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Article

Ađalsteinn Ingólfsson

(b Reykjavík, Feb 4, 1922).

Icelandic painter, writer and designer. He studied engineering in 1941–2 at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík, and architecture privately. He then studied at the Icelandic School of Arts and Crafts (Myndlista-og handíÐaskóli Íslands), Reykjavík (until 1943), the Kongelige Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1945–6), the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris (1947–8) and with Marcel Gromaire in Paris (1949–50). He promoted the movement towards abstract art in Iceland in 1948–52, particularly in its theoretical aspects.

Ágústsson came to geometric abstraction through an interest in Renaissance compositional theory and the theories of the Bauhaus. His meeting with Victor Vasarely in Paris in 1953 encouraged him to continue with a highly reductive series of paintings on which he had embarked shortly before. Later that year Ágústsson was one of the organizers of the Autumn Exhibition (Haustsýningin), the first group show of geometric abstraction in Iceland. At its opening he gave a lecture that became a kind of manifesto for the movement. He followed it up with a series of articles in the cultural review ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Melbourne, May 5, 1951; d Melbourne, July 22, 1999).

Australian painter. While studying painting at Prahran College, Melbourne, from 1969 to 1971, he discovered airbrushes, technical tools employed by commercial artists which he adopted with alacrity as his favoured instrument for picture-making. At art school Arkley met the collage artist and painter Elizabeth Gower, who had a significant influence over his work. They married in 1973, later separating in 1980. In 1977 he travelled to Paris and New York on residencies, and it was during this time that he became fascinated by architectural motifs as inspirations for painting. In Paris he assiduously photographed Art Nouveau and Art Deco doorways in black and white, intending to use these images as reference points for paintings on his return to Australia. Once back there, however, he decided that he needed to find imagery and subject-matter relevant to his own identity as an Australian. While ringing the doorbell of his mother’s house in suburban Melbourne, he noticed the flywire screen door and realized at once that this indigenous architectural feature, banal and disregarded, would be a much more suitable subject than the artistic doorways of Paris. Following this revelation, he made a succession of identically sized paintings in an elongated vertical format corresponding to these flywire screens, but betraying an astonishing variety of motifs and colour schemes. ...

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

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

Hans Frei

(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).

Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....

Article

Hana Larvová

(b Zohor, nr Bratislava, Dec 25, 1935; d Jan 20, 1997).

Slovak printmaker, painter and illustrator. From 1951 to 1955 he studied at the Central School of Industrial Art at Bratislava and at the School of Fine Arts, Bratislava, from 1956 to 1961, completing his training there in 1963–6. In 1967 he was put in charge of the book production department; in 1981 he was appointed professor. His early work as printmaker and illustrator derived its inspiration from the imaginative tradition of Slovak art, which he interpreted in his own version of neo-Surrealism. In 1964 Klee, Kandinsky and Miró began to influence his work, and his illustrations were clearly inspired by Chagall. He gradually developed his own version of Mannerism and adapted his artistic language accordingly, aiming, in his graphic work, at the precise technical mastery of lithography, etching etc. Among his first works with Mannerist traits is Honour to Arcimboldo (1965; see Peterajová, no. 18), and the style is fully developed in the cycle ...

Article

Kirk Marlow

(Fraser)

(b Cramond, nr Edinburgh, July 22, 1900; d Ottawa, July 5, 1994).

Canadian painter, draughtsman, teacher, museum director and writer of Scottish birth. In 1912 he emigrated to Winnipeg, where he was apprenticed in the commercial art studio of Fred Brigden (1871–1956). He also attended the Winnipeg School of Art (1916–18) and continued to work at Brigden’s until 1922. In that year he studied at the Art Students’ League, New York, and in 1925 he moved to Toronto, working until 1929 for the Toronto branch of Brigden’s and then for the commercial design firm Rapid, Grip & Batten. In 1931, with Will Ogilvie (1901–89) and Harold Ayres (1894–?1977), he formed his own commercial studio. The muted colours, schematic compositions and smooth surfaces of his paintings from the late 1920s show evidence of his design background. In his best-known painting, Tadoussac (1935; Ottawa, N.G.), a bird’s-eye view of a town in Quebec, there is a simplification of detail and a calculated arrangement of sparse, crisply edged forms. During the 1920s and 1930s Comfort was recognized as one of Canada’s finest portrait painters working in watercolour and oil. In the portrait of the violinist ...

Article

Simon Njami

(b Karentaba, 1954).

