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Article

(b Solothurn, March 28, 1868; d Oschwand, July 6, 1961).

Swiss painter and sculptor. From 1884 to 1886 he received irregular lessons from the Swiss painter Frank Buscher (1828–90). In the autumn of 1886 he attended the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich and the following year met Giovanni Giacometti, who was to be a lifelong friend. In 1888 he visited the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Munich, where he was particularly impressed by the work of Jules Bastien-Lepage and Whistler. This prompted him to go to Paris to continue his studies, and from 1888 to 1891 he attended the Académie Julian, working under William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Tony Robert-Fleury and Gabriel Ferrier. While in Paris he also met Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis and other Nabis artists, though his own painting of this period was most influenced by Impressionism. In 1892 he was advised to visit Pont-Aven in Brittany, where he met Emile Bernard, Armand Séguin and Roderic O’Conor, as well as seeing the works of Vincent Van Gogh and Gauguin at first hand. This brief period had a decisive effect upon his work, leading to such Synthetist paintings as ...

Article

Christian Lenz

(b Leipzig, Feb 12, 1884; d New York, Dec 27, 1950).

German painter, draughtsman, printmaker and teacher. He was one of the most important German painters of the 20th century. He was initially influenced by traditional styles, but during World War I he rejected perspective and classical proportion in favour of a more expressive objective art. He was persecuted by the Nazis in the 1930s but continued to work, painting his celebrated secular triptychs in the late 1930s and the 1940s.

Beckmann showed artistic promise from an early age, painting as early as c. 1898 a Self-portrait with Soap Bubbles (mixed media on cardboard; priv. col.; see Lackner, 1991, p. 10). After training at the Kunstschule in Weimar (1900–03), he studied under the patronage of Julius Meier-Graefe in Paris. There he became acquainted with the works of the Impressionists, Cézanne, van Gogh and probably such early French paintings as the Avignon Pietà. From 1903 until the outbreak of World War I he lived mostly in or near Berlin. He began painting landscapes and from ...

Article

Iain Boyd Whyte

(b Hamburg, April 14, 1868; d Berlin, Feb 27, 1940).

German architect, designer and painter. Progressing from painting and graphics to product design and architecture, Behrens achieved his greatest successes with his work for the Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG), in which he reconciled the Prussian Classicist tradition with the demands of industrial fabrication.

After attending the Realgymnasium in Altona, he began his painting studies in 1886 at the Kunstakademie in Karlsruhe. From there he moved to Düsseldorf, where he studied with Ferdinand Brütt. In December 1889 Behrens married Lilli Krämer, and the following year the couple moved to Munich, where he continued his studies with Hugo Kotschenreiter (1854–1908). Behrens was one of the founder-members of the Munich Secession (see Secession, §1) in 1893 and, shortly afterwards, a founder of the more progressive Freie Vereinigung Münchener Künstler, with Otto Eckmann, Max Slevogt, Wilhelm Trübner and Lovis Corinth. He also joined the circle associated with the magazine Pan, which included Otto Julius Bierbaum, Julius Meier-Graefe, Franz Blei, Richard Dehmel and Otto Eckmann....

Article

Lenka Bydžovská

(b Velké Lišice, nr Chlumec nad Cidlinou, Jan 22, 1883; d Prague, March 27, 1979).

Czech painter, writer and theorist. In 1902–4 he studied at the Prague School of Applied Art and in 1904–7 at the Academy of Fine Arts. After visiting Dresden, Berlin, Munich and Paris, he returned to Prague and joined Eight, the, which had been set up by his former fellow students; he exhibited at the group’s second show in 1908. His early work was influenced by the ideas of Bohumil Kubišta, with whom he shared a workshop. Although basically an uncomplicated, sensual painter, he attempted to keep well informed about contemporary artistic trends. In 1910–14 he became a fervent devotee of Cubism and, together with Emil Filla, adhered faithfully to the style of Picasso and Braque. He was one of the founders (1911) of the Group of Plastic Artists and contributed theoretical articles to its journal, Umělecký měsíčník. No consistent reconstruction of his paintings before World War I can be made because most of his Cubist works were later destroyed. His process of crystallization in relation to the painting of space culminated in ...

