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Article

V. V. Vanslov

(Pavlovich)

(b Kharkiv, April 16, 1901; d Moscow, Sept 6, 1968).

Russian stage designer, director, painter and graphic artist of Ukranian birth. He studied in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) from 1915 to 1919 in an artists’ workshop under Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Aleksandr Yakovlev and Vasily Shukhayev. From 1920 to 1922 he worked as a stage designer in Khar’kov (now Kharkiv). In 1923 he returned to Petrograd, where he worked as a book illustrator and stage designer at the Theatre of Musical Comedy, the Theatre of Drama and the Gor’ky Bol’shoy Theatre of Drama; he also worked in Moscow, at the Theatre of the Revolution, the Vakhtangov Theatre and the Moscow Art Theatre (MKhAT). From 1929 he worked as a director, designing his own productions. He was the Art Director of the Leningrad Theatre of Comedy (1935–49), where the most notable productions he directed and designed were Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (1938), Lope de Vega’s Dog in the Manger and ...

Article

John E. Bowlt

(Andreyevich)

(b Moscow, Oct 14, 1873; d Moscow, Dec 24, 1932).

Russian sculptor, graphic artist and stage designer. He trained at the Stroganov School in Moscow (1883–91) before entering the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he studied under the sculptor Sergey Volnukhin (1859–1921). He graduated in 1900 before joining the Wanderers in 1902.

Andreyev was well aware of contemporary European trends in sculpture, especially the work of Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and Auguste Rodin, which he saw during a stay in Paris in 1900. However, he remained strongly attached to the 19th-century academic tradition, an allegiance that perhaps facilitated his acceptance of many official commissions both before and after the October Revolution of 1917. For example, he was responsible for the figure and pedestal of the monument to Nikolay Gogol’ on the Boulevard Ring in Moscow (1909; now at Suvorovsky Boulevard, 7) and for the bronze and granite monument to Aleksandr Ostrovsky (1929) in front of the Maly Theatre, Moscow. Andreyev was a principal contributor to Lenin’s Monumental Propaganda Plan from ...

Article

Balthus  

Jean Clair

[Count Balthazar Klossowski de Rola]

(b Paris, Feb 29, 1908; d Rossimiere, Feb 18, 2001).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. Appreciated for many years by only a handful of collectors, and ostensibly out of step with the modern movement, Balthus’s classically inspired work won the recognition and admiration of a wider public only late in his career. Although he received no formal training, he came from a highly artistic family background. His father, Erich Klossowski (1875–1949), was a painter and art historian, born to an aristocratic family in East Prussia and the author of a book on Daumier; his brother, Pierre Klossowski, was to become a painter and writer; and his mother, Elizabeth Spiro, was also a painter. Beginning in 1919, she engaged, under the name of Baladine, in a long-lasting relationship with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, providing etchings to accompany many of his poems. In this environment Balthus met the writers André Gide and Pierre-Jean Jouve, as well as Pierre Bonnard, who gave him his earliest guidance. Rilke also acted as Balthus’s mentor, writing the preface for an album of drawings by the 13-year-old artist entitled ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Pergamino, Buenos Aires, Sept 22, 1894; d Buenos Aires, Feb 21, 1976).

Argentine painter, stage designer and illustrator. He studied drawing in Buenos Aires under the Italian painter Augusto Bolognini (b 1870) and at the Academia Nacional before moving in 1923 to Paris, where he worked in Charles Guérin’s studio and at the Académie Colarossi. He also studied in the studios of André Lhote and Othon Friesz and became associated with other Argentine artists based in Paris. Like others of his generation and nationality, he sought in the 1920s to escape from pictorial provincialism by rejecting academic norms, as in Still-life (1926; Rosario, Mus. Mun. B.A.). He learnt how to paint while living in France and developed a range of imagery typical of Argentine art without showing any great originality.

More than any other painter, Basaldúa depicted life in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, concentrating humorously and without sentimentality on the wide boys, dance-hall girls, loose women and handsome, dangerous men of the tango in such pictures as the ...

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

Arthur J. Pulos

(b Adrian, MI, April 27, 1893; d New York, May 9, 1958).

American designer and writer. He studied at the Cleveland School of Art, OH, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and by 1914 he had established a reputation as an illustrator, making portraits of operatic luminaries for the New York Times. After producing plays in Los Angeles (1917), he joined the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1918) and became a leading stage designer; he invented the high-wattage spotlight and developed modern theatrical productions that blended the play, its lighting, its performers, and their costumes into a cohesive whole. He gained international attention for his stage set (1921; unexecuted) for Dante’s Divine Comedy, which revolutionized theatrical and operatic productions; it was conceived as a single, massive set with lighting coming first from below, signifying Hades, and then, as the play progressed, from high above, signifying Paradise. This led Max Reinhardt, the distinguished German producer, to commission him to design the settings for a production of ...

