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Article

Patrick Conner

(b Maidstone, Kent, April 10, 1767; d Maidstone, July 23, 1816).

English painter, engraver, draughtsman and museum official. The son of a coachbuilder, he was apprenticed to Julius Caesar Ibbetson before enrolling in 1784 at the Royal Academy Schools, London. In 1792 he accepted the post (previously declined by Ibbetson) of draughtsman to George, 1st Earl Macartney, on his embassy to China. As the embassy returned by inland waterway from Beijing to Canton, Alexander made detailed sketches of the Chinese hinterland—something achieved by no British artist previously and by very few subsequently. These sketches formed the basis for finished watercolours (e.g. Ping-tze Muen, the Western Gate of Peking, 1799; London, BM) and for numerous engravings by both himself and others. For over fifty years his images of China were widely borrowed by book illustrators and by interior decorators in search of exotic themes.

Alexander was also a keen student of British medieval antiquities, undertaking several tours in order to make drawings of churches and monuments; many of these were reproduced in the antiquarian publications of ...

Article

Mary S. Lawton and Marco Musillo

[Lang Shining; Lang Shih-ning]

(b Milan, Jul 19, 1688; d Beijing, Jul 16, 1766).

Italian painter, architect, and Jesuit lay brother, active also in Portugal and China. Castiglione is one of the few Western artists to be included in the Chinese imperial collections. In the catalogue raisonné of the Imperial Collection of Paintings published in the Jiaqing reign (1796–1820) are listed forty-seven titles and fifty-six pieces by Castiglione.

Castiglione entered the Society of Jesus in 1707 after having received full training as a painter in Milan. While in Milan he studied late 17th-century painting techniques and later identified himself as a pupil of Andrea Pozzo, also a lay brother, who is best known for his decoration of the ceiling of the Jesuit church of St. Ignazio in Rome. A group of large paintings from Genoa commissioned for the refectory and church of the local Jesuit noviciate indicate that Castiglione’s style was competent if not innovative. Documentary evidence also attest commissions received in Portugal for frescoes of the life of St. Ignatius Loyola that decorated the chapel of the Jesuit Novitiate in Coimbra, Portugal, now part of the ...

Article

Patrick Conner

(b London, Jan 7, 1774; d Macao, May 30, 1852).

English painter. Although long rumoured to be Irish, Chinnery was brought up in London, where he showed a precocious talent as a portrait painter in the traditions of Romney and Cosway. His grandfather, the calligrapher William Chinnery sr, was the author of Writing and Drawing Made Easy, Amusing and Instructive (London, 1750); his father, William jr, was also a writing master, and exhibited portraits at the Free Society of Artists. George entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1792, and by 1795 had exhibited 20 portraits at the Academy.

In 1796 Chinnery moved to Dublin. There he married his landlord’s daughter, Marianne Vigne, who gave birth to his two legitimate children. He was active in the Royal Dublin Society and in 1798 was Secretary and Treasurer of its Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture. He experimented in several styles and media, to considerable critical acclaim; in July 1801 he received a silver palette ‘in Testimony of his Exertions in promoting the Fine Arts in Ireland’ … from ‘the Artists of Dublin’....

Article

Martin Postle

(b Camborne, Cornwall, ?1768; d London, Oct 18, 1847).

English painter. He was brought up in Rotherhithe (London), where his father was a sailmaker. He worked initially painting china, first in Aldgate (London) and later in Shropshire, and was expected to become manager of a china works. Instead he chose an artistic career and in 1792 attended the Royal Academy Schools, London. By 1795 he was working as a professional artist. In the 1790s he also attended Dr Monro’s Drawing Academy where he met John and Cornelius Varley. In 1802 and 1803 he sketched in Wales with the Varleys and in 1805 co-founded with them the Society of Painters in Water-colours, where he exhibited regularly for the rest of his life. He was president of the Society in 1816 and 1819 and again between 1821 and 1831. He exhibited a portrait at the Royal Academy in 1803, but thereafter his work consisted mainly of landscapes and figure studies in watercolours as well as numerous pencil and ink sketches. He was also fond of classical subjects, particularly with a pastoral flavour (e.g. ...

