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Gordon Campbell

[Alchymia; Studio Alchimia]

Radical Italian design group known as Studio Alchimia founded in Milan in 1976 by the architect Alessandro Guerriero (b 1943) and his sister Adriana; they were later joined by the designer Alessandro Mendini (b 1931), who became the principal spokesman of group. The Studio was a manifestation of the anti-design movement, which sought to subvert austere ...

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Elisa García Barragán

(b Marseille; d after 1912).

Italian sculptor and teacher, active in France and Mexico. He began his career in Marseille as a sculptor of the French school, and in 1888 he received an honourable mention at the Salon des Artistes Français, where he exhibited regularly until 1913. He probably moved to Mexico at the end of 1889. He won critical acclaim for his first works there, marble and bronze busts of important Mexican figures. In 1891 the government commissioned him to create statues of national heroes and dignitaries for the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City; the statue of Col. Miguel López was exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, IL, in 1893 and at the World’s Fair in Atlanta, GA, in 1895, winning prizes on both occasions. This was Alciati’s most dramatic and realist work, and the influence of Rodin is clear. In 1895 he was appointed professor of sculpture, decoration and modelling at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City. At the turn of the century he was commissioned to create, under the direction of ...

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Enrique Larrañaga

[James]

(b Caracas, Sept 14, 1932).

Venezuelan architect. After finishing elementary and middle school in Caracas, Alcock attended St. Edmund’s College (1946–1949) and University of Cambridge School of Chemistry (1949–1952), both in England. Back in Caracas, he enrolled in the architecture faculty of the Universidad Central de Venezuela, graduating in 1959. While a student, he worked for Venezuelan architect Alejandro Pietri (1924–1992) and Brazilian landscapist Roberto Burle-Marx (1909–1994) on various landscape architecture projects.

With José Miguel Galia (1919–2009), who had been his tutor at school, Alcock founded Galia & Alcock, Arquitectos Asociados (1959–1962). For Galia, a respected Uruguayan architect who had been working in Venezuela since 1948, architecture should at once respond to a building’s function climate and incorporate technological innovations thus operating as an assemblage of materiality and location that celebrates and intensifies both. Among the projects Galia and Alcock designed together, those for public spaces in both urban and natural environments were the most celebrated, particularly the Macuto Beachfront (...

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Francisco Portela Sandoval

(b Tivenys, Tarragona, 1835; d Madrid, Dec 1908).

Spanish sculptor. He studied at the Escuela Superior de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado, Madrid, where he later taught, and also under the sculptor José Piquer y Duart. His oeuvre is diverse in subject-matter—including religious compositions, portrait busts and monumental sculpture—and also in material—he worked in clay, plaster, marble and stone, as well as producing polychrome statues. Alcoverro y Amorós was a regular exhibitor at the Exposiciones Nacionales de Bellas Artes, and it was largely through them that his work became known; in 1867 he exhibited Ishmael Fainting with Thirst in the Desert of Beer-Sheba (Valencia, Real Acad. B.A. S Carlos). In 1870 he carved a St John the Baptist (1870; untraced) for Bermeo, Vizcaya, and at the following year’s Exposición he showed Lazarus at the Gate of Dives and Christ and Mary Magdalene as well as two portrait busts (one, in clay, of Rossini). In 1876 he exhibited a statue of ...

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Els Maréchal

(b Brussels, Oct 19, 1927).

Belgian painter, draughtsman, printmaker and film maker. He studied book illustration and typography at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et des Arts Décoratifs from 1944 to 1946. In 1947 he became a member of the Jeune Peinture Belge group and had his first one-man exhibition in the Galerie Lou Cosyn in Brussels. In 1949 he became a founder-member of the Cobra movement after meeting Christian Dotremont. With a number of artist friends he set up a type of research centre and meeting-place in Brussels, the Ateliers du Marais. Towards the end of 1951 he went to Paris, moving to Japan in 1955 to study the art of calligraphy, also making a film called Calligraphie japonaise (1956). He adopted the Oriental manner of painting, whereby the paper is spread on the floor and the artist leans over the work holding the bottle of ink, allowing a greater freedom of movement. In ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

[Fr. point d’Alençon]

Type of lace produced in France. In 1675 a group of 30 Venetian lacemakers was settled in the Norman town of Alençon by Jean-Baptiste Colbert (Louis XIV’s minister of finance). The Venetians instructed local needlewomen in point de Venise, but by the 1690s the distinctive local style known as point d’Alençon had emerged (see alsoLace §2, (iii), §2(iii)). Needlewomen adopted the net ground technique, and invented a series of new stitches.

