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Article

Angel Kalenberg

(b Montevideo, July 3, 1920; d Montevideo, Dec 8, 1993).

Uruguayan painter. He studied at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Montevideo (1934–41) under the direction of Professor Guillermo Laborde (1886–1940) and in 1942 came into contact with Joaquín Torres García. In the early 1950s he continued his studies in Europe, primarily at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. In his work, which has been termed Organic Constructivism, he juxtaposed, sewed or glued together fragments of humble materials such as wood, string, cardboard and tracing paper, subjecting them to various systems (e.g. Historia 3WH, Montevideo, Casa de Gobierno). His cryptically titled works suggestive of narrative, such as Story X.Z.A. (1982; see 1989 exh. cat.), are all conceived in terms of such mixed media techniques rather than as conventional paintings. Barcala exhibited widely in Europe and Latin America, particularly in the 1970s.

J. P. Argul: Proceso de las artes plásticas del Uruguay...

Article

Julio Roberto Katinsky

(b Rome, Dec 5, 1914; d São Paulo, March 29, 1992).

Brazilian architect of Italian birth. She graduated in architecture (1942) from the University of Rome and in 1943 was editor of the magazine Domus. In 1947 she moved to Brazil when her husband, Pietro Maria Bardi (b 1901), was invited to establish and direct the Museu de Arte de São Paulo; Lina Bardi was involved in planning the interior and designing the fittings of the museum. In 1949 she founded the art and architecture journal Habitat and was its editor until 1953, a period when it was the most influential architecture magazine in Brazil. With her husband and the architect Giancarlo Palanti (1906–77), she set up the Studio d’Arte Palma, making modern furniture that had a great impact in Brazil. She also set up the first industrial design course in Brazil (1948–51) and taught at the University of São Paulo (1954–5...

Article

Angel Kalenberg

(Pérez )

(b Montevideo, Jan 7, 1890; d Montevideo, Feb 12, 1929).

Uruguayan painter and stage designer. He was encouraged to pursue his interest in art by his father, the Spanish painter Antonio Pérez Barradas (1862–99), and appears to have been taught drawing by the Spanish artist Vicente Casanova y Ramos (1870–1920). He became involved with the bohemian intellectual life of Montevideo while exhibiting his drawings and working as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines such as La Semana, Bohemia, El Tiempo, La Razón and Ultima hora in Montevideo and Buenos Aires. In 1913 he founded the publication El Monigote.

At the end of 1914 Barradas settled in Spain, where he began to produce work influenced by the Italian avant-garde art he had seen on his travels through Europe, introducing the avant-garde in Spain. In response to Futurism he painted pictures such as Apartment House (1919), Everything on 65 (1919) and Vibrationist (1918...

Article

(b Guadalajara, Mar 9, 1902; d Mexico City, Nov 22, 1988).

Mexican architect. Recipient of the Pritzker Prize, he was the most celebrated of Mexico’s modern architects, known for his regionally inflected designs. Born to a wealthy, devoutly Catholic family, he earned his degree in civil engineering from Guadalajara’s Escuela Libre de Ingenieros in 1923, and soon after completed his course in architecture (though the school closed before his degree could be awarded). On trips to Europe and the USA in 1924–1925, 1930, and 1931 he was impressed by the Alhambra and by the work of Le Corbusier; he also made important contacts with muralist José Clemente Orozco, Architectural Record editor Lawrence Kocher, French author, artist, and architect Ferdinand Bac (1859–1952), and Le Corbusier himself, whose lectures he attended in Paris in 1931. Barragán is best known for a small group of gardens, houses, and subdivisions built around Mexico City between 1945 and 1976 that blend Modernist minimalism with brilliant colors and elements drawn from Mexican colonial and vernacular buildings. Called ...

