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Article

Jan Jaap Heij

(b The Hague, Aug 18, 1871; d Amsterdam, Oct 19, 1934).

Dutch printmaker and painter. He trained at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague, where he subsequently taught graphic art (1893–1911). In 1911 he succeeded Pieter Dupont as professor in graphics at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam under the directorship of Antoon Derkinderen. In the early years of his career Aarts produced some paintings using the pointillist technique, mostly landscapes (The Hague, Gemeentemus.); he also carved some sculptures in wood. He is, however, best known for his graphic work. In technique and subject-matter, his prints have a great deal in common with those of Dupont. As the latter’s successor he devoted himself to the revival of engraving, which his predecessor had reintroduced; his own experiments in this medium (in particular his scenes with diggers and beggars, all c. 1900) are considered milestones in early 20th-century Dutch printmaking. He also applied his skills to etching, lithography, woodcutting and wood-engraving; of the latter his ...

Article

Els Maréchal

(b Brussels, Oct 19, 1927).

Belgian painter, draughtsman, printmaker and film maker. He studied book illustration and typography at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et des Arts Décoratifs from 1944 to 1946. In 1947 he became a member of the Jeune Peinture Belge group and had his first one-man exhibition in the Galerie Lou Cosyn in Brussels. In 1949 he became a founder-member of the Cobra movement after meeting Christian Dotremont. With a number of artist friends he set up a type of research centre and meeting-place in Brussels, the Ateliers du Marais. Towards the end of 1951 he went to Paris, moving to Japan in 1955 to study the art of calligraphy, also making a film called Calligraphie japonaise (1956). He adopted the Oriental manner of painting, whereby the paper is spread on the floor and the artist leans over the work holding the bottle of ink, allowing a greater freedom of movement. In ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

(b São Paulo, 1935).

Brazilian painter and printmaker. After studying engraving in São Paulo, he moved to New York in 1959 to complete his studies at the Pratt Graphic Center, where his contact with international Pop art merged with his own interest in Brazilian popular imagery, for example in the portfolio of woodcuts Mine and Yours (1967). Immediately afterwards he began painting ambiguous and ironic still-lifes collectively titled Brasíliana, which use bananas as symbols of underdevelopment and exploitation, for example BR-1 SP (1970; São Paulo, Pin. Estado) and Bananas (1971; Washington, DC, Mus. Mod. A. Latin America). In 1971 he won a trip abroad in the National Salon of Modern Art (Rio de Janeiro), which took him again to New York between 1972 and 1973. On his return to São Paulo he began the series Battlegrounds, in which he submitted the previously reclining bananas to slashing, torture and putrefaction. Subsequently shapes were reorganized into configurations of an undramatic Surrealism, playful, colourful, tumescent and as firmly rooted as ever in his native Brazil and Latin America....

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...

Article

Hana Larvová

(b Pavlíkov, nr Rakovník, Sept 14, 1936).

Czech draughtsman, painter and printmaker. From 1955 to 1961 he studied painting and graphic art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. From 1961 to 1968 he worked at the Black Theatre of Jiří Srnec, a centre of the Prague avant-garde. He was assistant to Professors Jiří Trnka and Zdeněk Sklenář at the Faculty of Applied Art in Prague from 1969 to 1973, and in 1982–4 his work was shown at the central exhibition of the Biennale in Venice. His primary means of expression is drawing. His work forms closed complexes that capture moments of human existence, either in connection with ancient myths and legends or as aspects of contemporary life, for example the cycles of paintings, drawings and graphics Village Dancing Girl (1960–62), Illusion and Reality (1980–83; 1981, Ljubljana, Grand Prix BIB; 1982, Venice Biennale) and Apocalyptic Genetics (1982–3) and the cycle of paintings ...

Article

Benjamin Benus

(b Remscheid, Dec 11, 1900; d The Hague, Dec 4, 1988).

German printmaker and graphic designer, active also in the Netherlands. Arntz moved to Düsseldorf in 1919 and, following a brief period of artistic training at Lothar von Kunowski’s art school, became active within the city’s avant-garde artistic circles. In 1920 Arntz made the acquaintance of Polish-born painter Jankel Adler, who in turn connected him to the Cologne painters Franz Wilhelm Seiwert (1894–1933) and Heinrich Hoerle. Arntz maintained a close relationship with these artists over the course of the 1920s and early 1930s; together with a loosely affiliated group of regional and international artists they constituted the Gruppe Progressiver Künstler.

Throughout these years Arntz primarily produced woodcuts. His earliest works in this medium reflect the influence of Expressionism; however, by 1924 Arntz had developed a distinctive approach to figuration, inspired partly by the work of Seiwert and Hoerle, and exemplified by prints such as Streckenarbeiter (1924; The Hague, Gemeentemus.) and ...

