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Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Žlutice, nr Nový Bydžov, Aug 24, 1885; d Prague, May 12, 1946).

Bohemian painter and printmaker. After graduating from the School of the Locksmith’s Art at Hradec Králové, he moved to Prague, where he studied under the landscape painter Ferdinand Engelmüller (1867–1924), before enrolling in 1903 at the Academy of Fine Arts. Dissatisfied with the teaching, he left without completing his studies. From 1907 to 1908 he lived in Dubrovnik, where he painted in the Fauvist style. In 1909 he became a member of the Mánes Union of Artists, which he left in 1911 along with several of his colleagues to co-found the Cubist-oriented Group of Plastic Artists (see Czech Cubism). He did not accept Cubist aesthetics without reservation, preferring energetic brushstrokes and an emphasis on rhythm, which he applied universally in motifs of washerwomen, women bathers and landscapes. In 1912 he withdrew from the Group of Plastic Artists, re-joining instead the Mánes Union. He came closest to ...

Article

Sergey Kuznetsov

(b Lohu, Rapla district, April 22, 1889; d Tartu, Dec 30, 1966).

Estonian sculptor. In 1911–13 he visited Munich, Paris and the Åland Islands with Jan Koort, Konrad Mägi and Nikolai Trii (1884–1940). During World War I he was in Germany where he worked with Franz Metzner and was strongly influenced by the Expressionism of Wilhelm Lehmbruck. After returning to Estonia he founded the Pallas art school in Tartu, of which he was director (1929–40), and he opened a sculpture studio for work in granite. During the 1920s he participated in the national movement and created a series of monuments to those who struggled for independence, as for example in Türi (granite and bronze, 1922). These monuments can be compared, in form and philosophical content, with the ensemble of the Latvian Karlis Zāle, the Brothers’ Cemetery (1924–38) in Riga. Starkopf developed his own Expressionist vocabulary in his work, which uses the human figure to express a simple and powerful emotion, and which has often been placed in an outdoor setting, particularly in gardens in Tartu, including his ...

Article

(b Zerków, nr Posen, Germany [now Poznań, Poland], May 27, 1887; d Nahariya, Israel, 1968).

Israeli printmaker and painter of German birth. He attended the Akademie der Künste in Berlin in 1906 and in 1907 studied painting with Lovis Corinth and etching with the German painter Hermann Struck (1876–1944). He went to Paris in 1907 and here he studied first under Jean-Paul Laurens, then under Matisse and Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen. After returning briefly to Berlin in 1910 he visited Italy the following year. In Berlin again in 1912 he co-founded Die Pathetiker group together with Ludwig Meidner and the German painter Richard Janthur (b 1883); they had their first group show at the Sturm-Galerie that year. The group emphasized dramatic content over artistic form and the resulting works, such as Steinhardt’s oil The City (1913; Berlin, Neue N.G.), reveal the characteristic Expressionist style. Die Pathetiker (Berlin, 1912), a portfolio of the group’s work, included etchings by Steinhardt.

While serving in the German army in World War I Steinhardt successfully exhibited 50 drawings at the ...

Article

Esmé Berman

(b Schweizer-Renecke, Transvaal, Oct 2, 1894; d Cape Town, Aug 23, 1966).

South African painter. She was studying art in Germany at the outbreak of World War I and thus began her career in Berlin. There she associated with the Expressionists; Max Pechstein was particularly encouraging and helped to arrange her first exhibition (Berlin, 1919). Stern returned to South Africa in 1920 and exhibited in Cape Town. Undaunted by an outraged reaction, she continued to employ a subjective use of colours and vigorous linear distortions, creating a large, distinctive and forceful oeuvre, sustained by her wide travels in Africa and Europe.

