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Article

Rigmor Lovring

(b Ordrup, July 14, 1919; d Munkerup, nr Dronningmølle, Hillerød, June 29, 1982).

Danish painter, sculptor, designer and writer. He studied at the Kunsthåndvaerkerskole (1936–9) and the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi (1939–46), both in Copenhagen. He experimented with non-figurative forms of expression in numerous media. He was a co-founder of Groupe Espace in 1951, and his work was important for the development of Concrete art internationally.

From 1947 to 1950 Aagaard Andersen developed a new, pure pictorial dynamic, moving from fine-lined drawings and faceted landscapes towards an abstract formal language that explored form in terms of light, shadow and reflection. His ‘picture boxes’, in which various elements manifested rhythmic and dynamic growth, explored the concept of painting as object. He began to use the techniques of folding and pleating (e.g. Black Picture Surface with Three Folded Sections, 1964; Esbjerg, Kstpav.), and his work was dominated by his interest in light and shadow.

Besides paintings, Aagaard Andersen produced a number of sculptures, for example the abstract steel work ...

Article

Jennifer Wingate

[née Pond, Adeline Valentine]

(b Boston, MA, Oct 24, 1859; d Brooklyn, NY, July 1, 1948).

American critic and author. Adams was a vocal proponent of American sculpture during the last decades of civic sculpture’s golden age. She expressed her views on the state of the field in two significant publications, The Spirit of American Sculpture (1923; reissued in 1929) and a chapter in the 1930 edition of Lorado Taft’s History of American Sculpture, as well as in regular contributions to the American Magazine of Art.

Adams was an artist herself, though writing claimed her full attention. While she was in Paris in 1887, she posed for the sculptor Herbert Adams, whom she married two years later. The resulting marble bust (1889; New York, Hisp. Soc. America) was exhibited at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, an exposition that Adams hailed for fostering a new ideal of collaboration between architects and sculptors. Adams praised the role that sculpture played in public life and promoted figurative work modeled in the French academic tradition. She admired artists like Daniel Chester French (...

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Saïda, Algeria, 1953).

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Paul Davies and David Hemsoll

(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 1472).

Italian architect, sculptor, painter, theorist and writer. The arts of painting, sculpture and architecture were, for Alberti, only three of an exceptionally broad range of interests, for he made his mark in fields as diverse as family ethics, philology and cryptography. It is for his contribution to the visual arts, however, that he is chiefly remembered. Alberti single-handedly established a theoretical foundation for the whole of Renaissance art with three revolutionary treatises, on painting, sculpture and architecture, which were the first works of their kind since Classical antiquity. Moreover, as a practitioner of the arts, he was no less innovative. In sculpture he seems to have been instrumental in popularizing, if not inventing, the portrait medal, but it was in architecture that he found his métier. Building on the achievements of his immediate predecessors, Filippo Brunelleschi and Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, he reinterpreted anew the architecture of antiquity and introduced compositional formulae that have remained central to classical design ever since....

Article

Deborah Cullen

(Henry) [Spinky]

(b Charlotte, NC, Nov 29, 1907; d April 27, 1977).

African American painter, sculptor, graphic artist, muralist and educator. In 1913, Charles Alston’s family relocated from North Carolina to New York where he attended DeWitt Clinton High School. In 1929, he attended Columbia College and then Teachers College at Columbia University, where he obtained his MFA in 1931. Alston’s art career began while he was a student, creating illustrations for Opportunity magazine and album covers for jazz musician Duke Ellington.

Alston was a groundbreaking educator and mentor. He directed the Harlem Arts Workshop and then initiated the influential space known simply as “306,” which ran from 1934 to 1938. He taught at the Works Progress Administration’s Harlem Community Art Center and was supervisor of the Harlem Hospital Center murals, leading 35 artists as the first African American project supervisor of the Federal Art Project. His two murals reveal the influence of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886–1957). His artwork ranged from the comic to the abstract, while often including references to African art. During World War II, he worked at the Office of War Information and Public Information, creating cartoons and posters to mobilize the black community in the war effort....

Article

(b Chicago, June 5, 1947).