Article

R. W. A. Bionda

[Flor; Pieter Florentius Nicolaas Jacobus]

(b Surabaya, Java, June 9, 1864; d The Hague, June 9, 1925).

Dutch painter, illustrator and printmaker. He moved to the Netherlands c. 1875, and was taught first by Johan Hendrik Frederik Conrad Nachtweh (1857–1941). He attended the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam from 1883 to 1888, studying under August Allebé and Barend Wijnveld (1820–1902). He then spent a year studying life drawing at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp under Charles Verlat before returning to Amsterdam, where he initially applied himself to painting landscapes in the countryside around The Hague and in Nunspeet in Gelderland in the style of the Hague school.

Arntzenius settled in The Hague in 1892. He was particularly active as a painter of Impressionist townscapes in both oil and watercolour from c. 1890 to 1910. His crowded street scenes with their misty, rainy atmosphere, such as The Spuistraat (The Hague, Gemeentemus.), were particularly successful and despite their greater emphasis on intimacy and tonality are reminiscent of the work of George Hendrik Breitner and Isaac Israëls. Arntzenius may have collaborated with ...

Article

Phillip Dennis Cate

[Georges] (Hulot)

(b Beauvais, April 26, 1863; d Paris, Feb 6, 1938).

French illustrator, typographical designer, writer and printmaker . He went to Paris in 1883 to pursue a literary career. His first humorous essays were published that year in the Chat Noir journal. He was introduced to the many avant-garde artists and writers who frequented the Chat Noir cabaret in Montmartre and contributed to the journal. Of these Henri Rivière and Eugène Grasset were especially important to his artistic development, Rivière coaching Auriol in drawing while Grasset introduced him to typographical design. Auriol’s close association with Rivière culminated in the latter’s album of lithographs, Les Trente-six Vues de la Tour Eiffel (1902; for illustration see Japonisme), for which Auriol designed the decorative cover, end-papers and typography.

Auriol served as writer, illustrator and editor of the Chat Noir for ten years (1883–93). He produced book covers for the Chat-Noir Guide (1888) and the two-volume Les Contes du Chat Noir...

Article

Roberta K. Tarbell

[Margaret] (Frances)

(b Ridgefield, CT, May 2, 1895; d Kennebunk, ME, Jan 4, 1987).

American printmaker, illustrator, painter, and writer. Bacon’s artist parents, Elizabeth and Charles Roswell Bacon, met at the Art Students League around 1890. Bacon lived in Cornish, NH (1903), and in Montreuil-sur-Mer, France (1904–6), and learnt French, Latin, Greek, drawing, and writing from tutors before attending the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ (1909–13). She then attended the School of Applied Design for Women briefly and the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts. In 1914 and 1915, landscape artist Jonas Lie (1880–1940) taught her oil painting. At the Art Students League (1915–20), she took the ‘Women’s Life Class’ with Kenneth Hayes Miller, portraiture with George Bellows, and painting with John Sloan, studied briefly with George Bridgman (1864–1943) and Max Weber, and received critiques in printmaking from Mahonri Young. She then studied modern painting with Andrew Dasburg (...

Article

Mari Carmen Ramírez

(b San Juan, Aug 18, 1931).

Puerto Rican painter and printmaker. She studied painting for six years at the Real Academia de San Fernando in Madrid, woodcut and screenprinting with Lorenzo Homar at the Graphics Workshop of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (1959–63), and printmaking techniques at Pratt Graphic Center in New York (1969–70). From the early 1970s she was actively involved in the development of art education in Puerto Rico, teaching at the Art Students League of San Juan and at Sacred Heart University. She was also a founding member of the Hermandad de Artistas Gráficos, president of the Fine Arts Section of the Ateneo Puertorriqueño, adviser to the National Endowment for the Arts and one of the principal advocates of the Puerto Rican women artists’ movement.

Báez’s early work was influenced by the social realism current in the 1950s and focused on nationalist, social and political subject-matter. Gradually she developed a personal iconography based on the human figure in solitary interiors and environments, through which she criticized the pretensions and manners of Puerto Rican middle-class society. In her early work she explored the painterly potential of the woodcut, later adapting other techniques to equally expressive ends, achieving rich, textural effects. Her tendency as a printmaker to find equivalents for her concerns as a painter was evident also in her screenprints, in which she used transparent layers, spatial planes and luminous colours to reinforce the psychological space in which her characters exist....

Article

Irma B. Jaffe

(b New Brunswick, NJ, Aug 15, 1922; d Northampton, MA, June 3, 2000).

