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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

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Písek, Oct 13, 1880; d Karlovy Vary, July 6, 1956).

Czech architect. He studied architecture at the Technical University, Prague, and later at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, under Otto Wagner. In 1911, together with Josef Gočár, Pavel Janák, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964) and others, he founded the Group of Plastic Artists, Prague, which sought to develop a more artistic approach to architecture. He subsequently became one of the leading exponents of Czech Cubism in architecture, which concentrated on the sculptural articulation of façades with abstract, prismatic forms. He designed four houses (1911–13; for illustration) below Vyšehrad Hill in Prague with faceted façades that are among the best examples of Czech Cubism. At about the same time, however, he produced drawings for austere, geometric, undecorated façades that anticipated the later development of Czech Purism. Buildings he designed in the Purist style included an office building (1920–21) in Jindřišska Street and a building (1923–5) for the ...

Article

Cubism  

Christopher Green and John Musgrove

Term derived from a reference made to ‘geometric schemas and cubes’ by the critic Louis Vauxcelles in describing paintings exhibited in Paris by Georges Braque in November 1908; it is more generally applied not only to work of this period by Braque and Pablo Picasso but also to a range of art produced in France during the later 1900s, the 1910s and the early 1920s and to variants developed in other countries. Although the term is not specifically applied to a style of architecture except in former Czechoslovakia (see Czech Cubism), architects did share painters’ formal concerns regarding the conventions of representation and the dissolution of three-dimensional form (see §II). Cubism cannot definitively be called either a style, the art of a specific group or even a movement. It embraces widely disparate work; it applies to artists in different milieux; and it produced no agreed manifesto. Yet, despite the difficulties of definition, it has been called the first and the most influential of all movements in 20th-century art....

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

Term used to describe a style in architecture and the applied arts, directly inspired by Cubist painting and sculpture, which was developed by architects and designers active in Prague shortly before World War I; the term itself was not used until the 1960s. The leaders of the style were the members of the Group of Plastic Artists (1911–14), which broke away from the Mánes Union of Artists in 1911 and for two years published its own journal, Umělecký měsíčník (‘Art monthly’). The architects in the group were Josef Gočár, Josef Chochol, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964) and Pavel Janák; other members included Emil Filla, Václav Špála, Antonín Procházka and Otto Gutfreund. The group was reacting against the austere rationalism of such architects as Jan Kotěra, seeking instead to sustain architecture and the applied arts as branches of art rich in content. Their approach was expounded in various articles, particularly by Janák, who developed the principles of architectural Cubism; based on the thesis of Cubism in painting and sculpture, that art should create a distinctive, parallel picture of reality, it attempted to dematerialize a building’s mass by the three-dimensional surface sculpturing of the façade with abstract, prismatic forms....

Article

Anthony Parton

(Rafailovich)

(b Moscow, Nov 8, 1886; d Moscow, Oct 1, 1958).

Russian painter. He studied under Konstantin Yuon and in the studio of Il’ya Mashkov (1904–5), then at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin. In 1909 he exhibited with Golden Fleece and in 1910 was a founder-member of the avant-garde exhibiting society, the Jack of Diamonds, of which he remained an active member until its dissolution in 1916. Fal’k was well known for his portraits and still-lifes of this period. His elongated seated figures of 1913 reveal a study of Cézanne, while the portraits and still-lifes of 1914 betray the influence of Picasso’s early Cubist work. The Portrait of the Tatar Journalist Midkhata Refatov (1915; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) shows his mature style in the Cubist idiom.

After the 1917 Revolution, Fal’k taught painting at Svomas (Free Art Studios) (1918–20) and Vkhutemas (Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops) (1920–28...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Semín, nr Pardubice, March 13, 1880; d Jičín, Sept 10, 1945).

Czech architect, designer, urban planner and teacher. In 1906 he completed his studies at the Academy of Applied Arts, Prague, under Jan Kotěra, in whose studio he worked until 1908. His earliest work was strikingly modern and rationalist in style, revealing a purity of expression in the use of reinforced concrete; for example the Wenke Department Store (1909–10), Jaroměř, was designed with a skeleton structure on which a lightweight, fully glazed wall was suspended to form the façade. In 1911, with Josef Chochol, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964), Pavel Janák and others, he became a founder-member of the Group of Plastic Artists, Prague, which sought to develop a more artistic approach to architecture; a year later he and Janák founded the Prague Art Workshops for the design of arts, crafts and furniture, and from 1914 he was a member of the Architects’ Club. Influenced by Janák, Gočár adopted the prismatic surface forms of ...

