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Erika Billeter

(b Surrey, Feb 16, 1931).

Brazilian photographer and film maker of English birth. Having moved to Brazil, she studied painting with André Lhote in Paris (1953–4) and with the American painter Morris Kantor (b 1896) at the Art Students’ League in New York (1954–6), before deciding to become a photographer; after 1962 she worked as a freelance photojournalist and film maker. In 1970 a Guggenheim Fellowship enabled her to go to Brazil, where she settled. She began to take an interest in the Indian inhabitants, and as a result spent years working with the Xingu in the Amazon region, creating an important visual record of the Amazon Indians at a time when their culture was increasingly threatened. In 1975 this work brought her the Critics’ Prize at the São Paulo Biennale. In 1979 her illustrated book Xingu Tribal Territory appeared. Among her films were A João Guimarães Rosa (...


Erika Billeter

(b Eisenach, 1882; d Mexico City, 1954).

German photographer, active in Mexico. As a young man he travelled through Africa, taking photographs; an archive of some of these glass plates survives. He reached Mexico by way of Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala, and took his first Mexican photographs in the Yucatán peninsula. He then opened a studio in Mexico City and, together with Augustín Victor Casasola, became one of the most important photographers of the Revolution (1910–17). What he loved most, however, was the beauty of the Mexican landscape. His book Malerisches Mexico was published by Ernst Wachsmuth in Germany in 1923, the same year in which he collaborated with Manuel Alvarez Bravo, later to become Mexico’s leading photographer. Brehme’s photography was not merely reportage. He sought to capture the spirit of the country rather than isolated events as, for example, in his photograph of Pancho Villa’s horsemen, each in direct eye-contact with the photographer. In this he was inspired by José Guadalupe Posada, who was one of the first artists to capture the Mexican temperament in his woodcuts. Occasionally, indeed, Posada worked from photographs by Brehme and by Casasola. More than most foreigners, Brehme was able to feel real empathy with Mexico, and he became an impressive interpreter not only of its customs and traditions, but also of its historical monuments and festivals....


Jocelyn Fraillon Gray

(b Morges, Vaud, March 3, 1814; d Melbourne, Victoria, May 30, 1888).

Swiss painter, lithographer and photographer, active in Brazil and Australia. He attended a drawing school in Lausanne, where his teacher may have been Marc-Louis Arlaud (1772–1845), and is thought to have spent some time with the landscape painter Camille Flers in Paris c. 1836 en route to Bahia (Salvador), Brazil. In 1840 he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he established himself as a painter of local views and exhibited with the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, Rio. His Brazilian landscapes, of which the View of Gamboa (1852; Rio de Janeiro, Mus. N. B.A.) is an example, received critical acclaim for their vivacious lighting. As a photographer he fulfilled commissions in daguerreotype for Emperor Peter II, and with the figure painter Auguste Moreau he produced a set of 18 lithographs, Picturesque Rio de Janeiro, published in 1843–4. From 1852 to 1864 he worked as a portrait photographer in Switzerland and from ...


W. Iain Mackay

(b Carhuás, Ancash, Oct 2, 1857; d San Miguel de Tucumán, Dec 1922).

Peruvian painter, photographer, teacher and critic. At the age of four he was brought to Lima, where he began to take lessons in art. From 1885 he travelled through France, Italy and Belgium, and on returning to Latin America he settled in Buenos Aires, where he took up photography. In 1905 he returned to Lima, where he set up a workshop and art college at the Quinta Heeren, introducing the latest photographic techniques. On visiting Spain in 1908 Castillo discovered the historical genre paintings of Mariano Fortuny y Marsal, and once back in Lima worked as a painter and as art critic for the magazines Prisma, Variedades, Actualidades and Ilustración peruana. He later supported Daniel Hernández in founding (1919) the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima (see also Peru, Republic of, §XI). In parallel with the writer Ricardo Palma, Castillo was concerned with recording the traditions of Lima’s colonial past, and such paintings as the ...


Patricia Strathern

(b Fleurieux, Rhône, May 2, 1828; d Paris, Oct 24, 1915).

