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Article

Vanessa Rocco

(b Karlsruhe, May 20, 1906; d New York, July 30, 2004).

American photographer of German birth. She is best known for cutting-edge advertising images made in 1930s Germany as part of the studio pair of Ringl + Pit. She studied sculpture for three years in her hometown of Karlsruhe before moving onto the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart in 1928. While there she abandoned sculpture for photography, and became a student of the successful commercial photographer Walter Peterhans (1897–1960) in 1929, along with another young woman, Grete Stern. After Peterhans was recruited to found the first department of photography at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Rosenberg and Stern took over his studio as Ringl + Pit, a combination of their two childhood nicknames.

Studio Ringl + Pit were at the forefront of an active fusion of Surrealism and Bauhaus-inspired New Vision in the photography worlds in Germany, France, and elsewhere in the late 1920s and early 1930s. From Surrealism they often solicited references to uncanny human stand-ins such as mannequins and dolls; from the New Vision they were inspired by unusual angles, close-ups, and abstractions (see, for example, ...

Article

Aaris Sherin

(b New Haven, CT, June 15, 1917; d New York, NY, Feb 13, 2012).

American graphic designer and photographer. After attending Textile High School in Manhattan, Bassman worked briefly on mosaic murals for the World’s Fair in New York. In 1935 she married photographer Paul Himmel (b 1914), whom she had known since childhood. After briefly taking night classes in fashion illustration at Pratt Institute of Art, she became a student of Alexey Brodovitch, the Russian émigré art director of Harper’s Bazaar, at the New School, New York. Bassman worked as an assistant to Elizabeth Arden (1878–1966), but was soon asked to become Brodovitch’s first paid assistant at Harper’s Bazaar. In 1945 Hearst Magazines, the publisher of Harper’s Bazaar, launched Junior Bazaar and Bassman and Brodovitch became its co-art directors, responsible for the overall vision of the magazine. Junior Bazaar ran as a stand-alone magazine from November 1945 until May 1948. It was the incubation ground for numerous talented young artists, designers and writers, many of whom went on to high-profile jobs in the industry. Bassman’s bold use of colour and asymmetrical compositions gave the magazine pages a lively attitude that was quite different in character from the more sophisticated and conservative layouts in ...

Article

Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Haag, Austria, April 5, 1900; d Santa Barbara, CA, Sept 30, 1985).

American painter, designer, photographer and typographer, of Austrian birth. After serving in the Austrian army (1917–18), Bayer studied architecture under Professor Schmidthammer in Linz in 1919 and in 1920 worked with the architect Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying mural painting (with Vasily Kandinsky) and typography; it was at this time that he created the Universal alphabet, consisting only of lowercase letters. In 1925 he returned to the Bauhaus, then in Dessau, as a teacher of advertising, layout and typography, remaining there until 1928. For the next ten years he was based in Berlin as a commercial artist: he worked as art manager of Vogue (1929–30) and as director of the Dorland advertising agency. Shortly after his first one-man exhibitions at the Galerie Povolotski, Paris, and at the Kunstlerbund März, Linz (both 1929), he created photomontages of a Surrealist nature, such as ...

Article

James Crump

(b Ogolitchi, nr St Petersburg, 1898; d Le Thor, Vaucluse, April 15, 1971).

American typographic designer, art director and photographer. After settling in the USA in 1930, he established a reputation as one of the most influential art directors of the 20th century. He was best known for his 24-year career (1934–1958) at the American magazine Harper’s Bazaar and for his Design Laboratory, operated first under the auspices of the Philadelphia Museum School (1936–40) and then (1941–59) of the New School for Social Research and the American Institute of Graphic Arts, both in New York. Through his work at Harper’s, Brodovitch revolutionized modern magazine design by forging a greater integration of typography, text and photography. His innovative layouts and numerous cover illustrations for the magazine popularized the techniques of montage, full-bleed paging and strategic sequencing of photographs that fostered interactive readership. In 1945 Brodovitch published Ballet, an influential book featuring his own photographs of the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo taken between ...

Article

Elizabeth Hutchinson

[Bessie]

(b Missouri, 1887; d Florida, 1965).

American artistic and commercial photographer. Working primarily in portraiture, she was an active participant in the Pictorialism movement and went on to produce photographs for illustration and advertising.

