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Article

Carol Magee

(b Dec 8, 1956).

Ethiopian painter, installation artist, graphic designer, and writer, active in the USA. She grew up in Addis Ababa in a family of painters before moving to the USA. She graduated from Howard University, Washington, DC, with a BFA in painting (1975) and returned in 1994 for an MFA. Her early works, based on dreams or visions, have richly textured surfaces. In the 1980s she abandoned her early palette of reds, ochres, and greens for one of purples and blues. Later paintings depict an urban environment and frequently evoke the feeling of dislocation and nostalgia that comes from living in a country that is not one’s own. Her use of themes and motifs from myriad cultures (including those of Ethiopia and Latin America) comes out of her experiences as a diasporic subject as well as the lives of the women around her. Her pieces often tell their stories, as in the Dream Dancers series (...

Article

Leland M. Roth

(b Detroit, MI, July 7, 1869; d Southampton, NY, Oct 18, 1956).

American architect, urban planner and writer. Atterbury studied at Yale University, New Haven, CT, and travelled in Europe. He studied architecture at Columbia University, New York and worked in the office of McKim, Mead & White before completing his architecture studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Atterbury’s early work consisted of suburban and weekend houses for wealthy industrialists, such as the Henry W. de Forest House (1898) in Cold Springs Harbor on Long Island, NY. De Forest was a leader in the philanthropic movement to improve workers’ housing, an interest that Atterbury shared; through him Atterbury was given the commission for the model housing community of Forest Hills Gardens, NY, begun in 1909 under the sponsorship of the Russell Sage Foundation; the co-planners and landscape designers were the brothers John Charles Olmsted (1852–1920) and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr (1870–1957), the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted. Atterbury developed a system of precast concrete panels to build a varied group of multiple units and town houses suggesting an English country hamlet. He continued his research into prefabrication largely at his own expense throughout his life....

Article

(b Elgin, 1838; d New York, 1925).

Scottish architect, designer and writer. Trained as an architect, he moved to Liverpool, Lancs, in 1856 and set up an architectural practice with his brother William James Audsley (b 1833) in 1863. With him he wrote Handbook of Christian Symbolism (1865), and together they designed a number of buildings in and around Liverpool, among them the Welsh Presbyterian Church, Prince’s Road, Toxteth (1865–7), Christ Church, Kensington (1870), and the church of St Margaret, Belmont Road, Anfield (1873). For the merchant William Preston they designed the church of St Mary (1873) in the grounds of his house, Ellel Grange, Lancs. Other commissions were for a synagogue and a tennis club. He was among the earliest publishers to exploit the graphic potential of chromolithography, and, contrary to other major books on ornament, he made a case for classifying designs by their basic motif rather than by nationality. He was an expert on Japanese art, lecturing on the subject and between ...

Article

Vanessa Rocco

(b Karlsruhe, May 20, 1906; d New York, July 30, 2004).

American photographer of German birth. She is best known for cutting-edge advertising images made in 1930s Germany as part of the studio pair of Ringl + Pit. She studied sculpture for three years in her hometown of Karlsruhe before moving onto the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart in 1928. While there she abandoned sculpture for photography, and became a student of the successful commercial photographer Walter Peterhans (1897–1960) in 1929, along with another young woman, Grete Stern. After Peterhans was recruited to found the first department of photography at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Rosenberg and Stern took over his studio as Ringl + Pit, a combination of their two childhood nicknames.

Studio Ringl + Pit were at the forefront of an active fusion of Surrealism and Bauhaus-inspired New Vision in the photography worlds in Germany, France, and elsewhere in the late 1920s and early 1930s. From Surrealism they often solicited references to uncanny human stand-ins such as mannequins and dolls; from the New Vision they were inspired by unusual angles, close-ups, and abstractions (see, for example, ...

Article

Fiona Dejardin

(b Rose Bank, Staten Island, NY, March 17, 1866; d New York, June 9, 1952).

American photographer. She was introduced to photography by a friend, Oswall Muller, sometime around 1876, and quickly learnt the complexities of working with a variety of cumbersome cameras, dry-plate negatives and contact printing. As an avid amateur photographer, she documented a social history of a bygone era. Her work, dating between the 1880s and 1930s, recorded a charming portrait of the genteel activities of upper middle-class society on Staten Island. Although her photographs primarily documented the everyday life of the wealthy inhabitants and friends of her home, Clear Comfort, which overlooked New York’s Upper Bay, she also produced a challenging series of images of New York’s Lower East Side. These ‘street types’ were published as a portfolio by the Albertype Company in 1896.

