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Article

Courtney Ann Shaw

(b Fort Plain, NY, Oct 27, 1925; d San Francisco, 2006).

American tapestry artist, painter and stained-glass designer. Adams studied painting at Syracuse University and with Hans Hoffmann in New York, where he was influenced by the medieval tapestries in the Cloisters and also by the work of Matisse. In the 1950s Adams was apprenticed to the influential French tapestry designer Jean Lurçat, from whom he learnt the bold colours and clear imagery that characterize his work. He also studied at the Ecole Nationale d’Art Décoratif in Aubusson before beginning to use a series of workshops, notably that of Marguerite and Paul Avignon, who wove his first nationally acclaimed tapestry, Phoenix and the Golden Gate (1957). Flight of Angels (1962) was exhibited at the first Biennale Internationale de la Tapisserie in Lausanne. In 1976 his cartoon of California Poppies (San Francisco, CA Pal. Legion of Honor) was woven for the Five Centuries of Tapestry exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, as a demonstration piece. Later tapestries, for example ...

Article

Barbara Haskell

(Stuart)

(b Chicago, IL, Dec 6, 1939).

American painter and sculptor. Bell Los Angeles from 1957 to 1959. After experimenting with geometrically shaped paintings, he turned to constructed paintings made of mirrored and transparent glass and canvas, for example Untitled (Magic Boxes) (canvas, acrylic, glass, 1964; Los Angeles, CA, Co. Mus. A.). The optical ambiguities created by the reflections of the viewer’s image and the ambient space became the hallmark of Bell’s work. Dissatisfied with the limitations of two-dimensional art, he began making faceted boxes of mirrored and transparent glass, the reflecting and refracting surfaces of which greatly extended the optical complexities and ambiguities of his earlier glass and canvas paintings. By late 1964 he had abandoned faceted, mirrored boxes in favour of pure glass cubes, whose sides he coated with various metals to create fields of elusive, evanescent colour, for example Untitled (1965; artist’s col., see 1982 exh. cat., p. 25). The environmental space seen through and reflected by the glass optically merged with the cube and became an intrinsic part of it....

Article

Jorge Glusberg

(b Rosario, May 14, 1905; d Buenos Aires, Oct 13, 1981).

Argentine painter, sculptor and printmaker. He trained at the stained-glass window workshop of Buxadera & Compañía, Rosario, province of Santa Fé, and with Eugenio Fornels and Enrique Munné. He held his first exhibition in 1920. At the age of 20 he won a scholarship for study in Europe awarded by the Jockey Club of Rosario, which enabled him to study in Paris under André Lhote and with Othon Friesz at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. After showing his European works in Buenos Aires in 1927 he obtained another scholarship, this time from the government of the province of Santa Fé, as a result of which he established contact with the Surrealists in 1928; in particular he befriended Louis Aragon and the French philosopher Henri Lefebvre.

Berni returned to Argentina in 1930. In 1933 he established an artistic–literary group, Nuevo Realismo, and began to depict Argentina’s social reality. From the 1960s, through two characters he created (Juanito Laguna and Ramona Montiel) he began to create works from pieces of metal and wood, buttons, burlap, wires and other debris gathered by him in the shantytowns surrounding Buenos Aires. Combining in these works commonplace materials and a brutal realism (e.g. ...

Article

Elizabeth Johns

(b Durham, England, Nov 11, 1831; d New York, Feb 8, 1913).

American painter. A popular painter of rural and urban genre scenes, he spent his youth in England, where he served an apprenticeship as a glasscutter. By 1853 he was employed in Brooklyn, NY. After serious study he became, in 1860, a fully fledged member of the New York artistic community, with a studio in the Tenth Street Studio Building and participating regularly in National Academy of Design exhibitions.

Brown’s first genre scenes focused on rural children out of doors. Often sentimental, these exhibited a clarity of light and drawing attributable to his early interest in the Pre-Raphaelite painters. The Music Lesson (1870; New York, Met.), a courtship scene set in a Victorian parlour, reveals his debt to English painting. In 1879 Brown painted the Longshoreman’s Noon (Washington, DC, Corcoran Gal. A.), an affectionate but sober rendering of the variety of ages and physical types in the urban working class. About ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Ehden, Lebanon, Sept 14, 1912; d 1994).

