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Article

Malcolm Gee

(b Paris, 1884; d Paris, 1954).

French critic. His formative years as a critic were between 1910 and 1920. Although he subseqently tempered his opinions in favour of a pluralist view of modern art, his basic aesthetic ideas were deeply marked by his knowledge of and admiration for the Cubism of Braque, Gris and Picasso. In 1912 Raynal succeeded Guillaume Apollinaire as art critic for L’Intransigeant; at about the same time Louis Vauxcelles engaged him to cover the avant-garde for Gil Blas. After war service Raynal became involved in Léonce Rosenberg’s projects and was nominated literary director of the Editions de l’effort moderne. This post was ephemeral, however, and in 1921 he returned to the art column of L’Intransigeant. He also contributed at this time to Amédée Ozenfant and Le Corbusier’s L’Esprit nouveau. In 1928 expanded arts coverage led to the recruitment of Tériade to the paper: Raynal and he initiated a column signed Les Deux Aveugles...

Article

Francine Miller Koslow

[Cubist Centre]

Meeting-place for a group of British artists. It was founded and managed by Wyndham Lewis in March 1914 at 38 Great Ormond Street, London, and was intended to rival Roger Fry’s Omega Workshops in the cooperative production of abstract fine and applied art. It was also planned as a club for the discussion of revolutionary art ideas and as a teaching studio for non-representational art. The original members, Lewis, Frederick Etchells, Cuthbert Hamilton and Edward Wadsworth, were a group of painters who had recently resigned from the Omega Workshops and had signed a well-circulated round robin condemning Fry. They adopted a militant Futurist stance and decided to meet on Saturday afternoons to discuss their mutual art ambitions. These meetings led to the birth and development of Vorticism.

With financial backing from the painter Kate Lechmere (1887–1976), the Rebel Art Centre, also called the Cubist Centre, officially opened in ...

Article

Alfred Pacquement

(b Asnières-sur Vègre, Sarthe, Oct 1, 1929; d Paris, Dec 4, 1961).

French painter and writer. Under the influence of Cubism, and in particular the work of Jacques Villon, Réquichot’s earliest paintings were of skulls and still-lifes, and included a series of oxen in which the forms gradually disintegrated. In the mid-1950s he began to make abstracts, and two types of work soon became dominant: drawings on the theme of the spiral, and reliquaries. His exploration of the latter idea, which continued until his death, represents his most original work. The reliquaries appear as accumulated fragments of nature, similar to Jean Dubuffet’s work in their celebration of the earth, but bearing comparison with the slightly later work of the Nouveaux Réalistes in their use of boxes as containers. In 1957 Réquichot began producing collages of papiers choisis. He cut out photographs of vegetables and foodstuffs from household magazines and arranged them so that through fragmentation and repetition they became abstract. The pictorial dimension of these compositions injected new life into the art of collage. As the author of texts on painting, as well as of poems, Réquichot stressed his involvement with the written word when, towards the end of his life, he undertook a series of letters in artificial writing, which were also the graphical extension of his spiral drawings....

Article

Philip Cooper

(b Narbonne, Sept 13, 1889; d Solesmes, Sarthe, June 17, 1960).

French critic and poet. He arrived in Paris in October 1910 and quickly entered the circle of Cubist artists and poets. All his later work, both creative and critical, was strongly affected by Cubism, which provided the aesthetic model for his poetry. His influential though short-lived periodical Nord-Sud (1–16, March 1917 to Oct 1918) contained articles by both Cubists and the emergent Surrealists. In his first theoretical article ‘Sur le Cubisme’ (Nord-Sud, 1, pp. 5–7), Reverdy insisted on the complete autonomy of Cubist work; this was achieved by abstracting those elements of an object demanded by the painting alone: all representation was to be avoided. This austere, cerebral approach to Cubism brought him closest to the art of Gris and Braque. Reverdy was also much admired by the Surrealists, though his own interest in the movement was tempered by its emphasis on chance and the unconscious. His article ‘L’Image’ (...

Article

(María Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la)

(b Guanajuato, Dec 13, 1886; d Mexico City, Nov 24, 1957).

Mexican painter and draughtsman. He was one of the most important figures in the Mexican mural movement and won international acclaim for his vast public wall paintings, in which he created a new iconography based on socialist ideas and exalted the indigenous and popular heritage in Mexican culture. He also executed large quantities of easel paintings and graphic work.

