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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

Mark Firth and Louis Skoler

Silvery white metal. The third most abundant element in the earth’s crust (after oxygen and silicon), aluminium is found only in the form of its compounds, such as alumina or aluminium oxide. Its name is derived from alumen, the Latin name for alum, and in the 18th century the French word alumine was proposed for the oxide of the metal, then undiscovered. The name aluminium was adopted in the early 19th century and is used world-wide except in the USA, where the spelling is aluminum, and in Italy where alluminio is used. Following the discovery of processes for separating the metal from the oxide, at first experimentally in 1825, then commercially in 1854 and industrially in 1886–8, aluminium rapidly came to be valued as an adaptable material with both functional and decorative properties. Thus in addition to being used in engineering, transport, industrial design and household products, it was also widely adopted in architecture, sculpture and the decorative arts....

Article

Freya Probst

(b Hanau, July 1874; d Berlin, July 3, 1913).

German silversmith, sculptor and painter. He attended the Zeichenakademie and the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hanau then studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Berlin, and the Académie Julian in Paris, before finally becoming a student of the sculptor Louis Tuaillon at the Kunstakademie, Berlin. From 1894 to 1903 he worked at the renowned silverware factory of Bruckmann & Söhne in Heilbronn, modelling goblets, cutlery, sports prizes and medals etc. In collaboration with Otto Rieth, professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin, Amberg made a silver fountain (h. 3.2 m) for the Exposition Universelle, Paris, in 1900.

After designing the silver for the Town Hall of Aachen (1903) and spending a year in Rome (1903–4), Amberg completed his most important work, the design of the Hochzeitszug (Berlin, Tiergarten, Kstgewmus.), a table centre for the wedding of Wilhelm (1882–1951), Crown Prince of Germany and Prussia and Herzogin Cecilie von Mecklenburg-Schwerin (...

Article

Lisa M. Binder

(b Anyako, Ghana, June 13, 1944).

Ghanaian sculptor, active in Nigeria. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sculpture (1968) and a postgraduate diploma in art education from the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (1969). After graduation he taught at the Specialist Training College (now University of Winneba), Ghana, in a position vacated by the eminent sculptor Vincent Kofi. From 1975 he was Professor of Sculpture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Anatsui’s practice often makes use of found objects including bottle caps, milk-tins and cassava graters. However, he is not concerned with recycling or salvaging; instead he seeks meaning in the ways materials can be transformed to make statements about history, culture and memory.

His early work consists of ceramic sculptures manipulated to reconfigure pieces of memory. In 1978 he began his Broken Pots series, which was exhibited the following year at the British Council in Enugu, Nigeria. Several of the ceramic works were made of sherds that were fused together by a grog-like cement of broken pieces. Making art historical references to ...

Article

Philip Ward-Jackson

(b London, June 18, 1828; d London, Dec 4, 1905).

English sculptor, silversmith and illustrator. He was the son of a chaser and attended the Royal Academy Schools, London. At first he gave his attention equally to silverwork and to sculpture, exhibiting at the Royal Academy from 1851. An early bronze, St Michael and the Serpent, cast in 1852 for the Art Union, shows him conversant with the style of continental Romantics, and his debut in metalwork coincided with the introduction into England of virtuoso repoussé work by the Frenchman, Antoine Vechte (1799–1868). In the Outram Shield (London, V&A), Armstead displayed the full gamut of low-relief effects in silver, but its reception at the Royal Academy in 1862 disappointed him, and he turned his attention to monumental sculpture. Among a number of fruitful collaborations with architects, that with George Gilbert I Scott (ii) included a high degree of responsibility for the sculpture on the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, London. Here Armstead’s main contribution was the execution of half of the podium frieze (...

Article

Suzanne Tise

Descriptive term applied to a style of decorative arts that was widely disseminated in Europe and the USA during the 1920s and 1930s. Derived from the style made popular by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925, the term has been used only since the late 1960s, when there was a revival of interest in the decorative arts of the early 20th century. Since then the term ‘Art Deco’ has been applied to a wide variety of works produced during the inter-war years, and even to those of the German Bauhaus. But Art Deco was essentially of French origin, and the term should, therefore, be applied only to French works and those from countries directly influenced by France.

The development of the Art Deco style, or the Style moderne as it was called at the time, closely paralleled the initiation of the 1925...

