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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

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

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

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

Hana Larvová

(b Zohor, nr Bratislava, Dec 25, 1935; d Jan 20, 1997).

Slovak printmaker, painter and illustrator. From 1951 to 1955 he studied at the Central School of Industrial Art at Bratislava and at the School of Fine Arts, Bratislava, from 1956 to 1961, completing his training there in 1963–6. In 1967 he was put in charge of the book production department; in 1981 he was appointed professor. His early work as printmaker and illustrator derived its inspiration from the imaginative tradition of Slovak art, which he interpreted in his own version of neo-Surrealism. In 1964 Klee, Kandinsky and Miró began to influence his work, and his illustrations were clearly inspired by Chagall. He gradually developed his own version of Mannerism and adapted his artistic language accordingly, aiming, in his graphic work, at the precise technical mastery of lithography, etching etc. Among his first works with Mannerist traits is Honour to Arcimboldo (1965; see Peterajová, no. 18), and the style is fully developed in the cycle ...

Article

Evelyne Green

Term used in the 20th century to define art, usually magazine illustrations or posters (see Poster), designed to advertise goods, services or forms of entertainment. The usage of the term declined in the early 1960s, in favour of the more general ‘graphic art’.

In commercially developed societies of the 19th century the advertisement of branded goods was achieved mostly through visual depictions of their packaging placed in the setting in which the product might be used, sometimes with an image of the possible user. Weekly journals illustrated with wood-engravings carried these images to the emerging middle classes, and the fine quality of the illustrations (both of articles and display advertisements) made the acquisition of the magazines as important as the domestic goods they depicted. In this way the forms of visual expression used to describe the commercial image assumed an independent significance.

Although magazine illustrations formed a large part of the production of commercial art studios and advertising agencies in European and North American cities after World War I, the ...

Article

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b Blue Earth, MN, Nov 23, 1894; d Vero Beach, FL, April 20, 1989).

American interior and industrial designer. Deskey gained a degree in architecture and studied painting before working in advertising. From 1922 to 1924 he was head of the art department at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. In 1921 and 1925 he made trips to Paris, where he attended the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi, before returning to New York in 1926 as a champion of modern art and design. In 1926–7 he created the city’s first modern window displays for the Franklin Simon and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores. In 1927 he was joined by the designer Philip Vollmer, and the partnership became Deskey–Vollmer, Inc. (to c. 1929). Deskey expanded into designing interiors, furniture, lamps, and textiles, becoming a pioneer of the Style moderne (as Art Deco was known in America). His earliest model for the interior of an apartment was shown at the American Designers’ Gallery, New York, in ...

Article

Aaris Sherin

(b Pittsburgh, PA, 1912).

American graphic designer, illustrator and painter. A student of Alexey Brodovitch, she graduated from the Philadelphia Museum of Industrial Arts and went off to assist Brodovitch as instructor at the Design Laboratory (1935–8). She was art director for Mademoiselle Magazine (1944), Harper’s Bazaar (1940, 1946), Seventeen and House & Garden (both 1949). Her freelance credits included Fortune, House & Garden, Life, Look, Seventeen, Town & Country and Vogue magazines. A successful designer and art director, the early part of her career was spent as a commercial artist. Later she turned primarily to illustration and fine art; areas where she completed the bulk of her life’s work. Today she is known for her small paintings, which are widely collected.

Falconer’s paintings are small landscapes and still-lifes that provide intimate vignettes of somewhat pedestrian subjects. The work has commonalities with folk-art, Surrealism and realism without falling into any one genre. She always approached her subject head on, depicting the commonplace in scenes including spice jars, flowers, boats, building facades and interiors. Her rendition of three pansies is given equal attention as her depiction of the more visually complex river boat houses in New Orleans. Regardless of content, she gives personality to her subjects with precision and a combination of softness and detail that reminds one of early American primitivism, without seeming either stiff or rigid. She designed six stamps for the US Postal Service including the Rose Stamp booklet (...

Article

Serge Lemoine

(b Zurich, June 12, 1917).

Swiss painter, sculptor and printmaker. He studied (1932) at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Zurich, and first worked as a designer (1933–6). From the age of 20 he concentrated on graphic and commercial art, and it was not until 1957, with the creation of his first ‘tableau-relief’, that his career really began. Painting abstract works influenced by Zurich Concrete art and by contemporary American painting from 1950 onwards, Honegger developed as an artist during his stay in New York (1958–60) where his first exhibition was held at the Martha Jackson Gallery in 1960. Honegger settled in Paris in 1961, where he continued to experiment in painting and sculpture. His pictures were composed following a system and use simple, geometric forms in relief, executed in monochrome but with particular attention to technique and surface presentation. His shapes (squares, circles) are placed inside an orthogonal frame, following a pattern established beforehand and always based on numerical calculation. The paintings are made up of sharp-edged cardboard pieces placed, with strengthened backing, on to canvas and covered with several layers of paint. In this manner, the artist obtained a relief effect on the surface that catches the light and gives the composition a changeable quality (e.g. ...

