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Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Nigeria, 1963).

Nigerian photographer, film maker, installation artist and writer active in Scotland. He studied Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1981–85), before completing an MA in Media, Fine Art, Theory and Practice at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1996–8). Bamgboyé’s earliest work was photographic: The Lighthouse series (1989; see 1998 book, p. 65) initiated his interest in the representation of black masculinity by depicting his own naked body in often theatrical contortions, amid mundane domestic rooms; the frames of the photographs are attached to coat hangers, underlining the theme of domesticity and pointing to his interest in the changeable character of subjectivity. These themes were further explored in films, which he began to make in 1993: Spells for Beginners (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 74) explores the breakdown of his long-term relationship with a woman through a broken mix of confessional dialogue and fleeting images of their home. The installation of which this film is a part takes the form of an ordinary living room and is typical of Bamgboyé’s technique of adumbrating his imagery with sculptural motifs that emphasize his themes. In other films he explored the issue of migration: ...

Article

Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Haag, Austria, April 5, 1900; d Santa Barbara, CA, Sept 30, 1985).

American painter, designer, photographer and typographer, of Austrian birth. After serving in the Austrian army (1917–18), Bayer studied architecture under Professor Schmidthammer in Linz in 1919 and in 1920 worked with the architect Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying mural painting (with Vasily Kandinsky) and typography; it was at this time that he created the Universal alphabet, consisting only of lowercase letters. In 1925 he returned to the Bauhaus, then in Dessau, as a teacher of advertising, layout and typography, remaining there until 1928. For the next ten years he was based in Berlin as a commercial artist: he worked as art manager of Vogue (1929–30) and as director of the Dorland advertising agency. Shortly after his first one-man exhibitions at the Galerie Povolotski, Paris, and at the Kunstlerbund März, Linz (both 1929), he created photomontages of a Surrealist nature, such as ...

Article

revised by Stephanie Spencer and Sophie Gordon

(b London, Aug 13, 1815; d London, May 15, 1894).

English printmaker and photographer. His first known works are architectural drawings exhibited at the Royal Academy in the 1840s, which documented buildings designed by his architect father Francis Octavius Bedford (1784–1858). He quickly turned to engraving, design, and lithography, working for Standidge & Co., and later Day & Son. He continued to produce lithographs until c. 1858, contributing to many significant publications on British design and manufacturing. He took up photography around 1853 initially to assist with the accuracy of his lithographic work, photographing works of art in the Marlborough House museum (later the South Kensington Museum) for Henry Cole. In 1854 he exhibited for the first time in the Photographic Society of London exhibition. Bedford continued to exhibit widely in British and international exhibitions throughout the 1850s and 1860s. He concentrated primarily on landscape and architectural scenes, often made during annual tours of southern England and Wales (...

Article

Sanda Miller

(b Hobitza, Gorj, Feb 19, 1876; d Paris, March 16, 1957).

French sculptor, draughtsman, painter, and photographer of Romanian birth. He was one of the most influential 20th-century sculptors, but he left a relatively small body of work centred on 215 sculptures, of which about 50 are thought to have been lost or destroyed.

The fifth of seven children of a family of peasants, he left his tiny village c. 1887 for Slatina, after which he made his way to Craiova, the provincial capital of Oltenia. There he became a student at the School of Arts and Crafts in 1894. Mechanical technology, industrial design, mathematics, and physics figured prominently on his syllabus with some theoretical studies. He did not, therefore, receive a traditional academic training in sculpture; in fact he began studying at the newly founded Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest, but even there instruction was still at an experimental stage, particularly in sculpture.

Brancusi is thought to have been prolific in his student years in Craiova. Various objects subsequently discovered on the premises of his old school have been attributed to him, some of them perhaps as collaborations with other fellow students, including a walnut casket (Craiova, Maria C. S. Nicolǎescu-Plopşor priv. col., see Brezianu, ...

Article

Philip Cooper

[Halász, Gyula ]

(b Brasso, Transylvania, Hungary [now Romania], Sept 9, 1899; d Nice, July 8, 1984).