American painter and stained-glass artist, of Lebanese birth. After an apprenticeship with the Lebanese painter Habib Srour (1860–1938) in Beirut, he studied from 1932 to 1936 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. In 1934 he received the top award for drawing at the school and later exhibited his work at the Salon des Artistes Français. After graduating in 1936, he returned to Lebanon, opening a studio in Beirut, and becoming well known in the early 1940s for his frescoes in the Maronite church at Diman. At the same time his paintings of Lebanese life and the countryside came to public notice when he exhibited at the gallery of the Hotel St–Georges, Beirut, though by the late 1940s he had begun to simplify the style of his work. In 1950 he moved to New York, where his paintings became increasingly abstract, consisting of flat forms of brilliant colour with hard straight edges. Although he was influenced by the artistic life around him, and by his acquaintance with Rothko, Hans Hofmann and Ad Reinhardt, he did not join any group or movement. He became an American citizen in ...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Guatemala City, Nov 20, 1924).

Guatemalan sculptor and painter. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Guatemala City (1938–45) and from 1942 to 1945 worked on the stained-glass windows at the Palacio Nacional. In 1948 he won a grant that enabled him to study in New York, at the Art Students League and at the Sculpture Center, until 1951. On his return from the USA he concentrated on sculpture until 1973, working particularly closely with Guatemalan architects in the 1950s on large reliefs in exposed cast concrete, mainly for government buildings in Guatemala City. The outstanding examples of these reliefs in Guatemala City, characterized by simple lines and an epic scale, are Guatemalan Nationality (3×40 m, 1959) for the Seguro Social building; Culture and Economy (14×7.5 m, 1963–4) for the Crédito Hipotecario building; Economy and Culture (40×21 m, 1964; Banco de Guatemala); and The Quetzal and the Golden Eagle...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b New York, May 31, 1929; d Los Angeles, CA, Feb 5, 1999).

American painter. Krushenick studied at the Art Students League, New York (1948–50), and Hans Hoffman School, New York, and organized window displays at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1951–7), before running an art gallery (1958–62). He experimented with various styles as a student, from Expressionist and Picasso-esque abstraction to figuration, but he began to be recognized in the early 1960s for comical, hard-edged abstraction, executed in vivid acrylics. These were clearly influenced by Matisse’s cut paper collages of the 1950s, but Krushenick’s interest in Abstract Expressionism also led him to suggest the extension of his forms beyond the edges of the canvas. Typically, his pictures of this period included weaving motifs reminiscent of netting; these were boldly defined by thick black lines that divided the pictures into animated shapes filled with areas of syncopated primary colour. Untitled (1962; see 1972 exh. cat., p. 33) is typical in its combination of webbing with a looping line. Toward the end of the 1960s he began to experiment with shaped canvases: ...

Article

Henry Adams

(b New York, March 31, 1835; d Newport, RI, Nov 14, 1910).

American painter, decorative artist, and writer. He grew up in New York in a prosperous and cultivated French-speaking household. He received his first artistic training at the age of six from his maternal grandfather, an amateur architect and miniature painter. While at Columbia Grammar School, he learnt English watercolour techniques and afterwards studied briefly with George Inness’s teacher, the landscape painter Régis-François Gignoux. In 1856, while touring Europe, he spent a few weeks in Thomas Couture’s studio. Returning to New York via England, he was impressed by the Pre-Raphaelite paintings at the Manchester Art Treasures exhibition of 1857 and later said that they had influenced him when he began to paint. In 1859 he decided to devote himself to art and moved to Newport, RI, to study with William Morris Hunt.

Unlike Hunt, who never broke away from the manner of Couture and Jean-François Millet, La Farge rapidly evolved a highly original and personal style characterized by free brushwork, unusual colour harmonies, and great delicacy of feeling (...

Article

Yves Lacasse

(b Quebec City, March 10, 1795; d Quebec City, June 21, 1855).

Canadian painter, collector and politician. After studying briefly at the Quebec Seminary, in 1812 he was apprenticed to the painter and glassmaker Moses Perce (fl 1806–48). The sale in Quebec City in 1817 of part of the collection of Louis-Joseph Desjardins (1766–1848), which comprised altogether about 200 European Old Master paintings, had a decisive effect on Légaré’s career. He bought a number, which he cleaned and restored himself, and, as an almost entirely self-taught artist, found them a valuable source of inspiration, technical example and income: many of his early commissions were for large copies of religious pictures from the collection. He painted about 100 religious works but in 1828 won an honorary medal for an original secular composition, the Massacre of the Hurons by the Iroquois (Quebec, Mus. Qué.)

Légaré’s oeuvre (over 250 oils on canvas and on paper) was considerably more diverse and ambitious in subject-matter than that of such contemporaries as Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy, Antoine Plamondon and Théophile Hamel, who favoured portraiture and religious painting. He was the first Canadian-born painter to specialize in landscapes, for example ...

Article

Peter Bermingham

(b Richmond, VA, Nov 10, 1827; d New York, March 31, 1912).