American performance artist, sculptor, draughtsman, and writer. She completed her BA in art history at Barnard College, New York, in 1969 and had her first one-woman show there in 1970, exhibiting sculptures and drawings among other works. She then trained as a sculptor at Columbia University, New York, receiving her MFA in 1972. Much of her work has built on her childhood instruction as a classical violinist, and she achieved popular notoriety in 1981 when her song ‘O Superman’ became a popular hit in England. Her first performance piece, Automotive, took place in 1972 at Town Green in Rochester, VT, and involved a concert of car horns. In 1974 she staged another music-based performance entitled Duets on Ice in which she appeared at four different locations on New York sidewalks wearing a pair of ice skates with their blades frozen in blocks of ice, and she proceeded to play one of several altered violins until the ice melted into water. In subsequent years, she has continued to work primarily as a performance artist, using projected photographs, films, texts, and music to create technologically sophisticated and elaborately staged events. Many of these performances have featured instruments of her own invention. The most famous of these was a violin with a recording head on its body and a strip of audio tape in the place of the hairs on its bow. This piece allowed her to play the human voice as an instrument by changing its speed and cadence with the movements of her arm. The most complex and spectacular of her performances, ...

Article

Willemijn Stokvis

(b Amsterdam, April 25, 1921; d Zurich, May 3, 2006).

Dutch painter, sculptor, designer, printmaker and writer. He was first encouraged to paint by an uncle, who gave him a set of paints for his 15th birthday, and he also took painting lessons. From 1940 to 1943 he studied at the Rijksakademie of Amsterdam, where he became friendly with Corneille. His earliest works recalled the painting of George Hendrik Breitner; during World War II, however, he began to paint with a more vigorous palette, with a clear interest in German Expressionism and above all in the work of van Gogh. There was a turning-point in Appel’s style c. 1945 when he found inspiration in the art of the Ecole de Paris and in particular of Matisse and Picasso. This influence remained visible in his work until 1948, for example in a series of plaster sculptures that he made at this time. From 1947, his completely personal, brightly coloured universe of simple, childlike beings and friendly animals populated gouaches, oil pastel drawings, painted wood sculptures and, gradually, oil paintings. His sense of humour comes to the fore in grotesque assembled pieces and wooden reliefs and paintings such as ...

Article

Armando  

[Dodeweerd, H. D. van]

(b Amsterdam, 1929).

Dutch painter, draughtsman, writer and sculptor. In 1950 he studied art history at the University of Amsterdam. He had his first one-man show at the Galerie Le Canard in Amsterdam in 1954, the year in which he began to write poetry. Influenced by the Cobra group, his early drawings of the 1950s are spontaneous and have a tendency towards abstraction; he often drew them in the dark or with his left hand, as in Drawing (1954; Berlin, Alte N.G.). From 1954 to 1959 he produced a number of largely abstract works that were influenced by Dubuffet and Jean Fautrier; for these he used thickly impastoed paint, as in Criminal Painting (1957; Venlo, Mus. Van Bommel–Van Dam). In 1957 he was one of the founder-members of the Nederlandse Informele Groep (Informelen), with the Dutch painters Kees van Bohemen (1928–85), Jan Henderikse (b 1937), Henk Peeters (...

Article

Greta Stroeh

[Jean] (Peter Wilhelm)

(b Strassburg, Germany [now Strasbourg, France], Sept 16, 1886; d Basle, Switzerland, June 7, 1966).

French sculptor, painter, collagist, printmaker, and poet of German birth. The son of a German father and French Alsatian mother, he developed a cosmopolitan outlook from an early age and as a mature artist maintained close contact with the avant-garde throughout Europe. He was a pioneer of abstract art and one of the founders of Dada in Zurich, but he also participated actively in both Surrealism and Constructivism. While he prefigured junk art and the Fluxus movement in his incorporation of waste material, it was through his investigation of biomorphism and of chance and accident that he proved especially influential on later 20th-century art in liberating unconscious creative forces.

Following a brief period at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Strasbourg (1900–01), Arp received instruction from 1901 from a friend and neighbour, the painter and printmaker Georges Ritleng (1875–1972). He then attended the Kunstschule in Weimar (1904–7) and the Académie Julian in Paris (...