French photographer, draughtsman, sculptor, and writer of Hungarian birth. The son of a Hungarian professor of French literature, he lived in Paris in 1903–4 while his father was on sabbatical there, and this early experience of the city greatly impressed him. In 1917 he met the composer Béla Bartók, and from 1918 to 1919 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. Due to the hostility between Hungary and France in World War I he was unable to study in France and so moved to Berlin in late 1920. There he became acquainted with László Moholy-Nagy, Kandinsky, and Kokoschka and in 1921–2 attended the Akademische Hochschule in Charlottenburg, Berlin. He was a keen draughtsman and while there produced a series of characteristic drawings of nudes executed in an angular, emphatic style. In 1924 he moved to Paris, where he quickly became involved with the artists and poets of the Montmartre and Montparnasse districts while supporting himself as a journalist. In ...

Article

Mattie Boom

(b Rotterdam, Sept 12, 1857; d Amsterdam, June 5, 1923).

Dutch painter and photographer. He trained as a painter and draughtsman at the academy in The Hague. Although the Dutch painter Charles Rochussen taught the students history and landscape painting, Breitner’s interests did not lie in this area. In 1880 he worked for a year in the studio of Willem Maris after his academy training. Maris belonged to the Hague school of painters, who worked in the plein-air tradition of the French Barbizon school. Breitner painted outdoor life with them, although it was not the picturesqueness of the landscape or the Dutch skies that appealed to him. With Van Gogh he roamed the working-class districts of The Hague and through the dockyards of Rotterdam. Both artists recorded the vitality of city life in their sketchbooks. Breitner consciously chose these themes and motifs: he wanted to paint people going about their daily lives, and on his trips through the towns and docks he was constantly in search of motifs and impressions that he could use in his paintings....

Article

Kevin Halliwell

[Karrik, Vil’yam; Karrik, Vasily (Andreyevich)]

(b Edinburgh, Dec 31, 1827; d St Petersburg, Nov 1878).

Scottish photographer, active in Russia. He was the son of a Scottish timber merchant living in St Petersburg. He studied architecture and painting at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg from 1844 to 1853, when he went to Rome to further his studies in painting. On his return to St Petersburg in spring 1856 he had already decided to take up photography for financial reasons, and he became the assistant to a portrait photographer named Hoch. In 1857 he travelled to Edinburgh, where he studied photography briefly with James Good Tunny and met the photographer John McGregor (d 1872). McGregor agreed to travel to St Petersburg, and the two opened a portrait studio there in September 1859, making albumen prints using wet collodion plates. Their photographs received approval from the imperial household, and Carrick developed a relationship with the court painter Mihály Zichy, with whom he embarked on a project of photographing the works of artists (e.g. Zichy’s watercolour of the ...

Article

Christina Lodder

revised by Benjamin Benus

Avant-garde tendency in 20th-century painting, sculpture, photography, design and architecture, with associated developments in literature, theatre and film. The term was first coined by artists in Russia in early 1921 and achieved wide international currency in the 1920s. Russian Constructivism refers specifically to a group of artists who sought to move beyond the autonomous art object, extending the formal language of abstract art into practical design work. This development was prompted by the utopian climate following the October Revolution of 1917, which led artists to seek to create a new visual environment, embodying the social needs and values of the new Communist order. The concept of International Constructivism defines a broader current in European art, most vital from around 1922 until the end of the 1920s, that was centred primarily in Central and Eastern Europe. International Constructivists were inspired by the Russian example, both artistically and politically. They continued, however, to work in the traditional artistic media of painting and sculpture, while also experimenting with film and photography and recognizing the potential of the new formal language for utilitarian design. The term Constructivism has frequently been used since the 1920s, in a looser fashion, to evoke a continuing tradition of geometric abstract art that is ‘constructed’ from autonomous visual elements such as lines and planes, and characterized by such qualities as precision, impersonality, a clear formal order, simplicity and economy of organization and the use of contemporary materials such as plastic and metal....

Article

Silvia Lucchesi

[Marius Pictor]

(b Bologna, Sept 8, 1852; d Venice, March 18, 1924).

