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Article

John Steen

(Hendrik)

(b Borger, Feb 11, 1900; d Drachten, Jan 30, 1984).

Dutch painter and printmaker. He trained between 1919 and 1923 as a cabinetmaker, taking evening classes in furniture drawing and design at the Academie Minerva in Groningen. He also took private drawing lessons with the Dutch sculptor Willem Valk (1898–1977). Around 1920 he started to make drawings and paintings in an abstracted, geometric style, similar to that of Bart van der Leck (e.g. En passant, 1921–2; priv. col., see 1984 exh. cat., p. 17). From 1924 he worked in the architectural firm of Van Lingen in Groningen, and he continued to design furniture until the 1930s. He joined De Ploeg and started to mix with Dutch artists such as Jan Wiegers, Jan Altink (1885–1971) and Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman. He produced geometric abstract works such as Composition with Yellow Circles (1924; Groningen, Groninger Mus.). From c. 1924 he began to associate with the Belgian Constructivists involved in the magazine ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Washington, DC, Dec 26, 1924; d in Albany, NY, Feb 9, 2013).

American sculptor and painter . He studied art in 1949–50 under Amédée Ozenfant in New York. During the 1950s he designed and made furniture in New York, but after a fire that destroyed most of the contents of his shop in 1958 he turned again to art, initially painting abstract pictures derived from memories of the New Mexican landscape.

Artschwager continued to produce furniture and, after a commission to make altars for ships in 1960, had the idea of producing sculptures that mimicked actual objects while simultaneously betraying their identity as artistic illusions. At first these included objets trouvés made of wood, overpainted with acrylic in an exaggerated wood-grain pattern (e.g. Table and Chair, 1962–3; New York, Paula Cooper priv. col., see 1988–9 exh. cat., p. 49), but he soon developed more abstract or geometrical versions of such objects formed from a veneer of formica on wood (e.g. Table and Chair...

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

Peyton Skipwith

(b London, April 14, 1863; d London, Nov 27, 1933).

English decorative artist and painter. He was articled to an architect and studied at Westminster School of Art under Frederick Brown and at the Royal Academy Schools. Later he worked in the studio of Aimé Morot in Paris and travelled to Italy. Bell belonged to the group of artist–craftsmen who brought about the last flowering of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. He painted in oil and watercolour and was among the pioneers of the revival of the use of tempera. He was an illustrator and also worked in stained glass and mosaic. He is best known for a series of bas-reliefs in coloured plaster, a group of which was used in the interior decoration at Le Bois de Moutiers, a house in Varengeville, Normandy, designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1898. Bell’s understanding of early Italian art underpinned his work in mosaic, a medium he used to great effect in three public commissions in London: the ...

Article

Marie Demanet

(b Ath, Jan 7, 1875; d Brussels, Sept 1, 1952).

Belgian decorative artist, architect and painter. He began architectural studies at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp but broke off to pursue courses on the decorative arts at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, graduating in 1898. The tuition he received there from the painter Constant Montald gave him a taste for mural art and he soon developed a business that specialized in sgraffito painting, a technique that had recently come back into fashion. He completed some 440 design projects, most of which were for building façades and stairways. As an interior designer, painter and draughtsman, Cauchie was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow style and he produced a variety of work in the applied arts. Towards 1905 his style became more geometrical. It was at this time that he built his own studio and house at Etterbeek, Brussels, in collaboration with the architect ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Paris, after 1945).

French performance and installation artist, painter, bookmaker, furniture and interior furnishings designer. Chaimowicz moved to England as a child, studying at Ealing College of Art (1963–5), Camberwell College of Art (1965–8) and the Slade School of Art (1968–70). Whilst completing his MA at the Slade, Chaimowicz decided to abandon painting, and started to make performance work, such as Celebration? Real Life (1972; performed at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and Gallery House, London). For the duration of each show, Chaimowicz lived within the domestic space that he had created, serving coffee to visitors to the gallery. His work during the 1970s and early 1980s concentrated on performances in imaginary, idealised domestic spaces, with fragmented narratives and symbolic actions. Partial Eclipse (1980–82) consisted of Chaimowicz walking in a figure of eight in front of and behind a screen on which slides of his apartment/studio were projected, whilst a female voice recounted fragments of meetings, situations and relationships (see ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Flensburg, March 6, 1866; d Wiesbaden, Jan 5, 1945).

