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Stephen Bann

(b London, Oct 27, 1902; d London, Dec 15, 1972).

English writer and painter. He was educated at Rugby School and Magdalen College, Oxford, graduating in 1923. He published his first books in 1925 and 1926. In the early 1930s, occasional writing for magazines finally resulted in two connected studies, The Quattro Cento (London, 1932) and Stones of Rimini (London, 1934), which testified to his friendship with contemporaries such as Ezra Pound and Ben Nicholson, as well as to his absorption in the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance. In promoting direct carving over modelling, Stokes was simultaneously recording his insight into great achievements of the 15th century, such as the Tempio Malatestiano at Rimini, while declaring his affinity with the reliefs and sculpture of Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. A series of brief yet remarkable reviews for the Spectator later in the decade (e.g. ‘Mr Ben Nicholson at the Lefevre Galleries’, 19 March 1937) helped him to make his support for these artists abundantly clear....


(b Minsk, Belorussia, Nov 21, 1893; d Łódź, Dec 26, 1952).

Polish painter, theoretician, typographer and draughtsman. On completion of his engineering studies at the Moscow Military Academy, he was drafted into the Tsarist army in 1914; seriously wounded, he subsequently began his artistic studies in the post-Revolutionary academies in Moscow, Vkhutemas and Inkhuk. In 1920–22 he was associated with Unovis, and during this period he was influenced by Suprematism, whose principles would in later years form the basis of his polemics. In 1921 he married the sculptor Katarzyna Kobro, and at the beginning of 1922 they both moved to Poland. He published his first articles on the Russian avant-garde in the Kraków periodical Zwrotnica in 1922. Strzemiński organized the Wystawa Nowej Sztuki (‘Exhibition of new art’) in Wilno (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1923, which acted as a manifesto of Polish Constructivism; he exhibited Suprematist architectural projects, Cubist paintings and Synthetic Compositions as well as Suprematist abstract works constructed from simple forms in contrasting colours. With Strzemiński’s help, in ...


Patrick Hutchings

The aesthetic concept of Sublime, the had been extensively discussed and developed in Europe throughout the 18th century, in particular by Edmund Burke in his work A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1756). Burke identified both the Sublime and the Beautiful as emotional responses to the landscape, but whereas the Beautiful was smooth, even, small and regular, the Sublime was vast, awe-inspiring and created a sense of ‘delightful horror’ in the viewer (Burke, Book I, §III; Book II, §VIII), that is a delight in horror that does not threaten the viewer. Obscurity, terror, eternity and infinity are also themes in Burke’s work, all of which can be read as substitutes for the fear of God. The Sublime in Nature is the first essay in The Australian Sketchbook (1838) by James Martin (1820–86) is one of the earliest references to the Sublime in Australia. Although Martin does not seem to have read Burke’s work, he too describes the notion of the ‘sublimity and power of the Creator’ seen everywhere in His works....


Mark Allen Svede

(b nr Cēsis, April 28, 1896; d Tbilisi, Georgia, July 14, 1944).

Latvian painter, printmaker, ceramicist, interior designer, tage and film set designer and theorist. He was the foremost ideologue for modernism in Latvia and was one of its greatest innovators. His militant defence of avant-garde principles befitted his experience as a soldier and as one of the artists who, after World War I, was denied a studio by the city officials and staged an armed occupation of the former premises of the Riga Art School. At the end of the war he painted in an Expressionist manner: In Church (1917; Riga, priv. col., see Suta, 1975, p. 19), for example, is an exaltation of Gothic form and primitivist rendering. Unlike his peers Jāzeps Grosvalds and Jēkabs Kazaks, he was extremely interested in Cubism and Constructivism, the theories of which informed his paintings, drawings, prints and occasional architectural projects of the 1920s. At this time he and his wife, the painter ...


Anis Farooqi

(b Simla, June 21, 1928; d April 25, 1994).

Indian painter and writer. After failing his examination as a pre-medical student at Delhi University in 1943, he went to Calcutta for 18 months and then returned to Delhi, where he worked for the Congress Socialist Party. In 1947 he joined the Communist Party but resigned in 1953. He supported himself by writing and translation work, and also painted. In 1958 he won a scholarship to study graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw but returned to Delhi after six months and worked with the artist Sailoz Mookherjea (1908–60). From 1958 to 1962 he also worked on the weekly magazine Link, writing a regular political column and acting as its art critic. In 1963 he launched the exhibition of Group 1890 in the Rabindra Bhavan Art Gallery, New Delhi, that established the reputation of the group. In 1966 he was the founder–editor of the art bulletin ...


