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Article

Jorge Glusberg

(b Rosario, May 14, 1905; d Buenos Aires, Oct 13, 1981).

Argentine painter, sculptor and printmaker. He trained at the stained-glass window workshop of Buxadera & Compañía, Rosario, province of Santa Fé, and with Eugenio Fornels and Enrique Munné. He held his first exhibition in 1920. At the age of 20 he won a scholarship for study in Europe awarded by the Jockey Club of Rosario, which enabled him to study in Paris under André Lhote and with Othon Friesz at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. After showing his European works in Buenos Aires in 1927 he obtained another scholarship, this time from the government of the province of Santa Fé, as a result of which he established contact with the Surrealists in 1928; in particular he befriended Louis Aragon and the French philosopher Henri Lefebvre.

Berni returned to Argentina in 1930. In 1933 he established an artistic–literary group, Nuevo Realismo, and began to depict Argentina’s social reality. From the 1960s, through two characters he created (Juanito Laguna and Ramona Montiel) he began to create works from pieces of metal and wood, buttons, burlap, wires and other debris gathered by him in the shantytowns surrounding Buenos Aires. Combining in these works commonplace materials and a brutal realism (e.g. ...

Article

Marisa J. Pascucci

(b Philadelphia, PA, March 1, 1890; d New York, NY, Feb 12, 2002).

American painter. Raised in Philadelphia she studied at the Philadelphia College of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art & Design) under Elliott Daingerfield (1859–1932), Daniel Garber (1880–1958), Samuel Murray (1869–1941), Harriet Sartain (1873–1957), and Henry B. Snell and graduated in 1911. With her mother, she toured Europe in 1905 and 1912. After returning from her second trip to Europe she settled in New York where her father had recently relocated the family. She lived at home and studied briefly at Art Students League taking life and portrait classes with William Merritt Chase. She eventually established her own studio in Manhattan and married William Meyerowitz (1898–1981), a painter and etcher. She was associated with the members of The Eight and part of the Ashcan school. She was an original member of the Philadelphia Ten—a group of female painters and sculptors schooled in Philadelphia who exhibited together annually, sometimes more often, from ...

Article

Linda Jansma

(b Vienna, May 3, 1806; d Toronto, Jan 18, 1892).

Canadian painter of French origin. He was the son of René Théodore Berthon (1776–1859), court painter to Napoleon I, who was in Vienna at the time of George Theodore’s birth to paint a portrait of Francis I (Vienna, Hofburg-Schauräume). The elder Berthon had been a student of Jacques-Louis David, and he trained his son in the French Neo-classical style.

George Theodore Berthon moved to England in 1827 and was employed by Sir Robert Peel as a French and drawing tutor to his daughters. From 1835 to 1837 Berthon exhibited several portraits at the Royal Academy, London. He settled in Toronto late in 1844 with a letter of introduction from Peel, which he presented to John Strachan, Anglican Bishop of Toronto. Strachan proved to be an important early patron to Berthon; a portrait of the Bishop (1845; Toronto U., Trinity Coll.) painted by Berthon helped to establish his career in Toronto. Other early paintings include Berthon’s first large-scale portrait, ...

Article

Ticio Escobar

(b Asunción, June 26, 1892; d Asunción, 1965).

Paraguayan painter. He trained in Paris, where he lived from 1924 until 1933, attending studios and private academies. His landscapes from the period are constructed solidly with vigorous modelling, massive forms and clear outlines. The result is an image made up of compressed bodies and dense colours regulated by strict composition, as in the oil painting My Mother’s Patio (1934; Asunción, Paraguay, Mus. N. B. A.). His tendency to emphasize the structure of a work had great importance during the 1930s and 1940s as a forerunner of the revival of Paraguayan art, which until then had been dominated by a 19th-century type of naturalism. The paintings of Bestard and those of Wolf Bandurek prepared the ground for the break with academicism that took place in the 1950s. While Bandurek drew attention to the expressive content of paintings, Bestard’s contribution was to formal values. After 1950 he produced small-format sketches in oil, tempera, pencil, pastel and watercolour, for example ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Barbados, May 26, 1959).

