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Article

Ingeborg Wikborg

(Sigurd)

(b Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag, April 21, 1933).

Norwegian sculptor, designer and medallist. He became familiar with handicraft in his father’s furniture workshop. In 1954 he began five years’ study as a commercial artist at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole in Oslo and from 1957 to 1963 he worked as an illustrator for a newspaper. He studied at the Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1959 to 1962 under the sculptor Per Palle Storm (1910–94) who advocated naturalism in sculpture. As an assistant to Arnold Haukeland from 1961 to 1964, Aas lost his apprehension of the untried and cultivated his sense of daring, as he gained experience with welding techniques. Highly imaginative and versatile, Aas worked in both abstract and figurative modes and is reckoned one of the foremost sculptors in Norway; in 1990 he was honoured with St Olav.

Aas’s first sculpture was an equestrian monument in snow, made in Inderøy while he was a schoolboy. His first public project was the abstract steel figure ...

Article

Ađalsteinn Ingólfsson

(b Reykjavík, Feb 4, 1922).

Icelandic painter, writer and designer. He studied engineering in 1941–2 at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík, and architecture privately. He then studied at the Icelandic School of Arts and Crafts (Myndlista-og handíÐaskóli Íslands), Reykjavík (until 1943), the Kongelige Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1945–6), the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris (1947–8) and with Marcel Gromaire in Paris (1949–50). He promoted the movement towards abstract art in Iceland in 1948–52, particularly in its theoretical aspects.

Ágústsson came to geometric abstraction through an interest in Renaissance compositional theory and the theories of the Bauhaus. His meeting with Victor Vasarely in Paris in 1953 encouraged him to continue with a highly reductive series of paintings on which he had embarked shortly before. Later that year Ágústsson was one of the organizers of the Autumn Exhibition (Haustsýningin), the first group show of geometric abstraction in Iceland. At its opening he gave a lecture that became a kind of manifesto for the movement. He followed it up with a series of articles in the cultural review ...

Article

Andrea Nulli

(b Robbiate, Como, Oct 17, 1905; d Milan, Nov 1, 1977).

Italian architect, urban planner and furniture designer. After graduating from the Polytechnic of Milan (1929), he set up individual practice in Milan. One of the group of Rationalist architects who formed around the magazine Casabella, his work in the 1930s ranged from workers’ housing in Milan (1936, 1938; with Renato Camus and Giancarlo Palanti) to an ideal flat and furniture, exhibited at the Triennale in Milan in 1936. Immediately after World War II a series of masterplanning projects included schemes for the City of Milan (1946; with BBPR, Piero Bottoni, Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini) and for Reggio Emilia (1947–8; with Giancarlo De Carlo). Albini’s post-war architecture has a Rationalist clarity combined with sensitivity to context, tradition and history. Expressed first in the Rifugio Pirovano (1949–51) at Cervinia, Aosta, it was the office building for the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA; 1950), Parma, with its simply stated concrete frame that set the pattern developed later in La Rinascente department store (...

Article

Alessandra Frabetti

[l’Argenta]

(b Argenta, nr Ferrara, 1546; d Ferrara, Dec 9, 1636).

Italian architect, engineer and designer. He was the son of Vincenzo Aleotti (not Francesco Aleotti, as is sometimes erroneously stated), from whom Giovanni Battista claimed he ‘learnt the art … as much as from all the other teachers I had’ (letter, 1583; see Coffin, p. 121). In 1575 he succeeded Galasso Alghisi as architect to Alfonso II d’Este (ii), Duke of Ferrara and Modena, who nicknamed him l’Argenta after the town of his birth. When, on the death of the Duke, the Este duchy devolved to the Papal States (1598), Aleotti was confirmed as official architect, with a stipend of 20 scudi per month. His activity extended to various parts of the Po plain, embracing different architectural genres and including some important urban projects.

Among Aleotti’s religious buildings were several churches in Ferrara, including S Barbara (1586–8), S Maria della Rotonda at Castel Tedaldo (1597...

Article

AUA  

Christian Devillers

[Atelier d’Urbanisme et d’Architecture]

French multi-disciplinary architectural cooperative founded in Paris in 1960. Initial members, among whom were urban planners, architects, engineers and designers, included Jacques Allegret (b 1930), Jacques Berce (b 1929), Valentin Fabre (b 1927), Georges Loiseau (b 1928), Jean Perrottet (b 1925), Michel Steinebach (b 1928), Jean Tribel (b 1929), Paul Chemetov, Jean Deroche (b 1931), Annie Tribel (b 1933), Jacques Kalisz (b 1928), Michel Corajoud (b 1937), Jean-François Parent (b 1930), Henri Ciriani, Borja Huidobro (b 1936), Maria Deroche (b 1938) and Christian Devillers (b 1946). A total of about 200 architects and technicians collaborated at AUA between 1960 and 1986, when it was dissolved.