German designer. After an early career as an interior designer he turned to the design of tapestries (subsequently woven at the Scherbeker Kunstgewerbeschule), porcelain (table wares), drinking glasses (for the Theresienthaler Kristallglasfabrik) and silver cutlery. After 1914 he worked primarily as a painter and writer.

M. Zimmermann-Degen and H. Christiansen...

Article

Merrill Halkerston

(b Portland, ME, March 4, 1832; d New York, March 26, 1920).

American painter, interior designer and writer. Colman grew up in New York, where his father, Samuel Colman, ran a successful publishing business. The family bookstore on Broadway, a popular meeting place for artists, offered Colman early introductions to such Hudson River school painters as Asher B(rown) Durand, with whom he is said to have studied briefly around 1850. Having won early recognition for his paintings of popular Hudson River school locations (see Storm King on the Hudson), he was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design in New York in 1854. Most of Colman’s landscapes of the 1850s, for example Meadows and Wildflowers at Conway (1856; Poughkeepsie, NY, Vassar Coll., Frances Lehman Loeb A. Cent.), reveal the influence of the Hudson River school. An avid traveller, he embarked on his first European tour in 1860, visiting France, Italy, Switzerland and the more exotic locales of southern Spain and Morocco. His reputation was secured in the 1860s by his numerous paintings of romantic Spanish sites, notably the large ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

[Cesare]

(b Milan, July 30, 1930; d Milan, July 30, 1971).

Italian designer. After an early career as a sculptor and painter he turned to design for what was to be the last decade of his short life. In 1962 he opened a design studio on Viale Pavia in Milan, and thereafter concentrated on interiors (in the first instance for alpine hotels) and furniture design. His furniture had neither straight lines nor corners, but consisted of curves and folds. His chairs include the fibreglass Elda Armchair (...

Article

Christina Lodder

revised by Benjamin Benus

Avant-garde tendency in 20th-century painting, sculpture, photography, design and architecture, with associated developments in literature, theatre and film. The term was first coined by artists in Russia in early 1921 and achieved wide international currency in the 1920s. Russian Constructivism refers specifically to a group of artists who sought to move beyond the autonomous art object, extending the formal language of abstract art into practical design work. This development was prompted by the utopian climate following the October Revolution of 1917, which led artists to seek to create a new visual environment, embodying the social needs and values of the new Communist order. The concept of International Constructivism defines a broader current in European art, most vital from around 1922 until the end of the 1920s, that was centred primarily in Central and Eastern Europe. International Constructivists were inspired by the Russian example, both artistically and politically. They continued, however, to work in the traditional artistic media of painting and sculpture, while also experimenting with film and photography and recognizing the potential of the new formal language for utilitarian design. The term Constructivism has frequently been used since the 1920s, in a looser fashion, to evoke a continuing tradition of geometric abstract art that is ‘constructed’ from autonomous visual elements such as lines and planes, and characterized by such qualities as precision, impersonality, a clear formal order, simplicity and economy of organization and the use of contemporary materials such as plastic and metal....

Article

Christopher Newall

(b Liverpool, Aug 15, 1845; d Horsham, W. Sussex, March 14, 1915).

English painter, illustrator, designer, writer and teacher. He showed artistic inclinations as a boy and was encouraged to draw by his father, the portrait painter and miniaturist Thomas Crane (1808–59). A series of illustrations to Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) was shown first to Ruskin, who praised the use of colour, and then to the engraver William James Linton, to whom Crane was apprenticed in 1859. From 1859 to 1862 Crane learnt a technique of exact and economical draughtsmanship on woodblocks. His early illustrative works included vignette wood-engravings for John R. Capel Wise’s The New Forest: Its History and its Scenery (1862).

During the mid-1860s Crane evolved his own style of children’s book illustration. These so-called ‘toy books’, printed in colour by Edmund Evans, included The History of Jenny Wren and The Fairy Ship. Crane introduced new levels of artistic sophistication to the art of illustration: after ...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Warsaw, Jan 27, 1872; d Warsaw, July 27, 1947).

