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Ludovico C. Koppmann

[Konstantinovsky, Wladimir ]

(b Odessa, Russia, June 23, 1900; d Buenos Aires, July 11, 1967).

Argentine architect.. He studied architecture at the Istituto di Belle Arti in Rome, graduating in 1919. From 1922 he worked in Germany, gaining experience in building engineering and urban design, before moving to Argentina in 1928. He worked in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala and, from 1954 to 1957, in the USA, where he taught (1956) at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. On his return to Argentina he was appointed Professor of Architectural Composition (1957–66) at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Acosta was an early exponent of an approach to architecture through environmental design and engineering, which he promoted through his book Vivienda y clima (1937) and his ‘Helios’ buildings. These were based upon correct orientation, cross-ventilation, and the control of solar radiation by means of brises-soleil, with minimal mechanical intervention. Like the architects of the Modern Movement in Europe, he saw architecture as a social phenomenon and became dedicated to the provision of mass housing for rapidly growing urban populations. His early work included individual houses in Buenos Aires, for example the Casa Stern, Ramos Mejía (...

Article

Isabelle Gournay

(b Mexico City, Jan 18, 1902; d Paris, Dec 29, 1988).

French architect. He graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and worked for a time in the office of André Ventre (1874–1951). In the late 1930s, when he was unable to obtain larger commissions in Depression-stricken France, his activity was limited to ceremonial decorations and exhibition displays such as the Pavillon de l’Elégance at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, Paris (1937), and the Salle de la Haute Couture in the French pavilion at the World’s Fair, New York (1939), which gave him a taste for theatrical settings. In 1945 he was appointed Chief Architect of the Houillères de Lorraine, a coal-mining conglomerate in a drab area where reconstruction and industrial modernization was urgently needed; as well as industrial structures, he also designed some single-family workers’ housing such as the Cité Bellevue (1945–7) in Creutzwald, and this marked the beginning of his dedication to the improvement of low-cost housing....

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Federal, Entre Ríos, Aug 22, 1928; d Buenos Aires, Feb 19, 1996).

Argentine painter, draughtsman and collagist. He studied under Juan Batlle Planas from 1950 to 1953 and quickly established the terms of his work, rooted ideologically in Surrealism and indebted in particular to the work of René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico. All the elements of his mature art are evident in an early painting, Burning of the Hasidic School in Minsk in 1713 (1954; artist’s col.): architecture, space, light and ordered series. He developed an essentially intellectual approach, working in a variety of media (paintings, drawings, gouaches and collages) in rigorous sequences and picturing objects in cold impersonal light that confers on them a sense of distant majesty. The most common motif is that of a geometric, almost abstract structure, often in the form of a tower pierced by rows of large plain windows. Aizenberg’s work, while far removed from the Surrealist presumption of achieving a synthesis of wakefulness and dream, acquires its strength through the ordering of the unreal and the strange in the search for a transcendent essence capable of perturbing and jolting the viewer by bringing into play the archetypes of silence and solitude....

Article

Monica E. Kupfer

(b Panama City, Sept 5, 1949).

Panamian painter. A graduate of the University of Panama’s Architecture School, he became a full time painter following his first solo exhibition in 1979. From 1980 to 1983 he studied at the Art Students League in New York, his only formal training as an artist. Alfaro is best known for his beautifully rendered oil paintings but has also produced drawings, pastels and three-dimensional pieces. His first images were portraits of young women surrounded by surreal elements or in dream settings. From 1983 he painted humorous images of traditional or religious subjects such as church processions, as well as portraits of imaginary ecclesiastical figures and war heroes; capitalizing on Panama’s strong Catholic tradition. Alfaro even invented his own saints, including the Virgin of All Secrets (1986; see colour pl. I, fig.). By 1990, his compositions became increasingly baroque, crowded with human figures in often menacing natural environments that suggest abundant iconographic, literary and historical interpretations. Towards the end of the decade, Alfaro began to isolate and increasingly distort his models, achieving an expressive deformation characteristic of his disturbing view of humanity and personal vision of surrealism....

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Jan 25, 1923; d July 31, 1993).

