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Article

Lewis Kachur

(b Argenteuil-sur-Seine, Seine-et-Oise, May 13, 1882; d Paris, Aug 31, 1963).

French painter, collagist, draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor. His most important contribution to the history of art was his role in the development of what became known as Cubism. In this Braque’s work is intertwined with that of his collaborator Pablo Picasso, especially from 1908 to 1912. For a long time it was impossible to distinguish their respective contributions to Cubism, for example in the development of Collage, while Picasso’s fame and notoriety overshadowed the quiet life of Braque.

His family moved in 1890 to Le Havre, where his father had a painting and decorating business. In 1897 Braque entered the municipal art school, where he met and became friendly with Othon Friesz and Raoul Dufy. He joined them in Paris at the turn of the century and, after a year of army service, settled in Montmartre in 1902. He began to visit the Musée du Louvre, where he encountered van Gogh’s work, and that October he began to study at the Académie Humbert, where his fellow students included Francis Picabia and Marie Laurencin. The following year he studied briefly with ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Hronov, March 23, 1887; d Bergen-Belsen, April 1945).

Czech painter, printmaker and writer. He studied weaving (1901–3) in Vrchlabí and then from 1904 to 1910 decorative painting at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, where he was influenced by the highly decorative art of the Secession. During this period he wrote stories with his brother, the novelist Karel Čapek (1890–1938). In 1910 they went to Paris for nearly a year, where Josef Čapek studied painting at the Académie Colarossi and became a friend of Apollinaire. In 1911 he and his brother co-founded the Cubist-orientated Group of Plastic Artists. Čapek attempted to modify Cubism by introducing elements of Expressionism and Symbolism. His efforts dumbfounded some members of the group, and in 1912 he and various of his friends parted company with it. From 1915 he began to achieve a synthesis of Cubism, Neo-classicism and a personal symbolism (e.g. the Man in the Hat, 1915...

Article

Susan Compton

[Shagal, Mark (Zakharovich); Shagal, Moses]

(b Vitebsk [now Viciebsk], Belarus’, July 7, 1887; d Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Alpes-Maritimes, March 28, 1985).

French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, designer, sculptor, ceramicist, and writer of Belarusian birth. A prolific artist, Chagall excelled in the European tradition of subject painting and distinguished himself as an expressive colourist. His work is noted for its consistent use of folkloric imagery and its sweetness of colour, and it is characterized by a style that, although developed in the years before World War I, underwent little progression throughout his long career (see.g. I and the Village, 1911; New York, MOMA). Though he preferred to be known as a Belarusian artist, following his exile from the Soviet Union in 1923 he was recognized as a major figure of the Ecole de Paris, especially in the later 1920s and the 1930s. In his last years he was regarded as a leading artist in stained glass.

Chagall spent his childhood, admirably recorded in his autobiography, in a warm Hassidic family in Vitebsk [now Viciebsk], with frequent visits to his grandfather’s village home. He attended the traditional Jewish school but afterwards succeeded in entering the local Russian high school, where he excelled in geometry and drawing and determined to become an artist. At first he studied locally in the studio of ...

Article

Dora Vallier

(b Culan, Cher, May 2, 1904; d June 27, 2001).

French painter, draughtsman and lithographer. Like Jean Bazaine and Charles Lapicque, Estève belongs to the generation whose early work was influenced by late Cubism. He himself particularly admired Fernand Léger. Estève became aware of his vocation extremely early in life and had already begun to paint when he arrived in Paris at the age of 15. Extreme attention to execution, already evident in early paintings such as Still-life with Basket of Eggs (1927; Paris, Conchon priv. col., see Vallier and others, p. 8), was to characterize all his work. Gradually Estève abandoned post-Cubist rigour and the sharp, flat colour that he used until the early 1930s in works such as First Steps (1930; Bourges, Mus. Estève); he began to follow Pierre Bonnard’s example, working towards softened forms enriched by a profusion of colour, as in The Meal (1937; Bourges, Mus. Estève). The problem of subject-matter concerned Estève increasingly as abstraction came to dominate the post-war period. In his paintings the powerful presence of colour invading the entire composition made the subject less and less legible, as in ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Chropyně, Moravia [now Czech Republic], April 4, 1882; d Prague, Oct 6, 1953).

Czech painter, printmaker, sculptor, writer and collector. After a short period at a business school and in an insurance office in Brno, he became a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1903). In 1904 he won the Academy’s first prize. At the end of the year he set out on a lengthy journey to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy. He became absorbed in the Old Masters, especially Rembrandt. His own style passed from Post-Impressionism to a more expressive dominance of colour. In 1907 he took part in the first exhibition of The Eight (see Eight, the) with a programme painting, the Reader of Dostoyevsky (Prague, N.G., Trade Fair Pal.), partly influenced by the Munch exhibition in Prague in 1905. At the same time the picture is a very personal manifesto reflecting the Angst and scepticism of his generation. At the second exhibition of The Eight in ...

