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Article

Melissa Chiu

(b Quanzhou, Dec 8, 1957).

Chinese installation artist. Cai studied at the Shanghai Theatre Academy, completing his degree in stage design in 1985. He is best known for ephemeral, large-scale explosion-works using gunpowder—a medium he began to experiment with in China and often explained as a childhood reference to witnessing skirmishes between China and Taiwan along what was known as the Fujian Front.

In the 1980s, he applied gunpowder to canvas, which he then lit to create bold, charred designs. When Cai emigrated to Japan in 1986, he began to use gunpowder for environmental installations. Since 1989 he called these works Projects for Extraterrestrials. Cai believed that most explosions visible from space have been related to war, and that his work sends a non-violent message. A good example is The Horizon from the Pan Pacific: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 14 (1994), executed off the coast of Iwaki, a small town in Japan, where Cai installed a 5000-metre trail of gunpowder in the ocean that illuminated the horizon. The work evoked the experience of living in this small fishing village, where the ocean is a central part of everyday life. Such a conceptually charged, yet rudimentary application of gunpowder, characterizes Cai’s works created in Japan....

Article

Barbara Lange

revised by Andrés Mario Zervigón

[Herzfeld, Helmut ]

(b Berlin, June 19, 1891; d Berlin, April 26, 1968).

German photomontagist, draughtsman, typographer, stage designer, and film director. After a difficult childhood owing to the persecution of his father for his political beliefs, he studied art at the Königliche Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich from 1907 to 1911, specializing in advertising art. In 1912 he took his first job in a paper packaging company (for which he completed graphic design work) in Mannheim, moving to Berlin in 1913, where he and his brother Wieland Herzfeld made contact with avant-garde circles. (Wieland changed his surname to Herzfelde in early 1914.) Heartfield’s experiences in World War I led him to conclude that the only worthy art was that which took account of social realities (see Eclipse of the Sun on the Rhine, 1957). He destroyed all his early work.

From 1916 Heartfield collaborated closely with George Grosz and in the summer of 1917, like Grosz, anglicized his name, although he did not adopt this form officially until after the war. His earnest criticism of bourgeois society found its expression in his commitment to the ...

Article

Andrzej Rottermund

In 

Article

Lee M. Edwards

(b Waal, Bavaria, May 26, 1849; d Budleigh Salterton, Devon, March 31, 1914).

English painter, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, writer and teacher of German birth. He was the only child of Lorenz Herkomer (d 1887), a wood-carver, and Josephine (née Niggl), an accomplished pianist and music teacher. They left Bavaria for the USA in 1851 and lived briefly in Cleveland, OH, before settling in Southampton, England, in 1857.

Herkomer received his first art instruction from his father and from 1864 to 1865 he attended the Southampton School of Art. Later he often criticized the crippling academic methods to which he was exposed as a student. In 1865 he briefly attended the Munich Academy and spent the summer terms of 1866 and 1867 at the South Kensington Art School in London, where he found the teaching ‘aimless and undirected’. With the encouragement of his fellow student Luke Fildes, Herkomer took up black-and-white illustration; his first wood-engraving appeared in Good Words...

Article

(Nightingale)

(b London, March 25, 1929; d Brightwell Baldwin, March 29, 1998).

English designer. He was educated at Charterhouse School, Surrey, and studied painting, illustration, typography, and stage design at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London. He served in the British Army Educational Corps (1949–51), then travelled in Europe for a year, pursuing a keen interest in architecture and interiors. In 1953 he redecorated his mother’s London house, a photograph of which was published and led to several similar commissions, and established his own design studio in London. In 1955 he formed a partnership with an English antiques dealer, Tom Parr (1930–2015), and together they ran Hicks & Parr, a small decorating and antiques shop in Chelsea. Among their early successful projects were the redecoration of the residences of Sir Rex and Lady Benson, Frederick and Mary Ponsonby, 10th Earl and Countess of Bessborough, and President Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana. In 1959 Hicks set up independently as David Hicks Ltd, then as David Hicks Associates, and later David Hicks International Marketing, with branch offices in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Pakistan, and Australia. During the 1960s Hicks became one of the most fashionable decorators in Britain, noted for his eclectic tastes, use of strong colours, and designs for geometric-patterned carpets and textiles, inspired by the work of Matisse and Edouard Vuillard. His employment of wall-to-wall carpeting in geometric-repeat motifs, together with his mix-and-match furnishing fabrics, became widely popular. He supplied designs to some 500 furnishing fabric and carpet manufacturers in North America and Britain during the 1960s and 1970s. He decorated the private apartments (...

