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Article

Lija Skalska-Miecik

(b Bohdanów, nr Vilna [now Vilnius, Lithuania], Dec 10, 1870; d Bohdanów, Oct 30, 1936).

Polish painter, printmaker and stage designer. In 1890–92 he studied law at the University of St Petersburg, but from the autumn of 1892 dedicated all his time to painting classes at the Academy of Fine Arts. He was a student of the Russian landscape painters Ivan Shishkin and Arkhip Kuindzhi. During his studies Ruszczyc went twice to the Crimea (1894 and 1895) to paint seascapes. In 1896 and 1897 he went to the Baltic islands of Rügen and Bornholm and to the southern coast of Sweden to paint studies of northern landscape. He also went several times to Berlin, where he first saw works by German Symbolist painters. The influence of Arnold Böcklin may be detected in works on fantastical themes, while Spring (1897; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) recalls Kuindzhi’s luminism and the lyrical Russian landscape tradition. After graduation Ruszczyc made an extensive tour of western Europe, thus substantially enlarging his knowledge of contemporary European art. At the end of his journey (...

Article

V. Rakitin

(Nikolayevich)

(b Moscow, Dec 17, 1880; d Gulf of Finland, nr Terrioki [St Petersburg region], June 14, 1912).

Russian painter and stage designer. From 1894 to 1904 he studied at the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow under Konstantin Korovin and Vladimir Serov, and under Isaak Levitan, who had a formative influence on his early landscape studies. On a visit to Rome, Florence and Pisa in 1902 Sapunov was impressed by the painting of Adolphe Monticelli. In 1904 Sapunov participated in the exhibition of the Crimson Rose (Rus. Alaya roza) group of Symbolists in Saratov.

In 1905 Sapunov met the director Vsevolod Meyerhold at his theatre studio in Moscow and he later participated in Meyerhold’s attempts to create a ‘Symbolist theatre’ in the production of Aleksandr Blok’s Balaganchik (‘The little fairground booth’; designs in St Petersburg, Theat. Mus.) and Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler at Vera Komissarzhevskaya’s theatre in St Petersburg in 1906. In attempting to polemicize against the detailed realism of the Moscow Arts Theatre, Sapunov and Meyerhold presented the sets for these productions as painted panels and bas-reliefs, and the figure of the actor was seen as an integral part of the overall pictorial schema. In ...

Article

David Cordingly

(b Edinburgh, Aug 11, 1778; d London, Jan 29, 1874).

Scottish painter. Schetky came from a cultured family: his father, Johann (1737–1824), was a German composer, and his mother, Maria, was the trumpeter Joseph Reinagle’s sister. He took drawing lessons from Alexander Nasmyth and received a good education in Edinburgh before embarking on a Continental tour in 1801. After a spell as a drawing-master at the Royal Military College, Great Marlow, he was appointed Professor of Drawing at the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth, in 1811, a post he held for 25 years. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1805 and 1872, his subjects ranging from ship portraits and royal embarkations to reconstructions of earlier sea battles of the time of Nelson. In 1820 he was made Marine Painter in Ordinary to George IV and was granted the same title by Queen Victoria in 1844. He frequently travelled on board the royal yacht and assisted the Queen with her own sketches....

Article

Rand Carter

(b Neuruppin, Mark Brandenburg, March 13, 1781; d Berlin, Oct 9, 1841).

German architect, painter and stage designer. He was the greatest architect in 19th-century Germany, and his most important surviving buildings in Berlin (see Berlin, §I, 3) and Potsdam (see Potsdam, §1) show his sense of German idealism and technical mastery. He became Geheimer Oberlandesbaudirektor of the Prussian state and influenced many architects in Germany and abroad.