Article

Joan K. Lingen

Site in Panama, in the Volcan Baru district of Chiriquí Province near the Costa Rican border. It is one of the best known and most elaborate Pre-Columbian Panamanian sites; it flourished c. ad 400–c. 800. Barriles was first excavated in 1949 by Matthew Stirling under the auspices of the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Institution. Alejandro Mendez, Director of the Museo Nacional de Panamá, Panama City, had previously visited the site and removed the large figural sculptures for display at the museum. Other objects from the excavations are also at the Museo Nacional. In 1972 Olga Linares, Payson Sheets, and Jane Rosenthal excavated at Barriles to help clarify its chronological and cultural relationship with the rest of western Panama. Ceramic analysis and radiocarbon dating place the major occupation of Barriles and its artistic output before c. ad 800. Most of the pottery consists of simple, unpainted, and incised vessels, much like the Aguas Buenas pottery of Panama and some from central Costa Rica. Rare examples contain designs painted in red or black. The most common forms are small globular vessels with short tripod supports and bowls with flat bottoms. Somewhat crudely modelled animal forms are attached to the rims or bodies of some examples. Others feature negative-painted designs on the vessel interiors. Stirling also excavated tombs containing large, lidded urns 920 mm high, with human and animal imagery painted in red and bright yellow on the necks of the vessels....

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Cartagena, Oct 27, 1945).

Colombian painter, sculptor and conceptual artist. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes of the University of Atlántico in Barranquilla, Colombia, from 1958 to 1960, and in Italy from 1966 to 1967 at the University of Perugia. In 1966, under the influence of Pop art, he made the first of a series of collages combining cut-outs of well-known individuals and comic strips with drawn elements. Two years later he added frosty effects and velvet flowers to his interpretations in black and red ink of figures with distorted bodies and the faces of film stars. In 1969 he began to present these in increasingly three-dimensional boxes or glass cases, accompanied by clouds of cotton wool, plastic figures and other additions that combined to make up fantastic or nostalgic scenes, dream-like and surrealist in appearance and tone.

Barrios was among those who introduced conceptual art to Colombia, for example by publishing in newspapers a series of ...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b San Marcos, Jan 1, 1946).

Guatemalan painter and printmaker. He began his art studies at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Guatemala City, then studied painting at the Facultad de Bellas Artes of the Universidad de Costa Rica (1968–9) and printmaking at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid (1974–5). His first works were expressionist woodcuts influenced by Munch, but after studying in Madrid he changed his style, emphasizing the role of drawing and texture and taking his subjects from Latin American literature.

On his return to Guatemala in 1979, Barrios addressed himself to the magic realism that held sway there in literature as well as in the visual arts. From c. 1980 he devoted himself increasingly to watercolour (e.g. Bosch’s Garden, Guatemala City, Mus. A. Contemp.) and to oil painting. His brother César Barrios (b 1945) was also active as a painter and printmaker....

Article

Aleca Le Blanc

(b São Paulo, Jun 20, 1914; d São Paulo, Dec 22, 2010).

Brazilian visual artist and designer. The formal training Barsotti received was in drawing and chemistry, and by the 1950s he had established a professional career in design, working in São Paulo during the postwar period. From 1954 to 1964 he ran a studio with Willys de Castro (1926–1988), a life-long collaborator and fellow artist, called Estúdio de Projetos Gráficos, where he created costume design, graphic design, and textile design, among other things. During this period he focused his artistic efforts exclusively on geometric abstraction, then the dominant style of the avant-garde in Brazil under the rubric of Concrete art. However, Barsotti did not immediately affiliate with any of the groups that promoted it, such as the dogmatic Grupo Ruptura in São Paulo. He was not, strictly speaking, a devotee of Concrete art, which required that the geometric composition be entirely preconceived, divorced from observed reality, and visually represent a mathematical formula. On this matter, de Castro applauded his friend in a ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Pergamino, Buenos Aires, Sept 22, 1894; d Buenos Aires, Feb 21, 1976).

