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Article

Anna Moszynska

Term devised as an exhibition title in 1964 by the critic Clement Greenberg to describe a new trend in American abstract painting that emerged in reaction to Abstract Expressionism. Extending to contemporary art the distinction made by Heinrich Wölfflin between painterly and linear art, Greenberg postulated that the most recent painting, although still owing something to its immediate forebears, was in contrast moving towards a greater linear clarity and/or a physical openness of design.

Of the 31 artists included by Greenberg in his exhibition, he stated that most held in common a high-keyed and lucid colour, a tendency to shun thick paint and tactile effects, and a preference for a relatively anonymous execution. Given the wide spectrum of individual styles first canopied under the term, Post-painterly Abstraction was subsequently used to describe works made by a variety of methods: the Hard-edge painting of artists such as Ellsworth Kelly (see fig....

Article

Lenka Bydžovská

(b Vážany u Vyškova, June 5, 1882; d Brno, June 9, 1945).

Czech painter and designer. In 1902–4 he studied at the Academy of Applied Arts (Vysoká Škola Uměleckoprůmyslová) and in 1904–6 at the Academy of Fine Arts (Akademii Výtvarných Uměni) in Prague. In 1906 he made a study journey through Europe with his fellow students Emil Filla and Friedrich Feigl (1884–1965) and subsequently several journeys with his wife, the painter Linka Scheithauerová (b 1884). He was one of the founders (1907) of the avant-garde group known as the Eight (1907), based in Prague (see Eight, the), and the Cubist-oriented Group of Plastic Artists. His early work was influenced by Expressionism and Fauvism and his stay in Paris in autumn 1909 stimulated his interest in Cubism, resulting in Cubo-Expressionistic works (e.g. Prometheus, 1910–11; Brno, Morav. Gal.). By late 1912 he had assimilated some aspects of Analytical Cubism, modifying them with a certain personal sensuality and skittishness (e.g. ...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Derpeczyn, Podolia, May 27, 1885; d Kraków, Feb 8, 1958).

Polish painter, sculptor and stage designer. In 1906–11 he studied painting at the studio of Teodor Axentowicz (d 1938) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, and he also visited France and Italy where he came into contact with the latest artistic currents. He began exhibiting, often abroad, in 1907, and from 1945 he had a painting studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.

Until c. 1922 Pronaszko was one of the main organizers and exponents of modern art in Poland. In 1917, along with his brother Andrzej Pronaszko (1888–1961) and Tytus Czyżewski, he staged in Kraków the first exhibition of Polish Expressionists (later the Formists) and was one of the chief theoreticians of that tendency. The influence of Cubism is clearly evident in his pictures from that period (e.g. Act, 1917; Kraków, N. Mus.). At this time Pronaszko also made sculptures, producing one of the most celebrated Formist works, the wood monument to ...

Article

Ursula Geiger

German group of painters founded in 1952 in Frankfurt am Main and active until 1954. The four members were Karl Otto Götz, Otto Greis, Heinz Kreutz and Bernard Schultze. When they exhibited their most recent works under the label of neo-Expressionism at the Zimmergalerie Franck, Frankfurt am Main, in December 1952, the writer René Hinds (1912–72) coined the name Quadriga, alluding to a Roman triumphal chariot. Impressed by the spontaneity and form-shattering power of the paintings, Hinds compared the works to a team of four fiery racehorses in their victory parade. There was also the analogy of the four artists breaking through audaciously after nearly 20 years of isolation from the international avant-garde. With European and American movements such as Abstract Expressionism and Tachism in Paris and the work of the Cobra group sharing so many qualities, shortly after 1950 Art informel developed as a universal language. The importance of Quadriga was in the members’ roles as pioneers of ...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

[Rabine, Oscar]

(b Moscow, Jan 2, 1928).

