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Article

Pat Gilmour

(b Glendale, CA, Dec 11, 1918; d Albuquerque, NM, May 13, 2002).

American painter, printmaker, art historian, writer and teacher. His appointment to the art faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1942 was interrupted by military service, and it was not until 1946 that he resumed his career as a teacher of the practice and theory of art. This took him to the universities of Kentucky (Lexington), Florida (Gainesville) and finally New Mexico (Albuquerque), where he served as Dean (1961–76). Despite academic demands, Adams always found time to paint and showed his work in over 50 solo exhibitions. Equally at home in oil, acrylic, watercolour and egg tempera, he was initially inspired by the abstracted cityscapes of Stuart Davis. Later he absorbed the lessons of Matisse, achieving particularly radiant paintings during the 1980s. In 1993 he was elected an Academician by the National Academy of Design.

In 1948, at Stanton Macdonald-Wright’s suggestion, Adams began to make lithographs with the Los Angeles printer, ...

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...

Article

Atl, Dr  

Xavier Moyssén

[Murillo, Gerardo ]

(b Guadalajara, Oct 3, 1875; d Mexico City, Aug 14, 1964).

Mexican painter, printmaker, writer, theorist, vulcanologist and politician. Better known by his pseudonym, which signifies ‘Doctor Water’ in Náhuatl and which he adopted in 1902, Murillo first studied art in Guadalajara and from 1890 to 1896 at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City, where his vocation became clear. In 1899 he travelled to Europe and settled in Rome, where the work of Michelangelo had a profound impact on him. He travelled to other countries to study and to learn about avant-garde painting. He went back to Mexico in 1904 and seven years later returned to Europe, only to rush back when the Revolution broke out in Mexico. He joined the revolutionary movement, taking an active role in its various activities, including the muralist movement, through which he was associated with Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Although he practised portrait painting, his passion was for landscape in a variety of techniques and materials, some of them invented by him; for example, he used ‘atlcolours’, which were simply crayons made of wax, resins and pigment with which he could obtain textures not obtainable with oil paint. His favoured supports were rigid surfaces such as wood or hardboard....

Article

Roy R. Behrens

(Karel Joseph)

(b Cleveland, OH, Aug 23, 1906; d Red Wing, MN, Dec 26, 2004).

American painter and theorist. Biederman worked as a graphic designer for several years before studying art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1926 to 1929. A week after his arrival he saw a painting by Cézanne that greatly influenced his subsequent thought. He lived in New York from 1934 to 1940, except for a nine-month period in 1936–7 when he lived in Paris. He began to make reliefs in 1934. His visits in Paris to the studios of Mondrian, Georges Vantongerloo, César Domela and Antoine Pevsner made him aware of De Stijl, Neo-Plasticism, Abstraction-Création and Constructivism. He also met Léger, Miró, Arp, Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay, Alberto Giacometti, Picasso and Brancusi.

Shortly before returning to New York in 1938, Biederman made his first abstract reliefs, which he termed ‘non-mimetic’ (e.g. New York, Number 18, 1938; New York, Met.). In the same year, while visiting Chicago, he attended a seminar given by the Polish-born writer Alfred Korzybski, founder of the General Semantics Institute, which strongly influenced his later theories about history as an evolutionary process. He moved to Red Wing, near Minneapolis, MN, in ...

Article

Joyce Zemans

(Richard)

(b Croydon, London, March 31, 1888; d Toronto, March 21, 1955).

Canadian painter, critic and writer of English birth. He emigrated in 1905 to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. In 1921 he moved to Toronto to work as an editor and publisher. He is best known as a pioneer of abstract painting in Canada. His show (1927) at Toronto’s Arts & Letters Club was the first solo exhibition of abstract art by a Canadian artist. His early work is characterized by the bold non-objective imagery seen in the complex Sounds Assembling (1928; Winnipeg, A.G.). After 1930 he reassessed his artistic direction: he turned first to figurative imagery (e.g. Torso, 1937; Ottawa, N.G.) and then looking to Cubism he re-examined the nature of abstraction in his painting, without returning to the non-objectivity of his earlier work. Between 1926 and 1930 Brooker wrote ‘The Seven Arts’, a syndicated column of art criticism for the Southam Press. In addition, he edited The Yearbook of the Arts in Canada...

Article

W. Iain Mackay

(b Carhuás, Ancash, Oct 2, 1857; d San Miguel de Tucumán, Dec 1922).