Article

Hiroshi Kashiwagi

(b Niigata, April 6, 1915; d 1997).

Japanese graphic designer. He studied principles of Constructivism at the Institute of New Architecture and Industrial Arts, Tokyo, a private institute established and run by Renshichiro Kawakita with the aim of introducing Bauhaus design theories in Japan; he graduated in 1935 and in 1938 joined the Nippon Kōbō design studio (now Publishing on Design Inc.). For over a decade from 1937 he worked as art director on a number of Japanese magazines, including Nippon and Commerce Japan. In 1951 he participated in the establishment of the Japan Advertising Arts Club, which secured social recognition for the profession of graphic designer. In 1955 he took part in the ‘Graphic ’55’ exhibition, together with Hiromu Hara, Paul Rand and others. Kamekura received an award from the Japan Advertising Arts Club in 1956 for a poster calling for peaceful use of atomic power. He co-founded the Nippon Design Centre (Tokyo) in 1960 with ...

Article

(b Kiskorpád, June 3, 1884; d Budapest, Nov 26, 1948).

Hungarian architect, interior and furniture designer, and graphic artist. He studied at the Budapest Imperial Joseph College (diploma 1906) and joined the Fiatalok (‘Young ones’) group, which travelled around Transylvania and Hungary studying vernacular architecture. Dominating his early designs (e.g. the fantasy house ‘Lapis Refugii’, 1908) is a luxuriant Secessionist style relying on Hungarian folk-art motifs. After a study trip to Paris (1909–10) he worked at Béla Lajta’s architectural studio in Budapest (1910–13), designing the interior of the Rózsavőlgyi music store in Szervita Square (1911–12; destr. 1961). The interior space was separated by transparent, vertical screens, while the carved-wood ornamentation was in a stylized version of Biedermeier. In 1913 Kozma organized the Budapest Workshop on the same lines as the Wiener Werkstätte, to produce furniture, domestic textiles and utility goods, and designs for entire apartment and office spaces (see Hungary, Republic of §V 4....

Article

(b Roermond, Aug 25, 1864; d Amsterdam, April 15, 1932).

Dutch architect, theorist, industrial designer, illustrator and teacher. He grew up in the artistic milieu around P. J. H. Cuypers and probably received most of his artistic education in this environment. Between 1880 and 1887 Lauweriks attended various drawing courses including in 1885–7 those at the Rijksnormaalschool voor Teekenonderwijzers in Amsterdam. In 1889 he became decoration draughtsman in Cuypers’s office. In 1891 he became a member of the architectural society Architectura et Amicitia and from 1893 was editor of the society’s journal Architectura. At the same time, together with his friends and colleagues K. P. C. de Bazel and Herman J. M. Walenkamp, he became involved with ethical–anarchist groups and produced illustrations for Licht en waarheid, the journal of the anarchist group Wie Denkt Overwint (Who thinks conquers).

On 31 May 1894, with de Bazel, Lauweriks joined the Theosophical Society. This brought him into strong conflict with Cuypers. He left the latter’s office in ...

Article

Aaris Sherin

(b Vienna, June 23, 1908; d New York, Jan 3, 1991).

American graphic designer of Austrian birth. After studying at Pratt Institute in New York (1926–9), she worked as a designer for Contempora (1930–32), an industrial design firm founded by European émigrés. When her work was noticed by Vogue magazine publisher Condé Nast, she was offered a job as assistant to art director M. F. Agha (1932–8). In subsequent years she was art director of Glamour (1941–6), Seventeen (1947–50) and other Condé Nast publications. For nine years (1950–59), she was art director of Charm magazine, where she worked with editor Helen Valentine and marketing director Estelle Ellis to produce a magazine addressed to working women. As a publication designer she pioneered a style of page layout that had the cleanness and restraint of European modernism, yet also encouraged a playful approach to typography and illustration. Leaving editorial design in the 1960s, she served as the first art director for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where she was responsible for creating a unified identity system for the organization’s promotional materials....

Article

Hana Myslivečková

(b Světec u Bíliny, July 31, 1873; d Dachau, June 11, 1944).