Article

S. Kontha

(b Budapest, April 17, 1904; d Budapest, Jan 26, 1986).

Hungarian painter, illustrator, mosaicist, tapestry designer, stage designer, poster designer, printmaker, sculptor, teacher and administrator. From 1922 to 1929 he studied at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts (Magyar Kepzőmüvészeti Főiskolá) in Budapest under Gyula Rudnay (1878–1957) and János Vaszary (1867–1939). In the mid-1920s he became acquainted with Béla Uitz’s General Ludd series (1923; Budapest, N.G.) and in Venice he saw the work of such Russian avant-garde artists as Rodchenko and El Lissitzky and such Italian Futurists as Severini. In 1926 in Paris he studied the works of Léger, Braque, Picasso and others in the collection of Léonce Rosenberg. He was also influenced by the art of Brancusi and Joseph Csáky, as well as André Breton’s Manifeste du surréalisme (Paris, 1924). From the outset, Hincz’s work revealed a number of different objectives. Although he experimented with abstraction, the reference to the figure is always present in one form or another. His profound interest in humanity and its social interaction was based on, and motivated by, this interest in the figure. His early paintings are expressionist in mood and are composed of flattened forms in a shallow space in a manner reminiscent of Cubo–Futurist art. Elements of Purism and Surrealism are also present. After World War II he became increasingly preoccupied with realism, political agitprop art and the problems inherent in creating new symbols; a study trip to Korea, China and Vietnam in ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Bradford, July 9, 1937).

English painter, printmaker, photographer, and stage designer. Perhaps the most popular and versatile British artist of the 20th century, Hockney made apparent his facility as a draughtsman while studying at Bradford School of Art between 1953 and 1957, producing portraits and observations of his surroundings under the influence of the Euston Road School and of Stanley Spencer. From 1957 to 1959 he worked in hospitals as a conscientious objector to fulfil the requirements of national service. On beginning a three-year postgraduate course at the Royal College of Art, London, in 1959, he turned first to the discipline of drawing from life in two elaborate studies of a skeleton before working briefly in an abstract idiom inspired by the paintings of Alan Davie.

Encouraged by a fellow student, R. B. Kitaj, Hockney soon sought ways of reintegrating a personal subject-matter into his art while remaining faithful to his newly acquired modernism. He began tentatively by copying fragments of poems on to his paintings, encouraging a close scrutiny of the surface and creating a specific identity for the painted marks through the alliance of word and image. These cryptic messages soon gave way to open declarations in a series of paintings produced in ...

Article

Andreas Franzke

(b Bleckede, nr Lüneburg, June 14, 1945; d Düsseldorf, May 28, 2007).

German painter, draughtsman and sculptor. He entered the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf in 1963, spending three semesters studying stage set design before becoming a student of Joseph Beuys. After producing a series of pictures in 1966 using babies as his prime motif, he adopted a word suggestive of baby talk, ‘Lidl’, for performances and political demonstrations in Düsseldorf and other cities from 1968 to 1970. These activities, for which he enlisted the support of other artists, continued after he began teaching art in 1968 at a secondary school in Düsseldorf; he remained a teacher there until 1980.

Immendorff’s renewed application to painting coincided with his first meeting with A. R. Penck in East Berlin in 1976. They wrote a brief manifesto on working collaboratively and met again in 1977, when they decided to organize joint artistic activities and exhibitions. It was at this time that Immendorff began his Café Deutschland series, e.g. ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Northwood, Middx, Jan 31, 1942, d London, Feb 19, 1994).