Rivera’s artistic precocity was recognized by his parents, both of whom were teachers. He was drawing at two, taking art courses at nine and enrolled at the Academia de S Carlos in Mexico City at eleven. There the quality of his work, especially his landscape painting, earned him a scholarship at fifteen and a government pension at eighteen. At nineteen he was awarded a travel grant to Europe, and in 1907 he went to Spain, settling in Paris two years later. In November 1910 he returned to Mexico for an exhibition of his work at the Academia, which was part of the Mexican Centennial of Independence celebrations. The Mexican Revolution began the day the exhibition opened, and Rivera returned to Paris early in ...

Article

Christina Lodder

(Vladimirovna)

(b Malenki, Vladimir province, 1886; d Moscow, Nov 8, 1918).

Russian painter. She trained at the Bol’shakov Art School and the Stroganov School of Applied Art in Moscow (1904–10). In 1911 she moved to St Petersburg where she became an active member of the Union of Youth group, exhibiting with them regularly (December 1911–14) and attending the Zvantseva School of Art (1912–13). In 1912 Rozanova began illustrating books of Futurist poetry written by Velimir Khlebnikov and her husband Aleksey Kruchonykh, including Igra v adu (‘A game in hell’, St Petersburg, 2/1913), Te li le (St Petersburg, 1914), Zaumnaya gniga (‘Transrational book’, Petrograd, 1915), Voina (‘War’, Petrograd, 1916) and Vselenskaya voina (‘Universal war’, Petrograd, 1916). Rozanova also wrote zaum or transrational Futurist verse (sound poetry). In 1913 she published her major statement on art, Osnovy novogo tvorchestva i prichiny ego neponimaniya. Having experimented with Cubism and Futurism in paintings such as ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b Brooklyn, New York, Aug 11, 1927; d Pound Ridge, NY, Jan 24, 2006).

American art historian and museum curator. Rubin has been credited with defining the historical narrative of modern art through his writings and exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the 1970s, and 1980s. The vision of founding director Alfred H(amilton) Barr to establish the Museum of Modern Art as a global authority in modern paintings and sculpture was continued during Rubin’s tenure as Director of the Department of Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art (1973–88).

William was one of three sons of a successful New York textile merchant. Rubin grew up in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York and attended Fieldstone School where he interned on special museum education projects with teacher and mentor Victor D’Amico who was also Director of Education at the Museum of Modern Art. While at Columbia University he joined the military during World War II to serve in the American occupation forces in Europe. Upon completing his undergraduate degree in ...

Article

Rupf  

F. Forter

Swiss collectors. Hermann Rupf (b Berne, 20 Dec 1880; d Berne, 27 Nov 1962) went to Paris in 1902 to train as a banking correspondent, and during his three-year stay he came into contact with contemporary painting. In 1905 he entered his father’s business in Berne but maintained contact with the Paris art scene. In 1907 at the Salon des Indépendants he started buying works by the Fauves, especially Othon Friesz and Derain. On a visit to Picasso’s studio in 1908 he discovered Cubism, and he began to buy paintings by Picasso, Braque and others, generally purchasing them in the same year that they were painted. In 1910 Rupf married Margrit Wirz (d 1961), and in 1913 the couple first bought works by Gris and Léger, as well as acquiring one of Picasso’s most important Cubist works, Violin Hanging on the Wall (1913). They also began to buy drawings by ...

Article

Wilford W. Scott

(b Philadelphia, PA, Oct 15, 1881; d Philadelphia, Oct 13, 1918).

American painter and photographer. After training as an architect at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (A.B., 1903), he studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, also in Philadelphia, from 1903 to 1906 under William Merritt Chase, with whom he travelled to Europe. From 1907 to 1909 he lived mostly in Paris, where he saw the work of major avant-garde artists, including Cézanne, Picasso and Matisse, and benefited from contact with Leo Stein, an important collector and writer. By 1909 Schamberg had responded to the example of Cézanne’s paintings, including simplified and more solid forms in his own work. Following his participation in the Armory Show in 1913, Cubism became the dominant element of his art, modified in such works as Figure B, Geometric Patterns (1913; Fort Worth, TX, Amon Carter Mus.) by his use of vibrant colour. About 1915 Schamberg met Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia in New York through Walter Arensberg and in works such as ...

Article

Daniel Robbins

A large group exhibition of artists identified with Cubism, held 10–30 October 1912 at the Galerie la Boëtie, Paris, and entitled Salon de la Section d’Or. Organized by the Puteaux group, the participants included the Duchamp brothers—Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon and Marcel Duchamp (who showed Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2)—as well as Juan Gris, Léger, Picabia, Roger de la Fresnaye, Albert Gleizes, Auguste Herbin, André Lhote, Louis Marcoussis, Jean Metzinger and André Dunoyer de Segonzac. The inaugural address was given by Guillaume Apollinaire. Section d’Or also refers to the catalogue of that exhibition, with a preface by René Blum, and to the single issue of a review that accompanied the show. The title was the suggestion of Jacques Villon, who had been reading Leonardo’s Trattato della pittura in a translation (1910) by Joséphin Péladan. Péladan attached great mystical significance to the Golden section and to other, related geometric configurations. Villon and his Cubist friends chose the title for two reasons. First, it symbolized their belief in tradition and order, for it embodied patterns and relationships occurring in nature. Second, the term involved a pun, dear to the humour of the ...