American sculptor and painter. He studied at the California Institute of the Arts (1982) and the Whitney Independent Studies Program, New York (1985). He had his first solo exhibition at Artists Space, New York (1984), and subsequently showed regularly in America and Europe. Bickerton emerged in New York in the early 1980s as part of the group of artists termed ‘Neo-Geo’, along with Jeff Koons, Peter Halley and Meyer Vaisman. Their work was characterized by a rejection of the neo-expressionist trends in painting and, in Bickerton’s case, by the appropriation of images and labels from consumer culture. His use of popular imagery, though most obviously indebted to Pop art, was influenced also by conceptual and Minimal art; because of its critique of consumer society, it has also been termed ‘commodity art’. In the early 1980s Bickerton made paintings on masonite boards that contained single words, such as ‘Susie’ and ‘God’, in extravagantly ornate lettering as ironic reflections that foreshadowed his later criticisms of American society. These developed into the works for which he became known: wall-mounted black containers, riveted together and covered with corporate logos. Labelled either ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Chicago, IL, Oct 20, 1953).

American painter, sculptor and performance artist. Bidlo was educated at the University of Illinois and at Teachers’ College at Columbia University in New York. He shot to notoriety in 1982 with his first solo show, Jack the Dripper at Peg's Place (Long Island City, NY, P.S.1). Part exhibition, part performance, it was based on Hans Namuth’s film of Jackson Pollock painting in 1950. Bidlo exhibited a series of remarkably accurate copies of Pollock’s drip paintings and alongside these, restaged the painter’s famous gesture of peeing into Peggy Guggenheim’s fire grate. Subsequently, Bidlo mounted a number of performances which led to him being understood by some as a performance artist, yet he is now more widely known for his exact replicas of art central to the modernist canon, a project he began in 1982. Copying work to exact dimensions, using only reproductions for reference, Bidlo commonly chose works central to the mythology of creation of individual genius. ...

Article

Roy R. Behrens

(Karel Joseph)

(b Cleveland, OH, Aug 23, 1906; d Red Wing, MN, Dec 26, 2004).

American painter and theorist. Biederman worked as a graphic designer for several years before studying art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1926 to 1929. A week after his arrival he saw a painting by Cézanne that greatly influenced his subsequent thought. He lived in New York from 1934 to 1940, except for a nine-month period in 1936–7 when he lived in Paris. He began to make reliefs in 1934. His visits in Paris to the studios of Mondrian, Georges Vantongerloo, César Domela and Antoine Pevsner made him aware of De Stijl, Neo-Plasticism, Abstraction-Création and Constructivism. He also met Léger, Miró, Arp, Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay, Alberto Giacometti, Picasso and Brancusi.

Shortly before returning to New York in 1938, Biederman made his first abstract reliefs, which he termed ‘non-mimetic’ (e.g. New York, Number 18, 1938; New York, Met.). In the same year, while visiting Chicago, he attended a seminar given by the Polish-born writer Alfred Korzybski, founder of the General Semantics Institute, which strongly influenced his later theories about history as an evolutionary process. He moved to Red Wing, near Minneapolis, MN, in ...

Article

Nancy Anderson

(b Solingen, Germany, Jan 7, 1830; d New York, Feb 18, 1902).

American painter of German birth. In a career spanning the entire second half of the 19th century, Bierstadt emerged as the first technically sophisticated artist to travel to the Far West of America, adapt European and Hudson River School prototypes to a new landscape and produce paintings powerful in their nationalistic and religious symbolism.

Bierstadt spent his early years in New Bedford, MA, where his family settled two years after his birth. Lacking funds for formal art instruction, he spent several years as an itinerant drawing instructor before departing in 1853 for Düsseldorf, Germany, where he hoped to study with Johann Peter Hasenclever, a distant relative and a celebrated member of the Düsseldorf art circle. Hasenclever’s death shortly before Bierstadt’s arrival altered the course of his study, for rather than finding German mentors, he responded to the generous assistance offered by fellow American artists Emanuel Leutze and Worthington Whittredge. After four years of study and travel in Germany, Switzerland and Italy, he had achieved a remarkable level of technical expertise. In ...