Natural vitality and fruitfulness are Stern’s primary themes. Fruit, flowers and especially people crowd her canvases. During the 1920s and 1930s she created vivid images of scenes and figures encountered in African villages. Such paintings as Pondo Woman (1929; Pretoria, A. Mus.) exemplify her sensuous delight in the physical grace of the tribal peoples and in the lush, tropical surroundings as yet unspoilt by civilized incursions. During the 1940s Stern travelled in East Africa. Her depictions of Arab figures and Muslim themes painted in Zanzibar (now in Tanzania), for example ...

Article

David Anfam

(b Grandin, ND, Nov 30, 1904; d Baltimore, MD, June 23, 1980).

American painter. His best-known work is associated with Abstract Expressionism, although he had established the basis for a strongly original style and outlook before any contact with New York art circles. His early life was divided between Washington state, where he was educated, and a prairie homestead in southern Alberta, Canada. Domestic tensions and the vicissitudes of farm life added an embattled note to his rugged though sensitive intellect. He was also deeply influenced by the vast flatness of the Canadian landscape, which became more desolate during an extended period of drought and depression after 1917. Early paintings such as the Row of Grain Elevators (1929; Washington, DC, Smithsonian Amer. A. Mus.) depict the agricultural environment of the prairies in a vigorous, somewhat crude manner reminiscent of Regionalism (see Regionalism). Yet they also stress the symbolic polarities that the artist described as the ‘vertical necessity of life’ rising against the horizontal, so that the anatomy of the human figure remained a seminal concern. Among other early stylistic traits were the reduction of form to essentials, compositions often structured around a central mass and the device of animating sombre colour schemes with small bright accents. Throughout his career, Still produced many works on paper....

Article

Helen Boorman

Magazine published in Berlin from 1910 to 1932 which promoted the avant-garde in Germany. It is particularly well known for its reproduction of original Expressionist graphics and woodcuts. It was founded and edited by Herwarth Walden, who had worked for brief periods as editor for the journals Der neue Weg and Das Theater (1908–10), before founding Der Sturm, the Sturm-Galerie (1911–27) and the Sturm publishing house. Der Sturm was an important carrier of the work and ideas of leading German and European modernist writers and painters before World War I and introduced the work of the Italian Futurists and French Cubists to Germany; it also, however, included articles on a wide variety of topical issues, including birth control, women’s rights and legal cases. The use of daily-newspaper format (three columns in bold Roman type) meant that artistic affairs appeared as ‘news’, allowing Der Sturm to play a polemical role in contemporary debates. Walden’s own editorials were mostly satirical, including vicious attacks on German cultural nationalism, the parochial tastes and prejudices of the German bourgeoisie, and, above all, art criticism....

Article

Francesc Fontbona de Vallescar

(b Barcelona, March 11, 1927).

Spanish Catalan sculptor and printmaker. He studied under Enric Monjo (1896–1976) between 1942 and 1947, and in 1947 under Enric Casanovas (1882–1948), whose initial influence gave way by 1951 to an Expressionist style, first based on the human body, but by 1955 fully abstract. The most important work of Subirachs’s Expressionist style is the ensemble of bronze images and mural reliefs for the sanctuary of the Virgen del Camino in León (1957–61). His Form 212 (concrete, h. 1.8 m, 1957; Barcelona, entrance to Llars Mundet gardens) and Marine Evocation (bronze, h. 3.7 m, 1958–60; Barcelona, Passeig Nacional) were the first abstract sculptures to be erected in public places in Barcelona and aroused a polemic between the partisans of the avant-garde and the advocates of traditionalism. His abstract works looked static but were frequently dominated by a physical tension created by elements such as wedges and turnbuckles. Stone, iron, bronze and wood were often used in the same sculpture. In ...

Article

Cecilia Suárez

(b Guayaquil, 1930).

Ecuadorean painter. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Guayaquil. In 1955 he received a grant to go to Spain, and he lived in Barcelona until 1964. He first used Expressionism as a reaction against indigenism; Tábara’s work was central to the Latin American movement, which began to abandon social realism in the 1950s. In his early work he painted characters on the margins of society in a hard and grotesque manner. From 1953 he started to experiment with abstraction, and in the 1960s he constructed a language of magical and mythical connotations derived from Pre-Columbian calligraphy. His work from this period is rich in texture, combining elements glued to the canvas, serial calligraphy, and telluric forms. In 1969 he began to search for new signs, notably feet and legs (his pata-pata motif), and from 1985 he revitalized his use of color and added leafy vegetation to the feet and legs in his quest to create morphologies compatible with the mythical culture of American man. Tábara exhibited worldwide to great critical acclaim....

