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Article

Angel Kalenberg

(Pérez )

(b Montevideo, Jan 7, 1890; d Montevideo, Feb 12, 1929).

Uruguayan painter and stage designer. He was encouraged to pursue his interest in art by his father, the Spanish painter Antonio Pérez Barradas (1862–99), and appears to have been taught drawing by the Spanish artist Vicente Casanova y Ramos (1870–1920). He became involved with the bohemian intellectual life of Montevideo while exhibiting his drawings and working as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines such as La Semana, Bohemia, El Tiempo, La Razón and Ultima hora in Montevideo and Buenos Aires. In 1913 he founded the publication El Monigote.

At the end of 1914 Barradas settled in Spain, where he began to produce work influenced by the Italian avant-garde art he had seen on his travels through Europe, introducing the avant-garde in Spain. In response to Futurism he painted pictures such as Apartment House (1919), Everything on 65 (1919) and Vibrationist (1918...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Pergamino, Buenos Aires, Sept 22, 1894; d Buenos Aires, Feb 21, 1976).

Argentine painter, stage designer and illustrator. He studied drawing in Buenos Aires under the Italian painter Augusto Bolognini (b 1870) and at the Academia Nacional before moving in 1923 to Paris, where he worked in Charles Guérin’s studio and at the Académie Colarossi. He also studied in the studios of André Lhote and Othon Friesz and became associated with other Argentine artists based in Paris. Like others of his generation and nationality, he sought in the 1920s to escape from pictorial provincialism by rejecting academic norms, as in Still-life (1926; Rosario, Mus. Mun. B.A.). He learnt how to paint while living in France and developed a range of imagery typical of Argentine art without showing any great originality.

More than any other painter, Basaldúa depicted life in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, concentrating humorously and without sentimentality on the wide boys, dance-hall girls, loose women and handsome, dangerous men of the tango in such pictures as the ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Torroella de Montgri, Catalonia, March 3, 1911; d Buenos Aires, Oct 8, 1966).

Argentine painter, printmaker, illustrator, sculptor and stage designer of Spanish Catalan birth. He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1913. Although his uncle, José Planas Casas (b Catalonia, 1900; d Argentina, 1960), taught him the rudiments of art, he was basically self-taught and began to exhibit his work in 1934. Synthesizing ideas from Zen philosophy, psychoanalysis and the theories on cosmic energy espoused by the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich with his interests in automatism, poetry and painting, he found a creative sense of direction from an early age. He applied his methods not only to paintings but to stage designs, illustrations, collages, prints, polychrome sculptures and boxlike constructions; as a painter he worked both in tempera and in oil, and he also produced 72 murals.

In 1936 Batlle Planas inaugurated a Surrealist phase with a series entitled Paranoiac X-rays, followed by another group of pictures, Tibetan Series, populated by spectral figures related to works by Yves Tanguy. Between ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Aug 28, 1897; d Buenos Aires, March 17, 1983).

Argentine painter, tapestry designer and stage designer. From 1922 to 1933 he lived in Europe, where he studied first in Germany at the artistic colony in Worpswede and then in Paris under André Lhote and Othon Friesz. He was untouched by the violence of German Expressionism, but he assimilated various influences in France, structuring forms in the manner of Cézanne, and combining these with the audacious colouring of Fauvism and the strict sense of order in Cubism, as in The Siesta (1926; Buenos Aires, Mus. N. B.A.)

On his return to Argentina, Butler applied these European influences to lyrical landscapes of the islands in the Parana Delta of the Tigre region near Buenos Aires, selecting unusual scenes into which he incorporated childhood reminiscences in the figures. Using arabesques to link nature and people in his essentially flat pictures, he projected himself on to the scenery of which he was so fond in pictures such as the ...

Article

Leonor Morales

(b Mexico City, Nov 2, 1930; d Mexico City, Jun 6, 1974).