Article

Artistic manifestations of Arthurian legends antedate surviving textual traditions and sometimes bear witness to stories that have not survived in written form. Thus the Tristan sculptures (c. 1102–17) carved on a column from the north transept of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela show that the story was in circulation at least a generation before the earliest surviving written text was composed. The one surviving manuscript of Béroul’s Tristan is unillustrated, while the fragments of Thomas’s version include a single historiated initial showing Tristan playing the harp (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Fr. d. 16, fol. 10). Although Eilhart von Oberge’s Tristrant, composed in the late 12th century, is the earliest version of the Tristan story to survive complete, the only surviving illustrated copy dates from the 15th century (c. 1465–75; Heidelberg, UBib., Cpg 346), while the Munich manuscript of Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan was made in south Germany ...

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

Annie Scottez-De Wambrechies

(b Valenciennes, April 7, 1810; d Paris, 1890).

French sculptor and writer . At an early age he showed a talent for drawing and enrolled at the Académie in Valenciennes under the sculptor Léonce de Fieuzal (1768–1844). In 1830 he received a scholarship from the city of Valenciennes to study in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the atelier of David d’Angers. In 1835 he first exhibited at the Salon and continued to show there regularly until 1884 without, however, receiving many awards. He mainly exhibited portrait busts of figures from various historical periods (e.g. Antoine Watteau, 1846; Paris, Louvre) and he received important official commissions for the decoration of public buildings in Paris. Portrait busts by him are found in the foyer of the Opéra (Jean-François Le Sueur, 1852), the Institution des Sourds-Muets (Abbé Sicard, 1852) and the vestibule of the library of the Institut de France (Etienne de Condillac...

Article

Isabel Mateo Gómez

(b ?Toledo; d 1595).

Spanish painter, miniaturist, sculptor, architect and writer. He belongs to the Toledan school of the second half of the 16th century. The son of the painter Lorenzo de Ávila, he developed a Mannerist style that is smooth and delicate and derives from his father’s and from that of Juan Correa de Vivar and of Francisco Comontes (d 1565). He worked as painter to Toledo Cathedral from 1565 to 1581 and was painter (Pintor del Rey) to Philip II from 1583. He acted frequently as a valuer for the work of other artists.

Between 1563 and 1564, in collaboration with Luis de Velasco, Hernando de Ávila painted the retable of the church of Miraflores (Madrid Province) with the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin (untraced); these are probably among his earliest works. He was commissioned to paint the retables of St John the Baptist and the ...

Article

Justine Hopkins

(b London, Feb 20, 1921; d London, Nov 16, 1975).

English sculptor, painter, printmaker and writer . He left school at 14 to begin his painting career. After spending time in France, Ayrton returned to England in 1939, finding success in stage design and art criticism. His writings in The Spectator (1946–8) were important in the acceptance of Neo-Romanticism. From 1946 he travelled widely in Italy, admiring the Quattrocento painters, especially Piero della Francesca. At Cumae he began the preoccupation with Greek mythology that continued throughout his life; he visited Greece regularly from 1957. After 1955 sculptures became his preferred medium, although drawing remained essential and he produced etchings and lithographs. However, his many bronzes of the Minotaur, Daedalus and Icarus (e.g. Icarus III, 1960; London, Old Change Court) remain his best-known images. The Arkville Maze (1968), built of brick and masonry, contains two lifesize bronze sculptures and still stands in the estate of Armand Erpf in the Catskill Mountains, New York (see Hopkins, p. 402)....

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

Morgan Falconer

(b Dundee, July 17, 1955).

Scottish painter, sculptor and writer. He studied Fine Art at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham (1975–8), then Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham (1978–80). In the early 1990s he began to make free-standing work characterized by a meeting of the ready-made with the monochrome, a preoccupation that he continued to pursue. His dedication to monochrome surfaces came about at first almost by accident when he began to apply more intense hues of paint to his sculptures, but it quickly became a consuming interest. While historically the form has been associated with the experience of colour, Batchelor realized that most monochrome paintings actually tended to be pale and lacking in intensity; his own paintings involved an attempt to inject more energy into them, and in that respect he sees them as semi-absurdist. His first solo exhibition (London, Curtain Road A.; Leeds Henry Moore Inst.;1995–6), at which he presented his ...