Senegalese painter and furniture designer. He graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure d’Education Artistique and the International School of Art and Research, Nice. He taught at the Ecole Nationale des Arts and in 1997 was president of the National Association of Fine Arts, Senegal, as well as a member of the Economic and Social Council of Senegal. In the 1980s his ‘dense and emotive’ works were figurative and dealt with general issues such as violence. His work of the mid-1990s was made with strips of cotton cloth, fashioned on canvases so as to create areas of three-dimensional relief, and colored with browns and ochres. He also created brightly coloured figurative acrylic pieces on paper. He exhibited in the first (1995) and second (1997) Johannesburg Biennale and at other international shows in Senegal, Russia, Belgium, Switzerland, Burkina-Faso, Argentina, the USA and elsewhere. His furniture designs include a table made from old machinery parts, gears, hoes and glass, which was included in Dak’Art ’98. In the late 1990s he was considered one of Senegal’s pre-eminent artists....

Article

John Glaves-Smith

(Owen)

(b London, Nov 18, 1886; d London, July 22, 1963).

English sculptor, painter and designer. The son of a commercial artist, from 1902 to 1904 he worked in the studio of the academic sculptor William Reynolds-Stephens. The few surviving paintings from before 1914 show the influence of such French painters as Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin. By the time Dobson enlisted in the Artists’ Rifles in October 1914 he had begun to carve. In 1920 he was selected by Wyndham Lewis as the only sculptor in the ‘Group X’ exhibition. His first post-war carvings such as Man Child (1921; London, Tate) exhibit an aggressive angularity, which suggests a conscious intention to adopt the Vorticist style of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Jacob Epstein. This was a short-lived phase, and from the mid-1920s Dobson was to concentrate on the naked female figure treated in a calm, simplified monumental fashion. The most obvious affinity was with the work of Aristide Maillol: Reclining Figure...

Article

Aaris Sherin

(b Pittsburgh, PA, 1912).

American graphic designer, illustrator and painter. A student of Alexey Brodovitch, she graduated from the Philadelphia Museum of Industrial Arts and went off to assist Brodovitch as instructor at the Design Laboratory (1935–8). She was art director for Mademoiselle Magazine (1944), Harper’s Bazaar (1940, 1946), Seventeen and House & Garden (both 1949). Her freelance credits included Fortune, House & Garden, Life, Look, Seventeen, Town & Country and Vogue magazines. A successful designer and art director, the early part of her career was spent as a commercial artist. Later she turned primarily to illustration and fine art; areas where she completed the bulk of her life’s work. Today she is known for her small paintings, which are widely collected.

Falconer’s paintings are small landscapes and still-lifes that provide intimate vignettes of somewhat pedestrian subjects. The work has commonalities with folk-art, Surrealism and realism without falling into any one genre. She always approached her subject head on, depicting the commonplace in scenes including spice jars, flowers, boats, building facades and interiors. Her rendition of three pansies is given equal attention as her depiction of the more visually complex river boat houses in New Orleans. Regardless of content, she gives personality to her subjects with precision and a combination of softness and detail that reminds one of early American primitivism, without seeming either stiff or rigid. She designed six stamps for the US Postal Service including the Rose Stamp booklet (...

Article

David Burnett

(b Winnipeg, March 17, 1890; d Winnipeg, Aug 5, 1956).

Canadian painter. He attended evening classes at A. S. Kezthelyi’s Art School in Winnipeg (1909) and studied at the Art Students League, New York (1921–2). He worked as a commercial artist in Winnipeg from 1922 to 1924 before joining the Winnipeg School of Art in 1924; he became its principal in 1929 and held that position until 1949, although he stopped teaching in 1947. In 1932 he was invited to become a member of the Group of Seven and in the following year, when the group officially disbanded, he became a founder-member of the Canadian Group of Painters.

FitzGerald’s work, ranging across landscape, still-life and figure painting and drawing, is characterized by a precise depiction of space, light and volume, as in Doc Snyder’s House (1931) or From an Upstairs Window, Winter (1948; Ottawa, N.G.). His meticulous working procedure and self-critical perfectionism led him to produce only a small number of paintings, his work being most widely known through watercolours and drawings, some of them executed in a delicate variant of pointillism, for example ...

Article

Melissa Harpley

(b Fremantle, 1913; d Perth, June 2, 2004).

