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Article

Andrew Weiner

(b Beirut, 1925).

Lebanese painter and writer active in the USA. Daughter of a Greek Christian mother and a Syrian Muslim father, Adnan was educated in Lebanon before going on to study philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and the University of California, Berkeley. For many years she taught aesthetics at Dominican College, San Rafael, CA; she also lectured and taught at many other colleges and universities. During the 1970s Adnan regularly contributed editorials, essays, and cultural criticism to the Beirut-based publications Al-Safa and L’Orient-Le Jour. In 1978 she published the novel Sitt Marie Rose, which won considerable acclaim for its critical portrayal of cultural and social politics during the early years of the Lebanese Civil War. Adnan published numerous books of poetry, originating in her opposition to the American war in Vietnam and proceeding to encompass topics as diverse as the landscape of Northern California and the geopolitics of the Middle East. Her poetry served as the basis for numerous works of theater and contemporary classical music....

Article

Deborah Cullen

(Henry) [Spinky]

(b Charlotte, NC, Nov 29, 1907; d April 27, 1977).

African American painter, sculptor, graphic artist, muralist and educator. In 1913, Charles Alston’s family relocated from North Carolina to New York where he attended DeWitt Clinton High School. In 1929, he attended Columbia College and then Teachers College at Columbia University, where he obtained his MFA in 1931. Alston’s art career began while he was a student, creating illustrations for Opportunity magazine and album covers for jazz musician Duke Ellington.

Alston was a groundbreaking educator and mentor. He directed the Harlem Arts Workshop and then initiated the influential space known simply as “306,” which ran from 1934 to 1938. He taught at the Works Progress Administration’s Harlem Community Art Center and was supervisor of the Harlem Hospital Center murals, leading 35 artists as the first African American project supervisor of the Federal Art Project. His two murals reveal the influence of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886–1957). His artwork ranged from the comic to the abstract, while often including references to African art. During World War II, he worked at the Office of War Information and Public Information, creating cartoons and posters to mobilize the black community in the war effort....

Article

(Rossi)

(b Alderstone, England, Jan 27, 1851; d Bondi, Sydney, April 27, 1942).

Australian painter and writer . He attended the West London School of Art and, following the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, the Académie Julian in Paris. In 1878 the newspaper owner David Syme invited Ashton to Melbourne to produce black-and-white illustrations for the Illustrated Australian News. After a disagreement with the management he transferred to the rival Australasian Sketcher. In 1883 he went to Sydney, where he joined the staff of the Picturesque Atlas of Australia and also contributed to the Sydney Bulletin. Ashton was an ardent disciple of Impressionist painting and claimed to have executed the first plein-air landscape in Australia: Evening, Merri Creek (1882; Sydney, A.G. NSW). Much of his work, as in the watercolour A Solitary Ramble (1888; Sydney, A.G. NSW), had a strong sentimental streak. In addition to his outdoor works Ashton painted a number of portraits, such as that of Helen Ashton...

Article

Ksenija Rozman

(b Dolenčice, nr Škofja Loka, May 30, 1862; d Munich, Aug 5, 1905).

Slovenian painter and teacher, active in Germany . He trained in Ljubljana with the Slovenian painter Janez Wolf (1825–84), who taught him in a style derived from Anselm Feuerbach and the work of the Nazarenes and emphasized the ethical ideals and role of art. Ažbe studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna (1882–4), and at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich (1884–91), where he became an excellent draughtsman, especially with nudes and portrait heads. In the spring of 1891 he opened his own private school, the Ažbè-Schule, which established a reputation. From 1898 to 1901 Igor’ Grabar’ joined him as a teacher there. Its students included the Slovenian Impressionists Matija Jama (b 1872), Rihard Jakopič and Matej Sternen (b 1870), the Serbian Nadežda Petrović, the Croatian Josip Račić (1885–1909) and the Czech Ludvík Kuba, as well as Vasily Kandinsky and ...

