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Article

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

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

Marsha Meskimmon

(b Blainville, 1889; d Neuilly, 1963).

French sculptor, collagist and draughtsman. Sister of (Henri-Robert-)Marcel Duchamp. Suzanne Duchamp’s work was significant to the development of Paris Dada and modernism and her drawings and collages explore fascinating gender dynamics. She worked closely with her husband, the artist Jean Crotti and her brother, which has exacerbated the tendency to subsume her particular production under their influence.

Beginning her art studies in 1905 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Rouen, by the outset of World War I Duchamp had moved to Paris. Between 1916 and 1921 she produced a significant body of work in a formal language that has come to be called ‘mechanomorphic’—images taken from commonplace mechanical or technological objects (such as cogs, pulleys, lightbulbs, car parts, etc) arranged to describe or infer human agency, desire or behaviour. The work of Francis Picabia, with whom Duchamp and Crotti were closely allied even after his ‘rejection’ of Dada in the 1920s, typifies the mechanomorphic tendency. Duchamp’s own mechanomorphic works, such as ...

Article

Lauretta Dimmick

(b Fargo, ND, April 7, 1895; d New York, Jan 6, 1942).

American sculptor. An important proponent of modernism in America, he began studying painting in 1914 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In New York he met the painter Arthur B. Davies, who suggested Flannagan try wood-carving. By 1927 Flannagan had abandoned both painting and wood-carving and, essentially self-taught, settled on direct carving in stone, although he did later experiment with metal casting. Flannagan preferred natural fieldstone to quarried material, favouring its rude and basic qualities. Similarly, he eschewed academic art, preferring simplified and abstracted forms. He chiselled as little as possible from the stones that he chose, seeking solely to release in his small-scale works the pantheistic image he believed existed in every rock. Often he made only shallow incisions to delineate his generalized animal and human figures. He dealt particularly with mother and child themes, such as Woman and Child (1932–3; Poughkeepsie, NY, Vassar Coll. A.G.), and with concepts of birth and rebirth, as seen in ...

Article

Lucius Grisebach

(b Döbeln, nr Dresden, July 31, 1883; d Radolfzell, nr Konstanz, Jan 27, 1970).

German painter, printmaker and sculptor. He was one of the founders of the group Brücke, Die and one of its most influential and active members. His work was central to German Expressionism.

Heckel began painting and drawing as a schoolboy in Chemnitz, where he became a friend of Karl Schmidt (later Schmidt-Rottluff). In 1904 Heckel went to Dresden to study architecture under Fritz Schumacher at the Technische Hochschule, where he met Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the artist Fritz Bleyl (1880–1966). In 1905 the four artists, united by common artistic desires and aims, formed Die Brücke. Heckel abandoned his architectural studies in order to pursue his creative work and to organize the group, although he continued to work as a draughtsman and site manager for the architect Wilhelm Kreis until 1907. In common with other members of the group, Heckel drew and painted life models, either in the studio or ...

Article

Josephine Gabler

(b Königsberg, Germany [now Kaliningrad, Russia], July 8, 1867; d Moritzburg, nr Dresden, April 22, 1945).

German printmaker and sculptor. She received her first art tuition from Rudolph Mauer (1845–1905) in Königsberg in 1881. She continued her training in 1885 in Berlin under Karl Stauffer-Bern and in 1888 under Ludwig Herterich (1856–1932) in Munich. Influenced by the prints of Max Klinger, which had been brought to her attention by Stauffer-Bern, she devoted herself to this form and gave up painting after 1890. She first produced etchings (see Woman with Dead Child, 1903) and lithographs but later also woodcuts. From 1891 she lived in Berlin where she had her first success: the portfolio of three lithographs and three etchings, A Weavers’ Revolt (1895–8; Washington, DC, N.G.A.), inspired by Gerhard Hauptmann’s play Die Weber, was shown at the Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung. Kollwitz joined the Secession in Berlin and was appointed to a special teaching post at the Künstlerinnenschule.

Kollwitz was indebted stylistically to naturalism, but her preferred subject-matter was linked to the emerging workers’ movement. Her prints on themes of social comment were carried out predominantly in black and white. However, her training as a painter had initially exerted considerable influence on her style. This changed around the turn of the century. Abandoning natural surroundings, she concentrated on different ways of representing the human body. It was then that a sculptural sensibility became decisive for her graphic forms. The first expression of this changing style was the etching ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Texas, 1950).

American sculptor. Lee came to prominence as a Minimalist in the 1970s. An interest in modernism and the monochrome, as well as a hostility to narrative, made the grid her starting point; following which she began to paint predominantly in black. In the mid-1980s she began to divide up her surfaces with dynamic diagonals and introduced more colour. Nututun (1989; see 1992–3 exh. cat., p. 11) is typical of this stage, when her work developed into wall reliefs: an irregular polygon in shape, it is divided into two fragments of amber-coloured, patinated bronze that partially enclose two smaller fragments of green-coloured bronze. By the end of the decade she was making wall reliefs composed of a number of small, shaped and differently coloured panels constructed from various metals, often arranged in large grid compositions. 40 Faults (1989; see 1992–3 exh. cat., pp. 42–3) consists of 40 large green–black patinated metal reliefs, similar to apostrophes in shape. In the late 1990s she began to produce free-standing sculpture, though the forms of the pieces were still predominantly flat and frontal. ...