English film maker, theatre designer, writer and painter. After attending King’s College, London (1960–62), he studied painting and stage design at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1963–7), where he developed a sparse figurative style influenced by that of David Hockney. He exhibited widely after his graduation, participating in the opening exhibition of the Lisson Gallery in London (founded by fellow Slade student Nicholas Logsdail), Young Contemporaries (London, Tate), the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition, Liverpool, and the fifth Biennale des Jeunes Artistes (Paris, Mus. A. Mod., Ville Paris). He soon moved away from the influence of Hockney, painting abstracted landscapes that dwelt on the magical and mythological elements of a location, making reference to the work of Paul Nash. Although he continued painting sporadically during the 1970s, his energies were principally directed in this decade toward film making and theatre design; commissions included two productions in London in ...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(Nestorovich)

(b Kukhi, nr Kutaisi, Aug 20, 1889; d Tbilisi, May 10, 1952).

Georgian painter, collagist, stage designer and film maker. He was born into a peasant family and studied from 1909 to 1916 in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics at the University of St Petersburg. From 1910 to 1915 he also studied painting and drawing in the studio of L. Ye. Dmitriyev-Kavakazsky (1849–1916). With Pavel Filonov he became a member of the St Petersburg artistic group Intimnaya Masterskaya (The Intimate Studio). The group’s manifesto (1914) proclaimed the beginning of a new era in art, awarded a central importance to Filonov’s principle of sdelannost’ (‘madeness’) and drew attention to the fundamental structural principles of artistic language. The manifesto was one of the most original developments of the pre-revolutionary avant-garde in Russia.

Kakabadze was an outstanding representative of the artistic avant-garde in Georgia. In his work innovation was always combined with a deep interest in Georgian national traditions, on which he was an expert. He studied medieval Georgian ornament while still a student, and in ...

Article

Vivian Endicott Barnett

[Vassily; Wassily] (Vasil’yevich)

(b Moscow, Dec 4, 1866; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, Dec 13, 1944).

Russian painter, printmaker, stage designer, decorative artist and theorist. A central figure in the development of 20th-century art and specifically in the transition from representational to abstract art, Kandinsky worked in a wide variety of media and was an important teacher and theoretician. He worked mainly outside Russia, but his Russian heritage continued to be an important factor in his development.

Kandinsky grew up in Odessa and from 1886 to 1893 studied economics, ethnography and law in Moscow, where he wrote a dissertation on the legality of labourers’ wages. He married his cousin Anya Shemyakina in 1892 (divorced 1911). In 1896 Kandinsky decided to become an artist and went to Munich. There he studied from 1896 to 1898 at the art school of Anton Ažbe, where he met Alexei Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin, and then in 1900 at the Akademie with Franz von Stuck. The following year he was a co-founder of the ...

Article

Anna Bentkowska

(b Wielopole, nr Kraków, April 6, 1915; d Kraków, Dec 8, 1990).

Polish painter, draughtsman, theatre director and stage designer. He studied painting and stage design under Karol Frycz (1877–1963) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, graduating in 1939. After the outbreak of World War II he organized in Kraków an experimental underground theatre (1942–4), exhibitions and art discussions. He painted and produced numerous drawings and stage designs for future performances. He was influenced by various artistic movements such as Constructivism, Expressionism and Futurism, as well as by the writings of Bruno Schultz (1892–1942) and Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (ii), whose plays he later staged. In 1947 he went to Paris, where at the Palais de la Découverte he ‘discovered’ the infinity of nature that he examined through the microscopic images of cells and cross-sections of minerals. As the scientific approach to this was beyond his means, he began to explore the natural world by developing the concept of inner, intellectual and spiritual space through the act of artistic creation. He called it ‘the umbrellic space’. A series of abstract and metaphorical paintings and drawings followed, with the motif of an umbrella that could ‘fold’ and ‘unfold’ the space (e.g. ...

