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W. Ali

(Rashad) [Shawwa, Layla Rashād]

(b Gaza, April 4, 1940).

Palestinian painter and jewellery designer. She was trained in Cairo at the Leonardo Da Vinci School of Art (1957–8), and in Rome at the Accademia di Belle Arti (1958–64) and the Accademia di S Giacomo (1960–64); she also attended summer courses at the School of Seeing in Salzburg, where she worked under Oskar Kokoschka. On returning to Gaza she was appointed supervisor for arts and crafts education in UNRWA schools (1965–7) and a UNESCO lecturer in child education at training courses for UNRWA teachers (1966–7). From 1967 to 1975 she worked in Beirut as a full-time painter and children’s book illustrator. In 1977 she collaborated with a team of architects on the construction of the Cultural Centre in Gaza, executing large stained-glass windows for the project. In 1987 she settled in London. Her paintings are distinguished by their bold style and subject-matter. After a period early in her career when she depicted fictional Oriental cities and horses, she dealt with contemporary issues, such as the role and aspirations of women (e.g. ...


Andrew Cross

revised by Mary Chou

(b London Aug 9, 1962).

British sculptor, painter and installation artist. Born to Nigerian parents, he grew up in Nigeria before returning to England to study Fine Art in London at Byam Shaw School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College where he completed his MFA. Shonibare’s West African heritage has been at the heart of his work since he started exhibiting in 1988, when he began using ‘Dutch-wax’ dyed fabrics, commonly found in Western Africa, both for wall-mounted works (as pseudo paintings) and for sculpted figures. Generally perceived as ‘authentic’African cloth, the tradition of Batik originated in Indonesia, and was appropriated by the Dutch who colonized the country. Manufactured in Holland and Britain, the cloth was then shipped to West Africa where it became the dress of the working class in nations such as Nigeria. Shonibare used the material as a way of deconstructing the more complex histories that determine these and other images of ethnicity. As such, he has been described as a ‘post-cultural hybrid’ or the ‘quintessential postcolonial artist’ by critics as well as the artist himself....


María Antonia González-Arnal

(b Barquisimeto, 1940; d Barquisimeto, July 26, 1995).

Venezuelan photographer and teacher. He first studied architecture, ceramics and jewellery, but in 1963 turned to the study of photography in Philadelphia with Murry Weiss and Sol Libsohn, returning to Venezuela in 1964 where he taught and led workshops in photography at the Instituto de Diseño, Caracas, and at the Consejo Nacional de la Cultura, Caracas. Sigala worked as a photographer for the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Caracas and for the newspaper ...


Beth Dincuff Charleston

(b Ohio; Sept 12, 1953, d March 4, 2004, New York).

American fashion and textile designer ( see fig. ). Sprouse was democratic in his design references but esoterically concerned with the quality of his creations. He drew inspiration from many different forms of art and popular culture. He is best remembered for his association with Andy Warhol , his collaborations with Keith Haring and other artists on textile designs, and his translation of rock and roll, particularly punk, to fashion. These interpretive designs bridged the Pop art of the 1960s with the Post-modernism of the 1980s.

Dressed all in black with either a bandanna or knit cap on his head, Sprouse’s appearance belied his middle American upbringing. Born to an insurance salesman father and a stay-at-home mother, Sprouse showed an early talent for drawing and design. At the age of 14 his father arranged a summer internship for him at Bill Blass . After briefly studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, Sprouse began working with leading American fashion designer ...


Christina Lodder


(b Kovno [now Kaunas, Lithuania], Nov 5, 1894; d Moscow, May 20, 1958).

Russian painter and designer of Lithuanian birth. She trained at the Kazan’ School of Art (c. 1910–11) where she met Aleksandr Rodchenko, whom she subsequently married. In 1912 she moved to Moscow where she attended the Stroganov School (1913–14) and studied with Konstantin Yuon and Il’ya Mashkov. In 1919 Stepanova became involved with the Futurist poets, composing zaum’ (‘transrational’) poetry herself and producing collaged and handwritten books, including Rtny Khomle, Zigra ar and her masterpiece Gaust Chaba (all 1918; copies in St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.), in which she wrote her zaum’ text on newspaper. After the Revolution, Stepanova worked in the Museums office of the Department of Fine Arts (IZO) in Narkompros (the People’s Commissariat for Enlightenment) and from c. 1921 taught at the Academy of Social Education.