French photographer, archaeologist, and writer. An intrepid traveller, he used photography as a method of recording and documenting the sites he explored and wrote about. He left for the USA in 1857, spending two years in Mexico from 1857 to 1859. Using the wet collodion process and large plates, his photography (e.g. Mexico—Chichen Itza, c. 1858; see Berger and Levrault, cat. no. 40) was something of a technical feat in the circumstances. He returned to Europe in 1861, and his first book, Antiquités mexicaines, was published the same year. In 1863 he photographed in Madagascar and from 1864 to 1880 worked in South America, Java, Australia, and Canada. In 1880 he returned to Mexico, where he made some important archaeological discoveries in Pre-Columbian sites.

See also: Pre-Columbian sources in American architecture; Mesoamerica, Pre-Columbian, §X, 1.


Erika Billeter

(b France; d ?France). French photographer, active in Peru.

He moved to Lima c. 1861 where he formed a partnership with the French photographer Eugenio Maunoury. By 1864 he had his own studio, which became the most successful photographic centre in Lima. He was the leading Peruvian portrait photographer of the 19th century, winning a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in ...


Erika Billeter

(b Panama City, Sept 4, 1942).

Panamanian photographer. She studied art history at Finch College, New York (1961–4), and in the following three years painted in Spain. In 1972–3 she was Instructor of Photography at the Universidad de San José, Costa Rica, and from 1974 worked as a freelance photographer in Panama. Her photographs were not merely reportage, although they provide a documentary record of daily life in Panama, but also give a vivid picture of the character of the Panamanians. This is particularly marked in her photographic study of three peasant women from the Tonosi Valley, and in her series on the village and people of Portobelo....


John Fuller

(b Cuba, May 13, 1856; d Falmouth, Cornwall, May 12, 1936).

English photographer. He lived in Cuba and the USA until his widowed English mother took her two sons to England in 1869. He studied medicine at King’s College Hospital, London (1879), and later received a BA (1883) and a Bachelor of Medicine degree (1885) from Cambridge University. While at Cambridge he studied photography, and after a brief medical practice he left the profession in 1886 for photography and writing. After becoming a member of the Photographic Society of Great Britain in 1883, he achieved recognition writing for such journals as Amateur Photographer.

In East Anglia Emerson used his nautical skills and knowledge of natural history while photographing the fen country and its people. The results were albums such as Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads (London, 1886; see fig.), which he co-authored with the English painter Thomas F. Goodall (1856–1944), ...


Erika Billeter

(b Rio de Janeiro, 1843; d Rio de Janeiro, 1923).

Brazilian photographer. He trained as a photographer with Franz Keller (1835–90), from Mannheim, Germany, and worked as a photographer in Rio de Janeiro, before joining the photographic firm of Leuzinger. In 1865 he opened his own studio. He specialized in photographs of landscapes and shipping, as in View of Rio de Janeiro with Corcorada and Sugarloaf (c. 1875), but was also one of the first photographers of the Indian population of the Amazon region. In 1876 he exhibited his material—which was also of ethnological interest—at the Exhibition of the Century in Philadelphia, PA, winning the gold medal. In 1904, at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, he was the only photographer to win a gold medal. In 1907 he opened the first picture-house in Rio de Janeiro and concentrated his attention on the new technical possibilities.

E. Billeter: Fotografie Lateinamerika (Zurich and Berne, 1981)R. Fabian...


Shana Simone Lopes

[Hercule] (Romuald)

(b Nice, Feb 29, 1804; d Vila de São Carlos [now Campinas], Mar 27, 1879).

Brazilian draftsman, inventor, naturalist, and painter of French birth. Shortly after moving to Brazil at the age of 21, he worked as an artist on Baron von Langdorff’s survey expedition from 1825 to 1829, recording the indigenous population and environs of Brazil’s interior region. Following the survey’s completion, he settled in the southern village of São Carlos, where he attempted to publish a study on bird and animal sounds entitled Zoophonie. After encountering problems finding a print shop in the region, he devised his own stencil-inspired method of printing, a process he named poligraphie. Concurrently, he learned of the light-sensitive properties of silver nitrates through conversations with local pharmacist Joaquim Corrêa de Mello. Documented in his meticulous diary in January 1833, he noted his first experiments with the camera obscura and silver nitrates, which led to his invention of a photographic process. Through a four-hour exposure, he produced an image of a view from his window. His primary interest in the medium was reproduction, and to this end he developed a printing-out, negative–positive process capable of producing multiples of his drawings. Extant examples include a Masonic diploma and a sheet of pharmaceutical labels. In his diaries of ...