Article

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

After the closure in 1933 of the Bauhaus in Berlin, its staff and students dispersed. Many found their way to the USA, where they became highly influential teachers as well as artists and architects. The pedagogical methods developed at the school, particularly in the preliminary course, became commonplace in all levels of art education, as the former centrality in America of life drawing to instruction in the visual arts was now challenged by experimentation with abstract principles of composition and the qualities of individual materials.

Josef and Anni Albers family were the first Bauhäusler to immigrate to the USA. They arrived in 1933 and quickly took up positions at Black Mountain College, NC. In 1950 Josef became chair of the department of design at Yale University, New Haven, CT, from which he retired in 1958. His increasingly rigorous investigations into geometry and colour culminated in a series of paintings entitled ...

Article

Iain Boyd Whyte

(b Hamburg, April 14, 1868; d Berlin, Feb 27, 1940).

German architect, designer and painter. Progressing from painting and graphics to product design and architecture, Behrens achieved his greatest successes with his work for the Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG), in which he reconciled the Prussian Classicist tradition with the demands of industrial fabrication.

After attending the Realgymnasium in Altona, he began his painting studies in 1886 at the Kunstakademie in Karlsruhe. From there he moved to Düsseldorf, where he studied with Ferdinand Brütt. In December 1889 Behrens married Lilli Krämer, and the following year the couple moved to Munich, where he continued his studies with Hugo Kotschenreiter (1854–1908). Behrens was one of the founder-members of the Munich Secession (see Secession, §1) in 1893 and, shortly afterwards, a founder of the more progressive Freie Vereinigung Münchener Künstler, with Otto Eckmann, Max Slevogt, Wilhelm Trübner and Lovis Corinth. He also joined the circle associated with the magazine Pan, which included Otto Julius Bierbaum, Julius Meier-Graefe, Franz Blei, Richard Dehmel and Otto Eckmann....

Article

Ralph Croizier

Reviser Stephanie Su

[Hsü Pei-hung; Ju Peon]

(b Yixing, Jiangsu Province, Jul 19, 1895; d Beijing, Sept 26, 1953).

Chinese painter and art educator. The most acclaimed Western-trained artist in modern China, he influenced the development of 20th-century Chinese painting through his role as art teacher and administrator as well as his painting. Xu Beihong studied painting as a child with his father, a village teacher and painter. After his father’s death, Xu moved to Shanghai, the cultural and commercial center of modern China, in 1915 to support his family. There he earned a living by painting popular pictures of beautiful women for Shenmei Shuguan (the Aesthetic Bookstore), a commercial art company founded by Gao Jianfu, and concurrently enrolled as a student in the French department of Zhendan University. In 1916 his painting of Changjie [Cangjie], the legendary inventor of Chinese characters, won first prize at an art contest of Changsheng Mingzhi University in Shanghai, earning him an invitation from the school founder to live at Hardoon Garden. There he became acquainted with prominent artistic and cultural intellectuals such as as ...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(Mikhailovich)

(b Moscow, June 10, 1925; d Feb 29, 2012).

Russian painter, sculptor, theorist and teacher. He attended the Surikov Institute of Art in Moscow (1942–7), where he completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies; his teachers there were Aristarkh Lentulov, Pavel Kuznetsov and Lev Bruni. He obtained a doctorate in art history and was a specialist in the historiography of Russian art. In 1948 he established an independent studio, which was unique for its time and which provided the base for the New Realist movement, a kind of monumental tachism. Over several years approximately 600 artists and architects passed through the studio. In 1962 he organized one of the first public exhibitions of avant-garde art in Moscow. Displayed at the Central Exhibition Hall (Manezh), it was wildly slandered by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the moment that proved most symptomatic of the end of a period of political thaw. From 1964 artists of the New Realist movement worked at Belyutin’s dacha at Abramtsevo, north of Moscow; unofficial exhibitions of their work were held there annually. In ...

