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Article

S. Kontha

(b Budapest, March 15, 1894; d Budapest, Sept 29, 1941).

Hungarian painter, draughtsman and etcher. He trained as a drawing teacher at the College of Fine Arts, Budapest (1912–14). In 1913 he worked at the Szolnok colony and he served in World War I. He taught drawing for a while at the Technical University, Budapest. In 1922 he learnt etching from Viktor Olgyay at the College of Fine Arts. His early works show an affinity with the Group of Eight; later he moved closer to the work of the Activists, especially József Nemes Lampérth and Béla Uitz. He instinctively sought a dynamic and powerful form of expression. His pen-drawings and etchings are frequently based on biblical subjects and are characterized by a heroic conception, an illusory atmosphere and romantic associations. The etching Savonarola (1925; Budapest, N.G.) reveals his extraordinary compositional abilities, especially in the rendering of crowds, and his use of strong chiaroscuro. His landscapes are dominated by carefully composed, naturalist details and the exploitation of the dramatic effect of reflections. In his drawings, Cubist arrangements gradually gave way to a more diffuse composition. His nudes in the landscape (e.g. ...

Article

Alfred Pacquement

(b Bologna, March 17, 1935).

Italian painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He was given a rigorous training as a draughtsman between 1951 and 1954 in Achille Funi’s studio at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, which provided the basis for his mature work. Before developing his characteristic contour line and flat surfaces, he experimented briefly with an expressionistic style that combined violent and humorous imagery inspired by the explosive forms in space favoured by Roberto Matta and by strip cartoons; typical of this phase is one of his earliest large canvases, L’ora del sandwiche (1963; Camilla Adami priv. col., see Damisch and Martin, pl. 42). He settled in Paris in 1957 but divided his time between France and Italy. In such paintings as Stanze a cannocchiale (‘Telescoped rooms’, 1965; Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Mus. A.) he began to develop a highly decorative idiom of stylized images outlined in black on a surface of interlocking areas of intense, unmodulated colour. His usual starting-point was a photograph or several associated images, which he reworked, fragmented and presented in a schematic form. This remained Adami’s system of working in later years, although his subject-matter changed....

Article

(b Northampton, Oct 5, 1917; d Gt Maplestead, Essex, April 5, 1984).

English sculptor and painter. He studied at the Northampton School of Art from 1933 to 1944. During World War II he was employed as an engineer, and after the war he spent two years teaching himself to sculpt in wood. Though he had participated in various group exhibitions during the war, it was not until 1947 that he had his first one-man show, of sculpture, at the Gimpel Fils Gallery in London. He also produced abstract paintings, but soon came to specialize in sculpture. His early sculpture of this period, such as Figure (1949–51; London, Tate), showed the influence of Henry Moore, whose works he knew from photographs. These comprised forms abstracted from natural objects, executed in wood, plaster and stone. After his one-man show he made several extended trips to Paris, where he became interested in the work of Brancusi and Julio González. In 1950 he received a Rockefeller award from the Institute of International Education to visit the USA. Having by then an established reputation, he was also commissioned to produce a 3-m high carving for the Festival of Britain in ...

Article

(b Holywood, County Down, Ireland, Jan 26, 1922).

Australian painter, printmaker, book designer, lecturer, collector, gallery director and publisher of limited edition artists’ books, of Irish decent. He worked as a draughtsman before entering war service in the British Admiralty from 1940 to 1949, including five years in Colombo, where he made sketching trips to jungle temples with the Buddhist monk and artist Manjsiro Thero. Between 1949 and 1951 Adams worked as an exhibition designer in London and studied wood-engraving with Gertrude Hermes in her evening class at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (now Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design). In 1951, after moving to Melbourne, Adams began a 30-year teaching commitment at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he instructed many of the younger generation of Australian printmakers, including George Baldessin and Jan Senbergs. A brief return to Britain and Ireland in 1957–8 provided experience with Dolmen Press, Dublin, which published his first book of engravings, ...

Article

Christina Maurer

(b Zurich, Jan 18, 1906; d Russikon, Zurich, Jan 27, 1980).