Mexican painter and stage designer. She studied at the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura “La Esmeralda” in Mexico City and later in Paris at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. One of the pioneers of Art informel in Mexico, like her husband, Manuel Felguérez (whom she married in 1960), she formed part of a group of young painters who rebelled against the Mexican art establishment in the 1950s. Exhibiting her work widely during the 1960s, she aroused controversy by winning second prize with an abstract work at the Salón Esso (1965; Mexico City, Pal. B.A.). In 1968 she also helped set up the Salón Independiente as a protest against the government-subsidized Salón Solar on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Mexico City. She made several murals, but her most important works were her abstract easel paintings, displaying a fine use of color. In the 1960s she also worked as a stage designer....

Article

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Mexico City, June 10, 1940).

Mexican painter, sculptor, illustrator and stage designer. He was self-taught when he took up painting in 1956 with the encouragement of Diego Rivera, but from 1956 to 1960 he studied graphic design with Gordon Jones. During those years he worked in an Abstract Expressionist manner, although he soon incorporated figurative elements and, from c. 1963, elements of fantasy. In 1967 he went to Paris on a French government grant. In the following year he was a founder-member of the Salón Independiente, where he began to exhibit acrylic sculptures of the female torso. These were followed between 1974 and 1976 by a series entitled Mutations, in which he explored the possibilities of the cube and which opened the way to later sculptures and paintings in which geometry is balanced with sensuality. Venus and Mars (Mexico City, U. N. Autónoma) is one of the best of his public sculptures. He also worked as a stage designer, for example on a production in ...

Article

Jean E. Feinberg

(b Cincinnati, OH, June 6, 1935).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, illustrator, performance artist, stage designer and poet. He studied art at the Cincinnati Arts Academy (1951–3) and later at the Boston Museum School and Ohio University (1954–7). In 1957 he married Nancy Minto and the following year they moved to New York. Dine’s first involvement with the art world was in his Happenings of 1959–60. These historic theatrical events, for example The Smiling Workman (performed at the Judson Gallery, New York, 1959), took place in chaotic, makeshift environments built by the artist–performer. During the same period he created his first assemblages, which incorporated found materials. Simultaneously he developed the method by which he produced his best known work—paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that depict and expressively interpret common images and objects.

Clothing and domestic objects featured prominently in Dine’s paintings of the 1960s, with a range of favoured motifs including ties, shoes and bathroom items such as basins, showers and toothbrushes (e.g. ...

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, Sept 28, 1949).

Argentine painter and stage designer. After a series of pictures featuring hallucinatory images of disembodied mouths and orifices, bodies and pits, he began to treat circus scenes, exploiting their symbolic suggestiveness by representing candles, ladders, insects and animals of arbitrary size alongside ambiguous human forms. Falling somewhere between the merry and the tragic, they have a theatrical aspect consonant with his experience as a stage designer. Combining a lively, almost festive palette with thick paint, sometimes violently applied, Fazzolari emerged in the 1980s as one of the leading Neo-Expressionist painters in Argentina....

Article

Xavier Moyssén

(b Mexico City, June 17, 1915; d Mexico City, April 21, 2000).

Mexican painter and printmaker. He was sent by his parents to Cleveland, OH, to study stage design. On his return to Mexico in 1935 he joined the national film industry and worked for years on a large number of films. Soon afterwards he began to concentrate on painting; he had Julio Castellanos and Juan O’Gorman as mentors but was essentially self-taught. He was particularly influenced by Wolfgang Paalen and other Surrealist artists who arrived in Mexico during World War II. The impact of Surrealism was evident in the paintings shown at his first exhibition in 1950, by turns dramatic, witty and erotic. His feeling for colour was already much in evidence.

Still following Paalen’s example, though without imitating him, in the mid-1950s Gerzso moved towards abstraction, basing his first such paintings on prehispanic architecture, as in Landscape at Papantla (1955; Mexico City, Mus. A. Carrillo Gil). Even after 1960, when he began to concentrate on subtle relationships of colour within a geometric structure, he continued to hint at sensory and even erotic responses. While linear elements dominate the compositions of his mature and meticulously executed paintings and screenprints (e.g. ...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Cartagena, 1920).

