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Article

(b Santiago, 1931).

Chilean painter and ceramist. A self-taught painter, in the 1950s and 1960s he based his landscape motifs and colors on the Andes, using very simple forms suggestive of Pre-Columbian textiles in their flat, abstract designs and balanced chromatic effects. It was a question of subjecting archetypal shapes to a subtle and rational play of color. While remaining committed to a careful technique in both his oil paintings and pastels, Yrarrázaval fundamentally changed direction in 1973, when he began to represent isolated and suspended figures undergoing gradual deterioration: faceless and with their bodies swollen as if by internal pressure, they appear to have lost their identity, leaving behind only realistically painted shirts, collars, and ties. The suggestion is of a collective anonymity, an identity crisis embodied in purely external human gestures revealed through social rituals and through the status and prestige accorded to dress and fashion. Yrarrázaval continued in these works to emphasize the material quality of his paintings and the strong three-dimensional illusion of his forms, relying exclusively on the palette knife to reveal or conceal forms by a meticulous modeling of light and shade....

Article

(b Riga, July 15, 1900; d New York, Dec 24, 1983).

American painter and printmaker of Latvian birth. He enrolled in art school in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) and then travelled through Russia. Early influences were Vasily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich. He left the country after the Revolution (1917). During the 1920s he lived variously in Europe and Latin America, establishing contact with such leading artists as Emil Nolde, Karl-Georg Heise (1890–1979), and Diego Rivera. Yunkers fought in the Spanish Civil War (1936–9) and moved to Stockholm from 1939 to 1947, where he edited and published the periodicals Creation, Ars, and Art Portfolio (1969 exh. cat., pp. 30–31). In 1947 ten years’ work was lost in a studio fire.

Yunkers immigrated to the USA in 1947, acquiring citizenship in 1953. At this time he embarked on ambitious projects of prints and paintings including Polyptych, a five-panel woodcut, 4 m long, and in 1957 a series of large-scale pastels culminating in ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Philadelphia, May 16, 1962).

American painter. She studied at Tyler School of Arts, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, where she was awarded her BFA in 1984, and completed her MFA in 1996 at Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT. Her paintings address the female body and notions of internalized misogyny, both in the artist and the viewer. Her Bad Baby I (1991; see A. America, lxxxi, June 1993, p. 103) shows a depersonalised and sexualised child figure, painted in hot lollipop colours. Making a link between the visual pleasures of modernist aesthetics and the scopophilic instincts of pornography, Yuskavage’s paintings present figures undergoing a form of violation (cultural as well as sexual and visual) in front of an implicated viewer. She often uses misogonystic forms well-worn through their cultural usage to show the objectification within the familiar, as in Blond, Brunette and Redhead (1995; see R. Brooks article). Using exaggerated naked figures with gigantic breasts and buttocks, they offer no resistance to visual mastery by the viewer, but actively encourage it. This over-visibility is taken to a monstrous height in ...

Article

Monica E. Kupfer

(Augusto )

(b Panama City, Feb 5, 1930).

Panamanian printmaker and painter, active in Spain. He studied under Juan Manuel Cedeño at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura in Panama City and from 1953 to 1959 at the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. In 1961 he moved to Madrid, where he began his important work at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. Zachrisson’s etchings, drypoints, lithographs and woodcuts tell stories, mock tradition and criticize society, encompassing subjects as varied as the circus and the myth of Icarus. In works such as the Death of Chimbombó (1963; New York, MOMA) he depicts life with humour and satire in a cruel and even tragic vision. His fantastic world is peopled by an entourage of monsters, witches and grotesque figures drawn from Panamanian urban folklore, Spanish literature, classical mythology and personal experiences. Zachrisson’s paintings, produced since the 1970s, tend to be less detailed than his etchings but are equally biting in their use of irony, secual explicitness and references to his Panamanian background. Formally, his paintings emphasize colour and design over volume, with flat intense hues, hard edges and nearly invisible brushstrokes, as in ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b Elizabeth, NJ, May 24, 1935).

American painter. He received a BA from the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art in 1958, and he subsequently moved to New York to work as a commercial artist. He turned to painting in response to his exposure to Abstract Expressionism , and he later developed a style based on Colour field painting of the 1950s. He became widely known, however, as an exponent of Pattern and Decoration art after he began introducing floral motifs into his paintings in 1974. He was also central in organizing a group of artists with a shared interest in decorative painting as an alternative to the austerity of minimalism and the intellectualism of conceptual art that included Valerie Jaudon, Joyce Kozloff, Robert Kushner , Kim MacConnel (b 1946) and Miriam Schapiro .

