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Article

Balthus  

Jean Clair

[Count Balthazar Klossowski de Rola]

(b Paris, Feb 29, 1908; d Rossimiere, Feb 18, 2001).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. Appreciated for many years by only a handful of collectors, and ostensibly out of step with the modern movement, Balthus’s classically inspired work won the recognition and admiration of a wider public only late in his career. Although he received no formal training, he came from a highly artistic family background. His father, Erich Klossowski (1875–1949), was a painter and art historian, born to an aristocratic family in East Prussia and the author of a book on Daumier; his brother, Pierre Klossowski, was to become a painter and writer; and his mother, Elizabeth Spiro, was also a painter. Beginning in 1919, she engaged, under the name of Baladine, in a long-lasting relationship with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, providing etchings to accompany many of his poems. In this environment Balthus met the writers André Gide and Pierre-Jean Jouve, as well as Pierre Bonnard, who gave him his earliest guidance. Rilke also acted as Balthus’s mentor, writing the preface for an album of drawings by the 13-year-old artist entitled ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Pergamino, Buenos Aires, Sept 22, 1894; d Buenos Aires, Feb 21, 1976).

Argentine painter, stage designer and illustrator. He studied drawing in Buenos Aires under the Italian painter Augusto Bolognini (b 1870) and at the Academia Nacional before moving in 1923 to Paris, where he worked in Charles Guérin’s studio and at the Académie Colarossi. He also studied in the studios of André Lhote and Othon Friesz and became associated with other Argentine artists based in Paris. Like others of his generation and nationality, he sought in the 1920s to escape from pictorial provincialism by rejecting academic norms, as in Still-life (1926; Rosario, Mus. Mun. B.A.). He learnt how to paint while living in France and developed a range of imagery typical of Argentine art without showing any great originality.

More than any other painter, Basaldúa depicted life in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, concentrating humorously and without sentimentality on the wide boys, dance-hall girls, loose women and handsome, dangerous men of the tango in such pictures as the ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Torroella de Montgri, Catalonia, March 3, 1911; d Buenos Aires, Oct 8, 1966).

Argentine painter, printmaker, illustrator, sculptor and stage designer of Spanish Catalan birth. He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1913. Although his uncle, José Planas Casas (b Catalonia, 1900; d Argentina, 1960), taught him the rudiments of art, he was basically self-taught and began to exhibit his work in 1934. Synthesizing ideas from Zen philosophy, psychoanalysis and the theories on cosmic energy espoused by the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich with his interests in automatism, poetry and painting, he found a creative sense of direction from an early age. He applied his methods not only to paintings but to stage designs, illustrations, collages, prints, polychrome sculptures and boxlike constructions; as a painter he worked both in tempera and in oil, and he also produced 72 murals.

In 1936 Batlle Planas inaugurated a Surrealist phase with a series entitled Paranoiac X-rays, followed by another group of pictures, Tibetan Series, populated by spectral figures related to works by Yves Tanguy. Between ...

Article

Sascha Scott

(b Pittsburgh, PA, May 25, 1874; d Albuquerque, NM, June 6, 1960).

American painter and illustrator. Raised in Dayton, OH, Blumenschein showed an early aptitude for music, art, and sports. Upon graduating from high school, he began training as a musician on a violin scholarship at the Music Academy of Cincinnati. Blumenschein left the Academy after a year and enrolled in the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he received a prize for illustration in Fernand Harvey Lungren’s class. In 1893, he moved to New York City and enrolled at the Art Students League, where his instructors included John Twachtman and Kenyon Cox. Over the course of the next 15 years, he moved back and forth between New York and Paris, periodically visiting other locales, including Taos, NM, Italy, and Giverny. He twice enrolled at the Académie Julian (1894–6 and 1899), where he studied with Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. In 1905, he married artist Mary Shepard Greene (1869–1958), and, with the birth of their daughter in ...

Article

Michael Howard

(b Vercelli, Piedmont, March 11, 1806; d Dijon, March 5, 1867).

French painter, illustrator, set designer and poet. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Guillaume Lethière from 1821. The Punishment of Mazeppa (1827; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.), inspired by the scene from Byron’s poem, in which Mazeppa is tied to the back of a wildly stampeding horse, is his most important early painting and one of the key images of the Romantic movement.

Early in his career Boulanger became friendly with Eugène and Achille Devéria. Through them he met Victor Hugo, who became his ardent supporter and the source of many of his most typical works. Among Boulanger’s illustrations were those for Hugo’s Odes et ballades (1829), Les Orientales (1829), Les Fantômes (1829) and Notre-Dame de Paris (1844). Boulanger interpreted the macabre and romantic quality of Hugo’s texts with an imaginative power and freedom that anticipated Redon (e.g. ‘...

