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Article

Myroslava M. Mudrak

(Mykolayovych)

(b Kholm, Sept 15, 1897; d Moscow, Feb 18, 1956).

Ukrainian painter and theorist. He was apprenticed in the workshop for icon-painting in Kiev (1910–14). In 1913 he studied with Fyodor Rerberg (1865–1938) in Moscow and in 1914–18 attended the School for the Advancement of Art in Petrograd (now St Petersburg). Returning to Kiev in 1918, he studied at the Ukrainian Academy of Art and Alexandra Exter’s decorative arts workshop, and he took part in designing revolutionary street decorations. In Zrachki solntsa he gave an eyewitness account of life in Kiev during the years after the fall of the Russian empire. He spent the 1920s and 1930s in Moscow and in Paris, where he was a member of the Parisian Group of Ukrainian Artists. In 1920–22 he studied in Moscow at Vkhutemas (Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops) under Vasily Kandinsky, and he developed a synthesis of Cubist, Suprematist and Constructivist tendencies. As a reaction to the depersonalized character of ...

Article

Gisela Hossmann

[Johannes] (Siegfried)

(b Berlin, April 6, 1888; d Minusio, nr Locarno, Feb 1, 1976).

American painter, film maker, theorist and writer of German birth. He studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin and at the Akademie in Weimar from 1908 to 1909. Until c. 1910 he produced academic figure drawings, individual genre scenes and book illustrations (e.g. for Boccaccio’s Decameron). His early paintings showed the influence of Symbolism and of Jugendstil. Between 1911 and 1914 he came under the influence of Cézanne and also of Expressionism. At this time his paintings were flat in character, but with a fluid, dynamic and expressive drawing style, strongly outlined forms and powerful brushstrokes, as in Kurfürstendamm (1911; Locarno, Pin. Casa Rusca).

From 1914 until 1916 Richter’s work was influenced by Cubism, and he realized his idea of the visualization of rhythmical movements, proportion and order. His aim was the ‘free orchestration of forms …as music has orchestrated time …with sound’. Following the example of Picasso and Braque, Richter chose musical subjects for his paintings, such as ...

Article

Jeremy Howard

(Aleksandrovich)

(b Kaluga, March 21, 1860; d 1920).

Russian critic and painter. As one of the most enlightened critics in pre-revolutionary Russia, from the late 1890s he demonstrated his rare, broad-minded approach to artistic developments in reviews of exhibitions, debates, musical and theatrical performances and other cultural events, in leading St Petersburg newspapers and periodicals such as Rech’, for which he was permanent art correspondent, Staryye gody, Apollon and Teatr i iskusstvo, for which he was in charge of the art section. As such, he was the first to recognize the unique contributions to modern Russian art of such artists as Yelena Guro, Vladimir Markov (Voldemārs Matvejs) and Nikolay Kul’bin. He was also able to document, and in many cases welcome, new beginnings, as in his early articles on the Union of Youth society (1910), and his contemporary reviews of artistic events and discussions of their implications during the revolutionary year of 1917. Having graduated from the St Petersburg Academy of Arts in ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Overbrook, PA, Dec 2, 1904; d Cambridge, MA, Oct 3, 1972).

American art historian and watercolourist. He was educated at St Paul’s School, Concord, NH, from 1918 to 1924 and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in 1928. In 1930 he submitted at Harvard University his PhD thesis on Jaume Huguet and 15th-century painting in Catalonia, which was published in 1932. From 1930 until his death, Rowland continued to be based at Harvard, as a tutor from 1930 to 1941 and as an associate professor from 1941 to 1950. He served during World War II as a lieutenant commander in the US Naval Reserve. In 1950 he was appointed full professor and in 1960 became the Gleason Professor of Fine Arts. He also acted as a curator at the university’s Fogg Art Museum. In 1970 he served as the US delegate at the UNESCO Kushan Congress at Kabul. His paintings were exhibited in the 1940s and 1950s at galleries in Boston and Washington, and examples are to be found in the permanent collections of the Fogg Art Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; and the Art Museum, St Louis, MO. In ...