Article

Kenneth Archer

(Yakovlevich)

(b Tarkhovka, St Petersburg, Aug 4, 1876; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Feb 7, 1942).

Russian graphic artist and stage designer. The son of a naval doctor, Bilibin was educated in St Petersburg, studying law at the University (1896–1900) and art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1895–8); then, under Il’ya Repin, he studied at both Princess Maria Tenisheva’s Art School (1898–1900) and the Academy of Arts (1900–04). From 1899 he exhibited with the group known as the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) and was elected chairman of its reconstituted exhibition society in 1916. He also contributed to the Mir Iskusstva journal. Meanwhile he taught graphic art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1907–17).

Bilibin had a strong interest in Russian medieval and folk art and became famous for his book illustrations of Russian fairy tales, especially those by Pushkin. His most celebrated theatrical works were his set and costume designs for operas by ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b Riga, Sept 6, 1943).

Latvian painter, stage designer and graphic designer. After a childhood spent in Siberian exile, he studied decorative art and trained as a painter in the Latvian Art Academy (1963–72), preparing for a career as a stage designer. Stage design and the applied arts were less constrained by Socialist Realist dictates during the 1970s, and he quickly became one of Latvia’s most innovative artists. His fluency with process art and installation, for example, was already evident in his designs for a 1973 Riga production of Žanna d’Arka (Joan of Arc) by Andrej Upīts, the stage metamorphosing from Minimalist cavity to an assemblage in Arte Povera style. Abandoning the theatre in 1987, Blumbergs continued his prolific output. His compositions, sometimes abstract, often figurative and allegorical, are notable within Latvian art for their spare elegance and uncontrived expressiveness, successfully combining grand literary allusion and subtle metaphysical content. His graphic virtuosity earned him a degree of international celebrity rare among his Latvian peers. Exceptional, too, for his political candour, he was a harbinger of ...

Article

Michael Howard

(b Vercelli, Piedmont, March 11, 1806; d Dijon, March 5, 1867).

French painter, illustrator, set designer and poet. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Guillaume Lethière from 1821. The Punishment of Mazeppa (1827; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.), inspired by the scene from Byron’s poem, in which Mazeppa is tied to the back of a wildly stampeding horse, is his most important early painting and one of the key images of the Romantic movement.

Early in his career Boulanger became friendly with Eugène and Achille Devéria. Through them he met Victor Hugo, who became his ardent supporter and the source of many of his most typical works. Among Boulanger’s illustrations were those for Hugo’s Odes et ballades (1829), Les Orientales (1829), Les Fantômes (1829) and Notre-Dame de Paris (1844). Boulanger interpreted the macabre and romantic quality of Hugo’s texts with an imaginative power and freedom that anticipated Redon (e.g. ‘...

Article

Alberto Cernuschi

(b Fresnaye-sur-Sarthe, nr Alençon, July 11, 1899; d Paris, March 1, 1979).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. He studied briefly at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux and from 1917 at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris under Eugène Morand (b 1885), whose innovative teaching influenced his later work.

Brianchon was an eclectic artist, and there are traces in his work of many of the styles that succeeded each other in Paris during the period in which he worked. Taking landscapes, cityscapes and images of women as his main subject-matter, he nevertheless managed to maintain a distinctive approach based on a harmonious colour sense and a concern with calm, silent or moonlit atmospheres. The Courtesans (1932; Paris, Mus. A. Mod. Ville Paris) and Rue La Fontaine (1946; Geneva, Petit Pal.) are typical of his work as a painter. He also produced murals (e.g. Symphony, 1936; Paris, Pal. Chaillot), book illustrations (e.g. lithographs for André Gide’s Le Théâtre complet...

Article

Andrew Causey

(b London, March 29, 1905; d Hastings, Oct 22, 1976).

English painter, illustrator and stage designer. As a student at the Chelsea Polytechnic (1921–3) and the Royal College of Art (1923–5) he became a talented figure draughtsman. In the second half of the decade he spent much time in France painting intricately detailed urban scenes, which depicted the low life of Toulon and Marseille. Works such as the watercolour Toulon (1927; priv. col., see Causey, cat. no. 33) were executed in a meticulously finished and vividly coloured decorative style. Burra usually used watercolour and tempera and occasionally collage oil paints.

