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Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Pergamino, Buenos Aires, Sept 22, 1894; d Buenos Aires, Feb 21, 1976).

Argentine painter, stage designer and illustrator. He studied drawing in Buenos Aires under the Italian painter Augusto Bolognini (b 1870) and at the Academia Nacional before moving in 1923 to Paris, where he worked in Charles Guérin’s studio and at the Académie Colarossi. He also studied in the studios of André Lhote and Othon Friesz and became associated with other Argentine artists based in Paris. Like others of his generation and nationality, he sought in the 1920s to escape from pictorial provincialism by rejecting academic norms, as in Still-life (1926; Rosario, Mus. Mun. B.A.). He learnt how to paint while living in France and developed a range of imagery typical of Argentine art without showing any great originality.

More than any other painter, Basaldúa depicted life in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, concentrating humorously and without sentimentality on the wide boys, dance-hall girls, loose women and handsome, dangerous men of the tango in such pictures as the ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Torroella de Montgri, Catalonia, March 3, 1911; d Buenos Aires, Oct 8, 1966).

Argentine painter, printmaker, illustrator, sculptor and stage designer of Spanish Catalan birth. He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1913. Although his uncle, José Planas Casas (b Catalonia, 1900; d Argentina, 1960), taught him the rudiments of art, he was basically self-taught and began to exhibit his work in 1934. Synthesizing ideas from Zen philosophy, psychoanalysis and the theories on cosmic energy espoused by the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich with his interests in automatism, poetry and painting, he found a creative sense of direction from an early age. He applied his methods not only to paintings but to stage designs, illustrations, collages, prints, polychrome sculptures and boxlike constructions; as a painter he worked both in tempera and in oil, and he also produced 72 murals.

In 1936 Batlle Planas inaugurated a Surrealist phase with a series entitled Paranoiac X-rays, followed by another group of pictures, Tibetan Series, populated by spectral figures related to works by Yves Tanguy. Between ...

Article

Louise Noelle

(b Mexico City, March 22, 1923; d Mexico City, April 20, 2002).

Mexican painter, printmaker and illustrator. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas and with Carlos Alvarado Lang. Although he painted some murals and a good number of easel pictures, he was active primarily as a printmaker and as an illustrator of books, magazines and journals. He founded the satirical newspapers Ahí va el golpe (1958) and El coyote emplumado (1960) and from its inception in 1962 acted as art director and illustrator for the newspaper El día. From 1945 to 1959 Beltrán was associated with the Taller de Gráfica Popular in Mexico City, acting as its president for several years and sharing its populist, political and nationalist principles. Placing his art at the service of social concerns and using protest as his main weapon, he expressed himself with particular force in his prolific production of drawings and in masterful linocuts such as Exodus (...

Article

Luis Enrique Tord

(fl mid-19th century).

?French draughtsman and lithographer active in the USA and Peru. He lived briefly in the USA, where in 1852 he published a book containing 32 woodcuts depicting American working-class figures. Later he moved to Lima, the capital of Peru, where he published two albums of hand-coloured lithographs, Recuerdos de Lima...

Article

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Mexico City, June 10, 1940).

Mexican painter, sculptor, illustrator and stage designer. He was self-taught when he took up painting in 1956 with the encouragement of Diego Rivera, but from 1956 to 1960 he studied graphic design with Gordon Jones. During those years he worked in an Abstract Expressionist manner, although he soon incorporated figurative elements and, from c. 1963, elements of fantasy. In 1967 he went to Paris on a French government grant. In the following year he was a founder-member of the Salón Independiente, where he began to exhibit acrylic sculptures of the female torso. These were followed between 1974 and 1976 by a series entitled Mutations, in which he explored the possibilities of the cube and which opened the way to later sculptures and paintings in which geometry is balanced with sensuality. Venus and Mars (Mexico City, U. N. Autónoma) is one of the best of his public sculptures. He also worked as a stage designer, for example on a production in ...

Article

Aleca le Blanc

(b Grão Mogol, Minas Gerais State, April 25, 1944; d Montes Claros, Minas Gerais State, March 28, 1986).

Brazilian painter. Colares worked in Rio de Janeiro during the country’s military dictatorship (1964–85), his work synthesizing the Constructivist sensibilities of Brazil’s Concrete artists of the 1950s with the rapidly expanding urban visual culture of Rio de Janeiro. Originally from a small rural town, Colares moved to Rio de Janeiro to study art in 1965 at the age of 21. He became acquainted with young avant-garde artists such as Antonio Manuel (b 1947), Antônio Dias, and Hélio Oiticica, and participated in the landmark exhibition Nova objetividade brasileira at the Museu de Arte Moderna in 1967.