Argentine painter, stage designer and illustrator. He studied drawing in Buenos Aires under the Italian painter Augusto Bolognini (b 1870) and at the Academia Nacional before moving in 1923 to Paris, where he worked in Charles Guérin’s studio and at the Académie Colarossi. He also studied in the studios of André Lhote and Othon Friesz and became associated with other Argentine artists based in Paris. Like others of his generation and nationality, he sought in the 1920s to escape from pictorial provincialism by rejecting academic norms, as in Still-life (1926; Rosario, Mus. Mun. B.A.). He learnt how to paint while living in France and developed a range of imagery typical of Argentine art without showing any great originality.

More than any other painter, Basaldúa depicted life in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, concentrating humorously and without sentimentality on the wide boys, dance-hall girls, loose women and handsome, dangerous men of the tango in such pictures as the ...

Article

Linda Mowat

Artefacts of more or less rigid construction produced by the interlacing of linear materials. Basketwork is of considerable antiquity (dating from at least 8000 bc in Egypt and Peru) and in one form or other has been practised almost everywhere in the world.

Basketry materials vary according to the environment of the basketmaker: the wood, bark, roots, shoots, stems, leaves and fibre of hundreds of trees and plants can be used. With few exceptions, these materials take time to find, select, gather and prepare. Many require pounding, stripping, splitting, gauging, drying, dyeing, bleaching or soaking before they can be used. The acquisition and preparation of materials often takes longer than the actual making of the basket.

Many of the baskets of northern and western Europe are made from rods of osier or basket willow. In North America splint baskets are made from split ash, oak, maple and hickory in the east; ...

Article

Izumi Shimada

Region in La Leche Valley on the north coast of Peru, which contains numerous archaeological sites. The central part of the valley, over 55 sq. km in area, has been designated the Poma National Archaeological and Ecological Reserve because of the concentration of some 30 major Pre-Columbian cemeteries and mounds nested within dense semi-tropical thorny native forest. The most notable period of local cultural development was the Middle Sicán (see Sicán), c. ad 900–1100, when the Sicán funerary–religious precinct (see fig.), the dominant feature of Batán Grande, was built. Delineated by some dozen monumental adobe pyramids, it covers an area extending c. 1.6 km east–west and 1 km north–south.

The long-term funerary and religious importance of the Poma Reserve is underlined by the limited evidence for widespread or intensive agricultural activity there, despite its abundant fertile alluvium. As the beginning and end of various major canals, Batán Grande controlled the vital local water supplies and thus held political control over the adjacent valleys. Although a Late Sicán shift of settlement away from Batán Grande removed much of this political significance, the site clearly retained its eminence as a key burial and metallurgical centre up to the Spanish conquest. The Spanish name for the area in fact derives from the hundreds of large ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Torroella de Montgri, Catalonia, March 3, 1911; d Buenos Aires, Oct 8, 1966).

Argentine painter, printmaker, illustrator, sculptor and stage designer of Spanish Catalan birth. He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1913. Although his uncle, José Planas Casas (b Catalonia, 1900; d Argentina, 1960), taught him the rudiments of art, he was basically self-taught and began to exhibit his work in 1934. Synthesizing ideas from Zen philosophy, psychoanalysis and the theories on cosmic energy espoused by the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich with his interests in automatism, poetry and painting, he found a creative sense of direction from an early age. He applied his methods not only to paintings but to stage designs, illustrations, collages, prints, polychrome sculptures and boxlike constructions; as a painter he worked both in tempera and in oil, and he also produced 72 murals.

In 1936 Batlle Planas inaugurated a Surrealist phase with a series entitled Paranoiac X-rays, followed by another group of pictures, Tibetan Series, populated by spectral figures related to works by Yves Tanguy. Between ...

Article

Dolores M. Yonker

(b Jacmel, Nov 26, 1923; d Port-au-Prince, 1966).