AUA was created in response to the situation prevailing in the building industry in France at the end of the 1950s, when much was being built, but badly, and when urban planning was little developed. It was thus considered necessary to bring together the different skills required for the proper planning of space, from the social sciences and urban planning to landscape and industrial design, and to enable architects and engineers to work together. This multi-disciplinary approach countered the corporatism of the architectural profession; members of AUA were also left-wing political activists and intellectuals, publishing the review ...

Article

Elizabeth Anne McCauley

(b Paris, June 3, 1811; d Paris, March 23, 1877).

French photographer. For more than 30 years Aubry worked as an industrial designer. In January 1864 he formed a Parisian company to manufacture plaster casts and photographs of plants and flowers. Although unsuccessful (he filed for bankruptcy in 1865), he continued to sell photographs to drawing schools throughout the 1870s. His albumen prints are often striking close-ups of natural forms taken with a flat perspective and symmetrical arrangement that was inspired by the lithographic plates traditionally used by industrial design students. The failure of Aubry’s ideas on the use of photographs in the industrial design process can be attributed to both the French government’s reluctance to introduce photography into art schools and the shift in French taste towards more abstract, simplified decorations for manufactured goods. His work is included in the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs and Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA....

Article

Gordon Campbell

[Antonio di Neri]

(b 1453; d 1516).

Italian intarsia designer, civil engineer, architect and engraver, was a native of Siena. From 1483 to 1502 he worked in Siena Cathedral, providing carving and intarsia for the choir-stalls in the chapel of San Giovanni (1483–1502; seven panels survive in La Collegiata in San Quirico d’Orcia and one in the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Vienna) and building the benches for the Piccolomini library (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

English family of furniture designers and artist-craftsmen. Ernest (1863–1926) and his brother Sidney (1865–1926) worked with Ernest Gimson in the design and construction of furniture in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Sidney’s son Edward (1900–87) carried on the business at a shop established in Froxfield (Petersfield, Hants) in ...

Article

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

After the closure in 1933 of the Bauhaus in Berlin, its staff and students dispersed. Many found their way to the USA, where they became highly influential teachers as well as artists and architects. The pedagogical methods developed at the school, particularly in the preliminary course, became commonplace in all levels of art education, as the former centrality in America of life drawing to instruction in the visual arts was now challenged by experimentation with abstract principles of composition and the qualities of individual materials.

Josef and Anni Albers family were the first Bauhäusler to immigrate to the USA. They arrived in 1933 and quickly took up positions at Black Mountain College, NC. In 1950 Josef became chair of the department of design at Yale University, New Haven, CT, from which he retired in 1958. His increasingly rigorous investigations into geometry and colour culminated in a series of paintings entitled ...

Article

Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Haag, Austria, April 5, 1900; d Santa Barbara, CA, Sept 30, 1985).

American painter, designer, photographer and typographer, of Austrian birth. After serving in the Austrian army (1917–18), Bayer studied architecture under Professor Schmidthammer in Linz in 1919 and in 1920 worked with the architect Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying mural painting (with Vasily Kandinsky) and typography; it was at this time that he created the Universal alphabet, consisting only of lowercase letters. In 1925 he returned to the Bauhaus, then in Dessau, as a teacher of advertising, layout and typography, remaining there until 1928. For the next ten years he was based in Berlin as a commercial artist: he worked as art manager of Vogue (1929–30) and as director of the Dorland advertising agency. Shortly after his first one-man exhibitions at the Galerie Povolotski, Paris, and at the Kunstlerbund März, Linz (both 1929), he created photomontages of a Surrealist nature, such as ...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Kraków, July 25, 1953).

Polish sculptor and poster designer. Between 1973 and 1978 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the sculpture studio of Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz. From 1978 he exhibited and took part in sculptural symposia (on marble and granite) in Poland, Italy, France and Germany. Between 1976 and 1981 he designed posters for the Laboratory Theatre (Teatr Laboratorium) of Jerzy Grotowski.