Ewa Mikina

(b Oct 19, 1898; d Tatra Mountains, Aug 13, 1927).

Polish painter, draughtsman, designer, typographer and writer. From 1915 to 1920 he studied at the School of Fine Arts, Warsaw. Allusions and sometimes quotations from Italian 15th- and 16th-century painting give his earliest works, of 1918–20, a Dadaist character (e.g. the Miracle of St Mark). The works featured in his second one-man exhibition (1921), however, were spatial constructions and mobiles made from metal, glass and wood clearly showing the influence of Vladimir Tatlin. The drawing Christ at the Court-martial pointed to his later social concerns. Szczuka’s left-wing convictions were reflected in his artistic programme, which advocated a productivist, utilitarian version of Russian Constructivism. He gave up painting in order to experiment with different materials, and he introduced new techniques. In his theoretical texts he wrote of a post-bourgeois society in which it would be possible to bring down the barriers between art and work and where productive activity in every sphere would be creative....


Katalin Gellér

(b Kolozsvár [now Cluj-Napoca, Romania], May 8, 1835; d Mátyásföld [now part of Budapest], Aug 21, 1910).

Hungarian painter and illustrator. He studied drawing in Kolozsvár and in the early 1850s was taught by Carl Rahl and Nepomuk Geiger at the Akademie in Vienna, where he also briefly attended Ferdinand Waldmüller’s classes. After returning to Hungary, he painted portraits and also signboards for shops and inns in Transylvania (now in Romania) and Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic). From 1859 he studied at the Munich Akademie under Wilhelm von Kaulbach and Karl Theodor von Piloty. As Székely’s sketches (Budapest, N.G.) reveal, he was already a mature artist on his arrival in Munich, where he produced his first important history painting, the Discovery of the Corpse of King Louis II, and also a Self-portrait (both 1860; Budapest, N.G.), the latter being one of his most striking works. In 1859 he painted a series of scenes based on the life of Caravaggio and in 1863 a historical secco in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich. Székely then went on a study tour of France, Flanders and the Netherlands and, on his return to Hungary, began painting portraits as a means of supporting his family....


S. J. Vernoit

(b Tehran, 1937).

Iranian sculptor, painter, art historian and collector. He studied sculpture at the College of Fine Arts at Tehran University, graduating in 1956, and then attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara (1956–7) and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan (1958–9), where he worked under Marino Marini. In 1960 he began to teach at the College of Decorative Arts in Tehran, and in 1961 he was invited to the Minneapolis College of Arts and Design as a visiting artist, where he taught sculpture until 1963. In 1964 he returned to Tehran to teach sculpture at the College of Fine Arts. Primarily a sculptor, he worked with a range of materials, including bronze, copper, brass, scrap metal and clay. In the 1960s he contributed to the art movement in Iran known as Saqqakhana, and he made sculptures that were reminiscent of religious shrines and objects. Pairs of figures and fantastic birds were also common subjects. Themes from classical Persian literature also influenced him. He frequently rendered the word ...


Angel Kalenberg

(b Montevideo, July 28, 1874; d Montevideo, Aug 8, 1949).

Uruguayan painter, teacher and theorist, active also in Spain and France. His father was a Catalan emigrant from Mataró and his mother was Uruguayan. Financial problems forced the family to return to Catalonia in 1891, and he entered the Escuela de Artes y Oficios in Mataró. In 1892 he went to Barcelona, where he attended the Academia Baixas and became involved in the Cercle Artistic, also working as an illustrator for magazines and participating in various exhibitions. In 1903–4 he collaborated with Antoni Gaudí on the Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia (begun 1882) in Barcelona and on renovating the stained glass in the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca. In 1905, through the works he exhibited at the Sala Parés, his talent as a muralist was recognized by Eugenio d’Ors. He became involved in teaching and met Manolita Piña, whom he married in 1909. In 1910 he provided decorations for the Uruguayan pavilion at the Exposition Universelle et Internationale in Brussels. In ...