Swiss sculptor, painter and draughtsman. He was self-taught as a draughtsman and only turned to sculpture in 1936. His early sculptural work (1936–45) mainly comprises heads and torsos in addition to heavy, life-size female nudes. These works, mainly in marble and bronze, emphasize volume and were influenced by Aristide Maillol, Charles Despiau and Wilhelm Lehmbruck. During the 1940s Aeschbacher gradually subordinated the human form to a study of the stone’s own biomorphic structure. A series of amorphous Bumps heralded the final departure from naturalism. In 1952–3 Aeschbacher started to produce Stelae, a series of colossal but slender vertical structures that were influenced by the tectonic quality of Archaic Greek masonry. This new emphasis on verticality led after 1960 to the production of lighter, more airy works. Notable examples of work from this period are Figure IV (granite, h. 3.92 m, 1967; Bregenz, Kultzent. Schendlingen); Figure I (granite, h. 3.05 m, ...

Article

Christine Mullen Kreamer

(b Jan 25, 1930; d Lomé, Jan 4, 2010).

Togolese painter, sculptor, engraver, stained glass designer, potter and textile designer. Beginning in 1946, he received his secondary education in Dakar, where he also worked in an architecture firm. He travelled to France and received his diplôme supérieur from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. A versatile artist, Ahyi is best known for his murals and for monumental stone, marble and cement public sculptures. His work reflects the fusion of his Togolese roots, European training and an international outlook, and he counts among his influences Moore, Braque, Modigliani, Tamayo, Siqueiros and Tall. His work combines ancient and modern themes and materials, maternity being a prominent topic. The messages of his larger, public pieces operate on a broad level to appeal to the general populace, while smaller works often reflect his private engagement with challenges confronting the human condition. His compositions are both abstract and figurative and evoke the heroism and hope of the two world wars, Togo's colonial period and the struggle for independence from France, as well as the political efforts of the peoples of Vietnam, South Africa and Palestine. Ahyi has won numerous international prizes, including the prize of the city of Lyon (...

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Federal, Entre Ríos, Aug 22, 1928; d Buenos Aires, Feb 19, 1996).

Argentine painter, draughtsman and collagist. He studied under Juan Batlle Planas from 1950 to 1953 and quickly established the terms of his work, rooted ideologically in Surrealism and indebted in particular to the work of René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico. All the elements of his mature art are evident in an early painting, Burning of the Hasidic School in Minsk in 1713 (1954; artist’s col.): architecture, space, light and ordered series. He developed an essentially intellectual approach, working in a variety of media (paintings, drawings, gouaches and collages) in rigorous sequences and picturing objects in cold impersonal light that confers on them a sense of distant majesty. The most common motif is that of a geometric, almost abstract structure, often in the form of a tower pierced by rows of large plain windows. Aizenberg’s work, while far removed from the Surrealist presumption of achieving a synthesis of wakefulness and dream, acquires its strength through the ordering of the unreal and the strange in the search for a transcendent essence capable of perturbing and jolting the viewer by bringing into play the archetypes of silence and solitude....

Article

John Steen

[Bernardus] (Everhardus)

(b Enschede, Feb 29, 1920).

Dutch painter and draughtsman. Between 1936 and 1982 he worked as a bookkeeper for Enschede town council. As an artist he was self-taught. During World War II he came into contact with the art of Cézanne, Matisse, Braque and others, mainly through art journals, which influenced his work considerably. From 1946 until 1953 he was a member of the Nieuwe Groep, which brought together painters to promote contemporary art through exhibitions, mainly locally in Twente, such as Johann Haanstra (b 1914). Initially he painted stylized city- and landscapes with objects, representing primarily their spatial structure and colour (e.g. Landscape with Tree, oil on canvas, 1966–7; Chicago, IL, Mus. Contemp. A.), although from 1972 the landscape as such was no longer recognizable. After 1970 he began to emphasize the nature of a painting as an object rather than a means of representing nature, applying parallel horizontal and diagonal lines, later grids, to the surface, which was often painted in shades of grey, green, ochre and blue (e.g. ...

Article

Article

Monica E. Kupfer

(b Panama City, Sept 5, 1949).

Panamian painter. A graduate of the University of Panama’s Architecture School, he became a full time painter following his first solo exhibition in 1979. From 1980 to 1983 he studied at the Art Students League in New York, his only formal training as an artist. Alfaro is best known for his beautifully rendered oil paintings but has also produced drawings, pastels and three-dimensional pieces. His first images were portraits of young women surrounded by surreal elements or in dream settings. From 1983 he painted humorous images of traditional or religious subjects such as church processions, as well as portraits of imaginary ecclesiastical figures and war heroes; capitalizing on Panama’s strong Catholic tradition. Alfaro even invented his own saints, including the Virgin of All Secrets (1986; see colour pl. I, fig.). By 1990, his compositions became increasingly baroque, crowded with human figures in often menacing natural environments that suggest abundant iconographic, literary and historical interpretations. Towards the end of the decade, Alfaro began to isolate and increasingly distort his models, achieving an expressive deformation characteristic of his disturbing view of humanity and personal vision of surrealism....

