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Francis Summers

(b West Hartlepool, Cleveland, Jan 9, 1935).

English painter and printmaker. He studied at West Hartlepool College of Art (1950–55) and at the Royal Academy Schools, London, from 1957 to 1961. He taught at Goldsmiths’ College, London, for much of the 1980s and 90s. An initial interest in the paintings of Walter Richard Sickert gave way to influences from the late work of Picasso and paintings by the New York artists associated with Abstract Expressionism. Beattie’s mature work can be situated within the context of the abstraction practised by other English painters such as John Hoyland, Albert Irvin and Gillian Ayres, all of whose sensual and physical use of paint owes some allegiance to the recent American tradition. Beattie’s work of the 1980s was very gestural and characterized by its use of dark colours, as in Circus (1984; London, Tate). He later became interested in dividing the pictorial space into defined sections. The abstract forms that Beattie used were often organized into shapes resembling ziggurats, as in ...


S. Kontha


(b Nagyszeben [now Sibiu, Romania], Aug 13, 1906; d Budapest, Jan 27, 1990).

Hungarian sculptor, medallist, draughtsman, engraver and painter. In 1922 he moved from Transylvania to Győr, Hungary, where, while preparing to become a painter, he learnt the craft of goldsmithing and engraving from his father. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, in 1928–9. He also spent considerable time during these years in Italy and southern France. His taste was influenced mainly by Classical work. The drawings and paintings from this period can be regarded as preparation for his career as a sculptor, although it was not until the early 1930s that he took up full-time sculpting. At first he produced copper embossings. In 1938 a trip to Transylvania inspired him to create larger copper reliefs, such as Women Hired to Mourn (1939; Pécs, Pannonius Mus.). His first stone statue Mother (Győr, Xantus János Mus.) was sculpted in 1933. Partly because of the nature of the material, and also because of his deep knowledge of ancient Egyptian and Greek sculpture, his figure sculptures are built from basic, essential forms. His success as a sculptor enabled him in ...


Hilary Pyle

(b Dublin, Nov 27, 1936).

Irish painter, sculptor and printmaker. He studied at the National College of Art in Dublin and St Martin’s School of Art and Goldsmith’s College in London. His early paintings, which included landscapes such as Winter (c. 1966; Dublin, Allied Irish Bank) and life-size nude self-portraits, were indebted to German Expressionism and to the work of Alberto Giacometti in their warm-toned colours and loose application of paint or pastel. These were followed by painted and sculpted portraits of his wife and friends in bronze or fibreglass, such as Head of L.T. (1971; Dublin, Dawson Gal.). From 1971 he concentrated on a recurring image of a small, primitive sculpture as a sign for himself, reduced in mocking fashion to a formalized bust or head. He related this fascination with identity to the character of Don Quixote, for example in the painted wood sculpture Don Quixote (1980–81; Dublin, Allied Irish Bank); sometimes he conceived of this image as two selves, as in the etching ...


Philip Attwood

(b Munich, Feb 28, 1865; d Oberammergau, Aug 17, 1954).

German painter, medallist, designer and illustrator. He trained as a painter in the Munich Akademie from 1884, and initially won fame in this art with large decorative schemes on mythological or religious themes (e.g. Bacchanal, c. 1888; Munich, Villa Schülein) and portraits painted in a broad, realistic manner (e.g. Elise Meier-Siel, 1889; Munich, Schack-Gal.). He taught at the Munich Kunstgewerbeschule from 1902 to 1910. In 1905 he taught himself die-engraving and began making struck and cast medals, producing in all some 200, which combine his decorative abilities with the harsher style of his younger contemporaries (e.g. the bronze medal of Anton von Knoezinger, 1907; see 1985 exh. cat., no. 23). In 1907 and 1927 he produced models for coinage. Dasio also worked as a poster designer and book illustrator, as well as designing for stained glass and jewellery. The decorative symbolism of his earlier work in black and white (e.g. the cover for ...


Anna Szinyei Merse

(b Nagyenyed [now Aiud, Romania], Feb 6, 1895; d Budapest, Feb 22, 1944).

Hungarian painter, printmaker and writer. After a difficult childhood and military service during World War I, he learnt silversmithing and drawing in Dés (now Dej, Romania). From 1921 he worked in a factory in Budapest. He studied drawing in the evenings at the School of Applied Arts, then at the Free School of Artur Podolni-Volkmann (1891–1943), Budapest. Between 1924 and 1927 he worked in Milan, where he visited the museums and learnt etching, later exhibiting in Florence. As a socialist he considered art to be part of the ideological struggle. His first committed work, Fourth Order, is a series of linocuts produced soon after his return home and showing the impact of Frans Masereel. In 1928 Dési Huber held a small exhibition, and he subsequently joined the left-wing artists’ group, KÚT (Képzőművészek Új Társasága: New Society of Fine Artists), which was active from 1924 to 1949. He perfected his techniques and studied art theory, but he never gave up his money-earning activity as a factory hand....


