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Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Aug 28, 1897; d Buenos Aires, Mar 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 coloring 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

Eduardo Serrano

(b Cartagena, Dec 18, 1920; d Bogotá, Apr 1, 2004).

Colombian painter, sculptor, printmaker, filmmaker, and stage designer. He studied at the Art Students League in New York from 1941 to 1943 and subsequently visited Italy, where he studied fresco and etching techniques before settling again in Colombia. Consistently devoted to the human form, he initially depicted figures with angular heads and striped tunics in a strong light, with symbolic objects such as eggs, masks, or cages.

In such later paintings as Boy with Umbrella (1964; Washington, DC, A. Mus. Americas) Grau’s figures were transformed into plump, fleshy, and voluptuous beings, richly arrayed with lace, feathers, hats, and fans, like characters taken from the theater or from popular turn-of-the-century postcards. His scenes were gradually filled with anecdotal details and numerous objects, including cupboards, easels, boxes, masks, and flowers, through which he suggested emotionally charged atmospheres. Grau also produced murals, prints, stage sets, films, and especially sculptures. The first of these were assemblages of antique and industrial objects, but he subsequently made cast-bronze sculptures that convey a sensuousness, mystery, and nostalgia similar to that evoked by his paintings....

Article

(b London, Jan 13, 1904; d St James, Barbados, July 13, 1978).

English stage designer and painter. He was the grandson of the cartoonist Linley Sambourne (1844–1910) and was educated at Eton College, Berks. After studying at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, he began painting portraits of his friends. An early influence was the English painter Glyn Warren Philpot (1884–1937). Messel’s first work for the theatre was to design masks for the production at the Coliseum in London of Serge Diaghilev’s ballet Zéphyr et Flore (1925), which had sets by Georges Braque. He achieved success with his masks, costumes and décor for C. B. Cochran’s revues between 1926 and 1931 (e.g. mask for This Year of Grace, painted papier-mâché, 1928; London, Theat. Mus.), and his sets for the production in London of Helen (1932) drew accolades from theatre critics. His all-white décor for a bedroom scene inspired the interior decorator Syrie Maugham (...

Article

Leonor Morales

revised by Deborah Caplow

(b Guadalajara, Feb 19, 1887; d Mexico City, Oct 13, 1968).

Mexican mural and easel painter, printmaker, illustrator, and stage designer. In 1903 he began studying painting in Guadalajara under Félix Bernardelli, an Italian who had established a school of painting and music there. He produced his first illustrations for Revista moderna, a magazine that promoted the Latin American modernist movement and to which his cousin, the poet Amado Nervo, also contributed poetry. In 1905 he enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Mexico City; his teachers included Antonio Fabrés, Julio Ruelas, Leandro Izaguirre (1867–1941), and Germán Gedovius. Some of his fellow students were Diego Rivera, Francisco de la Torre, Saturnino Herrán, Angel Zárraga, and Jorge Enciso. In 1905 Montenegro won a grant to travel to Europe, first studying at the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid. In 1907 Montenegro moved to Paris, where he continued his studies and immersed himself in the world of contemporary art, meeting Cocteau, Picasso, Braque, and Gris, among others....