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Ewa Mikina

[Pol. artysci rewolucyjni: ‘revolutionary artists’]

Polish group of avant-garde artists that flourished between 1929 and 1936. Its members were the sculptor Katarzyna Kobro, the painters Władysław Strzemiński and Henryk Stażewski, and the poets J. Brzękowski and J. Przyboś. It was founded by Strzemiński after he, Kobro and Stażewski left the Praesens group. The group’s programme chiefly reflected the views of Strzemiński. In two leaflets entitled Kommunikaty a.r. (‘a.r. bulletins’) the group declared itself in favour of a ‘laboratory’ version of Constructivism and an avant-garde art that influenced social life in an indirect and gradual manner. It opposed the politicization and popularization of art, which it regarded as a debasement of artistic expression, but the group also believed that rigorous, formal discipline, the organic construction of a work, its coherence, effectiveness and economy of means, made art somewhat synthetic or contrived. From 1933 the group’s announcements regarding its programme appeared in the Łódź art magazine Forma...

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Rigmor Lovring

(b Ordrup, July 14, 1919; d Munkerup, nr Dronningmølle, Hillerød, June 29, 1982).

Danish painter, sculptor, designer and writer. He studied at the Kunsthåndvaerkerskole (1936–9) and the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi (1939–46), both in Copenhagen. He experimented with non-figurative forms of expression in numerous media. He was a co-founder of Groupe Espace in 1951, and his work was important for the development of Concrete art internationally.

From 1947 to 1950 Aagaard Andersen developed a new, pure pictorial dynamic, moving from fine-lined drawings and faceted landscapes towards an abstract formal language that explored form in terms of light, shadow and reflection. His ‘picture boxes’, in which various elements manifested rhythmic and dynamic growth, explored the concept of painting as object. He began to use the techniques of folding and pleating (e.g. Black Picture Surface with Three Folded Sections, 1964; Esbjerg, Kstpav.), and his work was dominated by his interest in light and shadow.

Besides paintings, Aagaard Andersen produced a number of sculptures, for example the abstract steel work ...

Article

Leena Ahtola-Moorhouse

(Waldemar)

(b Marttila [Swed. St Mårtens], March 8, 1894; d Helsinki, May 30, 1966).

Finnish sculptor and painter. He was the most significant sculptor of the early decades of Finnish independence (after 1917). His style combined classical tranquillity with a modern sensitivity and disclosed the beauty of granite as a sculptural material. He studied painting at the School of Drawing of the Turku Art Association between 1910 and 1915 but on graduation began to practise moulding techniques and to teach himself stone sculpting. In 1916 his firm instincts and talent for monumental sculpture were remarked on at a general exhibition. His Granite Boy (1917–20; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.) is one of the masterpieces of his youth, the timid austerity of the child’s figure conveying an Egyptian quality. The marble sculptures Little Wader (1917–22; priv. col., see Okkonen, 1926) and Wader (1924; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.) are both good examples of Aaltonen’s tonal carving. His main concerns were light and shadow and the atmosphere they create around the sculpture. In ...

Article

Ingeborg Wikborg

(Sigurd)

(b Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag, April 21, 1933).

Norwegian sculptor, designer and medallist. He became familiar with handicraft in his father’s furniture workshop. In 1954 he began five years’ study as a commercial artist at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole in Oslo and from 1957 to 1963 he worked as an illustrator for a newspaper. He studied at the Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1959 to 1962 under the sculptor Per Palle Storm (1910–94) who advocated naturalism in sculpture. As an assistant to Arnold Haukeland from 1961 to 1964, Aas lost his apprehension of the untried and cultivated his sense of daring, as he gained experience with welding techniques. Highly imaginative and versatile, Aas worked in both abstract and figurative modes and is reckoned one of the foremost sculptors in Norway; in 1990 he was honoured with St Olav.

Aas’s first sculpture was an equestrian monument in snow, made in Inderøy while he was a schoolboy. His first public project was the abstract steel figure ...

