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Article

Brian Austen

(Hicks)

(b ?Sheffield, 1785; d Port of Spain, Trinidad, Nov 1846).

English sculptor, designer and architect. In 1810 he exhibited at the first Liverpool Academy Exhibition and showed models and drawings there in 1811, 1812 and 1814. These included designs for the restoration of the screen in Sefton church, Merseyside, and for a chimney-piece for Speke Hall, Liverpool, and two drawings of Joseph Ridgway’s house at Ridgmont, Horwich, Lancs. Bridgens designed furniture and furnishings in Gothic and Elizabethan styles for George Bullock. In 1814 he moved to London with Bullock, using his address at 4 Tenterden Street, Hanover Square, and prepared designs for Sir Godfrey Vassal Webster (1789–1836) for improvements to Battle Abbey, E. Sussex, and similarly for Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford House, at Melrose on the Borders. Two chair designs for Battle Abbey were published in Rudolph Ackermann’s Repository of Arts in September 1817, and Bridgens was also involved in the design of chairs supplied to Abbotsford House in ...

Article

Jorge Alberto Manrique

(b Clayten Green, nr Chorley, Lancashire, April 6, 1917; d Mexico City, May 25, 2011).

Mexican painter, sculptor and writer of English birth. In 1936 she travelled to London, where she studied under Amédée Ozenfant and in 1937 met Max(imilian) Ernst, with whom she became involved artistically and romantically, leading to her association with Surrealism. They moved to Paris together in 1937. At the outbreak of World War II, Ernst was interned as an enemy alien, and Carrington escaped to Spain, where she was admitted to a private clinic after having a nervous breakdown; she later recounted the experience in her book En bas (1943). After marrying the Mexican poet Renato Leduc in 1941 (a marriage of convenience), she spent time in New York before settling in Mexico in 1942, devoting herself to painting. There she and Remedios Varo developed an illusionistic Surrealism combining autobiographical and occult symbolism. Having divorced Leduc in 1942, in 1946 she married the Hungarian photographer Imre Weisz.

Carrington remained committed to Surrealism throughout her career, filling her pictures with strange or fantastic creatures in surprising situations, notably horses, which appear in ...

Article

Rita Eder

(b Mexico City, Jul 28, 1934; d Mexico City, Sept 16, 2010).

Mexican sculptor and museum director. Escobedo attended Mexico City College (now Universidad de las Américas) in 1951, where she was introduced to sculpture by the renowned abstract sculptor Germán Cueto. Awarded a traveling scholarship to the Royal College of Art, London (1951–1954), Escobedo met luminaries of European sculpture, including Henry Moore, Jacob Epstein, and Ossip Zadkine, who profoundly influenced her sense of organic integrity in form and material. It became clear to her that sculpture as museum piece or domestic ornament did not fulfill her objectives. During the 1960s and early 1970s Escobedo created works on a monumental scale and became well known for such ambitious urban sculptures as Signals (painted aluminum, h. 15 m, 1971), sited at Auckland Harbour, New Zealand, and Doors to the Wind (painted reinforced concrete, h. 17 m, 1968) at Anillo Periférico and Calzada del Hueso on the Olympic Friendship Route, Mexico. From the 1980s she directed her work towards ecological and humanitarian issues. A number of site-specific installations and performances explored the theme of the densely populated metropolis of Mexico City. While conscious of the social meaning of art, her approach was abstract and conceptual rather than overtly realist. She used natural materials, such as interwoven branches and grass, or the detritus of urban life. As a cultural promoter, she held such positions as director (1958–1982) of the museum of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, where she developed a program of exhibitions in tune with the aspirations of a new generation of writers, painters, sculptors, and filmmakers renovating the arts in Mexico and supported by the National University. She was also director (1982–1984) of the Museo de Arte Moderno where she projected the image of the museum as a place with a vision of the present and the future which meant attracting new audiences by changing the roles of the artistic system and softening the barriers between artists, spectator, and critics. The structural change in the function of art influenced her exhibition policy where she had the collaboration of young generations of artists interested in relational aesthetics....

Article

Iliana Cepero

(b Buenos Aires, Sept 3, 1920; d Buenos Aires, Jul 24, 2013).

Argentine conceptual artist, poet, and sculptor. In 1947 Ferrari earned his bachelor degree in Engineering at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Between 1952 and 1955, while in Italy seeking medical treatment for his daughter, Ferrari began to experiment with ceramics, and exhibited work in Rome and Milan. In early 1960s, back in Argentina, he began to make wire sculptures and written drawings. During his fifteen-year exile in Brazil from 1976 to 1985, he experimented with a great range of media and art practices, from sculptures, drawings, etchings, collages of pictures and bird excrement, and sound-making sculptures (berimbau) to mail art, videotext, and photocopy. By the 1990s he produced his so-called “deformed calligraphies,” written paintings and electronic art, along with collages that skillfully combined Christian iconography, contemporary events, oriental erotica, and texts in Braille. Ferrari’s work often expresses a provocative social and political critique against war, Christianity, abuses of power, the West’s moral double standards, and the bourgeois character of art institutions....

Article

Stephen Bann

(b Nassau, Bahamas, Oct 28, 1925; d Dunsyre, Scotland, March 27, 2006).

Scottish sculptor, graphic artist and poet. Brought up in Scotland, he briefly attended Glasgow School of Art and first made his reputation as a writer, publishing short stories and plays in the 1950s. In 1961 he founded the Wild Hawthorn Press with Jessie McGuffie and within a few years had established himself internationally as Britain’s foremost concrete poet (see Concrete poetry). His publications also played an important role in the initial dissemination of his work as a visual artist. As a sculptor, he has worked collaboratively in a wide range of materials, having his designs executed as stone-carvings, as constructed objects and even in the form of neon lighting.