Article

Michèle Lavallée

[Fr.: ‘new art’]

Decorative style of the late 19th century and the early 20th that flourished principally in Europe and the USA. Although it influenced painting and sculpture, its chief manifestations were in architecture and the decorative and graphic arts, the aspects on which this survey concentrates. It is characterized by sinuous, asymmetrical lines based on organic forms; in a broader sense it encompasses the geometrical and more abstract patterns and rhythms that were evolved as part of the general reaction to 19th-century historicism. There are wide variations in the style according to where it appeared and the materials that were employed.

Art Nouveau has been held to have had its beginnings in 1894 or 1895. A more appropriate date would be 1884, the year the progressive group Les XX was founded in Belgium, and the term was used in the periodical that supported it, Art Moderne: ‘we are believers in Art Nouveau’. The origin of the name is usually attributed to ...

Article

Alan Crawford

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself.

The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home. They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times. The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization. Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life....

Article

Alan Crawford

(b Isleworth, Middx, May 17, 1863; d Godden Green, Kent, May 23, 1942).

English designer, writer, architect and social reformer . He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge. As a young man he was deeply influenced by the teachings of John Ruskin and William Morris, and particularly by their vision of creative workmanship in the Middle Ages; such a vision made work in modern times seem like mechanical drudgery. Ashbee played many parts and might be thought a dilettante; but his purpose was always to give a practical expression to what he had learnt from Ruskin and Morris. An intense and rather isolated figure, he found security in a life dedicated to making the world a better place.

In 1888, while he was training to be an architect in the office of G. F. Bodley and Thomas Garner (1839–1906), Ashbee set up the Guild and School of Handicraft in the East End of London. The School lasted only until 1895, but the Guild, a craft workshop that combined the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement with a romantic, apolitical socialism, was to be the focus of Ashbee’s work for the next 20 years. There were five guildsmen at first, making furniture and base metalwork. In ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

American silversmiths, active in New York. The company was founded by the silversmith Isaac Marquand in 1810, and traded as Marquand & Co. In 1839 the company was bought by Henry Ball, Erasus Tompkins and William Black, and was known as Ball, Tompkins & Black until 1851, when it became Ball, Black & Company. In ...

Article

Rigmor Lovring

(Hendrik)

(b Copenhagen, March 9, 1871; d Copenhagen, Jan 28, 1941).

Danish painter and metalworker . He trained at private schools of painting in Copenhagen. In 1889–1904 he travelled to Paris and Brittany several times and between 1892 and 1906 was often in Italy. Mette Gauguin (b 1850) inspired in him an interest in French art, and it was she who introduced him to Paul Gauguin and Paul Sérusier in Brittany. He was encouraged by his friend the Dutch painter Jan Verkade to convert from Judaism to Catholicism in 1893. Ballin introduced French Symbolism and Art Nouveau to Denmark, and he was valued for his knowledge of the work of Gauguin, Sérusier, the Symbolists and the Synthetists. Symbolist inspiration is apparent in one of his few paintings, At the Beach (1900; Copenhagen, M. Bredholt priv. col.)

After his conversion to Catholicism, Ballin became interested in religious artefacts and abandoned painting for metalwork. In 1899 he opened a metal workshop with the sculptor ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Merseyside, June 23, 1966).

English sculptor and conceptual artist. She studied at Kingston Polytechnic, Surrey (1986–9), and at Goldsmiths’ College of Art in London (1992–3). She had her first solo exhibition at City Racing, London, in 1994, and in the following year was included in General Release: Young British Artists at the XLVI Venice Biennale. Banner came to prominence with her ‘wordscapes’, large text works that recount the plots of feature films or other events. The first of these was Top Gun (pencil on paper, 2.13×4.57 m, 1993), a hand-written account of the film Top Gun presented on a cinematic scale. The ‘wordscapes’ led to the publication in 1997 of The Nam, 1000 pages of continuous text describing the Vietnam war movies Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Hamburger Hill and The Deer Hunter. This unreadable text points to the excess of violence in such films, the numbing of critical faculties, as well as the mythologizing and fictionalizing framing devices used to interpret historical events. Towards the end of the 1990s she became interested in the implications of punctuation signs, dwelling on their qualities as abstract marks that give structure to text. By selecting a variety of fonts, enlarging the full stop signs to ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Philadelphia, Dec 17, 1960).

