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Article

Ingeborg Wikborg

(Sigurd)

(b Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag, April 21, 1933).

Norwegian sculptor, designer and medallist. He became familiar with handicraft in his father’s furniture workshop. In 1954 he began five years’ study as a commercial artist at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole in Oslo and from 1957 to 1963 he worked as an illustrator for a newspaper. He studied at the Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1959 to 1962 under the sculptor Per Palle Storm (1910–94) who advocated naturalism in sculpture. As an assistant to Arnold Haukeland from 1961 to 1964, Aas lost his apprehension of the untried and cultivated his sense of daring, as he gained experience with welding techniques. Highly imaginative and versatile, Aas worked in both abstract and figurative modes and is reckoned one of the foremost sculptors in Norway; in 1990 he was honoured with St Olav.

Aas’s first sculpture was an equestrian monument in snow, made in Inderøy while he was a schoolboy. His first public project was the abstract steel figure ...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Kraków, July 25, 1953).

Polish sculptor and poster designer. Between 1973 and 1978 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the sculpture studio of Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz. From 1978 he exhibited and took part in sculptural symposia (on marble and granite) in Poland, Italy, France and Germany. Between 1976 and 1981 he designed posters for the Laboratory Theatre (Teatr Laboratorium) of Jerzy Grotowski.

Bednarski became one of the leading representatives in Poland of the ‘new sculpture’ of the 1980s. He produced individual sculptures (up to the early 1980s in small numbers) and later tended towards installations and performances. Several recurrent elements (e.g. the plaster head of Karl Marx in different arrangements and variants shown at exhibitions in 1978, 1986 and 1988) and repeated motifs are evident in his work. He often drew on literature (Herman Melville and Joseph Brodsky) and on the realities of Polish Communism, usually employing familiar signs and symbols. These equivocal and diverse sculptures and installations are primarily autobiographical. His most important installation, ...

Article

Mark Stocker

(b Hepton, Suffolk, 1811 or 1812; d London, March 14, 1895).

English sculptor. He enrolled at the Royal Academy in 1829 and attracted attention there with The Eagleslayer (1837), of which versions were made in bronze, marble (c. 1844; Wentworth Woodhouse, S. Yorks) and iron (1851; London, Bethnal Green Mus. Childhood). The latter, cast by the Coalbrookdale Company, was shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851, placed under a canopy with the slain eagle at the top. Prestigious commissions followed, including statuary for the Houses of Parliament: Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland (marble, 1848) and Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (marble, 1854). Bell’s best-known public sculptures are the Guards’ Crimean War memorial (bronze, 1860; London, Waterloo Place) and America, part of the Albert Memorial (marble, 1864–9; London, Kensington Gdns). Both show his stylistic and iconographic compromise between Neo-classical tradition and meticulous contemporary realism. Bell’s works on imagined subjects, many of which were reproduced in Parian porcelain by ...

Article

Hugh Davies

(b San Lorenzo, nr Reggio di Calabria, March 10, 1915; d Barto, PA, Nov 6, 1978).

American sculptor and furniture designer of Italian birth. After settling in the USA in 1930, he studied at the Society of Arts and Crafts, Detroit (1936), and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI (1937–9), where he taught metalworking and produced abstract silver jewellery and colour monoprints. In 1943 he moved to California to assist in the development of the first of a series of chairs designed by Charles O. Eames. His first sculptures date from the late 1940s. In 1950 he established himself in Bally, PA, where he designed the Bertoia chair (1952), several forms of which were marketed by Knoll International. His furniture is characterized by the use of moulded and welded wire; in the case of the Bertoia chair, the chromium-plated steel wire is reshaped by the weight of the sitter. Bertoia also worked on small sculptures, directly forged or welded bronzes. The first of his many large architectural sculptures was a screen commissioned in ...

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

Paul Huvenne

[Lancelot]

(b ?Poperinghe, 1488; d Bruges, bur March 4, 1581).

South Netherlandish painter, draughtsman, designer, architect, civil engineer, cartographer and engraver. He is said to have trained as a bricklayer, and the trowel he used to add as his housemark next to his monogram lab testifies to this and to his pretensions as an architectural designer. In 1519 he was registered as a master painter in the Bruges Guild of St Luke, where he chose as his speciality painting on canvas. The following year he collaborated with the little-known painter Willem Cornu in designing and executing 12 scenes for the Triumphal Entry of Emperor Charles V into Bruges. From then onwards Blondeel received regular commissions, mainly as a designer and organizer. Records of legal actions show that he was sometimes late with commissions; he took seven years to execute a Last Judgement ordered in 1540 for the council chamber at Blankenberge, and in 1545 the Guild of St Luke summoned him for his failure to supply their guild banner on time. Blondeel was married to Kathelyne, sister of the wood-carver ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Article

(b Venarcy, Côte-d’Or, Jan 2, 1854; d Dijon, Sept 26, 1945).