Article

Dolores M. Yonker

(b Port-au-Prince, Jan 29, 1931).

Haitian painter and draughtsman. He was introduced to the Centre d’Art in Port-au-Prince by Hector Hippolyte, his neighbour at the time, when he was only 15; his seriousness and tenacity were already apparent. From the first his drawings were densely detailed. Working towards a mastery of colour as well as an illusion of volume modelled in light and dark, Bigaud demonstrated a mature command of his art in the great Terrestrial Paradise (1952; Port-au-Prince, Mus. A. Haït.), painted when he was just 21. He has been called a popular realist, as he delighted in the festivals of carnival and Rara, representing them in full action and colourful detail. His Self-portrait in the Carnival Costume of the Fancy Indian (WI, Flagg priv. col.) demonstrates his love for lush detail and the golden colours that suffuse many of his paintings. His genre scenes are material rather than dreamlike, solid and respectful of the limitations of naturalism. The ritual and mystery of Vodoun are presented as he observed them in reality. His masterpiece in Ste Trinité Episcopal Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, the ...

Article

James Smalls

(b Gastonia, NC, April 13, 1924; d Houston, TX, Jan 25, 2001).

American painter, draftsman, printmaker and sculptor. John (Thomas) Biggers, the youngest of seven children, grew up in segregated Gastonia, NC. Upon the death of his father in 1937, his mother sent him away to Lincoln Academy to receive a high quality education. While there, he learned a great deal about African art and the value of African culture; these were lessons he would carry with him throughout his career. Although African influences were most noteworthy in his works, he also managed to synthesize elements from American Regionalism, the African American figurative tradition and Native American sources. In 1941, Biggers entered the Hampton Institute (later renamed Hampton University) in Virginia, where he studied art. In 1943, his mural Dying Soldier was featured in the landmark exhibition Young Negro Art, organized for the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In that same year, he was drafted into the United States Navy. After receiving an honorable discharge three years later, he enrolled at the Pennsylvania State University. He received his BA and MA degrees in ...

Article

Michael D. Willis

(b Ormskirk, Lancs, Oct 17, 1879; d Vancouver, Oct 15, 1957).

Canadian painter and illustrator of English birth. She briefly attended the Liverpool Art School, the Lambeth School of Art, London, and finally, from 1900, the Slade School of Art, London, where she studied with Henry Tonks and others. From 1901 Biller was a successful illustrator of children’s magazines, books and Christmas annuals, chiefly for T. C. & E. C. Jack of London. Many titles were translated into German, and they enjoyed wide circulation in Europe. After marrying John Biller (1912), she emigrated to Canada. While her commercial work virtually ceased there, she never stopped illustrating her life and surroundings in letters and sketchbooks. After her husband’s death in World War I, Biller settled with her two children on James Island (near Victoria) in 1919. In 1927 she moved to Victoria, where she was an active member of the (Vancouver) Island Arts and Crafts Society, founded by Josephine Crease. Biller’s watercolours often appeared in the Society’s exhibitions. Relocation to Vancouver in ...

Article

Elizabeth Johns

(b Augusta County, VA, March 20, 1811; d Kansas City, MO, July 7, 1879).

American painter. Raised in rural Howard and Saline Counties, MO, Bingham experienced from an early age the scenes on the major western rivers, the Missouri and the Mississippi, that inspired his development as a major genre painter. During his apprenticeship to a cabinetmaker, he met the itinerant portrait painter Chester Harding, who turned Bingham’s attention to art. Teaching himself to draw and compose from art instruction books and engravings, the only resources available in the frontier territories, Bingham began painting portraits as early as 1834. The style of these works is provincial but notable for its sharpness, clear light and competent handling of paint.

Bingham travelled in 1838 to Philadelphia, where he saw his first genre paintings. He spent the years 1841 to 1844 in Washington, DC, painting the portraits of such political luminaries as Daniel Webster (Tulsa, OK, Gilcrease Inst. Amer. Hist. & A.). His roster of impressive sitters later enabled him to attract many portrait commissions. He settled back in Missouri at the end of ...