Argentine draughtsman, painter and printmaker. He was self-taught and in 1943 began to illustrate publications throughout Latin America, continuing to do so for more than 20 years. His early work consisted of highly emotive ink drawings marked by an intricacy of design and lack of idealization, for example The Vacuum II (1976). He later worked in both pastels and oils to create spectral images of love, death, eroticism and the obscure world of nightmares, fears and terrors. Critics sometimes spoke of these in terms of Magic Realism, although he did not subscribe to any specific stylistic tendency. He often treated human heads and figures in fragmentary form, as if they were the victims of violent torture, and with a veiled but sarcastic humour.

With time Alonso gradually simplified his drawings and replaced his invented characters with fictional objects and childhood memories, moving towards more intimate and abstract work, for example in the pastel ...

Article

Nicola Coleby

(b Mexico City, Aug 29, 1892; d Mexico City, April 4, 1985).

Mexican painter and draughtsman. He studied at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City from 1910. In 1917 he was employed as a draughtsman by the Ministry of Agriculture and began to attend the Escuela de Pintura al Aire Libre de Santa Anita under Alfredo Ramos Martínez, his palette gradually lightening. In 1920 he was appointed assistant draughtsman in the Ministry of Education and then tutor at the Academia de San Carlos. In 1922 he was commissioned by the Ministry of Education to paint a mural, the Landing of the Cross (fresco, 7×8 m; Mexico City, Escuela N. Prep.), an allegorical depiction of the implantation of Catholicism in New Spain in the 16th century, with large classical figures set in a steeply inclined composition. Over the next 40 years, Alva de la Canal painted six public murals with allegorical and historical themes, such as the Life of Morelos (encaustic and fresco, ...

Article

Architectural partnership in Bogotá, Colombia, established in 1972 by Cecilia Alvarez Pereira (b Manizales, Jul 23, 1934) and Emese Ijjasz de Murcia (b Budapest, May 18, 1936). Alvarez studied at the University of Javeriana School of Architecture in Colombia from 1953 to 1958. Before establishing her own firm she worked with the firms Guillermo González Zueleta and Pizano Pradilla & Caro between 1957 and 1964. Between 1964 and 1979 she worked in the Department of Works, Special Projects, and Urban Politics at the Instituto Crédito Territorial. De Murcia studied at the National University of Argentina from 1956 to 1958, Catholic University, Santiago, Chile, from 1958 to 1961, and the National University of Colombia at Medellín in 1962. De Murcia also worked for the Instituto Crédito Territorial from 1964 to 1971 and designed more than 17,000 dwellings during this time. From 1970 she taught at the University of the Andes, Bogotá, becoming Vice-Dean in ...

Article

Xavier Moyssén

(b Mérida, Dec 24, 1914; d Mexico City, Nov 29, 1995).

Mexican architect. He graduated from the Universidad Nacional de México, Mexico City, in 1939. In his early works he was influenced by the theories of José Villagrán García and later by those of Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Gropius. He is notable in Mexican architecture for his adherence to Rationalism throughout his long career. In construction he used steel and concrete, prefabricated units and glass, and there is an evident unity in his works, especially in the high quality of his finishes. A notable example of his buildings is a small bank branch (1958; destr.), Mexico City, in which the International Style is clearly visible in the cleverly composed structure and in the neon illumination of the exterior, recalling Mondrian. The Jaysour Building (1961), Mexico City, is the clearest example of his assimilation of the International Style, evident in the ground-plan, structure and even the glass cladding. Also in Mexico City are the IBM Building (...

Article

Ludovico C. Koppmann

(b Buenos Aires, Nov 14, 1913; d Nov 5, 2011).

Argentine architect. He studied architecture at the University of Buenos Aires, graduating in 1937 with two gold medals and the Ader Scholarship, which enabled him to spend a year studying architecture in Europe. He joined the Ministry of Public Works and then became Municipal Architect at Avellaneda (1942–1947); he established his own office in Buenos Aires in 1947. Alvarez became one of the most prolific and successful architects in Latin America, winning first prize in a large number of competitions and building a great number of works. His designs were based on a rationalist approach, developing consciously simple structural form in the manner of Mies van der Rohe; his goal was to produce functional buildings utilizing modern technology and efficient workmanship, allowing for flexibility and change and contributing to the quality of the environment. Important works include the Medical Centre (1936–1937) at San Martín; the Roncatti Restaurant (...