Article

Daniel Robbins

(b Paris, Dec 8, 1881; d Avignon, June 23, 1953).

French painter, printmaker and writer. He grew up in Courbevoie, a suburb of Paris, and as a student at the Collège Chaptal became interested in theatre and painting. At 19, his father put him to work in the family interior design and fabric business, an experience that contributed to a lifelong respect for skilled workmanship. The first paintings he exhibited, at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1902, were Impressionist in character, but the work accepted within two years at the Salon d’Automne showed a shift to social themes, a tendency that accelerated until 1908. Compulsory military service from 1903 to 1905 thrust him into the company of working-class people, arousing a permanent sense of solidarity with their aspirations and needs. The results were immediately apparent in the Association Ernest Renan, which he helped to establish in 1905, a kind of popular university with secular and socialist aims. He was also one of the founders of a community of intellectuals based near Paris, the ...

Article

Anthony Parton

(Sergeyevna)

(b Negayevo, Tula Province, June 16, 1881: d Paris, Oct 17, 1962).

Russian painter, stage designer, printmaker and illustrator. She was a leading artist of the Russian avant-garde in the early 20th century but became a celebrity in the West through her work for Serge (de) Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. During the 1920s she played a significant role within the Ecole de Paris and continued to live and work in France until her death.

She was the daughter of Sergey Mikhaylovich Goncharov, an architect, and Yekaterina Il’icha Belyayeva but grew up in her grandmother’s home at Ladyzhino, near Kaluga, in Tula Province. She attended the Fourth Gymnasium for Girls in Moscow and in 1898 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture as a sculpture student where she was taught by Paolo Troubetskoy. At the school Goncharova became friendly with Mikhail Larionov. He became her lifelong companion and colleague, and he encouraged her to relinquish sculpture for painting. Goncharova’s early work comprised mainly pastels, which were exhibited in ...

Article

Éva Bajkay

(b Miskolc, Dec 23, 1889; d Budapest, Nov 16, 1975).

Hungarian painter, printmaker, draughtsman and teacher. He studied in Kassa (now Košice, Slovakia) under Elemér Halász-Hradik and then in Budapest at Ferenc Szablya-Frischauf’s private school. Kmetty attended life classes at the Academy of Fine Arts in the evenings, where he met Béla Uitz and József Nemes Lampérth who, like him, later became members of the Activists. In 1911 he went to Paris and registered at the Académie Julian. The influence of Cézanne and Cubism can be seen in the early Self-portrait with Apple (1912; Budapest, N.G.). By 1912 he was a leading representative of Analytical Cubism in Hungary and spent considerable periods of time at the Kecskemét colony, producing Cubo-Expressionist compositions on biblical themes, reminiscent of El Greco. During World War I he produced work that dealt with themes of peace and fear (e.g. Concert, 1918; Budapest, N.G.)

In 1916 and 1917 Kmetty exhibited with the Seven (Hetek...

Article

Jaroslav Sedlář

(b Vlčkovice, nr Hradec Králové, Aug 21, 1884; d Prague, Nov 27, 1918).

Bohemian painter, printmaker and draughtsman. He studied at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, but left in 1906 to study at the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti in Florence. In the same year, with Emil Filla and Antonin Procházka among others, he founded Eight, the, a group of artists who felt the need of innovation in their art, as exemplified by Cubism and German Expressionism. In 1909 and 1910 he visited Paris. During the next two years he exhibited with the Neue Sezession in Berlin and in 1913 in Düsseldorf. His work evolved rapidly from Impressionism, Expressionism and a specific kind of Cubism to Italian Futurism.

The young Kubišta was strongly affected by the work of Munch exhibited in Prague in 1905. Until 1910 he worked in an Expressionist style, which brought him closer to the German painters associated with Der Blaue Reiter and Die Brücke. The first notable example of this period was ...

Article

Petr Wittlich

[Frank]

(b Opočno, Sept 22, 1871; d Puteaux, Paris, June 21, 1957).

Bohemian painter and graphic artist, active in France. A pioneer of European abstract painting, he first trained at the School of Arts and Crafts at Jaroměř under Alois Studnička (1842–1927). From 1887 until 1891 he studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts under Professor František Sequens (1836–96), a late Nazarene, who directed an atelier of religious painting. He continued his studies at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna (1892–3), under Professor August Eisenmenger (1830–1907). In 1894 he met the painter and natural philosopher Karl Diefenbach (b 1851), who impressed him with his ideas of a return to nature. Kupka’s paintings of this period (e.g. Quam ad causam sumus?, ?1894) are untraced. In 1895 he settled in Paris, earning his living as an illustrator for periodicals. In 1899 he exhibited a genre painting, the Bibliomaniac (Prague, N.G., Trade Fair Pal.), at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts without notable success. He first achieved fame with his satirical cycles in anarchistic style, ...