Lace production was halted at the Revolution because of its association with the ancien régime, but revived under Napoleon (reg 1804–14) and again under the Second Empire. Lace is still produced in Alençon, supported by the Atelier National du Point d’Alençon founded in 1976, and there are good collections of Alençon lace in the Musée de la Dentelle au Point d’Alençon and the Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle.

The term point d’Alençon now denotes a style as well as a place of origin. The style is characterized by a uniform mesh (called the ...

Article

Roman Prahl

(b Mirotice, nr Písek, Nov 18, 1852; d Prague, July 10, 1913).

Czech painter, illustrator and designer. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague under Josef Mathias von Trenkwald (1824–97) and Jan Swerts (1820–79), and he rarely travelled, except to Vienna in 1873 and Italy in 1877. He was one of the leading Bohemian artists of the so-called Generation of the National Theatre. The décor of this theatre, opened in 1881 and again after a fire in 1883, marked a national artistic rebirth. Aleš, together with František Ženíšek, had won the competition in 1877 to decorate the walls, lunettes and ceilings of the theatre foyer. Aleš’s cycle My Country, designed for the lunettes, is one of the most famous Czech works of art.

In the late 1870s Aleš emerged as a draughtsman and painter with a rich imagination. He outlined many cycles to be finished later and he studied heraldry, which contributed to the development of his original ornamental style. He applied this style for the first time on painted furniture, as in ...

Article

M. Dolores Jiménez-Blanco

(b Madrid, 1942).

Spanish painter, sculptor and printmaker. After studying at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes in Madrid he came under the influence of Pop art during a stay in London in 1965. On settling again in Madrid in that year he began to concentrate on images of movement, as in the screenprint Story of the Man Who Falls I, for which he was awarded a prize at the Kraków Biennale in 1966. He continued to explore movement through serial forms and stereotyped images in plexiglass constructions such as the Changeable Movement series (1967) and from 1968 used computers as part of this process. These interests led to sculptures and paintings titled Transformable Movements, which he presented in association with aleatoric music.

Alexanco became increasingly involved with performance and collaborated with the Spanish composer Luis de Pablo (b 1930) on Soledad interrumpida (1971) and Historia natural...

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Stephen Grabow

(b Vienna, Oct 4, 1936).

British architect, theorist and writer. He studied architecture and mathematics at Cambridge University, England (1956–9), and at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1960–63). While at Harvard he was the joint author with Serge Chermayeff of Community and Privacy (1963), which was a discussion of urban courtyard house-plans by others of the time but which already contained the beginnings of a view of architecture as involving interactive processes rather than finished forms. In 1963 he took up his first faculty position at the University of California at Berkeley, later becoming professor of architecture there. In 1964 he published Notes on a Synthesis of Form, discussing the use of information theory in planning, with examples from his consulting work in India; in April and May 1965 he applied similar observations from mathematics to the current debate on lack of complexity in urban planning in the article ‘A City is not a Tree’. In ...

Article

Kevin Mulhearn

(b Johannesburg, 1959).

South African sculptor and installation and multimedia artist. Though Alexander trained as a sculptor at the University of the Witwatersrand, earning a Bachelor in Fine Arts in 1982 and a Masters in 1988, she nevertheless pursued a variety of artistic disciplines, regularly employing photomontage and sometimes using video in her practice. While working towards her Masters’ degree, she produced Butcher Boys (1985–6), an iconic work from this contentious era in South African history. The sculptural tableau presents three monstrous, grey nude male figures built from plaster over a gauze core and glazed with oil paint. Seated casually on a bench, their heads strikingly combine human and animal forms, with twisting horns and sealed-up mouths. While Butcher Boys, like many of the artist’s works, responded to its socio-historical context, Alexander typically has not produced explicitly political work or supplied interpretive statements, preferring pieces to remain open-ended in their meanings....

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Eleanor Jones Harvey

(b Allegheny, PA, Oct 7, 1856; d New York, May 31, 1915).