Article

Ester Coen

(b Cortona, April 7, 1883; d Paris, Feb 26, 1966).

Italian painter, mosaicist, stage designer and writer. One of the principal exponents of Futurism, he was an important link between French and Italian art. Although his most historically significant works were produced before World War I, he had a long career during which he continued to evolve his style, particularly in abstract schemes.

Severini studied in Cortona until the age of 15 when, because of a prank, he was expelled from all Italian schools. In 1899 he moved with his mother to Rome, where he worked as an accountant for a pipe-maker and later for an export agency. His passion for art led him to attend an evening class in drawing at a school known as ‘Gli incurabili’, and in the morning he studied perspective. Together with a group of friends that included Umberto Boccioni, whom he met in 1901, he was introduced to the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, the Russian novelists and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and to the general principles of Marxism. With Boccioni he often visited the studio of ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Žlutice, nr Nový Bydžov, Aug 24, 1885; d Prague, May 12, 1946).

Bohemian painter and printmaker. After graduating from the School of the Locksmith’s Art at Hradec Králové, he moved to Prague, where he studied under the landscape painter Ferdinand Engelmüller (1867–1924), before enrolling in 1903 at the Academy of Fine Arts. Dissatisfied with the teaching, he left without completing his studies. From 1907 to 1908 he lived in Dubrovnik, where he painted in the Fauvist style. In 1909 he became a member of the Mánes Union of Artists, which he left in 1911 along with several of his colleagues to co-found the Cubist-oriented Group of Plastic Artists (see Czech Cubism). He did not accept Cubist aesthetics without reservation, preferring energetic brushstrokes and an emphasis on rhythm, which he applied universally in motifs of washerwomen, women bathers and landscapes. In 1912 he withdrew from the Group of Plastic Artists, re-joining instead the Mánes Union. He came closest to ...

Article

John Milner

[Rus.: Suprematizm]

Term coined in 1915 by Kazimir Malevich for a new system of art, explained in his booklet Ot kubizma i futurizma k suprematizmu: Novyy zhivopisnyy realizm (‘From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism: the new realism in painting’). The term itself implied the supremacy of this new art in relation to the past. Malevich saw it as purely aesthetic and concerned only with form, free from any political or social meaning. He stressed the purity of shape, particularly of the square, and he regarded Suprematism as primarily an exploration of visual language comparable to contemporary developments in writing. Suprematist paintings were first displayed at the exhibition Poslednyaya futuristicheskaya vystavka kartin: 0.10 (‘The last Futurist exhibition of paintings: 0.10’) held in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) in December 1915; they comprised geometric forms which appeared to float against a white background. While Suprematism began before the Revolution of 1917, its influence, and the influence of Malevich’s radical approach to art, was pervasive in the early Soviet period; ...

Article

Daniel Robbins

(b Moscow, July 31, 1879; d Paris, Oct 30, 1968).

Russian painter, designer and illustrator. He was directed to enter the piano factory operated by his Finnish father, and besides learning the piano he took a commercial diploma in 1897. After becoming severely ill at the age of 22, he rethought his career and entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Introduced to the modern movement through the collections of Sergey Shchukin and Ivan Morosov, he joined the ranks of the Moscow avant-garde and by 1906 was close to the circle associated with the magazine Zolotoye runo (see Golden Fleece). He also met Alexander Archipenko, exhibiting with him in the company of David Burlyuk, Vladimir Burlyuk, Mikhail Larionov and Natal’ya Goncharova. With Hélène Moniuschko, whom he subsequently married, he travelled to Western Europe, visiting Paris in July 1908. The following August the couple settled in Paris, where Survage worked as a piano tuner and briefly attended the short-lived school run by ...

Article

(Andreyevna)

(b Oryol, 1886; d Moscow, 1961).