Article

Ronald Alley

(b Warsaw, Dec 24, 1883; d Paris, May 12, 1970).

Polish painter, active in France. He began a course in engineering at Warsaw Polytechnic in 1902 but also enrolled as a student at the School of Fine Arts, and in 1905 he gave up engineering to devote himself entirely to painting. In 1907 he arrived in Paris, intending to stay for only a year, but lived in France until his death. He attended the Académie La Palette for several months and in 1909 visited Brittany, in particular Le Pouldu and Pont-Aven, where he went to work for a number of summers, and where he met and became friendly with the Polish painter Władysław Ślewiński, who had been a member of Paul Gauguin’s circle.

By 1911 Hayden’s work began to show the influence not only of Ślewiński and Gauguin but also of Paul Cézanne. His interest in formal simplification and pictorial construction in a manner indebted to Cézanne very gradually led him, from ...

Article

(b Jičin, Feb 6, 1884; d 1964).

Czech designer. He was involved in developing the Cubist-influenced design and architectural style known as Czech Cubism, created in Prague shortly before World War I. He was a member of the Group of Plastic Artists (founded 1911), who created modern furniture, Cubist ceramics and such objects as candlesticks and ashtrays in non-ferrous metals....

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Prague, March 12, 1882; d Prague, Aug 1, 1956).

Czech architect, designer, theorist and teacher. He graduated in architecture from the Czech Technical University, Prague, where he studied under Josef Schulz and Josef Zítek, and from 1906 to 1907 he was a student of Otto Wagner at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna. In 1908 he worked in Jan Kotěra’s studio in Prague. His early work was influenced by the modernism of Wagner and Kotěra, but he perceived a danger of uniformity in a purely rationalist approach to architecture. In 1911, together with Josef Chochol, Josef Gočár, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964), Emil Filla, Václav Špála, Antonín Procházka, Otto Gutfreund and others, he founded the Group of Fine Artists, which sought a more artistic approach to architecture, and in 1912 he and Gočár founded the Prague Art Workshops for the design of arts, crafts and furniture. Within the Group of Fine Artists, Janák developed the principles of Czech Cubism...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Prague, June 5, 1893; d Brno, June 7, 1974).

Czech architect, theorist, graphic artist, designer, teacher and writer. He graduated in architecture from the Czech Technical University, Prague, where he studied with Jan Koula (1855–1919), Josef Fanta and Antonín Balšánek (1865–1921). While still studying he became a member of the Mánes Union of Artists. During the period 1921 to 1928 he practised in Mladá Boleslav and in 1925 he was appointed Professor of Architecture at the Technical University in Brno. At the same time he was a founder-member of Socialistická scéna (Socialist Stage), for which he worked as stage manager, set designer and graphic artist. Kroha’s early work was based on a distinctive conception of Cubism, as in the Crematorium in Pardubice (1919), and Expressionism, as in the Catholic church, Prague-Vinohrady (1918–19), which he formulated in a series of extremely varied competition designs for buildings that were full of tension and explosiveness. His works at Mladá Boleslav, especially the State Technical College (...

Article

Vladimír Šlapeta

(b Kouřim, Bohemia [now Czech Republic], April 24, 1883; d Prague, Feb 10, 1960).

Czech architect. He studied architecture at the Czech Technical University, Prague, and became a founder-member and leading representative of the Architects’ Club (1913), which brought together the modernist graduates of the University. Kysela spent most of his career working in the construction office of the city of Prague. After an initial interest in Czech Cubism, seen in his U Klíčů house (1914), Lesser Town, Prague, and in Rondocubism, he moved first to the rationalist use of bare brickwork, as in his power station (1923) at Vinohrady, Prague, and finally to Constructivism. The modular system of a reinforced-concrete skeleton enabled him to simplify both the plan and the façade and to use a suspended glass envelope. He applied these principles to the first large-scale modern commercial buildings in Prague’s main centre, Wenceslas Square: the Lindt Department Store and Café (1924–6), the Baťa Department Store (...

Article

David Elliott

(Vladimirovich)

(b Bagdadi, Georgia, July 19, 1893; d Moscow, April 14, 1930).

