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Article

Francis Summers

revised by Martin R. Patrick

(b Antwerp, Aug 22, 1959).

Belgian-born interdisciplinary artist, active in Mexico. He studied architecture at the Institut d’Architecture de Tournai in Belgium (1978–83) and at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice (1983–6). Alÿs moved to Mexico in 1987 and his art practice initially concentrated on Mexico City as a laboratory of urban living, often documented in the form of evocative, conceptually layered photographs, sculptures, and videos. In the slide series Ambulantes (Pushing and Pulling) (1992–2002), Alÿs photographed street vendors and workers as they passed by carting a wide variety of goods within a ten-block vicinity of his studio. For his project entitled The Liar, The Copy of the Liar (1997) Alÿs created small images of suited men inspired by the commercial sign painters of Mexico City, and subsequently commissioned from them larger versions in their own styles. In this process Alÿs deferred authorship into a semantic chain. Hovering between the banal and the surreal, these works have an uncanny theme, of individuals observed in situations that defy explanation....

Article

V. Rakitin

[Georges] (Pavlovich)

(b Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan, July 23, 1889; d Paris, July 18, 1974).

Russian painter, draughtsman and stage designer. He studied at the University of St Petersburg (later Petrograd) in 1908 and in the private studio of Savely Zeidenberg (1862–1924). In 1909–10 he attended the studio of Yan Tsyonglinsky (1850–1914) in St Petersburg, where he became acquainted with the avant-garde artists Yelena Guro (1877–1913), Mikhail Matyushin and Matvey Vol’demar (1878–1914). In 1911–12 he worked in the studios of Maurice Denis and Félix Vallotton in Paris, then in Switzerland (1913) before returning to St Petersburg. As a painter he was a modernist, and his work developed rapidly towards abstraction, although he did not adhere to any particular branch of it. His works of the time use various devices of stylization and decorativeness, and some of them echo the free associations of Marc Chagall, but fundamentally they remain geometrically based compositions. In 1919–20 he made a series of abstract sculptural assemblages and a great number of abstract collages....

Article

(b Geneva, June 24, 1948).

Swiss draughtsman, performance artist, painter, and sculptor. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Geneva (1966–7) and at the Glamorgan Summer School, Britain (1969). Armleder is known primarily for his involvement with Fluxus during the 1960s and 1970s, which included performances, installations, and collective activities. He was a member of the Groupe Luc Bois, based in Geneva in 1963. In 1969, with Patrick Lucchini and Claude Rychner, he was a founder-member of the Groupe Ecart, Geneva, from which stemmed the Galerie Ecart (1973) and its associated performance group (1974) and publications. Armleder’s first exhibition was at the Galerie Ecart in 1973, followed in the same year by one at the Palais de l’Athénée, Geneva. The anti-establishment and anti-formalist philosophy of the Fluxus groups continued in Armleder’s mixed-media works of later years, which include the Furniture Sculpture of the 1980s. In works that couple objects (second-hand or new) with abstract paintings executed by Armleder himself, and which often refer ironically to earlier modernist abstract examples, he questioned the context in which art is placed and the notion of authenticity in art. Such concerns continued to appear in his work. Armleder’s ...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(b Djadjur, Akhuryan district, July 20, 1928; d Erevan, Feb 24, 1975).

Armenian painter and stage designer . He studied at the Institute of Theatre and Art in Erevan (1952–4), as well as at the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) from 1954 to 1960. He benefited from the advice of the Armenian painter, Martiros Saryan, but developed a style of his own, with an intense use of colour similar to that of Fauvism. The influence of Armenian medieval art is strongly apparent in his landscapes, self-portraits and scenes of peasant life, for example Baking Lavash (1972; Erevan, Pict. Gal. Armenia). His work combines an uncommon and expressive richness of colour with a dramatic monumentality of composition. He had a one-man show in Erevan in 1962 and another in Moscow in 1969. In 1972 his studio was burnt down and a large number of his canvases destroyed. He was also a stage designer, producing designs, for example, for sets for Aram Khachaturian’s ballet ...

Article

Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

(b Florence, Oct 31, 1604; d Madrid, July 1657).

