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Article

Ingeborg Wikborg

(Sigurd)

(b Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag, April 21, 1933).

Norwegian sculptor, designer and medallist. He became familiar with handicraft in his father’s furniture workshop. In 1954 he began five years’ study as a commercial artist at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole in Oslo and from 1957 to 1963 he worked as an illustrator for a newspaper. He studied at the Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1959 to 1962 under the sculptor Per Palle Storm (1910–94) who advocated naturalism in sculpture. As an assistant to Arnold Haukeland from 1961 to 1964, Aas lost his apprehension of the untried and cultivated his sense of daring, as he gained experience with welding techniques. Highly imaginative and versatile, Aas worked in both abstract and figurative modes and is reckoned one of the foremost sculptors in Norway; in 1990 he was honoured with St Olav.

Aas’s first sculpture was an equestrian monument in snow, made in Inderøy while he was a schoolboy. His first public project was the abstract steel figure ...

Article

Freya Probst

(b Hanau, July 1874; d Berlin, July 3, 1913).

German silversmith, sculptor and painter. He attended the Zeichenakademie and the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hanau then studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Berlin, and the Académie Julian in Paris, before finally becoming a student of the sculptor Louis Tuaillon at the Kunstakademie, Berlin. From 1894 to 1903 he worked at the renowned silverware factory of Bruckmann & Söhne in Heilbronn, modelling goblets, cutlery, sports prizes and medals etc. In collaboration with Otto Rieth, professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin, Amberg made a silver fountain (h. 3.2 m) for the Exposition Universelle, Paris, in 1900.

After designing the silver for the Town Hall of Aachen (1903) and spending a year in Rome (1903–4), Amberg completed his most important work, the design of the Hochzeitszug (Berlin, Tiergarten, Kstgewmus.), a table centre for the wedding of Wilhelm (1882–1951), Crown Prince of Germany and Prussia and Herzogin Cecilie von Mecklenburg-Schwerin (...

Article

Lisa M. Binder

(b Anyako, Ghana, June 13, 1944).

Ghanaian sculptor, active in Nigeria. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sculpture (1968) and a postgraduate diploma in art education from the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (1969). After graduation he taught at the Specialist Training College (now University of Winneba), Ghana, in a position vacated by the eminent sculptor Vincent Kofi. From 1975 he was Professor of Sculpture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Anatsui’s practice often makes use of found objects including bottle caps, milk-tins and cassava graters. However, he is not concerned with recycling or salvaging; instead he seeks meaning in the ways materials can be transformed to make statements about history, culture and memory.

His early work consists of ceramic sculptures manipulated to reconfigure pieces of memory. In 1978 he began his Broken Pots series, which was exhibited the following year at the British Council in Enugu, Nigeria. Several of the ceramic works were made of sherds that were fused together by a grog-like cement of broken pieces. Making art historical references to ...

Article

Philip Ward-Jackson

(b London, June 18, 1828; d London, Dec 4, 1905).

English sculptor, silversmith and illustrator. He was the son of a chaser and attended the Royal Academy Schools, London. At first he gave his attention equally to silverwork and to sculpture, exhibiting at the Royal Academy from 1851. An early bronze, St Michael and the Serpent, cast in 1852 for the Art Union, shows him conversant with the style of continental Romantics, and his debut in metalwork coincided with the introduction into England of virtuoso repoussé work by the Frenchman, Antoine Vechte (1799–1868). In the Outram Shield (London, V&A), Armstead displayed the full gamut of low-relief effects in silver, but its reception at the Royal Academy in 1862 disappointed him, and he turned his attention to monumental sculpture. Among a number of fruitful collaborations with architects, that with George Gilbert I Scott (ii) included a high degree of responsibility for the sculpture on the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, London. Here Armstead’s main contribution was the execution of half of the podium frieze (...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Merseyside, June 23, 1966).