Stepanova participated in numerous exhibitions organized by IZO, including the Fifth State Exhibition and the Tenth State Exhibition. She was one of the first members of ...


Kristen E. Stewart

(b Dearborn Heights, MI, c. 1955).

American fashion designer. Sui’s approach exemplifies the Post-modernist spirit of American fashion design that surfaced in the late 20th century. Sui achieved the quirky femininity and kitschy romance associated with her house through an unorthodox appropriation and layering of iconic elements drawn from the history of both fashion and anti-fashion. A connoisseur of cool, Sui and her designs have gained a following among rock stars, models and movie stars with a glamorous but edgy aesthetic.

Sui was the second of three children born to middle-class Chinese immigrant parents. In interviews, she often recalls the moment when she knew that she wanted to design clothes for stars. Playing with her brother’s toy soldiers, Sui dressed them in tissue-paper gowns and staged them in a mock Academy Awards ceremony. Experimenting with her style from a very young age, Sui made her own clothes and appliquéd her accessories with swatches to create the matched sets that would later become a trademark. As a teenager, Sui cut out and saved inspiring images from magazines. Now part of a lifelong archive and dubbed her Genius Files, these images are available on her website as emblems of her aesthetic. Growing up in suburban Detroit, Sui was also enthralled by the thriving local music scene, which was to later influence her designs....


Tony Mackle

(b Auckland, Aug 4, 1906; d Wellington, June 6, 1964).

New Zealand printmaker, book illustrator and painter . Taylor had no formal art training, but his work in both jewellery manufacturing and commercial advertising developed his superb skills as a draughtsman and his innate sense of design. Significantly, from 1944 to 1946 Taylor was appointed as art editor and illustrator for the Schools Publications branch of the New Zealand Education Department. He saw the merits of wood-engraving for illustration in school journals and during the remainder of his career created over 200 woodblock images of the flora and fauna of New Zealand and Maori mythology. International recognition for his wood-engraving came through exhibitions in New York (1954) and in Russia (1958).

In 1952 Taylor received a New Zealand Art Societies Scholarship with which he studied Maori life and society, publishing in 1959 Maori Myths and Legends through his own publishing house, The Mermaid Press. Taylor also illustrated books published by the Wingfield Press, Pelorus Press and A. G. & A. W. Reed, as well as encouraging the graphic arts and printmaking through his involvement with the New Zealand Print Council and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts....


Morgan Falconer

(b Jerusalem, May 18, 1945).

Israeli conceptual artist. He emerged as an artist, in the 1970s, without having had any formal education, addressing disparate concerns germane to conceptual art. The series Five Finger Excercise, begun in 1973, looked at the idea of sameness and uniqueness in art by covering canvases with the artist’s fingerprints. Towards the end of the decade he began to settle on a core of related themes and concerns that continued to preoccupy him. Fascinated by Modernist art’s pursuit of formalism, Toren sought metaphors for the way in which art cannibalizes itself; in so doing he has addressed issues relating to representation in art. In the series Neither a Painting nor a Chair (1979–80; see exh. cat. 1990–91, p. 15) Toren used shavings of wood from a demolished chair as pigment for a series of ten paintings reconstituting the chair as an image. A similar series begun in 1983, Of The Times...


Melissa Marra

(b Paris, Nov 4, 1908; d New York, Feb 13, 2002).

American fashion designer of French birth ( see fig. ). A versatile designer, Trigère was an integral figure behind the development of the New York fashion industry. Her designs merged European craftsmanship with the contemporary American spirit.