Italian painter, draughtsman, engineer and stage designer, active also in central Europe and Spain . He was a pupil of Giovanni Bilivert from 1612 to 1620 and studied with Giulio Parigi. In 1622 he went to Vienna as assistant to Giovanni Pieroni da Galliano and thence to Prague, where he decorated the chapel (1630) with frescoes with scenes from the Life of St Wenceslas and the Life of the Virgin, the Knight’s Hall (destr.; rest. 1853) with ceiling frscoes including Albrecht von Wallenstein as Mars, and he worked on other parts of the Wallenstein Palace (see Prague, §IV, 7). He is documented in 1625 in Florence, where he became a teacher of perspective drawing. In 1626–7 the Medici employed him as military engineer at the fortress at Livorno; here, with Stefano della Bella, he drew harbour and river scenes (e.g. Peasants Waiting on a Quay, Florence, Uffizi). Baccio executed frescoes in Florentine palazzi, and his contributions to the decoration of the Casa Buonarotti include three ...

Article

Gjergj Frashëri

(b Tiranë, Aug 4, 1937).

Albanian painter and draughtsman . He studied at the Jordan Misja Arts Lyceum (1935–7) and later at the Higher Institute of Arts in Tiranë (1961–5). His cycles of drawings such as War Dance (1971; Tiranë, A.G.) typify his style and subject-matter, which were inspired by legendary epics and medieval Albanian art. Other cycles, in watercolours and drawings, and the postage stamp series, such as War of Shtimja (1981), are notable for their powerful symbolism and show Bakalli’s transition towards monumental painting. His murals on historical themes, Confrontation (18.4×5.6 m, 1982; Krujë, Mus. N. Hist.) and The Assembly of Dukagjin (4×3.2 m, 1986; Burrel, Hist. Mus.), successfully combine a historical subject with contemporary ideas of Albanian heroism, in their use of dynamic and psychologically eloquent outline and their wealth of traditional ethnographic elements.

New Albania, 5, 7 (1972); 2, 4 (1973); 1 (1974); 4, 12 (1975)...

Article

Libero Andreotti

(b Rovereto, Dec 10, 1896; d Milan, Sept 26, 1982).

Italian architect, stage designer and painter . After studying at the Scuola Reale Elisabettiana, an applied arts school in Rovereto, he joined the Futurist movement, headed locally by Fortunato Depero. After serving in World War I, he enrolled at the Scuola Superiore di Architettura del Politecnico, Milan, graduating in architecture in 1922. He then spent four years (1922–6) in Berlin working as a stage designer and frequenting the avant-garde milieu around Max Reinhardt, Erwin Piscator and Oskar Kokoschka. He returned to Italy in 1926 and set up his own practice. His first important commission, the remodelling of the Bar Craja (1930; with Figini and Pollini) in Milan, with its handsome glass and steel interior, established Baldessari’s reputation as an innovative designer. He collaborated again with Figini and Pollini on the De Angeli-Frua office building (1931–2) in Milan, a fine example of Italian Rationalism at its most restrained. Baldessari’s architectural masterpiece of this period was, however, the Press Pavilion (...

Article

Ismael Gutiérrez Pastor

(b ?Modena, c. 1725; d ?Venice, c. 1796).

Italian painter, stage designer and draughtsman, active in Spain. He is thought to have first studied under Raffaello Rinaldi (fl 1713–?1747), a local artist, and between 1747 and 1751 he was enrolled in the Fraglia Veneziana, where he met the most notable vedutisti. He painted vedute in Treviso and Brescia, and these views, engraved by Francisco Zucchi, were used to illustrate Baldassare Camillo Zamboni’s Memorie intorno alle pubbliche fabbriche (1778). In 1754 Battaglioli went to Madrid to work at the court of Ferdinand VI, where he painted theatre sets for the Reales Coliseos at the Palacio Real, Aranjuez, and at the Palacio Real, Madrid. He also worked for such patrons as the castrato Farinelli (1705–82), painting two vedute (1756; Madrid, Prado) depicting scenes at the royal court. Under Farinelli’s supervision he painted stage sets (1756; two in Madrid, Real Acad. S Fernando) for Pietro Metastasio’s opera ...

Article

W. Georg Rizzi

(Maria Nicolao)

(b Bologna, 1675; d Vienna, March 4, 1735).

Italian architect, decorative artist, stage designer and painter, active also in Austria. He trained as a quadratura painter in Bologna, where he was a pupil of Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole. He was recorded as working as a figure and quadratura painter in Vienna for Prince Montecuccoli in 1695, and shortly afterwards for Count Heřman Jakub Czernin in both Vienna and Prague. He soon became a project designer, when his responsibilities expanded to include architecture. Beduzzi’s first project was probably the design of furnishings for the summer sacristy of Melk Abbey Church (from 1701; see Melk Abbey, §2), which matched the European High Baroque style of the building. Later he designed furnishings and frescoes for the abbey church itself (1711–22) although, contrary to common belief, he did not design the high altar and doorway. He initially painted his frescoes himself, but later these were entrusted to his associates, as in the case of the pilgrimage church of Maria Taferl, near Melk, or to specialists employed by those commissioning the work. Beduzzi’s design for the illusionistic decoration of the church of St Peter (...

