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Article

Rebecca Arnold

[née Pacanins y Nino, Maria Carolina Josefina]

(b Caracas, Jan 8, 1939).

Venezuelan fashion designer, active also in the USA (see fig.). While Herrera’s designs always contain elements of current fashion, her work is more about the cultivation of a sleek international style that is classically feminine. Her upbringing among the élite, leisured classes of South America encouraged her to view clothing as a visual expression of good taste and ease. Rather than following trends, her designs tend to favor clean lines, with a focus on detail.

Herrera was brought up in an environment where clothes were bought from Parisian couturiers, such as Cristobal Balenciaga, or made by skilled local dressmakers. In each case, craftsmanship and structure were important, combined with a desire to acknowledge wealthy women’s lifestyles within the design of each garment. Herrera therefore developed an appreciation for refined design skills and good fit early in her life, which was to prove crucial to her own evolution as a designer. Combined with this awareness of fashion’s central role in the life of wealthy women was her cosmopolitan outlook. This was nurtured by regular trips to Europe and North America, which provided inspiration through visits to galleries and museums, and gave her an understanding of the international lifestyle of many women of her class. The need of these women to be dressed stylishly and appropriately for diverse events from tennis matches to cocktail parties or office work in a city shaped Herrera’s outlook, as much as her appreciation of art and culture....

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Texas, 1950).

American sculptor. Lee came to prominence as a Minimalist in the 1970s. An interest in modernism and the monochrome, as well as a hostility to narrative, made the grid her starting point; following which she began to paint predominantly in black. In the mid-1980s she began to divide up her surfaces with dynamic diagonals and introduced more colour. Nututun (1989; see 1992–3 exh. cat., p. 11) is typical of this stage, when her work developed into wall reliefs: an irregular polygon in shape, it is divided into two fragments of amber-coloured, patinated bronze that partially enclose two smaller fragments of green-coloured bronze. By the end of the decade she was making wall reliefs composed of a number of small, shaped and differently coloured panels constructed from various metals, often arranged in large grid compositions. 40 Faults (1989; see 1992–3 exh. cat., pp. 42–3) consists of 40 large green–black patinated metal reliefs, similar to apostrophes in shape. In the late 1990s she began to produce free-standing sculpture, though the forms of the pieces were still predominantly flat and frontal. ...

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

Public housing, typically dwellings for working-class and lower-income residents built and maintained by the state, emerged from the ideals of Progressive-era urban reformers seeking to improve the living conditions of the urban poor. But by the late 20th century it stood as an emblem of failed urban policies and devastated inner cities. Government-funded housing, beginning with the New Deal (see New Deal Architecture), aimed at replacing dilapidated tenements with clean, modern communities. The earliest public housing was two- and three-storey buildings, although much post-war housing was high-rise towers of modernist design. By the late 20th century, most cities were tearing down high-rise buildings while some were using a new stream of federal housing funds to build mixed-income communities and renovate low-rise public housing developments.

In the early 20th century, urban activists, influenced by the new field of public health, argued that the urban environment threatened the health and morality of impoverished families. Immigrants were crowded into dark, dirty one- and two-room apartments, often lacking running water or indoor toilets. Reformers such as New York’s Lawrence Veiller and Chicago’s Jane Addams and Robert Hunter urged government regulation of tenement housing to force landlords to maintain their properties. Architects such as ...

Article

Paula J. Birnbaum

(b Brooklyn, NY, April 30, 1943).

American conceptual artist. Reichek earned a BFA from Yale University and a BA from Brooklyn College, where she studied painting with Ad Reinhardt. Well versed in the traditions of modernist painting, Reichek began critiquing those traditions in the 1970s by making art using the vehicles of embroidery, knitting, and weaving. She then engaged in a range of large-scale installation projects that retool domestic media and formats to analyse the patriarchal and modernist assumptions of American culture. In her series of samplers, including Sampler (Kruger/Holzer) (1998; priv. col.), Reichek placed post-modern media-related art within a long history of alphabetic Samplers, a decorative form of needlework long practised by American and European women to demonstrate skill as well as exercise instructional aphorisms. Reichek’s samplers also strategically reference the rectilinear grid as structuring principle in abstract painting, revealing the artist’s interest in recurring patterns of representation of both image and text....

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b California, Feb 24, 1919; d April 17, 2010).

American architect. An important San Francisco-based architect, Warnecke emerged as the forerunner of contextual modernism in the early 1950s. Contextualism aimed to create a sense of place through a humanistic design approach informed by the pre-existing context of the building’s specific site and the more general locale. This approach was in contrast to pure Modernism, which emphasized non-contextual abstraction without explicit references to architectural history. Spatial volumes, rather than mass and solidity, were highlighted, and buildings evidenced a structural regularity and absence of ornament.

Warnecke was apprenticed in Oakland, CA, to his father who introduced him to the classical Beaux-Arts tradition of architectural design. His formal education in art and engineering at Stanford University was followed by a Masters in Architecture in 1942 from Harvard University, studying under Walter Gropius . Bernard Maybeck and Arthur Brown . worked with Warnecke’s father and became early influences, discouraging Warnecke’s adoption of the Modernist approach to design which dominated mainstream American architecture during the post-World War II era. ...