Article

Francis Summers

revised by Martin R. Patrick

(b Antwerp, Aug 22, 1959).

Belgian-born interdisciplinary artist, active in Mexico. He studied architecture at the Institut d’Architecture de Tournai in Belgium (1978–83) and at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice (1983–6). Alÿs moved to Mexico in 1987 and his art practice initially concentrated on Mexico City as a laboratory of urban living, often documented in the form of evocative, conceptually layered photographs, sculptures, and videos. In the slide series Ambulantes (Pushing and Pulling) (1992–2002), Alÿs photographed street vendors and workers as they passed by carting a wide variety of goods within a ten-block vicinity of his studio. For his project entitled The Liar, The Copy of the Liar (1997) Alÿs created small images of suited men inspired by the commercial sign painters of Mexico City, and subsequently commissioned from them larger versions in their own styles. In this process Alÿs deferred authorship into a semantic chain. Hovering between the banal and the surreal, these works have an uncanny theme, of individuals observed in situations that defy explanation....

Article

Monica E. Kupfer

(b Santiago de Veraguas, March 25, 1869; d Panama City, Nov 12, 1952).

Panamanian painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He is known chiefly as the designer of the national flag (1903) of Panama. He studied business administration and had a long career in public office. When Panama became independent in 1903, he became Secretario de Hacienda and in 1904 Consul-General ad-honorem to Hamburg. In 1908 he moved to New York, where he studied with Robert Henri, who strongly influenced his style of vigorous drawing, loose brushwork, distorted expressionist images and sombre colours, as in Head Study (1910; Panama City, R. Miró priv. col.; see Miró). He produced most of his work between 1910 and 1914 and again after the late 1930s; his main subject was the human figure, but he also painted portraits, landscapes and still-lifes. On his return to Panama in the 1930s he worked as an auditor in the Contraloría General. After his retirement he resumed painting and produced some of his most passionate works, such as ...

Article

Humberto Rodríguez-Camilloni

(de )

(b Vacarisses, 1704; d Barcelona, Feb 14, 1782).

Spanish architect, engineer, and administrator, active in Peru. He was the second son of the Marquis de Castellbell and received military training at an early age. He served as Spanish governor in Chile (1755–61), acquiring a reputation there as a fortifications expert. In 1761 he was appointed Viceroy of Peru, where he launched a vast campaign of public works (see Peru, Republic of §III 1.). During his administrative term, which lasted until 1776, the city of Lima enjoyed a period of prosperity and splendour marked by the French Baroque taste favoured by the Spanish Court. The evidence strongly suggests that Amat was the designer of several monuments in Lima that were executed by the alarife (surveyor and inspector of works) Juan de la Roca, who may have also collaborated in the elaboration of some of the plans. Amat’s masterpiece was the church of Las Nazarenas (consecrated ...

Article

(b Areia, 1843; d Florence, 1905).

Brazilian painter. His precocious talent as a draughtsman was recognized as early as 1853, when he accompanied the expedition led by the French naturalist Louis Jacques Brunet to the north-east of Brazil. He then went to Rio de Janeiro, where he entered the Academia Imperial das Belas Artes in 1855. Under the patronage of Emperor Peter II he lived in France from 1859 to 1864, studying with Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Horace Vernet at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His interests also included physics, philosophy and literature. His essay ‘Refutation of the Life of Jesus by Renan’ won him the decoration of the papal order of the Holy Sepulchre. He also painted one of his first important pictures at this time, Carioca (‘Woman from Rio de Janeiro’; 1862; Rio de Janeiro, Mus. N. B.A.). On his return to Brazil he taught drawing (and, later, art history, aesthetics and archaeology) at the Academia Imperial. When the Republic was proclaimed in ...

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...

Article

Luis Enrique Tord

(b Paris, Aug 8, 1808; d Paris, Jan 11, 1886).

