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Libero Andreotti

(b Rovereto, Dec 10, 1896; d Milan, Sept 26, 1982).

Italian architect, stage designer and painter . After studying at the Scuola Reale Elisabettiana, an applied arts school in Rovereto, he joined the Futurist movement, headed locally by Fortunato Depero. After serving in World War I, he enrolled at the Scuola Superiore di Architettura del Politecnico, Milan, graduating in architecture in 1922. He then spent four years (1922–6) in Berlin working as a stage designer and frequenting the avant-garde milieu around Max Reinhardt, Erwin Piscator and Oskar Kokoschka. He returned to Italy in 1926 and set up his own practice. His first important commission, the remodelling of the Bar Craja (1930; with Figini and Pollini) in Milan, with its handsome glass and steel interior, established Baldessari’s reputation as an innovative designer. He collaborated again with Figini and Pollini on the De Angeli-Frua office building (1931–2) in Milan, a fine example of Italian Rationalism at its most restrained. Baldessari’s architectural masterpiece of this period was, however, the Press Pavilion (...

Article

Deborah Nash

(b Berlin, Aug 26, 1886; d Krailling, June 9, 1972).

German sculptor. Between 1905 and 1907 he worked as an assistant to a figurine modeller and then joined the Spezialauftrage für Theater-dekoration und plastische Modelle der Bühne Max Reinhardts from 1908 to 1910. In 1911 he entered the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin and studied there under Peter Breuer for one year. At this stage his sculptures of the human figure were expressionistic, but, influenced by the works of Naum Gabo, Alexander Archipenko and the Constructivist ideals that were prevalent in Germany, he soon moved towards a more abstract rendering of form, for example the mahogany Dreiklangs (1919; Berlin, Alte N.G.), three crinkled smooth-faceted forms emerging and diverging like leaves of a plant from a small base: this was his first completely abstract work. During this period he helped found the Novembergruppe and undertook a number of commissions for parks, memorials and restaurants, in which he was able to explore the relationship between sculpture and architecture. The most typical of these was the sculpture for the Scala Kasino in Berlin (...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Dobrovice, Jan 15, 1892; d Prague, May 10, 1936).

Czech architect, painter and stage designer. He graduated in architecture (1917) from the Technical University, Prague, and in 1921 he received a scholarship to the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. In 1922 he became a member of Devětsil, the group of avant-garde writers, artists and architects centred on the figure of Karel Teige. He also joined the Architects’ Club. His early work was influenced by Cubism and classicism, but his most significant building was the crematorium (1921–3; with Bohumil Sláma) at Nymburk, a fundamental work of Czech architectural Purism composed of dramatic white cylinders and slabs, with a row of massive columns and ceremonial steps along the main façade. All his designs were strictly tectonic; he aimed for the creation of a new style inspired by the Neo-classical Empire style. During the first half of the 1920s he also worked as a stage designer in Prague, creating a range of designs in the spirit of poetic Purism; examples include sets for the National Theatre (...

Article

(b Hamburg, Sept 14, 1876; d Pansdorf, nr Lübeck, May 13, 1954).

German painter, printmaker, poster and stage designer. He attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg (c. 1894), and art academies in Düsseldorf and Berlin (c. 1897). In the first decades of the 20th century he exhibited with the New Secessionists. He drew and painted still-lifes and figures in landscapes and interiors in a strongly Expressionist style, which revealed his admiration for Cubism and for the work of Ferdinand Hodler. He was an assiduous worker; besides paintings, woodcuts and lithographs, he designed stained-glass windows, mosaics (e.g. Kaiser Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, Berlin), murals and painted ceilings. He also decorated the interiors of a number of Berlin theatres, as well as the Marmorhaus cinema (1913). Klein and Gerhard Marcks joined Gropius to organize the 1914 Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Cologne.

In the post-World War I ferment of cultural and political activity, Klein, with Max Pechstein and others, founded the Novembergruppe in Berlin in ...

Article

dele jegede

revised by Kristina Borrman

(b Idumuje-Ugboko, Delta State, Dec 20, 1935).

Nigerian painter, sculptor, architect, and set designer. Nwoko’s works of art and architecture have been understood as exhibiting the tensions between modernism and indigenous design. Nwoko’s own published discussions of the political history of Nigeria and his recommendations for improvements in education, medicine, environmental conservation, and mechanical engineering have inspired art histories that describe him as not only an artist–architect but as an advocate for social reform.

Nwoko was one of the first of his generation of contemporary Nigerian artists to study fine arts at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria (1957–61). During his time as a student in Nigeria, Nwoko (along with classmate Uche Okeke) designed the Pavilion of Arts and Crafts, Lagos, in celebration of Nigerian Independence (1960). After his graduation, Nwoko won a scholarship from the Congress for Cultural Freedom to study scenic design at the Centre Français du Théâtre. Nwoko continued his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, choosing to add the disciplines of fresco painting and architectural decoration to his educational programme....

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b nr Cēsis, April 28, 1896; d Tbilisi, Georgia, July 14, 1944).

Latvian painter, printmaker, ceramicist, interior designer, tage and film set designer and theorist. He was the foremost ideologue for modernism in Latvia and was one of its greatest innovators. His militant defence of avant-garde principles befitted his experience as a soldier and as one of the artists who, after World War I, was denied a studio by the city officials and staged an armed occupation of the former premises of the Riga Art School. At the end of the war he painted in an Expressionist manner: In Church (1917; Riga, priv. col., see Suta, 1975, p. 19), for example, is an exaltation of Gothic form and primitivist rendering. Unlike his peers Jāzeps Grosvalds and Jēkabs Kazaks, he was extremely interested in Cubism and Constructivism, the theories of which informed his paintings, drawings, prints and occasional architectural projects of the 1920s. At this time he and his wife, the painter ...