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Biombo  

Sofía Sanabrais

Name used in Mexico and throughout Latin America for a folding screen. The word biombo is a transliteration of the Japanese word for folding screen—byōbu—an acknowledgement of its place of origin. The Japanese byōbu has long been a quintessential example of Japanese art and was a common diplomatic gift to foreign courts in the early modern period (see Screen, §1). Referred to as the ‘face of Japanese diplomacy’, byōbu were presented as ambassadors of Japanese culture to places as far off as London and Mexico City. Byōbu also found their way to New Spain as exports in the Manila Galleon trade. In 17th-century Mexico the Japanese screen was admired by artists and patrons, and was adapted and reinterpreted on a grand scale. The unique format of the biombo provided new ways for artists to depict subject-matter, and locally made biombos began appearing in the archival record in the first years of the 17th century. ...

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

Pauline Antrobus

(b Lima, 1889; d Lima, 1970).

Peruvian designer, painter and teacher. She taught drawing in local schools before entering the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima in 1919. Inspired by Peru’s indigenous heritage and the love of her country, Izcue often depicted Indian and Inca themes in her paintings (e.g. Untitled, 1924; Lima, Palacio de Gobierno). With her twin sister Victoria, she created the ‘Incaic decorative art’ style of interior design in the early 1920s. She illustrated the children’s book Manco Capac: Leyenda nacional (1923) at the request of Rafael Larco Herrera. He covered the publication costs of Izcue’s El arte peruano en la escuela (Paris, 1926), which showed children how indigenous motifs could be used to decorate various handicrafts. After graduating in 1926, Izcue received a grant to travel to Paris, where she attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and studied with Fernand Léger and Marcel Gromaire. To finance living in Paris, she produced Peruvian-influenced fashion accessories, and in ...

Article

Louise Noelle

(b Mexico City, May 7, 1931; d Mexico City, Dec 30, 2011.

Mexican architect and furniture designer, active also in the USA. He graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Arquitectura, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, in 1953. He began as a draughtsman in the studio of José Villagrán García, the leader of Mexican Functionalism, becoming his partner between 1955 and 1960. During this period he was a follower of the International Style, as seen in the Hotel María Isabel (1961–2; with Villagrán García and Juan Sordo Madaleno), Mexico City. In 1960 he set up in partnership with Noé Castro (b 1929) and Carlos Vargas (b 1938), specializing in the design of factories and office buildings, the most notable project of this period being the office building for Celanese Mexicana (1966–8; with Roberto Jean) in Mexico City, with its prismatic outline and technical brio in the use of the hanging structure. In the late 1960s, influenced by ...

Article

James Yorke and Gordon Campbell

Rich reddish-brown wood of trees of the Central and South American genus Swietenia (family Meliaceae). In early use the term denoted Swietenia mahagoni (Cuban mahogany or ‘Spanish’ mahogany), but from the 18th century it increasingly denoted Swietenia macrophylla, which was imported from Jamaica. In the 1720s mahogany became the most widely used wood in English cabinetmaking. Robert Walpole (1676–1745) not only exempted Jamaican mahogany from import duty, making it cheaper than the more sought after Cuban or ‘Spanish’ mahogany, but he also had the staircase and panelling at Houghton Hall, Norfolk, made in this material. Mahogany was popular with cabinetmakers as it enabled crisp, high-quality carving, it was stable and resistant to warping and woodworm and it came in large planks, making it suitable for all kinds of furniture. The use of mahogany remained an English specialism until the 1760s, when it was taken up by French cabinetmakers; in the 1780s ‘anglomania’ in France created a fashion for mahogany chairs and dining-room tables. By the end of the century mahogany had become a fashionable wood all over Europe....

Article

Maria Helena Mendes Pinto

(fl Braga, 1692–1717; d Braga, 1720).