Russian painter. He trained at the Riga Academy of Arts (1944–7), then returned to Moscow. He was particularly influenced by Ye. Kropivnitsky (1884–1979), a Romantic Expressionist who revived the tradition of avant-garde art that had been driven underground in the 1930s. In the 1950s Rabin became a member of the Lianozovo Circle (named after a district on the outskirts of Moscow), a focus for ‘unofficial art’, which cultivated the freedom of Surrealist or lyrical Expressionist self-expression. The group included Kropivnitsky, his son Lev Kropivnitsky (b 1922-4) and his daughter Valentina Kropivnitskaya (b 1924), who became Rabin’s wife. Rabin gained recognition as a leader of the unofficial art of the 1960s and 1970s and as an energetic organizer of alternative exhibitions, including the ‘bulldozer exhibition’ of 1974, which was broken up by the authorities. Characteristic of Rabin’s work are gloomy landscapes showing city outskirts and backyards, as well as still-lifes full of a mournful sarcasm, for example ...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

[Pol. Bunt]

Polish group of painters, graphic artists and poets based in Poznań between 1918 and 1920. It had close ties with Zdrój (‘Source’; a fortnightly journal published in Poznań between 1917 and 1920, and in 1922), which reported their exhibitions and devoted a special issue to the group (‘Zeszyt Buntu’ [Revolt bulletin], April 1918). The Expressionist character of the Revolt group artists’ work was shaped by close links with the Berlin journals Die Aktion and Der Sturm and the work of the artists of Die Brücke. The most important members of the group were the poet and group historian Adam Bederski, the painter, graphic artist, poet and editor of Zdrój Jerzy Hulewicz (1886–1941), the poet and graphic artist Stanisław Kubicki (1899–1943), the graphic artists Małgorzata Kubicka (b 1891), Władysław Skotarek (1894–1970) and Stefan Szmaj (1893–1974), and the sculptor August Zamoyski. Most of the above made their artistic début in Revolt group exhibitions. The group, which was active during its first year of existence (holding its first exhibition in Poznań in ...

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, Nov 24, 1934).

Costa Rican painter, sculptor and engraver. He studied at the Casa del Artista, San José (1955–8). In his early one-man shows between 1957 and 1959 his painting was expressionistic, and his landscapes and self-portraits were of an intimate nature. In 1959 he won a scholarship to study engraving at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The following year he helped organize the first open-air exhibition in the Parque Central, which aimed to bring fine arts and literature to a wider public. From 1961 he began exhibiting internationally in one-man and group shows. He showed the sculpture The Combat at the sixth Paris Biennale in 1969. His use here and elsewhere of objets trouvés made Rodríguez a pioneer in Costa Rican experimental sculpture, paving the way for the installations of Otto Apuy in the 1970s and of Rafael Ottón Solís in the 1980s. He continued his studies in engraving at the Vrije Akademie in The Hague (...

Article

Anita Kühnel

(b Niendorf, Holstein, Dec 22, 1849; d Hagen, Jan 8, 1938).

German painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Kunstschule in Weimar (1870). Prolonged illness forced him to interrupt his studies, which he resumed in 1874 under Ferdinand Schauss (1832–1916) and Alexandre Struys (1852–1941). Through visits to Paris in the 1870s, he came into contact with the art of the Barbizon school, painting en plein-air on his return to Weimar. Under the influence of Struys he painted figurative works, such as Roman Builders (1879; Münster, Westfäl. Landesmus.), and nudes in the tradition of academically enlightened Realism. In 1881 Rohlfs worked in a studio under Max Thedy (1858–1924). From c. 1883 he painted mainly landscapes with the approval of Ludwig von Gleichen-Russwurm (1836–1901), who was studying with Theodor Hagen (1842–1919), and was influenced in an indirect way by Albert Brendel (1827–95), who had taught at Weimar from ...

Article

Daniela De Dominicis

[Domenico]

(b Catanzaro, Oct 17, 1918; d Milan, Jan 8, 2006).

