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Article

(b Istanbul, 1898; d Istanbul, 1957).

Turkish sculptor. After military service in World War I he went in 1918 to the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul, where he studied under the sculptor Ihsan Özsoy (1867–1944). With the help of his father he then went to Germany, where he studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. From Munich he went to Paris, where, after failing to get lessons from Aristide Maillol, he worked independently, inspired by the work of Maillol and Emile-Antoine Bourdelle. After returning to Turkey in 1925 and passing an examination he was able to go back to Paris, where he entered the Académie Julian and worked under the sculptors Henri Bouchard (1875–1960) and Paul Landowski (1875–1961). He returned to Turkey in 1928 and worked first as an art teacher at Edirne Teachers' College and then at various middle schools in Istanbul until his death. His principal works included the monument in Menemen to ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Delhi, India, Feb 4, 1941; d Lahore, Pakistan, Jan 18, 1999).

Pakistani painter, sculptor and printmaker. Educated in Pakistan and abroad, he has consciously and successfully synthesized Eastern and Western aesthetic traditions. In 1963, a year after graduating from the National College of Arts, Lahore, he joined the faculty as a lecturer in art, later becoming a professor and head of the Department of Fine Arts. His studies abroad have included post-graduate work in London (1966–7, 1968–9) and the United States (1987–9).

Like many of his colleagues, Zahoor was influenced by his mentor, Shakir ‛Ali, principal of the National College of Art from 1961 to 1975. Both artists were motivated by art history, philosophy and aesthetics. Zahoor’s non-figurative paintings of the 1960s evolved into tangible—though not always realistic—images addressing the dualities of space and time, East and West. Most of his triptychs and single canvases were conceived within a grid that provides a stabilizing structure for their compositions. This grid refers to Zahoor’s admiration for the American artist ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Tehran, 1934).

Iranian sculptor. Trained at the College of Decorative Arts, Tehran, he held his first solo exhibition at the Iran-India Center, Tehran in 1964. Inspired by Achaemenid and Assyrian art as well as by Babylonian carvings and inscriptions, Arabshahi has been associated with Hussein Zenderoudi, Parviz Tanavoli, and the Saqqakhana movement. His work has been shown in Iran, Europe, and the United States. Among his major commissions are sculptures and architectural reliefs for the Office for Industry and Mining, Tehran (...

Article

Dennis Raverty

(b Tehran, Jul 10, 1939).

American sculptor of Iranian birth. Armajani studied in Iran at the University of Tehran before immigrating to the USA in 1960 to complete his studies in philosophy at Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN, where he settled permanently. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1967. Armajani used the language of vernacular architecture in his sculpture to create spaces into which the viewer moves, sometimes being literally surrounded by the sculpture. Cellar doors, back stairways, loading docks, benches, bridges, porches, gazebos, and other such homely architectural elements are the inspiration for his sculptures and installations. Early in Armajani’s career he was on the faculty of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where he lectured on philosophy and conceptual art, but he left teaching in 1975 to concentrate exclusively on his sculpture.

Armajani stated repeatedly that his intention was to create a “neighborly” space, that is, a space that brings people together. His public sculpture is perhaps best thought of as social sculpture, in the sense meant by postwar German artist Joseph Beuys: a community-seeking, politically progressive, public art. Armajani’s many commissions include the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge in Minneapolis (...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

(b Tehran, Sept 19, 1906; d Istanbul, 1971).

Turkish sculptor . His family moved to Turkey when he was young. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul (1923–7) and after graduating went to Paris on a bursary, where he studied sculpture under Henri Bouchard at the Académie Julian and then under Charles Despiau. On returning to Turkey (1930) he became an assistant teacher at the Fine Arts Academy. During the 1930s he worked on the Adana Monument (1935) and the monument to Atatürk (1937) at the military residence in Istanbul. With Zühtü Müridoğlu he also worked on the statue of the 16th-century Ottoman admiral Barbarossa in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, which was erected in 1946 on the 400th anniversary of Barbarossa’s death, and the monument of Atatürk and Ismet Inönü on Horseback in Zonguldak. He visited Paris again between 1949 and 1950 when he was inspired by non-figural sculpture, which thereafter took precedence in his work. After returning to Istanbul, he taught sculpture at the Fine Arts Academy with ...

Article

[al-Turk]

(b Basra, 1934; d Baghdad, July 21, 2004).