Having rejected his civil engineer training, he dedicated his attention to courses at the Escola de Belas Artes and Ivan Serpa’s influential Open Studio at the Museu de Arte Moderna. There he learnt about the European avant-garde and figures such as Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, and Giacomo Balla, who became important aesthetic reference points. In an interview with curator Frederico Morais, he stated, ‘the painting that most influenced me was Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp’. Colares translated the dynamism and structure of the European tradition into his own large paintings that depicted the bright colours, high velocity, and multitude of buses constantly moving through Rio’s urban centre. The compositions took on a geometric format and Colares painted representations of fragments of the vehicles—headlights, body, and grilles—into the discrete spaces of the configuration, frequently in the form of a grid. That Colares only captured a snippet of the bus re-enacts the pedestrian’s visual experience; as they hurtle by at high speed, one can only comprehend a fraction of the vehicle before it has passed. Colares executed these by applying industrial paint to aluminium panels, creating a shiny and blemish-free image of urban life. And while this approach to the serial repetition of consumer culture creates an obvious visual link to the contemporaneous Pop art movement in the USA, Colares’ paintings cannot be divorced from the circumstances of the military dictatorship in Brazil, which legalized surveillance and censorship. Although not overtly political, it is impossible to know whether these paintings celebrate or criticize life in Rio de Janeiro. Many artists working in Brazil at the time created works with similar interpretive ambiguity, a mechanism by which one could potentially insert veiled political criticism and still avoid punishment....

Article

Esther Acevedo

(b Mexico City, Nov 22, 1904; d Mexico City, Feb 4, 1957).

Mexican illustrator and writer. Covarrubias was born to a middle-class family who valued the arts and literature. By the time he was 14 he dropped out of school and became active in sending caricatures to different newspapers. He worked also for the communications office as a map draftsman where he met Antonio Ruiz and developed an ability for drawing maps, a skill later very useful for his artistic and anthropological projects. He illustrated in 1922 for the Secretariat of Education an emblematic Mexican cultural product: Adolfo Best Maugard’s drawing method (Método de dibujo: tradición, resurgimiento y evolución del arte mexicano) which consisted of seven elements of form identified in Pre-Columbian art and its many possible combinations with the intention of changing notions of design and decoration in the making of artistic products that would give way to a new Mexican artistic identity. This first approach to decorative motifs would train Covarrubias in the keen observation of form and later on would be of much use as he began an ambitious project connecting the original cultures of the Americas with style relationships coming from China and the South Pacific....

Article

Henry Adams

(b Veracruz, Mar 13, 1880; d Stamford, CT, Jan 10, 1961).

Mexican illustrator, writer, gallery owner, and publisher, active in the USA. He was the son of a wealthy Mexican lawyer and publisher. De Zayas started his career as an artist by providing drawings for his father’s newspaper in Veracruz. In 1906 he moved on to Mexico City’s leading newspaper, El Diario, but a year later, after the ascension of the dictator Porfirio Diaz, whom the newspaper had opposed, he fled to the USA. There he landed a position making caricatures for the New York Evening World. Shortly after his arrival in the USA, he came into contact with Alfred Stieglitz, who staged solo shows of De Zayas’s caricatures at his gallery Gallery 291 in 1909 and 1910, both of which proved to be huge popular successes.

In 1910 De Zayas traveled to Paris, where he stayed almost a year, scouting out adventurous forms of modern art for Stieglitz, notably the cubist work of Picasso and African sculpture. On his return, equipped with knowledge of European modern art and inspired by the work of the French modernist ...

Article

Esther Acevedo

(b Mexico City, 1836; d Mexico City, 1868).

Mexican illustrator and printmaker. According to the obituary by Hilarión Frías y Soto, Escalante “was fortunate enough to escape scholastic corruption … His training was artistic, though disgracefully very incomplete.” This may indicate that Escalante trained in lithographic workshops without attending the Academia de S. Carlos, a recently restructured school for artists.

Although Escalante’s portrait of Pedro Picasso—his music teacher—was accepted at the Academia’s exhibition of 1855, his work as an illustrator did not take an academic route. He became involved in liberal politics at the end of the Three Year War in 1861 and was the first caricaturist for the biweekly newspaper review La Orquesta, which he founded that year with Carlos Alejandro Casarín, who used the pseudonym Roberto Macario in honor of the Honoré Daumier character Robert Macaire (a flattering swindler). Escalante chose to address local problems in his illustrations and both recorded and influenced the implementation of the liberal ideology and the strict enforcement of the ...

