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Article

V. Rakitin

(Izrailevich)

(b Sofiyevka, nr Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, Jan 6, 1884; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Aug 14, 1939).

Russian painter, graphic artist and collector, of Ukrainian birth. He studied at the School of Art in Odessa (1896–1902) under Kiriak Kostandi (1852–1921) and at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg (1902–8) under Il’ya Repin, who remained an important influence throughout his life. During the revolutionary years 1905 to 1907 Brodsky became famous as a political caricaturist and for his painting Red Funeral: The Funeral of the Victims of the Armed Attack on the Peaceful Demonstration in St Petersburg on 9 Jan 1905 (1906; St Petersburg, Acad. A., Mus.). From 1909 to 1911 he worked in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Austria on a scholarship from the Academy. Brodsky’s landscapes and portraits of the period are generally traditional and academic in style.

In 1917 Brodsky drew a series of portraits of the members of the Provisional Government and in 1919 received first prize in the ‘Great Russian Revolution’ competition for his painting ...

Article

Bélgica Rodríguez

(b Caracas, Aug 17, 1923).

Venezuelan painter and kinetic artist. He studied in 1940 and 1941 at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas in Caracas, producing Socialist Realist paintings while working as art director to the McCann Erickson advertising agency in Venezuela, where he became interested in the effect of colour in advertising. In 1955–6 he visited Paris and Barcelona, where his interest was aroused by theories of geometric abstraction, scientific colour theory and Bauhaus ideas on the integration of the arts and crafts. On returning to Caracas he opened the Estudio de Artes Visuales, where he began to investigate the role of colour in kinetic art. Cruz-Diez’s wide experience in advertising, industrial applications of colour, cinema and photographic and photo-mechanical processes, together with his study of work by Georges Seurat and Josef Albers and of Edwin Land’s (b 1909) scientific ideas on colour perception, led him to produce such constructions as the ...

Article

David Elliott

(Aleksandrovich)

(b Kursk, May 21, 1899; d Moscow, June 5, 1969).

Russian painter, graphic artist and designer. He studied at the Khar’kov Art School (1915–17), breaking off his studies to join the Red Army. By 1919 he had returned to Kursk, where he was designing the stencilled propaganda ROSTA posters that spread throughout the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic following Mayakovsky’s original examples (see Agitprop). In 1921 he moved to Moscow and studied under Vladimir Favorsky at Vkhutemas (the Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops) until 1925. While still a student he worked on illustrations and designs for a number of new magazines such as Bezbozhnik (‘The Atheist’) or Prozhektor (‘Searchlight’).

In the mid-1920s Deyneka started to make easel paintings and became a leading member of the Society of Easel Painters (OST), which reflected advanced tendencies in representational painting rather than the literalism of the Wanderers. His major paintings of the period are The Defence of Petrograd (...

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Warsaw, Nov 15, 1922).

Polish painter and poster designer. He studied at the private studios of Tadeusz Pruszkowski (1888–1942) and Felicjan Kowarski in Warsaw between 1940 and 1942. From 1966 he lived in the USA. In 1949 Fangor exhibited his early portraits of Lenin and Einstein, among others. They were garish in colour and intentionally primitivist and brutalist in form. The Socialist Realist works from between 1950 and 1955 (e.g. Bricklayers, 1950, and Korean Mother, 1951) are monumental academic, programmatic paintings of a propagandist, poster-style character, occasionally featuring ambiguity and irony, as in Figures (1950). Fangor gained popularity as a poster designer, and when Socialist Realism went into decline he switched from programmatic simplifications to experimental simplicity (e.g. the street decorations for the 5th International Festival of Youth, Warsaw, 1955).

Fangor achieved fame in 1958 with the Warsaw exhibition Studium Przestrzeni (‘Study of Space’), in which he presented an environment operating on the principle of the after-image. He produced spatially interdependent abstract canvases and explored a temporal sequence of colour perception. This was further developed in the ...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Prague, June 5, 1893; d Brno, June 7, 1974).

Czech architect, theorist, graphic artist, designer, teacher and writer. He graduated in architecture from the Czech Technical University, Prague, where he studied with Jan Koula (1855–1919), Josef Fanta and Antonín Balšánek (1865–1921). While still studying he became a member of the Mánes Union of Artists. During the period 1921 to 1928 he practised in Mladá Boleslav and in 1925 he was appointed Professor of Architecture at the Technical University in Brno. At the same time he was a founder-member of Socialistická scéna (Socialist Stage), for which he worked as stage manager, set designer and graphic artist. Kroha’s early work was based on a distinctive conception of Cubism, as in the Crematorium in Pardubice (1919), and Expressionism, as in the Catholic church, Prague-Vinohrady (1918–19), which he formulated in a series of extremely varied competition designs for buildings that were full of tension and explosiveness. His works at Mladá Boleslav, especially the State Technical College (...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Wilno [now Vilnius, Lithuania], June 15, 1927; d Zakopane, March 23, 1957).

Polish painter and writer . He produced his first paintings under the supervision of his mother, the graphic artist Krystyna Wróblewska (b 1904). In 1945–52 he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków, in the studios of Zygmunt Radnicki (b 1894), Zbigniew Pronaszko, Hanna Rudzka-Cybisowa (b 1897) and Jerzy Fedkowicz (b 1891). At the same time he studied the history of art and became involved in art criticism, publishing his exhibition reviews and polemical articles in cultural journals. From 1950, Wróblewski worked at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków. He exhibited from 1946 at exhibitions significant for contemporary Polish art, including the exhibition Sztuki nowoczesnej (‘Modern art’; Kraków, Pal. A., 1948) and the Wystawa młodej plastyki (‘Young plastic arts exhibition’) at the Arsenal, Warsaw (1955). Although during the 1940s Wróblewski produced only abstract compositions, he had a strong tendency towards realism, using a simple, but often ambiguous style. In ...