Australian painter and designer. Raised in a family with artistic leanings, Francis studied under J. W. R. Lindon (1869–1947) and A. B. Webb at Perth Technical College. Upon graduation she was employed as a commercial artist, later teaching at both Perth and Fremantle Technical Colleges. During World War II Francis translated aerial photographs into topographical maps for the army and also played the cello in orchestras to entertain the troops.

This diverse activity is reflected in her art (e.g. Self-portrait, c. 1940; Perth, A.G. W. Australia). She was a fearless experimenter with technique and medium, subject-matter and modes of representation. Examples include fan, mural and bookplate designs, oil and watercolours, ceramics, enamelwork and works carved into, and painted on, linoleum. Her mostly representational watercolours reflect her early 20th-century training, but her clear graphic style was strengthened by her work as a commercial artist, as well as her ongoing experiments with the language of modernism. In all media she freely used subjects to hand as raw material for her artistic exploration of the world and her life and she showed a particular interest in the symbolic life of objects. Francis was also a member of the Perth Society of Artists and the Studio Club, a group for women painters....

Article

Paula Furby

(b Sept 28, 1884; d Adelaide, Oct 22, 1972).

Australian painter, printmaker and commercial artist. Henty studied in Adelaide at the School of Design, Painting and Technical Arts with H. P Gill (1855–1916) and Archibald Collins (1853–1922) and at the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts taking life classes with Marie Tuck (1866–1947). Henty exhibited with the Australian Academy of Art, the New South Wales Watercolour Institute, the Contemporary Art Society (CAS), Group 9 and the Royal South Australian Society of Arts (RSASA).

Henty is a relatively unacknowledged Adelaide modernist, who chafed under the conservatism of its art world. As a young woman she worked full-time as a ticket-writer and designer. She was a member of Archibald Collins’ Adelaide Drawing and Sketch Club in the 1920s and contributed line drawings to its magazine The High Light. Around 1924, after the club closed, Henty went to Sydney, again working as a commercial artist, but hoping for artistic inspiration from Sydney exhibitions. However, inspiration came in ...

Article

Serge Lemoine

(b Zurich, June 12, 1917).

Swiss painter, sculptor and printmaker. He studied (1932) at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Zurich, and first worked as a designer (1933–6). From the age of 20 he concentrated on graphic and commercial art, and it was not until 1957, with the creation of his first ‘tableau-relief’, that his career really began. Painting abstract works influenced by Zurich Concrete art and by contemporary American painting from 1950 onwards, Honegger developed as an artist during his stay in New York (1958–60) where his first exhibition was held at the Martha Jackson Gallery in 1960. Honegger settled in Paris in 1961, where he continued to experiment in painting and sculpture. His pictures were composed following a system and use simple, geometric forms in relief, executed in monochrome but with particular attention to technique and surface presentation. His shapes (squares, circles) are placed inside an orthogonal frame, following a pattern established beforehand and always based on numerical calculation. The paintings are made up of sharp-edged cardboard pieces placed, with strengthened backing, on to canvas and covered with several layers of paint. In this manner, the artist obtained a relief effect on the surface that catches the light and gives the composition a changeable quality (e.g. ...

Article

(b The Hague, Dec 18, 1863; d The Hague, Aug 28, 1917).

Dutch painter, lithographer and designer. He trained at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague. He worked as a draughtsman at the Zoological Museum in Leiden and illustrated scientific studies, for instance On a New Collection of Birds from S. W. Africa by J. Büttikofer (1889) and Zoölogische Ergebnisse einer Reise in Niederl. Ost-Indiën, von dr. Max Weber (1890). Apart from paintings such as Two Arabian Vultures (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), he made many watercolours and drawings of plants and animals, which clearly reveal his appreciation of Japanese prints: he often outlined the separate areas of flat colour in ink, in imitation of such prints, and he could describe the characteristic attitudes of animals with a masterly economy of line. Van Hoytema compiled and published two portfolios of prints of related subjects, Dierstudies [Animal studies] (1898) and Bloemstudies [Flower studies] (1905). His powerful, decorative compositions show an unmatched technical perfection....

Article

Gjergj Frashëri

[Nikollë]

(b Shkodër, Aug 15, 1860; d Shkodër, Dec 12, 1939).

Albanian painter, architect, sculptor and photographer. His grandfather Andrea Idromeno was a painter and a doctor of theology; his father, Arsen Idromeno, was a furniture designer and painter. Kol Idromeno took private lessons in painting (1871–5) at the studio of the photographer and painter Pietro Marubi (1834–1903). In 1875 he won a competition and began studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice. However, due to arguments with his teacher, he abandoned the school and continued his studies in one of the large studios in Venice (1876–8).

