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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

Janet Bishop

(b San Francisco, CA, May 14, 1932).

American painter. Native of the San Francisco Bay Area, known for careful observation and explicit use of snapshot-like photographic source material for paintings of family, cars, and residential neighborhoods. The artist rose to national and international prominence in early 1970s as part of the Photorealist movement (see Photorealism).

From the 1960s, Bechtle pursued a quiet realism based on the things he knew best, translating what seem to be ordinary scenes of middle-class American life into paintings. Following an early childhood in the Bay Area and Sacramento, his family settled in 1942 in Alameda, an island suburb adjacent to Oakland where his mother would occupy the same house for almost 60 years. The neighborhood appears in many of Bechtle’s paintings.

Bechtle earned both his BFA (1954) and his MFA (1958) at Oakland’s California College of Arts and Crafts, where he studied graphic design and then painting. During his student years and into the 1960s, Bechtle was influenced by Pop art’s precedent for the use of commercial subject matter and techniques. He was likewise interested in Bay Area figuration, especially the subjects and structure of paintings by ...

Article

Xiao Situ

(b Tuscaloosa, AL, Nov 5, 1936).

American painter, photographer, and sculptor. Born and raised in Tuscaloosa, AL, Christenberry received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1958 and his master’s degree in painting in 1959, both from the University of Alabama. He began his artistic career by painting in an Abstract Expressionist style, but soon turned his attention to the landscape of his native Alabama as the primary subject of his art. His photographs, paintings, and sculptures focus on the vernacular architecture, rural roads, commercial signs, and decorative gravesites that characterize the region. As an entirety, his works address themes such as the personal attachment to place and culture, the effects of the passage of time, and the simultaneous fragility and endurance of memory.

After teaching art for six years at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), Christenberry moved to Washington, DC, in 1968 to accept a professorship at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. He continued making annual summer pilgrimages to Alabama to photograph local sites and structures such as ...

Article

Andrew Kagan

(b St Catharines, nr Niagara Falls, Sept 5, 1906; d New York, April 27, 1978).

American painter, printmaker and photographer of Canadian birth. After attending high school in Buffalo, NY, Crawford worked on tramp steamers in the Caribbean. In 1927 he enrolled at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, CA, and worked briefly at the Walt Disney Studio. Later that year he moved to Philadelphia, PA, where he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at the Barnes Foundation in Merion Station until 1930. Crawford’s paintings of the early 1930s, such as Still-life on Dough Table (1932; artist’s estate, see 1985 exh. cat., p. 19), were influenced by the work of Cézanne and Juan Gris, which he had studied at the Barnes Foundation. He was also attracted to the simplified Cubism of Stuart Davis, with its restricted primary colour schemes. After a trip to Paris in 1932–3, where he studied at the Académie Colarossi and the Académie Scandinave, Crawford’s flat, geometric treatment of architectural and industrial subjects in paintings such as ...

Article

Mary M. Tinti

[Mary Joan]

(b Hanover, NH, March 31, 1929; d Oakland, CA, Nov 11, 1989).

American sculptor, painter and photographer. Although born in New England, DeFeo moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with her family in 1931. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art from the University of California at Berkeley in 1950 and 1951, respectively. Honored with a university traveling fellowship, DeFeo spent a year and a half in Europe before returning to California. She married artist Wally Hedrick (1928–2003) in 1954 and the couple resided in San Francisco alongside fellow Beat-era, avant-garde talents Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner, Allen Ginsberg, and Michael McClure.

Despite the myriad of drawings, paintings, and photographs that made up her oeuvre, much of DeFeo’s career and reputation were subsumed by The Rose (1958–66; originally titled Deathrose, and briefly The White Rose; New York, Whitney), a monumental abstract painting whose legendary creation spanned the better part of a decade. For eight years, DeFeo painted, contoured, stripped, layered, worked and reworked the surface of her canvas, which eventually grew to 3.27×2.34 m. Fan-like folds of paint radiated from the center of ...

Article

Elizabeth Johns

(Cowperthwaite)

(b Philadelphia, PA, July 25, 1844; d Philadelphia, June 25, 1916).

American painter, sculptor and photographer. He was a portrait painter who chose most of his sitters and represented them in powerful but often unflattering physical and psychological terms. Although unsuccessful throughout much of his career, since the 1930s he has been regarded as one of the greatest American painters of his era.