Italian painter, photographer, architect and illustrator. He trained initially as a musician and only later became a painter, studying (1872–8) at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna under the history and portrait painter Antonio Puccinelli (1822–97). He made several short trips to Paris and London before moving to Rome where he became friends with Vincenzo Cabianca (1827–1902), a plein-air painter, and joined the group founded by Nino Costa, In Arte Libertas (see Rome, §III, 7). He made his name in 1885 when he exhibited 18 paintings at the group’s first exhibition. In the 1880s he experimented with photography, and in certain cases photographs acted as preliminary stages for his paintings. In 1892 he settled definitively in Venice and two years later adopted the pseudonym ‘Marius Pictor’. His work expressed the romantic and literary climate of the fin-de-siècle, and his painting is linked with the work of such writers as Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe. De Maria’s work derives from flower painting and from the painting of Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps; brushstrokes are carefully built up, and rough, chalky colour is thickly applied. He was extremely skilful in his manipulation of colour and light to express the richness of his imagination. He liked to create evocative images and to represent the most fantastic and unusual aspects of nature, as in the famous painting the ...

Article

Nicholas Wegner

Czech avant-garde group of architects, painters, sculptors, collagists, photographers, film makers, designers and writers, active 1920–31. Its name is a composite of the words ‘nine’ and ‘forces’. The group’s leader, Karel Teige, advocated a reconciliation between utilitarianism and lyrical subjectivity: ‘Constructivism and Poetism’. Devětsil’s architects, including Jaromír Krejcar and Karel Honzík, invested the geometry of architecture with an element of poetry, while painters and photographers such as Toyen and Jindřich Štyrský moved towards Surrealism, and when the group dissolved many of its members, including Teige, joined the Czech Surrealist group.

See also Periodical, §III, 5, (iii).

Czech Art of the Twenties and Thirties, 2 vols (exh. cat. by J. Kotalík and Bernd Kimmel, Darmstadt, Ausstellhallen Mathildenhöhe, 1988) Czech Modernism, 1900–1945 (exh. cat., Boston, MA, Mus. F.A., 1990) Devětsil: Czech Avant-garde Art, Architecture and Design of the 1920s and 1930s (exh. cat., ed. R. Svacha; Oxford, MOMA; London, Des. Mus.; 1990)...

Article

Diorama  

Pieter van der Merwe

[Gk: ‘through view’]

Large-scale, illusionistic form of transparency painting, developed in 1821–2 as a public entertainment by the French scenic artist and pioneer of photography Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, in association with the architectural painter Charles-Marie Bouton (1781–1853); also the special building in which it was shown. Like the earlier Panorama, the diorama was a late step in the history of attempts to recreate the appearance of nature by means of painting and the mechanical regulation of light. Daguerre’s subsequent progression from the diorama to photography marks the vital change of medium by which this aim was eventually achieved in the form of cinematography. Daguerre’s device consisted of a fine cloth painted with landscape subjects such as mountains and evocative ruins, in a manner exploiting popular taste for the Sublime and the picturesque. The solid features of the paintings were executed in opaque colour, but transparent tints were used for the effects of atmosphere, weather, and time of day. The audience sat in near-darkness: the pictures were shown by means of daylight admitted through windows concealed both above the spectators and behind the intervening cloth and regulated by a system of shutters and coloured filtering screens. Light reflected off the front of the cloth was modified by light transmitted through it to produce effects ranging from sunshine to thick fog. Daguerre’s oil painting ...

Article

Patricia Strathern

(b Verdun, Feb 14, 1838; d Bois-Colombes, nr Paris, March 12, 1917).

French photographer. He was one of the most accomplished architectural photographers of his time, and much of his work was devoted to constructions and monuments in France. He shared a studio in Paris until 1862 with Hyacinthe-César Delmaet (1828–62), and on the death of Delmaet that same year Durandelle married his widow, Clémence, who kept the surname Delmaet and became his partner. Their prints continued to be signed d & d after the two original partners. He photographed building work and sites in Paris (e.g. Le Pont d’Arcole, 1868; see Berger and Levrault, pl. 50), including a series of the Opéra (1865), which was published as two albums of 97 photographs. From 1870 to 1871 he photographed the events of the Paris Commune, and from 1874 to 1876 he worked on a series of Mont-Saint-Michel. From 1877 to 1890 he covered the various stages in the construction of the church of ...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Zurich, Dec 7, 1891; d Zurich, 1972).