Article

John E. Bowlt

(Nikolayevich)

(b Pereslavl’-Zalessky, Yaroslavl’ province, Sept 6, 1866; d Pereslavl’-Zalessky, Feb 9, 1943).

Russian illustrator and stage designer. After studying law at Moscow University, he enrolled in 1892 at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg, where his principal mentors were Pavel Chistyakov (1832–1919) and Il’ya Repin. In 1896 he moved to Munich and with Grabar’ attended the private studio of Anton Ažbé. In 1900 he returned to St Petersburg, receiving his Academy diploma (1902) and in 1907 becoming a professor there. Kardovsky was one of the foremost students of the great draughtsman Chistyakov, whose graphic principles he maintained in his precision, sobriety and sense of measure. Although Kardovsky explored various styles, including Impressionism and Jugendstil, and enthusiastically supported Mikhail Vrubel’, whose posthumous exhibition he organized in 1912, he was concerned more with faithful representation than with formal experiment, demonstrating his consistency and common sense from 1902 in his prolific output as a book illustrator. Occasionally Kardovsky explored the discipline of political caricature, as in his illustrations for the radical journals ...

Article

Leland M. Roth and Gordon Campbell

(John)

(b Vienna, Sept 22, 1890; d New York, Dec 27, 1965).

American architect, stage designer, furniture designer and writer of Austrian birth. In 1920 he worked with Adolf Loos in Vienna. He was also in contact with the artists associated with De Stijl and began experimenting with innovative theatre designs. In 1924 he produced the Endless Theatre design. The ‘Endless’ was a double-curved shell of reinforced concrete that could enclose any irregularly traditional divisions into floor, wall, and ceiling but offered the inhabitant an open interior that could be modified at will. For the theatre he adapted the ‘Endless’ by devising a double-spiral stage interconnected by ramps and rings of spectator seats. Kiesler believed that the Endless Theatre, without proscenium or curtain, projecting out into the audience, with perpetually moving walls bathed in light of ever changing colour, would promote greater interaction between actors and audience.

For the celebrated Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925...

Article

(b Hamburg, Sept 14, 1876; d Pansdorf, nr Lübeck, May 13, 1954).

German painter, printmaker, poster and stage designer. He attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg (c. 1894), and art academies in Düsseldorf and Berlin (c. 1897). In the first decades of the 20th century he exhibited with the New Secessionists. He drew and painted still-lifes and figures in landscapes and interiors in a strongly Expressionist style, which revealed his admiration for Cubism and for the work of Ferdinand Hodler. He was an assiduous worker; besides paintings, woodcuts and lithographs, he designed stained-glass windows, mosaics (e.g. Kaiser Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, Berlin), murals and painted ceilings. He also decorated the interiors of a number of Berlin theatres, as well as the Marmorhaus cinema (1913). Klein and Gerhard Marcks joined Gropius to organize the 1914 Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Cologne.

In the post-World War I ferment of cultural and political activity, Klein, with Max Pechstein and others, founded the Novembergruppe in Berlin in ...

Article

Marian Burleigh-Motley

(Mikhaylovich)

(b Astrakhan, March 7, 1878; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 26, 1927).

Russian painter and stage designer. While studying at the Astrakhan Theological School, he was impressed in 1887 by an exhibition of the Russian Realist painters, the Wanderers, and he subsequently decided to become a painter. In 1896 he enrolled at the Academy of Arts, St Petersburg, where he studied with Il’ya Repin. In 1904 he studied briefly in Paris under René Menard (1869–1930) and travelled to Spain, where he especially admired the paintings of Diego Velázquez. Like Andrey Ryabushkin before him, Kustodiyev concentrated on painting Russian provincial festivities, as in Shrovetide (1916; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). But in his paintings of the merchant class Kustodiyev added a new note of satire. Using the bright reds and blues of Russian folk art, he delighted in painting the merchants’ plump wives in their leisure activities. One of his most striking images is Merchant’s Wife Drinking Tea (1918; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.), where the ample figure dominates the tea table and the surrounding area by her bulk and her self-satisfied expression. She is as round and as succulent as the fruit on the table. This work, like many others, has an oriental richness of colour that Kustodiyev saw as part of his Astrakhan heritage....