Article

Alberto Cernuschi

(b Fresnaye-sur-Sarthe, nr Alençon, July 11, 1899; d Paris, March 1, 1979).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. He studied briefly at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux and from 1917 at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris under Eugène Morand (b 1885), whose innovative teaching influenced his later work.

Brianchon was an eclectic artist, and there are traces in his work of many of the styles that succeeded each other in Paris during the period in which he worked. Taking landscapes, cityscapes and images of women as his main subject-matter, he nevertheless managed to maintain a distinctive approach based on a harmonious colour sense and a concern with calm, silent or moonlit atmospheres. The Courtesans (1932; Paris, Mus. A. Mod. Ville Paris) and Rue La Fontaine (1946; Geneva, Petit Pal.) are typical of his work as a painter. He also produced murals (e.g. Symphony, 1936; Paris, Pal. Chaillot), book illustrations (e.g. lithographs for André Gide’s Le Théâtre complet...

Article

Andrew Causey

(b London, March 29, 1905; d Hastings, Oct 22, 1976).

English painter, illustrator and stage designer. As a student at the Chelsea Polytechnic (1921–3) and the Royal College of Art (1923–5) he became a talented figure draughtsman. In the second half of the decade he spent much time in France painting intricately detailed urban scenes, which depicted the low life of Toulon and Marseille. Works such as the watercolour Toulon (1927; priv. col., see Causey, cat. no. 33) were executed in a meticulously finished and vividly coloured decorative style. Burra usually used watercolour and tempera and occasionally collage oil paints.

Burra took ideas from Cubism, Dada (notably George Grosz) and, especially, Surrealism, but his work is also linked with the English satirical tradition of William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson and Isaac Cruikshank: Burra loved burlesque and poked fun at people’s pretensions and excesses of style and behaviour, as in John Deth (Homage to Conrad Aiken) (...

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

Galina Demosfenova

(Mikhaylovich)

(b Tomsk, Oct 31, 1890; d Moscow, Aug 7, 1962).

Russian caricaturist, illustrator, poster and stage designer. He was born into a noble family. After his second year at the medical faculty in Tomsk, he moved to Moscow, where from 1911 to 1917 he studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under Konstantin Korovin (1861–1939), Sergey Malyutin (1859–1937) and Nikolay Kasatkin (1859–1930). His diploma work was the oil painting Beggars (1916–17). Later on Cheremnykh did little painting, working mainly on caricatures and posters.

Cheremnykh’s work was first published while he was still a student, in various Moscow newspapers. In 1917–18 he executed a series of satirical drawings on themes from Russian history and in 1918 he retuned the chimes of the Kremlin, which began to play the Internationale. Cheremnykh invented a type of stencilled poster in 1919 and began producing satirical window displays for Rosta (the Russian Telegraph Agency). He was soon joined by Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ivan Malyutin (...

Article

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Mexico City, June 10, 1940).

Mexican painter, sculptor, illustrator and stage designer. He was self-taught when he took up painting in 1956 with the encouragement of Diego Rivera, but from 1956 to 1960 he studied graphic design with Gordon Jones. During those years he worked in an Abstract Expressionist manner, although he soon incorporated figurative elements and, from c. 1963, elements of fantasy. In 1967 he went to Paris on a French government grant. In the following year he was a founder-member of the Salón Independiente, where he began to exhibit acrylic sculptures of the female torso. These were followed between 1974 and 1976 by a series entitled Mutations, in which he explored the possibilities of the cube and which opened the way to later sculptures and paintings in which geometry is balanced with sensuality. Venus and Mars (Mexico City, U. N. Autónoma) is one of the best of his public sculptures. He also worked as a stage designer, for example on a production in ...

Article

Silvia Lucchesi

[Marius Pictor]

(b Bologna, Sept 8, 1852; d Venice, March 18, 1924).

Italian painter, photographer, architect and illustrator. He trained initially as a musician and only later became a painter, studying (1872–8) at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna under the history and portrait painter Antonio Puccinelli (1822–97). He made several short trips to Paris and London before moving to Rome where he became friends with Vincenzo Cabianca (1827–1902), a plein-air painter, and joined the group founded by Nino Costa, In Arte Libertas (see Rome, §III, 7). He made his name in 1885 when he exhibited 18 paintings at the group’s first exhibition. In the 1880s he experimented with photography, and in certain cases photographs acted as preliminary stages for his paintings. In 1892 he settled definitively in Venice and two years later adopted the pseudonym ‘Marius Pictor’. His work expressed the romantic and literary climate of the fin-de-siècle, and his painting is linked with the work of such writers as Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe. De Maria’s work derives from flower painting and from the painting of Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps; brushstrokes are carefully built up, and rough, chalky colour is thickly applied. He was extremely skilful in his manipulation of colour and light to express the richness of his imagination. He liked to create evocative images and to represent the most fantastic and unusual aspects of nature, as in the famous painting the ...