His father Benjamin Eakins (1818–99), the son of a Scottish–Irish immigrant weaver, was a writing master and amateur artist who encouraged Thomas Eakins’s developing talent. Eakins attended the Central High School in Philadelphia, which stressed skills in drawing as well as a democratic respect for disciplined achievement. He developed an interest in human anatomy and began visiting anatomical clinics. After studying from 1862 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where instruction was minimal, Eakins went to Paris to enrol at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in the studio of Jean-Léon Gérôme. From 1866 to the end of ...

Article

Reena Jana

(b Cologne, Germany, 1969).

American mixed-media artist of German birth and Asian descent. Ezawa studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1990–94) before moving to San Francisco in 1994. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995) and an MFA from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (2003). Ezawa is not a photographer, but his work centers around photography; he has used a variety of media, from digital animations to paper collages and aquatint prints, to revisit some of the world’s most familiar, infamous and historically significant news photographs, television broadcasts and motion-picture stills (see The Simpson Verdict). All of Ezawa’s work utilizes the artist’s signature style of flat, simple renderings that are cartoonlike and also suggest the streamlined and colorful style of Pop artist Katz, Alex.

Ezawa’s project, The History of Photography Remix (2004–6), exemplifies his approach to exploring the power of photographs as a mirror of reality and yet also a force that can manipulate memories of events and people. The project consists of images appropriated from art history textbooks, such as American photographer Cindy Sherman’s ...

Article

(b Montreal, May 1934; d Montreal, April 16, 2003).

Canadian painter and photographer. After studying briefly in Montreal, he moved to New York in 1956 and enrolled at the Parsons School of Design. He later studied painting at the New York School of Design (1957) and at New York University. He first exhibited in 1958 at the Galerie Artek in Montreal and the following year had his first one-man show there. He was in New York until 1960 and the paintings executed during this period clearly show the influence of Abstract Expressionism, for example Untitled (1956; see 1978 exh. cat., p. 128).

After returning to Montreal Gagnon made a series of collage works using newspaper and other printed matter, similar to those of Rauschenberg. These were followed in 1961 by a series of landscape paintings in which the paint was applied in a spontaneous, Expressionist manner, as in Landscape (1961; Ottawa, N.G.). During 1961–2 he worked on a number of shallow box constructions containing various objects and materials. In ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Plainfield, NJ, April 24, 1943; d Montpon-Ménestérol, France, Jan 1, 2012).

American photographer and painter. She trained as a painter at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, graduating with a BFA in 1965. She then studied for an MA in Art Education at Ohio State University, graduating in 1970. In the early 1970s she began to take photographs, publishing a book in 1973 that included triptychs taken from a fixed point, showing vehicles travelling across the landscape, for example Emerging Rock/Measure (1973; see 1973 publication, fig.). In the same year she moved to New York, where she continued to make photographic diptychs and triptychs of urban environments, emphasizing the formal composition. In 1976–7 she made a series of over 100 triptychs of the suburban landscape of New Jersey, where she had grown up. It was in the late 1970s that Groover achieved commercial success with her still-life compositions of kitchen objects. These images focused on the elegance of the objects, abstracting their functional quality and highlighting the interplay of shapes and light, in a similar way to Robert Mapplethorpe’s studies of flowers, as in ...

Article

Richard Lorenz

(b Breslau, Silesia [now Wrocław, Poland], May 28, 1905; d San Francisco, CA, June 12, 1998).

American photographer and painter. He studied painting at the Staatliche Akademie für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe in Breslau during the mid-1920s with Otto Mueller and from 1927 to 1930 carried out graduate and post-graduate work in Berlin at Humboldt Universität and the Akademie der Künste. Between 1929 and 1932 he taught art at various schools in Berlin and Brandenburg. He began photographing in 1933 and was hired as a photojournalist by Presse-Foto in Berlin. That same year he travelled to San Francisco, which became his permanent home in 1937.

Gutmann viewed America with a fresh and sophisticated photojournalistic style that synthesized social and aesthetic concerns in daringly cropped compositions and juxtaposed forms. His painterly sensibilities drew him to visually stimulating subjects such as graffiti, quirkily painted signs, costumed Mardi Gras revellers and car-bonnet ornaments. He devoted much of his life to teaching at San Francisco State University, where he developed the graduate photography department in ...

