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Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Aug 28, 1897; d Buenos Aires, March 17, 1983).

Argentine painter, tapestry designer and stage designer. From 1922 to 1933 he lived in Europe, where he studied first in Germany at the artistic colony in Worpswede and then in Paris under André Lhote and Othon Friesz. He was untouched by the violence of German Expressionism, but he assimilated various influences in France, structuring forms in the manner of Cézanne, and combining these with the audacious colouring of Fauvism and the strict sense of order in Cubism, as in The Siesta (1926; Buenos Aires, Mus. N. B.A.)

On his return to Argentina, Butler applied these European influences to lyrical landscapes of the islands in the Parana Delta of the Tigre region near Buenos Aires, selecting unusual scenes into which he incorporated childhood reminiscences in the figures. Using arabesques to link nature and people in his essentially flat pictures, he projected himself on to the scenery of which he was so fond in pictures such as the ...

Article

Chancay  

Jane Feltham

Pre-Columbian culture of South America. It centred on the Chancay Valley of the central Peruvian coast, ranging north and south to the Fortaleza and Lurín valleys, and is known for its distinctive pottery and textile styles. Chancay culture flourished between c. ad 1100 and 1470, under Chimú rulership in the 15th century. Vessels and textiles have been found at such sites as Cerro Trinidad, Lauri and Pisquillo, mostly in graves covered with stout timbers and a layer of earth.

Chancay vessels were made by coiling; modelled features sometimes occur, but elaborate jars were moulded. The fabric, fired to a light orange, is thin and porous. Some vessels are covered with a plain white slip, but most are also painted with brownish-black designs. Forms include bowls, goblets, tumblers, cylindrical jars and ovoid jars with rounded bases and narrow, bulging necks that sometimes end in a flaring rim. Vessel heights range from 60 mm for bowls to 750 mm for jars. Animals (especially birds and reptiles) and humans are frequently modelled on the upper shoulder or around a handle. More elaborate jars are zoomorphic or consist of two flasks connected by a bridge. Some show scenes, such as a dignitary being carried on a litter. Vertical black bands often divide design areas, within which are patterns of stripes, wavy lines, crosshatching, diamonds, triangles and dots, chequers, volutes and stylized birds or fishes, sometimes in assymetrical halves. Characteristic of the style are large, necked jars with faces (known as ...

Article

Denise Carvalho

(b Belo Horizonte, Oct 23, 1920; d Rio de Janeiro, April 25, 1988).

Brazilian painter, sculptor, interactive artist and art therapist. She was a cofounder in 1959 of the Neo-Concrete movement, whose members laid the foundation for much of Brazilian contemporary art. The Neo-Concretists broke with the rigidity of the rationalism of Concrete art and advocated a more sensorial, interactive art. Lygia Clark and her creative soul-mate, Hélio Oiticica, created participatory works that challenged not only longstanding artistic dogmas, but also the role of the art object itself, as well as the role of the artist, the spectator, and the art institution. Their most groundbreaking works required the viewer to be part of the artwork and thereby experience it sensorially, all of which made their work difficult to categorize. Clark came to see even her exhibitions at major art events as meaningless, and her emphasis on person-to-person dialogue eventually led her into art therapy. Without a therapeutic license, she devoted her last decades solely to treating patients with her own form of art therapy....

Article

David Craven

(b Granada, Nicaragua, 1887; d Granada, 1964).

Nicaraguan painter and embroiderer. Born to a prominent family in the old city of Granada, she was given a patrician education that emphasized embroidery and music as the arts proper to her station. For several decades she practised embroidery, gradually replacing the traditional formal elements and conventional subjects such as decorative floral motifs with landscapes and scenes from Nicaraguan history conveyed in a broad range of colour.

The growing national fame of Guillén’s embroidery led her to take up oil painting in 1951 at the suggestion of a friend, the poet Enrique Fernández Morales. She studied under Rodrigo Peñalba at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Managua but quickly arrived at a distinctive style of naive art by transposing the style and subject-matter of her embroidery to brightly coloured and richly detailed oil paintings that won the admiration of leading literary figures such as Ernesto Cardenal and Pablo Antonio Cuadra, for example ...

Article

Rebecca Arnold

[née Pacanins y Nino, Maria Carolina Josefina]

(b Caracas, Jan 8, 1939).