Article

Edward J. Nygren

(b Warwicks, July 26, 1779; d Philadelphia, PA, Jan 14, 1851).

American painter of English birth. He was one of the most important American landscape and marine painters of the early 19th century. He moved to America in 1794 with his father William Birch (1755–1834), a painter and engraver from whom he received his artistic training. The family settled in Philadelphia, where William, armed with letters of introduction from Benjamin West to leading citizens of that city, became a drawing-master. Early in their American careers both Birches executed cityscapes, several of which were engraved. Thomas contributed a number of compositions to The City of Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania, North America, as it Appeared in the Year 1800 (1800), a series of views conceived by the elder Birch in obvious imitation of comparable British productions. An English sensibility is also apparent in the many paintings of country estates executed by father and son in the early 19th century (e.g. ...

Article

Marisa J. Pascucci

(b Berkeley, CA, July 9, 1916; d Berkeley, CA, March 2, 1991).

American painter and teacher. One of the founders of the Bay Area figurative art movement along with Richard Diebenkorn and David Park, he worked figuratively but with a strong abstract notion and a broadly defined sense of realism. Bischoff began painting in a purely abstract manner, changed to his signature figurative style then returned to abstract acrylics in his final years.

Bischoff received a Master of Arts degree in 1939 from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1942 he served as a non-combatant in the United States Air Force stationed in Europe. Although he only produced occasional sketches while abroad, he was able to visit Paris often. He left the Air Force in 1945 and began his long and influential teaching career at the California School of Fine Arts (which later became the San Francisco Art Institute) where he taught until 1963. His fellow instructors included Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still...

Article

Jean Stern

(b Bomen, Austria, Jan 14, 1864; d Pasadena, Feb 5, 1929).

American painter and porcelain painter of Austrian birth. Bischoff began his artistic training at a craft school in his native Bomen. In 1882 he went to Vienna for further training in painting, design and ceramic decoration. He came to the USA in 1885 and obtained employment as a painter in a ceramic factory in New York City. Bischoff moved to Pittsburgh, PA, then to Fostoria, OH, and finally to Dearborn, MI, continuing to work as a porcelain painter. In 1906 he moved his family to the Los Angeles area. Two years later he built a studio–home along the Arroyo Seco in South Pasadena, which included a gallery, ceramic workshop and painting studio. Once in California, Bischoff turned to landscape painting, in addition to continuing his flower paintings and his porcelain work. Through the 1920s, he painted the coastal areas of Monterey and Laguna Beach, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the desert near Palm Springs. In ...

Article

Martin H. Bush

(b Cincinnati, March 3, 1902; d New York, Feb 19, 1988).

American painter, draughtsman and etcher. Bishop moved to New York in 1918 to study at the New York School of Applied Design for Women and from 1920 at the Art Students League under Guy Pène du Bois and Kenneth Hayes Miller. During these years she developed lifelong friendships with Reginald Marsh, Edwin Dickinson and other figurative painters who lived and worked on 14th Street, assimilating these influences with those of Dutch and Flemish painters such as Adriaen Brouwer and Peter Paul Rubens, whose work she saw in Europe in 1931.

From the early 1930s Bishop developed an anecdotal and reportorial Realist style in pictures of life on the streets of Manhattan such as Encounter (1940; St Louis, MO, A. Mus.), in which an ordinary-looking man and woman are shown meeting under a street lamp. Throughout her long career Bishop concentrated on the subtleties of fleeting moments in the daily routine of people who lived and worked in and around Union Square, giving these simple occasions a sense of timelessness: shopgirls seated at a lunch counter (...

Article

Annick Benavides

[Bitti, Aloisio Bernardino Giovanni Demócrito]

(b Camerino, the Marches, 1548; d Lima, 1610).

