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Article

Alexandra Kennedy

(b Quito, Sept 10, 1913; d Quito, April 11, 1990).

Ecuadorean sculptor and engraver. He studied sculpture at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Quito, graduating in 1932. He was a pupil of Luigi Cassadio (fl 1915–33), an Italian sculptor who stimulated sculptural activity in the school and whom Andrade succeeded as professor. With his Mother Earth (Quito, Mus. Mun. Alberto Mena Caamaño), Andrade won the Mariano Aguilera national prize in 1940. His early work was realist and academic, but in 1941 he studied mural composition with the Ecuadorean artist Camilo Egas at the New School for Social Research in New York. His previous low reliefs in stone and wood were transformed into vast murals depicting stylized and geometric human scenes (e.g. the untitled mural, 18×9 m, at the Universidad Central del Ecuador in Quito, 1949–54). In the late 1960s he used hammered steel sheeting in his sculptures, and in the 1970s he executed what he called his ‘flying sculptures’ (e.g. ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Arezzo, Feb 2, 1916; d Buenos Aires, Feb 11, 2001).

Argentine sculptor, painter, printmaker and draughtsman of Italian birth. After completing his studies at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires in 1945, he went on study trips around Latin America (1945–6) and Europe (1949). He became a naturalized citizen of Argentina in 1947 and from 1949 he participated in the Salones Nacionales, winning various awards. He soon won a reputation as one of Argentina’s most outstanding sculptors, working in marble, bronze, wood, cement and clay. Torrent (marble, 1953; Buenos Aires, Mus. N. B.A.), a semi-abstract female nude composed of smooth curved planes, typifies one aspect of his work: his treatment of themes of fecundity, motherhood and the family, using rounded forms to which he attached a symbolic value. The titles associated with some of these material forms, such as Time (bronze, 1959; Buenos Aires, Mus. A. Mod.), indicate the way they are meant to be read....

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Torroella de Montgri, Catalonia, March 3, 1911; d Buenos Aires, Oct 8, 1966).

Argentine painter, printmaker, illustrator, sculptor and stage designer of Spanish Catalan birth. He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1913. Although his uncle, José Planas Casas (b Catalonia, 1900; d Argentina, 1960), taught him the rudiments of art, he was basically self-taught and began to exhibit his work in 1934. Synthesizing ideas from Zen philosophy, psychoanalysis and the theories on cosmic energy espoused by the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich with his interests in automatism, poetry and painting, he found a creative sense of direction from an early age. He applied his methods not only to paintings but to stage designs, illustrations, collages, prints, polychrome sculptures and boxlike constructions; as a painter he worked both in tempera and in oil, and he also produced 72 murals.

In 1936 Batlle Planas inaugurated a Surrealist phase with a series entitled Paranoiac X-rays, followed by another group of pictures, Tibetan Series, populated by spectral figures related to works by Yves Tanguy. Between ...

Article

Jorge Glusberg

(b Rosario, May 14, 1905; d Buenos Aires, Oct 13, 1981).

Argentine painter, sculptor and printmaker. He trained at the stained-glass window workshop of Buxadera & Compañía, Rosario, province of Santa Fé, and with Eugenio Fornels and Enrique Munné. He held his first exhibition in 1920. At the age of 20 he won a scholarship for study in Europe awarded by the Jockey Club of Rosario, which enabled him to study in Paris under André Lhote and with Othon Friesz at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. After showing his European works in Buenos Aires in 1927 he obtained another scholarship, this time from the government of the province of Santa Fé, as a result of which he established contact with the Surrealists in 1928; in particular he befriended Louis Aragon and the French philosopher Henri Lefebvre.

Berni returned to Argentina in 1930. In 1933 he established an artistic–literary group, Nuevo Realismo, and began to depict Argentina’s social reality. From the 1960s, through two characters he created (Juanito Laguna and Ramona Montiel) he began to create works from pieces of metal and wood, buttons, burlap, wires and other debris gathered by him in the shantytowns surrounding Buenos Aires. Combining in these works commonplace materials and a brutal realism (e.g. ...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Guatemala City, Sept 16, 1781; d Guatemala City, Nov 21, 1845).

Guatemalan painter, printmaker, and medallist. He entered the mint in 1795 as an apprentice engraver but on the recommendation of its director, Pedro Garci-Aguirre, also became Master Corrector at the Escuela de Dibujo de la Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País, Guatemala City, in 1796, holding the post until 1804. He continued working at the mint until 1809 and demonstrated outstanding skill both as a medallist and engraver of coins and as an engraver and etcher. He returned to the mint in 1823 as second engraver, remaining in the post until his death.

Despite the quality of his work as a printmaker and medallist, Cabrera gained artistic recognition especially as a miniature painter, working mostly in watercolour on ivory in a meticulous technique. He produced some miniatures on religious themes and others of birds, but the majority, measuring no more than 50 mm in height or width, were portraits of members of the Guatemalan aristocracy and bourgeoisie. It is not known exactly how many he produced, but from the middle of the 1830s he began to number them, starting from 500; the highest known number of the approximately 200 authenticated miniatures is 745. Although he suffered some illness, he was most productive during the last five years of his life. An evolution can be discerned from his earliest works, dating from ...