Article

Philip Attwood

(b Amsterdam, 1608; d Amsterdam, 1684).

Dutch medallist. One of the foremost Dutch medallists of the 17th century, he was influential in developing a style that was more sculptural than before. Most of his medals consist of two silver plates of repoussé work, chased and joined together at the rim to create a hollow medal. This novel technique allowed the artist to create portraits in very high relief. His medals date from 1650 to 1678. One of the earliest, portrays on one side Prince Frederick Henry of Orange and on the other Prince Maurice of Orange. More usually, the reverses of his medals bear a coat of arms, as for example the medal commemorating the settlement of the disputes between William II of Orange and the States of Holland (1650). Here the reverse bears William’s armorial shield, a crown, and the English garter. The ground of the obverse is covered with orange branches in the manner typical of van Abeele and demonstrates his mastery of chasing. On his medal of ...

Article

Jens Peter Munk

(b Copenhagen, Sept 11, 1743; d Frederiksdal, Copenhagen, June 4, 1809).

Danish painter, designer and architect. His paintings reveal both Neo-classical and Romantic interests and include history paintings as well as literary and mythological works. The variety of his subject-matter reflects his wide learning, a feature further evidenced by the broad range of his creative output. In addition to painting, he produced decorative work, sculpture and furniture designs, as well as being engaged as an architect. Successfully combining both intellectual and imaginative powers, he came to be fully appreciated only in the 1980s.

He studied at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1764–72), and in 1767 he assisted Johan Edvard Mandelberg (1730–86) in painting the domed hall of the Fredensborg Slot with scenes from the Homeric epic the Iliad. In 1772 he was granted a five-year travelling scholarship from the Kunstakademi to study in Rome. During his Roman sojourn he extensively copied works of art from the period of antiquity up to that of the Carracci family. His friendships with the Danish painter Jens Juel, the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel and the Swiss painter Johann Heinrich Fuseli placed him among artists who were in the mainstream of a widespread upheaval in European art. In these years Abildgaard developed both Neo-classical and Romantic tastes; his masterpiece of the period is ...

Article

Aleksandr U. Grekov

Russian estate near Sergiyev Posad, 57 km north of Moscow, and site of an artists’ colony. It was first recorded in documents between 1584 and 1586 under the name Obramkovo. In the 18th century it became the village of Abramkovo, part of a private estate known by the mid-19th century as Abramtsevo. In 1843 the estate was acquired by the writer Sergey Aksakov (1791–1859). He wrote his most successful works there and had numerous artists and writers as visitors, including Taras Shevchenko and Vissarion Belinsky. In 1870 the estate was acquired by the prominent industrialist and patron Savva Mamontov, who made it a major Russian artistic colony from the 1870s to the 1890s. Here, as at Princess Tenisheva’s estate at Talashkino, an interest in national culture and antiquities flourished, and there was a revival of Russian folk art. Various well-known Russian artists lived at Abramtsevo at that time, among them ...

Article

Natalia Marinho Ferreira Alves

Portuguese family of wood-carvers. Manuel Abreu do Ó and his brother Sebastião Abreu do Ó (both fl Évora c. 1728–c. 1770) worked in collaboration, carving some of the finest and most influential Joanine and Rococo altarpieces in southern Portugal. They carved in delicate flat relief using patterns similar to those found in Spain, a style contrasting with the dramatic plastic effects seen in contemporary wood-carving in northern Portugal.

An example of the Abreu do Ó brothers’ early work is the main retable of the Cartuxa, the Charterhouse, Évora, gilded in 1729. It is composed on one level, and a sense of movement is suggested by the projection of the outer columns. They created one of the finest ensembles of 18th-century carving in southern Portugal in the chancel and transept of the Carmelite church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, Évora (c. 1760–70). On the main retable the areas between the column shafts are decorated with leaves and roses scattered asymmetrically, creating the impression of a lace covering. The votive tablet crowning the arch of the retable is carved with great delicacy. The lateral retables have curving double pediments whose undulating movement is echoed by large canopies above. The design of the pulpit was important in southern Portugal, because although it was in the Joanine style and inspired by developments in Lisbon it was also Rococo in spirit. The interior of the church emphasizes the importance of the role that gilt wood-carving played in the decoration of Portuguese churches during the 18th century....