Article

Jan Minchin

(Vladimir Jossif)

(b Vienna, Oct 13, 1920).

Israeli painter of Austrian birth, active in Australia. He grew up in Warsaw. His father, the pseudonymous Jewish writer Melech Ravitch, owned books on German Expressionism, which were an early influence. Conscious of rising anti-Semitism in Poland, Ravitch visited Australia in 1934 and later arranged for his family to settle there. Bergner arrived in Melbourne in 1937. Poor, and with little English, his struggle to paint went hand-in-hand with a struggle to survive. In 1939 he attended the National Gallery of Victoria’s art school and came into contact with a group of young artists including Victor O’Connor (b 1918) and Noel Counihan, who were greatly influenced by Bergner’s haunting images of refugees, hard-pressed workers and the unemployed, for example The Pumpkin-eaters (c. 1940; Canberra, N.G.). Executed in an expressionist mode using a low-toned palette, they were among the first social realist pictures done in Australia.

In 1941...

Article

C. Nagy

(b Budapest, Oct 26, 1941).

Hungarian painter, photographer and conceptual artist. He studied under Géza Fónyi at the Fine Art College in Budapest and then from 1966 to 1972 produced portraits, in which the influence of Expressionism was noticeable. From 1973 to 1979, however, he moved in a different direction, producing films, photographic sequences and textual conceptual works, all based on structuralist analysis of pictorial representation and of the institutions of the exhibition and the museum (e.g. the photographic sequences Inquiries on the Exterior Wall of the Museum of Fine Arts, 1975–6; and Reflections, 1976). From 1975 to 1980 he was involved in the Indigo project led by Miklós Erdély, but in 1980 he returned to oil painting, producing abstract works divided into two or three sections and often symmetrical in composition. At first these were vividly coloured, using bold brushstrokes and inspired by the Hungarian landscape, but later works were dominated by schematic representations of the human face, reduced after ...

Article

(b Parchim, Jan 16, 1897; d Perth, 1990).

Australian painter of German birth. Blumann studied at the Berlin Academy of Art under Max Liebermann and Käthe Kollwitz. Influenced by their example, as well as the Der Sturm artists, her favoured style was a robust Expressionism. In 1923 she married Dr Arnold Blumann and they migrated to Perth in 1938. There her expressionist techniques were combined with a sensitivity to the local light and colour of the Western Australian landscape, charting in particular the Swan River near her home in Nedlands. While her bold and energetic landscape works were accepted, her unashamed approach to the human figure was not tolerated so well. For example, in her 1944 exhibition (held under the anglicized name Elise Burleigh), images of nude bodies in the landscape caused a great deal of controversy. In 1942, with Robert Campbell of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Blumann established the Perth Art Group, to cultivate local interest in modern art. She also gave private lessons in her home and sought to unleash her students’ innate creativity. After travelling through Europe in the 1950s and 1960s, her output and exhibiton rate diminished. Her first major retrospective in Gallery G in ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Frauenberg, Nov 11, 1951).

German painter and sculptor. He studied sociology, politics and educational theory at university (1970–76). Bömmels became known within the context of German Neo-Expressionism in the early 1980s: he was a member of the Cologne-based group Mülheimer Freiheit, and his vigorous, fluid technique and symbolist leanings led him to be associated with the ‘wild’ painters or New Primitives. Break with History (1984–5; see Faust, 1990, pl. 22) is typical of his early style: intense, expressionistic facture combines with a striking palette of brown, yellow and red to depict a cryptic scene of fleshy but ghost-like figures in a torn landscape; the scene could be read as referring to the contemporary political divisions within Germany. Bömmels’s interest in history and love of hermetic allegories gradually led him to be influenced by the medieval and Roman art of Cologne. Scales of Justice (1984–5; see Faust, 1990, pl. 22) is characteristic of the early stages of this development: two old tradesmen’s signs, painted with obscure symbols, hang from a crooked wooden cross which stands in the stump of a tree. Towards the end of the 1980s his handling shed its vigour and came to resemble the faintly comic style of Romanesque sculpture; he also began to employ a variety of new formats, including relief carving and paintings on wood. ...