Article

Toru Asano

[Fujita, Tsuguharu]

(b Tokyo, Nov 27, 1886; d Zurich, Jan 29, 1968).

French painter of Japanese birth. After graduating from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1910, he went to France in 1913. Though associated with the Ecole de Paris he developed an individual style. He became an annual member of the Salon d’Automne in 1919 and a permanent member in the following year. Subsequently his reputation in Parisian artistic circles rose, established by such works as My Studio (1921; Paris, Mus. N.A. Mod.) and Five Nudes (1923; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.), where he used a thin, delicate line on a background of milk-white material, like the surface of porcelain; this style was particularly impressive in his cool, complaisant nudes. In 1929 he briefly returned to Japan, holding a successful one-man show in Tokyo. He left Paris in 1931 and travelled through South, Central and North America before returning to Japan in 1933. He was made a member of the ...

Article

Toru Asanu

(b Fukuoka, Gunma Prefect., Jan 18, 1898; d Tokyo, Oct 16, 1992).

Japanese painter. In 1918 he entered the literature department of Tokyo University; however, a liking for sculpture made him turn his attention to fine art. Travelling to France to research European art (1924) caused his interest to shift from sculpture to painting. From c. 1929 he was influenced by Surrealism and, stimulated by the collages of Max Ernst, he produced such works as Another’s Love and Science Blinds Beauty (both 1930; Takasaki, Gunma Prefect. Mus. Mod. A.). In 1931, shortly before his return to Japan, he sent 37 Yōga (Western-style) paintings to the first exhibition of the Dokuritsu Bijutsu Kyōkai (Independent Art Society). The ironic, witty and sharp punning nature of these pieces had hitherto not been seen in Japanese painting. Their display caused a great sensation in Yōga circles.

Although the influence of Surrealism had already begun to permeate Japanese art circles, Fukuzawa’s return in summer 1931...

Article

Mayching Kao

[ Wu Kuan-chung ]

(b Yixing, Jiangsu Province, July 5, 1919; d Beijing, June 25, 2010).

Chinese painter and art educator . Wu trained at the Hangzhou National Academy of Art between 1936 and 1942, studying modern Western painting with Chinese artists returned from France, and Chinese painting with Pan Tianshou , from whom he gained a deep understanding of Chinese aesthetics. From 1947 to 1950, Wu studied oil painting in Paris at the atelier of Jean Souvérbie (1891–1981) of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. After his return to China in 1950 he took up a series of teaching positions, the final one at the Beijing Central Academy of Art and Design, from which he retired in 1989. The dominating influence of Socialist Realism in China after 1949 led to criticism and suppression of Wu’s Western formalist approach. Nevertheless, he persisted in his search for ways to make his French experience take root in China. Travelling the country, he captured its beauty in a manner that displayed unique sensibility. By the early 1960s he had evolved a personal style fusing the rich colours of the oil medium and Western formal elements with the fluidity and spiritual vitality of traditional Chinese aesthetics. From the early 1970s he experimented with Chinese ink and colours on paper, successfully introducing new themes and stylistic innovations to a time-honoured tradition. Since the late 1970s he has exhibited and travelled widely overseas, finding new inspiration for his work. Wu enjoys critical acclaim for his vibrant synthesis of Chinese and Western art; his numerous writings shed light on his own artistic struggles, as well as his perceptions of modern Chinese art and artists....

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Mie, 1969).