Article

International group of painters and sculptors, founded in Paris in February 1931 and active until 1936. It succeeded another short-lived group, Cercle et Carré, which had been formed in 1929 with similar intentions of promoting and exhibiting abstract art. Its full official title was Abstraction-Création: Art non-figuratif. The founding committee included Auguste Herbin (president), Georges Vantongerloo (vice-president), Hans Arp, Albert Gleizes, Jean Hélion, Georges Valmier and František Kupka.

Membership of Abstraction-Création was in principle open to all abstract artists, but the dominant tendency within the group was towards the geometric formality championed by Theo van Doesburg and by other artists associated with De Stijl. Works such as Jean Hélion’s Ile-de-France (1935; London, Tate), which came to typify the group’s stance, owed more to the post-war ‘rappel à l’ordre’ interpreted by the Purists in terms of a ‘classic’ and ‘architectonic’ ordering of art, design and architecture, than to the biomorphic abstraction derived from Surrealism. During its brief existence the group published annual ...

Article

Tessa Garton

(fl Apulia, c. 1039–41).

Italian sculptor. His name occurs in inscriptions on a marble pulpit in Canosa Cathedral and on the beams of similar pulpits at S Maria, Siponto, and the Sanctuary of S Michele at Monte Sant’Angelo. The inscription on the Canosa pulpit (per iussionem domini mei guitberti venerabilis presbiteri, ego acceptus peccator archidiaconus feci[?t] hoc opus) identifies Acceptus as an archdeacon who made the pulpit on the orders of the priest Guitbertus. The inscription on the beam at Siponto refers to Acceptus (dmitte crimina accepto) and gives the date 1039; the lectern at Monte Sant’Angelo is dated 1041, and the inscription on one of the beams identifies Acceptus as sculptor ([sc]ulptor et acceptus bulgo). The workshop evidently included more than one sculptor, since another beam at Siponto is signed david magister. Fragments of choir screens at Monte Sant’Angelo and Siponto, and the lion support and crossbeam of a throne at Siponto, indicate that the Acceptus workshop made several kinds of liturgical furniture....

Article

Peter Springer

(b Münster, Westphalia, Aug 15, 1799; d Rome, May 26, 1884).

German sculptor. He first trained with his father as a joiner, and in 1829 he won a scholarship to Berlin. From 1830 to 1836 he studied at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, with the sculptors Friedrich Tieck and Christian Daniel Rauch. He was deeply religious and during these years he concentrated almost exclusively on religious themes, for example a Christ on the Cross (1830), a Hovering Angel for a font (1831), a Resurrection relief (1834) and a Virgin and Child (1836). In 1838 the Prussian Minister of Culture, Bethmann Hollweg, commissioned Achtermann to make a marble crucifix for Burg Rheineck bei Niederbreisig (in situ) and this enabled Achtermann to travel to Italy, initially to Carrara for marble for his work, and subsequently to Rome, where he later settled. In Rome the main influences on his work derived from artists in the circles around Bertel Thorvaldsen and Friedrich Overbeck. Affinities with the work of the Lukasbrüder characterized his principal sculpture for Münster Cathedral: an over life-size ...

Article

Andrew Cross

(b Isleworth, Middx, 1947; d June 5, 2014).