Article

Peter Webb

(b Kattowitz, Germany [now Katowice, Poland], March 13, 1902; d Paris, Feb 24, 1975).

German photographer, sculptor, printmaker, painter, and writer. As a child he developed fear and hatred for his tyrannical father, who totally dominated his gentle and affectionate mother. He and his younger brother Fritz found refuge from this oppressive family atmosphere in a secret garden decorated with toys and souvenirs and visited by young girls who joined in sexual games. In 1923 Bellmer was sent by his father to study engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, but he became interested in politics, reading the works of Marx and Lenin and joining in discussions with artists of the Dada. He was especially close to George Grosz, who taught him drawing and perspective in 1924 and whose advice to be a savage critic of society led him to abandon his engineering studies in that year. Having shown artistic talent at an early age, he began designing advertisements as a commercial artist and illustrated various Dada novels, such as ...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(Mikhailovich)

(b Moscow, June 10, 1925; d Feb 29, 2012).

Russian painter, sculptor, theorist and teacher. He attended the Surikov Institute of Art in Moscow (1942–7), where he completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies; his teachers there were Aristarkh Lentulov, Pavel Kuznetsov and Lev Bruni. He obtained a doctorate in art history and was a specialist in the historiography of Russian art. In 1948 he established an independent studio, which was unique for its time and which provided the base for the New Realist movement, a kind of monumental tachism. Over several years approximately 600 artists and architects passed through the studio. In 1962 he organized one of the first public exhibitions of avant-garde art in Moscow. Displayed at the Central Exhibition Hall (Manezh), it was wildly slandered by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the moment that proved most symptomatic of the end of a period of political thaw. From 1964 artists of the New Realist movement worked at Belyutin’s dacha at Abramtsevo, north of Moscow; unofficial exhibitions of their work were held there annually. In ...

Article

Jure Mikuž

(b Gunclje, nr Ljubljana, Sept 6, 1933).

Slovenian painter, printmaker, sculptor, illustrator and poet. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Ljubljana, in 1955 and later received his MFA in painting and engraving. He continued his studies in 1959 with Johnny Friedlaender in Paris. After 1970 he taught painting at the Ljubljana Academy. He was one of the most outstanding Yugoslav artists after the early 1960s and won several major international awards, including the Grand Prix of the Tokyo, Ljubljana and São Paulo biennales of graphic art.

Bernik’s early works, such as his series of flat picture surfaces, Magmas, Quarries and Burnt Soil, were influenced by Art informel. In the mid-1960s Bernik was an important exponent of the type of European painting based on the use of words. The Great Letter (1964; Ljubljana, Gal. Mod. A.) combines the devices and texture of Art informel with evocations of Byzantine religious texts. At the same time he was also painting pictures with sensually explicit, almost sculpturally or haptically modelled traditional iconographic objects such as the apple, table and cloth, or bread, or pictures in which a written-out word with its meaning was a substitute for a certain object. Here he was responding to European Nouveau Réalisme, Pop art and conceptualism, and the work of Francis Bacon. In the late 1970s Bernik again dispensed with the object in his pictures, producing a series of abstract paintings entitled ...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

[Biegalski, Boleslas-Biegas]

(b Koziczyn, nr Ciechanów, March 29, 1877; d Paris, Sept 30, 1954).

Polish sculptor, painter and writer, active in France. Between 1896 and 1901 he studied at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków under the sculptors Alfred Daun and Konstanty Laszczka. In 1901 he went to Paris on a scholarship and remained there until his death. He exhibited from 1897 throughout Europe (especially at the Salon National des Beaux-Arts, the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Indépendants in Paris), and he took part in the competitions for the Kościuszko monument for Washington, DC, and the Chopin monument for Warsaw.

Initially, Biegas’s sculptures were inspired by folk art, but towards the end of the 1890s naturalistic traits verging on expressionism and a certain geometrization of form are evident in his compositions. His most characteristic sculptures, mostly heads of women with long hair in the style of the Secession, appeared in the early 20th century. These works, often simplified and geometrical in form (e.g. ...