English sculptor and conceptual artist. She studied at Kingston Polytechnic, Surrey (1986–9), and at Goldsmiths’ College of Art in London (1992–3). She had her first solo exhibition at City Racing, London, in 1994, and in the following year was included in General Release: Young British Artists at the XLVI Venice Biennale. Banner came to prominence with her ‘wordscapes’, large text works that recount the plots of feature films or other events. The first of these was Top Gun (pencil on paper, 2.13×4.57 m, 1993), a hand-written account of the film Top Gun presented on a cinematic scale. The ‘wordscapes’ led to the publication in 1997 of The Nam, 1000 pages of continuous text describing the Vietnam war movies Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Hamburger Hill and The Deer Hunter. This unreadable text points to the excess of violence in such films, the numbing of critical faculties, as well as the mythologizing and fictionalizing framing devices used to interpret historical events. Towards the end of the 1990s she became interested in the implications of punctuation signs, dwelling on their qualities as abstract marks that give structure to text. By selecting a variety of fonts, enlarging the full stop signs to ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Philadelphia, Dec 17, 1960).

American sculptor, active in England. He obtained a BFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA, and an MFA from Goldsmiths’ College, London, in 1988. Exploring his interest in the government of behaviour by social constraint, he first used clothes and hair as materials before turning to animal remains and casts of human organs for his increasingly unsettling work. His The Cat and the Dog (1995; London, Saatchi Gal., see 1996 exh. cat., p. 4) consists of two skinned animal hides with perfectly reconstructed heads and feet. Described by the artist as frozen smiles, the animal objects act as abstract surrogates for socially repressed bestial tendencies. Be Your Dog (1997; see 1998 exh. cat., p. 10), consisting of scalped dog ears mounted on a wall as an invitation to wear them, illustrates this theme even more forcefully. Other works by Baseman represent human body parts. Muscle (1997...

Article

Mark Jones

(b Tours, March 24, 1878; d 1963).

French medallist. He studied first at the school of art in Tours and then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was an able and prolific follower of such medallists as Frédéric de Vernon and Oscar Roty: his decorative and sentimental plaquettes, among them Wedding (1902), First Step...

Article

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Philip Attwood

(b London, April 4, 1872; d London, July 10, 1953).

English sculptor and medallist. He was the son of the painter and etcher Alfred Walter Bayes (1832–1909) and brother of the painters Walter Bayes (1869–1956) and Jessie Bayes (1878–1971). He studied at the City and Guilds Technical College and the Royal Academy School in London. His early work consists of reliefs and decorative objects, and bronze statuettes, some partly enamelled, which show the influence of Alfred Gilbert and the New Sculpture. After World War I his work became more stylized. He executed a number of large-scale reliefs including History of Pottery through the Ages (polychrome stoneware, 1938; London, V&A) for the headquarters of Doulton’s, the ceramics manufacturers, on Albert Embankment, London, and History of Drama through the Ages (artificial stone) for the Saville Theatre (now the MGM Cinema), Shaftesbury Avenue, also in London, works which exemplify the artist’s eagerness to experiment with new materials. He worked closely with ...

Article

Mark Jones

(b Paris, Jan 17, 1913; d Paris, 1994).

French painter, sculptor, medallist and designer. He studied in Paris, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and was much influenced by his friendship with Maurice Denis. He worked principally as a painter, adopting the saturated colours of Henri Matisse in landscapes and figure studies often based on observation of ‘exotic’ cultures, notably Mediterranean and North African. In the mid-1960s a new rawness emerged in his work, derived from ‘primitive’ examples and new materials associated with his experiments in other media. He executed tapestry designs for Aubusson, posters (winning the Grand Prix de l’Affiche Française in 1984), costumes and sets for ballets at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, reliefs and murals. In 1965 he took up medal-making, expressing in his numerous metallic works for the Paris Mint that obsession with found objects which is also evident in his large-scale sculpture and in his posters.

Bénézit Roger Bezombes: Nice, débarcadère du Levant...

Article

Hans Frei

(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).

Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....

Article

S. Kontha

[Nicolas]

(b Nagyszeben [now Sibiu, Romania], Aug 13, 1906; d Budapest, Jan 27, 1990).