Article

Frances K. Smith

[Friedrich] (Wilhelm)

(b Danzig, Germany [now Gdańsk, Poland], July 28, 1896; d Montreal, Nov 7, 1969).

Canadian painter of German birth. He was self-taught as an artist while in Danzig during the 1920s. He was attracted by Expressionist ideas and studied the work of contemporary artists in Germany through exhibitions and in books. Equally important was his experience of nature in the Baltic coastal region. A small, vivid painting, Bather, Baltic Sea (1925; Montreal, priv. col., see 1982 exh. cat., no. 1), which he took with him to Canada in 1928, echoes these experiences with stylistic influences from Max Pechstein and Paul Gauguin.

In Winnipeg, Brandtner found work as a designer for a mail-order catalogue. There he also formed a warm friendship with LeMoine FitzGerald. However, his highly coloured, emotionally aggressive drawings and paintings found few positive responses in Winnipeg, which had as yet little exposure to modern European art. In 1934, on FitzGerald’s advice, Brandtner moved to Montreal, where he devoted himself to painting and to teaching art to underprivileged children. He was commissioned to design a number of murals, including several for the Canadian National Railway for various parts of the country. In these he pioneered the use of carved and painted linoleum. His mural for the ballroom of the Newfoundland Hotel, St John’s, is a colourful, stylized rendering of musicians in carnival costume, the surface animated by textural variety. Other murals involved working in cast cement, stone, engraved steel and glass, as well as painting on canvas. He was among the first in Canada to experiment with abstract, Cubist and Constructivist styles, and his strength lay in his ability to assimilate influences into an intense personal statement. His lifelong concern for social issues, especially during the years of depression and war, is reflected in such works as the ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Jena, Thüringen, March 15, 1954).

German painter and sculptor. He studied at Berlin University but was self-taught as an artist. He came to international prominence in the early 1980s along with a generation of young German Neo-Expressionist painters. In particular, he was associated with a group from Hamburg that included Albert Oehlen (with whom he had a long and formative association) and Martin Kippenberger. Like many of the Hamburg painters, his work was characterized by satirical attacks on the bourgeoisie, while its fantastical and infantilist dimensions were informed by a distaste for the excesses of contemporary mass culture. Still Life with Ray and Special Offer (1983; see 1987 exh. cat.) is in many ways typical of his early work: a comical image of a frowning ray, it is executed in thick, vigorous strokes and dominated by the dark palette favoured by Büttner during this period. The title, which appears to offer little with which to interpret the image is also characteristic of the way in which he counterposed image and title. His sculpture took a number of forms, but appears to be predominantly inspired by Dada traditions. ...

Article

Timothy O. Benson

(b Krefeld, Nov 3, 1889; d Amsterdam, May 9, 1957).

German painter, printmaker and stained-glass artist. He attended the Fachschule für Textilindustrie and the Kunstgewerbeschule in Krefeld (1905–9), where his teacher Johan Thorn Prikker showed him the power of line and colour and introduced him to the work of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne. In 1911 he was invited by Franz Marc and Vasily Kandinsky to Sindelsdorf in Upper Bavaria. They knew of his work through August Macke whose cousin, Helmut, shared a studio with Campendonk. While Campendonk’s harmonious and often transparent application of luxurious Fauvist colours reflects the influence of Robert and Sonia Delaunay and of Macke, Marc’s geometric compositional approach is clearly visible in the experimental style of such paintings as Leaping Horse (1911; Saarbrücken, Saarland Mus.), shown in the first exhibition of Der Blaue Reiter in 1911–12 in Munich and illustrated in the almanac Der Blaue Reiter. Unlike Marc, however, he included figures in his mystical portrayals of animals in nature. This subject-matter was also explored in his first tentative graphic works, published in ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Hronov, March 23, 1887; d Bergen-Belsen, April 1945).