Buehrmann became interested in photography while studying art as a teenager. She left the Art Institute of Chicago to become a studio assistant to Eva Watson-Schütze (1867–1935) and progressed quickly, becoming an Associate of the Photo-Secession in 1904. Buehrmann spent 1906–7 abroad, studying photographic work in London and working for several months at the Photo-Club of Paris. Despite her youth, Buehrmann was included in many group exhibitions promoting Pictorialism, including Photo-Secession shows organized by Alfred Stieglitz in 1908 and 1909, the International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography at the Albright Art Gallery in 1910, and several of the annual salons of the Photo-Club of Paris. She was prominently featured in the Art Crafts exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in ...

Article

Anne Blecksmith

Term used to describe pictorial representations of objects and data using a computer. The term also implies the creation of and subsequent manipulation and analysis of computer-generated imagery and graphics. Computer-generated imagery was developed shortly after the introduction of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) in 1946. In 1950, a mathematician and artist from Iowa named Ben Laposky produced computer-generated graphic images using an electronic oscilloscope and photographed the results using high-speed film. The first interactive man-machine graphics program was Sketchpad, invented by Ivan Sutherland, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Developed for the TX-2 computer, Sketchpad allowed one to draw on the computer screen using a light pen and processed image manipulation functions through a series of toggle switches.

In 1965, scientists from the USA and Germany organized concurrent computer art exhibitions entitled Computer-Generated Pictures at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York and the Galerie Niedlich in Stuttgart. The American scientists, Bela Julesz and A. Michael Noll worked at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ, a center of computer graphic development and in ...

Article

Mary Panzer

[Hiller, John Arthur; Hiller Sr, Lejaren]

(b Milwaukee, WI, 1880; d New York, 1969).

American photographer and illustrator. John Arthur Hiller worked for a Milwaukee lithographer as a teenager, before studying commercial illustration at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was in Chicago that he acquired his first camera and came up with his professional name, Lejaren à Hiller. By 1909 he had moved to New York and joined the New York Society of Illustrators, where his friends included artists Charles Gibson and John Sloan, as well as editors, art directors, and advertising agents. An avid amateur actor, Lejaren à Hiller staged pageants, artists’ balls, and charity events through the 1930s. In 1921 he married Sara Anita Plummer, his favourite model and a former Ziegfeld dancer.

Lejaren à Hiller’s first photography-based illustrations for fiction appeared in 1913. Over the next decade he combined stagecraft, casting, directing, and photographic technology to create convincing narrative illusions for the printed page. By the early 1920s (when Edward Steichen was just beginning his commercial career), his clients already included Corning Glass, Winchester Arms, and General Electric. He also made cover art for ...

Article

(b Newark, NJ, Jan 26, 1945).

American conceptual artist, designer, and writer. She enrolled at Parsons School of Design, New York, where her teachers included the photographer Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel (1924–84), a successful graphic designer and art director of Harper’s Bazaar, who was particularly encouraging. When Kruger’s interest in art school waned in the mid-1960s, Israel encouraged her to prepare a professional portfolio. Kruger moved to New York and entered the design department of Mademoiselle magazine, becoming chief designer a year later. Also at that time she designed book covers for political texts. In the late 1960s and early 1970s she became interested in poetry and began writing and attending readings. From 1976 to 1980 she lived in Berkeley, CA, teaching and reflecting on her own art. Kruger later taught at Art Institute of Chicago and joined the visual arts faculty of the University of California San Diego in 2002, and later the University of California Los Angeles, dividing her time between Los Angeles and New York....

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Hazelton, PA, April 17, 1947).

American photographer and conceptual artist. She studied at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (BA 1969, MFA 1973). Biographical information on Levine is limited, since she has refused to participate in ‘myth-making’ associated with art production. She first gained critical attention in the early 1980s, when she was associated with Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, David Salle and others known as Appropriationists for drawing on existing imagery from ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. Her works have been interpreted as a commentary on the death of Modernism and its ideals, notions of artistic originality, the authenticity and autonomy of the art object and its status as a commodity. In Untitled (after Walker Evans) (10×8 photograph, 1981) Levine re-photographed a reproduction of a photograph by Evans. Such works articulated her fascination with the photographic process and its reproduction, while raising poststructuralist discourses on authorship, originality and history, from which they partly derive (...