Article

Robert Saltonstall Mattison

(b New York, March 10, 1917; d Dec 21, 1992).

American sculptor, painter, and photographer. Throughout his career he was devoted to Surrealist ideas. He had no formal training, but at schools in New York, Colorado, and California he graduated in biology and chemistry, which may have influenced his interest in primal origins and the biomorphic shapes in his sculptures and paintings. He worked briefly as a commercial photographer in New York around 1940, experimenting in 1941 with a thermographic technique invented by the Surrealists in which the negative was melted to distort the image. From 1941 to 1944 he was one of the Americans most closely associated with the European Surrealist emigrés, and he edited the Surrealist magazine VVV with assistance from Duchamp, Breton, and Ernst. He became committed to the Surrealists’ exploration of psychic automatism and to their use of mythological subjects.

Hare’s first sculptures were plaster works produced in the mid-1940s and exhibited at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century Gallery in New York in ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Buffalo, NY, 1950).

Tuscarora artist, writer, educator, and museum director. Hill studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1968–70), and was awarded a Master of Arts degree from SUNY, Buffalo, NY (1980).

Intrigued with Seneca General Ely Parker (General Grant’s Military Secretary), Hill investigated Parker’s life, which took him to Washington, DC, for two years. Hill began to identify with Parker’s experience and realized he would devote himself to enlightening others about Native American arts, knowledge, education, and culture.

Hill was skilled in painting, photography, carving, beading, and basket weaving, and many of these works are located at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, Quebec; the Woodland Indian Cultural Center, Brantford, Ontario; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK; the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Washington, DC; and the Seneca Iroquois National Museum, Salamanca, NY. He taught at McMaster University, Mohawk College, Six Nations Polytechnic, and SUNY at Buffalo. Hill developed a culturally based Seneca Language curriculum and training models for teaching....

Article

Sook-Kyung Lee

One of the characteristics of Korean contemporary art is a continuous effort in employing and interpreting international art practices and discourses. Art movements from Europe and North America in particular, including Abstract Expressionism, Art informel, Minimalism, Conceptual art and Post-modernism, have influenced many Korean artists’ styles and ideas since the 1950s, providing formal and conceptual grounds for critical understandings and further experiments. Whilst some artists who maintained traditional art forms such as ink painting and calligraphy exercised modernist styles and abstract forms largely within the norms and conventions of traditional genres, a large group of artists proactively adapted to Western styles, employing new materials and techniques as well as the notions of avant-garde and experimentalism (see fig.).

A major critique of the reception of Western art and aesthetics came from ‘Minjung art’ (People’s Art) in the 1980s as part of instigating a nationalist and politically charged art strategy. Several art historians and critics who emerged in the 1990s also expanded the scope of the debate with postcolonial and pluralist points of view. The shift in social, economic and political environments played an important role in changing sensibilities in art, along with the advances of technology and new media in the 2000s. The high degree of diversity and sophistication of Korean art in terms of media and subject matters became widely acknowledged within and outside the nation, and an increasing number of artists started to work on the cutting edge of international art....

Article

David M. Sokol

(b Okayama, Sept 1, 1893; d Woodstock, NY, May 14, 1953).

American painter, photographer and printmaker of Japanese birth. He arrived in the USA in 1906 and studied at the Los Angeles School of Art and Design from 1907 to 1910. He then moved to New York, studying, in rapid succession, with Robert Henri at the National Academy of Design, at the Independent School of Art and from 1916 to 1920 with Kenneth Hayes Miller at the Art Students League. He supported himself through his later art studies and thereafter as an art photographer. He travelled to Europe in 1925 and again in 1928, settling in Paris, where he studied lithography at the Atelier Desjoubert. After a trip back to Japan in 1931 he worked on the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration during the Depression. Paintings such as Fisherman (1924; New York, MOMA) show both his interest in Surrealism and a blend of his two cultures. His massive forms of the late 1930s and early 1940s, as in ...

Article

Adam M. Thomas

(b Bronx, New York, Oct 29, 1927).

