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Article

Xavier Moyssén

(b Hacienda de San Juan Bautista, Durango, Mar 15, 1890; d Mexico City, Dec 21, 1965).

Mexican sculptor. He served in the Mexican Revolution before enrolling in the Academia de S. Carlos, continuing his studies from 1919 at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. On his return to Mexico in 1921, he began a fruitful career as teacher and artist, applying an academic naturalism to official public monuments of nationalist inspiration such as monument to the Fatherland (1924; Mexico City, Mus. N. Hist.). His most ambitious works relating to the revolution are the monument to Obregón (1933; Mexico City, Avenida Insurgentes), Proletarian Family (1934; Mexico City, Inst. Poli. N.), and the monument to Francisco Villa (1957; Chihuahua, Avenida División del Norte). He also treated other subjects, such as female nudes and portraits, sometimes in wood or cast bronze, which contain reference to Pre-Columbian art. Essentially he was an artist resistant to change, a staunch and honorable traditionalist.

Nelken, M. Ignacio Asúnsolo. Mexico City, 1957....

Article

Myriam A. Ribeiro de Oliveira

(b Mariana, Minas Gerais, bapt Oct 18, 1762; d Mariana, Feb 2, 1830).

Brazilian painter. He was the most important painter active in the province of Minas Gerais during the Colonial period. He learnt his craft in the workshop with other artists and from such theoretical treatises as Andrea Pozzo’s Perspectivae pictorum atque architectorum (1693–1700) and such technical manuals as the Segredos necessarios para os officcios, artes e manufaturas (Lisbon, 1794), which was recorded in the inventory of his possessions. He was also strongly influenced by engravings of religious subjects in bibles and missals. He had a great influence on the development of religious painting in the region, especially through his numerous pupils and followers, who until the middle of the 19th century continued to make use of his compositional methods, particularly in the perspective ceilings of churches. Often referred to in documents as ‘professor de pintura’, in 1818 he unsuccessfully petitioned for official permission to found an art school in his native city. He left an extensive body of work, which includes decorative painting of architecture, single pictures, and the painting of religious statues (gilding and flesh-colouring). Especially famous are the vast perspective paintings such as the ...

Article

Atl, Dr  

Xavier Moyssén

[Murillo, Gerardo ]

(b Guadalajara, Oct 3, 1875; d Mexico City, Aug 14, 1964).

Mexican painter, printmaker, writer, theorist, vulcanologist and politician. Better known by his pseudonym, which signifies ‘Doctor Water’ in Náhuatl and which he adopted in 1902, Murillo first studied art in Guadalajara and from 1890 to 1896 at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City, where his vocation became clear. In 1899 he travelled to Europe and settled in Rome, where the work of Michelangelo had a profound impact on him. He travelled to other countries to study and to learn about avant-garde painting. He went back to Mexico in 1904 and seven years later returned to Europe, only to rush back when the Revolution broke out in Mexico. He joined the revolutionary movement, taking an active role in its various activities, including the muralist movement, through which he was associated with Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Although he practised portrait painting, his passion was for landscape in a variety of techniques and materials, some of them invented by him; for example, he used ‘atlcolours’, which were simply crayons made of wax, resins and pigment with which he could obtain textures not obtainable with oil paint. His favoured supports were rigid surfaces such as wood or hardboard....

Article

Jorge Glusberg

(b Buenos Aires, Aug 2, 1931; d 1998).

Argentine draughtsman and printmaker. He studied under the Argentine painter Demetrio Urruchúa (1902–78) and later at the Instituto Superior de Artes of the Universidad Nacional in Tucumán, under his father, Pompeyo Audivert (1900–77), and Lino Eneas Spilimbergo, who encouraged him to take up printmaking. After working in a realist style from ...

Article

Amy Meyers

(Laforest) [Fougère, Jean-Jacques]

(b Les Cayes, Santo Domingo [now Haiti], April 26, 1785; d New York state, Jan 27, 1851).

American Naturalist, painter and draughtsman of French –Creole descent. Brought up in a French village near Nantes, he developed an interest in art and natural science, encouraged by his father and the naturalist Alcide Dessaline d’Orbigny. He is thought to have moved to Paris by 1802 to pursue formal art training; although the evidence is inconclusive, Audubon claimed to have studied in the studio of Jacques-Louis David.

In 1803 Audubon travelled to the USA to oversee Mill Grove, an estate owned by his father on the outskirts of Philadelphia, PA. Uninterested in practical affairs, he spent his time hunting and drawing birds. His drawings (many in Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) from this period are executed primarily in pencil and pastel. They are conventional specimen drawings that define individual birds in stiff profile with little or no background. A number of these works, however, bear notations from Mark Catesby’s ...