Article

Gisèle Ollinger-Zinque

(b Douai, March 9, 1905; d Paris, Jan 27, 1982).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. He was of Flemish and Polish descent and worked in both France and Belgium. On a visit to Ostend in 1922 he met James Ensor, whose lifelong friendship he later commemorated in Bonjour M. Ensor (1964; Ostend, Mus. S. Kst.). In 1927 he set up his studio in Ostend, where he was associated not only with Ensor but also with Constant Permeke and Léon Spilliaert, and with the poets Henri Van de Putte, Jean Teugels and Michel de Ghelderode, and the film maker Henri Storck. He was self-taught and strongly influenced at first by Ensor. He sought to render both his own poetic reveries and the preoccupations of modern life through a technique of smoothly painted and strongly outlined violent colours. He specialized in images of a particular type of woman, at once strangely sensual and cold, whom he painted in blue and other exaggerated hues and who haunted his pictures like a mythical goddess, as in ...

Article

Anthony Parton

(Fyodorovich)

(b Tiraspol, Moldova, June 3, 1881; d Fontenay-aux-Roses, nr Paris, May 10, 1964).

Russian painter, stage designer, printmaker, illustrator, draughtsman and writer of Moldovan birth. He was a leader of the Russian avant-garde before World War I but came to prominence in the West through his work for Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. During the 1920s he played a significant role within the Ecole de Paris and continued to live and work in France until his death.

He was the son of Fyodor Mikhailovich Larionov, a doctor and pharmacist, and Aleksandra Fyodorovna Petrovskaya, but he grew up in his grandparents’ home in Tiraspol. He completed his secondary education at the Voskresensky Technical High School in Moscow and in 1898 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Here he studied under Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin, and he also became friendly with Natal’ya Goncharova who was to remain his lifelong companion and colleague. Larionov’s work soon caught the imagination of collectors and critics. In ...

Article

(b Paris, Oct 31, 1883; d Paris, June 8, 1956).

French painter, stage designer and illustrator. After studying porcelain painting at the Sèvres factory (1901) and drawing in Paris under the French flower painter Madelaine Lemaire (1845–1928), in 1903–4 she studied at the Académie Humbert in Paris, where she met Georges Braque and Francis Picabia. In 1907 she first exhibited paintings at the Salon des Indépendants, met Picasso at Clovis Sagot’s gallery and through Picasso was introduced to the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Laurencin and Apollinaire were soon on intimate terms, their relationship lasting until 1912.

Laurencin became a regular associate of the painters and poets associated with the Bateau-Lavoir, who included Picasso, Braque, Gris, Max Jacob and André Salmon. She was present at the banquet given by Picasso in honour of Henri Rousseau in 1908 and produced the first version of Apollinaire and his Friends (1908; Baltimore, MD, Mus. A.) in a highly simplified style, in which she pictured herself and the poet with Picasso and his companion Fernande Olivier. Both this and a larger version with additional figures (...

Article

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Mexico City, Aug 26, 1896; d Mexico City, Jan 28, 1971).

Mexican painter, stage designer, illustrator and writer. He studied in Mexico City at the Escuela al Aire Libre de Coyoacán and at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas, before living in Paris from 1922 to 1930, where he trained as a stage designer from 1928 to 1930 in the studio of Charles Dullin. In Paris he attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and became aware of Surrealism; he was one of the first artists to introduce the style to Mexico. In his characteristic small-scale oil paintings, such as Children with Cage (Mexico City, Mus. N. A.), in which two girls are silhouetted in front of a curtain, he combined neo-Impressionist brushwork and a highly theatrical handling of light with absurd elements. He abandoned his career as a painter at an early age, concentrating in the 1930s and 1940s on designing for the stage as well as making his name as a critic and playwright....