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Article

Courtney Ann Shaw

(b Fort Plain, NY, Oct 27, 1925; d San Francisco, 2006).

American tapestry artist, painter and stained-glass designer. Adams studied painting at Syracuse University and with Hans Hoffmann in New York, where he was influenced by the medieval tapestries in the Cloisters and also by the work of Matisse. In the 1950s Adams was apprenticed to the influential French tapestry designer Jean Lurçat, from whom he learnt the bold colours and clear imagery that characterize his work. He also studied at the Ecole Nationale d’Art Décoratif in Aubusson before beginning to use a series of workshops, notably that of Marguerite and Paul Avignon, who wove his first nationally acclaimed tapestry, Phoenix and the Golden Gate (1957). Flight of Angels (1962) was exhibited at the first Biennale Internationale de la Tapisserie in Lausanne. In 1976 his cartoon of California Poppies (San Francisco, CA Pal. Legion of Honor) was woven for the Five Centuries of Tapestry exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, as a demonstration piece. Later tapestries, for example ...

Article

Andrew Weiner

(b Beirut, 1925).

Lebanese painter and writer active in the USA. Daughter of a Greek Christian mother and a Syrian Muslim father, Adnan was educated in Lebanon before going on to study philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and the University of California, Berkeley. For many years she taught aesthetics at Dominican College, San Rafael, CA; she also lectured and taught at many other colleges and universities. During the 1970s Adnan regularly contributed editorials, essays, and cultural criticism to the Beirut-based publications Al-Safa and L’Orient-Le Jour. In 1978 she published the novel Sitt Marie Rose, which won considerable acclaim for its critical portrayal of cultural and social politics during the early years of the Lebanese Civil War. Adnan published numerous books of poetry, originating in her opposition to the American war in Vietnam and proceeding to encompass topics as diverse as the landscape of Northern California and the geopolitics of the Middle East. Her poetry served as the basis for numerous works of theater and contemporary classical music....

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

Chika Okeke-Agulu

(b Cairo, May 22, 1963).

American painter, sculptor, fibre and installation artist of Egyptian birth. Amer, one of the few young artists of African origin to gain prominence in the late 1990s international art scene, studied painting in France at the Villa Arson EPIAR, Nice (MFA, 1989), and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique, Paris (1991). She subsequently moved to New York. She is best known for her canvases in which paint and embroidery are combined to explore themes of love, desire, sexuality, and women’s identity in a patriarchal world. Amer’s use of Embroidery, historically regarded as a genteel female craft, to create images of women fulfilling their sexual desires without inhibition, recalls the provocations and strategies of 1970s Western feminist art. However, her work also reflects her alarm at the incremental curbing of women’s social and political freedoms in her native Egypt following the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, especially after the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser ended in ...

Article

Joan Marter

(b Atlanta, GA, March 16, 1938).

African American painter, printmaker, and weaver. Amos studied fine arts and textile weaving at Antioch College at Yellow Springs, OH, where she received her BFA in 1958. She went on to study etching and painting at the Central School of Art, London (1958–9), and the following year she moved to New York, where she began working at two printmaking studios: Robert Blackburn’s workshop and that of Letterio Calapai (an outpost of Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17). She completed her MA at New York University (NYU) in 1966. Through Hale Woodruff, an art professor at NYU and family friend, she was invited to exhibit with Spiral, an all-male art group founded by Woodruff and Romare Bearden and featuring recognized African American artists. Spiral, closely allied with the Civil Rights movement, dissolved in 1967 and subsequently Amos had trouble exhibiting her work. In 1974, after the birth of her two children, Amos found a position as an instructor in textile design at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts. She continued her own weaving in New York and benefited from the revival of interest in women’s traditional art forms in the early years of the feminist art movement....

Article

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Valerie Holman

(b Mennecy, Seine-et-Oise, Feb 3, 1895; d Paris, June 6, 1979).