Like many of the other Pattern and Decoration painters of the 1970s, Zakanitch arrived at his approach after concluding that reductionism of modernist art had exhausted itself, and in response he began applying floral patterns to the compositional grids of his abstract paintings. He developed this approach partly through his encounter with critics and other artists, particularly during his time teaching at the University of California, San Diego, in ...

Article

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Jan 12, 1908; d Morelia, Jan 19, 2003).

Mexican painter, printmaker and teacher. He studied in Mexico City at the Academia de San Carlos (1924–9) and at the Escuela de Grabado y Talla Directa. In 1930 he founded the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura in Taxco. He was also a member of the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios and an early member in 1937 of the Taller de Gráfica Popular, taking part in their group exhibitions and publications until 1950. From 1951 he was director of the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura in Morelia, Michoacán. In addition to his career as a teacher he was active politically. He practised primarily as a printmaker with a clear and precise draughtsmanship; he published, for example, a portfolio of eight lithographs, Estampas de Yucatán (1945), after travelling through the area for several months. He was also involved with the muralist movement in Mexico, and in 1930...

Article

W. Iain Mackay and Liliana Herrera

(b ?1710–20; d ?1773).

Peruvian painter. He was one of the last artists of the Cuzco school, whose members followed and repeated the formulae developed by Diego Quispe Tito. Though not outstandingly original, he is notable for the quantity of his production and commissions: between 1748 and 1764 he painted at least 200 works. His level of output was probably due to his use of numerous apprentices, such as Cipriano Toledo y Gutiérrez (fl 1762–73), Ignacio Chacón (fl 1763–80), and Antonio Vilca (fl 1778–?1803). During the 18th century Zapata and the other members of the Cuzco school started producing works incorporating highly formal, idealized figures based on the engravings that had long been supplied to artists by the religious orders of Cuzco. The indigenous artists consequently lost all contact with the Spanish realist school, a process to which Zapata contributed. However, while using European prints as a guide, in many of his pictures there are various non-European features: elegant creoles, black slaves, and such events as the epidemic of ...

Article

(b Chicontepec, Veracruz, Jan 1, 1947).

Mexican draughtsman, printmaker, painter, and illustrator. Zenil is known for his reworking of recognizable Pop Mexicanist imagery—or known icons of Mexicanismo (mexicanidad; Mexican identity and culture)—such as the Mexican flag, sacred heart, Virgin of Guadalupe, calaveras (skulls), and lotería (Mexican bingo) symbols among others—while collapsing boundaries of the sacred and the profane and challenging the heteronormative. Zenil has been dubbed a member of the stylistic movement neomexicanidad (Neo-Mexicanism), alongside such Mexican artists as Javier de la Garza (b 1954), Julio Galán, and Rocío Maldonado. Zenil has acknowledged Enrique Guzmán (1952–86) as the initiator of Neo-Mexicanism in his work Oh Santa Bandera (a Enrique Guzmán) (1996; Mexico City, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo), which is a reworking Guzmán’s ¡Oh! Santa bandera! (1977) that reiterates Guzmán’s early ironic reinterpretation of Mexican iconography as cultural critique.

A pioneer of Mexican Post-modernism in using strategies of appropriation, fragmentation, parody, and text, Zenil rejected the dominant style of ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b Chicago, IL, 1941).

American painter. He received a BFA (1964) and an MFA (1966) from the Art Institute of Chicago, and he subsequently moved to New York. In 1979, his work was included in the important New Image Painting exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and it has subsequently been compared with that of other artists of this generation, including Jennifer Bartlett, Neil Jenney and Robert Moskowitz (b 1935). He is particularly known for using cotton balls dipped in acrylic paint to make mosaic-style images that reflected on, among other things, the history of cotton and Byzantine mosaics.

During the early 1970s, Zucker began making images by applying cotton balls in gridded arrangements to the surfaces of his canvases. The resulting compositions presented idiosyncratic elaborations of modernist painting’s medium specificity under the guise of the image’s return. Zucker achieved this effect by substituting cotton balls for the stretched cotton canvas that was so often described as the essence of painting by modernist critics. His work has often featured whimsical subjects such as pirate ships, wizards and blimps, but he has typically subjected them to a process of formal transformation that downplayed their conventional meanings. In a series of compositions from the early 1990s, for example, he stretched sash cord across wooden panels to create eccentric grids that suggested the contours of cactuses in radically abstract form. Subsequently, he made a series of “box paintings” in which he poured liquid paint into the recessed spaces of partitioned wooden panels and allowed it to dry. The resulting compositions evoked the flat, modernist geometry of works by Picasso in the late 1920s or ...