Schinkel’s father, a Lutheran pastor, died after attempting to save victims of a fire in 1787 that destroyed most of Neuruppin, a town 27 km north-west of Berlin. Much of Schinkel’s boyhood was spent in a town under reconstruction, a model of royal benevolence and rational planning. In 1794 his mother and her six children moved to Berlin to a home for the widows of Lutheran pastors. At the 1797 Akademie der Künste exhibition in Berlin the 16-year-old Schinkel was so fascinated by a project for a monument to Frederick II of Prussia...

Article

Marian Burleigh-Motley

(Aleksandrovich)

(b St Petersburg, Jan 19, 1865; d Moscow, Dec 5, 1911).

Russian painter, graphic artist and stage designer. As a child he lived in St Petersburg, but he made frequent trips abroad. In 1874 he travelled to Paris with his mother and frequented the studio of the Russian Realist painter, Il’ya Repin. In 1875 the art patron Savva Mamontov invited Serov and his mother to settle at Abramtsevo outside Moscow, where he again had the opportunity to study under Repin and to meet other artists in the Mamontov circle. The Symbolist paintings of Mikhail Vrubel’ and the late Impressionist landscapes and figure studies of Konstantin Korovin he saw at Abramtsevo had a lasting influence on the young Serov. From 1880 to 1885 he studied at the Academy of Art, St Petersburg, under Pavel Chistyakov (1832–1919). During the 1880s Serov also travelled abroad and became aware of French Impressionism. He began to use bright colours in portraits of figures seen in dappled sunlight and shade, as in his portrait of Vera Mamontov, ...

Article

(b Feodosiya, Dec 24, 1867; d Monte Carlo, Aug 17, 1968).

Russian stage designer of Abkhazian descent. In 1893, after studying under Vasily Polenov at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, he went to Paris, where he later joined the Montparnasse art circle established in 1904 by Yelizaveta Kruglikova. From 1891 he worked on easel paintings, but in 1906 he was appointed head of the St Petersburg studio of stage design. His most significant designs during this period were for Vsevolod Meyerhold’s production (1908) of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at the Mariinsky Theatre. In 1911–12 he worked at the Starinny Theatre alongside artists from the World of Art group, such as Nicholas Roerich, Ivan Bilibin, Yevgeny Lansere and Nikolay Kalmakov (1873–1955). Shervashidze also worked as a draughtsman, a book illustrator, a dress designer, and as a critic and theoretist, publishing articles in Apollon, Zolotoye runo, Mir iskusstvo and Iskusstvo. He lived in Sukhumi for a while from ...

Article

V. V. Vanslov

(Andreyevich)

(b Moscow, April 14, 1858; d Moscow, Aug 21, 1935).

Russian stage designer. He completed his training at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in 1882. From 1885 to 1886 he worked as a scene painter at the Moscow Private Russian Opera. He joined MKhAT (the Moscow Art Theatre) at the time of its foundation in 1898. He worked there until 1912 and from 1925 to 1935 with Konstantin Stanislavsky (1863–1938) and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko (1858–1943), designing many of their productions, including Aleksey Tolstoy’s Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich (1898), Aleksandr Ostrovsky’s The Snow Maiden (1900), Maksim Gor’ky’s The Lower Depths (1902), William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (1903) and Lev Tolstoy’s The Living Corpse (1911).

Working alongside Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko and sharing many of their views, Simov was able to put into effect the reforms they introduced in the field of theatre design. His aim was to make the design of the production an organic part of the director’s treatment of the play. He created realistic scenery, revealing the psychological and social atmosphere in which the action of the play took place. In his attempts at an authentic reconstruction of life on the stage, Simov brought a number of new staging devices into many of the productions, such as eliminating even floor surfaces, combining platforms, staircases and passageways, and building dwellings with several rooms on stage. Simov was the first of a new type of designer-director who strove to reveal the thinking behind a dramatic work through the set. From ...

Article

Emily Braun

(b Sassari, Sardinia, May 12, 1885; d Milan, Aug 13, 1961).

