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Courtney Gerber

[Dicker, Friederike]

(b Vienna, July 30, 1898; d Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oct 9, 1944).

Austrian designer, painter, teacher and political activist. The only child of Simon Dicker and Karolina Fanta, she studied photography with Johannes Beckmann in Vienna at the Graphische Lehr- unde Versuchsanstalt in 1914. She mastered the medium within two years, but found its expressive potential limiting and did not pursue it further. In 1915 Dicker-Brandeis enrolled at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna as a student of painter Franz Cižek. In 1916 she transferred to Johannes Itten’s private school in Vienna where she engaged with Itten’s unconventional teaching methods, which focused on unearthing one’s creative powers through meditation, colour theory and interpreting the rhythmic and formal language of art while allowing them to converge. She decided to leave Vienna in 1919 so that she could continue working with Itten who had been offered a post at the Bauhaus School in Weimar. Dicker-Brandeis remained at the Bauhaus until 1923, training in the textile, printing, painting, sculpture and stage design workshops. Her instructors included such artists as Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee. An exemplary student, after her first year she was asked to teach Itten’s Basic Course for the school’s new students. While at the Bauhaus Dicker-Brandeis created a myriad of works ranging from fine art works on paper to children’s toys. The mixed-media composition ...

Article

Roy R. Behrens

(b Selyp, Oct 4, 1906; d Cambridge, MA, Dec 29, 2001).

Hungarian designer, painter, photographer, teacher and writer, active also in the USA. After secondary school, he studied painting at the Budapest Academy of Fine Arts (1925–8). Turning to design, photography and filmmaking, he worked in Budapest, then in Berlin, where in 1932 he designed the cover of the first German edition of Film als Kunst by Gestalt psychologist Rudolf Arnheim. He moved to London in 1936 where he joined the studio of fellow Hungarian and former Bauhaus master László Moholy-Nagy. That year he also met his wife, the artist Juliet Appleby (d 1999). In 1937 he followed Moholy-Nagy to Chicago, when the latter was appointed director of the New Bauhaus, which was later re-established as the Institute of Design. Kepes taught and directed the Light and Color Department there for six years. In 1946 he was hired as Professor of Visual Design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where 20 years later he founded the Center for Advanced Visual Studies. A life-long advocate of cross-disciplinary experimentation between the arts and sciences, his influence came about through the publication of a number of innovative books, the first of which, ...

Article

Ingrid Severin

(b Baden, Dec 8, 1929).

Austrian painter, printmaker and photographer. He began painting as a self-taught artist in the mid-1940s, after leaving school, and first came into contact with contemporary art through a British Council exhibition in 1947 that included work by Paul Nash, Francis Bacon, Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore and Edward Burra. Around this time he produced his first portraits, such as Rainer Dying (pencil, 1949; Vienna, Helmut Weis priv. col., see 1984 exh. cat., p. 10). While attending the Staatsgewerbeschule at Villach from 1947 to 1949 he became interested in theories of Surrealism. He had almost no academic training as an artist, leaving the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna in 1949 after only one day because of an argument with a teacher, and lasting little longer at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna in 1950. From 1948 to 1951 he produced Surrealistic drawings representing underwater scenes and mystical forms, rendering these fantastic images in pencil as a densely worked surface. In ...

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....