German photographer and teacher. He studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Munich (1909–14), later studying art history (1914–18). In 1922 he became librarian at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Halle, where he also taught art history. While there he developed his ‘object photography’, teaching a class in it from ...

Article

Ester Coen and John Musgrove

Italian movement, literary in origin, that grew to embrace painting, sculpture, photography and architecture, which was launched by the publication on 20 February 1909 of ‘Le Futurisme’ by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in the Paris newspaper Le Figaro. Marinetti’s intention was to reject the past, to revolutionize culture and make it more modern. The new ideology of Futurism set itself with violent enthusiasm against the weighty inheritance of an art tied to the Italian cultural tradition and exalted the idea of an aesthetic generated by the modern myth of the machine and of speed.

Marinetti laid the foundations of the new literary poetics in his first manifesto, written in late 1908. Every new creation or action, he wrote, was now based on the ‘beauty of speed’; museums, libraries, ‘venerated’ cities and academies had to be destroyed, as they belonged to traditional culture. An art born of progress was now to take the place of all the artistic forms of the past, even the most recent ones, because they were stale and static. These words were immediately taken up by a group of young painters based in Milan—...

Article

Patricia Strathern

(b Langres, Haute-Marne, 1804; d Courcelles, nr Paris, 1892).

French photographer and draughtsman. A wealthy landowner and scholar who travelled widely, he made numerous sketches of Islamic architecture (untraced; engravings, Granada, Casa Tiros) and he took many very fine landscape photographs. During his travels in Italy, Asia Minor, Greece, Lebanon and Egypt (1841–5) he produced more than 900 daguerreotypes, which were used to illustrate his book on the Arabic monuments of the Middle East; he also photographed French monuments (e.g. La Tour St-Jacques, Paris, 1841; see Berger-Levrault, pl. 72). His work remained completely unknown until the plates (London, H. and A. Gernsheim priv. col.) were rediscovered in 1952. One of the earliest French landscape photographers, he devoted much of his time to his home at Courcelles, where he became a recluse after 1846. His only known contemporary exhibition was in Granada in 1833.

Monuments arabes et mauresques de Cordoue, Séville et Grenade (Paris, 1836)Monuments arabes d’Egypte, de Syrie et d’Asie Mineure...

Article

Steven Skopik

(b Leipzig, Jan 15, 1955).

German photographer. Gursky is well known for his meticulously detailed, mural-sized photographs. His subjects range from landscape, to architecture, to miscellaneous cultural events and phenomena, but they share a preoccupation with large-scale human endeavours in the present day. Gursky’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Venice Biennale (1990 and 2004) and in major retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2001) and the Krefelder Kunstmuseen, Krefeld (2008). His photograph Rhein II, 1999, which sold for $4,338,500 in 2011, holds the distinction of being the most expensive photograph sold at auction to date.

Gursky studied photography and art at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf under the direction of Becher family. The conceptual and aesthetic programme of the (see Düsseldorf School) combined virtuosic technical craft with a visually understated documentary style (see Documentary photography). Like many of his contemporaries, who include Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, and Candida Höfer, Gursky recorded his subjects under conditions of flat, diffuse illumination; this approach maximizes dense description while eschewing overt emotionality or expressivity. When people are present in his pictures, they are usually framed at a mid- to far distance—anonymous crowds, rather than individuals, dominated by their physical surroundings. Such formal qualities, combined with imposing scale, contribute to a sense of spectacle in Gursky’s photographs that rests in tension with dispassionate survey. Compared to many of his Düsseldorf School colleagues, however, Gursky’s approach to content is less overtly systematic. Whereas, for instance, the typologies of the Bechers are rigorously consistent, focusing on numerous exemplars of a given category—gas tanks, windmills, warehouses, etc—Gursky’s photographs are relatively heterogeneous....