English sculptor. A graduate of St Martin’s School of Art and a contemporary there of Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, he has often been considered in relation to British land art, but his work stands apart from that movement’s direct involvement with the landscape or with the romance of nature. It is more closely allied to the rigorous abstraction of Minimalist painters such as Alan Charlton (b 1948). Ackling’s work remained remarkably consistent from the time that he first started making art in the 1960s, particularly in its reliance on a single exacting process by which fine burn-marks are made onto small pieces of wood or cardboard by focusing the sun’s rays through a magnifying glass. This work, which is always executed outdoors, demands an intensity of concentration that borders on the ritualistic. His very early drawings included shapes reminiscent of figures or clouds, but from the early 1970s his drawings were made using only straight horizontal lines etched into the surface from left to right. Ackling always draws on found objects marked by previous use, such as cardboard from the back of a notepad or wood from a chair leg, either gathered from around the world or discovered washed ashore near his coastal home on the Norfolk coast. Since his art continued to be defined by his chosen method of mark-making, there was little overt development or stylistic evolution. Instead, it was the particular surface characteristics of chosen objects—their shape, size and surface texture—that dictated in each case the placement and banding of the scorched lines, allowing the work its own inner logic....

Article

Gordon Campbell

[Gr.: ‘high stone’]

Ancient Greek statue with a wooden body and the head and limbs made of stone (usually marble, sometimes limestone). This technique seems to have come into use in Greece at the end of the 6th century bc or the beginning of the 5th, and was predominantly, but not exclusively, employed for cult statues. The wooden bodies of acrolithic statues were covered in sheets of precious metal or draped with textiles regularly renewed in cult ceremonies. In ancient Greece the term acrolith (usually agalma akrolithos or xoanon akrolithos) was used relatively rarely, and is first attested in temple inventories of the 2nd century bc; Vitruvius uses it in Latin as a synonym for colossal statues. It was then reintroduced as a technical term by 18th-century antiquarians.

While the wooden bodies of ancient acroliths are not preserved, their stone extremities have occasionally survived and can be identified through specific characteristics of their technical manufacture (acrolithic heads, for example, have flat undersides, whereas heads fashioned for insertion into stone bodies were made with convex tenons). In the Hellenistic and Roman periods, the extent of stone elements can increase, so that for example the head and naked parts of the chest are made of one marble segment. The appearance of acroliths could be similar to chryselephantine (gold-ivory) statues, to which they may have offered a more cost-effective alternative, although it seems that other considerations, such as their role within the cult ritual, may have been of greater significance. Examples of surviving stone fragments from acroliths are a colossal head in the Ludovisi collection in Rome and an ...

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Thorsten Opper

Elaborate monument erected by Octavian (later Augustus) in 29–27 bc on the Preveza Peninsula in Western Greece, north of the present-day town of Preveza, overlooking Cape Actium, to commemorate his naval victory over Mark Antony at Actium in 31 bc. The nearby city of Nikopolis (Gr.: ‘city of victory’) was founded for the same purpose at about the same time.

According to the historian Dio Cassius (Roman History LI.i.3), after his victory Octavian laid a foundation of square stones on the spot where he had pitched his tent, which he then adorned with the captured ships’ rams. On this foundation, according to Dio, Octavian established an open-air shrine dedicated to Apollo. Suetonius (Augustus xviii.2) and Strabo (Geography VII.vii.6) corroborate this evidence, although the trophy itself (with the ships’ rams) was, according to Suetonius, dedicated to Poseidon and Mars, presumably for their help during the battle. The hill itself was, according to Strabo, sacred to Apollo, and therefore the shrine was dedicated to him....

Article

François Souchal

French family of sculptors. Originally from Lorraine, the earliest known members of the family to be involved with the arts were Sigisbert Adam, a sculptor, and Lambert Adam, a metal-founder (both fl late 17th century). Lambert’s son (1) Jacob-Sigisbert Adam spent most of his working life in Nancy, where he undertook the early training of his sons (2) Lambert-Sigisbert Adam, (3) Nicolas-Sébastien Adam and (4) François-Gaspard-Balthazar Adam. His daughter Anne married Thomas Michel (d before 15 May 1751), a sculptor from Metz; among their children were the sculptors Sigisbert-François Michel (1727–after 1785) and Claude Michel (known as Clodion). The three Adam brothers went to Rome at the start of their careers, Lambert-Sigisbert and Nicolas-Sébastien returning to France to work on the outdoor sculpture at Versailles, among other projects, and François-Gaspard-Balthazar going on to Sanssouci, Potsdam.