In 1966 Finlay and his wife, Sue, moved to the hillside farm of Stonypath, south-west of Edinburgh, and began to transform the surrounding acres into a unique garden, which he named Little Sparta. He revived the traditional notion of the poet’s garden, arranging ponds, trees and vegetation to provide a responsive environment for sundials, inscriptions, columns and garden temples. As the proponent of a rigorous classicism and as the defender of Little Sparta against the intrusions of local bureaucracy, he insisted on the role of the artist as a moralist who comments sharply on cultural affairs. The esteem won by Finlay’s artistic stance and style is attested by many important large-scale projects undertaken throughout the world. The ‘Sacred Grove’, created between ...

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, Jan 14, 1915; d Barcelona, Oct 14, 1965).

Argentine painter, sculptor, performance artist, conceptual artist, poet and illustrator. After studying in Buenos Aires at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes and with Cecilia Marcovich and Tomás Maldonado, he quickly established a reputation for his scandalous views, attracting extreme disapproval and equally strong support. After delivering a lecture at the Juan Cristóbal bookshop, Buenos Aires, entitled ‘Alberto Greco y los pájaros’ he was briefly imprisoned for his ‘Communism and subversive acts’. On his release in the same year he travelled to Paris on a French government grant, selling drawings and watercolours in the cafés and studying painting with Fernand Léger and printmaking with Johnny Friedlaender. Between 1956 and 1958 he lived in São Paulo, where he became aware of Art informel; he painted in this style in the late 1950s and early 1960s (Glusberg, pp. 284–5).

As early as 1959, when he had returned from São Paulo to Buenos Aires, Greco had expressed his corrosive vision of society through the form of his work. In his shows he exhibited tree trunks and rags for cleaning window gratings or floors. He moved again to Paris in ...

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, Apr 16, 1900; d Buenos Aires, May 3, 1947).

Costa Rican painter, sculptor, engraver, and writer. After spending two years in London, in 1922 Jiménez moved to Paris, where he dedicated himself to sculpture, drawing, and painting. He came into contact with leading Spanish literary figures, and he discovered the African-influenced work of Picasso and Modigliani, as well as that of the Paris-based Brazilian painter Tarsila. These influences led to the monumentality and Afro-Caribbean elements present in Jiménez’s painting and sculpture, in which traditional concepts of beauty were disregarded and the subjects painted in an exuberant manner (e.g. Ileana; see Ulloa Barrenechea 1975, 231). In 1925 he returned to Costa Rica, but the lack of galleries or museums and of artistic activity (other than academic) frustrated Jiménez. Having been exposed in Paris to trends far in advance of Costa Rican art and feeling that his avant-garde ideas were not understood, he temporarily ceased to produce art.

In 1928 Jiménez returned to Europe; his collection of poems, ...

Article

Jorge Glusberg

[Fallik, Fernando ]

(b Košice, Czechoslovakia [now Slovak Republic], 1924).

Argentine sculptor, theorist and poet of Slovak birth. A resident of Argentina from 1928, he studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes ‘Manuel Belgrano’ in Buenos Aires, and in 1944 he collaborated with Joaquín Torres García and the Argentine poet Edgar Bayley (1919–90) on the magazine Arturo (one issue only), which proposed geometric abstraction for the first time in Argentina. He was also a leading figure of Arte Madí, together with Carmelo Arden Quin (b 1913). During this period he produced his first articulated mobiles (e.g. Royi, 1944; see Glusberg, p. 73), which involved the active participation of the spectator, and early examples of sculptures made of neon (e.g. Madí Aluminium Structure No. 3, 1946;). Like his colleagues in Arte Madí, he proposed the radical autonomy of the art object, and in his later work he explored the possibilities of a diverse range of materials, including even water in his ...

Article

Cynthia Moody

(b Kingston, Aug 12, 1900; d London, Feb 6, 1984).

British sculptor and writer of Jamaican birth. Born into a prominent professional family, he arrived in England in 1923, reluctantly to study dentistry. Alongside his studies he read voraciously in the metaphysics of India and China, which had a lasting influence on his thinking. A chance encounter with the Egyptian sculpture at the British Museum, London, so profoundly affected him with their “tremendous inner force [and] irresistible movement in stillness” that Moody decided to become a sculptor. Self-taught, by the time he qualified in dentistry in 1930 he was already proficient. His first work in wood, Wohin (1934; Sacramento, CA, Adolf Loeb priv. co.), followed by Johanaan (1935; London, Tate), began a period of intense creativity that resulted in his moving to Paris in 1938, where two richly productive years brought growing recognition. Moody was forced to flee the city in 1940, two days before it fell to the Germans, abandoning his sculptures. (These pieces were retrieved after the war, along with twelve sculptures that had been sent to the USA in ...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Chicacao, Suchitepéquez, May 7, 1937; d 2004).

Guatemalan painter, sculptor, illustrator, and writer. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Guatemala City between 1953 and 1960 and was inspired by his rural, working-class background to depict the themes, forms, and colour of the life of the Guatemalan common people. In the mid-1960s, together with Roberto Cabrera and Elmar Rojas, he founded the Vértebra group. His paintings, mainly in oils, tended towards the flashy and experimented with varied textures. Subsequently he showed a preference for bright, dazzling colours based on the designs of Guatemalan fabrics. Ironic and highly expressive, his form of realism became increasingly simple and effective, while continuing to stress its origins in popular culture. Bird of Powder (1961), The Jet (1963), and Rebel Angel (1967; all Guatemala City, Dir. Gen. Cult. & B. A.) are typical of his style. He has also worked successfully on book illustrations and excelled as a short-story writer, with several literary prizes to his credit....