American painter and illustrator. He began his career in New York in 1875 as a political cartoonist and illustrator for Harper’s Weekly. In 1877 he went to Paris for his first formal art training, and then to Munich, where he enrolled at the Kunstakademie under Gyuala Benczúr. In 1878 he joined a colony of American painters established by Frank Duveneck in Polling, Bavaria. In 1879 they travelled to Italy, where Alexander formed friendships with James McNeill Whistler and Henry James. In 1881 he returned to New York, working as an illustrator for Harper’s, as a drawing instructor at Princeton and as a highly successful society portrait painter (see fig.). He also exhibited at the National Academy of Design. By 1893 his reputation in both Europe and America had soared, and in 1895 he was awarded a prestigious commission for a series of murals entitled the Evolution of the Book...

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[Pierre Urbain]

(b Paris, 1859; d Paris, 1937).

French writer and collector. He wrote for a number of journals including Le Figaro, Le Voltaire and L’Evénement. He was the first to use the term Neo-Impressionism in a French publication (L’Evénement, 10 Dec 1886) after its use by Félix Féneon in September in Art moderne in Brussels. His attitude to the emerging Neo-Impressionist movement was somewhat equivocal. In Paris (13 Aug 1888) he wrote of Seurat as ‘the man of great achievements who is in some danger of having the paternity of his own theory wrested from him by ill-informed critics or unscrupulous colleagues’. Although he admired Seurat, he had grave doubts about the effect of his theories on other artists, claiming (in the same article) that they had ‘spoilt some great talents, painters like Angrand and Signac’. His comments particularly infuriated Paul Signac and caused tension within the group. He also wrote on the work of the ...

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(b Valencia, Aug 5, 1927).

Spanish sculptor. In 1932 he entered the Institución Libre de Enseñanza, Valencia, directed by José de Navarro (b 1931) who had a great influence on his early education. He later studied at the Instituto Escuela in Valencia and in 1942 joined the Bachillerato Studios at the Colegio de S Tomás de Villanueva. The exhibition in Valencia in 1953 of work by the sculptor Rafael Alvarez Ortega greatly impressed Alfaro, encouraging his enthusiasm for experimental work. In 1955 he established contact with the artists José Solar Vidal Monjalés, Vicent Ventura, Pepe Iborra and Joan Fuster. In 1958 he visited Paris and Brussels, where he saw the major exhibition Les Années cinquante de l’art moderne. In the later 1950s he was associated with Aguliera Cerni, Eusebio Sempere and José Maria de Labra (b 1925), who were among the members of the Parpalló group of Valencian artists formed in Valencia in ...

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Monica E. Kupfer

(b Panama City, Sept 5, 1949).

Panamian painter. A graduate of the University of Panama’s Architecture School, he became a full time painter following his first solo exhibition in 1979. From 1980 to 1983 he studied at the Art Students League in New York, his only formal training as an artist. Alfaro is best known for his beautifully rendered oil paintings but has also produced drawings, pastels and three-dimensional pieces. His first images were portraits of young women surrounded by surreal elements or in dream settings. From 1983 he painted humorous images of traditional or religious subjects such as church processions, as well as portraits of imaginary ecclesiastical figures and war heroes; capitalizing on Panama’s strong Catholic tradition. Alfaro even invented his own saints, including the Virgin of All Secrets (1986; see colour pl. I, fig.). By 1990, his compositions became increasingly baroque, crowded with human figures in often menacing natural environments that suggest abundant iconographic, literary and historical interpretations. Towards the end of the decade, Alfaro began to isolate and increasingly distort his models, achieving an expressive deformation characteristic of his disturbing view of humanity and personal vision of surrealism....

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Alfonso  

Jerald R. Green

Spanish photographic firm. It was founded by Alfonso Sánchez García (b Ciudad Real, 21 Feb 1880; d Madrid, 13 Feb 1953) and later run with his son Alfonso [Alfonsito] Sánchez Portela (b Madrid, 16 Nov 1902). After apprenticeship to a number of important Madrid-based studio photographers, Alfonso Sánchez García alternated studio photography and photojournalism. In 1909 he covered the calamitous campaign in Spanish Morocco. A year later he opened the successful Madrid Alfonso studio and photographic agency, where his son Alfonsito was apprenticed. Alfonsito, known as Alfonso after 1930, published press photographs while still in his mid-teens, and in 1921 he accompanied his father on a trip to document the continuing hostilities in North Africa. A year later Alfonsito photographed the Moroccan chieftain Abd al-Karim, but it was during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923–30), the Spanish Republic (1931–6) and the Spanish Civil War (...

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Simone Rümmele

In