Bednarski became one of the leading representatives in Poland of the ‘new sculpture’ of the 1980s. He produced individual sculptures (up to the early 1980s in small numbers) and later tended towards installations and performances. Several recurrent elements (e.g. the plaster head of Karl Marx in different arrangements and variants shown at exhibitions in 1978, 1986 and 1988) and repeated motifs are evident in his work. He often drew on literature (Herman Melville and Joseph Brodsky) and on the realities of Polish Communism, usually employing familiar signs and symbols. These equivocal and diverse sculptures and installations are primarily autobiographical. His most important installation, ...

Article

Iain Boyd Whyte

(b Hamburg, April 14, 1868; d Berlin, Feb 27, 1940).

German architect, designer and painter. Progressing from painting and graphics to product design and architecture, Behrens achieved his greatest successes with his work for the Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG), in which he reconciled the Prussian Classicist tradition with the demands of industrial fabrication.

After attending the Realgymnasium in Altona, he began his painting studies in 1886 at the Kunstakademie in Karlsruhe. From there he moved to Düsseldorf, where he studied with Ferdinand Brütt. In December 1889 Behrens married Lilli Krämer, and the following year the couple moved to Munich, where he continued his studies with Hugo Kotschenreiter (1854–1908). Behrens was one of the founder-members of the Munich Secession (see Secession, §1) in 1893 and, shortly afterwards, a founder of the more progressive Freie Vereinigung Münchener Künstler, with Otto Eckmann, Max Slevogt, Wilhelm Trübner and Lovis Corinth. He also joined the circle associated with the magazine Pan, which included Otto Julius Bierbaum, Julius Meier-Graefe, Franz Blei, Richard Dehmel and Otto Eckmann....

Article

Mark Stocker

(b Hepton, Suffolk, 1811 or 1812; d London, March 14, 1895).

English sculptor. He enrolled at the Royal Academy in 1829 and attracted attention there with The Eagleslayer (1837), of which versions were made in bronze, marble (c. 1844; Wentworth Woodhouse, S. Yorks) and iron (1851; London, Bethnal Green Mus. Childhood). The latter, cast by the Coalbrookdale Company, was shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851, placed under a canopy with the slain eagle at the top. Prestigious commissions followed, including statuary for the Houses of Parliament: Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland (marble, 1848) and Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (marble, 1854). Bell’s best-known public sculptures are the Guards’ Crimean War memorial (bronze, 1860; London, Waterloo Place) and America, part of the Albert Memorial (marble, 1864–9; London, Kensington Gdns). Both show his stylistic and iconographic compromise between Neo-classical tradition and meticulous contemporary realism. Bell’s works on imagined subjects, many of which were reproduced in Parian porcelain by ...

Article

(b London, Oct 17, 1854; d Manorbier, Dyfed, July 5, 1924).

English designer. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford, and in 1877 he was articled to the architect Basil Champneys. Encouraged by William Morris, in 1880 Benson set up his own workshop in Hammersmith specializing in metalwork. Two years later he established a foundry at Chiswick, a showroom in Kensington and a new factory at Hammersmith (all in London), equipped with machinery to mass-produce a wide range of forms, such as kettles, vases, tables, dishes and firescreens. Benson’s elegant and spare designs were admired for their modernity and minimal use of ornament. He is best known for his lamps and lighting fixtures, mostly in copper and bronze, which are fitted with flat reflective surfaces (e.g. c. 1890; London, V&A). These items were displayed in S. Bing’s Maison de l’Art Nouveau, Paris, and were used in the Morris & Co. interiors at Wightwick Manor, W. Midlands (NT), and Standen, East Grinstead, W. Sussex. Many of Benson’s designs were patented, including those for jacketed vessels, which keep hot or cold liquids at a constant temperature, and for a ‘Colander’ teapot with a button mechanism for raising the tea leaves after the tea has infused. Benson sold his designs, labelled ‘Art Metal’, through his showroom on Bond Street, which opened in ...

Article

Rosamond Allwood

(fl London, 1865–82).

English furniture designer and manufacturer. He may have been trained by the Gothic Revival architect and furniture designer J. P. Seddon, whose work certainly influenced his first published design, a davenport in a geometric Reformed Gothic style, in the Building News of 1865. That year he also advertised a ‘New Registered Reclining Chair’, made by Marsh & Jones of Leeds, whose London showrooms were near his own premises off Cavendish Square. In 1865 Marsh & Jones supplied the Yorkshire mill-owner Sir Titus Salt with a large group of furniture, including a bedroom suite, and in 1867 with the case of an Erard grand piano (all Leeds, Temple Newsam House) designed by Bevan; described at the time as ‘medieval’, the pieces are decorated with geometric marquetry ornament. Bevan designed a bookcase for the Manchester firm James Lamb, which was shown in the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1867, and by the following year was also designing for ...