Isobel Whitelegg

(b Mexico City, 21 March, 1957).

Mexican photographer, also active in Switzerland. She studied visual arts at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (1975–8), where she was taught by Kati Horner, whose expressive photography Garduño cited as a formative influence. After graduation she worked in Horner’s studio (1978–9) before being appointed as darkroom assistant (1979–80) to one of the country’s most celebrated photographers, Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Printing portfolios using silver, platinum and palladium processes, this experience lent her particular expertise in the technical aspects of the medium.

In 1981 she travelled throughout Mexico with a team of photographers led by Marianna Yampolsky (1925–2002), another important figure in modern Mexican photography noted for her images of the country’s indigenous population and rural architecture. The two-year expedition was sponsored by the Instituto Nacional Indigenista and served to produce documentary images of everyday life in the country’s rural villages to be used in educational publications. In ...


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 ...


Roberto Pontual

(b Kozienice, April 12, 1921).

Brazilian sculptor, printmaker, painter and photographer of Polish birth. He left Poland in 1943 to study in Minsk and Leningrad (now St Petersburg), followed by further study with Willi Baumeister in Stuttgart (1945–7). In 1948 he moved to Brazil, living in São Paulo and later in Paraná (1952–6) and Rio de Janeiro (1956–8). The Paraná jungle aroused an interest in nature that was first expressed in paintings and drawings of vegetable forms. After leaving Brazil for Ibiza (1963) he made reliefs in earth and stones, using nature as a raw material rather than merely as a subject. His subsequent engraved reliefs of leaves or sand furrows, and wooden sculptures of the Bahian coast mangrove trees or the Amazonian jungle, were as much an ecological as an aesthetic statement. He frequently used photography to draw attention to such issues as the scorched Brazilian forests, for example in his book ...


Tirza Latimer

[Markovitch, Henriette Theodora]

b Paris, Nov 22, 1907; d Paris, July 16, 1997

French photographer and painter. Maar’s father was Croatian and her mother was from La Touraine in western France. She grew up in Argentina, where her father practised architecture, and was repatriated in 1926 to study at the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs, Ecole de Photographie and the Académie Julien in Paris. In the early 1930s she set up her first photography studio with her collaborator, Pierre Kéfer, sharing the darkroom with Georges Brassaï.

Maar was closely associated with the Surrealists in the mid-1930s, signing political tracts, taking photographs of the movement’s members and exhibiting in group exhibitions. She was seeing Georges Bataille when, in 1936, the poet Paul Eluard introduced her to Pablo Picasso at the Café Deux Magots. Picasso was apparently intrigued by her dark beauty, her edginess, her theatricality and her violence. According to Françoise Gilot: ‘She was wearing black gloves with little pink flowers appliquéd on them. She took off the gloves and picked up a long, pointed knife, which she began to drive into the table between her outstretched fingers to see how close she could come to each finger without actually cutting herself. From time to time she missed by a fraction of an inch and before she stopped playing with the knife, her hand was covered with blood’ (Gilot, pp. 85-6). Picasso, playing the scene out to its fullest, later enshrined the bloody gloves for display in his apartment. Picasso described Maar as his ‘weeping woman’ and painted her obsessively for almost a decade. She sat for portraits that included ...


Susan Snodgrass

(b Madrid, Spain, 1961).