French painter, sculptor, draughtsman, graphic artist, ceramicist and tapestry designer. He attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, from 1911, until he joined the army in 1915. After World War I he devoted himself primarily to painting. In 1922 he met Juan Gris with whose encouragement his early Matisse-influenced rhythmical compositions acquired greater stability. In the late 1920s he was promoted by Tériade as a successor to the Cubists, with such works as The Mirror (1929; Paris, Pompidou), in which a highly simplified figure and its mirror-image are defined by patches of flat colour and fragments of linear contrast, and by the 1940s he was seen as one of the major representatives of the Ecole de Paris. In the 1950s his earlier predilection for curvilinear shapes gave way to a more angular and dynamic geometry, as in the First Race (1952; Paris, Pompidou). His subject-matter was taken from daily life, with marked preferences for the nude in movement, as in ...

Article

Article

Mark Jones

(b Paris, Jan 17, 1913; d Paris, 1994).

French painter, sculptor, medallist and designer. He studied in Paris, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and was much influenced by his friendship with Maurice Denis. He worked principally as a painter, adopting the saturated colours of Henri Matisse in landscapes and figure studies often based on observation of ‘exotic’ cultures, notably Mediterranean and North African. In the mid-1960s a new rawness emerged in his work, derived from ‘primitive’ examples and new materials associated with his experiments in other media. He executed tapestry designs for Aubusson, posters (winning the Grand Prix de l’Affiche Française in 1984), costumes and sets for ballets at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, reliefs and murals. In 1965 he took up medal-making, expressing in his numerous metallic works for the Paris Mint that obsession with found objects which is also evident in his large-scale sculpture and in his posters.

Bénézit Roger Bezombes: Nice, débarcadère du Levant...

Article

Ruth Rosengarten

(António Teixeira Bastos Nunes)

(b Lisbon, Sept 18, 1899; d Lisbon, Aug 18, 1982).

Portuguese painter, printmaker and designer of tapestries and tile panels. Known primarily as a ‘painter of Lisbon’, he began his artistic career as an illustrator and cartoonist as well as writing a weekly satirical page (1928–50) in the newspaper O sempre fixe. He visited Paris in 1929, 1930–1 and again in 1937, when he was impressed by a retrospective exhibition of the work of van Gogh, whose influence is evident in Botelho’s scenes of urban squalor of the late 1930s. He had begun to depict calm, unpopulated views of Lisbon in the early 1930s, for example Side View of the Castle (1935; Lisbon, Mus. Cidade), and from the early 1940s concentrated almost exclusively on this theme. The compositions became increasingly crisp and planar and the piling up of volumes and compression of space increasingly stylized, especially after he began to paint from memory in 1949. The tonalities of Botelho’s paintings remained consistently pale, as in ...

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Aug 28, 1897; d Buenos Aires, March 17, 1983).

Argentine painter, tapestry designer and stage designer. From 1922 to 1933 he lived in Europe, where he studied first in Germany at the artistic colony in Worpswede and then in Paris under André Lhote and Othon Friesz. He was untouched by the violence of German Expressionism, but he assimilated various influences in France, structuring forms in the manner of Cézanne, and combining these with the audacious colouring of Fauvism and the strict sense of order in Cubism, as in The Siesta (1926; Buenos Aires, Mus. N. B.A.)

On his return to Argentina, Butler applied these European influences to lyrical landscapes of the islands in the Parana Delta of the Tigre region near Buenos Aires, selecting unusual scenes into which he incorporated childhood reminiscences in the figures. Using arabesques to link nature and people in his essentially flat pictures, he projected himself on to the scenery of which he was so fond in pictures such as the ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Flensburg, March 6, 1866; d Wiesbaden, Jan 5, 1945).

German designer. After an early career as an interior designer he turned to the design of tapestries (subsequently woven at the Scherbeker Kunstgewerbeschule), porcelain (table wares), drinking glasses (for the Theresienthaler Kristallglasfabrik) and silver cutlery. After 1914 he worked primarily as a painter and writer.