The daughter of Russian immigrant parents, Trigère was born in the Pigalle district of Paris in 1908. She grew up behind her father’s Montmartre tailor shop, the place where, at a young age, she learned to cut and fit fabric. Although she did not recall having an early desire for working in fashion—initially preferring a career as an actress or surgeon—Trigère designed her first dress at the age of 14. While attending Collège Victor Hugo in Paris, Trigère was apprenticed at the couture house of Martial et Armand on the Place Vendôme. After graduating, she took work with the famous tailor and designer Monsieur Arnold, from whom she learned the fundamentals of draping and preparing muslins. With her brother Robert she went on to open a store at 19, Avenue de l’Opéra, which was quickly recognized for its chic suits and dresses. It was through her brother that Trigère met Russian-born tailor Lazar Radley, whom she married in ...


Eberhard Ruhmer

(b Heidelberg, Feb 3, 1851; d Karlsruhe, Dec 21, 1917).

German painter. The son of a goldsmith and jeweller, he began an apprenticeship as a goldsmith. The intervention of Anselm Feuerbach enabled him to overcome his father’s resistance and train as a painter. In 1867 he began to study at the Kunstschule in Karlsruhe, where his tutors included Karl Friedrich Schick (1826–75). Trübner also met artists outside the school, such as Hans Canon, who were very influential. Trübner moved to Munich in 1869 to study with Alexander von Wagner (1838–1919) at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, where he also met Wilhelm Leibl. He continued his studies with Wilhelm von Diez (1839–1907) and met Hans Thoma, with whom, for a while, he shared a studio and models. Trübner acknowledged his debt to Feuerbach, Canon, Leibl and Thoma, whom he described as his ‘leaders and guiding stars’, throughout his life.

In the winter of 1870–71 he met Carl Schuch and with him and other friends worked in Bernried on the Starnberg Lake, where ...


Cassandra Gero

(b Aix-en-Provence, Feb 13, 1933).

French couturier and ready-to-wear designer. Ungaro evolved from designing radical fashions to creating sensual yet empowering clothing for women.

Ungaro was born in France to Italian immigrants; his father was a men’s tailor in Aix-en-Provence and taught Ungaro the trade from the age of 11. As the son of hard-working immigrants, Ungaro was always determined to prove himself. In his early 20s he moved to Paris to become a fashion designer. For six years, beginning in 1958, he worked as an assistant for Cristobal Balenciaga . Ungaro had great respect for ‘the Master’ and learnt a great deal from him. He then worked for his friend and fellow former Balenciaga apprentice André Courrèges for two seasons.

In 1965, Ungaro opened his own couture house with his girlfriend, the graphic artist Sonja Knapp. At this time, Paris couture was under attack as a relic of the past, and ready-to-wear was far more appealing to the younger generation. Ungaro was a pioneer of the new couture; he was anti-establishment, wanting to ‘kill the couture’ as it existed at the time. His early collections were extremely avant-garde and he was often associated with other forward-looking ‘space age’ designers, such as ...


Meghan E. Grossman

[ Schlee, Valentina Nicholaevna Sanina ]

(b Kiev, May 1, 1899; d New York, Sept 14, 1989).

American fashion designer of Ukrainian birth; active in New York. Valentina Schlee, known professionally as Valentina, worked as a fashion designer in New York from 1928 until 1957. She studied drama at Kharkov in the Ukraine until forced to flee the Revolution in 1919; she met her future husband, George Schlee, in the Sebastopol railway station as she attempted to escape. They travelled to Athens, Rome and Paris, where, inspired by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, they founded the theatrical revue Russe. Travelling to New York with the revue in 1923, the couple decided to remain in the city. In 1928, after a variety of fashion-related jobs, Valentina opened Valentina Gowns, Inc. on West 30th Street with her husband’s backing. George Schlee ran the business, while Valentina acted as designer and model. Soon after opening, the business relocated to a townhouse on East 67th Street. During the early years of her career, Valentina travelled to Paris to study the craft of dressmaking. While Paris was still considered the source of fashion design in the 1930s, Valentina was among a small group of pioneering American designers to receive recognition for originality of design and to be featured by name in American fashion magazines....