Burra took ideas from Cubism, Dada (notably George Grosz) and, especially, Surrealism, but his work is also linked with the English satirical tradition of William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson and Isaac Cruikshank: Burra loved burlesque and poked fun at people’s pretensions and excesses of style and behaviour, as in John Deth (Homage to Conrad Aiken) (...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

[Hargesheimer, Carl-Heinz]

(b Cologne, May 19, 1924; d Cologne, Dec 31, 1971).

German photographer, sculptor, stage designer and theatre director. He studied graphic design and photography at the Cologne Werkschulen. In 1948 he made his first sculptures in metal, but he made his name shortly afterwards with experimental photographs and other experimental works. A member of the young German avant-garde, from 1951 he taught experimental photography at the photographic school BIKLA (Bild und Klang) in Cologne. In 1957 his first book, Cologne intime, appeared, and a year later he published Im Ruhrgebiet and Unter Krahnenbäumen (both with texts by Heinrich Böll), whose new photographic structures provoked violent reactions and public debate. His photography during this period was based on the collection of images, and he always attempted to penetrate the façades of buildings and of people.

After a series of publications about Berlin, the Rhineland and stocktaking, Chargesheimer turned to the theatre, working as a stage designer, director and photographer for theatres in Cologne, Vienna, Brunswick, Hamburg, Bonn and Kassel. He summed up this achievement in ...

Article

Galina Demosfenova

(Mikhaylovich)

(b Tomsk, Oct 31, 1890; d Moscow, Aug 7, 1962).

Russian caricaturist, illustrator, poster and stage designer. He was born into a noble family. After his second year at the medical faculty in Tomsk, he moved to Moscow, where from 1911 to 1917 he studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under Konstantin Korovin (1861–1939), Sergey Malyutin (1859–1937) and Nikolay Kasatkin (1859–1930). His diploma work was the oil painting Beggars (1916–17). Later on Cheremnykh did little painting, working mainly on caricatures and posters.

Cheremnykh’s work was first published while he was still a student, in various Moscow newspapers. In 1917–18 he executed a series of satirical drawings on themes from Russian history and in 1918 he retuned the chimes of the Kremlin, which began to play the Internationale. Cheremnykh invented a type of stencilled poster in 1919 and began producing satirical window displays for Rosta (the Russian Telegraph Agency). He was soon joined by Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ivan Malyutin (...

Article

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Mexico City, June 10, 1940).

Mexican painter, sculptor, illustrator and stage designer. He was self-taught when he took up painting in 1956 with the encouragement of Diego Rivera, but from 1956 to 1960 he studied graphic design with Gordon Jones. During those years he worked in an Abstract Expressionist manner, although he soon incorporated figurative elements and, from c. 1963, elements of fantasy. In 1967 he went to Paris on a French government grant. In the following year he was a founder-member of the Salón Independiente, where he began to exhibit acrylic sculptures of the female torso. These were followed between 1974 and 1976 by a series entitled Mutations, in which he explored the possibilities of the cube and which opened the way to later sculptures and paintings in which geometry is balanced with sensuality. Venus and Mars (Mexico City, U. N. Autónoma) is one of the best of his public sculptures. He also worked as a stage designer, for example on a production in ...

Article

Ester Coen

(b Fondo, Val di Non, Trentino, March 30, 1892; d Rovereto, Nov 29, 1960).

Italian painter, stage designer, illustrator, decorative artist and writer. After difficult years of study, during which he made his first artistic experiments, he travelled to Turin in 1910 and worked as an apprentice decorator at the Esposizione Internazionale. In spite of spending a year as apprentice to a marble-worker, on his return to Rovereto, he decided to become a painter, choosing subjects associated with Symbolism and social realism. Shortly after publishing Spezzature–Impressioni: Segni e ritmi (Rovereto, 1913), a collection of poetry, prose and illustrations, he moved to Rome, where he met Filippo Tommaso Marinetti at the Galleria Permanente Futurista, run by Giuseppe Sprovieri; through Marinetti he met the Futurists, with whom he exhibited at the same gallery in the spring of 1914 (see Furttenbach [Furtenbach; Furttembach], Josef [Joseph], the elder). This was followed by a one-man show at Trento in July 1914, which closed after a few days because of the outbreak of World War I. He succeeded in returning to Rome, where he was officially welcomed into the ...

Article

Jane Lee

(b Chatou, nr Paris, June 17, 1880; d Garches, Sept 8, 1954).

