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Article

Ramón Vargas

(b Mexico City, Mar 29, 1915; d Mexico City, May 25, 1959).

Mexican architect, theorist, and writer, of Japanese descent. The son of a Japanese ambassador in Mexico, he studied philosophy, espousing neo-Kantianism and becoming politically a socialist. He became a supporter of Functionalism, with its emphasis on the social applications of architecture, and was a founder, with Enrique Yañez, of the Unión de Arquitectos Socialistas (1938), helping to draw up a socialist theory of architecture. He was one of the most active participants in the Unión and attempted to put his socialist theory into practice on two unexecuted projects in the same year: the building for the Confederación de Trabajadores de México and the Ciudad Obrera de México, both with Enrique Guerrero and Raúl Cacho. Later, when Mexico opted for a developmental policy, Arai became a standard-bearer for nationalism in architecture. He re-evaluated traditional building materials, such as tree trunks, bamboo, palm leaves, and lianas, using them in a plan for a country house that was adapted to the warm, damp climate of the Papaloapan region. The building of the Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, gave him his greatest architectural opportunity when he designed the Frontones (...

Article

Alberto González Pozo

(b Harbin, Manchuria [now China], May 3, 1910; d Mexico City, Oct 7, 1996).

Mexican architect, teacher and writer, of Russian descent. In 1926 he settled in Paris, where between 1929 and 1935 he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Georges Gromort. He moved to Mexico in 1942, where he combined editorial work on the periodical Arquitectura México, run by Mario Pani, with his first commissions in Mexico City, among them the ‘Albert Einstein’ Secondary School (1949), with walls of exposed brick. Other examples of his educational architecture, notable for their formal austerity, include the Liceo Franco-Mexicano (1950) and the Facultad de Economía (1953; with J. Hanhausen), Ciudad Universitaria, both in Mexico City. From the 1950s to the 1970s Kaspé continued building in Mexico City; outstanding examples of his work are the Centro Deportivo Israelita (1950–62), Periférico Norte; the Laboratorios Roussel (1961), Avenida Universidad y M. A. Quevedo; and the offices of Supermercados S. A. (...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Oct 1, 1927).

Argentine painter, graphic designer, teacher and critic. After studying in Japan from 1935 to 1951 he returned to Argentina, remaining there until his move to New York in 1963. His paintings from 1952 were in the style of Art informel, with a calligraphic emphasis demonstrating his sympathy with oriental art, but around 1960 he moved towards a more gestural abstraction in works such as Painting No. 20 (1961; Buenos Aires, Mus. A. Mod.), using thicker paint and more subdued colours.

In 1964 Sakai began to use more geometric shapes in his pictures, and he continued to do so on moving in 1965 to Mexico, where he remained until 1977. His example opened the way to geometric abstraction in Mexico, where there was no real tradition of such work. In 1976, shortly before returning to New York, he began a series of paintings using the formal repetition of parallel undulating lines of strongly contrasting colour. From ...