Article

Mária Szobor-Bernáth

(b Nyíregyháza, Jan 28, 1844; d Dolány, Czechoslovakia [now Szécsény, Hungary], July 16, 1920).

Hungarian painter and teacher. In 1861 he was accepted by the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, where from 1864 to 1869 he was a pupil of Karl Theodor von Piloty, whose influence can be seen in many of Benczúr’s works. During his first year at the academy he painted a small Self-portrait (Budapest, N.G.) that showed him to be already an accomplished artist. His talent as a modern portrait painter is illustrated by the sensitive portrait of his sister, Etelka with Black Lace Shawl (1868; Budapest, N.G.). Benczúr’s lack of ambition, however, led him to concentrate on history pictures: while he was still a pupil of Piloty’s he painted Laszló Hunyadi’s Farewell (1866; Budapest, N.G.), one of the greatest Hungarian history paintings. His early works are full of patriotic sentiments, but later Benczúr distanced himself from intense dramatic situations and from the triumphant episodes of Hungary’s past. In ...

Article

Anne Kirker

(b Wyong, NSW, Dec 6, 1940).

Australian painter, photographer and teacher. Binns trained as a painter at the National Art School, Sydney (1958–62) and held her first solo exhibition at Watters Gallery, Sydney in 1967. It comprised vividly coloured and decorative paintings, with explicit representations of female genitalia. This symbolic imagery predated a collective push by Australian women artists to produce work that they believed was inherently female. She initiated many community arts projects from the beginning of the 1970s and was an influential force in re-positioning women’s work. This took into account collaborative projects and a respect for amateur techniques and traditions that thrive outside the art world of metropolitan centres. Her community projects included Mothers’ Memories, Others’ Memories for Blacktown Municipality (1979–81) and the art workshop program Full Flight, which Binns conducted for women throughout rural New South Wales (1981–3). Her Tower of Babel, an ongoing work open to contributors by invitation, was initiated in Sydney in ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[Bob] (Hamilton)

(b Summit, NJ, Dec 10, 1920; d New York, NY, April 21, 2003).

African American printmaker and educator. Robert Blackburn’s family moved to Harlem when he was six years old. Blackburn attended meetings at “306” and learned lithography in 1938 at the Harlem Community Art Center. He earned a scholarship to the Art Students League from 1940 to 1943 and worked for the Harmon Foundation in the mid 1940s. In 1948, he opened the Printmaking Workshop (PMW) in Chelsea, a cooperative where he and his friends could pursue experimental fine art lithography. By 1955, students from S. W. Hayter’s Atelier 17, an experimental intaglio workshop, were in attendance. Blackburn earned his living by teaching lithography and printing editions for artists. He became one of the first black technicians at Cooper Union. From 1952 to 1953, Blackburn went to Paris on a John Hay Whitney traveling fellowship, where he worked at the Jacques Desjobert Workshop and then traveled around Europe. He returned to New York and his Printmaking Workshop in ...

Article

(b London, Nov 13, 1905; d Hobart, Jan 1, 1985).

Australian architect of English birth. In 1918 Blythe obtained a scholarship to attend the London County Council School of Building (later known as the Brixton School of Building). Blythe’s family moved to Tasmania in 1921, where he continued his architectural training at the Hobart Technical College (HTC) while articled to local architect William Rudolph Waldemar Koch. Between 1925 and 1930 Blythe worked for the Electrolytic Zinc Company and the Public Works Department (PWD), Tasmania. In 1927 Blythe received an honourable mention for his Beaux-Arts inspired entry in the Australian Canberra War Memorial Competition.

Towards the end of 1930 Blythe returned to London. In 1933 he was awarded second place in the Building Centre Cottage Competition and in 1934 he returned to Tasmania to a position with the PWD. Between 1935 and 1949 Blythe designed all the principal PWD buildings in Tasmania. Of particular note are the many schools that Blythe designed, including the Ogilvie High School (...