Russian poet, critic, graphic designer and painter of Georgian birth. Although best known as a poet and playwright he studied painting at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1911–14) and, as a member of the Futurist group Hylea, was a pioneer of what later became known as Performance art. Mayakovsky’s family moved to Moscow on the death of his father in 1906, and he soon became involved in left-wing activities, for which he was repeatedly arrested. On passing the entrance examination of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in August 1911, his political activities shifted their focus to bohemian épatage. In the class for figure painting Mayakovsky met David Burlyuk, who with his brothers Nikolay Burlyuk (1890–1920) and Vladimir Burlyuk (1886–1917) and the ‘aviator poet’ Vasily Kamensky (1864–1961), formed the core of the Russian Futurist movement. Adopting a stance similar to that of Marinetti, whose Futurist manifesto (...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Benešov, Jan 11, 1880; d Prague, April 4, 1959).

Czech architect, designer, teacher and writer. He graduated (1903) in architecture from the Academy of Applied Arts, Prague, where he studied under Jan Kotěra. He worked for a year in Kotěra’s studio, then set up his own practice. Novotný was a notable member of the generation that laid the foundations for modern architecture in Czechoslovakia. He was initially influenced by the Viennese Secession style, as seen in his finely decorative Otto villa (1909), Zbraslav, but at this time he was also developing an individual style using bare brickwork with great skill. Perhaps the best examples of this modern, rationalist approach are found in the Štenc house and publishing offices (1909–11), Prague, for which he also designed some elegant black-and-white furniture, and in his clubhouses (1911 and 1912) for the Sokol national physical education movement in Holice and Rakovník. He was less influenced by Czech Cubism, although he did design three houses (...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Nov 29, 1922 ; d 2015).

Argentine painter and diplomat. Although trained as an architect, he began painting while living in Paris as a diplomat from 1948 to 1950, taking a particular interest in the structural methods of Cubism, the color sense of Pierre Bonnard, and the subtlety of Paul Klee’s paintings; his concern with light also emerged at this time. On his return to Buenos Aires in 1950 he generally used geometric motifs in his paintings, creating dynamic compositions from the tensions and rhythms produced by scattered squares, triangles, and, above all, circles. In 1952 he helped found the Artistas Modernos de la Argentina.

Ocampo returned to Europe as a diplomat in 1956, living in Rome until 1959 and in Paris from 1961 to 1966. Although he softened the geometrical severity of his work, he continued to employ a meticulous technique, using a form of pointillism to render evanescent forms and a diffuse atmosphere. He concentrated his attention on the relationship between large and small forms, leading to their fusion with the background into single planes of color, with the smaller elements gathered together or expanded in freely rendered rhythms so as to occupy the whole surface. He continued to use these dynamic patterns of colored shapes, but after ...

Article

Wilford W. Scott

(b Philadelphia, PA, Oct 15, 1881; d Philadelphia, Oct 13, 1918).

American painter and photographer. After training as an architect at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (A.B., 1903), he studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, also in Philadelphia, from 1903 to 1906 under William Merritt Chase, with whom he travelled to Europe. From 1907 to 1909 he lived mostly in Paris, where he saw the work of major avant-garde artists, including Cézanne, Picasso and Matisse, and benefited from contact with Leo Stein, an important collector and writer. By 1909 Schamberg had responded to the example of Cézanne’s paintings, including simplified and more solid forms in his own work. Following his participation in the Armory Show in 1913, Cubism became the dominant element of his art, modified in such works as Figure B, Geometric Patterns (1913; Fort Worth, TX, Amon Carter Mus.) by his use of vibrant colour. About 1915 Schamberg met Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia in New York through Walter Arensberg and in works such as ...

Article

(Andreyevna)

(b Oryol, 1886; d Moscow, 1961).

Russian painter. She received her initial artistic education in Moscow at the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1905–9), Konstantin Yuon’s Art School (1906–9), where she may have met Lyubov’ Popova, and in 1909 at the Art School of Istvan Kiss where she met Vladimir Favorsky and Konstantin Istomin (1887–1942). In November 1912 she went to Paris with Popova to see Matisse’s work but was influenced by Cubism and studied at the Académie de La Palette under Jean Metzinger, Henri Le Fauconnier and André Dunoyer de Segonzac. From them she assimilated the principles of Cubism, as in the monochrome canvas Guitar: Fugue (1914; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.), where the instrument is fragmented into broadly defined interpenetrating planes intersected by sheet music and the picture surface is flattened by lettering and numbers. In late 1913 Udal’tsova returned to Russia and worked in Vladimir Tatlin’s studio, known as the Tower, in Moscow, together with Aleksandr Vesnin and Popova. Udal’tsova continued working in a Cubist idiom producing such works as ...