Portuguese cabinetmaker and metalworker. The most outstanding characteristic of his documented works—all commissioned by religious institutions—is his use of pau preto (Brazilian rose-wood), either solid or thickly veneered on to chestnut, worked em espinhado (in a herring-bone pattern) decorated with parallel grooves, mouldings and, more rarely, with almofadados (pillow panelling). In the contracts signed by Marques with the chapter of Braga Cathedral and various convents and Misericórdia churches in northern Portugal he is referred to as the enxamblador da Cónega (joiner) responsible for executing both the woodwork and decorative metalwork of the furniture commissioned. The application of pierced and gilded brass plaques in the form of borders, rosettes in relief, enormous escutcheons and impressive handles is a constant feature of his work. He played an important role in northern Portuguese furniture-making for the uniformity of his production. He specialized in balustrades, for example those for the pulpit of the Misericórdia church in Vila do Conde (...

Article

Veerle Poupeye

(b St. Andrew, Dec 29, 1902; d Sept 20, 1992).

Jamaican sculptor. He was initially self-taught, but later attended the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London. He worked as a furniture-carver in the 1930s for the Jamaican Art Deco furniture designer Burnett Webster (1909–1992). His own work of this period was influenced by Art Deco and by Edna Manley. Gradually it became more academic, and he became Jamaica’s most popular monumental sculptor. Among his best-known works are monuments in Kingston to Jamaica’s national heroes, including Norman Manley (1971) and Alexander Bustamante (1972), as well as to the reggae singer Bob Marley (1985). He worked in various materials, including bronze, but was at his best as a woodcarver. His outstanding achievement is the carved ceiling decoration and lectern of the university chapel, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.

Boxer, D. and Poupeye, V. Modern Jamaican Art. Kingston, 1998.Poupeye, V. Caribbean Art...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Close-grained wood taken from the trees of the genera Dalbergia; the traditional source was Brazil, where it is known as Jacaranda; the variety from South and South-east Asia is Indian rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia). The name rosewood alludes to its odour rather than its appearance. It was widely used by cabinetmakers in 19th-century England, France and Germany....

Article

Marlene Milan Acayaba

(Mauricio)

(b Zurich, June 27, 1917; d São Paulo, April 1, 1974).

Brazilian architect, interior designer and teacher of Swiss birth. His family moved from their native Switzerland to Brazil when his father, the architect Frederico Ruchti, received a commission from the Klabin family. Jacob studied architecture (1935–40) at the School of Engineering at Mackenzie University, São Paulo, where he resisted the prescribed Neo-classical aesthetic and rebelliously encouraged his fellow students to share his interest in modern architecture. His interest in Constructivism inspired some of his design projects and was expressed in an article for Clima (1941). After graduation he worked for a time with his father, designing houses similar in concept to the Usonian houses of Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1946 he was one of the team responsible for designing the headquarters of the Instituto de Arquitetos de São Paulo. In 1951, with Pietro Maria Bardi (b 1900), he set up the first school of design in Brazil, the Instituto de Arte Contemporânea of the Museu de Arte, São Paulo, at which he was Professor of Composition; the following year, in association with other architects, including ...

Article

María Antonia González-Arnal

(b San Rafael de Mucuchíes, nr Mérida, May 16, 1900; d San Rafael de Mucuchíes, April 18, 1997).

Venezuelan sculptor, furniture designer, weaver and architect. He was self-taught as an artist. In 1935 he carved a sculptural group representing Christ, the Virgin and Mary Magdalene (untraced). In 1943 Sánchez moved to El Potrero, and in 1946 he constructed the only loom in Venezuela with three heddles. In 1952 he began the construction of the Complejo de El Tisure, near Mérida, an artistic and religious centre located in an immense isolated valley. His most representative works are housed there, including the sculptural group Calvary. Between 1960 and 1964 he executed some of his most original pieces of weaving and furniture. His first one-man show was held in 1982 at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas.

See also under Venezuela, Republic of, §II.

Juan Félix Sánchez, Grupo Cinco (Madrid, 1982)Lo espiritual en el arte: Juan Félix Sánchez (exh. cat., Caracas, Mus. A. Contemp., 1982)E. Planchart Licea: Juan Félix Sánchez: El gigante del Tisure...