Unlike those of Jacob A. Riis and Lewis W. Hine, Austen’s images of immigrants revealed no concern for social reform, but evidenced a hesitancy and curiosity experienced by both photographer and subject. Her life of stability was abruptly ended by the Stock Market Crash of ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1926, Butte, MT; d Missoula, MT June 20, 2007).

American potter and sculptor of Finnish descent who is best known as a figurative ceramicist but has also worked in bronze, concrete, glass and metal. His works are normally in stoneware with incised decorations, but Autio began to work in porcelain while working at the Arabia Porcelain Factory in Helsinki in the 1980s....

Article

François-Marc Gagnon

Canadian group of artists active during the 1940s and the early 1950s, led by Paul-Emile Borduas. They were named by Tancrède Marcil jr in a review of their second Montreal exhibition, published in February 1947 in Le Quartier latin, the student journal for the University of Montreal, Quebec. The earliest characteristic example of the group’s work was Borduas’s Green Abstraction (1941; Montreal, Mus. F.A.), a small oil painting intended as an equivalent to the automatic writing of the Surrealist poet André Breton; it was succeeded by a series of 45 gouaches exhibited by Borduas in the foyer of the Théâtre Ermitage in Montreal from 25 April to 2 May 1942 and by other works painted before he moved to New York in 1953.

The group began to form around Borduas in the 1940s when students came to his studio to discuss Marxism, Surrealism and psychoanalysis, virtually forbidden subjects in Quebec at this time. Among these younger artists were ...

Article

Martha A. Sandweiss

(b New York, May 15, 1923; d San Antonio, TX, Oct 1, 2004).

American photographer . Avedon studied philosophy at Columbia University, New York (1941–2), and from 1942 to 1944 served in the photography department of the US Merchant Marine, taking identity photographs of servicemen. He then studied photography under Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research, New York, from 1944 to 1950; from 1945 to 1965 he worked under Brodovitch and Carmel Snow for Harper’s Bazaar, contributing fashion photographs. As a young boy he had seen various fashion magazines and had been particularly impressed by the photographs of Martin Munkacsi. This influence remained in evidence in his own fashion work for Harper’s Bazaar, because he, too, photographed the models outside and in motion in order to arrive at dramatic, sometimes blurred, images. From 1950 he also contributed photographs to Life, Look and Graphis and in 1952 became Staff Editor and photographer for Theatre Arts. Towards the end of the 1950s he became dissatisfied with daylight photography and open-air locations and so turned to studio photography, using strobe lighting. In ...

Article

Barbara Haskell

(b Sand Bank [now Altmar], NY, March 7, 1885; d New York, Jan 3, 1965).

American painter and printmaker. Avery spent his childhood in Hartford, CT, where he remained until 1925, attending art school from 1911 to 1919 and thereafter painting in the surrounding countryside. His works from this period are characterized by shiny, enamel-like surfaces, created by applying colours with brushes and a palette knife and blending them with his fingers. After marrying and moving to New York in 1925, he replaced the light-drenched palette of his Hartford paintings with sombre tones. He also stopped using an impastoed, palette-knife technique and began to brush pigment on his canvases in thin layers. His figurative and genre subjects resembled those of the realists, but his technique of dispensing with illusionistically modelled shapes in favour of simplified forms and flat colours derived from European artists such as Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso (e.g. Harbour at Night, 1932; Washington, DC, Phillips Col. and The Steeplechase, Coney Island, 1929...

Article

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b Harrisburg, PA, Nov 20, 1946).

American sculptor, draughtswoman, and installation and environmental artist. She studied liberal arts at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (1964–8), and obtained an MA in studio art at Hunter College, City University of New York (1968–71), where she worked under Robert Morris and became familiar with systems theory. From the 1960s Aycock developed phenomenologically site-orientated works to include metaphor and simile, referring to machinery and construction sites, archaeological sites, models, children’s play areas and funfairs, and other public or social settings. For example in A Simple Network of Underground Wells and Tunnels (1975) six concrete wells (1.62 sq. m) with connecting tunnels were sunk into an area of ground c. 6.1×12.2 m at Merriewold West, Far Hills, NJ (destr.). The curious sense of authority within her sophisticated, well-made structures is simultaneously articulated and undermined by a nonsensical, non-functional, and fantastical element. Her works are often a synthesis of diverse elements. The imagery of the ...