Colombian painter, sculptor, printmaker, film maker and stage designer. He studied at the Art Students League in New York from 1941 to 1943 and subsequently visited Italy, where he studied fresco and etching techniques before settling again in Colombia. Consistently devoted to the human form, he initially depicted figures with angular heads and striped tunics in a strong light, with symbolic objects such as eggs, masks or cages.

In such later paintings as Boy with Umbrella (1964; Washington, DC, A. Mus. Americas) Grau’s figures were transformed into plump, fleshy and voluptuous beings, richly arrayed with lace, feathers, hats and fans, like characters taken from the theatre or from popular turn-of-the-century postcards. His scenes were gradually filled with anecdotal details and numerous objects, including cupboards, easels, boxes, masks and flowers, through which he suggested emotionally charged atmospheres. Grau also produced murals, prints, stage sets, films and especially sculptures. The first of these were assemblages of antique and industrial objects, but he subsequently made cast-bronze sculptures that convey a sensuousness, mystery and nostalgia similar to that evoked by his paintings....

Article

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Mexico City, Aug 26, 1896; d Mexico City, Jan 28, 1971).

Mexican painter, stage designer, illustrator and writer. He studied in Mexico City at the Escuela al Aire Libre de Coyoacán and at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas, before living in Paris from 1922 to 1930, where he trained as a stage designer from 1928 to 1930 in the studio of Charles Dullin. In Paris he attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and became aware of Surrealism; he was one of the first artists to introduce the style to Mexico. In his characteristic small-scale oil paintings, such as Children with Cage (Mexico City, Mus. N. A.), in which two girls are silhouetted in front of a curtain, he combined neo-Impressionist brushwork and a highly theatrical handling of light with absurd elements. He abandoned his career as a painter at an early age, concentrating in the 1930s and 1940s on designing for the stage as well as making his name as a critic and playwright....

Article

(b London, Jan 13, 1904; d St James, Barbados, July 13, 1978).

English stage designer and painter. He was the grandson of the cartoonist Linley Sambourne (1844–1910) and was educated at Eton College, Berks. After studying at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, he began painting portraits of his friends. An early influence was the English painter Glyn Warren Philpot (1884–1937). Messel’s first work for the theatre was to design masks for the production at the Coliseum in London of Serge Diaghilev’s ballet Zéphyr et Flore (1925), which had sets by Georges Braque. He achieved success with his masks, costumes and décor for C. B. Cochran’s revues between 1926 and 1931 (e.g. mask for This Year of Grace, painted papier-mâché, 1928; London, Theat. Mus.), and his sets for the production in London of Helen (1932) drew accolades from theatre critics. His all-white décor for a bedroom scene inspired the interior decorator Syrie Maugham (...

Article

Leonor Morales

(b Guadalajara, Feb 19, 1887; d Mexico City, Oct 13, 1968).

Mexican painter, printmaker, illustrator and stage designer. In 1903 he began studying painting in Guadalajara under Félix Bernardelli, an Italian who had established a school of painting and music there, and he produced his first illustrations for Revista moderna, a magazine that promoted the Latin American modernist movement and for which his cousin, the poet Amado Nervo, wrote. In 1905 he enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, where Diego Rivera was also studying, and won a grant to study in Europe. After two years in Madrid, Montenegro moved in 1907 to Paris, where he continued his studies and had his first contact with Cubism, meeting Picasso, Braque and Gris.

After a short stay in Mexico, Montenegro returned to Paris. At the outbreak of World War I he moved to Barcelona and from there to Mallorca, where he lived as a fisherman for the next four years. During his stay in Europe he assimilated various influences, in particular from Symbolism, from Art Nouveau (especially Aubrey Beardsley) and from William Blake....

Article

Leonor Morales

[el Corzo]

(b Texcoco, nr Mexico City, Sept 2, 1897; d Mexico City, Oct 9, 1964).