Italian painter and décollagist. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples and in 1945 moved to Rome, where he produced oil paintings in an Expressionist manner. In 1948 he adopted an abstract geometric idiom, which he rejected on returning to Italy in 1952 after spending a year on a scholarship at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Abandoning painting, he devoted himself first to phonetic poems composed of inarticulate, onomatopoeic sounds, and from 1954 to a new medium known as Décollage: having eliminated paint tubes and brushes, he now created pictures from the layered textures and coloured shapes of commercial posters torn from city walls. The first such works, for example A Little Above (640×840 mm, 1954; see Hunter, p. 32), were essentially abstract. Encouraged by the Italian critic Emilio Villa, in April 1955 he took part in Esposizione d’arte attuale, a group exhibition held in a barge on the Tiber in Rome, which led to his being labelled a neo-Dadaist. In the same year he held a one-man show at the Galleria del Naviglio in Milan, followed by exhibitions in Venice, London and Zurich, and in ...

Article

Bonnie Clearwater

[Rothkowitz, Marcus]

(b Dvinsk, Russia [now Daugavpils, Latvia], Sept 25, 1903; d New York, Feb 25, 1970).

American painter and draughtsman of Russian birth. He was one of the major figures of Abstract Expressionism and an important influence on the development of Colour field painting.

In 1913 he immigrated with his mother and sister to the USA, where they were reunited with his father and two older brothers, who had settled in Portland, OR, a few years earlier. As a youth in Portland, Rothko excelled scholastically and in particular pursued interests in literature, music, and social studies. From 1921 to 1923 he attended Yale University on a scholarship, but he left in his third year without graduating. He moved to New York, where he sporadically attended a few courses at the Art Students League, including a painting class with Max Weber, which constituted his only formal training in art. Essentially self-taught, Rothko educated himself by attending exhibitions and visiting the studios of artists such as Milton Avery, whose paintings of simplified forms and flat areas of colour suggested possibilities for Rothko’s own work....

Article

Danielle Molinari

(Henri)

(b Paris, May 27, 1871; d Paris, Feb 13, 1958).

French painter, draughtsman and printmaker. Although he first came to prominence with works displayed in 1905 at the Salon d’Automne in Paris, in the company of paintings by Henri Matisse and other initiators of Fauvism, he established a highly personal and emotive style. His technique and palette were also highly personal, and they ranged from watercolour blues to a rich, thick application of materials. These demonstrate, in their very complexity, not only originality but also the craft of the artist always in search of a greater form of expression. Even though he never stopped observing mankind, his deep religious feeling allowed him to imbue his work with great spirituality.

Rouault was born to a humble family during the brief period of the Paris Commune. Through his maternal grandfather, Alexandre Champdavoine, an unassuming post office employee, he discovered artists such as Courbet, Manet and Honoré Daumier at an early age. Having shown a lively interest in drawing at school, at the age of 14 Rouault became a glazier’s apprentice with ...

Article

(b Nurmes, nr Kuopio, March 14, 1879; d Helsinki, Sept 18, 1955).

Finnish painter. His father was a member of the fanatical puritan sect the Hihhulit, and to escape this religious atmosphere he ran away from home at the age of 14. He then travelled around Sweden for several years working as a tailor’s apprentice and later in life supported himself through tailoring. After returning to Finland he entered the Drawing School of the Finnish Art Association in 1902 and also trained at the Finnish Central School of Applied Arts, both in Helsinki. He then travelled to Denmark in 1904, had his first exhibition in Helsinki in 1906 and in 1907 worked with the artists Jalmari Ruokokoski (1886–1936) and Juho Mäkelä (b 1887). In 1909 Sallinen made his first trip to Paris, where he stayed for nine months studying the work of Cézanne, van Gogh, Gauguin and the Fauves. He was particularly influenced by Kees van Dongen’s use of colour. This contact with French art led him towards an Expressionist style in his own work, and while in France he executed a number of landscapes using thick paint and bright colours....