American sculptor, active in England. He obtained a BFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA, and an MFA from Goldsmiths’ College, London, in 1988. Exploring his interest in the government of behaviour by social constraint, he first used clothes and hair as materials before turning to animal remains and casts of human organs for his increasingly unsettling work. His The Cat and the Dog (1995; London, Saatchi Gal., see 1996 exh. cat., p. 4) consists of two skinned animal hides with perfectly reconstructed heads and feet. Described by the artist as frozen smiles, the animal objects act as abstract surrogates for socially repressed bestial tendencies. Be Your Dog (1997; see 1998 exh. cat., p. 10), consisting of scalped dog ears mounted on a wall as an invitation to wear them, illustrates this theme even more forcefully. Other works by Baseman represent human body parts. Muscle (1997...

Article

Mark Jones

(b Tours, March 24, 1878; d 1963).

French medallist. He studied first at the school of art in Tours and then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was an able and prolific follower of such medallists as Frédéric de Vernon and Oscar Roty: his decorative and sentimental plaquettes, among them Wedding (1902), First Step...

Article

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Philip Attwood

(b London, April 4, 1872; d London, July 10, 1953).

English sculptor and medallist. He was the son of the painter and etcher Alfred Walter Bayes (1832–1909) and brother of the painters Walter Bayes (1869–1956) and Jessie Bayes (1878–1971). He studied at the City and Guilds Technical College and the Royal Academy School in London. His early work consists of reliefs and decorative objects, and bronze statuettes, some partly enamelled, which show the influence of Alfred Gilbert and the New Sculpture. After World War I his work became more stylized. He executed a number of large-scale reliefs including History of Pottery through the Ages (polychrome stoneware, 1938; London, V&A) for the headquarters of Doulton’s, the ceramics manufacturers, on Albert Embankment, London, and History of Drama through the Ages (artificial stone) for the Saville Theatre (now the MGM Cinema), Shaftesbury Avenue, also in London, works which exemplify the artist’s eagerness to experiment with new materials. He worked closely with ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b West Hartlepool, Cleveland, Jan 9, 1935).

English painter and printmaker. He studied at West Hartlepool College of Art (1950–55) and at the Royal Academy Schools, London, from 1957 to 1961. He taught at Goldsmiths’ College, London, for much of the 1980s and 90s. An initial interest in the paintings of Walter Richard Sickert gave way to influences from the late work of Picasso and paintings by the New York artists associated with Abstract Expressionism. Beattie’s mature work can be situated within the context of the abstraction practised by other English painters such as John Hoyland, Albert Irvin and Gillian Ayres, all of whose sensual and physical use of paint owes some allegiance to the recent American tradition. Beattie’s work of the 1980s was very gestural and characterized by its use of dark colours, as in Circus (1984; London, Tate). He later became interested in dividing the pictorial space into defined sections. The abstract forms that Beattie used were often organized into shapes resembling ziggurats, as in ...

Article

Philip Davies

(b Bo’ness, 1866; d Edinburgh, Feb 23, 1937).

Scottish architect, active in India. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and Royal Academy Schools. At the RIBA he was a Silver Medallist (1894). After a period articled to Hippolyte Blanc (1844–1917), he worked with Alfred Waterhouse and R. W. Edis before going to South Africa as architect to the Real Estate Corporation. In 1901 he became Consulting Architect to the Government of Bombay, before succeeding James Ransome (1865–1944) as Consulting Architect to the Government of India in 1908, the first to be employed outside the ranks of the Public Works Department engineers. He remained in this post until 1921.

He was proficient in a wide variety of styles. He designed barracks and housing for the new cantonment at Delhi and devised a standardized design for the Post and Telegraph departments, of which the Nagpur Post Office and Agra Post Office (1913...

Article

Donna Corbin

(b Milan, 1847; d Magreglio, 1927).

Italian silversmith. He was known for his complex designs of flatware, chalices and inkwells. His flatware designed c. 1885 was Renaissance Revival in style, while that designed c. 1887 (Milan, Castello Sforzesco) is more reminiscent of the Mannerist style of Benvenuto Cellini and Antonio Gentile, the handles being adorned with the forms of nymphs and satyrs. Bellosio is also well known for his work exhibited at the Turin Exhibition of ...

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 ...