Article

Toru Asano

[Tetsuharu]

(b Kagoshima, April 28, 1897; d Kumamoto, April 25, 1978).

Japanese painter. He moved to Tokyo at an early age and graduated from Aoyama Gakuin Middle School in 1914. He became familiar with the work of the Futurists, Cubists and Expressionists through the composer Kōsaku Yamada (1886–1965), who had recently returned from studying in Germany. In 1915 Tōgō held a one-man show in Hibiya, Tokyo, of works that revealed the influence of these European styles. On the recommendation of Ikuma Arishima (1882–1974), an oil painter and one of the founder-members of the Nikakai, he showed the Futurist work Woman with Parasol (priv. col., see Uemura, pl. 2) in the third exhibition of the Nikakai (Jap. ‘second division society’; an association of artists influenced by Western styles founded in 1914) in 1916, for which he was awarded the Nika prize. In 1921 he went to France, also visiting Marinetti in Turin. There he participated briefly in the ...

Article

Gisèle Ollinger-Zinque

(b Brussels, April 28, 1879; d Brussels, Jan 10, 1957).

Belgian painter, printmaker and writer. He learned to draw in his father’s lithography studio. In 1900 Tytgat entered the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and studied under Constant Montald. His first paintings were influenced by Symbolism and in particular the work of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, whom he admired. He met Rik Wouters in 1907, and the two became friends. World War I drove him into exile, and he lived as a refugee in England until 1920. There, he not only painted but also made prints, including woodcuts and linocuts with the help of his wife, Maria. She was also his model for the numerous canvases painted in London, for example The Pose (1918; Brussels, Mus. A. Mod.). His early work was full of sensitivity, using bright tones that accentuated delicate greys in an impressionistic manner. Towards 1925 Tytgat became aware of Expressionism. His plasticity grew stronger, and his colours darker, and his desire for simplification came to dominate the forms (e.g. ...

Article

Robert Hoozee

[Fredericus]

(b Ghent, April 3, 1883; d Ghent, Sept 23, 1939).

Belgian painter and printmaker. He studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Ghent (1891–1903) and grew up in an intellectual environment. Like his friend Gustave De Smet, with whom he worked closely, almost until the end of his life, he began his painting career with a compromise between Symbolism and Impressionism, working sometimes in Ghent, sometimes near the artists’ colony at Laethem-Saint-Martin. He painted primarily portraits, interiors and landscapes. During World War I he moved to the Netherlands and stayed there with De Smet and other Flemish artists in Amsterdam and Blaricum successively. In the Netherlands, he became acquainted with Dutch painters including Leo Gestel and the French émigré, Henri Le Fauconnier. Under the influence of Fauvism, Cubism, German Expressionism and Futurism, Van den Berghe painted a series of important canvases, mostly figure compositions and portraits, in which one can note the gradual development of a cubistic-expressionistic formal language. He also made woodcuts such as ...

Article

H. Alexander Rich

(b Segovia, Spain, June 20, 1903; d Bridgehampton, NY, Jan 10, 2001).

American painter and teacher of Spanish birth. One of the last surviving members of the first generation of Abstract Expressionists, Vicente arrived in New York from Spain as an innovative synthesizer of earlier European styles, working his way from portrait and nature painting through landscapes and Cubism before arriving at his mature New York School-inflected manner of large-scale abstract collage and stain paintings.

Born in Segovia, but growing up in Madrid, he was undoubtedly influenced by his father, a former military officer who also dabbled in painting and who often took his son to the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Vicente enrolled at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S. Fernando in Madrid to study sculpture in 1921.