Article

Carlos A. C. Lemos

(b São Paulo, Dec 8, 1851; d Guarujá, June 13, 1928).

Brazilian architect. He studied at the Escola Militar in Rio de Janeiro (1869–72) and then trained as an engineer–architect, graduating in 1878 from the University of Ghent, Belgium, under the patronage of the Visconde de Parnaíba, who subsequently provided him with his first commissions in Rio. His architectural education was based on the classicism of the Beaux-Arts tradition, and one of his designs represented his school at the Exposition Internationale (1878) in Paris. He began his career in 1883 in Campinas, where his family had originated, when he completed some unfinished work on the 18th-century parish church; this project became well known for his use of the taipa de pilão (Port.: ‘pounded gravel wall’) construction techniques of the earlier builders, a considerable engineering feat.

In 1886 Azevedo began to work in São Paulo and designed for the government two neo-Renaissance buildings, the Tesouraria da Fazenda Nacional (...

Article

Eduardo Williams

Pre-Columbian culture of north-west Mexico. It belongs to the area between the Sinaloa River in the north and the Río Grande de Santiago in the south, probably extending as far south-east of this area as the Chapala Basin of Jalisco–Michoacán, and it flourished c. ad 880–c. 1400. Major sites are Culiacán, Chametla, Guasave (all in Sinaloa) and Amapa (Nayarit). Aztatlán sites have been explored by Carl Sauer and Donald Brand (1932), Gordon Ekholm (1942), Clement W. Meighan (1976) and more recently by Joseph B. Mountjoy (1990), although in general the archaeology of this vast area is still little known.

By c. ad 500 the area was occupied by many complex sites with elaborate architecture and large populations. The Aztatlán archaeological complex is characterized by some of the most elaborate prehistoric pottery in the New World, including four-, five- and six-colour polychrome wares, engraved wares, negative painting and some moulded ceramics, as well as abundant metal artefacts, primarily copper, but also bronze, silver and gold (...

Article

Aztec  

Emily Umberger

Term applied to the Nahuatl-speaking peoples of late Pre-Columbian central Mexico (1350–1521) and to the Triple Alliance Empire which arose in the Basin of Mexico (1431) less than 100 years before the Spanish Conquest.

When the Spanish arrived in 1519 most central Mexican city-states were tributaries of the Aztec Empire, an alliance of cities of the lake area of the Basin. Founded in 1431 after the defeat of the Tepanecs of Azcapotzalco, by the 1470s it had expanded well outside the Basin, and the dominant city of the alliance, Tenochtitlan, was transformed into its imperial capital. In the 19th century the term Aztec was popularized as a generic label for the late pre-conquest inhabitants of central Mexico. Some scholars use the term more narrowly for the inhabitants of the Basin (the definition used here), and others for just Tenochtitlan, whose inhabitants called themselves Mexica. Whatever their individual tribal names, the Nahuas of central Mexico shared a common culture resulting from a mix through intermarriage of ancestral barbarians (generically called Chichimecs) who had migrated into the area from the north, and civilized ancestors (...

Article

W. Iain Mackay

(b Islay, Arequipa, 1867; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, Feb 20, 1941).

Peruvian painter and draughtsman. His family moved to Chile when he was four, and in 1882 he entered the Escuela de Bellas Artes de Santiago. In recognition of his rejection of an offer of Chilean nationality, the Peruvian government invited him to Lima in 1887 to assist him with his studies. In 1890 he went to Paris, continuing on to Rome where he studied under Francisco Pradilla at the Academia Española de Bellas Artes and again in Paris under Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant at the Académie Julien in 1893. In Paris he was commissioned to paint important society and government figures; in 1908 the American banker and collector J. Pierpont Morgan summoned him to New York, where he lived for 20 years, painting 120 portraits. In 1926 he became a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris and three years later he settled in Paris again. His painting was academically accomplished and realist in style, influenced by Leonardo, Rembrandt and Hans Holbein. He was a careful observer of detail, and he achieved astonishing physical resemblance to his subjects. The prominent figures he portrayed include ...

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(Francisca )

(b East Los Angeles, CA, Sept 20, 1946).

American muralist, activist and teacher. Born to Mexican–American parents, Baca is recognized as one of the leading muralists in the USA. She was involved from a young age in activism, including the Chicano Movement, the antiwar protest and Women’s Liberation. She studied art at California State University, Northridge, where she received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Baca started teaching art in 1970 in East Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and became interested in the ways murals could involve youth, allowing them to express their experiences. She founded the City of Los Angeles Mural Program in 1974, which evolved into the Social and Public Resource Center, a community arts organization, where she served as artistic director. She held five summer mural workshops from 1976 through 1983 for teenagers and community artists to help her paint a huge mural on the ethnic history of Los Angeles, called the ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Arezzo, Feb 2, 1916; d Buenos Aires, Feb 11, 2001).