Polish architect, interior designer, teacher and painter. In 1891 he left Poland to study painting at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, and later in Paris, under Jean-Paul Laurens, Benjamin Constant and James McNeill Whistler. He then studied (1894–5) at the School of Fine Arts, Kraków, and at the School of Industrial Art, also in Kraków. He was co-founder of the Polish Applied Arts Society (1901–14), a pioneering institution set up to develop the crafts in Poland. With other members of the society, including Tadeusz Stryjeński, he designed the interiors (1903–6) of the Old Theatre, Kraków, in a style influenced by Art Nouveau. He was also a co-founder of the Kraków Workshops (1913–26), which were housed in the town’s Museum of Technology and Industry, and he designed stucco reliefs for the façade of this building. Czajkowski was a leading supporter of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Poland, but he increasingly inclined towards the Polish ‘mansion house’ style, for example his design (...

Article

Simon Njami

(b Karentaba, 1954).

Senegalese painter and furniture designer. He graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure d’Education Artistique and the International School of Art and Research, Nice. He taught at the Ecole Nationale des Arts and in 1997 was president of the National Association of Fine Arts, Senegal, as well as a member of the Economic and Social Council of Senegal. In the 1980s his ‘dense and emotive’ works were figurative and dealt with general issues such as violence. His work of the mid-1990s was made with strips of cotton cloth, fashioned on canvases so as to create areas of three-dimensional relief, and colored with browns and ochres. He also created brightly coloured figurative acrylic pieces on paper. He exhibited in the first (1995) and second (1997) Johannesburg Biennale and at other international shows in Senegal, Russia, Belgium, Switzerland, Burkina-Faso, Argentina, the USA and elsewhere. His furniture designs include a table made from old machinery parts, gears, hoes and glass, which was included in Dak’Art ’98. In the late 1990s he was considered one of Senegal’s pre-eminent artists....

Article

Courtney Gerber

[Dicker, Friederike]

(b Vienna, July 30, 1898; d Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oct 9, 1944).

Austrian designer, painter, teacher and political activist. The only child of Simon Dicker and Karolina Fanta, she studied photography with Johannes Beckmann in Vienna at the Graphische Lehr- unde Versuchsanstalt in 1914. She mastered the medium within two years, but found its expressive potential limiting and did not pursue it further. In 1915 Dicker-Brandeis enrolled at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna as a student of painter Franz Cižek. In 1916 she transferred to Johannes Itten’s private school in Vienna where she engaged with Itten’s unconventional teaching methods, which focused on unearthing one’s creative powers through meditation, colour theory and interpreting the rhythmic and formal language of art while allowing them to converge. She decided to leave Vienna in 1919 so that she could continue working with Itten who had been offered a post at the Bauhaus School in Weimar. Dicker-Brandeis remained at the Bauhaus until 1923, training in the textile, printing, painting, sculpture and stage design workshops. Her instructors included such artists as Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee. An exemplary student, after her first year she was asked to teach Itten’s Basic Course for the school’s new students. While at the Bauhaus Dicker-Brandeis created a myriad of works ranging from fine art works on paper to children’s toys. The mixed-media composition ...

Article

(b Frankenstein nr Breslau [now Wroclaw], Dec 15, 1868; d Munich, 1940).

German painter, illustrator and interior designer. He studied at the Kunstschule in Breslau under the German painter Albrecht Bräuer (1830–97), and later at the Pinakothek in Munich, absorbing the work of the Old Masters. He continued his training in Paris at the Académie Julian (1892–4), and established a studio in Munich (1895). With other non-academic painters of the period he rejected the influence of the French Impressionists and allied with the Symbolist painters of the late 19th century. He drew inspiration from wild places and as a young man travelled to the Baltic Sea and to the Riviera and Brittany coasts. He was fascinated by Norse legends, Grimms’ fairy tales and Johann Gottfried Herder’s Stimmen der Völker, all of which had an impact on his subject-matter. His early paintings of bucolic landscapes with figures were executed in flat, calm colours with well-defined outlines, reminiscent of the work of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. In a long, prolific career he designed costumes and stage sets, stained glass, ceramics and bookbindings....

Article

Charlotte Moser

[Sluijters, Georges Joseph van; Feuren, Georges van]

(b Paris, Sept 6, 1868; d Paris, Nov 26, 1928).