Russian painter. She received her initial artistic education in Moscow at the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1905–9), Konstantin Yuon’s Art School (1906–9), where she may have met Lyubov’ Popova, and in 1909 at the Art School of Istvan Kiss where she met Vladimir Favorsky and Konstantin Istomin (1887–1942). In November 1912 she went to Paris with Popova to see Matisse’s work but was influenced by Cubism and studied at the Académie de La Palette under Jean Metzinger, Henri Le Fauconnier and André Dunoyer de Segonzac. From them she assimilated the principles of Cubism, as in the monochrome canvas Guitar: Fugue (1914; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.), where the instrument is fragmented into broadly defined interpenetrating planes intersected by sheet music and the picture surface is flattened by lettering and numbers. In late 1913 Udal’tsova returned to Russia and worked in Vladimir Tatlin’s studio, known as the Tower, in Moscow, together with Aleksandr Vesnin and Popova. Udal’tsova continued working in a Cubist idiom producing such works as ...

Article

Daniel Robbins

(b Angoûleme, April 4, 1885; d Paris, March 25, 1937).

French painter, collagist, draughtsman and stage designer. A few years younger than most of the Cubists with whom he became associated, he received a traditional art education at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1906 to 1910. He did not participate in any of the manifestations of Cubism that took place before World War I. His interest in the movement appears to have developed under the influence of Albert Gleizes, who painted his portrait while both served near the front in the 167th regiment at Toul in 1914–15. By 1916 Valmier was making small and very delicate collages markedly different from those of Picasso, Braque or Gris, composed of minutely fragmented surfaces.

In 1919 Valmier signed a contract with the dealer Léonce Rosenberg, for whose Bulletin de l’effort moderne he later designed a cover. Rosenberg gave him his first one-man exhibition at his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne, Paris, in ...

Article

Ana Tapias

(b Porlamar, Aug 29, 1927).

Venezuelan painter and teacher. He studied from 1943 to 1947 at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in Caracas, where he then taught from 1947 to 1973. His painting, which evolved from Cubism through geometric abstraction to lyrical landscape painting, shows his attraction to coastal light and to open spaces. The colours are limited to shades of blue, green, grey and white. Vásquez Brito represented Venezuela in the 31st Venice Biennale in ...

Article

Malcolm Gee

[Mayer, Louis]

(b Paris, Jan 1, 1870; d 1943).

French critic. He is now best known for having invented the term ‘les fauves’ to describe Matisse and his colleagues in 1905. This has contributed to the impression that he was an opponent of modern art. In fact, although he did consistently decry Cubism and related avant-garde tendencies, he was a staunch defender of anti-academic painting and sculpture throughout his career. He began writing on art in the 1890s and quickly established himself as a lively and industrious recorder of the Parisian art scene. By 1914 he was probably the best-known and most widely read critic of the time: he was art correspondent for Excelsior and Gil Blas and wrote regularly in many other papers and periodicals. He was also a member of the executive committee of the Salon d’Automne and had personal contacts with many artists and dealers. In 1916, while maintaining his column on Le Carnet de la semaine...

Article

Daniel Robbins

[ Duchamp, Gaston ]

(b Damville, Eure, July 31, 1875; d Puteaux, nr Paris, June 9, 1963).

French painter, printmaker and illustrator. The oldest of three brothers who became major 20th-century artists, including Raymond Duchamp-Villon and Marcel Duchamp, he learnt engraving at the age of 16 from his maternal grandfather, Emile-Frédéric Nicolle (1830–94), a ship-broker who was also a much appreciated amateur artist. In January 1894, having completed his studies at the Lycée Corneille in Rouen, he was sent to study at the Faculty of Law of the University of Paris, but within a year he was devoting most of his time to art, already contributing lithographs to Parisian illustrated newspapers such as Assiette au beurre. At this time he chose his pseudonym: Jack (subsequently Jacques) in homage to Alphonse Daudet’s novel Jack (1876) and Villon in appreciation of the 15th-century French poet François Villon; soon afterwards this new surname was combined with the family name by Raymond. Marcel Duchamp and their sister ...

Article

Christa Lichtenstern

[ Zadkin, Osip ]

(b Vitebsk, July 14, 1890; d Paris, Nov 25, 1967).

French sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker of Belorussian birth. He spent his childhood in Smolensk in a circle of cultured and assimilated Jews. His father was a convert to the Orthodox Church, and his mother came from an immigrant family of Scottish shipwrights. While staying with his mother’s relatives in Sunderland, northern England, in 1905, he attended the local art school and taught himself to carve furniture ornaments. At the age of 16 he continued his artistic training in London, taking evening classes in life drawing and making his living as an ornamental woodcarver. During this time he became friendly with the painter David Bomberg. He continued his studies at the Regent Street Polytechnic, London, and later, in 1908, at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, where he concentrated on techniques in wood.

Early works such as Volga Boatmen (1908; destr.) were oriented towards a socially critical realism. During a brief return to Russia in summer ...