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Article

Hans Frei

(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).

Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....

Article

Monique D. J. M. Teunissen

(b Amsterdam, July 12, 1893; d Amsterdam, May 11, 1949).

Dutch interior designer, furniture designer and writer. He was the son of a furniture dealer and was involved with the profession from an early age. He took lessons with the architect J. L. van Ishoven (1870–1931) and gained work experience in Germany. After operating independently for a few years he became the leading designer of the Amsterdam firm Metz & Co. His work displayed a rational concept of form and became well known through exhibitions and publications. At the firm of Hendrik Pander & Zonen in The Hague, where he was employed from 1924 to 1933, he specialized in using different types of wood that gave his taut, functional, batch-produced furniture a distinctive decorative character. On account of their plastic shapes his designs were considered to be related to those of the Amsterdam school architects. For Bromberg functionalism in interiors was a vital starting-point. He created various model rooms and homes in order to illustrate new ideas about the arrangement of domestic interiors. He also taught and wrote manuals, children’s books and many articles in periodicals and trade journals promoting contemporary applied art. He was particularly active within the Dutch Association of Trade and Industrial Art and the ...

Article

Lars Dybdahl

(b Ordrup, Sept 9, 1894; d Hillerød, Jan 31, 1967).

Danish designer, architect and critic. He gained international fame with his development of the ‘PH’ lamp (1925–6), a ‘classic’ of Danish industrial design, which has remained in continuous production. Henningsen’s education was unorthodox but practical: he boarded with a carpenter, then studied mechanical engineering and architecture in Copenhagen, although he never formally qualified in either profession. He painted in a late Impressionist style, but championed Danish Cubism and Expressionism when he became an art critic in 1918.

During the 1920s he was a strong critic of architecture and urban planning, and in 1926 he founded the influential journal Kritisk Revy (‘Critical Review’), which ran for two years and had contributors from other Nordic countries including Uno Åhrén and Alvar Aalto. It became the journal for emerging Danish Functionalism and aligned itself with international movements, but its divergence from the technologically inspired Modernist aesthetic (such as that of the Bauhaus) was typical of Henningsen’s independent approach. He advocated, among other things, that the terraced house should be the democratic residential form of the future and challenged manufacturers and craftsmen with his demand for ‘honest industrial design’ that would reflect modern life....

Article

(b Roermond, Aug 25, 1864; d Amsterdam, April 15, 1932).

Dutch architect, theorist, industrial designer, illustrator and teacher. He grew up in the artistic milieu around P. J. H. Cuypers and probably received most of his artistic education in this environment. Between 1880 and 1887 Lauweriks attended various drawing courses including in 1885–7 those at the Rijksnormaalschool voor Teekenonderwijzers in Amsterdam. In 1889 he became decoration draughtsman in Cuypers’s office. In 1891 he became a member of the architectural society Architectura et Amicitia and from 1893 was editor of the society’s journal Architectura. At the same time, together with his friends and colleagues K. P. C. de Bazel and Herman J. M. Walenkamp, he became involved with ethical–anarchist groups and produced illustrations for Licht en waarheid, the journal of the anarchist group Wie Denkt Overwint (Who thinks conquers).

On 31 May 1894, with de Bazel, Lauweriks joined the Theosophical Society. This brought him into strong conflict with Cuypers. He left the latter’s office in ...

Article

Martin Kemp

(b Anchiano, nr Vinci, April 15, 1452; d Amboise, nr Tours, May 2, 1519).

Italian painter, sculptor, architect, designer, theorist, engineer and scientist. He was the founding father of what is called the High Renaissance style and exercised an enormous influence on contemporary and later artists. His writings on art helped establish the ideals of representation and expression that were to dominate European academies for the next 400 years. The standards he set in figure draughtsmanship, handling of space, depiction of light and shade, representation of landscape, evocation of character and techniques of narrative radically transformed the range of art. A number of his inventions in architecture and in various fields of decoration entered the general currency of 16th-century design.

Although he brought relatively few works to completion, and even fewer have survived, Leonardo was responsible for some of the most influential images in the history of art. The ‘Mona Lisa’ (Paris, Louvre) may fairly be described as the world’s most famous painting. When the extent of his writings on many branches of science became increasingly apparent during the 19th century, he appeared to epitomize the idea of the universal genius and was hailed as one of the prophets of the modern era. More recent assessments of his intellectual achievements have recognized the medieval and Classical framework on which his theories were constructed but have done nothing to detract from the awesome range and intensity of his thought....

Article

(b Budapest, Oct 29, 1906; d Budapest, July 8, 1965).

Hungarian architect, critic, urban planner and furniture designer . After graduating in 1929 from the Hungarian Palatine Joseph Technical University, Budapest, he joined the Bauhaus in Dessau, where he worked under Hannes Meyer. Weiner attended the CIAM II Congress (1929), Frankfurt, and, convinced that the architect’s mission was to serve and transform society, he followed Meyer and his group to the USSR in 1931. There, as assistant professor at the Technical University, Moscow, he contributed, with Hans Schmidt and Konrad Püschel, to urban planning projects, in particular the underground railway system, Moscow, and the development of the city of Orsk. Weiner left the USSR in 1933, and, after working in Basle from 1934 to 1936, in 1937–8 he was employed by Grete Schütte-Lihotzky (b 1897) in Paris, designing furniture for children. In 1939 he moved to Chile, where he became a professor of architecture (1946–8) at the University of Santiago. In ...