Article

Paul Niell

(b Torreblanca, 1748; d Mexico City, 1807). Spanish engraver, active also in Mexico. Fabregat was born in Torreblanca in the province of Castellón in 1748. He began his studies at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Carlos in Valencia. He later obtained a prize in engraving from the Real Academia de S Fernando in Madrid and in 1774 was named ‘Académico Supernumerario’ by this institution and by the Academia de S Carlos in 1781. He engraved for some important printing presses in Spain, including those of Antonio Sancha, Joaquín Ibarra, the Imprenta Real in Madrid, and that of Benito Monfort in Valencia. By royal order, on 21 November 1787, the Crown appointed him director of metal engraving at the Real Academia de S Carlos in Mexico City, founded in 1783, after Fernando Selma declined the position. Fabregat embarked for the Americas in 1788. He is well known for the engraving that Manuel Toussaint titles the ...

Article

Angel Kalenberg

(b Buenos Aires, April 28, 1919).

Uruguayan printmaker and illustrator of Argentine birth. The son of Italian parents who settled in Montevideo when he was two weeks old, he first exhibited drawings in 1939 at the Ateneo in Montevideo and studied printmaking with various artists, while also working as a political caricaturist in the weekly publications Marcha and La Línea Maginot. His diverse influences included German Expressionism, José Guadalupe Posada, the Taller de Gráfica Popular and woodcuts by Japanese artists such as Katsushika Hokusai and Kitagawa Utamaro.

Frasconi visited the USA in 1945 on a grant from the Art Students League, New York, and later taught extensively at the New School in New York. His illustrated edition of Twelve Fables of Aesop (New York, 1954), published by MOMA, was chosen as one of the 50 Books of the Year by the Institute of Graphic Arts, and in 1960 he won the Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival for his film ...

Article

Emmanuel Ortega

(fl 16th century).

Mexican painter. Gerson’s life and oeuvre has been linked to the Apocalypse of St John frescoes (1562) in the Franciscan church of Tecamachalco in the state of Puebla. The images were first painted on amate (bark paper made from the amate tree) and later transferred to the vaults above the choir where pigments were added in the fresco medium to blend both surfaces together. The cycle came to prominence via the scholarship of Manuel Toussaint, who in 1932 assigned the authorship to a painter from Flanders named Juan Gerson. Since then, the cycle’s authorship, along with Gerson’s identity, has remained a topic of controversy. Starting in the 1960s, art historians Rosa Camelo Arredondo, Jorge Gurría Lacroix, and Constantino Reyes Valerio revised this view stating that Gerson was instead a local indigenous artist. They agreed that Gerson was the principal master behind these images whose technique remains a prime example of how Pre-Columbian and European traditions were intertwined in religious spaces in New Spain....

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, Jan 14, 1915; d Barcelona, Oct 14, 1965).

Argentine painter, sculptor, performance artist, conceptual artist, poet and illustrator. After studying in Buenos Aires at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes and with Cecilia Marcovich and Tomás Maldonado, he quickly established a reputation for his scandalous views, attracting extreme disapproval and equally strong support. After delivering a lecture at the Juan Cristóbal bookshop, Buenos Aires, entitled ‘Alberto Greco y los pájaros’ he was briefly imprisoned for his ‘Communism and subversive acts’. On his release in the same year he travelled to Paris on a French government grant, selling drawings and watercolours in the cafés and studying painting with Fernand Léger and printmaking with Johnny Friedlaender. Between 1956 and 1958 he lived in São Paulo, where he became aware of Art informel; he painted in this style in the late 1950s and early 1960s (Glusberg, pp. 284–5).

As early as 1959, when he had returned from São Paulo to Buenos Aires, Greco had expressed his corrosive vision of society through the form of his work. In his shows he exhibited tree trunks and rags for cleaning window gratings or floors. He moved again to Paris in ...

Article

(b ?Ayacucho, Huamanga, c. 1535–50; d ?nr Ayacucho, c. 1616).Native Andean chronicler and manuscript illustrator, active in Peru. Guaman Poma de Ayala authored an illustrated chronicle titled El primer nueva corónica i buen gobierno (1615; Copenhagen, Kon. Bib.). The manuscript, considered a principal resource for information on Andean pre-Hispanic and viceregal culture, was divided into three sections: a history of the Inca Empire, an account of the Spanish Conquest, and counsel to King Phillip III on colonial reform in ecclesiastical, political, and economic matters. It is distinguished by its indigenous authorship and graphic illustrations. The 398 full-page line drawings included in the chronicle expressed European visual templates and indigenous Andean conceptual logic. The manuscript was in the collection of the Danish Kongelige Bibliothek since at least 1729, where it remained unknown to the academic world until its re-discovery in the early 20th century.

Guaman Poma de Ayala witnessed rapid political and social transformation in the Andean world as a result of Spanish colonization and his chronicle, intended for publication and distribution, argued for the well-being of indigenous Andeans. He spoke more than one native dialect, was trained to read and write in Castilian, and gained access to rare books and prints imported from Europe. Guaman Poma de Ayala worked under the Mercedarian friar Martín de Murúa as a native informant and manuscript artist; the ...