Article

Ester Coen

(b Fondo, Val di Non, Trentino, March 30, 1892; d Rovereto, Nov 29, 1960).

Italian painter, stage designer, illustrator, decorative artist and writer. After difficult years of study, during which he made his first artistic experiments, he travelled to Turin in 1910 and worked as an apprentice decorator at the Esposizione Internazionale. In spite of spending a year as apprentice to a marble-worker, on his return to Rovereto, he decided to become a painter, choosing subjects associated with Symbolism and social realism. Shortly after publishing Spezzature–Impressioni: Segni e ritmi (Rovereto, 1913), a collection of poetry, prose and illustrations, he moved to Rome, where he met Filippo Tommaso Marinetti at the Galleria Permanente Futurista, run by Giuseppe Sprovieri; through Marinetti he met the Futurists, with whom he exhibited at the same gallery in the spring of 1914 (see Furttenbach [Furtenbach; Furttembach], Josef [Joseph], the elder). This was followed by a one-man show at Trento in July 1914, which closed after a few days because of the outbreak of World War I. He succeeded in returning to Rome, where he was officially welcomed into the ...

Article

Jane Lee

(b Chatou, nr Paris, June 17, 1880; d Garches, Sept 8, 1954).

French painter, sculptor, illustrator, stage designer and collector. He was a leading exponent of Fauvism. In early 1908 he destroyed most of his work to concentrate on tightly constructed landscape paintings, which were a subtle investigation of the work of Cézanne. After World War I his work became more classical, influenced by the work of such artists as Camille Corot. In his sculpture he drew upon his knowledge and collection of non-Western art.

Derain abandoned his engineering studies in 1898 to become a painter and attended the Académie Carrière. He also sketched in the Musée du Louvre and painted on the banks of the Seine. On a visit to the Louvre in 1899 he met the painter Georges Florentin Linaret (1878–1905), who had been his companion at school, and who was copying Uccello in an extraordinary manner; he was studying under Gustave Moreau and later introduced Derain to a fellow pupil, Henri Matisse. Derain’s painting was already influenced by the work of Cézanne, and in ...

Article

Alberto Cernuschi

(b Montauban, Sept 30, 1894; d Perpignan, July 21, 1972).

French painter, printmaker, stage designer, illustrator and tapestry designer. He was encouraged to study art by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, to whom he showed his drawings at the age of 16, and was taught by him at the Ecole de Dessin à la Manufacture des Gobelins. From 1912 to 1914 he attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Montauban, and after serving in the infantry during World War I he moved to Paris, where he showed his work regularly at such exhibitions as the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne.

Desnoyer lived and worked among the Cubists, but like the Fauves he favoured bright primary colours, marrying colour and line in landscapes, still-lifes and portraits. His debt to both movements is visible in paintings such as La Foire du Trône (1927; Paris, Pompidou). He also produced an illustrated edition of La Fontaine’s Dies Irae (Editions Mortier, 1947) and stage designs for the Opéra Comique in Paris, for example for Henri Barrand’s ...

Article

Jean E. Feinberg

(b Cincinnati, OH, June 6, 1935).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, illustrator, performance artist, stage designer and poet. He studied art at the Cincinnati Arts Academy (1951–3) and later at the Boston Museum School and Ohio University (1954–7). In 1957 he married Nancy Minto and the following year they moved to New York. Dine’s first involvement with the art world was in his Happenings of 1959–60. These historic theatrical events, for example The Smiling Workman (performed at the Judson Gallery, New York, 1959), took place in chaotic, makeshift environments built by the artist–performer. During the same period he created his first assemblages, which incorporated found materials. Simultaneously he developed the method by which he produced his best known work—paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that depict and expressively interpret common images and objects.

Clothing and domestic objects featured prominently in Dine’s paintings of the 1960s, with a range of favoured motifs including ties, shoes and bathroom items such as basins, showers and toothbrushes (e.g. ...

Article

Jean-Pierre de Bruyn

(b Lille, Feb 8, 1861; d Ghent, Jan 7, 1938).