Mariana Katzarova

(b Kyustendil, Jan 1, 1896; d Sofia, April 5, 1961).

Bulgarian painter, teacher and critic. From 1915 to 1920 he studied at the National Academy of Arts (Natsionalna Hudozhestvena Academia) in Sofia, in 1921 at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna and in 1922–5 under Hugo von Habermann (b 1849) at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. During the 1930s he travelled extensively in Mexico and Cuba, where he was influenced by the art of the Mexican muralists and by the colour and vitality of Latin American painting in general. At this time he painted landscapes and portraits in oils, in which he balanced the poetic expression of colours and rhythms with simple and monumental, yet decorative, forms, as in Mulatto Women Picking Citrus Fruit (1934; Sofia, C.A.G.) and Sea Gulf (1940; Sofia, N.A.G.). He became well-known as a painter of portraits (e.g. Boy with a Soccer Ball, 1938; Sofia, N.A.G.) and of still-lifes (e.g. ...


Morgan Falconer

revised by Yisoon Kim

(b Kyongsangnamdo, 1936).

South Korean theorist, painter and sculptor. Lee settled in Japan in 1956. He studied Oriental painting at Seoul National University and he graduated from Nihon University, Tokyo, in 1961, with a degree in philosophy. Lee was particularly fascinated with Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger and Nishida Kitaro, and their philosophical thoughts became the basis of his artwork and theory of the Monoha (School of Things), one of the important movements in Japanese art of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Lee led the Mono-ha, named for a group of artists who presented almost unprocessed things as they are. The main idea in the Mono-ha is to ‘surpass modernism’. It refuses the Cartesian paradigm, an essential basis of the modern movement in the West, which clearly distinguishes between subject and object, agent and the other. In particular, Lee’s call to ‘surpass modernism’ criticized the supreme role of the artist as the agent of creating artworks....


W. Iain Mackay

(b Lima, May 11, 1911; d Lambayeque, Peru, Aug 23, 2004).

Peruvian painter, sculptor, teacher and critic. His adolescence was spent in Germany and Spain. In 1929 he went to Buenos Aires, studying first (until 1932) at the Escuela Superior Nacional de Artes and then (1933–6) at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes ‘Ernesto de la Cárcova’. In 1940 he returned to Lima, where he struggled against being absorbed into the Indigenist movement and joined the group Los Independientes, whose members promoted European styles, although not to the exclusion of Peruvian subject-matter (see also Peru, Republic of §IV 2.). In 1944 he began teaching at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Lima, becoming its Director in 1956. Ugarte Eléspuru’s paintings are characterized by rich textures and colours and are often purely abstract (e.g. Death of Pachacamac the Bullfighter, 1961; Lima, Mus. A.), although in such murals as Urban Education (5.0×6.0 m, 1956; Lima, Ministerio de Educación) he refers broadly to the strong figures and social comment of Mexican murals by Diego Rivera and others. His sculptures include the bust of ...


Belinda Thomson

(b Lausanne, Dec 28, 1865; d Paris, Dec 28, 1925).

Swiss printmaker, painter and critic, active in France. He attended school in Lausanne, then moved to Paris in 1882 and enrolled as an art student at the Académie Julian. Paris remained his main base for the rest of his life, although he returned regularly to Switzerland to see his family. He became a close friend of Charles Cottet and Charles Maurin, who was his teacher and mentor. As a student, copying in the Louvre, Vallotton was drawn to the minute realism of the earlier masters, in particular Holbein, whose work he sought to emulate. He succeeded in having portraits accepted by the Salon jury in 1885 and 1886.

Vallotton was primarily a printmaker. He first made a drypoint etching in 1881. Between 1888 and 1892, to make ends meet, he produced reproductive etchings after such artists as Rembrandt and Millet, and from 1891 to 1895 he worked as Paris art correspondent for the ...


Annemieke Hoogenboom

(b Dordrecht, May 18, 1864; d Amsterdam, July 1, 1925).