Article

Martina Rudloff

(b Berlin, Feb 18, 1889; d Burgbrohl, nr Cologne, Nov 13, 1981).

German sculptor, potter, draughtsman and printmaker. He first sculpted animals while studying under Richard Scheibe (from 1907), and in 1910 modelled animals for the Schwarzburg Porcelain Factory. After World War I his interest in classicism gave way to the influence of Expressionism and of the Sturm artists, as part of a search for a new spirituality. This new style of work can be seen in Woman Suckling (gold-plated limewood relief, 1919; Bremen, Marcks-Haus). Walter Gropius, who founded the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1919, asked Marcks to establish a ceramics workshop for the school in the nearby village of Dornburg. With his students he set out to create a Bauhaus ceramics ethic of simplicity and honesty of design as determined by the materials used and the function of the object. In stylistic terms he combined geometry with a local pottery tradition. He was also inspired by Lyonel Feininger to make woodcuts of rural genre themes....

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

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

Donna Corbin

(b Münster, May 16, 1872; d Baierbrunn, Upper Bavaria, April 5, 1943).

German designer, architect, sculptor and painter. He was the son of a cabinetmaker and studied painting at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1889–91) and in Berlin (1891–2) before settling in Munich in 1892. Working as a portrait painter and graphic designer, he contributed illustrations to a number of periodicals including Pan (from 1895) and Jugend (from 1896). His earliest furniture designs were a chair and mirror shown at the seventh Internationale Kunstausstellung held at the Glaspalast in Munich in 1897. In the following year he was commissioned by F. A. O. Krüger (b 1868), one of the founder-members of the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk, Munich, to produce designs for the workshop. Like other designers of the Vereinigte Werkstätten, such as Richard Riemerschmid, Peter Behrens or Bruno Paul, Pankok produced designs in a variety of media, although his designs for furniture are probably his most original. His early furniture designs are characterized by a certain heaviness and ‘organic’ look, recalling the work of Antoni Gaudí and representing the more expressionistic, less functional, aspect of ...

Article

Matthew Gale

(b Como, Aug 1, 1898; d Milan, 1987).

Italian painter and sculptor. He studied painting at the Scuole Techniche in Como, where he met Manlio Rho and Giuseppe Terragni. Military service took him to Vienna, Paris and Warsaw (1918–20) and, after abandoning veterinary studies, he was employed by a paper manufacturer (1924–30) and went to Buenos Aires. Radice exhibited severe academic works in Como (e.g. Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, 1928–30; priv. col., see 1985 exh. cat., fig.), painting full-time only from 1930. Over the next two years he visited Cologne and Paris, where the example of Fernand Léger, Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian led to his conversion to geometric abstraction. By 1932 Radice, Rho and Carla Badiali (b 1907), together with the Rationalist architects Terragni, Pietro Lingeri and Cesare Cattaneo (1912–43), constituted the Gruppo di Como. The painters’ pure forms evoked Classical order and proportion, as well as organic systems in nature. Radice, ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

[Latv. Rīgas Mākslinieku Grupa; RMG]

Latvian association of painters and sculptors active from 1920 to 1940. Among its founder-members were Jēkabs Kazaks, Romans Suta and Uga Skulme (1895–1963). From its inception, the group was a small confederation of modernist painters and sculptors devoted to the advancement of avant-garde aesthetics in Latvia. Despite a changing membership, a relatively informal structure and internal disagreements about the specifics of a modernist agenda, the group projected a unified identity in its 13 exhibitions, the earliest of which introduced Latvian interpretations of progressive western European styles to Riga’s conservative audiences. Suta and Uga Skulme were among the most vocal defenders of modernism in Latvia, as they competed for the unofficial position of ideologue of the group. The Riga Artists’ group was the successor to the Expressionists (Ekspresionisti), who were responsible for the local début of Expressionism during the first significant post-war exhibition in independent Latvia. Most members of the Expressionists, including Kazaks, the leader, became founder-members of the Riga Artists’ group, and just as its new, generalized name admitted the possibility of pluralism, members began to explore other styles. The attrition of the Expressionists ...

Article

Christine Boyanoski

(b Orillia, Ont., Oct 8, 1903; d Toronto, Jan 27, 1966).

Canadian sculptor . She is best known for her modernist interpretations of the Canadian landscape in sculpture, using such unconventional materials as aluminium, tin and glass. She attended the Ontario College of Art in Toronto (1921–6), concentrating on sculpture, which had interested her since childhood. After marrying her instructor Emanuel Hahn (1881–1957) in 1926, Wood went to New York and in 1926–7 studied at the Art Students League with Robert Laurent (1890–1970) and Edward McCarten (1879–1947). In 1927 she began exploring in sculptural form the spatial relationships of landscape elements, based on personal observations recorded in many drawings made in northern Ontario. For one of these works, the marble relief Passing Rain (1928; London, Ont., Reg. A.G.), she was awarded the Lord Willingdon Award for sculpture in 1929. She was also occupied throughout her career with monuments and architectural sculpture, notable examples being the Welland-Crowland War Memorial (...