Italian painter, sculptor, architect, stage designer and illustrator. He was brought up in Rome where his family moved in 1886. In 1902 Sironi enrolled in the Engineering Faculty of the University of Rome, but after a long illness abandoned his studies to devote himself to painting. In 1903 he attended the Scuola Libera del Nudo at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome and frequented the studio of Giacomo Balla. Following a short spell in Milan in 1905–6, he travelled to Paris in 1906 and shared a room with his close friend Umberto Boccioni. Several family and self-portraits painted in a divisionist technique (see Divisionism) date from this period. Sironi also visited Germany several times between 1908 and 1911, where he was exposed to contemporary Expressionist currents. He lived in Rome from 1909 until he moved to Milan in late 1914 or early 1915.

Sironi experimented with Futurism from ...

Article

Jenifer P. Borum

(b Pittsburgh, PA, 1958).

American painter and sculptor. Raised in the working-class East Liberty section of Pittsburgh, Stout was encouraged to make art by members of her family—her maternal uncle, a painter, and her grandfather, a blues musician. As a child, she took classes at the Carnegie Museum of Art, where she was introduced to African art, a significant formative experience for Stout, who would subsequently go on to engage the vernacular language of the African Diaspora in the Americas.

Stout earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 1980. After graduation, she worked in residency at the Afro-American Artists Residency at Northeastern University in Boston. After moving to Washington, DC, in 1985, she began the ongoing practice of mixed-media assemblage that was to become her mature work. By reclaiming objects and elements from urban diasporic material culture such as root medicines, spirit writing and healing oils, Stout created assemblages and environments that effectively transformed gallery and museum spaces into liminal sites that mapped cultural crossroads—contact points between Africa and the Americas, tradition and innovation, high art and vernacular culture....

Article

John E. Bowlt

(Yur’yevich)

(b Smolensk, March 19, 1882; d Nyack, NY, Aug 12, 1946).

Russian stage designer and painter. He attended the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow from 1897 to 1909, studying mainly under Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov, but although he painted a few Impressionist landscapes, his first major artistic concern was with Symbolism, as in his paintings of the first decade of the 20th century such as Pastorale (1905; Moscow, I. A. Myasnikova priv. col., see Kogan, no. 2) and Love (1907; Moscow, E. A. Gunst priv. col.). After taking part in the exhibition Crimson Rose in Saratov in 1904, he became a founder-member of the Blue Rose group of Symbolist painters, who paid homage to the painting of Viktor Borisov-Musatov, and he developed their mystical motifs and contributed to their exhibition in 1907. Sudeykin was also in contact with the World of Art group, and, on the invitation of Serge Diaghilev, he travelled to Paris in ...

Article

Maria Cristina Bandera Viani

(b Florence, Nov 2, 1727; d Milan, Nov 14, 1812).

Italian painter and engraver. He trained in Florence with Agostino Veracini (1689–1762) and Francesco Conti (1681–1760), and studied architecture and stage design under Antonio Galli-Bibiena. His earliest known painting is a fresco of 1758: Heavenly Father in Glory in the Dominican church in Livorno. He enriched his art by the study of Correggio’s works in Parma, and also those of Bolognese painters, making engravings (1764–7) after paintings by Guido Reni, Agostino Carracci, Annibale Carracci, Guercino and others. These were praised in 1765 by Pierre-Jean Mariette and were later collected in an album entitled Venticinque quadri ai maestri eccellenti incisi da Giuliano Traballesi (Milan, 1796).

In 1764 he won a competition at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Parma with the painting Furius Camillus Liberating Rome from the Gallic Senones, a work that is deeply influenced by the Bolognese tradition and by the Roman classicism of Nicolas Poussin. The success of this painting won Traballesi major commissions in his native Tuscany, where the transition from Rococo to Neo-classicism had been encouraged by the reforms initiated by Leopoldo II Habsburg-Lorraine when he became Grand Duke of Tuscany in ...