British painter of Japanese birth. She studied at Wimbledon School of Art, London (1991–2) and Goldsmiths’ College, London (1993–5). Hasegawa came to prominence in the mid-1990s with large cut-out tableaux which bear idealized images of young people. Constructed from MDF and painted in gloss, they resemble displays from store windows. Initially she based her work on images of models that she took from magazines: Untitled (1995; see Artforum, 1996, p. 38) is a monumental depiction of an already tall female model who teeters on one foot. Hasegawa’s interest in glamour soon gave way to a preoccupation with the standardization of ideal youths in commercial advertizing imagery, and to examine this further she began to use her friends as models. Many of her figures stand alone, such as Boy in White T-Shirt (1996; see 1997 exh. cat., p. 68): the well-built, healthy looking youth smiles, appearing relaxed in a T-shirt; the schematic, illustrative style of cartoons lends him definition and a pale palette colours him. Some figures appear in groups and suggest narrative: ...

Article

Yoshikazu Iwasaki

(b Yokohama, July 8, 1908; d 1999).

Japanese painter. He graduated from the Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) Department of Tokyo School of Fine Arts. He studied in Germany in 1933, and he was chosen as one of the first German-Japanese cultural exchange students in the following year, studying art history at Berlin University. After returning to Japan in 1935, he exhibited mainly at the New Bunten and Nitten exhibitions and won recognition with his pure clear landscapes such as Road (Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.), Autumn Canopy and Blue Echo (Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.). He travelled in northern Europe in 1962 and in 1963 exhibited a series of paintings of the spartan scenery of that region; in 1967 he showed the landscape series the Four Seasons of Kyoto. He thus captured the landscapes of both Japan and Europe in simple forms and warm elegant colours. He also painted large-scale works including murals for the new Imperial Palace (...

Article

Marcia Pointon

(b Lincoln, June 3, 1786; d London, Dec 30, 1839).

English painter. The son of the japanner, theatrical scenery and portrait painter, William Hilton sr (1752–1822), William jr first studied with John Raphael Smith, the mezzotint engraver. He entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 1806, and he was elected ARA in 1813 and RA in 1819. His diploma piece the Rape of Ganymede (1819; London, RA) was the first of a long sequence of mythological subjects. Hilton was also renowned for his biblical paintings, such as the Raising of Lazarus (exh. RA 1816) presented to Newark Church, Notts. In 1827 he became Keeper of the Royal Academy.

Hilton enjoyed the patronage of some of the keenest collectors of contemporary art. The Rape of Europa (Petworth House, W. Sussex, NT) was painted for Sir John Fleming Leicester in 1818. Marc Antony Reading Caesar’s Will (London, Soane Mus.) was commissioned by Sir John Soane in 1834 for 100 guineas. ...

Article

Akira Tatehata

(b Kyoto, May 6, 1928).

Japanese painter. After graduating from Musashi High School he painted impastoed figurative works in a Fauvist style. He went to France in 1952 and in 1955 met the French critic Michel Tapié (1909–87). His style underwent a dramatic change to Art informel. His paintings in the late 1950s were aggressively and intensely textured, with vivid colours of red, yellow and black, and a fierce sense of vibration over the entire pictorial surface. However, the grounds of the paintings had the serenely beautiful texture of Chinese porcelain. This East Asian sensibility confirmed Imai’s importance for the Art informel artists, who were searching for an alternative aesthetic to that of Western modernity. Imai was also an influential activist and after visiting Japan in 1957 with Tapié, Sam Francis and Georges Mathieu, helped to arouse interest in Art informel in Japan. His flamboyant gestural paintings of the 1960s were mainly red, with thickly applied paint and dripping lines running in spiral and radial directions. From the 1970s he moved between Japan and Paris. He began to include words in his ...

Article

(b Paris, Jan 23, 1902; d Tokyo, March 1960).

French draughtsman, printmaker and painter. Shortly after his birth his father accepted a teaching post in Japan, and the family moved there in 1906. A delicate only child, Jacoulet integrated with difficulty in the energetic military academy at Yokohama. Yet he became an accomplished linguist and musician and pursued his interest in nature with drawings of insects, butterflies and seashells. During World War I he worked as an interpreter at the French embassy in Tokyo but in his spare time explored the world of drama and bunraku puppetry. The popular and derivative ukiyoe style of his first prints was soon abandoned, as Jacoulet found his individual path in designs of exotic and romantic subjects, influenced by his admiration, on visits to Paris, of the work of Gauguin, Matisse and Egon Schiele. Voyages through the islands of Saipan and Truk in 1929 inspired his first attempt at a series of related prints, ...