Argentine sculptor, painter, printmaker and draughtsman of Italian birth. After completing his studies at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires in 1945, he went on study trips around Latin America (1945–6) and Europe (1949). He became a naturalized citizen of Argentina in 1947 and from 1949 he participated in the Salones Nacionales, winning various awards. He soon won a reputation as one of Argentina’s most outstanding sculptors, working in marble, bronze, wood, cement and clay. Torrent (marble, 1953; Buenos Aires, Mus. N. B.A.), a semi-abstract female nude composed of smooth curved planes, typifies one aspect of his work: his treatment of themes of fecundity, motherhood and the family, using rounded forms to which he attached a symbolic value. The titles associated with some of these material forms, such as Time (bronze, 1959; Buenos Aires, Mus. A. Mod.), indicate the way they are meant to be read....

Article

Mari Carmen Ramírez

(b San Juan, Aug 18, 1931).

Puerto Rican painter and printmaker. She studied painting for six years at the Real Academia de San Fernando in Madrid, woodcut and screenprinting with Lorenzo Homar at the Graphics Workshop of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (1959–63), and printmaking techniques at Pratt Graphic Center in New York (1969–70). From the early 1970s she was actively involved in the development of art education in Puerto Rico, teaching at the Art Students League of San Juan and at Sacred Heart University. She was also a founding member of the Hermandad de Artistas Gráficos, president of the Fine Arts Section of the Ateneo Puertorriqueño, adviser to the National Endowment for the Arts and one of the principal advocates of the Puerto Rican women artists’ movement.

Báez’s early work was influenced by the social realism current in the 1950s and focused on nationalist, social and political subject-matter. Gradually she developed a personal iconography based on the human figure in solitary interiors and environments, through which she criticized the pretensions and manners of Puerto Rican middle-class society. In her early work she explored the painterly potential of the woodcut, later adapting other techniques to equally expressive ends, achieving rich, textural effects. Her tendency as a printmaker to find equivalents for her concerns as a painter was evident also in her screenprints, in which she used transparent layers, spatial planes and luminous colours to reinforce the psychological space in which her characters exist....

Article

Janet Henshall Momsen, C. C. McKee, Ricardo E. Alegria, Mela Pons-Alegria, D. Gail Saunders, C.C. McKee, Jackson L. Burnside III, Patrick Rahming, Patricia Glinton-Meicholas and Alissandra Cummins

[Commonwealth of]

Group of islands between the northern Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. They comprise c. 2000 cays (low coral banks) and 700 larger islands, which stretch southward in an arc of 1200 km, c. 80 km off the Florida peninsula (see fig.). The capital, Nassau, is on the main island, New Providence, where 67% of the population live. The Bahamas became fully independent of Britain in 1973.

Janet Henshall Momsen, revised by C. C. McKee

According to some scholars the Bahamian island of San Salvador was Christopher Columbus’s first landing-place in the New World in 1492. The Spaniards did not settle the islands, however, and in 1629 the British decided to administer them as part of their North American colonies. The first European settlers arrived about twenty years later. Eighteenth-century sources present the archipelago as a strategic English military base in the Caribbean with a remarkably high proportion of white settlers compared to other islands in the region (Bruce ...

Article

Bahía  

Jorge G. Marcos

Pre-Columbian regional culture of coastal Ecuador that flourished c. 500 bcc. ad 500. Archaeological field research by Emilio Estrada and Matthew and Marion Stirling at Manta, Manabí, identified a platform-mounded Bahía urban and ceremonial centre. Since no extensive excavation of the area was conducted, the only evidence for Bahía houses is a number of terracotta models, similar in form to examples from China; some archaeologists, such as Meggers, consider them as evidence of transpacific influence. Excavation of a few test pits produced a relative ceramic sequence and some radiocarbon assays. In the Guayas Basin, to the south, Bahía-like Tejar and Guayaquil phases have been described by Meggers and Parducci. Bahía pottery appears to have evolved from the earlier Chorrera style developed by intensive farming communities in the rich alluvial valleys of central Manabí and the Guayas Basin. Bahía potters practised a highly developed craft, having mastered not only traditional coiled construction but also slip-casting, a technique introduced during the Chorrera period. They were proficient in controlled smudging and resist decoration, and excelled in the use of polychrome slips, employing a wide spectrum of mineral and organic pigments. Another characteristic was decoration encrusted after firing in brilliant yellows, reds, greens and blues. Flutes, ocarinas and flamboyantly decorated whistling bottles with spouts and strap handles imitated human and animal forms. At ...

Article

Regina Maria Prosperi Meyer

revised by Helena Bender

(Antonio da Cunha)

(b Rio de Janeiro, Dec 4, 1891; d São Paulo, Aug 14, 1980).