Article

Ulrike Gaisbauer

(b Klagenfurt, June 3, 1894; d Vienna, Jan 20, 1966).

Austrian painter. After an initial period of study at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna, he turned, self-taught, to painting in 1914. He served during World War I, subsequently studying in Berlin (1921–2) and Paris (1923), and coming into contact with the classicism of the rappel à l’ordre and Cubism. Between 1935 and 1939 he was professor of the general painting school of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna, running the evening life-drawing classes there, before becoming principal.

Boeckl’s works are distinguished by their spontaneous, broad brushstrokes, strong internal structure and dominant colour. Figures and objects are often placed close to the viewer by the barely connected background, so that the material structure of skin, hair and clothing is experienced almost tangibly (e.g. Anatomy, 1931; Vienna, Hist. Mus.). Influenced by Cézanne, he generally used a formal reduction over geometrical background shapes, giving the paint a rather flat effect, particularly in his landscape paintings. Boeckl’s portraits are especially interesting, showing an extreme delicacy and sensitivity, despite concise forms and a powerfully expressive choice of colours, for example ...

Article

(b Brooklyn, NY, Nov 4, 1940).

American graphic designer, installation artist and design educator. De Bretteville attended Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, NY, and was included in the school’s Art Squad by teacher and artist Leon Friend, who submitted his students’ work to national competitions. She received a prestigious Alex Award, named after the designer Alex Steinweiss, also a former member of the Art Squad. She received a BA in art history from Barnard College, New York in 1962 and received her MFA in the graphic design program at Yale University’s School of Art in 1964. She joined the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and founded the first design programme for women in 1970. In 1981 she founded the communication design programme at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (now the Otis College of Art and Design), which was at the time affiliated with the Parsons School of Design in New York. In ...

Article

Kenneth Neal

(b Chelmsford, Essex, March 14, 1851; d Richmond, Surrey, Jan 8, 1941).

English teacher and painter. From 1868 to 1877 he studied at the National Art Training School, London (later the Royal College of Art), where he grew to detest the inept, mechanical teaching methods then prevalent in Britain. As headmaster of the Westminster School of Art (1877–92), Brown, inspired by Alphonse Legros’s reforms at the Slade School, taught his students basic observational and analytical skills while encouraging them to develop individual styles. In 1883 he studied at the Académie Julian, Paris; his work for several years thereafter, notably Hard Times (1886; Liverpool, Walker A.G.) and Marketing (1887; Manchester, C.A.G.), shows the influence of the French realist Jules Bastien-Lepage. Shortly before 1890 Brown took up portraiture in a style strongly influenced by Whistler; he was also drawn to Impressionist landscape painting by his friend Philip Wilson Steer, whose influence is noticeable in the Horse-shoe Bend of the Severn...

Article

Ian J. Lochhead

[Akitt]

(b London, March 23, 1905; d Auckland, Jan 28, 1965).

New Zealand architect of English birth. He was educated at Highgate School, London, and arrived in New Zealand in 1927. After working for several architectural firms in Auckland, he began his own practice in 1937. From 1945 he taught at the School of Architecture, University of Auckland. During the 1940s and 1950s he designed a series of simple, austere timber-frame houses clad in dark-stained weatherboards with low-pitched roofs, for example Redwood House (1943), Orakei, and Melville House (1947), Epsom. The plans of these houses were economical and rigorously organized, while construction techniques and details were those commonly available. Brown was one of the first New Zealand architects to discover in the principles of the Modern Movement the key to an authentic architectural idiom for his own time and place. Through his example as a practising architect and as a teacher, he exerted a strong influence on a generation of post-World War II New Zealand architects, encouraging them to find their own identity rather than relying on imported concepts and styles....

Article

Carolyn Kinder Carr

(b Williamsburg, IN, Nov 1, 1849; d New York, Oct 25, 1916).