Article

Mosette Glaser Broderick and Walter Smith

American architectural partnership formed in 1884 by George Fletcher Babb (b New York, 1836; d Holden, MA, 1915), Walter Cook (b Buffalo, NY, 22 July 1846; d New York, 25 March 1916) and Daniel Wheelock Willard (b Brookline, MA, 1849; d California, after 1902). Babb trained in the office of T. R. Jackson in the late 1850s before going into partnership (1859–65) with Nathaniel G. Foster. He then joined the office of Russell Sturgis, becoming senior draughtsman in 1868. Cook graduated from Harvard in 1869, then studied architecture at the Polytechnikum (1871–3) in Munich and the Ecole de Beaux-Arts (1873–6), Paris, where he joined the atelier of Emile Vaudremer. He returned to America in 1877, when he went into partnership with Babb, their first major commission being a warehouse (or loft; 1877–80) on Duane Street, New York. This had a brick façade of deeply cut arcades, an arcuated parapet and cast terracotta details, suggesting 15th-century Italian influences. Willard, who had trained as an engineer, joined the firm in ...

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

Darryl Patrick

(b New York, Nov 9, 1861; d Palm Beach, FL, March 24, 1944).

American collector and businessman . Having founded a major banking house in New York, Bache continued the interest in collecting that had begun when he was young. While living in Paris before World War I he had bought fine antique furniture for his home. After the war he specialized in collecting paintings of Renaissance and Baroque Italian, Flemish, French, Dutch, German and English artists. He often used the services of art dealers René Gimpel (1881–1945) and Joseph Duveen, through whom he purchased such paintings as Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Billet-doux, Vermeer’s Young Woman Reading and Rembrandt’s Standard-bearer (all New York, Met.). Bache bought Billet-doux for £250,000 in 1919 from Gimpel and, with the help of Duveen, bought the Standard-bearer in 1924 for £60,000. In 1937 he established a foundation to manage the collection for public viewing in his home at 814 Fifth Avenue in New York. In January 1944 he made a will bequeathing the collection to the ...

Article

Christopher A. Thomas

(b Watseka, IL, Nov 28, 1866; d New York, Feb 16, 1924).

American architect. The son of a distinguished civil engineer, he studied architecture at the Illinois Industrial University, Urbana, in 1884–5. In 1885 he moved to Boston to become a draughtsman for the architectural firm of Chamberlin & Whidden, known for its buildings in the Colonial Revival style, but in 1888 he moved to McKim, Mead & White, working as a draughtsman and perspectivist. In 1889 Bacon won the Rotch Traveling Scholarship, which enabled him to go to France, Italy, Greece, and Turkey for two years. Influenced by his brother, Francis Henry Bacon (1856–1940), an architect and furniture designer who assisted in the excavations at the Greek site of Assos in 1881–3, he became attracted to ancient, especially Greek, architecture. He returned to the McKim, Mead & White office in 1891 and became McKim’s chief design assistant. The following year he represented the firm on the construction site of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Among other projects, he worked on the design of McKim’s Rhode Island State House (...

Article

Roberta K. Tarbell

[Margaret] (Frances)

(b Ridgefield, CT, May 2, 1895; d Kennebunk, ME, Jan 4, 1987).

American printmaker, illustrator, painter, and writer. Bacon’s artist parents, Elizabeth and Charles Roswell Bacon, met at the Art Students League around 1890. Bacon lived in Cornish, NH (1903), and in Montreuil-sur-Mer, France (1904–6), and learnt French, Latin, Greek, drawing, and writing from tutors before attending the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ (1909–13). She then attended the School of Applied Design for Women briefly and the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts. In 1914 and 1915, landscape artist Jonas Lie (1880–1940) taught her oil painting. At the Art Students League (1915–20), she took the ‘Women’s Life Class’ with Kenneth Hayes Miller, portraiture with George Bellows, and painting with John Sloan, studied briefly with George Bridgman (1864–1943) and Max Weber, and received critiques in printmaking from Mahonri Young. She then studied modern painting with Andrew Dasburg (...

Article

(b Seattle, WA, Aug 7, 1929).

American painter. Baer was educated at the University of Washington, Seattle. She worked during the spring and summer of 1950 on a kibbutz in Israel before moving to New York City, where she studied with the Graduate Faculty at the New School for Social Research from 1950 to 1953. In 1953, she married television writer Robert Baer and moved to Los Angeles, CA. Her son Joshua was born in 1955. By the late 1950s, she was working in an abstract painting style inspired by Abstract Expressionism, which she later rejected, and was peripherally associated with the activities of the avant-garde Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.