Iraqi sculptor and painter. He studied sculpture and painting at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad under Jawad Salim, and after graduating in 1958 went to Rome where he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti e Liceo Artistico and the Accademia di S Giacomo. Fattah began to work in a style that combined elements of realism and Expressionism, as well as influences from Sumerian and Assyrian art. On returning to Baghdad he became active in the artistic life of the city and in 1967 joined the group Al-Zāwiya (‘The Religious Fraternity’), led by the painter Faik Hassan; Fattah also became a member of the New Vision group, formed in 1969. He had one-man shows in Rome and Beirut, as well as Baghdad, and from the 1960s participated in a number of national and international exhibitions. At the first Indian Triennale held in New Delhi (1968), for example, he exhibited the bronze sculpture ...

Article

(b Mut, 1920).

Turkish sculptor and writer. After completing his education in 1940, he taught for one year and then began his military service. In 1944 he entered the sculpture department of the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul, where he was a student of Rudolf Belling. From 1948 to 1950 he lived in Paris on a bursary and studied under the sculptor Marcel Gimond (1894–1961) at the Académie Julian. When he returned to Turkey he became an assistant teacher in the sculpture department of the Fine Arts Academy and also began to assist with the administration and management, eventually becoming Director. From 1969 to 1976 he also directed the Museum of Painting and Sculpture in Istanbul. As a sculptor he concentrated on figural works and made an important contribution to statue art in Turkey. He was responsible for a number of monuments to Atatürk including those at Geyve (1961), Karabük (...

Article

(b Peshawar, Oct 25, 1926).

Pakistani painter and sculptor. He began painting while training as an engineer in the USA (Columbia and Harvard universities) and held his first exhibition in 1950. He continued to paint while secretary at the Pakistan embassy at Ottawa during the 1950s, developing a reputation for portraiture. In 1957 he was commissioned to paint the portrait of King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan, and in 1959 he held an exhibition of 151 paintings and sketches in Kabul. He also painted portraits of Prince Karim Aga Khan (1961), Zhou Enlai (1964), Queen Farah Diba of Iran (1965) and President Ayub Khan of Pakistan (1968). He then turned to making portraits from marble mosaic and semi-precious stones, a technique that he had developed in Kabul in 1959. His abstract paintings, produced since the 1960s, incorporate ornamental calligraphy, coloured beads, small pieces of mirror, and gold and silver leaf. These works include a large abstract mural painted in ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Shiraz, Jan 15, 1955).

Iranian sculptor and installation artist, active in England. She left Iran in 1973 and studied at the Chelsea School of Art, London (1976–9), then was a junior fellow at Cardiff College of Art (1979–80). Although she settled in London and was often bracketed with a group of young British sculptors, including Anish Kapoor and Richard Deacon, her work was distinguished by the interpretation of a Persian cultural background through Western sculptural language. Her early work consisted of allusive environments and biomorphic sculptural forms, demonstrating an attempt, echoed in later work, to embody spiritual concepts physically. As it developed, her work became more autonomous, austere and concerned with materials that could symbolize a spiritual transcendence of materiality (see figs 1 and 2; see image page for alternate views). The drawings Dancing around my Ghost (graphite and acrylic on paper, 7 parts, each 1.0×1.0 m, 1992–3...

Article

W. Ali

[Mudarris, Fātiḥ]

(b Aleppo, 1922; d 1999).

Syrian painter and sculptor. Initially a self-taught painter working in a realistic style, he was inspired by Surrealism in the 1940s and 1950s, and he explained his work in verse and prose to the public. After studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Rome (1954–60), he returned to Syria and developed a highly personal style that he described as ‘surrealistic and figurative with a strong element of abstraction’ (see Ali, 1989, p. 131). Moudarres’s work was influenced by the icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Syrian Classical art, which he studied in the National Museum of Damascus. His work became increasingly abstract in the 1960s, although after 1967 he expressed political themes. From 1969 to 1972 he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His paintings have an accomplished sense of composition and balance of colour. As one of the leaders of the modern art movement in Syria, Moudarres trained several generations of artists in his classes at the College of Fine Arts at the University of Damascus....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Mukhtār, Maḥmūd; Moukhtar, Mahmoud]

(b Tanyra, May 10, 1891; d Cairo, March 27, 1934).

Egyptian sculptor. He studied at the School of Fine Arts, Cairo, and after graduating was sent in 1911 by the founder of the School, Prince Yusuf Kamal, to study sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Although Mukhtar was at ease in France, and regularly exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, his aim increasingly was to search for an Egyptian identity in art. In order to re-establish an Egyptian style in monumental sculpture he developed a ‘neo-pharaonic’ style, and became the first Egyptian artist to use granite since Ancient Egyptian times. His massive pink granite statue Egyptian Awakening (1919–28), the most official of his works, was placed at the gateway to Cairo University. It shows a sphinx about to rise, and a woman unveiling.