M. Zimmermann-Degen and H. Christiansen...

Article

Denise Carvalho

(b Belo Horizonte, Oct 23, 1920; d Rio de Janeiro, April 25, 1988).

Brazilian painter, sculptor, interactive artist and art therapist. She was a cofounder in 1959 of the Neo-Concrete movement, whose members laid the foundation for much of Brazilian contemporary art. The Neo-Concretists broke with the rigidity of the rationalism of Concrete art and advocated a more sensorial, interactive art. Lygia Clark and her creative soul-mate, Hélio Oiticica, created participatory works that challenged not only longstanding artistic dogmas, but also the role of the art object itself, as well as the role of the artist, the spectator, and the art institution. Their most groundbreaking works required the viewer to be part of the artwork and thereby experience it sensorially, all of which made their work difficult to categorize. Clark came to see even her exhibitions at major art events as meaningless, and her emphasis on person-to-person dialogue eventually led her into art therapy. Without a therapeutic license, she devoted her last decades solely to treating patients with her own form of art therapy....

Article

Nina Weibull

(b Karlstad, Dec 31, 1938).

Swedish painter, sculptor, printmaker and weaver. She began her studies in 1958 at the Konstfackskolan, Stockholm, continuing from 1959 to 1960 at the Kungliga Akademien för de Fria Konsterna, Stockholm. Cronqvist’s main subject-matter was the human figure. She first attracted attention for her sensuous use of bright, fleshy colours, evoking an air of humorous absurdity by distorting form and perspective. Although adhering to traditional forms and themes, such as landscape, still-life and self-portrait, her continuous dialogue with tradition led her to question the latter’s implicitly patriarchal function and to dispute its representation of women as objects. In 1969–70 she became absorbed with the crucially conflicting themes of being an artist and a mother. She went on to depict her own childhood in a manner reminiscent of Edvard Munch, capturing not only its atmosphere of discolouring depression but also the distortion of memory. For this new imagery she used a darker range of colours and a larger scale to give a sense of constraint, dominated by a rigidly accomplished central perspective. In the self-portrait ...

Article

A. Ziffer

(b Görlitz, Feb 21, 1871; d Lüneburg, March 10, 1948).

German designer, painter, teacher and theorist. A self-taught artist, he made several study trips to Italy and the Tyrol. In painting he found inspiration in late German Romanticism, before turning to the English Arts and Crafts Movement. His designs were exhibited in 1899 at the exhibition of the Bayerische Kunstgewerbeverein (Munich, Glaspal.) and in 1901 at the first Ausstellung für Kunst im Handwerk in Munich. In 1902 he founded the Lehr- und Versuch-Atelier für Angewandte und Freie Kunst with the Swiss artist Hermann Obrist, developing a modern co-educational teaching system based on reformist pedagogy and popular psychology. In preliminary courses, classes and workshops, a broad practical training was offered primarily in arts and crafts. This precursor of the Bauhaus encouraged contact with dealers and collectors and was widely accoladed. When Obrist resigned from the school in 1904, Debschitz founded the Ateliers und Werkstätten für Angewandte Kunst and the Keramischen Werkstätten production centres attached to the school. In ...

Article

Alberto Cernuschi

(b Montauban, Sept 30, 1894; d Perpignan, July 21, 1972).

French painter, printmaker, stage designer, illustrator and tapestry designer. He was encouraged to study art by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, to whom he showed his drawings at the age of 16, and was taught by him at the Ecole de Dessin à la Manufacture des Gobelins. From 1912 to 1914 he attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Montauban, and after serving in the infantry during World War I he moved to Paris, where he showed his work regularly at such exhibitions as the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne.

Desnoyer lived and worked among the Cubists, but like the Fauves he favoured bright primary colours, marrying colour and line in landscapes, still-lifes and portraits. His debt to both movements is visible in paintings such as La Foire du Trône (1927; Paris, Pompidou). He also produced an illustrated edition of La Fontaine’s Dies Irae (Editions Mortier, 1947) and stage designs for the Opéra Comique in Paris, for example for Henri Barrand’s ...