Article

Jeremy Howard

(b Bebri farmstead, near Saldus, March 18, 1866; d Helsinki, Dec 26, 1916).

Latvian painter, graphic designer, writer, critic and teacher. He was the son of a country blacksmith and at the age of sixteen moved to Riga, where he spent four years as a painter and decorator. He then worked as an extra in the Riga Latvian Society Theatre and briefly attended drawing classes at the German Trade School before entering the St Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1888. He studied under Vladimir Makovsky and in 1894 was made an artist of the first degree for Leaving Church: After the Service (Riga, Latv. Mus. F.A.), a realist depiction of the inequalities of country life and the hypocrisy of church-goers who ignore the beggars outside the church gates. The scene represented is one from his native region, a source that he was to exploit extensively and variously. In the ensuing years he utilized motifs from the landscape, mythology and everyday life of Latvia as, coming into contact with developments abroad, he experimented with his approach. Thus, ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Oct 1, 1927).

Argentine painter, graphic designer, teacher and critic. After studying in Japan from 1935 to 1951 he returned to Argentina, remaining there until his move to New York in 1963. His paintings from 1952 were in the style of Art informel, with a calligraphic emphasis demonstrating his sympathy with oriental art, but around 1960 he moved towards a more gestural abstraction in works such as Painting No. 20 (1961; Buenos Aires, Mus. A. Mod.), using thicker paint and more subdued colours.

In 1964 Sakai began to use more geometric shapes in his pictures, and he continued to do so on moving in 1965 to Mexico, where he remained until 1977. His example opened the way to geometric abstraction in Mexico, where there was no real tradition of such work. In 1976, shortly before returning to New York, he began a series of paintings using the formal repetition of parallel undulating lines of strongly contrasting colour. From ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

Founded in 1871 by a small group of artists in New York City, the Salmagundi Club is one of the oldest professional art clubs in America. The Salmagundi Club began as a sketch class that met in the Broadway studio of sculptor Jonathan Scott Hartley (1845–1912). Incorporated in 1880, the club was apparently named after a dish called salmigandos (a stew of different meats). From the start, the club offered its members important opportunities to critique each other’s work, paint, sketch, socialize and exhibit together. Early members included such renowned artists as George Inness Jr. (1854–1926), Thomas Moran , Frederick Church, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Tiffany family §2 and Howard Pyle.

For more than 40 years the Salmagundi Club led a nomadic existence, exhibiting and meeting at various locations in Greenwich Village. In 1917 the members helped raise funds to buy a brownstone at 47 Fifth Avenue (built in ...

Article

John Steen

(Jacob Henri Berend)

(b Amersfoort, Oct 24, 1897; d Amsterdam, April 2, 1984).

Dutch museum official, writer, painter and typographer. He studied briefly in 1919 at the Rijksacademie, Amsterdam. Among his friends was Herman Gorter (1864–1927), Dutch poet and founder of the Dutch Communist Party. Between 1922 and 1926 he was involved with the Mazdaznan movement, meeting Johannes Itten in the Mazdaznan centre of Herrliberg, Switzerland. After visiting Piet Mondrian in Paris in 1923 he decided to become an independent artist. In 1927 he studied pictograms with museum director Otto Neurath in Vienna, where he also took classes in psychology from Alfred Adler (1870–1937) and Karl Bühler (1879–1963). In the same year he visited the Bauhaus.

In 1928 Sandberg was given his first typographic commissions by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Between 1930 and 1935 he read psychology at the University of Utrecht. From 1934 he organized exhibitions regularly for the Stedelijk Museum: Moholy-Nagy (1934), De Stoel...

Article

Matthew Gale

[de Chirico, Andrea]

(b Athens, Aug 25, 1891; d Rome, May 6, 1952).

