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Christopher Green

[González Pérez, José Victoriano Carmelo Carlos]

(b Madrid, March 23, 1887; d Boulogne-sur-Seine, May 11, 1927).

Spanish painter, draughtsman, illustrator and writer, active in France. His artistic career was spent almost exclusively in France, where he was considered one of the leading Cubist painters from 1912 until his death. An artist valued for the depth and consistency of his approach rather than as an innovator, he is recognized for his independent and distinctive approach to Cubism and as one of its most influential later practitioners and theoreticians.

Gris specialized in mathematics, physics and engineering at the Escuela de Artes y Manufacturas in Madrid from 1902 to 1904; he later described this phase of his education as formative. His approach to Cubism, which has often been called scientific in its logic and precision, may well have been affected by his knowledge of technical drawings. He broke his scientific studies, however, to train briefly with the academic painter José Moreno Carbonero (1860–1942), and he decided to become an artist. From ...


(b Amersfoort, March 7, 1872; d New York, Feb 1, 1944).

Dutch painter, theorist, and draughtsman. His work marks the transition at the start of the 20th century from the Hague school and Symbolism to Neo-Impressionism and Cubism. His key position within the international avant-garde is determined by works produced after 1920. He set out his theory in the periodical of Stijl, De, in a series of articles that were summarized in a separate booklet published in Paris in 1920 under the title Le Néo-plasticisme (see Neo-plasticism) by Léonce Rosenberg. The essence of Mondrian’s ideas is that painting, composed of the most fundamental aspects of line and colour, must set an example to the other arts for achieving a society in which art as such has no place but belongs instead to the total realization of ‘beauty’. The representation of the universal, dynamic pulse of life, also expressed in modern jazz and the metropolis, was Mondrian’s point of departure. Even in his lifetime he was regarded as the founder of the most ...


Philip Cooper

(b Narbonne, Sept 13, 1889; d Solesmes, Sarthe, June 17, 1960).

French critic and poet. He arrived in Paris in October 1910 and quickly entered the circle of Cubist artists and poets. All his later work, both creative and critical, was strongly affected by Cubism, which provided the aesthetic model for his poetry. His influential though short-lived periodical Nord-Sud (1–16, March 1917 to Oct 1918) contained articles by both Cubists and the emergent Surrealists. In his first theoretical article ‘Sur le Cubisme’ (Nord-Sud, 1, pp. 5–7), Reverdy insisted on the complete autonomy of Cubist work; this was achieved by abstracting those elements of an object demanded by the painting alone: all representation was to be avoided. This austere, cerebral approach to Cubism brought him closest to the art of Gris and Braque. Reverdy was also much admired by the Surrealists, though his own interest in the movement was tempered by its emphasis on chance and the unconscious. His article ‘L’Image’ (...