Belgian painter, sculptor, illustrator, and stage designer. He studied music at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium and sculpture at the Gewerbeschule, Ghent (after 1877). He visited Paris in 1887 and Italy in 1890, with a grant from the city of Ghent. He was deeply impressed by the masters of the Quattrocento, and was encouraged to take up painting after meeting Constantin Meunier (1891). He painted Symbolist scenes and was influenced by Art Nouveau. After exhibiting his work with Les XX in Brussels (1893), he made decorative panels for Oostakker Castle.

As an illustrator Doudelet worked on Pol De Mont’s Van Jezus (Antwerp, 1897) and books by Maurice Maeterlinck, for example Douze chansons (Paris, 1896) and Pelléas et Mélisande (Brussels, 1892 or 1922). He illustrated the periodicals Réveil (1895–1896), De Vlaamsche school, Mercure de France, Pan, L’Eroica, Nuovo Convito, De Vlaamsche School, Woord en beeld...

Article

Alberto Cernuschi

(b Melun, Seine-et-Marne, Aug 14, 1870; d Paris, April 17, 1950).

French painter, illustrator and stage designer. Disdaining the traditional art schools, he studied part-time at the Académie Colarossi in Paris under Gustave-Claude-Etienne Courtois (1852–1923) and Jean-André Rixens (1846–1924) but was mostly self-taught. In 1891 he exhibited at the Salon des Refusés and the following year at the Salon des Indépendants. His early works, such as Suburban Railway (c. 1895; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay), showed a strong debt to Impressionism. He was a friend of Renoir as well as of Paul Signac, Henri Edmond Cross, Louis Valtat and later Maurice Denis, Bonnard and Vuillard. In 1898 he visited Morocco where he painted such works as Moroccan Horseman (1898; see Cailler, p. 7). After his return to France, he concentrated on studies from nature, paintings of women, children and flowers and decorative projects for private patrons. In 1904 he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne, becoming its Vice-President in ...

Article

Whitney Chadwick

(b Buenos Aires, Aug 30, 1908; d Paris, Jan 18, 1996).

French painter, stage designer and illustrator of Argentine birth. She grew up in Trieste, Italy. Her first contact with art was through visits to European museums and in her uncle’s large library, where she gleaned her earliest knowledge of artists such as the Pre-Raphaelites, Aubrey Beardsley and Gustav Klimt. She had no formal training as an artist. Her first one-woman exhibition took place in Paris in 1935 and resulted in friendships with Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, René Magritte and Victor Brauner, bringing her into close contact with the Surrealists; her sense of independence and her dislike of the Surrealists’ authoritarian attitudes kept her, however, from officially joining the movement. Nevertheless her works of the late 1930s and 1940s reflect her interest in Surrealist ideas. She also participated in the major international exhibitions organized by the group.

Fini’s almost mystical appreciation for the latent energy residing in rotting vegetation and her interest in nature’s cycles of generation and decay can be seen in works such as ...

Article

Nina Lübbren

(b Priwall, nr Travemünde, 1947).

German performance artist. From 1966 to 1973 she studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg. In the mid-1970s she began to design performances and record them in book or script form. Her performances were rituals involving the audience as active participants and were characteristically conducted with theatrical verve and a great sense of humour. They involved sensual experience (e.g. smells, in Luggage of Scents, 1988) and frequently incorporated herbs or spices. The Conference of Plants with Choice of the Peace Plant (see 1983 exh. cat.), performed in Oslo, Kiel, Bonn, Marseille and Hamburg in 1981–3, required every audience member to bring a plant from which they used extracts for gargling, for facial steam baths and for hand and foot massages. The event culminated in the audience’s election of one plant as the ‘peace plant’. A number of Fischer’s performances commented on activities traditionally associated with women (e.g. ...

Article

Valerio Rivosecchi

(b Faenza, Aug 4, 1909; d Rome, April 5, 1981).

Italian painter, illustrator and stage designer. He began his training in Faenza in the workshop of the Italian painter and ceramicist Mario Ortolani (1901–55). After living briefly in Bologna (1927) and Paris (1928) he settled in Rome in 1929, first exhibiting his work at the Venice Biennale in the following year. His paintings at this time, such as Nude (Susanna after her Bath) (1929; Faenza, Pin. Com.), were characterized by an emphasis on tonal relationships and on the influence of the Scuola Romana. In 1934 he began to work with growing success as an illustrator for the journals Quadrivio and Italia letteraria. The contacts he established with Paris were intensified with his move there in 1947, resulting in three one-man shows at the Galerie Rive Gauche (in 1950, 1953 and 1957), and in his paintings he evolved a cautious balance between the representation and the disassembling of the image. Some of his best-known series of paintings date from this time, including his ...