American sculptor, illustrator and printmaker. Baskin studied at the New York University School of Architecture and Allied Arts (1939–41), the School of Fine Art (1941–3) and New School for Social Research (1949). He also studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris (1950) and the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence (1951). Inspired by the iconic, monolithic imagery of Ancient Egyptian and Sumerian art, and the similar stylistic qualities of Romanesque and Italian Gothic, he consistently and inventively made use of the archaic mode in such prints as the powerful woodcut Man of Peace (1952; see Fern and O’Sullivan, p. 61) as well as in his sculpture. A traditionalist, he carved in wood and stone, and modelled in clay, taking the human figure as his subject. He firmly believed that painting and sculpture should mediate between artist and viewer some moral insight about human experience, and he was convinced that abstract art could not do this. Throughout his career he rejected spatial penetration of form, preferring the holistic look of such works as the ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Torroella de Montgri, Catalonia, March 3, 1911; d Buenos Aires, Oct 8, 1966).

Argentine painter, printmaker, illustrator, sculptor and stage designer of Spanish Catalan birth. He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1913. Although his uncle, José Planas Casas (b Catalonia, 1900; d Argentina, 1960), taught him the rudiments of art, he was basically self-taught and began to exhibit his work in 1934. Synthesizing ideas from Zen philosophy, psychoanalysis and the theories on cosmic energy espoused by the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich with his interests in automatism, poetry and painting, he found a creative sense of direction from an early age. He applied his methods not only to paintings but to stage designs, illustrations, collages, prints, polychrome sculptures and boxlike constructions; as a painter he worked both in tempera and in oil, and he also produced 72 murals.

In 1936 Batlle Planas inaugurated a Surrealist phase with a series entitled Paranoiac X-rays, followed by another group of pictures, Tibetan Series, populated by spectral figures related to works by Yves Tanguy. Between ...

Article

Stephen Stuart-Smith

(b Braintree, Essex, March 10, 1903; d Saffron Walden, Essex, Nov 21, 1989).

English printmaker, graphic designer, illustrator and painter. He studied at the School of Art in Cambridge (1918–22) and at the Design School of the Royal College of Art (1922–6), where he was a contemporary of Eric Ravilious and was taught by Paul Nash. While still a student he and Ravilious were commissioned by Sir Joseph Duveen to paint a mural at Morley College (destr. 1940; repainted as the Canterbury Tales in 1958), London. After graduating he worked on a large variety of projects for the Curwen Press at Plaistow, London, and subsequently for many other publishers, producing book illustrations and cover designs, posters and advertisements, leaflets and calendars, including commissions for Shell-Mex, Westminster Bank and the London Transport Board. He held his first one-man show, mainly of landscapes showing the influence of Nash, at the Zwemmer Gallery in London in 1933. During World War II he served as an Official War Artist in the British Army, travelling to Belgium, France and the Middle East and portraying such places as ...

Article

Louise Noelle

(b Mexico City, March 22, 1923; d Mexico City, April 20, 2002).

Mexican painter, printmaker and illustrator. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas and with Carlos Alvarado Lang. Although he painted some murals and a good number of easel pictures, he was active primarily as a printmaker and as an illustrator of books, magazines and journals. He founded the satirical newspapers Ahí va el golpe (1958) and El coyote emplumado (1960) and from its inception in 1962 acted as art director and illustrator for the newspaper El día. From 1945 to 1959 Beltrán was associated with the Taller de Gráfica Popular in Mexico City, acting as its president for several years and sharing its populist, political and nationalist principles. Placing his art at the service of social concerns and using protest as his main weapon, he expressed himself with particular force in his prolific production of drawings and in masterful linocuts such as Exodus (...

Article

Henry Adams

(b Neosho, MO, April 15, 1889; d Kansas City, MO, Jan 19, 1975).

American painter, illustrator, and lithographer. One of the most controversial personalities in American art, both in his lifetime and today, Thomas Hart Benton was a key figure in the American Regionalist movement of the 1930s, when he focused on working-class American subject-matter and was outspoken in his denunciation of European modern painting. Today he is best remembered for this phase of his life, and much criticized because of it. But Benton’s long career is not easily reduced to a single moment or achievement: his legacy was more complex. As a young struggling artist in Paris and New York, he was a leading American modernist and abstractionist, and in his early maturity he became the teacher and lifelong father figure for Jackson Pollock, the most famous of the Abstract Expressionists. He was also a major American writer, who wrote on art and whose autobiography of 1936 became a best-seller. He was also a notable figure in American music who collected American folk songs and devised a new form of harmonica notation that is still in use....

Article

Susanne Rajka

(b Stockholm, May 29, 1909; d Grasse, July 24, 1987).