Haitian painter. Orphaned at an early age and no stranger to deprivation, Bazile was forced to seek work rather than attend school. He moved to Port-au-Prince and found employment as a houseboy with the American Dewitt Peters (1901–66). Witnessing gatherings of artists at the Centre d’Art, he soon expressed a desire to try his hand at painting and became a full-time painter in 1945. He began producing compositions of the life he knew, powerful volumetric images with strong contrasts of light and dark and a firm contour.

Bazile’s figures were monumental in their solidity, and his colours were strong; he had a sense of the dramatic and he exploited value contrasts to emphasize it. He painted from a compassionate social conscience, favouring themes such as mother with child, birth and the desperation of poverty. He was a serious person and was described as having little sense of humour. He favoured religious subjects, and although a devout Catholic his knowledge of and sympathy for Vodoun is apparent in his representations of ceremonies. He was chosen in ...

Article

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Herguijuela, Extremadura, 1545; d 1605).

Spanish architect, active in South America. Both his father, Alonso (d ?1570), and his grandfather, Domingo, were architects; the latter was the Maestro Mayor of Toledo Cathedral (completed 1493). Francisco was considered one of the finest architects in Extremadura, where he was active on a wide range of schemes including the church of S Maria and the chapel of S Isabel (both Trujillo), patrician houses in Guevara, and a chapel between the cloisters in Guadalupe Monastery. In 1573 he left for America, one of the few architects permitted to do so by the Spanish government, which restricted the emigration of qualified personnel. The fact that Becerra was immediately associated with works of magnitude confirms his importance. In 1575 he became the Maestro Mayor of Puebla Cathedral in Mexico, assisted by Francisco Gutiérrez Cabello. By his own account his activity on this assignment lasted for five years and probably included the design and laying of the foundations; however, the plan was amended after ...

Article

Jorge Glusberg

(b Buenos Aires, Aug 7, 1947).

Argentine sculptor and architect. After studying architecture he began in 1967 to make multiple color projections of shadows, continuing in 1968 to work with light apparatuses. He then traveled on a French Government scholarship to Paris, where he began to create multiple superimposed images using acrylic shapes laid on top of flat mirrors. He became involved with the Groupe d’Art Constructif et Mouvement and turned to spheres within cubes or other spheres. After this he experimented with inflatable sculptures and back projections of photographs, and later with Books (e.g. Summa geometrica, 1979, see Glusberg 1985, 133) and Megacubes, which consist generally of ruins or landscapes rendered unfamiliar. As an architect he worked on the Recoleta Cultural Center (1972–1979; with Clorindo Testa and Luis Benedit) in Buenos Aires. He was a founder-member of Grupo CAYC.

Glusberg, J. Del Pop-art a la Nueva Imagen. Buenos Aires, 1985, pp. 133–138.Tager, A....

Article

J. Harwood

(b Havana, 1959).

Cuban painter and installation artist. He graduated from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas ‘San Alejandro’ in Havana in 1976, and in 1981 from the city’s Instituto Superior de Arte. Later in 1981 Bedia participated in the groundbreaking exhibition Volumen I, the aim of which was to create a more open, outward-looking art, free from official constraints. Liberalization of Cuban society allowed Bedia to visit many countries throughout Africa, Europe and the Americas, eventually returning to his country’s own Afro-Cuban culture and religion. Bedia’s early archaeological and ethnographical interests resulted in the creation and documentation of fictious finds and in the use of photographs of Amazonian Indians, such as those on amate (native bark) paper in the untitled work from the series Crónicas Americanas (1982, Havana, Mus. N. B.A.). This perspective gradually developed into anti-colonialist paintings, drawings and installations. Bedia’s initiation into the Afro-Cuban Palo de Monte religion in 1983...

Article

(b Mexico, 1863; d Biarritz, Jan 13, 1953).