During the 1920s Mukhtar became an influential figure in modern Egyptian art, and prominent in the group La Chimère, founded in 1927, which included the painters Raghib Ayyad (...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Istanbul, Jan 29, 1906; d 1992).

Turkish sculptor. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy, Istanbul, under the sculptor Ihsan Özsoy (1867–1944). From 1928 to 1932 he continued his studies in Paris, working in the studio of the sculptor Marcel Gimond (1894–1961) and at the Académie Colarossi. He also attended courses in aesthetics at the Sorbonne and art history at the Ecole du Louvre, and he exhibited work at the Salon d’Automne (1931 and 1932). On returning to Turkey he taught painting at the Samsun High School (1932) and in 1933 was a founder-member of the D Group in Istanbul. In 1936 Müridoğlu worked at the Arkeoloji Müzesi in Istanbul and in 1939 went to teach at the Gazi Teachers’ College in Ankara. From 1940 he taught at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul. From 1947 to 1949 he stayed in Paris where he participated in the Salon des Indépendants in ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Muzaffarnagar, India, 1937).

Pakistani sculptor. The most prominent sculptor in Pakistan in the late 20th century, Sajjad pioneered the art form and gave it credibility. He had neither tradition to follow nor models to emulate since Pakistan, created in 1947 as a Muslim country, did not encourage three-dimensional art. At a young age Sajjad became interested in calligraphy and soon mastered the skill. He practised drawing and carefully observed signboard painters at work. He became a successful commercial artist, dabbling in film-making and painting. A restless soul, he spent three years travelling in Europe and Asia on a motorcycle. Sajjad was particularly fascinated by the wood-carvings of Bali, the Philippines and Japan, and by reliefs in wood by Paul Gauguin in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.

Sajjad took up sculpture in 1963. Thereafter his development fell into three phases. In the first phase his work was two-dimensional, consisting of figurative wood reliefs, often painted. In the second phase, especially from ...

Article

(b Ankara, 1920; d Baghdad, Jan 22, 1961).

Iraqi sculptor and painter. He came from a family of painters, his father being the artist Hajj Muhammad Salim al-Mosuli, his brother Nizar Salim, and his sister Naziha Salim. After a short period on government scholarships in Paris from 1938 to 1939 and in Rome from 1939 to 1940, he worked during World War II at the Archaeological Museum in Baghdad, where he became acquainted with Mesopotamian sculpture. From 1946 to 1949 he studied in London at the Slade School of Fine Art. He experimented with modern art and was inspired by ancient Iraqi culture, drawing on local forms, symbols and folklore. On returning to Iraq he directed and taught at the sculpture department of the Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, until his death. In 1951 he founded the Baghdad Group of Modern Art; this group became concerned with establishing the identity of an Iraqi artistic tradition. After Iraq was declared a republic in ...

Article

In its most general sense, spolia (pl., from Lat. spolium: ‘plunder’) denotes all artifacts re-employed in secondary contexts, from building blocks reused in a wall to pagan gems mounted on a Christian reliquary. It is a matter of debate whether this broad application of the term is justified, or whether it should be restricted to the relatively small subset of reused objects that were taken or ‘stripped’ (like spoils) from their original context, rather than found, purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired by non-violent means. It is likewise debated when the use of spolia should be considered meaningful, if at all. Arnold Esch defined five possible motives for using spolia: convenience, profanation, Christianization, political legitimation and aesthetic attraction. Michael Greenhalgh has argued for reducing the motives to three (at least with regard to marble): pragmatism, aesthetics and ideology; while Finbarr Barry Flood cautioned against reductive interpretations generated by any taxonomy, insisting that reused objects are mutable in meaning and capable of multiple interpretations during their life cycle....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Tehran, 1937).

Iranian sculptor, painter, art historian and collector. He studied sculpture at the College of Fine Arts at Tehran University, graduating in 1956, and then attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara (1956–7) and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan (1958–9), where he worked under Marino Marini. In 1960 he began to teach at the College of Decorative Arts in Tehran, and in 1961 he was invited to the Minneapolis College of Arts and Design as a visiting artist, where he taught sculpture until 1963. In 1964 he returned to Tehran to teach sculpture at the College of Fine Arts. Primarily a sculptor, he worked with a range of materials, including bronze, copper, brass, scrap metal and clay. In the 1960s he contributed to the art movement in Iran known as Saqqakhana, and he made sculptures that were reminiscent of religious shrines and objects. Pairs of figures and fantastic birds were also common subjects. Themes from classical Persian literature also influenced him. He frequently rendered the word ...