Article

Dennis Radford

(b Dresden, Oct 16, 1813; d Stellenbosch, Oct 8, 1898).

German architect, builder, painter and photographer, active in South Africa. He showed a talent for drawing at an early age. In 1825 he entered the Akademie der Künste, Dresden, to study architecture, qualifying in 1829. He emigrated to Cape Town in 1838. His first commission in 1840 was the new Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Mary, Cape Town, undertaken with his partner Carel Sparmann, which was an unsuccessful venture. Hager then moved to Stellenbosch living principally by portrait painting (examples in Stellenbosch Mus.). It was not until 1854 that his next building, the Lutheran Church, Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, was built. Only in 1863, however, did he receive his first major commission, the remodelling of the Dutch Reformed Church, Stellenbosch. This involved the addition of a large nave, aisles and tower to the existing cruciform church. All the additions were strongly Gothic Revival in character, and the rest of the church was given a Gothic appearance. It would be an exaggeration to claim that it was Hager who introduced the Gothic style into Dutch Reformed churches, but it can be said that he introduced a purer strain of the Revival, although this was still far from ‘correct’. The church at Stellenbosch differs most from previous attempts to Gothicize Dutch Reformed churches in the tower, which has triple-stage base tracery windows surmounted by a broach spire. The open Gothic trussed roof marks its first appearance in Dutch Reformed churches. In ...

Article

Gjergj Frashëri

[Nikollë]

(b Shkodër, Aug 15, 1860; d Shkodër, Dec 12, 1939).

Albanian painter, architect, sculptor and photographer. His grandfather Andrea Idromeno was a painter and a doctor of theology; his father, Arsen Idromeno, was a furniture designer and painter. Kol Idromeno took private lessons in painting (1871–5) at the studio of the photographer and painter Pietro Marubi (1834–1903). In 1875 he won a competition and began studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice. However, due to arguments with his teacher, he abandoned the school and continued his studies in one of the large studios in Venice (1876–8).

At first Idromeno produced works with both religious and secular themes that were noted for their highly realistic rendering of the human form (e.g. St Mary Magdalene, oil on canvas, 1877; Shkodër Mus.). Many of his biblical works were executed in churches within the Shkodër district, with perhaps his best work being the frescoes of the Orthodox Church in Shkodër, especially the fragment depicting ...

Article

Sarah Urist Green

revised by Julia Detchon

(b Santiago, Chile, Feb 5, 1956).

Chilean architect, public interventionist, installation artist, photographer, and filmmaker, active in the USA. He first studied architecture at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, then filmmaking at the Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano de Cultura, Santiago, concluding in 1981. Throughout his career, Jaar’s works have taken many forms in order to address global themes of injustice and illuminate structures of power. In over fifty projects he termed “public interventions,” Jaar conducted extensive research around the world to create site-specific works that reflect political and social realities near and far from his sites of exhibition. He created works—in gallery spaces and in public, often engaging spectator involvement—that present images critically and confront the social and political interests they serve.

Jaar’s first public intervention was Studies on Happiness (1979–1981), a three-year series of performances and exhibitions in which he asked the question, “Are you happy?” of people in the streets of Santiago. Inspired by ...

Article

Daniela Mrázková

(b Boskovice, nr Brno, Jan 10, 1938).

Czech photographer of Moravian birth. He graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Czech Higher Institute of Technology in Prague (1961) and became an engineer of aircraft engines. He began to photograph as an amateur at the age of 14. In 1961, with the encouragement of the photographer and critic Jiři Jeníček (1895–1963), he held his first exhibition, at the popular Prague theatre Semafor. He was also influenced by the theorist Anna Fárová. From 1962 he worked as a photographer for the journal Divadlo and from 1965 for the avant-garde Theatre behind the Gate (Divadlo za Branou), led by the director Otomar Krejča, which enabled him to become professional. In 1965 he was accepted as a member of the Photography Section of the Association of Czech Artists, and in 1967 he left his job as an engineer to dedicate himself to photography.

Koudelka first became involved with his lifelong theme of gypsies in ...