Article

(b Brooklyn, NY, Dec 16, 1911; d South Salem, NY, Jan 30, 2001).

American photographer. He worked as an advertising and public relations photographer, but from 1955, spurred by his obsessive interest in steam trains, he devoted himself to photographing the trains and workers of the Norfolk and Western Railway, situated mostly in Virginia. He worked generally at night using vast banks of simultaneously triggered flash-bulbs, so allowing him to manipulate the images as desired. The Norfolk and Western was the last railway to change to diesel, and he thus recorded the last days of the steam era in America through a series of striking black-and-white photographs. They were first published in the 1980s.

Link, O. Winston America’s Last Steam Railroad: Steam, Steel and Stars, text by T. Hensley and T. H. Garver (New York, 1987) The Last Steam Railroad in America: From Tidewater to Whitetop, text by T. H. Garver (New York, 1995) Ghost Trains: Railroad Photographs of the 1950s by O. Winston Link...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b New York, June 3, 1938).

American photographer. He studied at Ohio State University, Columbus (1956–9), and worked in New York as an advertising art director (1959–63). In 1962 he accompanied Robert Frank on a photographic assignment. Deeply impressed by Frank’s work, he taught himself photography, becoming a freelance photographer in 1963. He documented New York streets and interiors with great spontaneity; his characteristic subjects were banal, empty rooms, the occupants either absent or caught unawares, for example a photograph of a woman in a room, Untitled (1966; New York, MOMA). In the late 1960s and early 1970s he was among the first photographers to work successfully in colour, finding new possibilities for nuance and effect, as in Madison Avenue and 60th Street (1976; artist’s col., see Turner, ed., p. 235). Meyerowitz taught colour photography at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York (1971–9), and from ...

Article

Kelly Holohan

revised by Donna Halper

(b Newburyport, MA, 1874; d March 1912).

American illustrator and poster designer. Her father Edgar was a photographer who had studios in Newburyport and Franklin, MA. Ethel seemed to have been influenced by her mother, Mary Elizabeth. She told The Bookman in late 1895 that she and her mother planned to go to Paris together so she could study there. They later went to Ireland and England. Reed was mainly self-taught, but she did study briefly at the Cowles School of Art in Boston and took drawing lessons with the noted miniature painter Laura Coombs Hills (1859–1952), posing for one of Hills’s first miniatures on ivory (Portrait of a Girl, 1880). Reed was quite beautiful and may have been introduced by Hills to Fred Holland Day, who photographed her in The Gainsborough Hat (1895–8). Landscapes painted by Reed were exhibited with the Boston Arts Students’ Association in 1894, but she is best known as a poster artist (...

Article

Joe Coates

American design and photography studio. Founded in 1979 in Boston by Nancy Skolos (b 1955) and her husband Tom Wedell (b 1949), the pair worked collaboratively creating compositions that used photographic images by Wedell and typography and designs by Skolos. Their dynamic and complex designs and collages have been compared to the work of Cubists and Russian Constructivists.

Skolos’s father was an industrial designer and mother was a music teacher. She studied industrial design at the University of Cincinnati (1975–7) before transferring to the Cranbrook Academy of Art (BFA 1977), where she became a student of Katherine and Michael McCoy. Though admitted to the programme as an industrial design student, Skolos gravitated toward graphic design and showed a particular affinity for typography. She went on to pursue a graduate degree in graphic design at Yale University, where she met and worked with designers such as Alvin Eisenman (...

Article

Alexandra Noble

(b Greenburg, PA, March 29, 1946).

American photographer. He studied under Lisette Model and later became a major figure in international fashion photography. His best-known work derives from advertising assignments for the fashion designers Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Karl Lagerfeld, presenting the unique synthesis of an uncompromising personal vision with an interpretation of varied historical influences. His low-angle shots of men in heroic poses recall the images of Aryan youths made in the 1930s, while some of his studio portraits evoke the spirit of classic Hollywood portraiture. His work contains a highly charged eroticism and plays on sexual ambiguity, as for example in his photographic journal O Rio de Janiero (New York, 1986).

Weber, Bruce Per lui (Milan 1985) Branded Youth and Other Stories, text by M. Harrison and C. S. Smith (Boston, New York, Toronto and London, 1997) Bruce Weber Photographs (Pasadena, 1983) J. Cheim, ed.: Bruce Weber (New York, 1989)...