Czech painter, printmaker and writer. He studied weaving (1901–3) in Vrchlabí and then from 1904 to 1910 decorative painting at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, where he was influenced by the highly decorative art of the Secession. During this period he wrote stories with his brother, the novelist Karel Čapek (1890–1938). In 1910 they went to Paris for nearly a year, where Josef Čapek studied painting at the Académie Colarossi and became a friend of Apollinaire. In 1911 he and his brother co-founded the Cubist-orientated Group of Plastic Artists. Čapek attempted to modify Cubism by introducing elements of Expressionism and Symbolism. His efforts dumbfounded some members of the group, and in 1912 he and various of his friends parted company with it. From 1915 he began to achieve a synthesis of Cubism, Neo-classicism and a personal symbolism (e.g. the Man in the Hat, 1915...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Kraków, June 13, 1884; d Barvish, nr Moscow, Aug 20, 1944).

Polish painter, Theoretician, philosopher and mathematician. He had little artistic training, spending half a year at the studio of Józef Mehoffer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (1903–4) and studying drawing in Paris in 1913–14. He began exhibiting in 1917, but only in Poland. From 1906 he taught mathematics, first at a secondary school, then at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and from 1930 as Professor of Mathematical Logic at Jan Kazimierz University in Lwow (now Lviv, Ukraine). In 1941 while fleeing from the Germans he stayed in Tbilisi and then Moscow, where he associated with the Polish communist authorities.

In his youth Chwistek had links with the artistic circle in Zakopane and was a friend of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz. From the moment of his first exhibition he was committed to the Formist movement (see Formists) and became its leading theoretician, producing his article ‘Wielość rzeczywistości w sztuce’ (‘Plurality of reality in art’) in ...

Article

Corinne Robins

(b New Orleans, LA, May 6, 1926).

African American painter. Edward Clark experienced the excitement of being part of the younger generation of Abstract Expressionists and over a period of 50 years built up a solid body of work that has made something both unique and original out of his commitment to Jackson Pollock’s (1912–56) principles of action and spontaneity.

Born in New Orleans in 1926, Clark grew up in Chicago and, after studying at the Chicago Art Institute, took advantage of the GI Bill and went to Paris. There, he enrolled in the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in 1951 and by 1952 came under the influence of Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) and of Cubism. In 1954, the American Center for Students and Artists became interested in the artistic activity in Montparnasse studios and presented an exhibition titled Grandes Toiles de Montparnasse, in which Clark participated and was described in a review in ...

Article

Sharon Matt Atkins

(b Oakland, CA, Aug 26, 1925; d Tucson, AZ, June 4, 2009).

American painter, printmaker and teacher. Colescott produced highly expressive and gestural paintings that addressed a wide range of social and cultural themes and challenged stereotypes. Interested in issues of race, gender and power, his work critiqued the representation of minorities in literature, history, art and popular culture. Stylistically, his work is indebted to European modernism, particularly Cubism and Expressionism, but also makes references to African sculpture, African American art and post–World War II American styles.

Colescott was introduced to art at an early age. His mother was a pianist and his father was a classically-trained violinist and jazz musician. Through his parents’ social circles, he often found himself surrounded by creative individuals as he was growing up, like his artistic mentor, the sculptor Sargent Johnson (1888–1967). Colescott received his BA in 1949 and later his MFA in 1952 from the University of California, Berkeley. He also studied with ...

Article

Ricardo Pau-Llosa

(b Havana, April 5, 1942).

Cuban painter, active in the USA. He left Cuba in 1960 and settled in New York, where from 1966 to 1969 he studied at the School of Visual Arts. He was a protagonist of the neo-expressionist movement that emerged in New York in the 1970s (see Neo-Expressionism in America). His work of this date is characterized by a humour lacking in some of the work by European exponents, for example The Dance of Latin America (acrylic on canvas, 1.96×2.34 m, 1983; New York, Met.). In 1985 he won a Guggenheim Fellowship in painting. Works by Cruz Azaceta are in a number of collections (e.g. A Question of Colour, acrylic on canvas, 3.05×3.66 m, 1989; Houston, TX, Mus. F.A.) including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; Boston Museum of Fine Arts, MA; and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, TX....

