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Article

Susan Compton

[Shagal, Mark (Zakharovich); Shagal, Moses]

(b Vitebsk [now Viciebsk], Belarus’, July 7, 1887; d Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Alpes-Maritimes, March 28, 1985).

French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, designer, sculptor, ceramicist, and writer of Belarusian birth. A prolific artist, Chagall excelled in the European tradition of subject painting and distinguished himself as an expressive colourist. His work is noted for its consistent use of folkloric imagery and its sweetness of colour, and it is characterized by a style that, although developed in the years before World War I, underwent little progression throughout his long career (see.g. I and the Village, 1911; New York, MOMA). Though he preferred to be known as a Belarusian artist, following his exile from the Soviet Union in 1923 he was recognized as a major figure of the Ecole de Paris, especially in the later 1920s and the 1930s. In his last years he was regarded as a leading artist in stained glass.

Chagall spent his childhood, admirably recorded in his autobiography, in a warm Hassidic family in Vitebsk [now Viciebsk], with frequent visits to his grandfather’s village home. He attended the traditional Jewish school but afterwards succeeded in entering the local Russian high school, where he excelled in geometry and drawing and determined to become an artist. At first he studied locally in the studio of ...

Article

Willemijn Stokvis

[Beverloo, Corneille Guillaume]

(b Liège, July 3, 1922; d Auvers-sur-Oise, France, Sept 5, 2010).

Dutch painter, printmaker, ceramicist and writer. He studied drawing at the Amsterdam Rijksakademie from 1940 to 1943 but taught himself to paint. While at the academy he became a close friend of Karel Appel. His early work was naturalistic, but he began to treat his forms more schematically c. 1945. After the liberation he was inspired by the joie de vivre of French painters, and in particular by the work of younger artists such as Edouard Pignon, which led him to adopt a lyrically Cubist style.

In 1947 Corneille spent four months in Hungary. He discovered Surrealism when browsing in a small bookshop in Budapest. Here he also encountered the work of Klee and Miró for the first time; they became an important source of inspiration. Corneille, who also wrote poetry, began to rely more on his imagination in his work. The devastation wrought by the war in the old city of Budapest captured his interest, in particular the contrast between the rhythm of straight lines and the ruins, interrupted by bursting mounds of fertile ground, covered by vegetation; it became a point of departure for his subsequent work....

Article

Karen Cordero Reiman

(b Aguascalientes, May 30, 1900; d Mexico City, Aug 26, 1984).

Mexican painter, printmaker, writer and ceramicist. He enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, in 1917 and soon became active in the post-revolutionary nationalist cultural movement, attempting to recuperate folk-art motifs and techniques. In 1920 he designed a ceramic frieze for the Colegio Máximo de San Pedro y San Pablo, Mexico City. He edited the influential art magazine Forma (1926–8) and was involved in creating the Escuela Libre de Escultura y Talla Directa, Mexico City, the ¡30–30! group (which promoted the democratization and de-academization of the arts), and the Centros Populares de Pintura, which offered art education to people in industrial areas, encouraging the representation of their surroundings without academic constraints. In the 1930s he directed an exhibition space funded by the Ministerio de Educación Pública, for which, with Roberto Montenegro and Francisco Díaz de León, he designed posters and catalogues noted for their innovative typography. Fernández Ledesma also produced prints inspired by popular graphics and figurative paintings influenced by Picasso and by Pittura Metafisica; he also wrote several books on popular traditions and stage and costume designs....

Article

Troels Andersen

[Jørgensen, Asger Oluf]

(b Vejrum, Jutland, March 3, 1914; d Århus, May 1, 1973).

Danish painter, printmaker, decorative artist, ceramicist, sculptor and writer, also active in France. His personality and work exerted a decisive influence on his contemporaries, and he is recognized as one of the most important Scandinavian artists since Edvard Munch. He grew up in the provincial town of Silkeborg, Jutland, but after qualifying as a teacher in 1935 he went to Paris to study under Fernand Léger. He also worked as an assistant to Le Corbusier in 1937 during the Exposition Universelle. In 1938 he held his first exhibition in Copenhagen, with Pierre Wemaëre (b 1913). Jorn had to return to Denmark shortly before the outbreak of World War II. In 1941 he set up Helhesten, a magazine dealing with art, literature and archaeology. Among its contributors were Ejler Bille, Henry Heerup, Egill Jacobsen and Carl-Henning Pedersen; they developed a concept of spontaneous–abstract art, based partly on the pioneer work of Richard Mortensen and Ejler Bille during the 1930s....

Article

Melissa McQuillan

(b Málaga, Oct 25, 1881; d Mougins, France, April 8, 1973).

Spanish painter, sculptor, draughtsman, printmaker, decorative artist and writer, active in France. He dominated 20th-century European art and was central in the development of the image of the modern artist. Episodes of his life were recounted in intimate detail, his comments on art were published and his working methods recorded on film. Painting was his principal medium, but his sculptures, prints, theatre designs and ceramics all had an impact on their respective disciplines. Even artists not influenced by the style or appearance of his work had to come to terms with its implications.

With Georges Braque Picasso was responsible for Cubism, one of the most radical re-structurings of the way that a work of art constructs its meaning. During his extremely long life Picasso instigated or responded to most of the artistic dialogues taking place in Europe and North America, registering and transforming the developments that he found most fertile. His marketability as a unique and enormously productive artistic personality, together with the distinctiveness of his work and practice, have made him the most extensively exhibited and discussed artist of the 20th century....

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 ...