Article

Hans Frei

(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).

Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....

Article

Christian Norberg-Schulz

Norwegian architectural and furniture design partnership formed in 1922 by Gudolf Blakstad (b Gjerpen, 19 May 1893; d Oslo, 1986) and Herman Munthe-Kaas (b Christiania [now Oslo], 25 May 1890; d Oslo, 5 March 1970). Blakstad was awarded his diploma as an architect at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim in 1916. He collaborated with Jens Dunker on the New Theatre, Oslo, from 1919 to 1929. After a preliminary training in Christiania, Munthe-Kaas finished his education at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 1919.

From the beginning of their careers Blakstad and Munthe-Kaas played a leading role in Norwegian architecture. After studying in Italy in the early 1920s, they advocated Neo-classicism in architectural projects, furniture designs and writings. In 1922 they won the competition for the new Town Hall in Haugesund (1924–31), a major work of 20th-century Norwegian Neo-classicism. Above a powerfully rusticated basement, the long office wing with its regular fenestration contrasts with the higher City Council Hall, accentuated by pairs of monumental, free-standing columns. In general the effect is of robust strength and an exciting interplay of horizontals and verticals....

Article

Paul Huvenne

[Lancelot]

(b ?Poperinghe, 1488; d Bruges, bur March 4, 1581).

South Netherlandish painter, draughtsman, designer, architect, civil engineer, cartographer and engraver. He is said to have trained as a bricklayer, and the trowel he used to add as his housemark next to his monogram lab testifies to this and to his pretensions as an architectural designer. In 1519 he was registered as a master painter in the Bruges Guild of St Luke, where he chose as his speciality painting on canvas. The following year he collaborated with the little-known painter Willem Cornu in designing and executing 12 scenes for the Triumphal Entry of Emperor Charles V into Bruges. From then onwards Blondeel received regular commissions, mainly as a designer and organizer. Records of legal actions show that he was sometimes late with commissions; he took seven years to execute a Last Judgement ordered in 1540 for the council chamber at Blankenberge, and in 1545 the Guild of St Luke summoned him for his failure to supply their guild banner on time. Blondeel was married to Kathelyne, sister of the wood-carver ...

Article

Giles Waterfield

(b London, 1756; d London, Jan 7, 1811).

English painter and art collector of Swiss descent. Born to a family of Swiss watchmakers in London, Bourgeois was apprenticed as a boy to P. J. de Loutherbourg. The latter heavily influenced his art, which was to elevate him to membership of the Royal Academy in 1793. Bourgeois specialized in landscape and genre scenes and achieved recognition in his own day with works such as Tiger Hunt and William Tell (both c. 1790; London, Dulwich Pict. Gal.), but his works are no longer regarded as of any note.

Bourgeois was linked from an early age with Noël Desenfans, who in effect adopted him when his father left London for Switzerland. Desenfans promoted Bourgeois’s reputation as an artist and involved him in his own activities as a picture dealer. Bourgeois became passionately interested in buying paintings, and in the last 15 years of his life bought considerable numbers, sometimes creating financial problems for the partnership. His taste was characteristic of the traditional Grand Manner of his time, concentrating on the great names of the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly academic works and paintings of the Netherlandish schools....

Article

Anna Rowland

(Lajos)

(b Pécs, May 21, 1902; d New York, July 1, 1981).

American furniture designer and architect of Hungarian birth. In 1920 he took up a scholarship at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, but he left almost immediately to find a job in an architect’s office. A few weeks later he enrolled at the Bauhaus at Weimar on the recommendation of the Hungarian architect Fred Forbat (1897–1972). Breuer soon became an outstanding student in the carpentry workshop, which he led in its endeavours to find radically innovative forms for modern furniture. In practice, this meant rejecting traditional forms, which were considered symbolic of bourgeois life. The results of these experiments were initially as idiosyncratic as those of other workshops at Weimar, including the adoption of non-Western forms, for example the African chair (1921; see Rowland, 1990, p. 66) and an aggressively castellated style inspired by Constructivism.

Breuer was impressed by De Stijl, whose founder Theo van Doesburg made his presence felt in Weimar in ...