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Els Maréchal

Term first used in 1941 by the Belgian critic Paul Fierens to describe the style of painting of an informal group of artists active in and around Brussels (Brabant province), c. 1910–23. Its founder-members included Fernand Schirren, Louis Thévenet, Willem Paerels (1878–1962), Charles Dehoy and Auguste Oleffe, who had already been grouped together in Le Labeur art society, founded in 1898. When, in 1906, Oleffe moved to Auderghem, his house became an established meeting-place, and Edgard Tytgat, Jean Brusselmans, Anne-Pierre de Kat (1881–1968) and the most prominent member of the group Rik Wouters became associated. The first exhibition of the work of those who were later called the Brabant Fauvists was held at the Galerie Giroux in Brussels in 1912. Inspired by a variety of directions within Impressionism, the group rejected Symbolism and was heavily influenced by James Ensor. They sought to express themselves through a clear visual language, with pure glowing colours and precise composition. They chose simple subjects, such as still-lifes, harmonious landscapes and scenes from everyday life executed in a painterly manner with spontaneous, expressive brushstrokes, for example ...

Article

Ronald Alley

(b Bulle, Switzerland, April 24, 1878; d Paris, Jan 30, 1958).

French painter of Swiss birth. From 1901 he spent almost all his life in Paris, studying there at the Académie Julian. His early work was influenced first by Impressionism, then by Fauvism and Art Nouveau, and included a number of rhythmically stylized female heads in pastel colours, followed from c. 1910 by a more strongly constructed Cubist phase. He spent two years in New York (1914–16), where he met (Henri-Robert-)Marcel Duchamp—whose sister Suzanne Duchamp he married in 1919—and Francis Picabia, and became involved in the Dada movement until 1921; his Dada paintings and reliefs are delicate and poetic and often combine the forms of objects, such as mechanical instruments, with words and typography, as in his portrait of Thomas Edison (1920; London, Tate).

In the 1920s, seeking to create a visionary art that would transport the artist and viewer into unknown worlds expressive of the aspirations of the soul, Crotti began to produce pictures in a variety of styles, sometimes completely abstract, like ...

Article

Marisa J. Pascucci

(b Belostok, Russia [now Białystok, Poland], Dec 25, 1884; d Detroit, MI, April 5, 1930).

American painter of Russian birth. Halpert arrived in New York City as a child in 1889 and grew up on the Lower East Side with other Eastern European Jewish immigrants. He spent most of his life studying independently and working in New York City and Paris. He was married to Edith Gregor Halpert, owner and director of Downtown Gallery, which played a major role in the rise of modern art in the United States.

Halpert’s artistic training began in 1899 with studying and working for his tuition at the Educational Alliance and National Academy of Design, where he met his first artistic mentors Jacob Epstein, Henry McBride (1867–1962) and J. Carroll Beckwith (1852–1917). In 1902 he made his first visit to Paris, sponsored with funds raised by Beckwith, staying until 1905 and studying first at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts then at the less restrictive Académie Julian. He ultimately left the structured learning environment all together to learn independently from contemporary artists working in Paris, such as the Impressionists ...

Article

Caroline Boyle-Turner

Term applied to the reaction against Impressionism led by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Georges Seurat. It can be roughly dated from 1886, the year of the last Impressionist exhibition, to c. 1905, when Fauvism appeared and the first moves towards Cubism were made. While it was predominantly a French movement, there were related developments in other countries, which often occurred somewhat later. Post-Impressionism can be loosely defined as a rejection of the Impressionists’ concern for the naturalistic depiction of light and colour in favour of an emphasis on abstract qualities or symbolic content. It therefore includes Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Cloisonnism, Synthetism, and the later work of some Impressionists. The term was coined in 1910 by the English critic and painter Roger Fry for an exhibition of late 19th-century French painting, drawing, and sculpture that he organized at the Grafton Galleries in London.

After considering more substantive terms such as ‘expressionism’, Fry settled on ‘Post-Impressionism’ for the title of the exhibition at the Grafton Galleries in ...

Article

Danielle Molinari

(Henri)

(b Paris, May 27, 1871; d Paris, Feb 13, 1958).

French painter, draughtsman and printmaker. Although he first came to prominence with works displayed in 1905 at the Salon d’Automne in Paris, in the company of paintings by Henri Matisse and other initiators of Fauvism, he established a highly personal and emotive style. His technique and palette were also highly personal, and they ranged from watercolour blues to a rich, thick application of materials. These demonstrate, in their very complexity, not only originality but also the craft of the artist always in search of a greater form of expression. Even though he never stopped observing mankind, his deep religious feeling allowed him to imbue his work with great spirituality.

Rouault was born to a humble family during the brief period of the Paris Commune. Through his maternal grandfather, Alexandre Champdavoine, an unassuming post office employee, he discovered artists such as Courbet, Manet and Honoré Daumier at an early age. Having shown a lively interest in drawing at school, at the age of 14 Rouault became a glazier’s apprentice with ...

Article

(b Antwerp, Nov 8, 1872; d Brussels, Feb 1944).

Belgian painter and sculptor. Born of Russian parents, he trained as a sculptor at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. In 1898 he was a co-founder of the group Labeur together with Auguste Oleffe, the Belgian painter Willem Paerels (1878–1962) and Louis Thévenet. One of his earliest sculptures is a mask of the Theosophist Madame Blavatsky (1898; see exh. cat., pl. 37). Around 1900 he suffered a nervous breakdown, after which he devoted himself largely to painting. His few sculptures are monumental and static, as in Eve with Apple (1910; see exh. cat., pl. 55).

In his painting Schirren was initially influenced by the Impressionism of Emile Claus and Théo Van Rysselberghe but he soon turned to Fauvism, producing such works as The Chestnut Trees (1915–16; see exh. cat., pl. 16). After about 1925 his style became more austere, as in The Study (1933...