At first Idromeno produced works with both religious and secular themes that were noted for their highly realistic rendering of the human form (e.g. St Mary Magdalene, oil on canvas, 1877; Shkodër Mus.). Many of his biblical works were executed in churches within the Shkodër district, with perhaps his best work being the frescoes of the Orthodox Church in Shkodër, especially the fragment depicting ...

Article

David Burnett and Lin Barton

(b Montreal, Oct 3, 1882; d Kleinburg, Ont., April 5, 1974).

Canadian painter. He worked as a commercial artist in Montreal (1895–1906) and Chicago (1906–7) and attended evening classes at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1906. Determined to become a painter, he went to Paris in 1907 and studied at the Académie Julian under Jean-Paul Laurens. He returned to Montreal in 1909 but in 1913 moved to Toronto, where he became associated with other painters who later banded together as the Group of Seven, notably J. E. H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, and Fred Varley. One of the first large paintings in which he established the terms of his approach to the open Canadian landscape, Terre Sauvage (1913; Ottawa, N.G.; for illustration see Group of Seven), was painted in the studio of a future member of the group, Lawren S. Harris. He shared a studio with Tom Thomson from January 1914 and in October 1914...

Article

Tessa Sidey

(b Birmingham, June 8, 1852; d Penzance, March 21, 1922).

English painter. He trained as a lithographer in Birmingham and in 1873 secured a scholarship to study industrial design in London at the National Training School, South Kensington. After his return to Birmingham he was increasingly drawn to figurative painting in watercolour under the influence of such artists as Hubert von Herkomer and Francis Hinkley (1822–77). He visited Newlyn in southern Cornwall for the first time in 1880 and in 1881 pursued plein-air painting during a trip to Brittany. From 1882, when he became the first major artist to settle in Newlyn, he committed himself to depicting the life of the local fishing community, both in carefully observed cottage interiors (e.g. Memories, 1885; Birmingham, Mus. & A.G.) and in dramatic outdoor scenes (e.g. Disaster! Scene in a Cornish Fishing Village, 1889; Birmingham, Mus. & A.G.). His ability to produce large-scale works that combine a broad, simplified handling of form with an understanding of material texture and facial expression owes much to Josef Israëls and the contemporary Dutch school of watercolour painters. As a member of the Institute of Painters in Watercolours (...

Article

Robert Cook

(b Perth, Nov 20, 1906; d Sydney, April 16, 1985).

Australian painting and commercial artist. McClintock’s career in applied arts began when he took up a process-engraving apprenticeship. Subsequently working as a sign-writer and commercial artist, he also studied at the National Gallery School (NGS), Melbourne from 1925–7 under W. B. McInnes and Bernard Hall (1859–1935). Following this, he moved to Sydney to work as a commercial artist at the Sydney Morning Herald. Returning to Melbourne in 1929, he re-enrolled at the NGS and joined Noel Counihan and Nutter Buzzacott’s social realist circle. After marrying in 1933, McClintock relocated to Perth in 1934 where he took up the position as head of commercial art advertising at the Daily News. In Perth he began exhibiting Surrealist paintings under the pseudonym of Max Ebert. Often mixing morphed or severed human forms with elements of the local landscape, he was the only artist working in such an advanced style at the time and was a lively figure in the Perth art scene gaining much attention in the press. McClintock left Perth in ...

Article

Rosemarie L. Tovell

(b nr Paisley, Ont., Jan 8, 1882; d Bancroft, Ont., Dec 26, 1953).

Canadian painter and printmaker. He studied at the Art Students League in New York (1903–5), supporting himself as a commercial artist. His voracious appetite for the avant-garde led him to examine all that was available in New York, particularly the French modernists at Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery. His strong and personal style incorporated aspects of the work of the American and French Impressionists, Whistler, Cézanne, Maurice Prendergast and the Fauves. Milne exhibited his works in watercolour societies in New York and Philadelphia from 1909 to 1916. He was one of two Canadians represented in the Armory Show (1913) and he won a silver medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915, San Francisco). The chief work of his New York period is Billboard (1912; Ottawa, N.G.)

Milne moved to rural Boston Corners, NY, in 1916. Working with a more limited palette and looser, fluid brushwork, he began to depict the same landscape subjects in oil and watercolour under varying climatic conditions. In early ...