Italian painter and sculptor active in Peru. One of seven children born to Pablo and Cornelia Bitti, Bernardo Bitti commenced formal training in the arts at the age of 14 in Camerino and completed his training in Rome. He was inducted into the Society of Jesus as a Coadjutor Brother on 2 May 1568 at the age of 20. The General of the Society of Jesus, Everardo Mecurián, assigned Bitti to the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1573 at the request of the Jesuit Provincial in Peru, Diego Bracamante, who believed religious imagery would facilitate the Catholic indoctrination of indigenous Andeans at missions. After spending 14 months in Seville, Bitti arrived in Lima on 31 May 1575 and worked there for 8 years. He subsequently embarked on a peripatetic career decorating the interiors of Jesuit sites in Cuzco, Juli, La Paz, Sucre, Potosí, Arequipa, and Ayacucho.

Bitti created the main and lateral altarpieces of the Jesuit provisional church of S Pedro in Lima with the assistance of the Andalusian Jesuit artist Pedro de Vargas (...

Article

Richard H. Saunders

(b c. 1730; d after 1778).

English painter, active in the American colonies. Blackburn first appeared in Bermuda in August 1752, and in a matter of months he had painted many of the island’s leading families. Approximately 25 of these portraits (e.g. Mrs John Harvey, Paget, Bermuda, priv. col.) survive; these demonstrate considerable skill in the painting of lace and other details of dress. Because of these abilities, it is thought that he probably began his career in one of the larger studios in London as a drapery specialist.

By the end of 1753 Blackburn set out for Newport, RI. His portrait of Mrs David Chesebrough (New York, Met.), signed and dated 1754, is the earliest mainland portrait to survive. In the following year he proceeded to Boston where, with John Smibert dead and Robert Feke and John Greenwood departed, only two younger painters, Nathaniel Smibert (1735–56) and John Singleton Copley, were in competition. Blackburn’s grandest picture, ...

Article

Mary M. Tinti

(Wells)

(b Vancouver, BC, July 13, 1918; d New York, Feb 3, 1988).

Canadian sculptor and painter. Bladen’s large-scale, seemingly austere black sculptures helped launch the Minimalist movement and influenced such artists as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, and Sol LeWitt. Beginning his career in the arts at the Vancouver School of Art in 1937, Bladen moved to San Francisco in 1939 and continued his academic training at the California School of Fine Arts. Like many whose first foray in the arts took place in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Bladen began working under the influence of Abstract Expressionism and focused predominantly on drawing and painting. His works on paper were swirling, symbolist charcoal gestures derived from the musings of Beat generation philosophers, poets, and friends. His paintings were spiritually inspired, intensely coloured, and thickly textured abstractions reminiscent of the mythical ideals of Clyfford Still.

In 1956 Bladen moved to New York City where he helped found the Brata Gallery artist cooperative. By the beginning of the next decade, Bladen’s work underwent a major shift: sculpture replaced drawing and painting and, on the surface, stark Minimalism appeared to replace Romantic Expressionism. Gigantic black forms became his trademark; geometric sculptures that could occupy entire gallery spaces and yet appear weightless and playful, rather than precarious and foreboding. Bladen’s monumental sculptural transformation débuted with much fanfare in ...

Article

Lauretta Dimmick

(b New York, Oct 15, 1847; d Elizabethtown, NY, Aug 9, 1919).

American painter. One of the most important visionary artists in late 19th-century America, Blakelock was self-taught as a painter. From 1867 he was exhibiting landscapes in the style of the Hudson River school at the National Academy of Design in New York. Rather than going abroad for advanced training, like most of his contemporaries, he spent the years 1869–72 in the western USA. Back in New York, Blakelock evolved his personal style during the 1870s and 1880s. Eschewing literal transcriptions of nature, he preferred to paint evocative moonlit landscapes such as Moonlight (Washington, DC, Corcoran Gal. A.). These paintings, almost never dated, often included campfires or solitary figures, but such elements were absorbed into the setting rather than being the painting’s focus, as in Moonlight Indian Encampment (Washington, DC, N. Mus. Amer. A.). Blakelock’s images, imbued with a melancholy that had been evident even in his early work, drew on his deeply felt response to nature....