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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

Susan T. Goodman

[Moscovitz, Shalom; Shalom of Safed]

(b Safed, Palestine [now Israel], 1887; d Safed, Jan 1980).

Israeli painter. For over 70 years he worked as a watchmaker as well as a scribe, silversmith and stonemason in Safed, an important centre of Jewish mysticism. After his watch-repair shop was destroyed in the War of Independence (1948), he earned a living by selling plywood toys coloured with crayon. In the mid-1950s Yosl Bergner, who recognized in these charming works the essential qualities of folk art, encouraged Shalom to paint. Shalom’s artistic vocabulary grew out of the rich traditions of his Hasidic heritage. The mystical literature of Safed and the deep impression made by the landscape of Israel contributed to his spiritual and visual development, while his work also reveals a deep affinity and commitment to the Scriptures, although he did much more than merely illustrate the scriptural narrative, as in Scenes from the Book of Ruth (1960; New York, Jew. Mus.). He created a pictorial unity from various recognized conventions, including discrepancies in scale between figures and settings in the depiction of groups in complex compositions, which heighten the expressive effect. Figures are depicted in profile or silhouetted in flat, unmodelled form (e.g. ...