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

Technique for imitating Asian Lacquer. Once Dutch and Portuguese traders imported lacquer ware from the Far East after 1700, Europeans became fascinated by this technique. Originating in ancient China, it spread to Japan where it is still practiced in the 21st century. The process involved the application of up to a hundred coats of lacquer produced from the sap of the Rhus vernicifera tree, native to China, Malaya, and Japan. Despite attempts to discover the secret, Europeans could not duplicate the process. Since the sap quickly congeals it did not travel well and was toxic like poison ivy.

In 1688 A Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing by John Stalker and George Parker explained how to imitate the process by applying shellac dissolved in alcohol over a gessoed surface (see Stalker and Parker). Black was the most common color but red, white, blue, green, yellow, olive brown, and imitation tortoise shell (black streaked with vermillion) were also known. After designs were drawn on the surface, a mixture of red clay or sawdust, whiting, and gum arabic was daubed into the outlines and the raised images were sculpted with engraving tools and then colored with metal dust. A variation called ...

Article

Phylis Floyd

French term used to describe a range of European borrowings from Japanese art. It was coined in 1872 by the French critic, collector and printmaker Philippe Burty ‘to designate a new field of study—artistic, historic and ethnographic’, encompassing decorative objects with Japanese designs (similar to 18th-century Chinoiserie), paintings of scenes set in Japan, and Western paintings, prints and decorative arts influenced by Japanese aesthetics. Scholars in the 20th century have distinguished japonaiserie, the depiction of Japanese subjects or objects in a Western style, from Japonisme, the more profound influence of Japanese aesthetics on Western art.

There has been wide debate over who was the first artist in the West to discover Japanese art and over the date of this discovery. According to Bénédite, Félix Bracquemond first came under the influence of Japanese art after seeing the first volume of Katsushika Hokusai’s Hokusai manga (‘Hokusai’s ten thousand sketches’, 1814) at the printshop of ...

Article

Hyewon Lee

(b Seoul, March 13, 1967).

Korean multimedia artist active in Germany and the UK. Koo studied Western painting at Hongik University, Seoul (1985–90), and multimedia art at the Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1991–7). While Koo’s drawings and photographs capture inconspicuous details of her daily life and surroundings, her installations incorporate such mundane objects as coins, rubber bands, sugar cubes, empty bottles, washing sponges and Walt Disney cartoon characters. Her interest in the fragments of everyday life not only reflects a sustained cultural interest in le quotidien in France, but is in tune with many Korean artists of her generation, who rose to significance in the Korean art world in the late 1990s, turning to small items of daily use rather than pursuing excessive visibility or the monumentality evident in the works of their predecessors.

More often than not, nestled down at insignificant corners of an exhibition space, Koo’s small-scale installations evade a viewer’s eyes at first glance. Sometimes an installation is even invisible, as in one of her two installations for the ...

Article

Toru Asano

(b Sendai, Feb 23, 1898; d Tokyo, 1997).

Japanese painter. His family returned to Tokyo from Sendai, where his father had been posted, shortly after his birth. Accomplished in English, French and Italian, Kanbara was exposed at an early stage not only to the traditional ideas of European art but also to new trends. Learning of Futurism through Ikuma Arishima (1882–1974), he read Umberto Boccioni’s Pittura, scultura futuriste, dinamismo plastico (Milan, 1914) and corresponded with Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. When he was 19 he published a collection of late Cubist poems, which also showed the influence of Futurism. In 1917 he showed an abstract painting at the fourth exhibition of the Nikakai (Second Division Association), and in 1920 he held a one-man show entitled Seimei no ryūdō, ongakuteki sōzō (‘The fluidity of life, musical creation’), at the same time publishing the Dai ikkai Kanbara Tai sengensho (‘First manifesto of Tai Kanbara’), in which he asserted a need to express ‘the fluidity of life and fluidity itself’....