Peruvian painter, photographer, teacher and critic. At the age of four he was brought to Lima, where he began to take lessons in art. From 1885 he travelled through France, Italy and Belgium, and on returning to Latin America he settled in Buenos Aires, where he took up photography. In 1905 he returned to Lima, where he set up a workshop and art college at the Quinta Heeren, introducing the latest photographic techniques. On visiting Spain in 1908 Castillo discovered the historical genre paintings of Mariano Fortuny y Marsal, and once back in Lima worked as a painter and as art critic for the magazines Prisma, Variedades, Actualidades and Ilustración peruana. He later supported Daniel Hernández in founding (1919) the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima (see also Peru, Republic of, §XI). In parallel with the writer Ricardo Palma, Castillo was concerned with recording the traditions of Lima’s colonial past, and such paintings as the ...

Article

M. Esther Pérez Salas C.

Genre of art that depicts the habits and customs of people from different regions or classes and that reached a peak in Mexico in the 19th century. Costumbrismo refers to literary and visual art (painting and engraving) whose subjects are the daily life and circumstances of various social classes, featuring typified settings and figures, particularly picturesque Mexican scenes and characters. Costumbrismo was particularly successful in Mexico in the 19th century as the country was in the process of defining itself. The premise of costumbrismo was to seek out that which was Mexican, picturesque, and traditional; a search that identified fully with the sentiments prevailing in the newly independent nation (1821). Mexico was ripe for a way to express its individuality and reaffirm its identity. In costumbrismo, portaits of ‘tipos’ or characters preceded and were initially more popular than genre scenes. A ‘tipo’ is an individual defined by a particular, salient characteristic: their job or trade, their way of dress or speech, or their role in society. ...

Article

Adrienne Childs

(b Eatonton, GA, June 7, 1931).

African American painter, professor of art, art historian, curator and collector. Driskell’s career as an art historian, curator, and practicing artist has been central to the development of the field of African American art. Driskell studied art and art history at Howard University, Washington, DC, between 1952 and 1955. In 1953 he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Driskell received an MFA from Catholic University in 1962. Taking the charge from his mentor, Howard University professor James A. Porter, Driskell dedicated his career to uncovering, documenting, and teaching the history of black artists in America. Driskell taught art and art history at Talladega College, Howard University, Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and the University of Maryland at College Park, where he retired in 1998 as a Distinguished University Professor of Art. In 2000 President William H. Clinton awarded Driskell the National Humanities Medal for his extraordinary contributions to American cultural life and thought. Driskell became an academician of the National Academy in ...

Article

Leah Lipton

(b Perth Amboy, NJ, Feb 18, 1766; d New York, Sept 28, 1839).

American painter, writer and Playwright. After working in England with Benjamin West between 1784 and 1787, Dunlap concentrated primarily on the theatre for the next 20 years. His two main interests are documented in his large Portrait of the Artist Showing his Picture of Hamlet to his Parents (1788; New York, NY Hist. Soc.). He wrote more than 30 plays and was called by some the ‘father of American drama’. He was the director and manager of the Park Theatre in New York from 1797 until its bankruptcy in 1805 and again, in its revived form, from 1806 to 1811. He began to paint miniatures to support his family in 1805 and travelled the East Coast of America as an itinerant artist. By 1817 he had become, in his own words, ‘permanently a painter’.

Dunlap always lived on the verge of poverty. To increase his income, he produced a large showpiece ...

Article

Mona Hadler

(b Cologne, June 25, 1920; d New York, Feb 6, 1984).

American painter of German birth. His father was the prominent Surrealist artist Max(imilian) Ernst and his mother was the art historian and journalist Louise [Lou] Straus-Ernst. In 1935 he was apprenticed as a typographer in the printing firm of J. J. Augustin in Glückstadt where he set type for anthropological studies. The company worked to attain a visa for Ernst, whose mother was Jewish, and he departed Germany one week before Kristallnacht in 1938; his mother was to die in Auschwitz at the end of the war. Ernst passionately recounts these events in his memoir, A Not-So-Still Life, published in 1984, the year of his death.

In 1941, on the recommendation of gallerist Julien Levy, Ernst was employed by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. After welcoming his father to the city, he began to work for Peggy Guggenheim, which placed him securely within the Surrealist émigré community and burgeoning New York school along with friends such as the painter William Baziotes. His career as an art dealer advanced in tandem with his painting production. With Eleanor Lust, he opened the experimental Norlyst Gallery in ...

Article

Veerle Poupeye

(b Gayle, St Mary, Jamaica, Dec 22, 1923; d Brown's Town, St Ann, Jamaica, April 24, 2002).

Jamaican painter and writer. She studied at McGill University, Montreal, and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. She began painting in the 1940s and is best known for her depictions of life in rural Jamaica. Other works have surreal imagery and often include art historical and literary references. Typically, even her genre scenes have surreal overtones: slightly distorted figures appear alienated and isolated and are placed in desolate settings. In many works she combined figurative elements with abstract geometrical elements such as patterned borders or geometrically structured backgrounds. A fine colourist, she worked in oil and acrylic as well as watercolour and gouache. One of her masterworks is the five-panel Mirage (1987; Kingston, N.G.). She was perhaps Jamaica’s most important art critic and for many years wrote for Jamaica Journal.