Meghan E. Grossman

[ Garavani, Valentino Clemente Ludovico ]

(b Voghera, May 11, 1932).

Italian fashion designer , active in Rome, Florence and Paris ( see fig. ). Valentino Garavani, known professionally as Valentino, is remembered for clothing that emphasized the elegance and femininity of women. The timelessness of his designs allowed his career to flourish from 1960 until 2007, in both Italy and France. He was schooled in fashion illustration at the Istituto Santa Marta in Milan (1937–49) and in fashion design at the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale in Paris (1950–52). He worked as an assistant designer for the House of Jean Dessès , then left with his colleague Guy Laroche (b 1921) to assist at the newly formed House of Laroche (1957–9). With his father’s backing, Valentino opened his own couture house in Rome on Via Condotti in 1959. Soon after he designed his first collections, he met Giancarlo Giametti, who became his business partner in ...


Nele Bernheim

[ Andries ]

(b Schoten, May 12, 1958).

Belgian fashion designer. Born into a family of tailors spanning three generations, Van Noten studied fashion design at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp (1977–81), while working as a freelance designer for Belgian and Italian labels. In 1985, Van Noten launched his own menswear label and the following year made an international breakthrough at London’s British Designer Show alongside the other members of the group known as the ‘Antwerp Six’: Walter Van Beirendonck (b 1957), Ann Demeulemeester , Dirk Van Saene (b 1959), Dirk Bikkembergs (b 1959) and Marina Yee (b 1958). In 1987 he expanded his range to include womenswear and two years later opened his flagship store in Antwerp. In 1991, he staged the first of his memorable fashion shows in Paris. Van Noten is the most versatile, accessible and commercially successful of the Belgian fashion designers, equally recognized for both his men’s and women’s collections. He is known for his eclectic style, his use of original fabrics, especially unorthodox prints and embroideries, a wide spectrum of colours and widely varied sources of inspiration. His silhouettes range from the historic to the exotic to the modern, sometimes within a single collection....


Morgan Falconer

(b Ostend, Oct 3, 1948).

Belgian sculptor and photographer. He was a poet until 1974, when he began to work with black-and-white photography. His earliest images emerged from a conceptualist framework and addressed questions about representation which surfaced in relation to self-portraiture and the nude. Both these subjects continued to be important to him: in the series Portrait of the Artist by Himself (1984; see 1993 exh. cat., pp. 5–7) he posed in front of an abstract, geometric backdrop, gesticulating obscurely and carrying a makeshift mask in front of his face, as a way of continuing the paradoxical themes of absence that he had explored in his earlier self-portraits; in the series Lucretia (1983; see 1989 exh. cat., pp. 22–35) he presented a mythological subject through a series of photographs in which a nude describes elements of the narrative by means of gestures. Vercruysse is perhaps better known for his sculpture, in which he explored similar themes of absence and lack of meaning through the use of cultural archetypes, an approach which has led to comparisons with René Magritte. The series ...


Meghan E. Grossman

(b Reggio Calabria, Dec 2, 1946; d South Beach, FL, July 15, 1997).

Italian fashion designer , active in Milan and Paris. Versace was a prolific and energetic designer of the 1980s and 1990s, known for manifestations of overt sexuality in both men’s and women’s clothes ( see fig. ). Born in Reggio Calabria, a small town in southern Italy, Versace spent his childhood in his mother’s dressmaking shop. In 1972 he moved to Milan to begin a career in fashion design. Versace worked as a freelance designer for several Italian firms, including Genny (1977–82), Complice (1977), and Callaghan (1976–9). He opened his own design house, Gianni Versace SpA, in Milan in 1978. While turning out designs for his own lines of women’s clothing and menswear, the designer continued to contribute designs to other Italian ready-to-wear labels. Gianni’s older brother, Santos, joined the firm as the business manager, while his younger sister, Donatella, became the house’s public relations manager and, in ...


