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Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Saïda, Algeria, 1953).

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Peter Webb

(b Kattowitz, Germany [now Katowice, Poland], March 13, 1902; d Paris, Feb 24, 1975).

German photographer, sculptor, printmaker, painter, and writer. As a child he developed fear and hatred for his tyrannical father, who totally dominated his gentle and affectionate mother. He and his younger brother Fritz found refuge from this oppressive family atmosphere in a secret garden decorated with toys and souvenirs and visited by young girls who joined in sexual games. In 1923 Bellmer was sent by his father to study engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, but he became interested in politics, reading the works of Marx and Lenin and joining in discussions with artists of the Dada. He was especially close to George Grosz, who taught him drawing and perspective in 1924 and whose advice to be a savage critic of society led him to abandon his engineering studies in that year. Having shown artistic talent at an early age, he began designing advertisements as a commercial artist and illustrated various Dada novels, such as ...

Article

Philip Cooper

[Halász, Gyula ]

(b Brasso, Transylvania, Hungary [now Romania], Sept 9, 1899; d Nice, July 8, 1984).

French photographer, draughtsman, sculptor, and writer of Hungarian birth. The son of a Hungarian professor of French literature, he lived in Paris in 1903–4 while his father was on sabbatical there, and this early experience of the city greatly impressed him. In 1917 he met the composer Béla Bartók, and from 1918 to 1919 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. Due to the hostility between Hungary and France in World War I he was unable to study in France and so moved to Berlin in late 1920. There he became acquainted with László Moholy-Nagy, Kandinsky, and Kokoschka and in 1921–2 attended the Akademische Hochschule in Charlottenburg, Berlin. He was a keen draughtsman and while there produced a series of characteristic drawings of nudes executed in an angular, emphatic style. In 1924 he moved to Paris, where he quickly became involved with the artists and poets of the Montmartre and Montparnasse districts while supporting himself as a journalist. In ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

[Schwob, Lucy ]

(b Nantes, Oct 25, 1894; d St Hélier, Jersey, Dec 8, 1954).

French photographer, writer, and sculptor. She changed her name around 1917 and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and briefly at Oxford before settling in Paris in the early 1920s with her stepsister, lover, and lifelong companion Suzanne Malherbe. Her early self-portraits show Cahun with shaved hair and mannish clothes, as in Self-portrait (c. 1920; St Helier, Jersey Mus. Service), creating a persona that was confrontational to contemporary ideas of femininity. During the 1920s Cahun and Malherbe were a prominent lesbian couple in Parisian avant-garde circles. During this time Cahun created numerous self-portraits that played with the notion of a fixed identity, dressing up as various characters including a weight-lifter, aviator, dandy, and doll. The theatricality of these portraits, such as Self-portrait with Masks (c. 1928; Nantes, Mus. B.-A.), has been seen as a precursor to the performative work of later 20th-century artists such as Cindy Sherman. Cahun was also active within the Surrealist movement during the 1930s, signing many of their statements and writings on art, revolution, and sexuality. She made sculptures using found objects, such as ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Buffalo, NY, 1950).

Tuscarora artist, writer, educator, and museum director. Hill studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1968–70), and was awarded a Master of Arts degree from SUNY, Buffalo, NY (1980).

Intrigued with Seneca General Ely Parker (General Grant’s Military Secretary), Hill investigated Parker’s life, which took him to Washington, DC, for two years. Hill began to identify with Parker’s experience and realized he would devote himself to enlightening others about Native American arts, knowledge, education, and culture.

Hill was skilled in painting, photography, carving, beading, and basket weaving, and many of these works are located at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, Quebec; the Woodland Indian Cultural Center, Brantford, Ontario; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK; the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Washington, DC; and the Seneca Iroquois National Museum, Salamanca, NY. He taught at McMaster University, Mohawk College, Six Nations Polytechnic, and SUNY at Buffalo. Hill developed a culturally based Seneca Language curriculum and training models for teaching....

Article

Klaus Ottmann

(b New York, Sept 24, 1955).