Italian writer, theorist, painter, composer and theatre designer. His Greek childhood, shared with his brother Giorgio De Chirico, informed his life’s work. Savinio was something of a musical prodigy, graduating with honours in piano and composition from the Athens Conservatory at the age of 12. By 1906, he was studying under Max Reger in Munich, and he composed an opera, Carmela, at the age of 17. The prospects in Italy proved disappointing and, after a concert given in Munich, Savinio left for Paris in 1910.

In Paris Savinio became a close friend of Guillaume Apollinaire, associating with his circle as a composer and writer. He published a dramatic poem, Les Chants de la mi-mort, in 1914 and adopted a pseudonym to avoid confusion with his brother who had by now joined him in Paris. Savinio drew at this time and may have made experimental collages, although possible datings for the latter vary from ...

Article

Richard Humphreys

(Herman Edward Karl Julius)

(b Hannover, June 20, 1887; d Kendal, Westmorland, England, Jan 8, 1948).

German painter, sculptor, designer and writer. He studied at the Kunstakademie in Dresden (1909–14) and served as a clerical officer and mechanical draughtsman during World War I. At first his painting was naturalistic and then Impressionistic, until he came into contact with Expressionist art, particularly the art associated with Der Sturm, in 1918. He painted mystical and apocalyptic landscapes, such as Mountain Graveyard (1912; New York, Guggenheim), and also wrote Expressionist poetry for Der Sturm magazine. He became associated with the Dada movement in Berlin after meeting Hans Arp, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch and Richard Huelsenbeck, and he began to make collages that he called Merzbilder. These were made from waste materials picked up in the streets and parks of Hannover, and in them he saw the creation of a fragile new beauty out of the ruins of German culture. Similarly he began to compose his poetry from snatches of overheard conversations and randomly derived phrases from newspapers and magazines. His mock-romantic poem ...

Article

Jean Robertson and Craig McDaniel

The final decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century witnessed an increasing propensity for artists to incorporate aspects of science in their own art. In many fields of scientific research—including the cloning of mammals, the genetic modification of crops, the creation of bioengineered organs and tissues, advances in nanotechnology and robotics, experimental research in how the human mind works and the study of artificial intelligence—the frontiers of knowledge pushed outward at an accelerated pace. In the spirit of creative inquiry, or in order to critique the goals and outcomes of scientific experimentation and application, artists regularly borrowed subjects, tools and approaches from science as a means to the production of art ( see fig. ).

In documenting and assessing the achievements of visual artists engaged with science, there was no broad consensus on the categorisation of artists’ work across the full range of activities, methods, motivations and use of materials. Assessments of artistic practice focused on artists’ work categorised by the traditional fields of science (e.g. artists who explore biology, artists who explore physical sciences). Other analyses of artistic practice focused on categories of art media (e.g. artists who use traditional means such as carving and casting to represent scientific discoveries, artists who explore and employ biological materials and scientific instruments)....

Article

Belinda Thomson

(Henri)

(b Paris, Nov 9, 1864; d Morlaix, Oct 6, 1927).

French painter and theorist. Son of a wealthy perfume and glove manufacturer, he was a star pupil at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, early on showing a bent towards philosophy. Having little inclination for business, Sérusier was eventually allowed to follow his chosen career of art. He studied at the Académie Julian (1885–90), where his popularity and wide-ranging intellectual gifts led to his election as chief student monitor (massier). This position gave him a certain authority, which was increased when his painting of a Breton Weaver (1888; Senlis, Mus. A. & Archéol.) won an honourable mention at the Salon of 1888.

Sérusier’s encounter with Gauguin in Pont-Aven that year proved decisive in changing his stylistic direction away from a dark-toned naturalism towards a more arbitrary, anti-naturalistic use of colour and simplification of form. Under Gauguin’s direction he started to paint a small landscape from nature, the ...

Article

W. Ali

(b Lod [Lydda], March 1930; d Lebanon, July 4, 2006).

