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Matico Josephson

(b Lithuania, 1920; d New York, March 6, 1998).

American painter and teacher of Lithuanian birth. Baranik migrated to the United States in 1938 and served in the US Army in World War II. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1946–8) and at the Art Students League in New York, where he met painter May Stevens, whom he later married. Stevens and Baranik lived in Paris from 1948 until the end of 1951, initially studying at the Académie Julian; Baranik then studied in the atelier of Fernand Léger (1881–1955).

In 1952, Baranik first showed at the ACA Gallery in New York, which represented prewar realist school painters. He left the gallery in 1955, joining the Roko Gallery by 1958. Through contact with the Abstract Expressionists, and especially with fellow Lithuanian Ad Reinhardt (1913–67), Baranik moved away from the rough materiality of his Parisian work. In the 1960s, figural elements appear on large canvases that he treated like color field paintings....


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 ...


Joan Marter

(b Alexandria, Egypt, May 4, 1913; d Easthampton, NY, Dec 30, 2003).

American sculptor. Lassaw’s parents were Russian, but he spent his childhood in Egypt, where he attended a French lycée. In 1921 he immigrated with his family to New York, where he began his artistic training with traditional clay modelling at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and in 1927 at the Clay Club. In 1931–2 he attended evening classes at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design. After modelling clay figures, in 1933 he turned to abstract sculpture, and was among the first American sculptors to do so in the 1930s. Early open-space constructions such as Sculpture in Steel (1938; New York, Whitney) combine biomorphic elements with Constructivist methods. The leaflike elements suspended from a metal bar seem indebted to Alberto Giacometti’s Surrealist sculptures of the 1930s.

Lassaw studied the welded constructions of Julio González and Pablo Picasso, which were illustrated in French periodicals, and he was attracted to their openwork compositions in industrial metals. While Lassaw’s earliest constructions were made of reinforced plaster on pipe and wire armatures, by ...


Whitney Chadwick

(b Balagne, Jan 4, 1896; d Paris, Oct 28, 1987).

French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, and stage designer. His work played an important role in the development of both Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, although his independence, iconoclasm, and abrupt stylistic transitions make him difficult to classify. Masson was admitted to the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts et l’Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Brussels at the age of 11. Through his teacher Constant Montald, he met the Belgian poet Emile Verhaeren (1855–1916), who persuaded Masson’s parents to send him to Paris for further training. Masson joined the French infantry in 1915 and fought in the battles of the Somme; he was gravely wounded, and his wartime experiences engendered in him a profound philosophy about human destiny and stimulated his search for a personal imagery of generation, eclosion, and metamorphosis.

Masson’s early works, particularly the paintings of 1922 and 1923 on a forest theme (e.g. Forest, 1923; see Leiris and Limbour, p. 93), reflected the influence of André Derain, but by late ...


Jure Mikuž

(b Velika Pisanica, nr Bjelovar, May 4, 1921; d Zagreb, Jan 2, 2005).

Croatian painter, printmaker, stage designer, graphic designer and illustrator. Before World War II he studied at the Zagreb Academy. In 1943 he joined the partisan forces where he founded, together with another painter Zlatko Prica (1916–2002), an engraver’s printshop and edited a portfolio of prints in illustration of the epic poem Pit by I. G. Kovačić. In 1951 he abandoned his Post-Impressionist style of painting Adriatic landscapes after a stay in the USA and Canada. In 1953 he exhibited in Belgrade and Zagreb the cycle Experience of America (1950–51), which contained about 30 paintings and was greatly criticized. These pictures (now Zagreb, Gal. Mod. A. and Mun. A. G.; Belgrade, Min. Foreign Affairs; priv. cols) conveyed impressions of American megalopoles such as Pittsburgh and New York in the manner of American Abstract Expressionism. Mimetic elements began to disappear from his work, and by the late 1950s Murtić developed his own dramatic brushwork. Around ...


Bonnie Clearwater

[Rothkowitz, Marcus]

(b Dvinsk, Russia [now Daugavpils, Latvia], Sept 25, 1903; d New York, Feb 25, 1970).

American painter and draughtsman of Russian birth. He was one of the major figures of Abstract Expressionism and an important influence on the development of Colour field painting.

In 1913 he immigrated with his mother and sister to the USA, where they were reunited with his father and two older brothers, who had settled in Portland, OR, a few years earlier. As a youth in Portland, Rothko excelled scholastically and in particular pursued interests in literature, music, and social studies. From 1921 to 1923 he attended Yale University on a scholarship, but he left in his third year without graduating. He moved to New York, where he sporadically attended a few courses at the Art Students League, including a painting class with Max Weber, which constituted his only formal training in art. Essentially self-taught, Rothko educated himself by attending exhibitions and visiting the studios of artists such as Milton Avery, whose paintings of simplified forms and flat areas of colour suggested possibilities for Rothko’s own work....


Joyce Zemans


(b Shoeburyness, Essex, Feb 4, 1909; d Vancouver, BC, Nov 22, 1998).