Article

Aileen June Wang

(b Hong Kong, 1950; d New York, March 10, 1990).

Chinese–American performance artist and photographer. Tseng grew up in Hong Kong, but immigrated to Canada with his family in 1966. He attended two years of university there before studying art in Paris from 1970 to 1974 at the Ecole Superior d’Arts Graphiques and the Académie Julian. He inherited an interest in photography from his father, who frequently photographed his family with a camera acquired while he was in the Nationalist Army. Experiences as a Chinese living abroad inspired Tseng’s East Meets West project, which defined his career from 1979 until his death from AIDS in 1990. The series of photographs examined the significance of tourist attractions as signs of nation and power, the intersection of local and visitor at these sites and the reception of the Chinese as the cultural other.

Tseng met Keith Haring after settling in Manhattan’s East Village in 1978 and the two became close friends and collaborators. He photographed Haring in the act of painting in his studio, the subway and other public venues, producing more than 40,000 images (Keith Haring Documentary Archives, Tseng Kwong Chi Estate). Both artists believed that the process of making art was like a performance and contributed to the meaning of the work. This perspective informed Tseng’s ...

Article

Stephan von Wiese

(b Mecklenburg, March 13, 1930).

German sculptor and stage designer. He studied painting at the Kunstakademie in Berlin-Weissensse (1949–53), working first in the style of Socialist Realism. During his period at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf he undertook self-imposed repetitive exercises such as archery, and he modelled his first relief-form paintings by hand. In 1957 he made his first relief structures with nails leading to works such as White Picture (nails on canvas on wood, 1959; Krefeld, Kaiser-Wilhelm Mus.). He also incorporated corks (e.g. Cork Picture Light Medium, 1960; Düsseldorf, Kstmus.) and cardboard tubes set into the surface of the painting. The nailed picture became the antithesis of the painted picture; it allowed Uecker to explore the articulation of light through the shadows created by the nails, the unchanging ritual of hammering and the violation of taboo surfaces. In 1958 he began to work on circular nail formations, leading in 1961 to his rotating nailed illuminated discs....

Article

Lynn Boyer Ferrillo

(b Dieppe, Aug 8, 1869; d ?Paris, Jan 2, 1952).

French painter, printmaker and stage designer. He spent much of his youth in Versailles, moving in 1887 to Paris, where he studied under Gustave Moreau at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and under Jules Dupré at the Académie Julian. There he met Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Albert André. With a keen interest in both artistic precedents and contemporary trends, he absorbed in the mid-1890s the chief tenets of Impressionism, van Gogh’s work and Pointillism before slowly developing his own style. In 1895 he collaborated with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and André on the set of Aurélien-François Lugné-Poë’s play Chariot de terre cuite, performed at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre, Paris. Under Toulouse-Lautrec’s influence, his own works darkened both in colour and sentiment, for example Chez Maxim’s (1895; Geneva, Petit Pal.), in which he depicted two gaunt, severe-looking women seated in a murky café. By 1896 he painted contemporary French life with an overall sunnier, more optimistic air, as in ...

Article

David Prout

(Thomas)

(b London, 1867; d Bournemouth, Hants, Aug 14, 1937).

English architect. He was the son of Thomas Verity (1837–91), a highly successful theatre architect and Surveyor of Theatres to the Lord Chamberlain from 1878 to 1891. After studying at the Architectural Association, London, in 1883 Verity was articled to his father and in 1887 entered the Royal Academy Schools under R. Phené Spiers (1838–1916). He went to Paris to the Atelier Blouet, then headed by Jean-Louis Pascal, and was attracted by emergent French Neo-classicism. In 1889 Verity returned to London, won the Tite Prize (for studies in Italianate architecture), became an Associate of the RIBA and a partner in his father’s theatre-based practice. He worked on several projects with his father and after his death built five theatres, most notably The Empire (1893–1904), Leicester Square, London. In his theatre designs he reacted against the plush-and-gilt style of Frank Matcham, preferring ‘correct’ classical detailing and introducing the use of real marbles, bronze and French stuc (plaster jointed to imitate stone). In ...

