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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

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

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

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

Gjergj Frashëri

[Nikollë]

(b Shkodër, Aug 15, 1860; d Shkodër, Dec 12, 1939).

Albanian painter, architect, sculptor and photographer. His grandfather Andrea Idromeno was a painter and a doctor of theology; his father, Arsen Idromeno, was a furniture designer and painter. Kol Idromeno took private lessons in painting (1871–5) at the studio of the photographer and painter Pietro Marubi (1834–1903). In 1875 he won a competition and began studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice. However, due to arguments with his teacher, he abandoned the school and continued his studies in one of the large studios in Venice (1876–8).

At first Idromeno produced works with both religious and secular themes that were noted for their highly realistic rendering of the human form (e.g. St Mary Magdalene, oil on canvas, 1877; Shkodër Mus.). Many of his biblical works were executed in churches within the Shkodër district, with perhaps his best work being the frescoes of the Orthodox Church in Shkodër, especially the fragment depicting ...

Article

[Siciliano]

(b Palermo, ?1530; d Rome, 1602).

Italian painter, designer and engineer. A pupil of Sebastiano del Piombo, he spent his formative years in Bologna in the circle of Ignazio Danti. He was working there between 1563, if not earlier, and 1582, though he was recorded as working in 1579 for Alfonso II d’Este, Duke of Ferrara. He was closely involved in redesigning the Piazza Nettuno in Bologna, providing the designs and the hydraulic engineering for fountains, one of which—the Fountain of Neptune (1566)—was adorned with bronze sculptures by Giambologna, while the Fonte Vecchia (1565) was undertaken by Laureti in collaboration with Giacomo della Porta.

Laureti’s major religious paintings were executed for the church of S Giacomo Maggiore, including altarpieces of Christ with SS James and Augustine (1574) and the Virgin and Child with SS William of Gallone, Duke of Aquitaine, Agatha and Cecilia (1580–82), and decorations showing St Augustine’s Funeral Procession...

Article

Alan Powers

(b Paris, March 19, 1715; d St Petersburg, March 24, 1759).

French painter, furniture designer, architect and engraver. He studied with Jacques Dumont and won the Grand Prix de Peinture in 1739. He remained for eight years in Rome, where his architectural designs for the temporary centrepiece of the annual Chinea festival (1745, 1746 and 1747) are early examples of Neo-classicism, displaying a simple architectonic use of the orders that indicates his association with Giovanni Battista Piranesi in the circle of students of the Académie de France in Rome, who were highly influential in French architecture from the 1760s onwards. On his return to Paris in 1747, Le Lorrain enjoyed the patronage of the Comte de Caylus, for whom he executed engravings of ancient paintings and revived the technique of encaustic. Through de Caylus he obtained a commission from Count Carl Gustav Tessin to design quadratura representations of columns and niches for the dining-room walls of his country house at Åkerö, Sweden, in ...

Article

Elisabeth Lebovici

(b Béziers, Hérault, Dec 25, 1924).

French painter and sculptor. He studied drawing and painting in Pau from 1939 to 1945 while qualifying as an engineer there. From 1945 to 1955 he worked as an aeronautics designer and draughtsman within the firm Turboméca before deciding to devote himself full-time to painting, taking as his starting-point Art informel and particularly the work of Jean Dubuffet. He wrote, in a sort of graffiti, directly on to the substances from which he made his pictures, favouring materials that offered resistance and that could be built up and modelled, such as crushed flint mixed with a synthetic resin and coloured with powdered pigments. Through such methods an affinity was suggested with ancient palimpsests covered in successive layers of writing.

Noël lived in New York from 1969 to 1981 and under the influence of Minimalism subjected his work to a more formal structure. His signs lost their resemblance to mysterious writing, instead becoming enmeshed in patterns of latticework, grids and patchworks that defined the painted surface. On his return to France he again took up the large scale and themes of murals that he had painted on commission before moving to New York, for example at the Lycée du Grand Lac in Var, Alpes Maritimes, in ...

Article

Guido Zucconi

(b Milan, Nov 18, 1891; d Milan, Sept 16, 1979).

Italian architect, painter, writer, designer and publisher. After serving in World War I, he graduated (1921) from the polytechnic in Milan, where he later held a professorship (1936–61). Working first (1923–7) with architects Mino Fiocchi and Emilio Lancia, and later (1927–33) in partnership with Lancia only, in his early years of practice he was attracted to the simplified classicism of the Novecento Italiano. As designer (1923–7) to the ceramic manufacturer Richard-Ginori he produced a porcelain that was exhibited at the first Monza Biennale (1923) and at the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925) in Paris, where the chairman of Cristoffle, Tony Bouilhet, commissioned him to make a new range of cutlery; he also asked him to design his villa (completed 1926) at Garches, Paris. This villa, together with the slightly earlier house (...

Article

Martin Kemp

(b Anchiano, nr Vinci, April 15, 1452; d Amboise, nr Tours, May 2, 1519).

Italian painter, sculptor, architect, designer, theorist, engineer and scientist. He was the founding father of what is called the High Renaissance style and exercised an enormous influence on contemporary and later artists. His writings on art helped establish the ideals of representation and expression that were to dominate European academies for the next 400 years. The standards he set in figure draughtsmanship, handling of space, depiction of light and shade, representation of landscape, evocation of character and techniques of narrative radically transformed the range of art. A number of his inventions in architecture and in various fields of decoration entered the general currency of 16th-century design.

Although he brought relatively few works to completion, and even fewer have survived, Leonardo was responsible for some of the most influential images in the history of art. The ‘Mona Lisa’ (Paris, Louvre) may fairly be described as the world’s most famous painting. When the extent of his writings on many branches of science became increasingly apparent during the 19th century, he appeared to epitomize the idea of the universal genius and was hailed as one of the prophets of the modern era. More recent assessments of his intellectual achievements have recognized the medieval and Classical framework on which his theories were constructed but have done nothing to detract from the awesome range and intensity of his thought....

Article

Colin Cunningham

(b Aigburth, Liverpool, July 19, 1830; d Yattendon, Berks, Aug 22, 1905).

English architect, furniture designer and painter. In financial terms he was probably the most successful architect of the 19th century, and his office, of a dozen or so full-time staff, was able to produce large quantities of high-quality drawings with speed and efficiency. His skill in planning was recognized at an early stage, but appreciation of his stylistic achievement has been slower. He was influenced by Ruskin and A. W. N. Pugin, as well as by the more practical approach of George Gilbert Scott, but he developed his own approach to the composition of forms and a preference for bold simple ornament to match the increasing scale of his buildings. He did not confine himself to a single style but was adept in Gothic and, later, free Renaissance styles, and he developed a preference for the neo-Romanesque. He distinguished between carved or moulded ornament on plain stone and decorative materials such as veined marble, which he generally left unornamented. His concern for hard-wearing surface materials led him to adopt terracotta as a facing material, in which he was both a pioneer and protagonist. His sensitive handling of materials approached the aims of the Arts and Crafts Movement, but he always accepted that building was an industrial process. His buildings are characterized by sound planning and bold and picturesque outline, with particular attention given to the skyline in urban buildings....