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Jan 25, 1923; d July 31, 1993).

Argentine draughtsman, painter and printmaker. He was self-taught and in 1943 began to illustrate publications throughout Latin America, continuing to do so for more than 20 years. His early work consisted of highly emotive ink drawings marked by an intricacy of design and lack of idealization, for example The Vacuum II (1976). He later worked in both pastels and oils to create spectral images of love, death, eroticism and the obscure world of nightmares, fears and terrors. Critics sometimes spoke of these in terms of Magic Realism, although he did not subscribe to any specific stylistic tendency. He often treated human heads and figures in fragmentary form, as if they were the victims of violent torture, and with a veiled but sarcastic humour.

With time Alonso gradually simplified his drawings and replaced his invented characters with fictional objects and childhood memories, moving towards more intimate and abstract work, for example in the pastel ...

Article

Nicola Coleby

(b Mexico City, Aug 29, 1892; d Mexico City, April 4, 1985).

Mexican painter and draughtsman. He studied at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City from 1910. In 1917 he was employed as a draughtsman by the Ministry of Agriculture and began to attend the Escuela de Pintura al Aire Libre de Santa Anita under Alfredo Ramos Martínez, his palette gradually lightening. In 1920 he was appointed assistant draughtsman in the Ministry of Education and then tutor at the Academia de San Carlos. In 1922 he was commissioned by the Ministry of Education to paint a mural, the Landing of the Cross (fresco, 7×8 m; Mexico City, Escuela N. Prep.), an allegorical depiction of the implantation of Catholicism in New Spain in the 16th century, with large classical figures set in a steeply inclined composition. Over the next 40 years, Alva de la Canal painted six public murals with allegorical and historical themes, such as the Life of Morelos (encaustic and fresco, ...

Article

Francis Summers

Reviser Martin R. Patrick

(b Antwerp, Aug 22, 1959).

Belgian-born interdisciplinary artist, active in Mexico. He studied architecture at the Institut d’Architecture de Tournai in Belgium (1978–83) and at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice (1983–6). Alÿs moved to Mexico in 1987 and his art practice initially concentrated on Mexico City as a laboratory of urban living, often documented in the form of evocative, conceptually layered photographs, sculptures, and videos. In the slide series Ambulantes (Pushing and Pulling) (1992–2002), Alÿs photographed street vendors and workers as they passed by carting a wide variety of goods within a ten-block vicinity of his studio. For his project entitled The Liar, The Copy of the Liar (1997) Alÿs created small images of suited men inspired by the commercial sign painters of Mexico City, and subsequently commissioned from them larger versions in their own styles. In this process Alÿs deferred authorship into a semantic chain. Hovering between the banal and the surreal, these works have an uncanny theme, of individuals observed in situations that defy explanation....

Article

Amadeo  

Ruth Rosengarten

(de Souza-Cardoso)

(b Manhufe, Nov 14, 1887; d Espinho, July 6, 1918).

Portuguese painter and draughtsman. In Paris from 1906, he frequented the académies libres. After producing caricature drawings, he began painting small landscapes. In 1911–12 his style approached that of Modigliani, whom he knew and with whom he exhibited in 1911. He was also impressed by the luxuriant orientalism of the Ballets Russes. His drawings at the time were linear and decorative, with medieval and heraldic references.

In 1912–13 these early influences gave way to that of Cubism, which henceforth provided the structure of Amadeo’s works. In 1913 his works were included in the Armory Show and the Sturm Gallery in Berlin.

In 1912 he met the Delaunays and under their influence colour became increasingly important, for example in Study B (1913; Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian). In Horsemen (1913; Paris, Pompidou) the figures are a pretext for the interplay of coloured arcs. His exploration of abstraction, however, was shortlived. The landscapes painted in the summer of ...

Article

Monica E. Kupfer

(b Santiago de Veraguas, March 25, 1869; d Panama City, Nov 12, 1952).

Panamanian painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He is known chiefly as the designer of the national flag (1903) of Panama. He studied business administration and had a long career in public office. When Panama became independent in 1903, he became Secretario de Hacienda and in 1904 Consul-General ad-honorem to Hamburg. In 1908 he moved to New York, where he studied with Robert Henri, who strongly influenced his style of vigorous drawing, loose brushwork, distorted expressionist images and sombre colours, as in Head Study (1910; Panama City, R. Miró priv. col.; see Miró). He produced most of his work between 1910 and 1914 and again after the late 1930s; his main subject was the human figure, but he also painted portraits, landscapes and still-lifes. On his return to Panama in the 1930s he worked as an auditor in the Contraloría General. After his retirement he resumed painting and produced some of his most passionate works, such as ...