Article

Anthony Parton

(Fyodorovich)

(b Tiraspol, Moldova, June 3, 1881; d Fontenay-aux-Roses, nr Paris, May 10, 1964).

Russian painter, stage designer, printmaker, illustrator, draughtsman and writer of Moldovan birth. He was a leader of the Russian avant-garde before World War I but came to prominence in the West through his work for Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. During the 1920s he played a significant role within the Ecole de Paris and continued to live and work in France until his death.

He was the son of Fyodor Mikhailovich Larionov, a doctor and pharmacist, and Aleksandra Fyodorovna Petrovskaya, but he grew up in his grandparents’ home in Tiraspol. He completed his secondary education at the Voskresensky Technical High School in Moscow and in 1898 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Here he studied under Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin, and he also became friendly with Natal’ya Goncharova who was to remain his lifelong companion and colleague. Larionov’s work soon caught the imagination of collectors and critics. In ...

Article

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine

(b Paris, Feb 18, 1885; d Paris, May 5, 1954).

French sculptor, collagist, printmaker and illustrator. He came from a family of coopers and c. 1899 joined the studio of a sculptor of building ornaments, practising direct carving on building sites and studying academic drawings in the evenings. In 1902 he settled in the Montmartre district of Paris, where in 1905 he met Marthe Duverger, whom he later married. His portrait of Marthe and other early works, most of which were later destroyed or lost, followed the example of Auguste Rodin. In spite of working in difficult and isolated conditions from 1905 to 1911, he managed to free himself from the influence of Rodin and other contemporary artists and began to study French Romanesque and Gothic sculpture, both from reproductions and by travelling around the Ile-de-France. After one of his legs was amputated in 1909, he lived briefly in the artists’ studio complex La Ruche in Montparnasse; on his return to Montmartre in ...

Article

Judi Freeman

(b Argentan, Orne, Feb 4, 1881; d Gif-sur-Yvette, Seine-et-Oise, Aug 17, 1955).

French painter, draughtsman, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, and ceramicist. Among the most prominent artists in Paris in the first half of the 20th century, he was prolific in many media and articulated a consistent position on the role of art in society in his many lectures and writings. His mature work underwent many changes, from a Cubist-derived abstraction in the 1910s to a distinctive realist imagery in the 1950s. Léger attracted numerous students to his various schools, and his ideas and philosophy were disseminated by modern artists throughout Europe and the Americas.

Born in rural Normandy, Léger often said that he was of ‘peasant stock’. Although his father was a cattle merchant, Léger was sent by his family to Caen in 1897 to be an apprentice in an architect’s office, where he remained until 1899. In 1900 he went to Paris and again worked in an architect’s office as a draughtsman. After compulsory military service in ...

Article

Troels Andersen

(Severinovich)

(b Kiev, Feb 26, 1878; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 15, 1935).

Russian painter, printmaker, decorative artist and writer of Ukranian birth. One of the pioneers of abstract art, Malevich was a central figure in a succession of avant-garde movements during the period of the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 and immediately after. The style of severe geometric abstraction with which he is most closely associated, Suprematism (see fig.), was a leading force in the development of Constructivism, the repercussions of which continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. His work was suppressed in Soviet Russia in the 1930s and remained little known during the following two decades. The reassessment of his reputation in the West from the mid-1950s was matched by the renewed influence of his work on the paintings of Ad Reinhardt and on developments such as Zero, Hard-edge painting and Minimalism.

Article

Daniel Robbins

[Markus, Louis Casimir Ladislas]

(b Warsaw, Nov 10, 1878; d Cusset, nr Vichy, Oct 22, 1941).

French painter and printmaker of Polish birth. The second son in a cultivated family of Jewish origin that had converted to Catholicism, he began studying law in Warsaw but left to enrol in the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. When he refused to follow decorative arts and design, potentially useful in the family’s carpet manufacturing business, his father cut off his allowance, reinstating it only after he won honours in drawing and decided to continue his studies in Paris. In 1903 he enrolled under Jules Lefebvre at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he became friendly with Roger de La Fresnaye and the French painter Robert Lotiron (1886–1966). A casual student, he spent most of his time visiting the Louvre, salon exhibitions, galleries and cafés until 1905, when the subvention from home ended. The first work he exhibited in Paris was an Impressionist landscape at the Salon d’Automne in ...