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....

Article

Simon Banks

(b Leipzig, May 22, 1813; d Venice, Feb 13, 1883).

German composer and writer. Though his writings are not primarily concerned with the visual arts, they contain interesting general aesthetic theories. In his crucial essay Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft (1849) Wagner made the first use of the term Gesamtkunstwerk . In this work he called for a unification of all the arts in a manner that had not been experienced since the days of ancient Greece, and his main preoccupation was with the interrelationship of words and music. For Wagner art was a natural, necessary product of uncorrupted man and as much a product of the unconscious as the conscious mind. He divided art into two broad categories: the human arts, which derive directly from man, and, on the other hand, those arts that are created by man from the materials of nature. With regard to the former, which are generated by bodily motion and rhythm, he spoke of the ‘three purely human arts’ of music, poetry and dance. The latter category contains the arts of architecture, sculpture and painting, to all of which he ascribed a merely secondary role. Their proper task is to be found in support of drama. Thus architecture was to provide the necessary stage-set for the artwork of the future, sculpture should be employed in the service of architecture, and landscape painting should be used to create a natural backdrop in stage scenery. Under the influence of Schopenhauer’s philosophy, Wagner later modified his theories, and in ...

Article

(b Teufen, April 8, 1877; d Zurich, 1943).

Swiss painter, printmaker, illustrator and theatre designer. He studied with a decorative painter in Stuttgart and briefly at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Strasbourg (1902), though he was chiefly self-taught through study trips to Belgium, France, Spain, Italy and Japan, which impressed him deeply. His freely brushed, figurative style and preoccupation with such Symbolist artists as Ferdinand Hodler and Arnold Böcklin allied him with the avant-garde of his day. He was a member of the Berlin Secession, and the connections he made through the group, together with the acknowledged clarity of his stylish book illustrations, won him many commissions. In a prolific career he also produced costume and stage designs, wall frescoes and numerous prints. Later paintings showed his admiration for the flat, all-over colour planes of Cézanne. He was the brother of the writer Robert Walser (1878–1956) and illustrated a number of his books, for example Seeland...

Article

Rochelle LeGrandsawyer

(b Newark, NJ, June 28, 1955).

African American performance and conceptual artist. Pope.L attended the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn (1973–5), Montclair College (BA 1978) and the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York (1977–8) before earning his MFA from Rutgers University (1981).

As the self-proclaimed “Friendliest Black Artist in America,” Pope.L approached the taboo and divisive subjects of race, sex and class as a comedic provocateur. Well-known Pope.L works, such as Eating the Wall Street Journal (2002) and Selling Mayonnaise for 100 Dollars a Dollop (1990–91), used humor and absurdity to engage socially-loaded subject matter. While Pope.L’s oeuvre spanned multiple media, much of his work took the form of public performance. For example, in The Great White Way: 22 miles, 5 years, 1 street (2002), Pope.L crawled, scooted and dragged himself—in segments over a five year period—through New York City on a 22-mile path from the Statue of Liberty to the Bronx, wearing a Superman costume and a skateboard strapped to his back....

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(b Philadelphia, PA, 1947).

American performance artist. Wilson graduated in 1969 from Wilmington College in Ohio, where she majored in English literature and minored in art. She completed her MA at Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, but left the program in 1971 prior to receiving her PhD and began teaching at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. She started making language-based art about parents and children, as she explored her experiences as a woman and artist. She transitioned to using performance as a medium, focusing on identity formation beginning in 1972 with works such as Posturing: Drag where she made herself up in different appearances, documenting each in photographs. This work was the first of several in which the artist examined the fluid nature of gender and self, although her work was dismissed by the male-oriented art world. She began receiving recognition when her 1973 postcard image and text work Breast Forms Permutated...