish Neo-classical sculptors and the only one to achieve European renown in his lifetime. The many institutions of which he was a member included the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Fernando, Madrid, the academies of Carrara, Naples and Antwerp, the Accademia di S Luca, Rome, and the Institut de France, Paris. He created a coherent oeuvre that owed a debt both to Greek models and to the works of Antonio Canova, Pietro Tenerani and Bertel Thorvaldsen.

José Alvarez Cubero was the son of the stonemason Domingo Alvarez, who had a decisive influence on his education. Alvarez Cubero completed his training with his godfather, the sculptor of retables Francisco Javier Pedrajas, and collaborated with him in ...

Article

Carol Magee

revised by Kimberly Bobier

(b Luanda, 1963).

Angolan sculptor, installation artist, and curator. Alvim began exhibiting internationally in the 1980s, at such shows as Africus, the 1995 Johannesburg Biennale; the 1997 Bienal de Havana; and Dak’Art ’98. His mixed-media pieces are powerful, haunting works through which he explores the memories and scars left by the trauma of growing up in a war-torn country. He generally evokes life in Luanda: displaced peoples, failed hopes, the patchwork organization of the urban space. In his overwhelmingly dark scenes, neon light illuminates found objects surrounded by canvas or metal, often superimposed with photographic images, creating a psychological intensity. Crosses, skulls, and maps predominate in his work of the early 1990s. In 1997 he collaborated with Cuban artist Carlos Garaicoa and South African artist Gavin Younge in a project that brought them to Cuito Canaval, a Cuban-Angolan community and former battle site, to comment on the devastating effects of war suffered there. This sojourn resulted in a touring multimedia exhibition ...

Article

Richard Schofield and Janice Shell

(b Pavia, c. 1447; d Milan, Aug 28, 1522).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was principally active in Bergamo, Cremona, Milan and Pavia. His professional success, in terms of the architectural and sculptural commissions and official appointments that he received, was far greater than that of any of his contemporaries in Lombardy in the late 15th century, including Bramante. Amadeo’s influence in both fields, for example in his use of all’antica ornament of local origin, was considerable.

He was trained as a sculptor and evidently apprenticed to Francesco Solari (fl 1464–71) in Milan and at the Certosa di Pavia (see Pavia, §2, (i)). In 1466 Amadeo assisted in the decoration of the large cloister of the Certosa and was apparently responsible for the terracotta lavabo in the small cloister. His first signed work, directly influenced by the Late Gothic style of Solari, is the carved portal in the small cloister with a lunette of the ...

Article

Radu Bogdan

(b Cîmpulung-Muscel, March 20, 1831; d Bucharest, Aug 19, 1891).

Romanian painter, sculptor and printmaker. After mastering the principles of painting in Craiova and Bucharest, where he studied under Constantin Lecca (1807–87) and Carol Valştein (1795–1857), he left for Paris around 1850. There he attended the studio of Michel-Martin Drolling and, after Drolling’s death, that of François-Edouard Picot. In 1853 he made his public début at the Paris Salon with a Self-portrait (Bucharest, Mus. A. Col.). A year later he travelled to Constantinople (now Istanbul), where the Sultan bought his painting the Battle of Olteniţa (1854; Istanbul, Dolmabahce Pal.). Aman then went to the Crimea, where he documented the Battle of Alma (Bucharest, N. Mus. A.) in a painting shown at the Exposition Internationale in Paris (1855). The autumn of the same year and the spring of the following year were spent in Wallachia, where the prince, Barbu Ştirbei, honoured Aman with a minor nobiliary title and a grant to enable him to continue his studies in France. In ...

Article

Ian M. E. Shaw

Ancient Egyptian art style that takes its name from Amarna, (Tell) el-, the site of the capital city during the reigns of Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc) and Smenkhkare (reg c. 1335–c. 1332 bc). Amarna-style painting and sculpture were characterized by a move away from the traditional idealism of Egyptian art towards a greater realism and artistic freedom. This new sense of vigour and naturalism is most apparent in surviving fragments of paintings from the walls and floors of palaces (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., and Oxford, Ashmolean; see Egypt, ancient §X 2.). The statuary and reliefs, mainly from el-Amarna, Thebes and Hermopolis Magna, represent the royal family and their subjects in a style that was initially grotesque and often crude, as the artists struggled to come to terms with the new approach (see Egypt, ancient §IX 3., (viii)). However, they eventually reached a high degree of sophistication and beauty, exemplified by the painted limestone bust of Queen ...

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[Mastini]

Italian family of gem-engravers. Angelo Antonio Amastini (b Fossombrone, the Marches, 1754; d after 1816) and his son Niccolò Amastini (bRome, 1780; d Rome, 1851) worked in Rome; they may also have been active in Florence. A gem-engraver known as Angelo Tesei Mastini could possibly be the same person as Angelo Antonio Amastini. Carlo de Giovanni Amastini (d 1824) from Fossombrone was also a gem-engraver, but his relationship to Angelo Antonio Amastini and Niccolò Amastini is unknown. He was active in Berlin, where he taught gem-cutting and was a member of the Akademie der Künste. Surviving examples of work by the Amastini family include onyx cameos of Cupid and Psyche and of Psyche, signed a. mastini (both London, BM), of a woman’s head, signed amastini (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.) and the Education of Bacchus, signed n. amastiny in Greek letters (New York, Met.). Their workshop in Rome also made series of casts of their own and others’ stones, including the work of the ...