(b Nancy, Oct 28, 1670; d Nancy, May 6, 1747...

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(b Paris, Jan 14, 1904; d La Clarté, Brittany, Aug 27, 1967).

French sculptor, printmaker and tapestry designer. His father was a jeweller, and after his return from World War I in 1918 Adam worked in his studio and learnt how to engrave. At the same time he studied drawing at the Ecole Germain-Pilon and read Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal, which was to have a great influence on him. In 1925 he attended evening classes at a school of drawing in Montparnasse. From 1928 to 1934 he started to produce prints and became associated with André Breton, Louis Aragon and Paul Eluard, although he was never greatly influenced by them. His early prints, reminiscent of the work of George Grosz, were mostly designed as social satire, mocking the myths surrounding patriotism, the family and religion, as in When Papa is Patriotic (1935). In 1933 he designed the costumes and scenery for Hans Schlumberg’s Miracle à Verdun performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris. His first exhibition of prints was held in ...

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Patricia Strathern

(b La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, Seine-et-Marne, Jan 9, 1818; d Paris, 1881).

French photographer and sculptor. He originally worked as a sculptor, and he turned to portrait photography under the influence of the Munich photographer Franz Hanfstaengel. Adam-Salomon’s antique poses, making much use of light and shade to give painterly effects, were inspired by Classical sculpture and painting and incorporated expensive fabrics and settings. He also favoured heavy retouching of the negatives, for which he was criticized by some contemporaries. He was, however, much admired for the imposing character of many of his portraits (e.g. Portrait of a Man, c. 1865; see Berger and Levrault, no. 1). He continued his sculpture as well, producing portrait busts (many still extant), generally based on photographs. Subjects included Rossini and the poet Lamartine, as well as a monument in Les Invalides, Paris, to the Duke of Padua. Some of those hostile to photography, such as Lamartine, were persuaded to consider it as an art by the work of Adam-Salomon. He founded his studio in Paris in ...

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Chiara Stefani

In 

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(b Northampton, Oct 5, 1917; d Gt Maplestead, Essex, April 5, 1984).

English sculptor and painter. He studied at the Northampton School of Art from 1933 to 1944. During World War II he was employed as an engineer, and after the war he spent two years teaching himself to sculpt in wood. Though he had participated in various group exhibitions during the war, it was not until 1947 that he had his first one-man show, of sculpture, at the Gimpel Fils Gallery in London. He also produced abstract paintings, but soon came to specialize in sculpture. His early sculpture of this period, such as Figure (1949–51; London, Tate), showed the influence of Henry Moore, whose works he knew from photographs. These comprised forms abstracted from natural objects, executed in wood, plaster and stone. After his one-man show he made several extended trips to Paris, where he became interested in the work of Brancusi and Julio González. In 1950 he received a Rockefeller award from the Institute of International Education to visit the USA. Having by then an established reputation, he was also commissioned to produce a 3-m high carving for the Festival of Britain in ...

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Sergey Kuznetsov

[Amand (Ivanovich)]

(b Uuga Rätsepa, nr Paldiski, Nov 12, 1855; d Paldiski, June 26, 1929).

Estonian sculptor. From childhood he excelled in wood-carving. His first serious work after graduating from the St Petersburg Academy of Arts, where he studied (1876–81) under Alexander Bock (1829–95), was a carved frame for Johann Köler’s painting Tribute to Caesar (1883; Tallinn, A. Mus.), commissioned by several Estonian art associations on the occasion of the coronation of Alexander III (reg 1881–94). This work was inspired by Adamson’s impressions of altars in 17th-century churches in Tallinn. Baroque motifs became an important feature of his work, as in his allegorical miniatures Dawn and Dusk (1895; Tallinn, A. Mus.), carved from pear wood. Adamson completed his studies in Paris, where he was influenced by the works of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and Jules Dalou. A theme that runs through his smaller works is the sea, as in the Boat’s Last Breath (wax, 1899; biscuit, 1901, executed at the ...