American painter and printmaker. Chase received his early training in Indianapolis from the portrait painter Barton S. Hays (1826–75). In 1869 he went to New York to study at the National Academy of Design where he exhibited in 1871. That year he joined his family in St Louis, where John Mulvaney (1844–1906) encouraged him to study in Munich. With the support of several local patrons, enabling him to live abroad for the next six years, Chase entered the Königliche Akademie in Munich in 1872. Among his teachers were Alexander von Wagner (1838–1919), Karl Theodor von Piloty and Wilhelm von Diez (1839–1907). Chase also admired the work of Wilhelm Leibl. The school emphasized bravura brushwork, a technique that became integral to Chase’s style, favoured a dark palette and encouraged the study of Old Master painters, particularly Diego Velázquez and Frans Hals. Among Chase’s friends in Munich were the American artists Walter Shirlaw, J. Frank Currier and Frederick Dielman (...

Article

(Chinese Academy of Art)

Artists’ club formed in 1926 in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The club was composed of Guangdong immigrants in their late teens and early 20s. Its headquarters, which also served as a studio, teaching center, exhibition space and quite possibly a shared bedroom, was located in an upper room at 150 Wetmore Place, an alley on Chinatown’s western fringe. The exact membership is unknown—probably a dozen members at any given time—and its composition fluctuated greatly during its 15 or so years of existence. Its most famous members were Yun Gee, a co-founder and leader, and Eva Fong Chan (1897–1991), who was granted membership in the early 1930s and was the only woman known to belong. Unlike Fong, a former beauty queen who was a piano teacher married to a prominent Catholic businessman and privileged with an education, the young men were working-class and probably held the menial jobs reserved for most Chinese of their era, as servants, cooks, dishwashers and launderers....

Article

Mayching Kao

Reviser Fang-mei Chou

[Huang Junbi; zi Junweng; hao Baiyuntang]

(b Nanhai, Guangdong Province, Nov 12, 1898; d Taipei, Oct 29, 1991).

Chinese painter and art educator. Huang studied both Chinese and Western painting in his youth, but he came to concentrate on Chinese art, studying and copying the works of old masters in public and private collections, including his own. In his early days he excelled in emulating the style of Shixi, also known as Kuncan, and Shitao, also known as Daoji, both famous individualists in the early Qing. In 1921, through a recommendation from his Chinese art mentor Li Yaoping (1880–1938), he embarked upon an illustrious teaching career. He later held key positions in major art institutions, notably the National Central University from 1937 to 1948, and the National Normal University in Taipei, where he taught and served as Chairman for twenty years beginning in 1949. Huang, Zhang Daqian, and Pu Xinyu together were called the “Three Masters who Crossed the Strait” (duhai sanjia) for their achievements in promoting traditional Chinese painting in Taiwan after World War II. He maintained a lifelong friendship with Zhang Daqian, with whom he had traveled to Mt. Emei in Sichuan in 1939....

Article

Peter Stasny

(b Leitmeritz, Northern Bohemia [now Litoměřice, Czech Republic], June 12, 1865; d Vienna, Dec 17, 1946).

Austrian teacher and painter. He studied painting under the German painters Franz Rumpler (1848–1922), Josef Mathias von Trenkwald (1824–97) and Siegmund l’Allemand (1840–1910) at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna (1885–95), then he stayed in Munich and travelled in Switzerland, Italy, France and England. Initially he was a genre and portrait painter, for example in the Scene at the Hairdresser’s (1896; Leipzig, priv. col.) and the portrait of Emperor Francis-Joseph (1894; Graz, Graz, Karl-Franzens-U.), but he soon involved himself with the reform of art education. He saw the artistic individuality of a child as characterized by three types of instinctual responses, corresponding to order, structure and representation, which he thought were worth preserving.

Cižek was a schoolmaster from 1897 to 1903, and from 1904 to 1906 was a professor at the Kunststickereischule in Vienna, producing designs for embroidery and furniture. In ...