Article

Freya Probst

(b Hanau, July 1874; d Berlin, July 3, 1913).

German silversmith, sculptor and painter. He attended the Zeichenakademie and the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hanau then studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Berlin, and the Académie Julian in Paris, before finally becoming a student of the sculptor Louis Tuaillon at the Kunstakademie, Berlin. From 1894 to 1903 he worked at the renowned silverware factory of Bruckmann & Söhne in Heilbronn, modelling goblets, cutlery, sports prizes and medals etc. In collaboration with Otto Rieth, professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin, Amberg made a silver fountain (h. 3.2 m) for the Exposition Universelle, Paris, in 1900.

After designing the silver for the Town Hall of Aachen (1903) and spending a year in Rome (1903–4), Amberg completed his most important work, the design of the Hochzeitszug (Berlin, Tiergarten, Kstgewmus.), a table centre for the wedding of Wilhelm (1882–1951), Crown Prince of Germany and Prussia and Herzogin Cecilie von Mecklenburg-Schwerin (...

Article

Chika Okeke-Agulu

(b Cairo, May 22, 1963).

American painter, sculptor, fibre and installation artist of Egyptian birth. Amer, one of the few young artists of African origin to gain prominence in the late 1990s international art scene, studied painting in France at the Villa Arson EPIAR, Nice (MFA, 1989), and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique, Paris (1991). She subsequently moved to New York. She is best known for her canvases in which paint and embroidery are combined to explore themes of love, desire, sexuality, and women’s identity in a patriarchal world. Amer’s use of Embroidery, historically regarded as a genteel female craft, to create images of women fulfilling their sexual desires without inhibition, recalls the provocations and strategies of 1970s Western feminist art. However, her work also reflects her alarm at the incremental curbing of women’s social and political freedoms in her native Egypt following the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, especially after the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser ended in ...

Article

Ilene Susan Fort

[A.A.A.]

American group of painters and sculptors formed in 1936 in New York. Their aim was to promote American abstract art. Similar to the Abstraction–Création group in Europe, this association introduced the public to American abstraction through annual exhibitions, publications and lectures. It also acted as a forum for abstract artists to share ideas. The group, whose first exhibition was held in April 1937 at the Squibb Galleries in New York, insisted that art should be divorced from political or social issues. Its aesthetics were usually identified with synthetic Cubism, and the majority of its members worked in a geometric Cubist-derived idiom of hard-edged forms, applying flat, strong colours. While the group officially rejected Expressionism and Surrealism, its members actually painted in a number of abstract styles. Almost half of the founding members had studied with Hans Hoffmann and infused their geometric styles with surreal, biomorphic forms, while others experimented with ...

Article

(b Solothurn, March 28, 1868; d Oschwand, July 6, 1961).

Swiss painter and sculptor. From 1884 to 1886 he received irregular lessons from the Swiss painter Frank Buscher (1828–90). In the autumn of 1886 he attended the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich and the following year met Giovanni Giacometti, who was to be a lifelong friend. In 1888 he visited the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Munich, where he was particularly impressed by the work of Jules Bastien-Lepage and Whistler. This prompted him to go to Paris to continue his studies, and from 1888 to 1891 he attended the Académie Julian, working under William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Tony Robert-Fleury and Gabriel Ferrier. While in Paris he also met Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis and other Nabis artists, though his own painting of this period was most influenced by Impressionism. In 1892 he was advised to visit Pont-Aven in Brittany, where he met Emile Bernard, Armand Séguin and Roderic O’Conor, as well as seeing the works of Vincent Van Gogh and Gauguin at first hand. This brief period had a decisive effect upon his work, leading to such Synthetist paintings as ...

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[Bartolommeo]

(b Settignano, nr Florence, June 18, 1511; d Florence, April 13, 1592).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was a major figure in Italian art in the second and third quarters of the 16th century. His extensive travels in north and central Italy gave him an unequalled understanding of developments in architecture and sculpture in the era of Mannerism. His style was based inevitably on the example of Michelangelo but was modified by the suaver work of Jacopo Sansovino. In both sculpture and architecture Ammanati was a highly competent craftsman, and his masterpieces, the tombs of Marco Mantova Benavides and two members of the del Monte family, the Fountain of Juno and the Fountain of Neptune and the courtyard of the Palazzo Pitti, are among the finest works of the period.

Orphaned at the age of 12, Ammanati earnt his living in the ‘Academy’ of Baccio Bandinelli c. 1523–7, after which time he left Florence, which was in political turmoil, for Venice. Jacopo Sansovino had just arrived there after the Sack of Rome (...