Czech printmaker, designer, illustrator, painter, and teacher, active also in the USA. From 1892 he studied at the School of Applied Industrial Art in Prague (in Friedrich Ohmann’s Decorative Architecture workshop). In 1897 he left for Paris, where in 1898 he worked for Alphonse Mucha, familiarized himself with graphic techniques, worked in applied graphics, and experimented with lettering and design, and photography. His early, Secessionist, work was influenced by Japanese art and Symbolism. After his return to Prague in 1903 he devoted himself to illustration, publishing an album, Coloured Etchings in the Graphic Art Atelier at Vinohrady, Prague (New York, 1906), and the book Barevný lept a barevná rytina [Coloured etching and coloured engraving], and founding the periodical Česká grafika. Preissig lived in the USA from 1910, gaining a reputation as an innovator in the field of book and advertising graphic design, typography, and illustration, in which fields he introduced the linocut and other special graphic techniques. He taught at art schools in New York, and from ...

Article

John F. Pile

(b New York, 1894; d New York, June 16, 1944).

American industrial designer. He learnt cabinetmaking in his father’s shop in the Bronx, New York, and then worked as an illustrator of furniture for several New York retail shops. In 1927 he made a trip to Paris and there saw examples of the modernism known subsequently as Art Deco. On his return to America he undertook freelance interior design projects and made custom-built modern furniture for private clients (e.g. end table, c. 1927–9; Rohde family priv. col., see 1981 exh. cat., fig.). In 1929 he opened a design office in New York, concentrating on interior design and developing furniture in the early modernist style. In 1930 he established a relationship with Herman Miller Inc. of Zeeland, MI, a firm that had previously made products imitating various traditional styles. Rohde convinced the firm of the superiority of the ideas of modernism at a time when this direction was virtually unknown in the USA; he developed an extensive line of furniture that combined functional ideas and simplicity of form with decorative details that were characteristically ‘modernistic’. Exotic woods, glass, mirrors and polished metals were used in groups of furniture that were modular or sectional in concept (e.g. dressing-table, ...

Article

Janet Marstine

(b Woodstown, NJ, Nov 6, 1876; d New York, May 1, 1953).

American painter, illustrator, designer, playwright, and film director. He studied industrial design at the Spring Garden School in Philadelphia from 1888 to 1890. In 1893 he became an illustrator at the Philadelphia Press. Simultaneously he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, where he met Robert Henri, John Sloan, William J. Glackens, and George Luks. Their style of urban realism prompted him to depict the bleak aspects of city life. In 1897 Shinn moved to New York and produced illustrations for several newspapers and magazines, for example Mark Twain (March 1900; see Perlman, p. 80), a frontispiece for The Critic. He also drew sketches for a novel by William Dean Howells on New York; although the novel was not published, Shinn’s drawings brought him national recognition.

Shinn’s work changed radically when, on a trip to Paris in 1901, he was inspired by the theatre scenes of Manet, Degas, and Jean-Louis Forain. He began to paint performers in action, from unusual vantage points, as in ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

Italian designers, active in the USA. Massimo Vignelli (b Milan, 10 Jan 1931; d New York, 27 May 2014) attended the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan (1948–50); the Politecnico, Milan (1950–53); and the School of Architecture, University of Venice (1953–7). He chiefly worked on product and graphic design and corporate identity programmes. In the mid-1950s, while still a student, he designed a series of lighting fixtures for the Venini S.p.A. of Murano, most notably the ‘Fungo’ table lamp (1955; e.g. New York, Cooper-Hewitt Mus.), an original concept in striped glass in which the swelling lampshade and conical base form an integrated unit.

Between 1957 and 1960 he travelled and studied in the USA. In 1957 he married Lella [Elena] Vignelli [née Valle] (b Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, 1936). She studied at the School of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (...

Article

Margaret Rose Vendryes

(b Mayfield, KY, April 30, 1899; d New York, NY, Jan 1, 1977).

American painter. Wilson worked as graphic artist in Chicago for five years after completing the four-year commercial art program at the Art Institute of Chicago School in 1923. He became an adept colorist with a particular interest in still life composition. Wilson hoped to grow as a painter after moving to Harlem, New York in 1928 where he worked odd jobs for wages. Three years later, he permanently relocated to Greenwich Village. He exhibited with the Harmon Foundation, at the Detroit Museum, the Contemporary Arts and Roko Galleries in New York City, and at most of the large historically black universities and colleges. Wilson socialized with important members of the New Negro arts movement such as Aaron Douglas and Jacob Lawrence whose abbreviated figurative works tempered his academic realist style ( see New Negro Movement ). His skill with linear gestures, affinity with nature, and ability to strike a coherent balance between them identify this best work. With two years of Guggenheim fellowships, he spent time with the African Americans living on South Carolina’s Sea Islands in ...