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...

Article

Hana Larvová

(b Pavlíkov, nr Rakovník, Sept 14, 1936).

Czech draughtsman, painter and printmaker. From 1955 to 1961 he studied painting and graphic art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. From 1961 to 1968 he worked at the Black Theatre of Jiří Srnec, a centre of the Prague avant-garde. He was assistant to Professors Jiří Trnka and Zdeněk Sklenář at the Faculty of Applied Art in Prague from 1969 to 1973, and in 1982–4 his work was shown at the central exhibition of the Biennale in Venice. His primary means of expression is drawing. His work forms closed complexes that capture moments of human existence, either in connection with ancient myths and legends or as aspects of contemporary life, for example the cycles of paintings, drawings and graphics Village Dancing Girl (1960–62), Illusion and Reality (1980–83; 1981, Ljubljana, Grand Prix BIB; 1982, Venice Biennale) and Apocalyptic Genetics (1982–3) and the cycle of paintings ...

Article

Lucília Verdelho da Costa and Sandro Callerio

(b Lisbon, Aug 26, 1839; d Genoa, Nov 30, 1915).

Portuguese painter, architect and restorer, active in Italy. He came from a middle-class family with trading interests in Italy. In 1854 Andrade went to Genoa, and friendships there with such artists as Tammar Luxoro (1824–99) led him to study painting with Alexandre Calame and later to study architecture at the Accademia Ligustica di Belle Arti. He travelled widely, and in Italy he came into contact with Antonio Fontanesi and Carlo Pittura (1835/6–91), with whom he became one of the most active painters of the Scuola di Rivara. According to Telamaro Signorini, Andrade was among the painters who frequented the Caffè Michelangiolo in Florence. The influence of the macchiaioli painters is also evident from 1863 in his paintings, especially in Return from the Woods at Dusk (1869; Genoa, Mus. Accad. Ligustica B.A.)

Lucília Verdelho da Costa

Andrade’s work represents a transition from the Romantic school of Calame to the Naturalism of the Barbizon school. His landscapes show careful observation of nature. The locations in northern Italy seem to have been chosen for their melancholy and serenity, as in the landscapes of Fontanesi. Andrade’s pastoral scenes at dawn or dusk are seen through morning mists or against sunsets, or they depict uninhabited countryside. Most of these works, for example ...

Article

V. Rakitin

[Georges] (Pavlovich)

(b Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan, July 23, 1889; d Paris, July 18, 1974).

Russian painter, draughtsman and stage designer. He studied at the University of St Petersburg (later Petrograd) in 1908 and in the private studio of Savely Zeidenberg (1862–1924). In 1909–10 he attended the studio of Yan Tsyonglinsky (1850–1914) in St Petersburg, where he became acquainted with the avant-garde artists Yelena Guro (1877–1913), Mikhail Matyushin and Matvey Vol’demar (1878–1914). In 1911–12 he worked in the studios of Maurice Denis and Félix Vallotton in Paris, then in Switzerland (1913) before returning to St Petersburg. As a painter he was a modernist, and his work developed rapidly towards abstraction, although he did not adhere to any particular branch of it. His works of the time use various devices of stylization and decorativeness, and some of them echo the free associations of Marc Chagall, but fundamentally they remain geometrically based compositions. In 1919–20 he made a series of abstract sculptural assemblages and a great number of abstract collages....

Article

Milan Ivelić

(b Santiago, 1918; d Jun 1993).

Chilean painter and printmaker. After studying architecture at the Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago he won a scholarship that enabled him to continue his studies at Columbia University, New York, from 1943 to 1945. Having painted sensitive watercolors from nature while living in Chile, his journey to New York had a disquieting effect on him: he translated his experience of the concrete city, with its massive buildings dwarfing the anonymous inhabitants wandering the streets, into nearly abstract geometric compositions. He remained in New York to work with Stanley William Hayter from 1948 to 1950 and later traveled to Spain.

On his return to Chile in 1953 Antúnez founded Taller 99, a workshop modeled on Hayter’s Atelier 17, which had far-reaching effects on the development of printmaking in Chile. His renewed contact in Chile with the natural landscape and its fields, beaches, and mountains allowed him to return to intimate, sensitively colored scenes, as in the ...