French painter and draughtsman, active in Peru. He served as the French Vice-Consul in Lima from 1834 to 1838 and while there produced albums of watercolours and drawings of cities such as Arica, Arequipa, Lima, Cuzco, Ollantaytambo, Urubamba and Tacna. His romantic spirit inclined him to the exotic, and he documented street scenes, the characters of city life, groups of buildings and archaeological monuments. Taken as a whole, these pictures bear witness to everyday life in Peru at that time....

Article

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

Italian family of engineers and architects. They were active in Spain and Spanish America in the service of the Spanish Habsburgs from 1559 to 1650. The most prominent member of the family was Juan Bautista Antonelli the elder (b Gaeteo, Italy, c. 1530; d Madrid, 17 March 1588), who settled in Spain from 1559 while working in the employ of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Most of his fortification works were carried out in the coastal south-east of Spain, where several members of his family settled, although he also worked in Oran and particularly in Portugal as a strategist and engineer. Many of his projects were not realized, including the creation of a navigable river network throughout the Iberian peninsula to facilitate the transport of merchandise from the ports to the interior. Several fortification plans for the Magellan Straits also failed to materialize.

Bautista Antonelli (b Rimini, ...

Article

Myriam A. Ribeiro de Oliveira and Liliana Herrera

In 

Article

Julio Roberto Katinsky

revised by Alana Hernandez

(b Rio de Janeiro, Sept 1, 1905; d Rio de Janeiro, Mar 8, 1973).

Brazilian architect. He studied urban planning at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro and graduated in 1926. He received a gold medal and an award to study abroad at the Institut d’Urbanisme, University of Paris (1928–1929).

Antunes Ribeiro was a versatile architect who made significant contributions to the development of Brazilian architecture immediately after World War II. He was the President of the Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil from 1953 to 1956 and also served on the jury to choose the design for the capital city of Brasília. Initially Antunes Ribeiro’s style reflected the neocolonial movement that was popular in Brazil and greater Latin America. Later he based his work on the rationalist Modernism of Le Corbusier and CIAM. An early example of this can be seen in the plan for the city of Goiânia (1933; with Attilio Corrêa Lima). Other important works include: the Prudência office building in Salvador (...

Article

Milan Ivelić

(b Santiago, 1918; d Jun 1993).

Chilean painter and printmaker. After studying architecture at the Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago he won a scholarship that enabled him to continue his studies at Columbia University, New York, from 1943 to 1945. Having painted sensitive watercolors from nature while living in Chile, his journey to New York had a disquieting effect on him: he translated his experience of the concrete city, with its massive buildings dwarfing the anonymous inhabitants wandering the streets, into nearly abstract geometric compositions. He remained in New York to work with Stanley William Hayter from 1948 to 1950 and later traveled to Spain.

On his return to Chile in 1953 Antúnez founded Taller 99, a workshop modeled on Hayter’s Atelier 17, which had far-reaching effects on the development of printmaking in Chile. His renewed contact in Chile with the natural landscape and its fields, beaches, and mountains allowed him to return to intimate, sensitively colored scenes, as in the ...

Article

Ramón Vargas

(b Mexico City, Mar 29, 1915; d Mexico City, May 25, 1959).

Mexican architect, theorist, and writer, of Japanese descent. The son of a Japanese ambassador in Mexico, he studied philosophy, espousing neo-Kantianism and becoming politically a socialist. He became a supporter of Functionalism, with its emphasis on the social applications of architecture, and was a founder, with Enrique Yañez, of the Unión de Arquitectos Socialistas (1938), helping to draw up a socialist theory of architecture. He was one of the most active participants in the Unión and attempted to put his socialist theory into practice on two unexecuted projects in the same year: the building for the Confederación de Trabajadores de México and the Ciudad Obrera de México, both with Enrique Guerrero and Raúl Cacho. Later, when Mexico opted for a developmental policy, Arai became a standard-bearer for nationalism in architecture. He re-evaluated traditional building materials, such as tree trunks, bamboo, palm leaves, and lianas, using them in a plan for a country house that was adapted to the warm, damp climate of the Papaloapan region. The building of the Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, gave him his greatest architectural opportunity when he designed the Frontones (...