Article

Sascha Scott

(b Vlachovo Březí, Bohemia [Czech Republic], Nov 7, 1890; d Bronx, New York, June 24, 1972).

American painter and printmaker of Czech birth. Matulka was raised in South Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) and began his artistic training in Prague in 1905, which was interrupted when he immigrated to the USA with his parents in 1907. They settled in the Bronx, and soon after he enrolled in the National Academy of Design. He completed his training in 1917, at which time he was awarded the National Academy of Design’s Joseph Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship, which came with a $1500 prize. Unable to travel abroad due to complications in securing a passport, he traveled instead to New Mexico, Arizona and Florida between 1917 and 1918. In 1918, he married Ludmila Jirouskova, a fellow Bohemian immigrant. From 1917 through 1919 was a period of frequent travel and artistic experimentation for Matulka. Around this time he adopted a Cubist-inspired style, apparent in works such as Cubist Nudes (1916–19; Lincoln, U. NE, Sheldon Mem. A.G.) and ...

Article

María Teresa Dabrio González

(b Madrid, Dec 27, 1929; d 1998).

Spanish painter and printmaker. He studied drawing at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid from 1949 to 1954. Freeing himself gradually from academic discipline, he became acquainted with Cubism, Expressionism, abstract art and other modernist tendencies and also experimented with collage. After taking part in a group show in Madrid in 1955 he spent a year in Paris (1955–6), where he became involved with Art informel and matter painting, taking a particular interest in the textures of his materials. He was particularly innovative in his prints and in works on wood rather than in oil paintings. Far from assigning a merely supportive role to wood, he incorporated it fully into the overall concept of works such as Panel 21 (1959; London, Tate), sometimes scorching it, scratching deep cuts into it or covering it with a thick layer of oil paint into which he mixed marble dust, sawdust and pulverized minerals. He referred to these works by the ironic term ...

Article

Melissa McQuillan

(b Málaga, Oct 25, 1881; d Mougins, France, April 8, 1973).

Spanish painter, sculptor, draughtsman, printmaker, decorative artist and writer, active in France. He dominated 20th-century European art and was central in the development of the image of the modern artist. Episodes of his life were recounted in intimate detail, his comments on art were published and his working methods recorded on film. Painting was his principal medium, but his sculptures, prints, theatre designs and ceramics all had an impact on their respective disciplines. Even artists not influenced by the style or appearance of his work had to come to terms with its implications.

With Georges Braque Picasso was responsible for Cubism, one of the most radical re-structurings of the way that a work of art constructs its meaning. During his extremely long life Picasso instigated or responded to most of the artistic dialogues taking place in Europe and North America, registering and transforming the developments that he found most fertile. His marketability as a unique and enormously productive artistic personality, together with the distinctiveness of his work and practice, have made him the most extensively exhibited and discussed artist of the 20th century....

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Žlutice, nr Nový Bydžov, Aug 24, 1885; d Prague, May 12, 1946).

Bohemian painter and printmaker. After graduating from the School of the Locksmith’s Art at Hradec Králové, he moved to Prague, where he studied under the landscape painter Ferdinand Engelmüller (1867–1924), before enrolling in 1903 at the Academy of Fine Arts. Dissatisfied with the teaching, he left without completing his studies. From 1907 to 1908 he lived in Dubrovnik, where he painted in the Fauvist style. In 1909 he became a member of the Mánes Union of Artists, which he left in 1911 along with several of his colleagues to co-found the Cubist-oriented Group of Plastic Artists (see Czech Cubism). He did not accept Cubist aesthetics without reservation, preferring energetic brushstrokes and an emphasis on rhythm, which he applied universally in motifs of washerwomen, women bathers and landscapes. In 1912 he withdrew from the Group of Plastic Artists, re-joining instead the Mánes Union. He came closest to ...

Article

Daniel Robbins

[ Duchamp, Gaston ]

(b Damville, Eure, July 31, 1875; d Puteaux, nr Paris, June 9, 1963).

French painter, printmaker and illustrator. The oldest of three brothers who became major 20th-century artists, including Raymond Duchamp-Villon and Marcel Duchamp, he learnt engraving at the age of 16 from his maternal grandfather, Emile-Frédéric Nicolle (1830–94), a ship-broker who was also a much appreciated amateur artist. In January 1894, having completed his studies at the Lycée Corneille in Rouen, he was sent to study at the Faculty of Law of the University of Paris, but within a year he was devoting most of his time to art, already contributing lithographs to Parisian illustrated newspapers such as Assiette au beurre. At this time he chose his pseudonym: Jack (subsequently Jacques) in homage to Alphonse Daudet’s novel Jack (1876) and Villon in appreciation of the 15th-century French poet François Villon; soon afterwards this new surname was combined with the family name by Raymond. Marcel Duchamp and their sister ...