(b Paris, Oct 1, 1912; d Paris, Sept 10, 1998).

French painter and printmaker. He worked first as an apprentice draughtsman and then as an unskilled metalworker. Having attended evening classes, though otherwise self-taught, he took part in the first Maison de la Culture show in Paris in 1936. He exhibited several works at the Salon des Surindépendants in 1937, such as the Spanish Martyr (1937; artist’s col., see 1981 exh. cat., p. 51), which showed his disgust with the Spanish Civil War (1936–9). The same year he exhibited at the important L’Art cruel show at the Galerie Billiet-Vorms in Paris. Organized by Jean Cassou, this was designed as a forum for politically-engaged art, especially that dealing with the Spanish conflict.

Fougeron was mobilized in 1938 and again in 1939, and he was taken prisoner before his demobilization in 1940. On his return to Paris he joined the Resistance, setting up a clandestine print works in 1941...


Paula Furby

(b Adelaide, Dec 8, 1919; d Adelaide, May 11, 2004).

Australian painter, printmaker, enamellist and teacher. Hick studied at the Girls’ Central Art School and South Australian School of Arts and Crafts (SASAC) (1934–7) and Adelaide Teachers College (1939–40). She later taught at SASAC between 1941–5 and 1962–4. Hick was a leader in the modernization of South Australian cultural life in the 1940s. She was a founder-member of the Contemporary Art Society (CAS) and the Adelaide Theatre Group. She helped to revive printmaking in Adelaide and she also exhibited jointly with Jeffrey Smart in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney and with the CAS, the Royal South Australian Society of Arts and with Dorrit Black’s Group 9.

Hick studied and travelled in London and the Continent in 1948–50 and made a study tour of the USA in 1968. She then lived in Adelaide except for 12 years in Brisbane between 1978–90. Her work is figurative, often with humorous or trenchant social comment. Her major theme was the dispossession of indigenous Australians. Hick’s art is notable for its technical brilliance and depth of feeling expressed (e.g. ...


Octavia Nicholson


(b Bristol, June 7, 1965).

English sculptor, installation artist, painter, and printmaker. He was a leading figure in the group of ‘Young British Artists’ who emerged, predominantly in London, in the 1990s. He studied at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1986–9), and in 1988 curated the exhibition Freeze, which provided a new platform to show his own work and that of many of his Goldsmiths’ contemporaries, some of whom have since become internationally renowned. His works are explicitly concerned with the fundamental dilemmas of human existence; his constant themes have included the fragility of life, society’s reluctance to confront death, and the nature of love and desire, often clothed in titles which exist somewhere between the naive and the disingenuous. The works typically make use of media that challenge conventional notions of high art and aesthetic value and subject-matter that critiques the values of late 20th-century culture.

Dead animals are frequently used in Hirst’s installations, forcing viewers to consider their own and society’s attitudes to death. Containers such as aquariums and vitrines are also hallmarks of his work; reflecting the formal influence of Minimalism and certain sculptures by Jeff Koons, they are used as devices to impose control on the fragile subject-matter contained within them and as barriers between the viewer and the viewed. ...


Shannen Hill

(b Dulwich, June 27, 1920).

South African painter and printmaker of English birth. He earned an Arts and Crafts Certificate at Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 1951 and a National Diploma in Design in 1953, the same year in which he emigrated to South Africa. Considered one of the country’s greatest painters, his works are in many national collections and have been exhibited internationally. His best known work explores the the human condition sardonically, depicting people as self-concerned, lacking conscience and infinitely unaware of their own fallibility. Richly painted, his pieces consistently convey a paradox between beauty and grotesqueness. Alfred Jarry’s play Ubu Roi inspired Hodgins’s treatment of historical tyrants and businessmen as composite brutal and absurd characters. The distorted figure in Ubu: The Official Portrait (1981; Johannesburg, A.G.) satirizes officials, their ceremonies and their pretense to rule justly. Hodgins’s bright, energetic palette conveys a certain clownishness, while his compositions and disfigured forms tell of an underlying evil. In an etched series called ...


Morgan Falconer

(b Liverpool, April 27, 1966).