Article

Nóra Aradi

(b Budapest, Jan 23, 1907; d Budapest, May 15, 1974).

Hungarian painter and tapestry designer. He studied under Oszkár Glatz (1872–1958) at the School of Fine Arts, Budapest, and held his first exhibition there in 1929. His refined drawing style was influenced by 19th-century Neo-classicism, but he soon superseded this with the lyric sensibility of his colours. In the 1930s his main interest was in tapestry, and he exhibited internationally, although some of his tapestries were lost at the outbreak of World War II. His works are often influenced in their presentation by the narrative technique of folk tales, although folklore is not an exclusive topic in his oeuvre, which also comprises such monumental commissions as the tapestry Saint Stephen (1938; Pécs, Pannonius Mus.)

In the 1940s Domanovszky returned to painting. The still-lifes and interiors of this period are Constructivist compositions with a colour scheme full of explosive tension. His Putters (1948; Budapest, N.G.) is a formal summary of this period and it signals a new thematic strand. He developed his mural-painting skills during the execution of the 4×21 m ...

Article

(b Tumba, nr Stockholm, Nov 23, 1899; d nr Stockholm, May 17, 1970).

Swedish painter, draughtsman, tapestry and stage designer. After studying under various artists in Tumba and elsewhere, in 1922–3 he attended the Konsthögskolan in Stockholm and in 1922 visited Berne, Nuremberg and Berlin. His early works, such as Jeårj (1923; Stockholm, Mod. Mus.), were loosely painted and naive in appearance and drew on vernacular art. In 1924 he visited Paris and Italy, and in 1924–5 he helped decorate the cinema in Malmö, one of numerous early decorative projects. In 1925 he was a founder-member of the Fri Konst group of artists, which included Carl Alexandersson (1897–1941), Sven Hempel (1896–1944) and others. The following year the membership was expanded to nine by the addition of such artists as Gustav Alexanderson (b 1901) to form the Nio Unga (Nine Young Men) group. Erixson travelled extensively around Europe in the late 1920s, and in 1932, after the dissolution of Nio Unga, he was a founder-member of ...

Article

Ilona Sármány-Parsons, S. Kontha and Ida Bod-Bobrovszky

Hungarian family of artists. The painter (1) Károly Ferenczy was one of the first modern Hungarian artists and a leading figure in the Nagybánya colony. He introduced a generation of young Hungarian artists to plein-air painting and led the reaction against conventional academic art. All of his important works are in Hungary, and he is consequently little known outside his native land. Károly married his cousin, the Austrian painter Olga von Fialka (1848–1930). Their son (2) Béni Ferenczy was primarily a sculptor and medallist. He spent many years in Vienna and his mature work shows a successful reinterpretation of Classical sculpture. His twin sister (3) Noémi Ferenczy specialized in making tapestries and was the greatest influence on Hungarian tapestry in the 20th century. Another son, Valér Ferenczy (b Körmöczbánya, 22 Nov 1885), having studied with his father and with Simon Hollósy at Nagybánya, became a painter and etcher. The ...

Article

Sandra Sider

Folk art, or vernacular art (specific to a group or place), developed in Colonial America out of necessity when individual households produced most of the utilitarian objects required for daily life. Using traditional tools and techniques, many of these makers created pieces in which aesthetics came to play a substantial role, through form, ornamentation, or both. In some groups, notably the Shakers, function was emphasized, with pure form evoking an aesthetic and spiritual response. Religious beliefs have informed American folk art, such as the saints and other figures (Santos) carved and painted by Catholic settlers in the Southwest as early as 1700. Although the majority of folk art is now anonymous, the oeuvre of numerous individual artists can be determined by their distinctive styles or marks. Folk art is often considered within the field of ‘material culture’, with an emphasis on the object’s context rather than its creator. Most American folk art falls within three categories: painting and cut paper, textiles and fibre, and three-dimensional work such as furniture, carvings, metalwork, ceramics, and outdoor installations....