Although sculpting occupied Vicente for three years at the Academy, where Salvador Dalí was a classmate, by the time he moved to Paris in 1929 Vicente had re-branded himself a painter. That same year, he showed his work for the first time in the Salon des Surindépendants. Vicente painted primarily from nature, composing landscapes that fused ...

Article

Ingrid Severin

( Georg Lewin )

(b Berlin, Sept 16, 1879; d Saratov, Russia, Oct 31, 1941).

German writer, editor and critic, active also in Russia. He attended the Königstätter Gymnasium and the Leibnizgymnasium in Berlin and studied the piano, composition and musicology under Conrad Ansorge, becoming a notable pianist. He visited Florence in 1897–8 on a Franz Liszt scholarship, subsequently working in Berlin as a pianist and composer of operas, symphonies, pantomimes, piano works and songs. His acquaintances included Arnold Schoenberg, who aroused his interest in 12-note music and the theories of the German musicologist Else Lasker-Schüler, whom Walden married. The first society founded by Walden was the Beethoven-Verein; in 1904 he founded the ‘Verein für Kunst’ in Berlin and then the society’s publishing house, which published Schoenberg. From 1908 he was co-editor of the weekly Morgen; he was also joint-editor of Der Komet and Nord und Süd in 1908, and chief editor of Der neue Weg. On 3 March 1910 the first issue of ...

Article

Nancy G. Heller

Group of American painters based in Washington, DC, who from the mid-1950s responded to Abstract Expressionism by producing non-gestural, totally abstract canvases that stressed the optical effects created by the interrelationships of various colours. Named retrospectively in a survey exhibition held in 1965, they worked in a number of different styles including those loosely referred to as Post-painterly Abstraction, Hard-edge painting and Colour field painting , but all used acrylic paints. One of the most influential of the painters, Morris Louis, moved in 1952 from his native Baltimore to Washington, DC, where he met several like-minded artists at the Washington Workshop for the Arts, founded by local painter Leon Berkowitz (1915–87). Following the example of Helen Frankenthaler, Louis began in the early 1950s to pour extremely thin acrylic paints directly on to unprimed canvases to produce ‘stains’ of overlapping, translucent colours. The work of most of his colleagues, however, and particularly that of ...

Article

Shulamith Behr

( von )

(b Tula, nr Moscow, Sept 11, 1860; d Ascona, Feb 6, 1938).

Russian painter, active in Switzerland . Her father was a commander-general in the Russian army and her mother a trained artist who encouraged Werefkin to draw from an early age. In 1883 Werefkin attended the Moscow Art School, receiving tuition from Illarion Pryanishnikov (1840–94), a member of the Wanderers group. In St Petersburg this Realist direction was reinforced from 1886 by her private tutor Il’ya Repin, with whom she studied for ten years. A hunting accident in 1888 crippled the thumb and index finger of her right hand, but Werefkin persevered with her career, contributing to the first exhibition of the St Petersburg Artists’ Association in 1891. At this time she concentrated on large oil paintings, predominantly character portraits, in dark colours (Russian Peasant in Fur; 1890, priv. col., see 1980 exh. cat.). At Repin’s studio in 1891 she met Alexei Jawlenski, who became her constant companion.

After the death of her father in ...

Article

(b Leens, April 29, 1882; d Bakkeveen, April 10, 1945).

Dutch painter and printmaker . In 1896 he saw an exhibition of Vincent van Gogh’s work, and when he started to paint in 1917, it was initially in an Expressionistic style, akin to that of van Gogh, but later in a manner which was close to the expressionism of De Ploeg (The Plough), the Groningen artists’ society that he joined in 1920. In 1922 he saw an exhibition in Groningen of the art of De Stijl artists. His printing business, which he had run from 1907, went bankrupt in 1923; after this he continued to print but at a smaller business. In addition to commercial print he produced posters, programmes for De Ploeg and the magazine the Next Call, through which he reached the European avant-garde.