English painter and printmaker. He studied at Sheffield City Polytechnic (1985–8) and at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1995–8). He emerged in the mid-1990s with paintings that he described as ‘cognitive landscape’. Built up from a series of black-and-white silhouettes, his images often seem simultaneously like collections of schematic motifs and like scenes derived from a specific viewpoint, often rigidly defined by fences and plants placed in the immediate foreground. Such is the case with Raik (1999; see June 1999 article, p. 29), which depicts large silhouettes of spiky thistles crowding up in the foreground, while softer, cartoon renditions of clouds, trees and hills sit on a distant horizon line; it is typical of his work in its dramatic contrast between foreground and background. The schematic and synthetic quality of Morrison’s imagery and compositions alike is encouraged by his method of working, which involves the use of computers to manipulate motifs and projectors to transfer the compositions to canvas. His imagery has often been sourced from botanical textbooks, though the common motif of the dandelion, and other softer forms, seem to suggest children’s cartoons as well. The influence of Patrick Caulfield acknowledged by Morrison not only provides a precedent for his own linear style but also suggests his understanding of imagery as highly mediated; this is clearly relevant to Morrison’s treatment of landscape, since the genre is commonly associated with a sense of authenticity and direct contact with nature. Morrison also produced lithographs and large-scale wall paintings: ...


Morgan Falconer

(b Manchester, July 5, 1953).

English painter and printmaker. He received an MFA from Goldsmiths’ College, London, in 1982. While his earliest work was entirely abstract, it bore the influence of Modernist collage, and in that it suggested a search for more direct systems of reference which resolved itself in a turn towards figurative painting in large canvases of the early 1980s. A residency at the National Gallery, London, in 1985 led to a series of works which drew on earlier sources: Deposition (1985; see 1986 exh. cat., p. 35) condensed one of Rembrandt’s versions of the subject to the image of the body being enclosed by the earth; such motifs dominated O’Donoghue’s work at this time. The picture also brought together elements that continued to appear in his later work: violent brushwork, a palette of starkly contrasting colours and religious themes. The Fires series (see 1989 exh. cat.) which followed retained these elements, though it marked a return to greater abstraction. In ...


John-Paul Stonard

(b London, Dec 12, 1958).

English sculptor, painter, printmaker and installation artist. He studied at Goldsmiths’ College (1979–82) under Michael Craig-Martin, for whom he briefly worked as an assistant, and emerged as an influential figure on the British art scene in the 1980s, with a highly inventive series of painted metal sculptures. These humorous and playful sculptures combined a loosely painted imagery with steel shapes, as in the case of This One Took Ages to Make (1983; New York, Mr and Mrs A. Safir priv. col., see 1994 exh. cat., p.15), representing a red typewriter supported by the loose pages that fall from it. Towards the end of the 1980s his sculptures became larger, more austere and minimal, and were often based on a relationship between art and architecture. As his work developed it dealt increasingly with the exploration of visual and spatial experience, often with reference to digital simulation. Imagine You are Walking (1–18)...


D. C. Barrett


(b London, April 25, 1931).

English painter and printmaker. She studied in London at Goldsmiths College (1949–52) and the Royal College of Art (1952–5). From 1958 to 1959 she worked in an advertising agency while painting in a pointillist technique. She was encouraged in this by her teacher, the painter Maurice de Sausmarez (d 1970), who directed her to study the art of Seurat. Her interest lay in the energy and colour vibrations radiated by objects, seen in Pink Landscape (1960; London, priv. col., see 1978 exh. cat., no. 3), which depicts the violent colour vibrations given off by an Italian landscape in intense heat. She later conveyed a similar effect of heat on landscape, from shale on a French mountain, in Static 3 (1966; U. Sydney, Power Gal. Contemp. A.), composed of 625 tiny ovals.

After her experiments with pointillism Riley turned to colour field painting (...


Ronald Alley


(b London, Aug 24, 1903; d London, Feb 17, 1980).

English painter and printmaker. He studied at Goldsmith’s College of Art in London (1921–6) and began his career as a printmaker, producing small, poetic, densely worked etchings of rural England, thatched cottages, and fields with stooks of corn (e.g. Pecken Wood, 1925; London, Tate), influenced by the early etchings of Samuel Palmer. Although he gave up etching soon after the collapse of the market for this work in 1930 and turned to painting, he did not begin to find his way as a painter until 1934, when he made his first visit to Pembrokeshire (now Dyfed), Wales. During the difficult transitional period he supported himself partly by designing posters, china, glass, and other forms of applied art.

The bareness of the landscape of west Pembrokeshire around St David’s, which was a revelation to him and a source of repeated inspiration, made the production of finished works of art ...