Brazilian architect and professor. Educated at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, between 1908 and 1920, his main built work includes the building for the newspaper A Noite (1927, Rio de Janeiro), the Viaduto do Chá (1934–1938, São Paulo), and the João Brícola/Mappin Store Building (1937, São Paulo). As a professor, he taught courses on landscape architecture and professional practice at the Escola de Engenharia, later Mackenzie School of Architecture (1943–1970) and the Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo of the University of São Paulo (1954). He also represented the schools of engineering (1946–1949) and architecture (1949–1952) at the São Paulo Conselho Regional de Engenharia e Agronomia (Regional Board for Engineering, Architecture, and Agronomy; CREA). Bahiana was a pioneer in the rational use of reinforced concrete in Brazil. Historians associated his work with Art Deco tendencies due to the geometric shapes of its ornamentation. Bahiana himself, however, claimed not to pertain to such a category of style....

Article

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(b Zamora, c. 1680; d Mexico City, 1748).

Spanish architect and sculptor, active in Mexico. Between 1702 and 1703 he worked in Madrid as a designer of stage machinery, later moving to Andalusia, where he produced the principal altar of the sacristy of Seville Cathedral in the Rococo style, completed in 1709 (destr. 1824). Ceán Bermúdez described it as having ‘four large estípites, pilasters, lots of angels prankishly tumbling about and a cornice broken and interrupted in a thousand places with tortuous projections and recessions, the whole topped by a huge arch’. In 1714 Balbás also carried out the plan for the choir-stalls of the church of S Juan in Marchena, carved by Juan de Valencia, equally playful in style and similarly using estípites. The same year he designed the lectern in the same church, though this was not constructed until 1735.

Around 1718 Balbás went to Mexico City to take charge of the ‘retablo del Perdón’ in the Chapel of the Kings at the Metropolitan Cathedral, using the ...

Article

Milan Ivelić

(b Montesquiú, nr Barcelona, Jan 20, 1927).

Chilean painter of Spanish birth. He arrived in Chile at the age of 12 with his family, who had gone into exile following Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes of the Universidad de Chile in Santiago from 1945 to 1949. While still a student there he joined groups seeking to reform both the teaching and practice of painting, and in the early 1960s he was a member of the short-lived Signo group, together with Gracia Barrios, Alberto Pérez and Eduardo Martínez. By rejecting representation, specifically by adopting the principles of Art informel, they provoked a crisis in Chilean artistic circles. By 1962, however, Balmes had returned to a figurative idiom in order to address himself to contemporary events and especially to the political situation in Latin America and abroad. His subject-matter included references to Santo Domingo in 1964–5, to Vietnam in ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

(b Fortaleza, May 26, 1922; d Paris, Oct 6, 1967).

Brazilian painter. In the first half of the 1940s, while still in his native state of Ceará, he was very active in the introduction of modernist ideas. In 1945 he moved to Rio de Janeiro and in 1946 to Paris, where he spent most of the rest of his life. In Paris, where he studied at the Ecole Supérieure de Beaux-Arts and at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, he first painted landscapes and portraits (e.g. Self-portrait, 1947; Rio de Janeiro, Gilberto Chateaubriand priv. col.) that combined elements from Surrealism and Expressionism. He later adopted a gestural abstraction that maintained its links with the outside world through analogies established in poetic titles (e.g. Flowing like a Waterfall, 1964; Rio de Janeiro, Roberto Marinho priv. col.). At the beginning of his stay in France he was briefly part of an informal association with two other artists sharing a similar artistic language, ...

Article

Ticio Escobar

(b Dobrzyn, 1906; d Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1972).

Paraguayan painter and engraver of Polish birth. He studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Düsseldorf. As a result of Nazi persecution he settled in Paraguay in 1936, where his work was particularly influential on the development of late 20th-century art. Although he was not an innovator from the point of view of form, he introduced into painting a dramatic content drawn from Paraguayan history and comment on social injustice and recent wars, thus giving new life to a school of painting that until then had been bucolic. His sombre and moving oil paintings had vitality and an impassioned expressiveness. In the late 1930s and early 1940s this intensity of expression in his work provided a useful complement to the formal clarity of Jaime Bestard; both helped to undermine the prevailing academicism of art in Paraguay. Bandurek’s black-and-white wood engravings confirm the drama in his work and his persisting social concern. They were published in Buenos Aires in ...

Article

Cruz Barceló Cedeño

(b Maracaibo, Feb 4, 1945).

Venezuelan painter and performance artist. He studied painting at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in Maracaibo and at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in Caracas. In 1970, after holding several one-man shows at the Galería Polo y Bot in Caracas, he moved to England to study at the London College of Printing. In London and Paris he performed his ...