Hungarian sculptor, medallist, draughtsman, engraver and painter. In 1922 he moved from Transylvania to Győr, Hungary, where, while preparing to become a painter, he learnt the craft of goldsmithing and engraving from his father. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, in 1928–9. He also spent considerable time during these years in Italy and southern France. His taste was influenced mainly by Classical work. The drawings and paintings from this period can be regarded as preparation for his career as a sculptor, although it was not until the early 1930s that he took up full-time sculpting. At first he produced copper embossings. In 1938 a trip to Transylvania inspired him to create larger copper reliefs, such as Women Hired to Mourn (1939; Pécs, Pannonius Mus.). His first stone statue Mother (Győr, Xantus János Mus.) was sculpted in 1933. Partly because of the nature of the material, and also because of his deep knowledge of ancient Egyptian and Greek sculpture, his figure sculptures are built from basic, essential forms. His success as a sculptor enabled him in ...

Article

Erich G. Ranfft

(b Perleberg-Brandenburg, June 29, 1871; d Berlin, Jan 2, 1938).

German medallist, sculptor and writer. He trained in medal arts and sculpture at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Frankfurt am Main (1891–7) and in Paris (1897–9) at the Académie Julian. He dedicated himself to making medals and assimilated the naturalistic and Impressionist styles current in French art, as in his baptismal medal Let the Child Come to Me (1898–9; Frankfurt am Main, Mus. Ksthandwk). In 1899 Bosselt began to gain considerable public recognition in Germany for his medals, which after 1901 became more stylized and decorative. By 1905 he had produced a large body of work, including medals and several plaques of, mainly commissioned, portraits and exhibition notices. In addition, he promoted the revival of medal arts in Germany through his published writings. He was also widely known as a gifted Jugendstil craftsman as a result of his stay from 1899 to 1903 at the Künstler-Kolonie in Darmstadt, where he developed a close friendship with fellow worker Peter Behrens. Bosselt’s output in Darmstadt consisted of jewellery and domestic items of decorative metalwork, which feature sculpted bronze figurines (e.g. table lamp, ...

Article

Hilary Pyle

(b Dublin, Nov 27, 1936).

Irish painter, sculptor and printmaker. He studied at the National College of Art in Dublin and St Martin’s School of Art and Goldsmith’s College in London. His early paintings, which included landscapes such as Winter (c. 1966; Dublin, Allied Irish Bank) and life-size nude self-portraits, were indebted to German Expressionism and to the work of Alberto Giacometti in their warm-toned colours and loose application of paint or pastel. These were followed by painted and sculpted portraits of his wife and friends in bronze or fibreglass, such as Head of L.T. (1971; Dublin, Dawson Gal.). From 1971 he concentrated on a recurring image of a small, primitive sculpture as a sign for himself, reduced in mocking fashion to a formalized bust or head. He related this fascination with identity to the character of Don Quixote, for example in the painted wood sculpture Don Quixote (1980–81; Dublin, Allied Irish Bank); sometimes he conceived of this image as two selves, as in the etching ...

Article

Mark Jones

(b London, 1864; d London, Dec 6, 1938).

British medallist and sculptor. He studied in London at the National Art Training School, under Edward Onslow Ford; and in Paris, where he was influenced by the work of Jules-Clément Chaplain and Oscar Roty. In 1886 he produced a medallic portrait of the Khedive of Egypt and in the following year was commissioned by the Royal Mint to produce designs for the Egyptian coinage. The 1890s saw an increasing number of commissions for medals: from the City of London for the Visit of the King and Queen of Denmark, the Opening of Tower Bridge and the Diamond Jubilee; from the Geological Society for the Joseph Prestwich medal; and from the Royal College of Science for the Thomas Huxley memorial medal (all London, B.M.). In 1903, following the death of George William de Saulles, Bowcher stepped in to finish the great seal of Edward VII. He was a founder-member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors and until the 1930s exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy. In the early 1920s he produced, under the direction of M. H. Spielmann (...

Article

Philip Attwood

(b Schavli, Kovno [now Kaunas], June 12, 1871; d New York, April 5, 1924).

American medallist of Lithuanian origin. He trained as a seal-engraver under his father and worked as a jewellery engraver and type cutter. In 1890 he went to New York, where he worked as a die engraver of badges, and in 1898 to Paris to study at the Académie Julian and later with Oscar Roty. He first exhibited medals in the early years of the 20th century. The influence of Roty is apparent in the low relief and soft-edged naturalism and also in the inclusion of flat expanses of metal in his designs. He occasionally ventured into sculpture, as in the Schenley Memorial Fountain (bronze; Pittsburgh, PA, Schenley Park), but he was best known for his medals and plaquettes, both struck and cast, and his sensitive portraits assured his popularity. The powerful head of President Roosevelt on the Panama Canal medal (bronze, 1908) and the tender Shepherdess plaquette (electrotype, 1907...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Hexham, Northumberland, Feb 13, 1966).