American sculptor, installation artist, draughtsman, photographer, and writer. Horn studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and at the Yale University School of Art. From 1975 she began to travel frequently to Iceland, whose primordial, unstable landscape influenced her artistic practice.

Always intent to maintain the integrity of her chosen materials, be it solid glass, literature, or the volcanic topography of Iceland, Horn created complex relationships between the viewer and her work. She was less interested in the meaning of the work (the ‘why’ and ‘what’) and more in the interaction of action and being the ‘how’, ultimately creating art that unites both.

Her series of aluminium sculptures, which feature fragments from the writings of Franz Kafka and Emily Dickinson, such as Kafka’s Palindrome (1991–4) or Keys and Cues (1994), are reminiscent of the Minimalist sculptures of Donald Judd and Michael Fried’s famous definition of Minimalist art as ‘literal art’. However, Horn’s ‘literal’ transfer of words onto matter changes the meaning of both the original words and the materials used: taken out of context, the meaning of the original words becomes amalgamated with the meaning embedded in the material. By adding literacy to matter, the sculpture becomes nonliteral, but not devoid of content....

Article

Julius Kaplan

(b nr Termonde, Sept 12, 1858; d Brussels, Nov 12, 1921).

Belgian painter, illustrator, sculptor, designer, photographer and writer. He was one of the foremost Symbolist artists and active supporters of avant-garde art in late 19th-century Belgium. His wealthy family lived in Bruges from 1859 to 1864, moved to Brussels in 1865, where Khnopff remained until his death, and spent their summers at a country home in Fosset, in the Ardennes. Fosset inspired numerous landscapes that owe a strong debt to Barbizon-style realism (see 1979 cat. rais., p. 210), which dominated advanced Belgian painting in the late 1870s. Khnopff abandoned law school in 1875, and, turning to literature and art, he studied with Xavier Mellery at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. During visits to Paris (1877–80) he admired the work of Ingres and was especially attracted to the painterly art of Rubens, Rembrandt, the Venetian Renaissance and particularly Delacroix. At the Exposition Universelle of 1878 in Paris he discovered Gustave Moreau and Edward Burne-Jones, both of whom indelibly influenced his art. He studied with ...

Article

Terence A. Senter

(b Bácsborsod, Mohol Puszta, Hungary, July 20, 1895; d Chicago, Nov 24, 1946).

American painter, sculptor, photographer, designer, film maker, theorist, and teacher, of Hungarian birth. Moholy-Nagy’s importance in the 20th century is based as much on his theories as on his practical work. His ideologies related to the relationship between space, time, and light, and the interaction of man with these forces. His great achievement was that he applied his mystical outlook to highly practical enterprises and always recognized the purpose behind his creativity.

Moholy-Nagy’s ambition developed when he exchanged village life for the city of Szeged after his father left his family. Academically outstanding, Moholy-Nagy read law for a year at Budapest University before joining the artillery in World War I. Influential praise for his war sketches converted his aspiration from literature to art. His Expressionist style, social conscience, and investigation of light paralleled trends in the Hungarian avant-garde, from ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

(b May 28, 1952).

British performance artist, sculptor, photographer and writer. She studied Russian and Arabic at Leeds University (1970–72), and completed her foundation studies at Croydon College of Art (1972–3). She then studied fine art at Goldsmith’s College, London (1973–6), where the progressive approach to contemporary art led her to design her own course of study, which focused on all aspects of performance art. Influences upon her work include Yves Klein and Bruce McLean. Her ability to deflate the pretentious and absurd in daily life was demonstrated in unrehearsed, highly skilled displays of intuitive stagecraft. These are extended monologues that engage the audience with a mesmerising mixture of mimicry, metaphors, verbal and visual clichés and that explore the conventions of suburban existence and the domestic role of women (e.g. Rubbergloverama-Drama; 1980, London, ICA). Although known primarily as a performance artist, she also made sculptural works and ‘costume constructions’ initially created in connection with a performance, but which later existed as autonomous objects. Ziranek also took photographs, wrote (e.g. ...