Palestinian painter and art historian. The son of a fruit and vegetable merchant, he began to draw and paint in 1936. In 1948 he was one of the refugees to reach Khan Yunis in Gaza where he became a street vendor before becoming a teacher. In 1950 he went to Cairo, and was the first Palestinian to enrol at the College of Fine Arts. During his three years of training, he painted Palestinian subjects in a classical, realistic manner. In 1953 he returned to Gaza and held the first one-man exhibition in Palestine. Following his graduation in 1954, he arranged the first Palestinian group exhibition at the Officers’ Club, Zamalek, in Cairo, entitled The Palestinian Refugee. The same year he received a scholarship from the Italian government to study at the Accademia di Belle Arte in Rome. Shammout was not only the first modern Palestinian artist to study art formally, but the first to execute works where the content was strongly Palestinian and politicized, dealing with the suffering of the people and the loss of their homeland....

Article

Jeremy Howard

(b Riga, June 1, 1896; d St Petersburg, FL, 1992).

Latvian art historian and painter. He studied art history and philosophy at Moscow University from 1917 and took painting lessons at Il’ya Mashkov’s studio. He pursued these interests at Kazan’ University and the State Art Studios there (1919–21) before returning to independent Latvia to study philosophy (1921–7) at the Latvian University, Riga. There he began to exhibit his paintings in 1922, becoming a leading member of the moderate art group Sadarbs (‘Cooperation’) in 1924. His approach was marked by a primitivist tendency to abstraction, expressed in a variety of painterly experiments from Expressionist landscape to Fauvist still-life (e.g. Still-life, 1934; see 1934 exh. cat., p. 21) and Cubist forms (e.g. Seated Woman, 1921; see Siliņš, 1988, p. 442). Siliņš’s outstanding contribution to Latvian art history was his research into modern Latvian art and architecture. Largely responsible for the art section of Ilustrēts žurnals (1925–6), which was edited by his close associate, the artist and critic ...

Article

Ioana Vlasiu

(b Craiova, Aug 13, 1877; d Bucharest, Aug 4, 1953).

Romanian painter, illustrator, critic and teacher. He began his artistic training in a printer’s workshop in Craiova, then worked in a lithographic workshop in Düsseldorf (1898–9); from 1900 to 1905 he studied at the Fine Arts School in Bucharest. He rapidly became a well-known illustrator for newspapers and journals, notable for his polemical spirit, his conciseness and his geometrical and energetic graphic style. He also exhibited paintings in Bucharest at the official Salon and at the exhibitions of the association Tinerimea Artistică (The young artists) (e.g. A Halt, 1912; Bucharest, N. Mus. A.), and in 1916 he began to write art criticism. He participated in the exhibitions of the Arta Română association (1921–4) and with Ştefan Dimitrescu (1886–1933), Nicolae Tonitza (1886–1940) and the sculptor Oscar Han (1891–1976) created the Group of Four (1925–33), whose objective was to promote modern art in Romania. Şirato’s best-known paintings during this period featured Romanian peasants, as in ...

Article

Mariana Katzarova

[Sirak; Christov, Panayot Todorov]

(b Sliven, Oct 22, 1883; d Sofia, March 5, 1943).

Bulgarian painter, draughtsman, stage designer, writer, critic, editor and publisher. He studied (1908–12) under Léon Bakst at the Academy of Arts (Akademiya Khudozhestv) in St Petersburg and became a follower of the aesthetic concept of World of Art, dominated by the innovative decorative designs of Vera Komissarzhevskaya and Tairov. After he returned to Bulgaria, Skitnik was engaged in a variety of projects, writing poetry, critical reviews of exhibitions and plays and monographs on other artists such as Bencho Obreshkov. He also designed sets for the National Theatre (Naroden Teatâr) in Sofia. He painted mainly landscape and still-lifes in oils (e.g. Interior with Flowers, 1920), tempera (e.g. Russian Monastery, 1912), gouache (e.g. the Kiss of Judas, 1920; all Sofia, N.A.G.) and watercolour; he also drew in coloured pencil. During the 1920s and 1930s he became known in Bulgaria as an innovator who experimented with new problems of colour and form. Both his poetry and his original and highly emotional painting show his allegiance to the Symbolist movement. From ...