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Przyszów, Dec 28, 1880; d Kraków, May 6, 1945).

Polish painter, critic and poet. In 1902–7 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków in the painting studios of Józef Mehoffer and Leon Wyczółkowski. From 1908 he travelled frequently to the West, particularly to Paris, acquainting himself with the latest artistic trends. He began exhibiting in 1906, often abroad (including at the Salon des Indépendants, Paris). During his first visit to France he discovered the work of Cézanne, and he started using more vivid colours (e.g. Salome, 1909; Kraków, N. Mus.). He also discovered El Greco, whose work he admired until his death.

From World War I onward Czyżewski was the moving spirit behind modern art in Poland. In 1917, with the brothers Zbigniew Pronaszko and Andrzej Pronaszko (1888–1961), he organized in Kraków the first exhibition of the Polish Expressionists (later the Formists) and showed multi-planar polychrome compositions (untraced). Until the break-up of the Formists in ...

Article

Robert Hoozee

[Gust; Gustaaf]

(b Ghent, Jan 21, 1877; d Deurle, Oct 8, 1943).

Belgian painter and printmaker. He studied from 1889 to 1896 at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Ghent, and together with his younger brother Léon De Smet (1881–1966), also a painter, he helped his father Jules De Smet with the decoration of inns, stores and fairground buildings. From c. 1902 Gustave de Smet spent time in Deurle and with Frits Van den Berghe at Laethem-Saint-Martin near Ghent, where he was part of the second generation of artists who sought out the rural surroundings of the river Leie to live and paint. From 1911 he once again lived in Ghent. When World War I broke out he fled with his wife and son to the Netherlands and worked there in close contact with Van den Berghe, who had also left Belgium. He stayed in Amsterdam and in the villages of Laren and Blaricum.

During the years up to World War I, De Smet painted mostly cityscapes and landscapes in an impressionistic style, derived from the example of Emile Claus and Albert Baertsoen, for example ...

Article

Reinhold Heller

(b Untermhaus, nr Gera, Dec 2, 1891; d Singen, July 25, 1969).

German painter, printmaker and watercolourist (see fig.). His initial training (1905–14) in Gera and Dresden was as a painter of wall decorations, but he taught himself the techniques of easel painting from 1909 and began concentrating on portraits and landscapes in a veristic style derived from northern Renaissance prototypes. After seeing exhibitions of paintings by Vincent van Gogh (Dresden, 1912) and by the Futurists (1913), he quickly fused these influences into a randomly coloured Expressionism. Volunteering as a machine-gunner during World War I, he served in the German army (1914–18), making innumerable sketches of war scenes, using alternately a realistic and a Cubo-Futurist style. The experience of war, moreover, became a dominant motif of his work until the 1930s. He later commented: ‘War is something so animal-like: hunger, lice, slime, these crazy sounds … War was something horrible, but nonetheless something powerful … Under no circumstances could I miss it! It is necessary to see people in this unchained condition in order to know something about man’ (Kinkel, ...

Article

(b Delfshaven, nr Rotterdam, Jan 26, 1877; d Monte Carlo, May 28, 1968).

French painter and printmaker of Dutch birth. He took evening classes in geometric drawing from 1892 to 1897 at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Rotterdam. In 1895 he began working intermittently for the newspaper Rotterdamsche Nieuwsblad, for which he made, among other things, a series of bright watercolour drawings of Rotterdam’s red-light district and illustrations of Queen Wilhelmina’s coronation. Van Dongen’s first paintings used dark tones in imitation of Rembrandt, who remained the most important model for his work; his later book on Rembrandt was, in fact, a projection of his own life. By the mid-1890s he was using more vivid contrasts of black and white, for example in Spotted Chimera (1895; priv. col., see Chaumeil, pl. 1), his palette soon becoming brighter and his line more animated. In Le Muet Windmill (1896; priv. col., see Chaumeil, pl. 7), a red ochre monochrome painting, he successfully enlivened the colour by means of broad, energetic brushstrokes....