American painter and stained-glass designer. He grew up in Clarksville, TN, where his stepfather was a tailor and his mother a milliner. In 1846 his request to be accepted as Asher B. Durand’s pupil was turned down, but Newman managed three years later to exhibit in the American Art-Union in New York. In 1850 he studied with Thomas Couture in Paris for five months. On a second trip to Paris in 1854, he visited Jean-François Millet in Barbizon. He worked as a portrait painter and occasional teacher of drawing, before serving briefly as an artillery lieutenant in the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, he apparently remained in New York, apart from a trip to Barbizon in 1882 and to Paris in 1908.

Although in 1872–3 he advertised himself as a portrait painter in Nashville, TN, and in the 1870s worked briefly as a stained-glass designer, Newman was primarily a painter of small compositions with a few figures, usually with a well-known religious, literary, or secular theme. One of his favourite subjects was the Virgin and Child (e.g. ...

Article

Bailey Van Hook

(b Bergen Heights, NJ, June 10, 1874; d Philadelphia, PA, Feb 25, 1961).

American painter, illustrator, stained-glass artist and author. Although she worked as an illustrator early on, Oakley is remembered as a muralist. Oakley attended the Art Students League, New York, Académie Montparnasse, Paris, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, but, most importantly, a class in illustration with Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute, Philadelphia. Pyle teamed her together with Jessie Willcox Smith (1863–1935) to illustrate an edition of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Evangeline (1897). Smith and Oakley and another illustrator, Elizabeth Shippen Green (1871–1954), rented adjoining studios in Philadelphia and subsequently lived together in a supportive camaraderie until Green’s marriage in 1911. During her brief career as an illustrator, Oakley completed over 100 illustrations, mostly for novels and short stories.

In 1900 she created a stained-glass window on speculation, which led to a major commission for stained-glass windows, mural decoration and a mosaic altarpiece for a church in Manhattan. That project brought her to the attention of architect Joseph Huston (...

Article

Mary Chou

(b Highland Park, NJ, April 16, 1940).

American painter . In 1962 Snyder earned a BA in sociology from Douglass College in New Brunswick, NJ. From 1964 to 1966 she attended Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, where she graduated with an MFA. Snyder is well known for her highly expressive, tactile paintings filled with narrative, symbolism and politics.

In the early 1970s Snyder gained fame for her stroke paintings, in which bold brushstrokes in vivid colours traverse the width of the canvas, leaving pools and drips of paint in their path. Applied over a grid loosely sketched with pencil on canvas, these gestural marks both enforce and obscure the geometry and orderly containment of the grid (e.g. Lines and Strokes , 1969; artist’s col.). In contrast to Minimalism and colour field paintings, Snyder’s vibrant, energetic and expressive strokes seem to tell a story. Music has always been an integral part of her artistic process, as evidenced in such early works as ...

Article

Richard J. Boyle

(b Cincinnati, OH, Aug 4, 1853; d Gloucester, MA, Aug 8, 1902).

American painter and printmaker. He began as a painter of window-shades but developed one of the most personal and poetic visions in American landscape painting, portraying nature on canvases that were, in the words of Childe Hassam, ‘strong, and at the same time delicate even to evasiveness’. His first artistic training was under Frank Duveneck, with whom he studied first in Cincinnati and then in Munich (1875–7). His absorption of the Munich style, characterized by bravura brushwork and dextrous manipulation of pigment, with the lights painted as directly as possible into warm, dark grounds derived from Frans Hals and Courbet, is reflected in such paintings as Venice Landscape (1878; Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.) and Landscape (c. 1882; Utica, NY, Munson–Williams–Proctor Inst.)

Twachtman became increasingly dissatisfied with the Munich style’s lack of draughtsmanship, so he went to Paris in 1883 to study at the Académie Julian. In the winter he concentrated on drawing, and in the summer he painted in the Normandy countryside and at Arques-la-Bataille, near Dieppe. ...

Article

Regina Soria

(b New York, Feb 26, 1836; d Rome, Jan 29, 1923).

American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer (see fig.). He studied under Tompkins Harrison Matteson in Shelbourne, NY, and went to Paris in March 1856. After eight months in the studio of François-Edouard Picot, he settled in Florence until the end of 1860. There he learnt drawing from Raffaello Bonaiuti, became interested in the Florentine Renaissance and attended the free Accademia Galli. A more significant artistic inspiration came from the Italian artists at the Caffè Michelangiolo: Telemaco Signorini, Vincenzo Cabianca (1827–1902), and especially Nino Costa (1827–1902). This group sought new and untraditional pictorial solutions for their compositions and plein-air landscapes and were particularly interested in the experiences of Gustave Courbet and the Barbizon painters. They became known as Macchiaioli for their use of splashes (macchia) of light and shadows and for their revolutionary (maquis) attitude to prevailing styles. Among Vedder’s most notable Florentine landscapes are ...