Article

Piero Pacini

(b Rignano sull’Arno, nr Florence, April 7, 1879; d Forte dei Marmi, Lucca, Aug 18, 1964).

Italian painter, critic and writer. He spent his early childhood in the Florentine countryside and showed a precocious interest in drawing and literature. At school in Florence he deepened his knowledge of the Classics and also developed an interest in the new French poetry (from Laforgue to Rimbaud). At the Accademia in Florence he met Giovanni Fattori and Telemaco Signorini; in 1897, at the Arte e fiori exhibition, he admired paintings by Pierre Bonnard, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Giovanni Segantini.

Interest aroused by the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900 persuaded Soffici to travel to the French capital in November 1900 with his friends the painters Giovanni Costetti (1878–1949) and Umberto Brunelleschi (1879–1949). His living conditions, which included a period in Ruche, La, were difficult. In order to make money he worked on popular satirical magazines such as La Plume, Sans-gêne and Assiette au beurre...

Article

R. L. Harley Jr

(b Angri, Sept 7, 1905; d Prescott, AZ, Jan 23, 1999).

American photographer, painter, and theorist of Italian birth. After studying landscape architecture with his father Carlos Sommer in Brazil (1916–25) and at Cornell University (MA 1927), he worked as a landscape architect in Brazil until 1930. While in Switzerland convalescing after tuberculosis in 1930, he became interested in modern art and acquired his first camera. He moved to Tucson, AZ, in 1931 and settled in Prescott, AZ, in 1935. He held his first exhibition, of watercolours, in Chicago in 1934 and discovered the graphic aspect of musical scores. His interest in photography was increased after seeing prints by Edward Weston in 1936. He bought a large-format camera in 1938 and held his first one-man show as a photographer in 1946 (Santa Barbara, CA, Mus. A.). His links with European art were strengthened by his friendship with Max Ernst, whom he met in 1941.

In his work of ...

Article

Anna Bentkowska

(b Warsaw, Jan 1, 1936; d Warsaw, March 21, 1992).

Polish painter and critic. He trained as an architect at the Warsaw University of Technology (1952–9). While still a student he began to write reviews, mainly for the weekly Współczesność, and in 1962 he became its chief editor. He turned to painting at the suggestion of Artur Nacht-Samborski and Tadeusz Brzozowski, whose art he particularly valued. He also briefly worked on stage designs (1968–70). In spite of such biblical and literary titles as Tower of Babel (1960), Apparition (1965) and Birthday Card to Samuel Beckett (1986), Stajuda’s paintings almost eschew figuration and can be only vaguely associated with the world of objective appearances, as in Briareus (1967; Warsaw, N. Mus.), in which an outline of a figure may be discerned. His oil paintings have the delicacy of watercolours, with subtle tones and wash-like glazes applied in an elaborate technique. A baroque profusion of swirling forms gradually gave way to more restrained monochrome surfaces and simpler composition based on clear divisions (e.g. ...

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Warsaw, Jan 9, 1894; d Warsaw, June 10, 1988).

Polish painter and theoretician. He studied at the School of Fine Arts, Warsaw, from 1913 to 1919. In 1921–3 he exhibited with the Formists and with future Constructivists, with whom he began to identify more closely, joining the groups Block (1924), Praesens (1926) and a.r. (1929). He was also a member of Cercle et Carré and Abstraction-Création, and a frequent visitor to Paris, where from 1925 onwards he established contact with the artistic avant-garde and became friendly with Piet Mondrian, the writer Michel Seuphor (b 1901) and J. Brzękowski, the Polish poet and editor of the journal L’Art Contemporain. In 1929–31, together with Brzękowski, also a member of the a.r. group, Stażewski popularized among the international avant-garde Władysław Strzemiński’s idea of assembling a collection of international modern art in Poland. Stażewski did not paint during the occupation of Poland by the Nazis, but after World War II he established semi-formal links with successive modern and avant-garde groupings in Warsaw, including the ...