Article

Iain Boyd Whyte

(b Danzig, Germany [now Gdańsk, Poland], Jan 8, 1863; d Berlin, Oct 15, 1915).

German writer. He settled in 1887 in Berlin, where he became a leading figure in bohemian literary circles and published over 20 novels and countless stories and articles. His utopian premises were clearly related to the German idealist tradition, and he was well read in the works of Immanuel Kant and Arthur Schopenhauer. His taste for exotic locations also had philosophical antecedents: an interest in Far Eastern philosophies and mysticism is reflected in the many stories with fabulous Eastern settings, while the astral novels are directly indebted to the cosmology proposed by Gustav Theodor Fechner in his Zend-Avestia (1851).

Scheerbart saw technology as a means of achieving the harmony of the cosmos on earth. He proposed a new architecture of steel and coloured glass that would transcend 19th-century brick-built materialism. Glass architecture appears in his very first novel Das Paradies: Die Heimat der Kunst (1889), and the idea is further developed in ...

Article

Edwin Lachnit

(b Tulln an der Donau, nr Vienna, June 12, 1890; d Vienna, Oct 31, 1918).

Austrian painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He is, with Oskar Kokoschka, one of the major figures of Austrian Expressionism, in spite of the brevity of his artistic career, which lasted only about ten years. While remaining faithful to the initial influences on his work of the Vienna Secession and in particular of the art of Gustav Klimt, he developed a highly personal and expressive style and introduced psychologically and sexually intense subject-matter that was radical in its subjectivity and highly influential on later generations of artists.

Schiele demonstrated an aptitude for drawing even as a child, coming into conflict with his teachers for drawing during lessons yet receiving their encouragement to train as an artist. In 1906 he applied to the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule, a progressive institution and one of the centres of Jugendstil in Vienna, but because of his precocious mastery of traditional skills he was sent to the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, where he passed the entrance examination in October of the same year. He came into conflict there with his teacher, the painter ...

Article

Lucius Grisebach

(b Rottluff, nr Chemnitz, Dec 1, 1884; d West Berlin, Aug 10, 1976).

German painter and printmaker. One of the main exponents of Expressionism, he was a founder of Brücke, Die and one of its leading members. As a boy he got to know Erich Heckel at grammar school, following in his footsteps in 1905 when he enrolled as an architectural student at the Sächsische Technische Hochschule in Dresden; there Heckel introduced him to another student, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, four years his senior, and to Kirchner’s friend, the painter Fritz Bleyl (1880–1966). They all felt close in their artistic aspirations, perceiving their architectural studies as a front behind which they could train, largely by teaching themselves, as painters. Later that year, by which time Schmidt-Rottluff had annexed the name of his native town to his surname, they formed Die Brücke with the aim of creating an uncompromisingly vital art that renounced all traditions; the group’s name, derived from a quotation in Friedrich Nietzsche’s ...

Article

Patrick Werkner

(Franz Walter)

(b Vienna, Sept 13, 1874; d Los Angeles, July 13, 1951).

Austrian composer, painter and writer. He became an American citizen in 1941. Schoenberg took painting lessons from c. 1906 from Richard Gerstl, who long after his death was recognized as one of the leading exponents of Austrian Expressionism. For personal reasons involving Gerstl’s affair with his first wife, Schoenberg later in general denied Gerstl’s influence, which in any case was not lasting; Schoenberg remained an amateur and his painting was secondary to his life’s work as a composer and writer of theoretical musical texts, for which he is much better known. He executed approximately 60 paintings and 200 drawings: only twelve of the extant paintings are dated, eleven 1910 and one 1912; most of this output dates from before the end of 1912, during a period of personal and professional difficulty. Schoenberg’s paintings are generally small in size and fall into two groups: a series of technically inept portraits and occasional landscapes on the one hand, and highly expressive visionary works on the other....

Article

[Johannes Jacobus]

(b Delft, June 26, 1914; d Delft, Aug 1, 1994).