Article

Cruz Barceló Cedeño

revised by Alana Hernandez

(b Valencia, Jun 21, 1926; d Caracas, Nov 26, 2010).

Venezuelan painter and engraver. Guevara Moreno is known as the pioneer of Geometric Abstraction in Venezuela. He studied at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas, Caracas, subsequently becoming an illustrator and cartoonist on various publications in Caracas. He went to Paris in 1949, where he attended André Lhote’s studio and later the Atelier d’Art Abstrait, when it was directed by Jean Dewasne. In Paris he took part in the activities of the groups Los Disidentes and Arte Madí. Guevara Moreno’s work from this period was characterized as Constructivist in nature and attracted considerable critical attention in Paris. In 1954 he returned to Venezuela and subsequently returned to figurative painting, which was influenced by critical realism. Guevara Moreno represented Venezuela in the biennales of São Paulo and Venice and was awarded several important national prizes, including the National Award for Painting and the National Award for Drawing and Graphic Arts.

Paz Castillo, F....

Article

Eloísa Uribe

(b Mexico City, 1833; d Mexico City, 1908).

Mexican illustrator and lithographer. He studied at the Escuela Militar de Ingenieros, Mexico City. When the school was reorganized following the American invasion of 1847, he was commissioned to execute portraits of the Child Heroes. During the French intervention he founded a number of political newspapers, including El espectro, El perico and Palo de ciego, for which he executed caricatures and lithographs. Persecution forced him into hiding, but he re-emerged in 1865 as interpreter and chief draughtsman to the Comisión Científica del Imperio. Following the death in 1868 of Constantino Escalante, Hernández became the caricaturist for the periodical La orquesta; he also produced lithographs for El artista (e.g. The Rattle; see Fernández, fig.). He collaborated with Hesiquio Iriarte on, among other things, illustrations for El libro rojo (1870), a novel by Vicente Riva Palacio, director of La orquesta. At the time of his death Hernández was producing caricatures for ...

Article

Mari Carmen Ramírez

(b San Juan, 1913; d San Juan, Feb 20, 2004).

Puerto Rican printmaker, painter, illustrator, and teacher. He grew up in New York City and from 1937 to 1942 studied there at the Art Students League and at Pratt Institute before doing four years’ military service. After World War II, he returned to New York as a designer for Cartier, the jewelers where he had been apprenticed as a student, and studied at the Art School of the Brooklyn Museum, where he met Max Beckmann and Rufino Tamayo. In 1950 he returned to Puerto Rico, where he was the principal founding member of the Centro de Arte Puertorriqueño and joined the staff of the Division of Community Education, becoming its Graphic Arts Director in 1951.

Homar is credited as the artist most responsible for promoting printmaking in Puerto Rico. He trained other important artists, such as Antonio Martorell, José Rosa, and Myrna Báez, and ran workshops at Cali in Colombia and in Havana, Cuba, helping to extend his influence further afield in Latin America. While serving as director of the graphic workshop of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, the most important in Puerto Rico, from ...

Article

Aída Sierra Torres

(b Mexico City, ?1820; d Mexico City, 1897).

Mexican illustrator and printmaker. He probably began his career in 1847 in the workshop of the Murguía publishing house. In 1854, in collaboration with Andrés Campillo, he created an outstanding series of illustrations for the book Los mexicanos pintados por sí mismos, in which he portrayed character types (e.g. Great Poet, lithograph) in the manner of Honoré Daumier. In 1855 he founded the firm Litografía de Iriarte y Compañía. The following year he published portraits of famous personalities in the weekly review El Panorama. He was a co-founder in 1861 of the political fortnightly La Orquesta, on which he worked for more than ten years as an illustrator and eventually as a caricaturist and as editor. Iriarte continued to contribute to a number of periodicals, including El Renacimiento, and his firm also published the weekly San Baltazar (1869–70). He collaborated with Santiago Hernández on numerous illustrations for, among others, ...

Article

Jorge Alberto Manrique

(b Mexico City, 1867; d Mexico City, 1941).

Mexican painter, illustrator, and teacher. He entered the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City in 1884. After studying with Santiago Rebull and José Salomé Pina, he soon devoted himself to the painting of historical subjects favored by liberal critics in an attempt to create a Mexican school of painting, as in Columbus at Rábida and the Founding of Tenochtitlán (both Mexico City, Mus. Pal. B.A.). The highest recognition he received was for a painting of great breadth and aspiration, for which he was awarded a medal when it was exhibited in Philadelphia in 1893: the Torture of Cuauhtémoc (1892; Mexico City, Mus. Pal. B.A.) in which, with a sort of academic realism, the dignity of the last Aztec emperor is portrayed in a sordid setting, contrasted with the suffering of the king of Tlacopan and the cold indifference of the conquistadors. He was a professor at the Academia, had work commissioned in Europe (...