Dutch painter, graphic artist, poet and critic. He was trained by August Allebé at the Amsterdam Rijksacademie. The circle of Allebé’s pupils with whom he associated, including George Hendrik Breitner, Willem Witsen and Jacobus van Looy, were known as the ‘Amsterdam school’ and were closely linked with the literary world. In 1885 Veth became involved with the avant-garde periodical De Nieuwe Gids. The reviews he wrote for it advocated an individualistic aestheticism which is not, however, manifested in his own paintings of this period; the rather naive realism of the portrait of his sisters Cornelia, Clara and Johanna Veth (1884–5; Amsterdam, Rijksmus.) is typical. The unforced portrait of the poet Albert Verwey (1865–1937) of 1885 (Amsterdam, Stedel. Mus.), dominated by blue-green and grey colours, is nearer to an assertion of mood. Around 1886 Veth attempted landscape painting under the tutelage of Anton Mauve, with whom he went on study trips in the countryside. Drawings and etchings of subjects from peasant life date from this time. Some of Veth’s etchings, including ...


Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....


V. S. Turchin

( Aleksandrovich )

(b Kiev, May 16, 1877; d Koktebel’, Crimea, July 31, 1932).

Russian painter, poet, theorist and critic of Ukrainian birth. He travelled extensively in Europe between 1899 and 1914 and for several years lived in Paris. From 1917 he lived mainly at Koktebel’. He was a self-taught artist; his talent was soon recognized and he exhibited with the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) group. He was a Symbolist, re-creating in his watercolours a mythological image of the Crimea. The watercolours are often accompanied by a verse commentary. ‘The Voloshin House’ was a gathering place for artists and poets and still houses Voloshin’s large library, together with a photoarchive and his letters. He wrote for the magazines Vesy, Zolotoye Runo, Rus’ and Apollon, publishing articles on Vasily Surikov, Konstanin Bogayevsky, Martiros Saryan, Anna Golubkina, Mikhail Nesterov and Claude Monet. His main theoretical work on painting is ‘Skelet zhivopisi’. He suggests that painting consists of ‘basic colour combinations’, that creativity is ‘the ability to control the subconscious’ and that ‘the brain of man is like a book in which the whole of the history of the world is written, most brilliantly embodied in dreams’. He added that ‘artists are the eyes of humanity; they reveal images that no one has seen before’....


(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 ...


Chr. Will

( Arnold )

(b Amsterdam, Aug 13, 1860; d Amsterdam, April 13, 1923).

Dutch painter, printmaker, photographer and critic . He came from an old Amsterdam family of wealthy aristocrats with strong cultural ties. From 1876 to 1884 he was a pupil of August Allebé at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. J. W. Kaiser (1813–1900) and Rudolf Stang (1831–1927) instructed him in graphic arts. In 1880 he co-founded St Luke’s Society of Artists with Jacobus van Looy and Antoon Derkinderen. In 1882 he visited Paris with van Looy. Between 1883 and 1888 he worked regularly at his family estate, Ewijkshoeve, south of Baarn, often staying there in the company of artistic friends—writers and musicians, as well as painters. With Jan Veth he founded the Nederlandsche Etsclub (Dutch Etching Club), which from 1885 made a strong contribution to the revival of etching in the Netherlands. Witsen was the first among his circle of friends to have his own etching press and also a camera....


Josh Yiu

[Wang Wuxie; Wang Wu-hsieh]

(b Dongguan, Guangdong Province, 1936).

Hong Kong painter and educator of Chinese birth, active also in the USA. Born in Guangdong Province, Wucius Wong moved to Hong Kong in 1938. He joined the Modern Literature and Art Association in 1956 as an aspiring poet, but focused on painting under the tutelage of Lui Shou-kwan. From 1961 to 1965, Wong earned a BFA and MFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design and Maryland Institute respectively. In 1967 he served as Assistant Curator of the City Hall Museum and Art Gallery (later Hong Kong Museum of Art) until 1970, when he received the John D. Rockefeller III grant. Wong taught graphic design from 1974 to 1984 at Hong Kong Polytechnic (later Hong Kong Polytechnic University). In 1984 Wong resigned from teaching to devote himself full time to painting, and then emigrated to the United States. In 1996 he relocated to Hong Kong permanently.

Raised and educated during Hong Kong’s colonial period and with formal art training from the United States, Wucius Wong’s career had a distinct trajectory that was least politically motivated when compared to other modern Chinese artists. He felt a deep-seated rootlessness and identity crisis for much of his life, as is illustrated in his ...