Venezuelan fashion designer, active also in the USA (see fig.). While Herrera’s designs always contain elements of current fashion, her work is more about the cultivation of a sleek international style that is classically feminine. Her upbringing among the élite, leisured classes of South America encouraged her to view clothing as a visual expression of good taste and ease. Rather than following trends, her designs tend to favor clean lines, with a focus on detail.

Herrera was brought up in an environment where clothes were bought from Parisian couturiers, such as Cristobal Balenciaga, or made by skilled local dressmakers. In each case, craftsmanship and structure were important, combined with a desire to acknowledge wealthy women’s lifestyles within the design of each garment. Herrera therefore developed an appreciation for refined design skills and good fit early in her life, which was to prove crucial to her own evolution as a designer. Combined with this awareness of fashion’s central role in the life of wealthy women was her cosmopolitan outlook. This was nurtured by regular trips to Europe and North America, which provided inspiration through visits to galleries and museums, and gave her an understanding of the international lifestyle of many women of her class. The need of these women to be dressed stylishly and appropriately for diverse events from tennis matches to cocktail parties or office work in a city shaped Herrera’s outlook, as much as her appreciation of art and culture....

Article

Navajo  

Margaret Moore Booker

Tribe of Native Americans who call themselves Diné (“the people”) and whose Dinetah (homelands) are situated on a c. 15 million-acre-reservation in northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and southern Utah. The Navajo have rich artistic traditions in the Southwest dating back at least five centuries. Greatly influenced by Pueblo Indians of the region, the Navajo made textiles, basketry and pottery for utilitarian and religious purposes. Traditionally, it was the Navajo women who made pottery and wove textiles, while the men were silversmiths. The latter, who learned this art from the Spanish, led the way in the development of silver and turquoise jewelry in the Southwest. Their forms and decorative styles influenced other Native American jewelers.

The Navajo excel at weaving. Their earliest works were woolen blankets made on an upright loom and meant to be worn. After trading posts were established on the reservation in the early 1870s, the traders encouraged the Navajo to weave heavier textiles that could serve as rugs. Often given materials and designs by the traders to follow, the Navajo weavers made their own adaptations that evolved into the exquisite rugs they are famous for. A wide range of patterns and colors and a number of distinct regional styles exist (...

Article

Paracas  

Helaine Silverman

Name given to a Pre-Columbian culture of the Central Andean area. The culture is named after the Paracas peninsula in Peru, 300 km south of Lima, the location of an important Pre-Columbian site discovered by Julio C. Tello and S. K. Lothrop in 1925 (see also South America, Pre-Columbian). By 1927 three distinct cemetery areas on the peninsula, known as Cabeza Larga, Cavernas and Necropolis, had been located and excavated. Each contained mummy bundles or ‘fardels’ wrapped in exceptionally fine multicoloured embroidered cloths (see fig.). The Necropolis area contained more than 400 conical bundles. Some were noticeably richer than others and were composed of up to several hundred textiles, arranged in layers of plain cloths and decorated mantles, shirts, loin cloths, ponchos, skirts, turbans and belts. Together, the three Paracas peninsula burial areas yielded thousands of iconographically complex, technically excellent textiles, now in museums throughout the world. The Paracas textiles varied in style over the time during which the burial grounds were used. The earliest (...

Article

Elisabeth Roark

(b San Pedro, Aug 9, 1913; d Dax, Nov 4, 1982).

Argentinian sculptor, tapestry designer and weaver active in France. After studying drawing and painting in Buenos Aires, Penalba received a scholarship from the French government in 1948. In Paris she enrolled at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in printmaking but began to concentrate exclusively on sculpture after entering the studio of Ossip Zadkine in 1950. Committed to abstraction from 1951, Penalba exhibited with other young, non-objective sculptors such as Etienne-Martin and Etienne Hajdu, with whom she shared a preference for organic form. Her sculpture of the 1950s was chiefly of vertical orientation, composed of modular forms arranged around a central axis in a totemic or columnar manner, as in Middle Totem (1954; Rio de Janeiro, Mus. A. Mod.). Despite its organic allusions, Penalba denied any direct reference to plant, rock or animal prototypes, insisting that her work was motivated by a desire to ‘spiritualize the symbols of eroticism, the source of all creation’ (...