Article

Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

[Santiago]

(b Piacenza, 1705; d Madrid, 18 or Sept 20, 1759).

Italian architect, painter, urban planner and stage designer, active in Spain. He was a pupil in Piacenza of the painters Bartolomeo Rusca (1680–1745), Andrea Galluzzi (fl 1700–1743) and Giovanni Battista Galluzzi (fl c. 1730–40). In 1728 he was one of a number of artists summoned to Spain by the Marchese Annibale Scotti to assist with the construction of royal projects that were already under way and to introduce an Italian influence in place of the French style that had been introduced by the Bourbon kings. He worked at the Aranjuez Palace with the French engineer Léandre Brachelieu (fl c. 1733–9) and then in 1735 became Director of Royal Works of Decoration. He specialized in quadratura painting and, in addition to his work at Aranjuez, where his fresco vault decorations provided fictive trompe l’oeil architectural settings for mythological figures executed by Rusca and ...

Article

John Varriano

(b Rome, Aug 13, 1616; d after 1690).

Italian architect and painter. She was the first woman to practise architecture whose reputation has survived to the present day. Her father, Giovanni Bricci (1579–1645), was a painter and musician, and her brother Basilio Bricci (1621–92) was himself an architect and painter. The full extent of her activities remains to be explored, but two commissions in Rome stand out. The first of these, the Villa Benedetti (destr. 1849), near the Porta S Pancrazio on the Janiculum Hill, was begun in 1663 for Elpidio Benedetti, agent to Cardinal Jules Mazarin in Rome. The structure if not all of the decoration was completed by 1665. Benedetti was so pleased with the result that in 1677 he published a guidebook to the villa (under an assumed name) giving detailed descriptions and views of the building along with an account of the roles played by Plautilla and her brother, with whom it is said she collaborated. According to Benedetti, Basilio was responsible for most of the architecture of the villa, while Plautilla embellished the interior with numerous allegorical and religious paintings. However, the building contracts and several preparatory drawings (all Rome, Archv Stato) make it clear that it was, in fact, Plautilla who designed the building with little if any creative input from Basilio. Possibly Benedetti was embarrassed to admit that his villa had been designed by a woman. The architecture of the Villa Benedetti, as recorded in views made before ...

Article

Andrew Wilson

(b Ardning, Styria, Sept 27, 1938).

Austrian performance artist, draughtsman, painter and film maker. He studied commercial graphic art at the Akademie für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna between 1957 and 1960. Following visits to Spain and the Venice Biennale of 1960, he started to paint gestural abstractions and came into contact with the Austrian painter Alfons Schilling (b 1934). In 1961 this development was interrupted when he was called up for military service, after which he found it difficult to return to painting, and by the end of 1962 he had started to concentrate on the act of painting rather than on the finished works themselves. He was persuaded by Otto Muehl to create, with his wife Anni, his first Aktion or performance, Ana, in November 1964, which he recorded on film in the first of a series of collaborations with the film maker Kurt Kren (b 1920). This led to his first self-painting ...

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

Anna Maria Fioravanti Baraldi

[Sellari, Girolamo; Ferrara, Girolamo da]

(b Ferrara, c. 1501; d Ferrara, ?Aug 1, 1556).

Italian painter, architect and stage designer. His father Tommaso (fl 1503–23) was a painter and decorator at the court of the Este in Ferrara, and Girolamo was trained in the workshop of Garofalo. He visited Rome in the early 1520s (Fioravanti Baraldi) and in 1525 was in Bologna, where he worked with Biagio Pupini and Giovanni Borghese on the decoration of the sacristy of S Michele in Bosco. Around this time (1525) he painted the altarpiece of the Virgin Enthroned with Saints (Dresden, Gemäldegal. Alte Meister; destr.) for S Biagio in Bologna.

From these early works onwards, da Carpi developed a pictorial language that combined the Ferrarese models of Garofalo and Dosso Dossi with the influence of such works by Raphael as the St Cecilia (Bologna, Pin. N.), which he saw in Bologna, the Madonna of Foligno (Rome, Pin. Vaticana) and the frescoes in the loggia of the Villa Farnesina in Rome. Da Carpi’s ...

Article

E. Feinblatt

[Dentone]

(b Bologna, April 4, 1575; d Bologna, Dec 18, 1632).