Chicago-based American sculptor also working in photography, video and installation. He received a BA in art and art history and a BA in Latin American and Spanish literature from Williams College in 1983. In 1989 he earned a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Manglano-Ovalle’s hybrid practice emerged with Tele-vecindario: A Street-Level Video Block Party, a public art project created for Culture in Action, a community-based art program in Chicago in 1992–3. Working with Latino youth in Chicago’s West Town community, an area often challenged by substandard housing, drugs and gang violence, the artist facilitated a multimedia portrait of their lives in which these youth constructed their own images and concept of self. Issues of identity, community and migration, as they relate to both cultural and geographic borders, have been explored throughout his prestigious career that includes collaborative modes of working, as well as individual works sited within the museum or gallery. For Manglano-Ovalle, culture encompasses a broad network of systems—artistic, political, environmental, scientific—in constant dialogue, negotiated by both artist and viewer....


Erika Billeter

(b Antigua, 1931).

Guatemalan photographer, active in France and Argentina. Trained as a journalist, she was a correspondent for the newspaper El Imparcial in Paris, and from 1961 to 1969 she was Latin America correspondent for the Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française, Paris. After 1965 she was employed as a photojournalist. In 1973, together with ...


Erika Billeter

(b Italy, 1835; d Italy, after 1870).

Italian photographer, active in Argentina. An avid traveller, he visited India and China before opening a studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he worked from 1865 to 1870. He was among the first photographers to discover the beauty of the Argentine Pampa and to make portraits of its picturesque Gauchos. Through his photographic books, which were available on a subscription basis, the Pampa was opened up for tourists. In ...


Christine Robinson

(b London, Sept 27, 1974).

British photographer of Ghanaian and Dominican descent. Perrier’s work primarily explores portraiture and its historical traditions in Africa. Her photographic projects address her own multicultural identity by questioning themes of diversity, cultural belonging, and identity.

Perrier graduated with a BA from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design in Farnham in 1996. That same year she travelled with her mother to Ghana for the first time and made Ghana, a series of documentary photographs of people, interiors, and details of life both foreign and familiar. In the series she depicted quiet moments such as a small arrangement of photographs and books in an otherwise empty corner of a room, and made individual and group portraits of family members she had just met. Upon her return she completed the series Red, Gold and Green (1995–7): photographs of her extended family members in their London homes. The photographs documented her relatives—all first, second, and third generations from Ghana—seated or standing before the Ghanaian national flag in their own chosen clothing, ranging from sequins to Kente cloth (...


Marta Gili

(b Valencia, May 17, 1907; d E. Berlin, Oct 11, 1982).

Spanish photomontagist and printmaker, active in Mexico and Germany. He studied painting at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Carlos in Valencia (1919–26), subsequently becoming a graphic designer and photomontagist (1928–39) in Valencia, Madrid, and Barcelona. In his printmaking, which was influenced by John Heartfield and by Socialist Realism, he showed a strong commitment to the Republican cause and a talent for satire, often expressed through the use of colourful popular imagery. When the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939 he went into exile in Mexico, where he executed a series of photomontages entitled The American Way of Life (1949–66), in which he denounced American imperialism and capitalism. In 1958 he moved permanently to East Berlin, where he executed the series Fata Morgana U.S.A.

Fata Morgana U.S.A. (1967)The American Way of Life (Barcelona, 1977)Naggar, C. “The Photomontages of Josep Renau.” ...


Erika Billeter

(b Buenos Aires, Jul 14, 1937; d Barcelona, Nov 6, 2009).

Argentine photographer, active in Spain. In Buenos Aires he belonged to the circle of the photographer Sameer Nakarius, who founded the Forum Group in the 1950s. From 1959 to 1970 he was head of the photography department at the Instituto Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, and he worked in Barcelona in 1976–7. His style, which matured particularly after his move to Europe in the mid-1970s, combines the inquisitive nature of documentary photography with the rigorous methodology of conceptual art. His most interesting work includes a series of photographs of unoccupied hotel rooms, taken over a period of years around the world, which in spite of their apparent emptiness reveal much about human behaviour.

Fotografías, 1978–1990. Barcelona, 1992.Humberto Rivas: Los Misterios de la Realidad. Barcelona: Lunwerg, 1999.Billeter, E. Fotografie Lateinamerika. Zurich and Berne, 1981.Castaño, J. C., and others. Humberto Rivas: fotografías, 1978–1990. Barcelona, 1991.Facio, S....