Mexican painter and stage designer. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and later designed sets for the cinema, first in Hollywood, CA (1926–9), and later in Mexico, where he also worked as a stage designer, particularly for children’s theatre. At the International Surrealist Exhibition held at the Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico City, in 1940 (organized by Wolfgang Paalen, André Breton and the Peruvian poet César Moro (1906–78)) he showed Leader Making a Speech (1939; Dallas, TX, Stanley Marcus priv. col., see Debroise, 1987, p. 43), in which a small man standing on an enormous chair addresses an audience made up of pumpkins. Although Ruiz was not prolific, his small paintings were imbued with a strong sense of humour and a rich sense of colour, tending towards the popular style of religious ex-votos. He also produced two murals in Mexico and (in collaboration with ...

Article

Celia Rabinovitch

(b Basle, July 20, 1900; d Sugar Loaf, NY, Jan 2, 1962).

American painter, printmaker, sculptor, stage designer and writer of Swiss birth. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva (1920) and at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence (1927). From this training he drew upon two dominant influences, combining a predilection for the illusionistic deep space and the clear vibrant colour of the Italian tradition with the fantastic narratives explored by earlier Swiss artists such as Johann Heinrich Füseli, Ferdinand Hodler, Urs Graf and Niklaus Manuel Deutsch.

In 1929 Seligmann moved to Paris, where he remained until 1938 and where he became associated with Surrealists. While in Paris he also became a member of Abstraction–Création and an acquaintance of Le Corbusier as well as Hans Arp, whose example led him to explore deliberately ambiguous biomorphic imagery. Although he did not formally join the Surrealist movement until 1937, he participated in Surrealist exhibitions throughout the 1930s and made use of organic and fantastic forms, often fusing natural with artificial elements. His paintings and etchings of this period, distinguished by their high degree of finish, make striking use of masks and of dancing figures constructed of abstract forms. Their sense of play, secrecy and concealment recalls the animism of the fairy tale and the Gothic tradition of northern Europe. The element of drama, tension and struggle in the dance is particularly apparent in his depiction of multiple figures. He worked in white tempera on a reddish ground, glazing over that layer with transparent colour and black outline. The highlights were added at the end in keeping with a traditional systematic approach to the illusionistic depiction of space....

Article

Whitney Chadwick

revised by Amy Lyford

(b Galesburg, IL, Aug 25, 1910; d New York, NY, Jan 31, 2012).

American painter, sculptor, illustrator, stage designer, and writer. She studied at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1932 before moving to New York, where she saw the exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism (1936–7; New York, MOMA) and was inspired to become a painter. After meeting Max Ernst in 1942 she became part of the group of exiled Surrealists living in New York during World War II; see Children’s Games (1942) and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1943). Her first one-woman exhibition took place at the Julien Levy Gallery in 1944.

One of Tanning’s first Surrealist paintings was the self-portrait, Birthday (1942; Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.), influenced by the illusionistic Surrealism of René Magritte and Max Ernst that she had seen at the MOMA exhibition. To support herself in the 1940s, she worked as an advertising illustrator for Macy’s, and some of her paintings express an affinity with the conventions of fashion advertising (see ...

Article

(b Kaluga, Sept 21, 1898; d Grottaferrata, nr Rome, July 31, 1957).

American painter and stage designer of Russian birth, active also in Russia and France. He grew up in an advantaged and cultivated environment concerned with the arts. Educated by private tutors, he drew from an early age and attended art classes at the University of Moscow from 1916 to 1918. Moving south in 1918 to avoid the Revolution, he studied at the Kiev Academy until 1920 and worked with Alexandra Exter. He moved again in 1920, this time to Odessa, where he worked in the theatre, and then via Sofia in 1921 to Berlin, where he supported himself with theatre work and began to paint still-lifes, figures and portraits such as Natalie Glasko (1926; New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.)

From 1923 Tchelitchew lived in Paris, where his work underwent a fundamental change. He abandoned the brightly coloured Cubo-Futurist manner influenced by Exter in favour of a more realistic representation of objects treated as symbols of cosmic order: eggs, cabbages and constellations of stars. Soon he added figures in reflective, self-absorbed poses, such as ...