Italian painter and stage designer. A specialist in illusionistic architectural settings, or quadratura, he trained with Cesare Baglione (c. 1550–1615). His dramatically lit settings, which display realistic and well-proportioned architecture, departed from Baglione’s Mannerist fantasy and established classical ceiling decoration in Bologna. His quadratura combined a recessed frame as the immediate surround of the ceiling crown, with a substantial, deeply foreshortened frame, which simulates height.

Curti’s first surviving ceilings, at the Casino Malvasia at Trebbo di Reno (c. 1610–22) and the Villa Paleotti at San Marino (c. 1616–22), were influenced by his earliest model, Tommaso Laureti’s frescoed ceiling in the Palazzo Vizzani, Bologna (c. 1562; destr.), which first combined a wall frieze, based on Palladian windows, with a foreshortened ceiling frame. In 1618 Curti travelled to Parma, where he was involved in the decoration of the Teatro Farnese, and in 1623, at the invitation of Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, he went to Rome, where a ceiling in the Palazzo Odescalchi has been attributed to him. In the 1620s and early 1630s he worked as a decorator and stage designer in Bologna, Ferrara (...

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

Magnus Olausson

(b Auxerre, bapt May 28, 1743; d Stockholm, March 19, 1804).

French painter, stage designer and architect. After studies at Jacques-François Blondel’s private school, Desprez continued his architectural training at the Académie Royale d’Architecture, Paris, in the 1760s and, after several attempts, won the Prix de Rome in 1776. Soon after his arrival in Rome (1777) he was asked by the Abbé de Saint-Non to prepare illustrations for his famous Voyage pittoresque, ou description des royaumes de Naples et de Sicile (Paris, 1781–6; drawings in London, BM, and Besançon Mus. B.-A. & Archéol.). With the permission of the Académie, he joined Saint-Non’s team, and during their pioneering tour of southern Italy Desprez produced innumerable topographical drawings and watercolours that are remarkable for their vitality and accuracy. Back in Rome (1779), he completed the 135 illustrations selected for the engravings and resumed his architectural studies.

By the time Desprez sent a design for a public bath to the Académie in Paris in ...

Article

Anne Pastori

(b Lucerne, Feb 21, 1909; d March 21, 2015).

Swiss painter, draughtsman, sculptor and stage designer. He took an apprenticeship as a draughtsman-architect (1924–7) and then studied at the Ecole des Arts et Métiers in Lucerne (1927–8). Between 1928 and 1929 he stayed for the first time in Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian. He continued his training at the Vereinigte Staatschulen für freie und angewandte Kunst, Berlin (1929–30). The works of this period are signed François Grècque, a pseudonym that shows his admiration for ancient Greek art, traces of which are found in his works. In the course of many visits to Paris between 1932 and 1934, he had contacts with many artists, including Brancusi, Alexander Calder, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Henry Moore, and he was strongly influenced by the works of Braque and Picasso. In October 1933 he joined the Abstraction–Création group. In 1935 he collaborated in the exhibition Thèse, antithèse, synthèse...

Article

Paul Vogt and Ita Heinze-Greenberg

International movement in art and architecture, which flourished between c. 1905 and c. 1920, especially in Germany. It also extended to literature, music, dance and theatre. The term was originally applied more widely to various avant-garde movements: for example it was adopted as an alternative to the use of ‘Post-Impressionism’ by Roger Fry in exhibitions in London in 1910 and 1912. It was also used contemporaneously in Scandinavia and Germany, being gradually confined to the specific groups of artists and architects to which it is now applied.

Expressionism in the fine arts developed from the Symbolist and expressive trends in European art at the end of the 19th century. The period of ‘classical Expressionism’ began in 1905, with the foundation of the group Brücke, Die, and ended c. 1920. Although in part an artistic reaction both to academic art and to Impressionism, the movement should be understood as a form of ‘new ...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Dobrovice, Jan 15, 1892; d Prague, May 10, 1936).

Czech architect, painter and stage designer. He graduated in architecture (1917) from the Technical University, Prague, and in 1921 he received a scholarship to the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. In 1922 he became a member of Devětsil, the group of avant-garde writers, artists and architects centred on the figure of Karel Teige. He also joined the Architects’ Club. His early work was influenced by Cubism and classicism, but his most significant building was the crematorium (1921–3; with Bohumil Sláma) at Nymburk, a fundamental work of Czech architectural Purism composed of dramatic white cylinders and slabs, with a row of massive columns and ceremonial steps along the main façade. All his designs were strictly tectonic; he aimed for the creation of a new style inspired by the Neo-classical Empire style. During the first half of the 1920s he also worked as a stage designer in Prague, creating a range of designs in the spirit of poetic Purism; examples include sets for the National Theatre (...