Spanish collector. His family was of Basque origin, though he was born in Mexico. After making his fortune in Mexico, he spent the last 40 years of his life in Biarritz, and at his villa Zurbiak he built up a substantial art collection. He had been educated partly in Paris, thereafter retaining a love for France; in 1902 he made a donation to the Cabinet des Médailles of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. His collection of paintings was built up slowly, and he often consulted with museum curators before purchasing works. His tastes were eclectic, covering many periods of art, and determined more than anything by the quality of a work. Often he bought paintings on behalf of the nation so as to prevent them being lost to foreign countries, as was the case with Antoine-Jean Gros’s Bonaparte on the Bridge at Arcole (1796; Paris, Louvre). His collection was distributed throughout his villa, but for the most distinguished works, those destined for the Louvre, he had a special gallery built. He was a foreign associate of the Académie des Beaux-Arts and a member of the Conseil des Musées Nationaux. After his death 21 important paintings were donated to the ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

Brazilian city, capital of Pará state. Built c. 130 km from the Atlantic Ocean on the Baia de Marajó, the southern estuary of the Amazon delta, the city (1994 population 1,244,688) is the chief port and commercial centre of northern Brazil and has several fine Neo-classical buildings. Founded by the Portuguese in 1616 as a defensive outpost for the Amazon region, its remote location and difficulty of access left it largely isolated from the rest of Brazil until the end of the 18th century, although it developed a prosperous spice trade with Europe during this period. Early buildings include the Jesuit church of S Francisco Xavier (1719), which replaced two earlier buildings on the site and has an interior with rich gilt wood-carving. Significant urban development took place in Belém in the 1750s and after, when a mission of scientists, architects and draughtsmen arrived in the region to demarcate the Portuguese–Spanish frontier established by the Treaty of Madrid (...

Article

Belize  

Lita Hunter Krohn

[formerly British Honduras]

Central American country. Bordered by Mexico on the north, Guatemala on the west and south and the Caribbean Sea on the east (see fig.), its total land area is c. 23,300 sq. km. Its population of c. 250,000 (1999) contains a vast variety of ethnic groups. There are three types of Maya: the Mopan, Kekchi and Yucatec, each with its own unique language. The largest group are the Mestizos (43.6%), of mixed Spanish and Maya descent. There are also Creoles (29.8%), of mixed European and African ancestry, whose language, derived from English, is widely spoken by all, and Garifuna (6.6%), descended from Amerindian Caribs, Arawaks and Africans. The population also includes Chinese, Lebanese, Europeans, Hindu and Mennonite communities. In 1970 Belmopan became the capital in place of the coastal Belize City, which had been devastated by a hurricane in 1961. The terrain in the north of the country is mostly flat, as is the whole of the coastal area, while the south contains the Maya Mountains. There is thick rainforest in the interior, while the coast has the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere; the Belize Barrier Reef has been named a World Heritage Site....

Article

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Calgary, Dec 9, 1930; d Mexico City, July 12, 1992).

Canadian painter, draughtsman and sculptor, active in Mexico. After studying in Canada at the Vancouver School of Art (1944–5) and Banff School of Fine Arts (1947–8) he moved to Mexico City, where he continued his training at the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura La Esmeralda (1948–9) and from 1950 worked as one of a team of assistants to David Alfaro Siqueiros. He began soon after to produce murals, such as The People Don’t Want War (acrylic, 2×2.5 m, 1952; Mexico City, Inst. Poli. N.) and Scenes from Don Quixote (acrylic on concrete, 1957; Cuernavaca), following these with many others in Mexico, the USA, Canada, Cuba and Nicaragua. He was also prolific as a draughtsman and easel painter, often working on a large scale, and to a lesser extent as a sculptor. Working in an Expressionist style and concentrating his attention on the human figure—sometimes contorted, flayed or treated in a robot-like manner—he treated biblical themes as well as more contemporary subjects such as the victims of Nazism or of the bombing of Hiroshima. In ...