Article

Karen Cordero Reiman

(b Cadereyta, nr Monterrey, March 3, 1908; d Mexico City, Jan 29, 1989).

Mexican painter, sculptor and printmaker. He studied at the Escuela de Pintura al Aire Libre at Coyoacán in the early 1920s and independently with Spanish sculptor Mateo Hernández and the Catalan José de Creeft. Although younger than the major figures of post-revolutionary Mexican art, his work reflected their influence in the use of Pre-Columbian themes in his mural and sculptural work and in occasional references to indigenous types. In general, however, it was distinguished by the ephemeral, melancholic, linear quality of his figures, clearly influenced by Botticelli and by Picasso’s Blue Period; harlequins, romantic poets and women with flowing hair were common subjects in his paintings, which were primarily portraits, religious scenes and allegorical compositions. In 1945 he began an association with the printmaker Carlos Alvarado Lang, and the resulting engravings showed fine linear elegance (e.g. the Communion Rail, 1945–6; Monterrey, La Purísima). Throughout the 1960s he produced sculpted reliefs and free-standing sculptures for the buildings of the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social; in these works Cantú came close to the massive qualities associated with the Mexican school, but his figures’ volume was still tempered by linear detailing....

Article

Roberto Pontual

(b Paraisópolis, 1920; d Rio de Janeiro, Nov 22, 2002).

Brazilian sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker. Moving from the interior to the capital of Minas Gerais, he studied drawing and painting with Alberto da Veiga Guignard in Belo Horizonte from 1942 to 1950. He then went to Rio de Janeiro, where he began to show preference for sculpture and worked extensively as a graphic designer, making his name by redesigning the daily newspaper Jornal do Brasil. Already a Constructivist, in 1959 he signed the Neo-Concrete Manifesto, participating in exhibitions of the Grupo Neoconcreto until 1961 and in the international exhibition of Concrete art in Zurich (1960). Awarded a trip abroad by the Salão Nacional de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, from 1967 to 1969 he lived in New Jersey, where in 1968 he was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship. On his return to Brazil he settled in Belo Horizonte. In his sculpture, mainly in sheet iron, he continued to use a language of extreme economy (...

Article

Paul Von Blum

(b Washington, DC, April 15, 1915; d Cuernavaca, Mexico, April 3, 2012).

African American sculptor, printmaker, and art educator, active also in Mexico. One of the leading African American feminist and political artists of the 20th century and early 21st century, Catlett devoted her career of more than 60 years to expressing critical ideas in powerful visual form both in the United States and in her adopted country of Mexico. Her strong academic background began at Howard University, Washington, DC, where she studied under African American art luminaries James Porter (d 1939), James Wells (1902–93), and Lois Jones. After graduating in 1937, she completed her MFA in 1940 at the University of Iowa.

In 1941 she married the artist Charles White. Visiting Mexico, they found the Mexican mural and printmaking tradition artistically and politically engaging. After her first marriage ended in 1946, she moved to Mexico in the wake of American post-war political repression. While working at the Taller de Gráfica Popular in Mexico City, she met the Mexican artist Francisco Mora (...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Guatemala City, Dec 5, 1939).

Guatemalan painter, sculptor, printmaker and architect. Although he studied architecture at the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala (1959–61), as an artist he was essentially self-taught. One of the most important abstract artists in Guatemala, he worked in a variety of media, favouring new materials and bold geometric forms. As an architect he co-designed two important public buildings in Guatemala City: a library at the Universidad de San Carlos known as the Edificio de Recursos Educativos (1969; with Augusto de León Fajardo), and the Instituto de Fomento Municipal (1973). He produced a number of murals in Guatemala City: Genesis (clay, 5 sq. m) in the residence of the architect Max Holzheu; Genesis (1972; Banco Inmobiliario Col.); Nest of Quetzals (acrylic, 1974; Inst. Fomento Mun.); Fissure (concrete, 9 sq. m, 1975; Casa Salem); Untitled (concrete and mirror, 160 sq. m, 1980) at the Cámara Guatemalteca de la Construcción; and ...

Article

Cynthia Haveson Veloric

(Pablo Ramón )

(b San Juan, 1933).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, and jazz percussionist of Puerto Rican birth. Ferrer was born into a financially stable household where ‘there were problems which had to do with family turmoil of a psychological kind’ (interview with C. H. Veloric, 1990). His strict upbringing merged with an awareness of leftist politics gained from exiles from the Spanish Civil War who lived at his grandmother’s house. Fleeing Catholic school, he attended Staunton Military Academy in Virginia, where he learnt to play the drums. At Syracuse University he rejected formal classes, preferring the company of musicians and artists. He became the leader of a Latin band while simultaneously painting on his own. His frustrations and inclinations were supported by his half-brother, the actor José Ferrer (1912–92).

In 1952 he entered the University of Puerto Rico where he took painting classes with the exiled Spanish painter and writer Eugenio Granell (...