Werkman’s vrije werken-druksels (free work-prints), as he called them, were, until 1929, abstract compositions with geometric shapes, letters and figures, which betray the influence of De Stijl and of Constructivism. In ...

Article

(b The Hague, Oct 4, 1885; d Amsterdam, 1989).

Dutch architect, writer, furniture designer and teacher . He trained in the offices of J. van Straaten (1897–9) and P. J. H. Cuypers (1900–04), and he became acquainted with K. P. C. de Bazel and J. L. Mathieu Lauweriks, the leaders of the Nieuwe Kunst movement. From 1905 to 1908 he worked in England in J. Groll’s office and attended evening classes at the Lambeth School of Art. He worked with L. M. Cordonnier first on the Vredespalais in The Hague and then from 1911 to 1914 in Lille. He returned to the Netherlands during World War I, entering architectural competitions and designing furniture and toys. He also wrote articles for architectural periodicals and in 1918 began directing Wendingen, the periodical of the Amsterdam school . In that year he visited Berlin, where he met the Expressionist architect Erich Mendelsohn and the critic Alfred Behne. He began to concentrate on producing utopian plans, such as the reorganization of Vondelpark (...

Article

(b Warsaw, Feb 24, 1885; d Jeziory, Polesie, Sept 17, 1939).

Polish writer, art theorist, painter and photographer . He was the son of the architect, painter and critic Stanisław Witkiewicz (1851–1915), creator of the ‘Zakopane style’ ( see Poland, Republic of §II 3. ). He spent his childhood in Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains and was educated at his family home, a place frequented by artists and intellectuals, and also through his many travels to Eastern and Western Europe. From his wide acquaintance with contemporary art, he was particularly impressed by the paintings of Arnold Böcklin. Witkiewicz’s often interrupted studies (1904–10) under Józef Mehoffer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków had less influence than his lessons in Zakopane and Brittany with Władysław Slewiński, who introduced him to the principles of Gauguin’s Synthetism. Witkiewicz abandoned the naturalism of his first landscapes, executed under the influence of his father, rejected linear perspective and modelling and began to use flat, well-contoured forms and vivid colours, as in ...

Article

Anna Bentkowska

(b Warsaw, Dec 29, 1879; d Warsaw, June 14, 1909).

Polish painter . His unsystematic training began in 1898 at the Warsaw Drawing School and continued at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (1903–6). He anticipated Polish Expressionism and was one of the most intriguing and inventive artists of the period. An ironic sense and the grotesque motifs in his works bear a similarity to James Ensor’s art. The roots of Wojtkiewicz’s art, however, are local. He admired the modernist paintings of Stanisław Wyspiański and Jacek Malczewski, and he held aesthetic ideas similar to those of the Romantic poet and painter Cyprian Kamil Norwid (1821–83) and of Stanisław Przybyszewski (1868–1927) and Edward Abramowski, the authors of Expressionist manifestos. He began his short career as an illustrator and postcard designer. His first known work, a watercolour entitled Spring Is Approaching (1900; Warsaw, N. Mus.), already shows tragic irony, depicting dead birds on snow-covered ground. After ...

Article

Christa Lichtenstern

[ Zadkin, Osip ]

(b Vitebsk, July 14, 1890; d Paris, Nov 25, 1967).

French sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker of Belorussian birth. He spent his childhood in Smolensk in a circle of cultured and assimilated Jews. His father was a convert to the Orthodox Church, and his mother came from an immigrant family of Scottish shipwrights. While staying with his mother’s relatives in Sunderland, northern England, in 1905, he attended the local art school and taught himself to carve furniture ornaments. At the age of 16 he continued his artistic training in London, taking evening classes in life drawing and making his living as an ornamental woodcarver. During this time he became friendly with the painter David Bomberg. He continued his studies at the Regent Street Polytechnic, London, and later, in 1908, at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, where he concentrated on techniques in wood.

Early works such as Volga Boatmen (1908; destr.) were oriented towards a socially critical realism. During a brief return to Russia in summer ...