In 1959, she began living with the artist John Wesley, whom she married in 1960 before moving back to New York City with him; they divorced in 1969. By 1960, her painting became more hard-edged and reductive. Two years later, she met Donald Judd and ...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

(b New York, Oct 27, 1886; d Columbus, OH, Feb 15, 1947).

American potter . As a student of Charles Fergus Binns at Alfred University, Alfred, NY, he was introduced to the practical aspects of running a pottery, and in 1904 Binns sent him to help Dr Herbert James Hall (1870–1923) to establish a pottery for occupational therapy at his sanatorium in Marblehead, MA. In 1908 the Marblehead Pottery was reorganized on a commercial basis. Baggs designed the wares, which were mostly simply shaped vases covered with muted matt glazes and contrasting stylized decorations. In 1915 Baggs purchased the pottery and continued to be associated with it until its closure in 1936. Between 1925 and 1928 he developed brilliant blue and green glazes while working as a glaze chemist at R. Guy Cowan’s, Cowan Pottery Studio in Cleveland, OH. In 1928 he became professor of ceramic arts at Ohio State University in Columbus. During the 1930s he revived interest in salt-glazing stoneware, and his ‘Cookie Jar’ (...

Article

Richard Longstreth and John F. Pile

American architectural partnership formed in 1905 by John Bakewell Jr (b Topeka, KS, 28 Aug 1872; d San Francisco, CA, 19 Feb 1963) and Arthur Brown (b Oakland, CA, 21 May 1874; d Burlingame, CA, 7 July 1957). Both architects studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where they met. They then returned to the USA and went into partnership in San Francisco, with Brown in charge of design and Bakewell responsible for the daily running of the business and technical operations. The partnership’s early projects reflect late 19th-century French work, with large-scale elements, lavish sculptural decoration and, in some cases, theatrically rusticated surfaces. Such exuberant features remained a trademark, but by 1912 they were beginning to be tempered by a strong, rectilinear compositional frame. At its best, the expression fuses the dynamism and expansiveness of French Baroque with the elegant orderliness of designs by Anges-Jacques Gabriel and other 18th-century French Neo-classical architects....

Article

Elisabeth Roark

(b National City, CA, July 17, 1931).

American conceptual artist . After studying art at San Diego State College (1949–53) and the Otis Art Institute (1957–9), among other institutions, he began to develop his painting style, soon incorporating letters, words, and photographs in his works. By 1966 he was using photographs and text, or simply hand-lettered text, on canvas as in Semi-close-up of Girl by Geranium … (1966–8; Basle, Kstmus.). From 1970 he worked in printmaking, film, video, installation, sculpture, and photography. His work is characterized by a consciousness of language evident in his use of puns, semantics based on the structuralism of Claude Lévi-Strauss, and the incorporation of material drawn from popular culture. All are apparent in Blasted Allegories (1978; New York, Sonnabend Gal.), a series combining Polaroids of television images captioned and arranged to suggest an unusual syntax. Baldessari differed from other conceptual artists in his humour and commitment to visual images, often obscured by flat, brightly coloured geometric and organic shapes including round forms that he likened to bullet holes. Baldessari dramatized the ordinary, although beneath the apparent simplicity of his words and images lie multiple connotations....

Article

Camara Dia Holloway

(b Virginia, 1825; d Honolulu, HI, May 3, 1904).

African American photographer. Ball’s parents, William and Susan Ball, were freeborn Americans of African descent. J. P. Ball learned how to make daguerreotypes from a black Bostonian, John P. Bailey. He opened his first photographic enterprise in Cincinnati, OH, in 1845. Black-owned businesses seemed viable in this abolitionist stronghold and key conduit to the West. After a failed first venture and time as an itinerant photographer, he returned and opened Ball’s Great Daguerrean Gallery of the West in 1849, which became one of the largest and most successful photographic studios in the region with an enthusiastic multi-racial clientele. Ball hired other African Americans as operators, including his brother, Thomas Ball, his brother-in-law, Alexander Thomas, and the African American landscape painter, Robert S. Duncanson.

An activist for abolition, Ball produced a painted panorama that illustrated the history of African enslavement in 1855 and authored the accompanying pamphlet to great acclaim. With a national reputation and important portrait commissions from such cultural icons as Frederick Douglass and Jenny Lind, Ball expanded with a second studio operated by his brother-in-law who had become a favorite with clients. Together they started an additional studio, the Ball & Thomas Photographic Art Gallery. Ball’s Cincinnati enterprises survived well into the 1880s in the hands of Thomas and other Ball relatives since they remained current with photographic technologies....