D. Boxer and V. Poupeye: Modern Jamaican Art (Kingston, 1998)

Jamaica, §IV: Painting, graphic arts and sculpture...

Article

Gail Stavitsky

(b Villanova, PA, July 23, 1881; d New York, June 15, 1952).

American collector, painter and critic. He was a great-grandson of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury under President Jefferson and President Madison and one of the founders of New York University. Around 1900 he began establishing his reputation as a leading connoisseur of Aubrey Beardsley and James McNeill Whistler through his extensive writing and collecting of their work. Frequent visits to Paris and Europe from 1921 to 1938 resulted in Gallatin’s conversion to acquiring modernist art through his contacts with artists, dealers and collectors. In 1927 he opened his collection to the public as the Gallery of Living Art, in the South Study Hall of New York University’s Main Building. It was the first museum in the USA devoted exclusively to modern art. As its director Gallatin developed the collection into a significant survey focusing on Cubism, De Stijl, Neo-plasticism and Constructivism. Works by Picasso, Braque, Gris, Léger, Mondrian, Jean Hélion, ...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Quetzaltenango, Jan 26, 1897; d Guatemala City, June 1, 1970).

Guatemalan painter, collector and writer. He began his artistic studies in Quetzaltenango, where he was fortunate to come into contact with the Spanish painter Jaime Sabartés (1881–1968) and Carlos Mérida, with whom he became friends. He continued his studies in Guatemala City and then in Mexico City at the Real Academia de San Carlos, where his fellow students included Rufino Tamayo, Roberto Montenegro and Miguel Covarrubias. He returned briefly to Guatemala only to leave for Europe. He studied in Madrid at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and from 1924 to 1925 lived in Paris. He returned to Guatemala City in 1927 and in 1928 became director of the Academia de Bellas Artes. By then he had developed a style derived from French Impressionism, although he gradually moved towards a more naturalistic style, perhaps in response to the taste of his clients.

Garavito generally painted in oils on a medium or small scale, concentrating on the beautiful Guatemalan landscape, of which he can in a sense be considered the ‘discoverer’. His preferred subjects were the mountains, volcanoes and lakes of the Guatemalan high plateau, and he was the first to incorporate in his works the Indians in their brightly coloured clothes. He was the central figure and teacher of a group of figurative painters and painters working in a naturalistic style, such as ...

Article

Harry Rand

[Dambrowsky, Ivan]

(b Kiev, 1881/6; d London, 1961).

Polish theorist and painter, active in the USA. Though few immigrants maintained ties to Europe as strong as John Graham’s, his titanic effect upon the direction and development of American art surpassed that of many critics and influential artists—an unlikely reality (because of his improbable bearing and background), acknowledged by his artistic disciples and chronicled in fact.

His family were minor Polish aristocrats long resident in Russia. He studied law at the University of Kiev then became a Tsarist cavalry officer to fight the Revolution. After being captured by the Bolsheviks, he escaped to western Europe and by 1920 had arrived in the USA. He changed his name, believing that Graham looked similar to the Cyrillic orthography of Dambrowsky. In New York Graham studied in 1921 under John Sloan at the Art Students League while maintaining contacts with Russian artists including Mikhail Larionov and David Burlyuk. Active as an artist in the 1920s, he corresponded with the American collector Duncan Phillips, who acquired several of his paintings. Graham was acquainted with Picasso (an influence he eventually rejected but not before confusing the situation by claiming they were born in the same year, thus forever muddying the facts of his life) and in the late 1920s had one-man exhibitions in both the USA and Paris. In New York he became prominent as the principal link between modernist artists in New York and Paris. In ...

Article

James W. Grauerholz

(b Taplow, Bucks, Jan 19, 1916; d Paris, July 13, 1986).

American painter and writer of English birth. He grew up in Kansas City, MO, and Edmonton, Alberta, and briefly attended Downside College in England before studying painting at the Sorbonne in Paris (1933–5). In 1934 his drawings were to have been exhibited at the Galerie aux Quatre Chemins in Paris alongside works by Dadaists and Surrealists, but they were removed by Paul Eluard on André Breton’s orders at the last moment. The incident left a permanent psychological scar, although his first one-man show of paintings at the same gallery was well received four years later.