Article

Joan Kee

(b La Jolla, CA, Sept 6, 1961).

American painter. Born of Korean parents, Kim studied English literature at Yale University where he received his degree in 1983. Following graduation, Kim studied painting at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture until 1986. He first gained visibility in the early 1990s for his early series of conceptual paintings that merged the formal vocabulary of canonical artistic practices, including hard-edge abstract painting and American minimalism, with references to racial and ethnic identity. Synecdoche (1991) is a grid consisting of hundreds of small quadrilateral canvases, each monochromatically painted in colours matching the skin tones of more than three hundred sitters. The work subtly yet visibly depicted the diversity of humankind within the modernist configuration of the grid. This duality between references to social and cultural implications and the utilization of a presumptively conservative mode of painting continued in similar-themed works such as Belly Paintings (1993) and ...

Article

Yasuyoshi Saito

(b Hyōgo Prefect., Feb 23, 1935; d Tokyo, Nov 12, 1990).

Japanese painter, sculptor, performance artist and teacher, active in Japan and France. In 1958 he graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and in 1961 he exhibited Proliferating Chain Reaction in the Fundamental Body of the X Form (scrubbing brush, rope, iron, 1960; Tokyo, Met. A. Mus.) at the Gendai bijutsu no jikken ten (Exhibition of experiments in modern art) at the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. A year later he left Japan and settled in Paris; in the same year, using numerous phallic objects, he carried out the Impotent Philosophy ceremony (see 1986 exh. cat., p. 352). In 1968 he exhibited Praise of the Younger Generation—The Cocoon Opens (assemblage, 1968; Tokyo, Met. A. Mus.) at the Salon de Mai. In 1969 Kudō returned temporarily to Japan and created a large relief mural at Nokogiriyama, Chiba Prefecture, entitled Monument to Moulting (1969–70). In 1977...

Article

Michael Curschmann

The medieval term mappa mundi (also forma mundi, historia/istoire) covers a broad array of maps of the world of which roughly 1100 survive. These have resisted systematic classification, but the clearly dominant type is one that aims at comprehensively symbolistic representation. Its early, schematic form is a disc composed of three continents surrounded and separated from one another by water (“T-O Map”) and associated with the three sons of Noah: Asia (Shem) occupies all of the upper half, Europe (Japhet) to the left and Africa (Ham) to the right share the lower half. Quadripartite cartographic schemes included the antipodes as a fourth continent, but the tripartite model was adopted by the large majority of the more developed world maps in use from the 11th century on and—with important variations—well into the Renaissance. While details were added as available space permitted, the Mediterranean continued to serve as the vertical axis and, with diminishing clarity, the rivers Don and Nile as the horizontal one. The map also continues to be ‘oriented’ towards Asia, where paradise sits at the very top. A circular ocean forms the perimeter and not infrequently the city of Jerusalem constitutes its centre....

Article

Atsushi Tanaka

(b Tokyo, July 2, 1898; d Tokyo, April 28, 1978).

Japanese painter and writer. In 1919 he entered the department of Yōga (Western-style) painting at the Tokyo School of Fine Art. He went to France after his graduation in 1924 and painted in Paris until his return to Japan in 1939, submitting works to such exhibitions as the Salon d’Automne. In Paris he met Tsuguharu Fujita, as well as other painters of the Ecole de Paris. During this time he taught himself the technique of oil painting, which he had been unable to do in Japan. He was influenced by the compositions of the numerous classical paintings that he encountered in Paris and also by Fauvism and the tranquil, poetic works of such artists as Odilon Redon and Henri Rousseau. As a result of these experiences, at this time Oka initiated a circle of Japanese Western-style painting that continued after World War II. In 1940, after his return to Japan, he became a member of the Spring Season Society (...