French designer and painter. Son of a Dutch architect and a Belgian mother, he started out as an actor, costumier and then interior decorator in Paris. In 1894 at the Galerie des Artistes Modernes he exhibited watercolours and paintings of a moderate Symbolist style, typically depicting women in a manner reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley’s work. Capturing the essence of the feminine spirit became his trademark. With Eugène Gaillard and Edouard Colonna he was selected by Siegfried Bing, founder of the Galeries de l’Art Nouveau, to design rooms for his Pavilion Bing at the Exposition Universelle, Paris (1900). De Feure’s carpets, glassware and furniture designs for the boudoir and toilette were based on the theme of woman, emphasizing delicate lines and elegant sensuality. He later left Bing’s gallery and, as an independent designer, created vide-poche furniture, which contained hidden marquetry compartments. This furniture suggested notions of secrecy and coquetry, themes that de Feure pursued throughout his career....

Article

(b Nordhausen, June 16, 1894; d Berlin, March 19, 1975).

German textile designer, interior designer, and muralist. Geyer-Raack specialized in painting at the Kunst- und Gewerbemuseums, Berlin, and was heavily influenced by her professor, the architect and interior designer Bruno Pauls. In 1920 and 1921, during her studies, she participated in summer courses at the Bauhaus in Weimar, at the height of the formalization of the Bauhaus philosophies, probably studying under Johannes Itten and Oskar Schlemmer. Upon completion of her coursework she continued to develop her skills, studying in Paris throughout the 1920s and 1930s. In 1924 she opened her own art and design studio where some of her first projects were designing textiles and carpets for DeWeTex and Rasch. She also began painting murals, using many techniques, including fresco, which eventually led to a long career working for private clients and on public projects. Her work in murals and textiles led her to design wallpaper and complete interiors for clients. Collaborating with the architectural firm B. Paul Umbau in ...

Article

Janice Helland

Term denoting the style of works of art produced in Glasgow from c. 1890 to c. 1920 and particularly associated with Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Herbert MacNair and the Macdonald family sisters, Frances and Margaret. The style originated at the Glasgow School of Art, where Francis H. Newbery (1853–1946) became director in 1885. Influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, Newbery had a commitment to excellence in art that combined functionalism with beauty while encouraging individuality and experimentation among his students. Within three years he had brought in the Century Guild of Artists’ chief metalworker, William Kellock Brown (1856–1934), to teach modelling and metalwork at the School. Kellock Brown had an intimate understanding of A. H. Mackmurdo’s approach to art, as articulated in the journal The Hobby Horse (launched in spring 1884), which voiced a desire for the unification of the old with the new and for an artistic relationship between abstract lines and masses that would reflect the harmonious whole found in nature. The development of the style was given further impetus by the fact that ...

Article

E. A. Christensen

(b Bexley, Kent, June 8, 1855; d 1924).

English designer and painter. He was the son of George Haité, a textile designer. Among his numerous publications on design, the most important is Plant Studies for Artists, Designers, etc. (London, 1884). Comprised of 50 plates of plant ornament, the book also contains a detailed life history of each plant. Using conventionalized motifs derived from a study of nature and Japanese art, he created ceiling designs for J. Tollman & Co., wallpapers for Arthur Sanderson & Sons and Essex & Co., and fabrics for G. P. & J. Baker. He designed small decorative objects; for example, his interior fittings (1896) for the studio of Mr E. Davis included metallic electroliers decorated with leaves and flowers, and four copper repoussé grilles representing the Four Seasons (for illustrations see White).

Haité was instrumental in founding the Society of Designers in 1896 and served as its first president. He produced landscapes in oil and watercolour, which he exhibited at the Royal Academy, London. An enthusiastic member of the Langham Sketch Club and the London Sketch Club, he was known for his rapid sketching ability....

Article

(b The Hague, Dec 18, 1863; d The Hague, Aug 28, 1917).

Dutch painter, lithographer and designer. He trained at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague. He worked as a draughtsman at the Zoological Museum in Leiden and illustrated scientific studies, for instance On a New Collection of Birds from S. W. Africa by J. Büttikofer (1889) and Zoölogische Ergebnisse einer Reise in Niederl. Ost-Indiën, von dr. Max Weber (1890). Apart from paintings such as Two Arabian Vultures (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), he made many watercolours and drawings of plants and animals, which clearly reveal his appreciation of Japanese prints: he often outlined the separate areas of flat colour in ink, in imitation of such prints, and he could describe the characteristic attitudes of animals with a masterly economy of line. Van Hoytema compiled and published two portfolios of prints of related subjects, Dierstudies [Animal studies] (1898) and Bloemstudies [Flower studies] (1905). His powerful, decorative compositions show an unmatched technical perfection....