Lourdes Font

( Marie Valentine )

(b Chilleurs-aux-Bois, June 22, 1876; d Paris, March 2, 1975).

French fashion designer. Vionnet was one of the most innovative and influential dressmakers of the 20th century. She brought a brilliant analytical mind, superb technical ability, and the rigorous taste of a modernist to the craft of dressmaking. Vionnet’s designs revealed the body and followed its movements; she worked by draping and cutting fabric in the round on a mannequin. Although Vionnet is known for the bias-cut, her method was based upon a thorough understanding of the structure of textiles, which she described as the three ways of fabric: the straight grain, cross grain and bias.

Vionnet was raised by her father, a toll collector, in the suburbs of Paris. Although she was an excellent student and hoped to become a teacher, when she was 11 her father was persuaded to apprentice her to a local dressmaker. This early training laid the foundation for Vionnet’s extraordinary technical abilities. At the age of 17 she moved to the Maison Vincent, a small couture house in Paris, and within two years she became a ...


Julie Aronson

[ née Potter, Bessie Onahotema ]

(b St. Louis, MO, Aug 17, 1872; d New York, March 8, 1955).

American sculptor. Vonnoh was known for small, distinctive compositions of women and children in dress of the period. Created in an impressionistic style, her sculptures capture the essence of her subjects. Born Bessie Onahotema Potter, she grew up in Chicago. In 1886, she entered the studio of the sculptor Lorado Taft and enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he served as instructor of modeling. Newly arrived from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Taft taught Vonnoh the latest French techniques and stylistic tendencies, including a fluid approach to form and the retention of the evidence of her touch. After she graduated in 1891, her education advanced with the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), where she exhibited her work and gained practical experience as one of the “White Rabbits;” a group of women who assisted Taft with the enlargement of sculptors’ models.

In 1894, a circle of artists and writers calling themselves “The Little Room” convened in Vonnoh’s Chicago studio. Discussions ensued on the merits of American subject matter and Impressionism, a movement in painting that used active brushwork to engage with contemporary life. Seeking a three-dimensional equivalent to Impressionism, Vonnoh modeled statuettes of women in the dress of the day with lively surfaces, cast them in plaster and delicately tinted them with color. Some she assigned titles such as ...


John-Paul Stonard

(b Chigwell, Essex, May 25, 1959).

English painter, sculptor and video artist. He studied in London at the Chelsea School of Art (1978–81) and Goldsmiths’ College (1983–5). From the mid-1980s his work has addressed the traditions and values of British society, its class system and organized religion. The range of approaches he has adopted reflects his wish to have a broad appeal and highlights his roots in a tradition of British left-wing thought. In the early 1990s he began using a personal enthusiasm for horse racing as a theme through which to explore issues of ownership and pedigree. Race Class Sex (oil on canvas, four parts, each 2.3×3 m, London, Saatchi Gal.), consists of four highly finished renderings of thoroughbred race-horses. As well as evoking the equestrian portraiture of George Stubbs, these works also direct attention toward issues of identity and the inheritance of social structures. This thematic culminated in A Real Work of Art...


Alexandra Noble

(b Greenburg, PA, March 29, 1946).

American photographer. He studied under Lisette Model and later became a major figure in international fashion photography. His best-known work derives from advertising assignments for the fashion designers Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Karl Lagerfeld, presenting the unique synthesis of an uncompromising personal vision with an interpretation of varied historical influences. His low-angle shots of men in heroic poses recall the images of Aryan youths made in the 1930s, while some of his studio portraits evoke the spirit of classic Hollywood portraiture. His work contains a highly charged eroticism and plays on sexual ambiguity, as for example in his photographic journal O Rio de Janiero (New York, 1986).

Weber, Bruce Per lui (Milan 1985) Branded Youth and Other Stories, text by M. Harrison and C. S. Smith (Boston, New York, Toronto and London, 1997) Bruce Weber Photographs (Pasadena, 1983) J. Cheim, ed.: Bruce Weber (New York, 1989)...