French painter, sculptor, illustrator, stage designer and collector. He was a leading exponent of Fauvism. In early 1908 he destroyed most of his work to concentrate on tightly constructed landscape paintings, which were a subtle investigation of the work of Cézanne. After World War I his work became more classical, influenced by the work of such artists as Camille Corot. In his sculpture he drew upon his knowledge and collection of non-Western art.

Derain abandoned his engineering studies in 1898 to become a painter and attended the Académie Carrière. He also sketched in the Musée du Louvre and painted on the banks of the Seine. On a visit to the Louvre in 1899 he met the painter Georges Florentin Linaret (1878–1905), who had been his companion at school, and who was copying Uccello in an extraordinary manner; he was studying under Gustave Moreau and later introduced Derain to a fellow pupil, Henri Matisse. Derain’s painting was already influenced by the work of Cézanne, and in ...

Article

Alberto Cernuschi

(b Montauban, Sept 30, 1894; d Perpignan, July 21, 1972).

French painter, printmaker, stage designer, illustrator and tapestry designer. He was encouraged to study art by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, to whom he showed his drawings at the age of 16, and was taught by him at the Ecole de Dessin à la Manufacture des Gobelins. From 1912 to 1914 he attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Montauban, and after serving in the infantry during World War I he moved to Paris, where he showed his work regularly at such exhibitions as the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne.

Desnoyer lived and worked among the Cubists, but like the Fauves he favoured bright primary colours, marrying colour and line in landscapes, still-lifes and portraits. His debt to both movements is visible in paintings such as La Foire du Trône (1927; Paris, Pompidou). He also produced an illustrated edition of La Fontaine’s Dies Irae (Editions Mortier, 1947) and stage designs for the Opéra Comique in Paris, for example for Henri Barrand’s ...

Article

Jean E. Feinberg

(b Cincinnati, OH, June 6, 1935).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, illustrator, performance artist, stage designer and poet. He studied art at the Cincinnati Arts Academy (1951–3) and later at the Boston Museum School and Ohio University (1954–7). In 1957 he married Nancy Minto and the following year they moved to New York. Dine’s first involvement with the art world was in his Happenings of 1959–60. These historic theatrical events, for example The Smiling Workman (performed at the Judson Gallery, New York, 1959), took place in chaotic, makeshift environments built by the artist–performer. During the same period he created his first assemblages, which incorporated found materials. Simultaneously he developed the method by which he produced his best known work—paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that depict and expressively interpret common images and objects.

Clothing and domestic objects featured prominently in Dine’s paintings of the 1960s, with a range of favoured motifs including ties, shoes and bathroom items such as basins, showers and toothbrushes (e.g. ...

Article

Marian Burleigh-Motley

(Valerianovich)

(b Novgorod, Aug 14, 1875; d New York, Nov 20, 1957).

Russian graphic artist, painter and stage designer. He first studied art from 1885 to 1887 at the School of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, St Petersburg, and then enrolled in St Petersburg University from where he graduated in Law in 1898. Unwilling to give up his early interest in art, in 1899 he went to Munich to study under Anton Ažbé and Simon Hollósy and met there the large colony of Russian artists, including Igor’ Grabar’. He also saw the work of German Jugendstil artists.

Dobuzhinsky returned to St Petersburg in 1901, and in 1902 he was invited by Grabar’ to join the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) group in 1902. His first works were historical landscapes in the manner of Alexandre Benois, but he soon began to portray the specific traits of the contemporary industrialized city and its suburbs, in both paintings and prints. In Man in Glasses...

Article

Jean-Pierre de Bruyn

(b Lille, Feb 8, 1861; d Ghent, Jan 7, 1938).

Belgian painter, sculptor, illustrator, and stage designer. He studied music at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium and sculpture at the Gewerbeschule, Ghent (after 1877). He visited Paris in 1887 and Italy in 1890, with a grant from the city of Ghent. He was deeply impressed by the masters of the Quattrocento, and was encouraged to take up painting after meeting Constantin Meunier (1891). He painted Symbolist scenes and was influenced by Art Nouveau. After exhibiting his work with Les XX in Brussels (1893), he made decorative panels for Oostakker Castle.

As an illustrator Doudelet worked on Pol De Mont’s Van Jezus (Antwerp, 1897) and books by Maurice Maeterlinck, for example Douze chansons (Paris, 1896) and Pelléas et Mélisande (Brussels, 1892 or 1922). He illustrated the periodicals Réveil (1895–1896), De Vlaamsche school, Mercure de France, Pan, L’Eroica, Nuovo Convito, De Vlaamsche School, Woord en beeld...