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S. Kontha

[Nicolas]

(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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Octavia Nicholson

(Steven)

(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. ...

Article

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)...