Gysin returned to New York in 1940 and worked on costumes in Broadway musicals, then as a welder until he was drafted into the American Army. There, and after 1943 in Vancouver, as an intelligence analyst in the Canadian Army, he studied Japanese language and in particular the traditions of Japanese calligraphy, which had a profound influence on his painting....

Article

Cynthia Goodman

(Georg Albert)

(b Weissenberg, Bavaria, March 21, 1880; d New York, Feb 17, 1966).

American painter, teacher and theorist of German birth. He moved with his family to Munich in 1886 and in 1896 left home to become assistant to the director of public works of the State of Bavaria; he distinguished himself with a number of inventions, including an electromagnetic comptometer, a radar device for ships, a sensitized light bulb and a portable freezer unit for military purposes. In spite of his parents’ strong objection and their hopes for his career as a scientist, in 1898 he enrolled in the art school run by Moritz Heymann (b 1870) in Munich. Hofmann subsequently studied with a succession of teachers and was particularly influenced by Willi Schwarz (b 1889), who familiarized him with French Impressionism, a style that affected his earliest known paintings, such as Self-portrait (1902; New York, Emmerich Gal., see Goodman, 1986, p. 14).

In 1903 Hofmann was introduced by Schwarz to ...

Article

Robin K. Wright

(b Roundup, MT, March 24, 1925).

American painter and art historian. He received BA and MFA degrees in painting from the University of Washington in 1949 and 1951. He taught art at Lincoln High School in Seattle from 1953 until 1968. He was Curator of Northwest Coast Indian Art at the Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, Seattle; and Lecturer and later Professor in the Art History Division, School of Art, with an adjunct appointment in Anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle, from 1968 until his retirement in 1985. After his retirement he became Curator Emeritus of Northwest Coast Indian Art at the Burke Museum and Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of Washington. He has curated several exhibitions and published extensively on Native American art, including the classic book on northern Northwest Coast formline design (1965). He was awarded the Washington State Governor’s Writer’s Award five times (1966, 1977...

Article

Darryl Patrick

(b New York, May 12, 1855; d Easthampton, NY, June 12, 1914).

American writer and painter. After graduating from Yale University in 1875, he travelled to Paris to study art but soon returned to New York to study law at Columbia University. After five years as a practising lawyer (1880–85), he decided again to study art and once more went to Paris to work for three years under Louis Boulanger and Louis Jacquesson de la Chevreuse (1839–1903). He returned to the USA where critical acclaim for his landscape and figure paintings eventually attracted the attention of the National Academy of Design, New York, of which he became a full member in 1906. The Lilac Kimono (New York, Brooklyn Mus.) displays his broad painterly style. He wrote The History of American Painting (1905) with the professed goal of recording the intellectual and cultural growth of the country, although in his widespread coverage 19th-century artists receive the most attention. He set each painter within a group, describing individual style and generously giving praise or patiently explaining faults in their work. When the book was reissued in ...

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, July 10, 1923).

Argentine painter, critic and teacher. He studied in Paris under André Lhôte, the French painter Georges Dayez (b 1907) and Ossip Zadkine. In the mid- to late 1950s, after his return to Argentina, he investigated collage, contributed to the development of Art informel and experimented with assemblage and gestural and calligraphic abstraction. He played a leading part in helping to extend the boundaries of art beyond the conventions of traditional media in the early 1960s, for example by his participation in an exhibition, Arte destructivo (1961), at the Galería Lirolay, Buenos Aires, at which he showed burnt, broken and half-destroyed objects. A supreme formalist, Kemble arrived at an exultant and evocative abstraction simulating the characteristics of collage in trompe l’oeil. He also taught and wrote art criticism, and he lived for periods in Los Angeles and Boston.

‘Autocolonización cultural: La crisis de nuestra crítica de arte’, ...

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(b Pasedena, CA, 1949).

American painter and printmaker. Kushner received a BA in visual arts with honors from the University of California at San Diego, La Jolla. There he met critic and art historian Amy Goldin, a visiting professor, and artist Kim MacConnel, a graduate student. Goldin taught Kushner and MacConnel about Islamic art and decoration, among many other topics. She encouraged them to examine decoration and Islamic art, among other sources to transgress the boundaries of what was art in their own work.

With Goldin’s support, Kushner became a champion of decoration, later telling his dealer Holly Solomon that he wanted to elevate decoration in much the same way Pop artists elevated commercial art. Kushner moved from California to Boston before relocating to New York City, where he befriended artist Brad Davis, who was similarly engaged in considering decoration as a mode for making art. In 1974, Kushner traveled with Goldin to Turkey, Iran and Afganistan, where he became fascinated by textile patterning, garments and architectural decoration. He returned to the United States and began actively incorporating much of this visual material into his art, in a manner reminiscent of artist Henri Matisse 50 years earlier following his trips to Morocco....