Article

Kristen E. Stewart

(b Santo Domingo, Jul 22, 1932; d Kent, CT, Oct 20, 2014).

Dominican-born American fashion designer. De la Renta’s illustrious career spans nearly six decades and is part of the canon of American fashion design (see fig.). Known for flattering, highly wearable designs characterized by sophisticated femininity and romantic details, de la Renta made a name for himself both as a designer and as a man of style at the centre of prominent social circles.

Oscar de la Renta was born the youngest child and only boy in a family of six sisters, to a Dominican mother, Maria Fiallo, and a Puerto Rican father, Oscar Ortiz de la Renta. Raised under the matriarchal rule of his maternal grandmother, de la Renta’s childhood experiences in the lushly tropical community surrounded by grand and proper women in crisply starched ruffles shaped his perception of femininity as strength. The regalia of the Catholic Church and the aristocratic European glamour of an uncle’s Russian mistress supplied his romantic nature with an exotic aesthetic vocabulary....

Article

María Antonia González-Arnal

(b San Rafael de Mucuchíes, nr Mérida, May 16, 1900; d San Rafael de Mucuchíes, April 18, 1997).

Venezuelan sculptor, furniture designer, weaver and architect. He was self-taught as an artist. In 1935 he carved a sculptural group representing Christ, the Virgin and Mary Magdalene (untraced). In 1943 Sánchez moved to El Potrero, and in 1946 he constructed the only loom in Venezuela with three heddles. In 1952 he began the construction of the Complejo de El Tisure, near Mérida, an artistic and religious centre located in an immense isolated valley. His most representative works are housed there, including the sculptural group Calvary. Between 1960 and 1964 he executed some of his most original pieces of weaving and furniture. His first one-man show was held in 1982 at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas.

See also under Venezuela, Republic of, §II.

Juan Félix Sánchez, Grupo Cinco (Madrid, 1982)Lo espiritual en el arte: Juan Félix Sánchez (exh. cat., Caracas, Mus. A. Contemp., 1982)E. Planchart Licea: Juan Félix Sánchez: El gigante del Tisure...

Article

Teresa del Conde

(b Juchitán, Oaxaca, July 17, 1940).

Mexican painter, sculptor, textile designer, printmaker and collector. He grew up in an area that was rich in legends, rites and beliefs springing from a strong rural tradition predating the Spanish conquest of Mexico. He began to draw and paint at a very early age, studying first in Oaxaca, where he produced linocuts in the graphic workshop run by Arturo García Bustos (b 1926). In 1957 he moved to Mexico City to attend the Escuela de Diseño y Artesanía of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. After holding his first one-man shows of gouaches and prints in 1959 in Fort Worth, TX, and Mexico City, he moved in 1960 to Paris, where until 1963 he studied printmaking under Stanley William Hayter. While continuing to work within western traditions, he became interested in the art of oriental cultures and in ancient Mexican art, especially in those forms that were not officially sanctioned. In his attitude towards the sustaining inspiration of traditions he was particularly close to Paul Klee....

Article

Monica E. Kupfer

(b Horconcitos, Chiriquí, Feb 11, 1927).

Panamanian painter, ceramicist, printmaker, tapestry designer and landscape architect. He studied both architecture and painting in Panama, holding his first exhibition in 1953; he then continued his studies in Madrid (1954–8) at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, at the Escuela de Cerámica de la Moncloa and at the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura. In 1959 he returned to Panama, where he began a long teaching career at the Universidad de Panamá. In the early 1960s Trujillo painted social satires, such as The Commissioners (1964; Panama City, Mus. A. Contemp.) with small monstrous figures in cavernous settings. Later his palette brightened as he turned to new subjects based on nature, including numerous still-lifes and semi-abstract paintings with botanical allusions, for example Still-life with Fruit (1975; Washington, DC, A. Mus. Americas).

Always a versatile and prolific artist, in the 1970s and 1980s he based his subjects both on his rich imagination and on his knowledge of Panama’s indigenous cultures. He made recurring reference to the patterns of pre-Columbian ceramics, natural and biomorphic forms, mythological and primitive figures, and Indian symbols and ceremonies, all treated as elements of an iconography strongly related to his Panamanian origin. Although generally classified as belonging to the return to figuration among Latin American artists, he ranged stylistically from realism to abstraction....