Norwegian painter and graphic artist. She grew up in Norway and studied at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole and the Kunstakademi in Oslo between 1926 and 1928. The few paintings and drawings that survive from this period are figurative, inspired by Edvard Munch and French contemporary art. After further study in Vienna (1928) and Paris (1929) she had her first one-woman exhibition in Dresden (Johannes Kühl Gallery, 1931), where she lived with her husband, the German artist Hans Hartung. She made near-satirical drawings of bourgeois life, related to George Grosz’s work of the same period, along with watercolours that show her interest in architecture and the precise delineation of form. When war broke out Bergman returned, alone and ill, to Norway. For a long time she abandoned painting while studying the possibilities of the Golden section and such historical subjects as Classical and Renaissance architecture, and the use of gold and silver in medieval paintings. Her first abstract works from ...

Article

Jure Mikuž

(b Gunclje, nr Ljubljana, Sept 6, 1933).

Slovenian painter, printmaker, sculptor, illustrator and poet. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Ljubljana, in 1955 and later received his MFA in painting and engraving. He continued his studies in 1959 with Johnny Friedlaender in Paris. After 1970 he taught painting at the Ljubljana Academy. He was one of the most outstanding Yugoslav artists after the early 1960s and won several major international awards, including the Grand Prix of the Tokyo, Ljubljana and São Paulo biennales of graphic art.

Bernik’s early works, such as his series of flat picture surfaces, Magmas, Quarries and Burnt Soil, were influenced by Art informel. In the mid-1960s Bernik was an important exponent of the type of European painting based on the use of words. The Great Letter (1964; Ljubljana, Gal. Mod. A.) combines the devices and texture of Art informel with evocations of Byzantine religious texts. At the same time he was also painting pictures with sensually explicit, almost sculpturally or haptically modelled traditional iconographic objects such as the apple, table and cloth, or bread, or pictures in which a written-out word with its meaning was a substitute for a certain object. Here he was responding to European Nouveau Réalisme, Pop art and conceptualism, and the work of Francis Bacon. In the late 1970s Bernik again dispensed with the object in his pictures, producing a series of abstract paintings entitled ...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(Spiridonovich)

(b Sevastopol, June 27, 1925).

Russian illustrator and printmaker. He studied at the Polygraphic Institute in Moscow (1947–52). From the 1960s he was counted as one of the leading Soviet book illustrators. He combined in his work both keen attention to the techniques of 20th-century foreign graphic artists and the tradition of the Russian school of book design. He was particularly impressed by the style of the Taller de la Gráfica Popular founded in Mexico by Leopoldo Méndez. In his book illustrations Bisti combined expressive succinctness in the use of image and symbol, rough emotionalism and a perfection of rhythm, achieving a fine understanding of the poetic style of the authors he illustrated. Among his best works are the woodcut illustrations to Vladimir Mayakovsky’s poem V. I. Lenin (Moscow, 1967) and to the Iliad (Moscow, 1978). Bisti also made independent prints.

Bisti, DmitryD. S. Bisti: Grafika [D. S. Bisti: graphics], text by ...

Article

Nóra Aradi

(b Marosvásárhely [now Tîrgu Mureş, Romania], July 3, 1893; d Budapest, Dec 3, 1976).

Hungarian painter, printmaker and poster designer. He was a leading figure in the avant-garde and a member of the group centred round the journal MA edited by Lajos Kassák. Bortnyik started his career as a poster designer; one of his first successes, the Unicum poster (1915; see 1986 exh. cat., p. 52), remained in print for decades. During 1918–19 his linocuts (e.g. Red Star, Lenin and Liebknecht) adorned the title page of MA. His paintings of that period, Red Locomotive (Budapest, N. Mus., Dept Mod. Hist.), Red Factory (Pécs, Pannonius Mus.) and Yellow-green Landscape (priv. col., see Borbély, 1971, illus. 10), show his attempts to achieve harmony and order through an increasingly abstract use of colour symbolism and form. Forced to emigrate when the Council Republic fell in 1919, he went to Vienna, then to Weimar; he also worked in Berlin and Kassa (now Košice, Slovakia). In 1921...

Article

Ruth Rosengarten

(António Teixeira Bastos Nunes)

(b Lisbon, Sept 18, 1899; d Lisbon, Aug 18, 1982).

Portuguese painter, printmaker and designer of tapestries and tile panels. Known primarily as a ‘painter of Lisbon’, he began his artistic career as an illustrator and cartoonist as well as writing a weekly satirical page (1928–50) in the newspaper O sempre fixe. He visited Paris in 1929, 1930–1 and again in 1937, when he was impressed by a retrospective exhibition of the work of van Gogh, whose influence is evident in Botelho’s scenes of urban squalor of the late 1930s. He had begun to depict calm, unpopulated views of Lisbon in the early 1930s, for example Side View of the Castle (1935; Lisbon, Mus. Cidade), and from the early 1940s concentrated almost exclusively on this theme. The compositions became increasingly crisp and planar and the piling up of volumes and compression of space increasingly stylized, especially after he began to paint from memory in 1949. The tonalities of Botelho’s paintings remained consistently pale, as in ...