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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

Roberto Segre

(b Venice, Jan 30, 1927).

Italian architect, stage designer and teacher, active in Cuba. He graduated from the Istituto Superiore d’Archittetura in Venice in 1952, where he was a pupil of Carlo Scarpa, Franco Albini and Luigi Piccinato (b 1899). He began his professional career in BBPR Architectural Studio in Milan. In 1957 he went to Venezuela to work in a local studio and in 1960 was invited to join a Cuban programme. Thereafter he trained architectural students in the problems of creativity and plasticity as professor of Basic Design of the Faculty of Architecture in Havana. In 1961 he took part with Ricardo Porro and Vittorio Garatti in designing the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte at Cubanacán, Havana, his particular role being the designing of the Escuela de Artes Dramáticas. In this building he combined the compact volumetric tradition of brick walls and the irregular urban spaces of medieval Italian cities with the internal courtyards of Spanish colonial tradition. The work was broken off in ...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Cartagena, 1920).

Colombian painter, sculptor, printmaker, film maker and stage designer. He studied at the Art Students League in New York from 1941 to 1943 and subsequently visited Italy, where he studied fresco and etching techniques before settling again in Colombia. Consistently devoted to the human form, he initially depicted figures with angular heads and striped tunics in a strong light, with symbolic objects such as eggs, masks or cages.

In such later paintings as Boy with Umbrella (1964; Washington, DC, A. Mus. Americas) Grau’s figures were transformed into plump, fleshy and voluptuous beings, richly arrayed with lace, feathers, hats and fans, like characters taken from the theatre or from popular turn-of-the-century postcards. His scenes were gradually filled with anecdotal details and numerous objects, including cupboards, easels, boxes, masks and flowers, through which he suggested emotionally charged atmospheres. Grau also produced murals, prints, stage sets, films and especially sculptures. The first of these were assemblages of antique and industrial objects, but he subsequently made cast-bronze sculptures that convey a sensuousness, mystery and nostalgia similar to that evoked by his paintings....

Article

(b London, Jan 13, 1904; d St James, Barbados, July 13, 1978).

English stage designer and painter. He was the grandson of the cartoonist Linley Sambourne (1844–1910) and was educated at Eton College, Berks. After studying at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, he began painting portraits of his friends. An early influence was the English painter Glyn Warren Philpot (1884–1937). Messel’s first work for the theatre was to design masks for the production at the Coliseum in London of Serge Diaghilev’s ballet Zéphyr et Flore (1925), which had sets by Georges Braque. He achieved success with his masks, costumes and décor for C. B. Cochran’s revues between 1926 and 1931 (e.g. mask for This Year of Grace, painted papier-mâché, 1928; London, Theat. Mus.), and his sets for the production in London of Helen (1932) drew accolades from theatre critics. His all-white décor for a bedroom scene inspired the interior decorator Syrie Maugham (...

Article

Leonor Morales

(b Guadalajara, Feb 19, 1887; d Mexico City, Oct 13, 1968).

Mexican painter, printmaker, illustrator and stage designer. In 1903 he began studying painting in Guadalajara under Félix Bernardelli, an Italian who had established a school of painting and music there, and he produced his first illustrations for Revista moderna, a magazine that promoted the Latin American modernist movement and for which his cousin, the poet Amado Nervo, wrote. In 1905 he enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, where Diego Rivera was also studying, and won a grant to study in Europe. After two years in Madrid, Montenegro moved in 1907 to Paris, where he continued his studies and had his first contact with Cubism, meeting Picasso, Braque and Gris.

After a short stay in Mexico, Montenegro returned to Paris. At the outbreak of World War I he moved to Barcelona and from there to Mallorca, where he lived as a fisherman for the next four years. During his stay in Europe he assimilated various influences, in particular from Symbolism, from Art Nouveau (especially Aubrey Beardsley) and from William Blake....