English painter and sculptor. He completed a foundation course at Norwich School of Art (1984–5), a BFA at Bath Academy of Art (1985–8), and an MFA at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1990–92). His paintings typically reproduce the work of artists such as Frank Auerbach and Karel Appel in a slick, ‘photographic’ manner. He arrived at this manner of working after basing paintings on photographs of modernist buildings; a sense of thwarted utopianism became a central tenet in his later work. His first painting after Auerbach, Atom Age Vampire (oil on canvas, 0.82×0.72 m, 1991; priv. col., see 1996 exh. cat., p. 19), was a minutely copied, flattened rendering of the thickly impastoed original. Although such works are critical of the expressionist doctrine of emotional investment in gesture and materiality, they also retain an element of adolescent fantasy and absorption, as suggested by the title. Another strand of Brown’s art consists of copies of science fiction illustrations by Chris Foss (...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Lahore, 1962; d London, Sept 1994).

British sculptor of Pakistani birth. He studied at Goldsmiths College, London (1987–90). After initially working in a wide variety of media, Butt settled exclusively on installations in the late 1980s. Because of his early death little of his work has become widely known, but that which has demonstrates by an interest in alchemy and a thematic preoccupation with seduction, pleasure and danger. Transmission (1990; see 1995 exh. cat., p. 65) comprises a circle of objects that look like open books, resting on the floor. The glass pages reveal a triffid motif that is lit by dangerous ultra-violet light. The series Familiars includes some of his best-known work and is concerned with the dichotomy between physical impurity and divine grace. It also derives from his interest in chemical properties, each of the three parts employing a different member of the chemical family of halogens: Substance Sublimation Unit (1992; see 1995 exh. cat., pp. 72–3) employs iodine confined in tubes set up in a ladder formation (the form was inspired by the mythical Santa Scala, or Holy Ladder of Perfection); ...

Article

Stephen K. Scher

(b Milan, May 4, 1884; d Lierna, Aug 27, 1971).

Italian medallist. His father, Giacomo, worked for Stabilimento Stefano Johnson, the Milanese die-sinking and casting firm, and it was in this environment that Giannino was trained and in this foundry that many of his medals were cast. His first securely dated medal (Johnson, no. 41) was executed for the Esposizione Internazionale of Milan in 1906, and it remains one of his most attractive, well-composed and strongest works. His skill in rendering realistic surfaces and textures, in the handling of space and composition and in the clarity, style and spacing of his lettering may be seen especially in the scenes of ports on the reverses of the medals of Giovanni Stucky (1909; Johnson, no. 43) and Paolo Boselli (1913; Johnson, no. 48). The most impressive aspect of his work is his portraiture; he recorded with great accuracy and sensitivity the physical attributes of his subjects, as in the medals of ...

Article

Mark Jones

(b Mortagne, Orne, July 12, 1839; d Paris, July 13, 1909).

French medallist and sculptor. He entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1857; here he studied sculpture under François Jouffroy and medals under Eugène Oudiné. In 1863 he won the Prix de Rome for medal-engraving and worked in Rome from 1864 to 1868. He exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1863, receiving numerous awards. In 1881 his status as the leading French medallist was recognized by his election to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. His appointment as Art Director of the Sèvres Manufactory in 1896 and as a Commander of the Légion d’honneur in 1900 crowned a career that had been immensely successful in transforming the public perception of medallic art.

Chaplain changed public taste by moving away from the established tradition by which medallic portraits and reverse compositions emerged from a completely flat field bounded by a raised circular rim. Instead, using much lighter patinas than had been fashionable earlier in the 19th century, he incorporated the field into the composition, using it not as a neutral background but as the pictorial space in which event or portrait sitter was situated. By combining a rococo approach to the decorative qualities of clothing and drapery with a rigidly classical approach to composition, he evolved a style that was as suited to the commemoration of great state occasions, such as the ...