Dutch painter and sculptor. From 1930 to 1934 he studied at the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague. In the late 1930s his painting was influenced by German Expressionism, as in Dancing Man (c. 1938; The Hague, Gemeentemus.). In the late 1940s and until 1951, he produced ink and watercolour abstract works reminiscent of Klee, as in Light and Shadow (1951; The Hague, Gemeentemus.). During the 1950s, though still abstract, his work became increasingly informal through the influence of the Ecole de Paris, leading to such works as Untitled (1957; The Hague, Gemeentemus.). In 1957 he was one of the co-founders of the Nederlandse Informele Groep together with the Dutch painters Kees van Bohemen (1928–85), Jan Henderikse (b 1937), Henk Peeters (b 1925), Armando and others, and in 1960 co-founded Nul with much the same group.

In 1957 Schoonhoven began to produce relief works using papier mâché. Initially, as in ...

Article

Lydia M. A. Schoonbaert

(b Ghent, April 4, 1883; d Lucerne, April 19, 1966).

Belgian painter. He took evening classes at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Ghent (1901–2), but he was mainly self-taught. In 1905 he settled in Laethem-Saint-Martin and painted landscapes, farmers, harvests and biblical scenes. During his formative years he was influenced by Gustave Van de Woestyne, Eugène Laermans and Jakob Smits. In the Potato Planters (1909; Brussels, Mus. A. Mod.) the characteristics of Flemish Expressionism can be seen for the first time in the boldness of his painting, the monumental schematized figures and dark colours. From 1916 Servaes started to work in series, for example the Life of the Peasant (1920; Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.), which was awarded a prize at the Venice Biennale in 1920, the Stations of the Cross and the Life of the Virgin. Servaes was responsible for a renewed interest in ecclesiastical art in Belgium. His Stations of the Cross of Luithagen...

Article

Ingeborg Wikborg

(Ingvar)

(b Fryksände, Värmland, Sweden, Feb 12, 1882; d Oslo, Feb 24, 1962).

Norwegian painter of Swedish birth. His childhood in Värmland laid the foundations of a deep understanding and love of nature, and, of all Sørensen’s subjects, it is perhaps the landscapes that reveal his talent and strong national feeling to best advantage. Thanks to his extrovert and powerful personality, Sørensen, although seldom an active member of official organizations, was an influential figure and arbiter of taste in Norwegian artistic life for more than 50 years.

Sørensen studied in evening-classes at the Royal School of Design in Kristiania (now Oslo) in 1904 before going to study with Kristian Zahrtmann in Copenhagen that same winter. In 1905–6 he became a winter pupil at the Académie Colarossi in Paris and then returned to the Royal School of Design. He was also instructed by Harriet Backer. In November and December 1908 Sørensen was a pupil of Henri Matisse. During his stay in Paris he also studied the work of Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Kees van Dongen and Vincent van Gogh, among others. Although Sørensen probably saw Fauve paintings, his instruction from Matisse was of an academic character. ...

Article

Colette Giraudon

(b Smilovitchi, nr Minsk, 1893; d Paris, Aug 9, 1943).

Russian painter of Belorussian birth. He was brought up in a Lithuanian Jewish ghetto and took an early interest in drawing, encountering opposition in his community for his defiance of the Talmudic interdictions concerning images. At 16 he left for Minsk, and between 1910 and 1913 he studied at a small academy in Vilna (now Vilnius) that accepted Jews, where he learnt about Russian art and its avant-garde movements. He was a brilliant student, expressing himself only in tragic themes. Like his fellow students Pinchus Krémègne and Marcel Kikoïne (1892–1968), he dreamt of going to Paris and was able to make the journey in 1913. He enrolled in Fernand Cormon’s studio in the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1913–15) but quickly realized that his visits to the Louvre, where he discovered Fouquet, Tintoretto, El Greco, Raphael, Goya, Ingres, Courbet and Rembrandt, were for him a more fruitful form of study....