Canadian painter, draughtsman and writer of English birth. In 1912 his family emigrated to British Columbia. Educated at Victoria College, BC (1926–7), and the Provincial Normal School in Victoria (1929), he studied art at the Euston Road Art School, London (1937), the André Lhote School of Art, Paris (1938), and the Art Students’ League, New York (1948–9). From 1929 to 1937 he taught art to children in Vancouver and in 1938 joined the Vancouver School of Art, where he was head of painting and drawing from 1945 to 1966. In 1944–5 he served with the Canadian war artists. In 1955 he became the first instructor at the Emma Lake Workshop, Regina College, Sask. He also executed costume and poster designs for theatre and dance, as well as murals for Edmonton Airport, the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Vancouver....


(b New York, Dec 31, 1922; d Ioannina, Greece, Feb 2, 1997).

American painter and illustrator. Born of Greek immigrant parents, he was awarded a scholarship to the American Artists’ School in New York, where he studied sculpture under Simon Kennedy and Joseph Konzal (1905–94). Abandoning sculpture, he began to devote himself to painting in 1939, a medium in which he was entirely self-taught. In 1941 he opened a framing shop in New York, which he ran until 1948. There he met Arshile Gorky and Fernand Léger and also framed several pictures by Paul Klee for the Nierendorf Gallery. He had his first one-man show in 1943 at Betty Parsons’s Wakefield Gallery in New York. That year he also met Adolph Gottlieb and Barnett Newman and in 1947 Mark Rothko, Kurt Seligmann, and Mark Tobey. His paintings of the 1940s drew on a variety of sources including mythology, natural forms, and Oriental calligraphy and were executed in a rough textural manner. ...


Deborah Nash

(b Königsberg, 1916; d Berlin, 1999).

German painter, printmaker and teacher. After national service he began a course in medicine, but in 1941 took up a place at a private art school in Munich. During World War II his studies were interrupted, and in 1943 he went underground. Between 1946 and 1950 he resumed his artistic training, this time at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, under the German painter Carl Caspar (1879–1956). In 1950–52 he travelled to the Netherlands and then to Paris, where he studied under Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17. He began to move away from expressive portraiture to abstract pictures and his studies with Hayter encouraged him to experiment with etchings, litho and screen printing and to employ a mixed technique rather than limit himself to pure oil painting. In 1954 he became a member of Deutscher Künstlerbund in Berlin, and in 1959 took up a post as professor of painting and drawing at the Hochschule für Bildenden Künste in Berlin. It was here that he established his reputation as the foremost German exponent of ...


Philip Cooper

(b Centerville, WI, Dec 11, 1890; d Basle, Switzerland, April 24, 1976).

American painter. In 1893 the family moved to Jacksonville, TN, but because of the poor educational facilities there they returned a year later to Wisconsin. Moving again in 1906 to Hammond, IN, Tobey attended high school and on Saturdays travelled to Chicago to study the techniques of watercolour and oil painting at the Art Institute of Chicago; this was his only formal art training. In 1909 the family moved to Chicago, where, because of his father’s illness, he was forced to give up his studies and find employment. After various jobs he eventually became a fashion illustrator. During this period he discovered the great art of the past, first through reproductions and then by visiting the Art Institute of Chicago. He was especially attracted to Italian Renaissance paintings and to works by a variety of artists including Frans Hals, John Singer Sargent, and Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida.

In 1911 Tobey moved to New York, where he worked as a fashion illustrator for ...


H. Alexander Rich

(b Segovia, Spain, June 20, 1903; d Bridgehampton, NY, Jan 10, 2001).

American painter and teacher of Spanish birth. One of the last surviving members of the first generation of Abstract Expressionists, Vicente arrived in New York from Spain as an innovative synthesizer of earlier European styles, working his way from portrait and nature painting through landscapes and Cubism before arriving at his mature New York School-inflected manner of large-scale abstract collage and stain paintings.

Born in Segovia, but growing up in Madrid, he was undoubtedly influenced by his father, a former military officer who also dabbled in painting and who often took his son to the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Vicente enrolled at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S. Fernando in Madrid to study sculpture in 1921.

Although sculpting occupied Vicente for three years at the Academy, where Salvador Dalí was a classmate, by the time he moved to Paris in 1929 Vicente had re-branded himself a painter. That same year, he showed his work for the first time in the Salon des Surindépendants. Vicente painted primarily from nature, composing landscapes that fused ...


(b Riga, July 15, 1900; d New York, Dec 24, 1983).

American painter and printmaker of Latvian birth. He enrolled in art school in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) and then travelled through Russia. Early influences were Vasily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich. He left the country after the Revolution (1917). During the 1920s he lived variously in Europe and Latin America, establishing contact with such leading artists as Emil Nolde, Karl-Georg Heise (1890–1979), and Diego Rivera. Yunkers fought in the Spanish Civil War (1936–9) and moved to Stockholm from 1939 to 1947, where he edited and published the periodicals Creation, Ars, and Art Portfolio (1969 exh. cat., pp. 30–31). In 1947 ten years’ work was lost in a studio fire.

Yunkers immigrated to the USA in 1947, acquiring citizenship in 1953. At this time he embarked on ambitious projects of prints and paintings including Polyptych, a five-panel woodcut, 4 m long, and in 1957 a series of large-scale pastels culminating in ...