American painter and filmmaker. A bodybuilder, gymnast and budding photographer in high school, Leslie served in the United States Coast Guard in 1945–6. He studied briefly at the Art Students League and then at New York University on the GI Bill from 1947 to 1949. In the late 1940s and early 1950s Leslie emerged as an experimental filmmaker, creating such films as Directions: A Walk after the War Games (1946), and a preeminent second-generation Abstract Expressionist painter. Leslie developed a slashing, gestural style of painting in which splashes and free brushwork are set off against broad strips and rectangular patches of color, as evident in Pythoness (1959; Muncie, IN, Ball State U. Mus. A.). Based on the strength of his abstract paintings, critic Clement Greenberg included Leslie in the New Talent exhibition at the Kootz Gallery, New York, in 1950. Leslie was part of the seminal Ninth Street Show...

Article

Anne Blecksmith

(b Kiev, Sept 4, 1919; d Miami, FL, Nov 19, 1999).

American painter, photographer and publishing executive of Ukrainian birth. Raised in England and France, he received a degree in philosophy and mathematics from the Sorbonne in 1930. Connected to the Russian exile community in Paris, he was introduced to artists Aleksandr Yakovlev and Marc Chagall. In 1931, he studied painting with André Lhote and enrolled at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, where he was a student of Auguste Perret. Later that year, he transferred to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While studying architecture, he was apprenticed to graphic artist Cassandre through whom he found work at the newsweekly Vu, where he created photomontage covers with Russian Constructivist sensibilities and later rose to art director. At Vu he worked with imagery by pioneers of 35 mm photography Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï and Erich Salomon. A prolific photographer since childhood, he enthusiastically identified with the candid documentary style of the 35 mm camera.

Arriving in New York in ...

Article

Style of painting popular in Europe and the USA mainly from the 1920s to 1940s, with some followers in the 1950s. It occupies a position between Surrealism and Photorealism, whereby the subject is rendered with a photographic naturalism, but where the use of flat tones, ambiguous perspectives, and strange juxtapositions suggest an imagined or dreamed reality. The term was introduced by art historian Frank Roh in his book Nach-Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus (1925) to describe a style deriving from Neue Sachlichkeit, but rooted in late 19th-century German Romantic fantasy. It had strong connections with the Italian Pittura Metafisica of which the work of Giorgio De Chirico was exemplary in its quest to express the mysterious. The work of Giuseppe Capogrossi and the Scuola Romana of the 1930s is also closely related to the visionary elements of Magic Realism. In Belgium its surreal strand was exemplified by René(-François-Ghislain) Magritte, with his ‘fantasies of the commonplace’, and in the USA by ...

Article

Terence A. Senter

(b Bácsborsod, Mohol Puszta, Hungary, July 20, 1895; d Chicago, Nov 24, 1946).

American painter, sculptor, photographer, designer, film maker, theorist, and teacher, of Hungarian birth. Moholy-Nagy’s importance in the 20th century is based as much on his theories as on his practical work. His ideologies related to the relationship between space, time, and light, and the interaction of man with these forces. His great achievement was that he applied his mystical outlook to highly practical enterprises and always recognized the purpose behind his creativity.

Moholy-Nagy’s ambition developed when he exchanged village life for the city of Szeged after his father left his family. Academically outstanding, Moholy-Nagy read law for a year at Budapest University before joining the artillery in World War I. Influential praise for his war sketches converted his aspiration from literature to art. His Expressionist style, social conscience, and investigation of light paralleled trends in the Hungarian avant-garde, from ...

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

Deborah A. Middleton

American group of artists active in the 1950s and 1960s who were part of a movement that was reacting to Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism and conceptual art by choosing to represent traditional subjects of nudes, portraiture, still lifes, landscapes and urban street scenes that often were plain and ordinary. The rise of consumerism and mass production inspired New Realist artists who returned to representing subjects as everyday and common visual encounters and experiences. The New Realist movement is in contrast to earlier forms of realism practiced by European artists whose works embody idealism or romanticize the commonality of the subject. New Realism is also associated with the emergence of Photorealism, where the camera captured the momentary fleeting naturalism of the subject. A common approach characteristically unifying New Realist artworks is the notion of the presence of the subject, which is understood as the representation of a neutral peripheral visual experience that exposes the subject prior to its discovery as a cognitive translation, intellectual or emotional response. Paintings and drawings present the perception of the real in a direct, clear and straightforward way using conventional drawing and painting techniques, and classical compositional approaches. Subjects are acutely observed and revealed with precise attention to detail and technical draftsmanship to disclose the detached presence of the subject itself....