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Julieta Ortiz Gaitán

(b Mexico City, June 27, 1943).

Mexican painter, printmaker, performance artist, writer, teacher and publisher. He qualified as a printmaker at a very early age, then as a painter and engraver under the tutelage of several masters, among whom the most influential on his life was José Chávez Morado. Although he at first worked with traditional media, he possessed a constantly innovative and critical attitude and experimented with performances, installations, happenings, correspondence and media art, as well as writing, lecturing and publishing on such themes as artistic experimentation, cultural promotion, professional management for artists, collective mural painting and the publishing process. From 1968 to 1972 Ehrenberg lived in England where, with the architect Martha Hellion and the critic and historian David Mayor, he founded the Beau Geste Press/Libro Acción Libre in Devon, to propagate the work of artists involved with the Fluxus movement of the 1970s. He was also instrumental in the rise of many artistic groups, workshops and small publishing houses, such as ...

Article

Anne Blecksmith

(b Kiev, Sept 4, 1919; d Miami, FL, Nov 19, 1999).

American painter, photographer and publishing executive of Ukrainian birth. Raised in England and France, he received a degree in philosophy and mathematics from the Sorbonne in 1930. Connected to the Russian exile community in Paris, he was introduced to artists Aleksandr Yakovlev and Marc Chagall. In 1931, he studied painting with André Lhote and enrolled at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, where he was a student of Auguste Perret. Later that year, he transferred to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While studying architecture, he was apprenticed to graphic artist Cassandre through whom he found work at the newsweekly Vu, where he created photomontage covers with Russian Constructivist sensibilities and later rose to art director. At Vu he worked with imagery by pioneers of 35 mm photography Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï and Erich Salomon. A prolific photographer since childhood, he enthusiastically identified with the candid documentary style of the 35 mm camera.

Arriving in New York in ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

(b Recife, Dec 19, 1899; d Recife, Jun 5, 1970).

Brazilian painter, poet, and publisher. He became interested in painting while living in Paris between 1911 and 1914. On his return to Brazil he lived first in Rio de Janeiro and then, from 1918 onward, in Recife. There he prepared a series of watercolors based on indigenous themes, such as the Birth of Mani (1921; U. São Paulo, Mus. A. Contemp.), which were exhibited in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in 1920–1921. His modernist reworking of indigenous aesthetics challenged Parisian avant-garde primitivism and Brazilian academic aesthetics. In 1922 he took part in the Semana de Arte Moderna in São Paulo and returned to Europe, establishing a studio in Paris, where he illustrated P. L. Duchartre’s Légendes, croyances, et talismans des indiens de l’Amazonie (Paris, 1923). From 1922 to 1957 he alternated his residency between Paris and Brazil. In 1930 he and the French poet and critic Géo-Charles (...

Article

Cheryl Leibold

American family of Philadelphia printmakers, printers, painters, and educators. John Sartain and his children, Emily and William, played an important role in the art world of Philadelphia for over a century. Their influence on American art lies primarily in the impact of their work example and leadership on others, and somewhat less from the value placed on their own artistic output. The patriarch, John Sartain (b London, 24 Oct 1808; d Philadelphia, PA, 25 Oct 1897), arrived in Philadelphia at the age of 22. By 1850 he was the city’s premier engraver of illustrations for a wide range of publications. His brilliant mezzotint engravings, often reproducing the work of others, brought graphic art into the homes of all classes. Reproductive engravings, either framed or in books, were widely popular before the advent of photography. Many writers promulgated the display of such prints as a means to refine and enlighten society. Sartain’s most successful endeavours in this field were his large and elaborate framing prints, commissioned by painters, collectors, and publishers to disseminate important works. The finest of these is ...