French sculptor, jeweller and furniture designer. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dijon and then, in 1874, under François Jouffroy and Paul Dubois (ii) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He first exhibited at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français in 1876 with his bust of an architect called Belot (Dijon, Mus. B.-A.) and in 1877 he came second in the Prix de Rome. In 1879 he was awarded a second-class medal for his plaster sculpture Ismael (Châlons-sur-Marne, Mus. Mun.) and in 1881 he won a first-class medal for the marble St John the Baptist (Paris, Mus. d’Orsay). He travelled in Italy from 1882 to 1883 and later visited Spain and Morocco on a travel scholarship. In 1889 he ceased exhibiting at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français and instead exhibited at the recently established Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He worked primarily in bronze but also in ivory, silver and gold, and produced some jewellery. His sculptures were mainly inspired by religious and mythological subjects executed in a highly finished academic style (e.g. ...

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

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

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 M. Sokol

(b Milwaukee, WI, May 3, 1915; d Roslyn, NY, Aug 22, 2002).

American sculptor. He studied industrial design in Chicago, at the University and at the School of the Art Institute (1933–7). He began making sculptures c. 1942 and achieved major recognition following his one-man show at the Willard Gallery, New York (1947). His sculptures reveal a concern for the space that they occupy, and for movement, real and apparent. They are often made of fragmented metal, wire, or rods, sometimes giving an impression of weightlessness.

Lippold’s reputation was assured by the purchase in 1950 of Variation No. 7: Full Moon (1949–50) by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A larger, but similar construction in metal wire, Variation within a Sphere, No. 10: The Sun (6.6×1.5 m, 1953–6), was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A diaphanous web of gold-filled wire, anchored to the ceiling, floor, and walls by thin steel wires, the sculpture is illuminated by specially arranged lights. Among his other commissions, which he preferred to speculative work, were ...

Article

Veerle Poupeye

(b St. Andrew, Dec 29, 1902; d Sept 20, 1992).

Jamaican sculptor. He was initially self-taught, but later attended the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London. He worked as a furniture-carver in the 1930s for the Jamaican Art Deco furniture designer Burnett Webster (1909–1992). His own work of this period was influenced by Art Deco and by Edna Manley. Gradually it became more academic, and he became Jamaica’s most popular monumental sculptor. Among his best-known works are monuments in Kingston to Jamaica’s national heroes, including Norman Manley (1971) and Alexander Bustamante (1972), as well as to the reggae singer Bob Marley (1985). He worked in various materials, including bronze, but was at his best as a woodcarver. His outstanding achievement is the carved ceiling decoration and lectern of the university chapel, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.

Boxer, D. and Poupeye, V. Modern Jamaican Art. Kingston, 1998.Poupeye, V. Caribbean Art...

Article

Geoffrey R. Edwards

(b Melbourne, Feb 9, 1929; d New York, April 19, 2005).

Australian sculptor and designer, active in the USA. He studied aeronautical engineering and later industrial design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, but left without finishing the course. From 1949 to 1953 he worked as an industrial designer, specializing in furniture. Marketed widely in Australia during these years, his furniture was distinguished by its simplicity. It was constructed with plain, undisguised materials such as steel rods, timber laminates, and cord; his tables, chairs, and shelving systems exercised a delight in linear and open structure that conveyed an impression of virtual weightlessness.

In his free time Meadmore began to produce sculptures, carving wooden shapes whose forms were similar to those of tensioned strings, and from 1950 to 1953 experimenting with mobiles. After extensive travel in 1953 in Europe, where he was particularly impressed by modern sculptures that he saw in Belgium, he produced his first large abstract sculptures in welded steel. Some of these, for example ...

Article

Laural Weintraub

(b Milan, Oct 24, 1907; d Milan, Sept 29, 1998).

Italian sculptor, painter, film maker and designer. His artistic ambition was influenced by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti whom he met in Milan in the mid-1920s. Munari formally allied himself with the second generation of Futurists in 1927 and continued to exhibit with them into the 1930s (see Furttenbach [Furtenbach; Furttembach], Josef [Joseph], the elder and Aeropittura). Few works of Munari’s remain from this period, as most were made from transient materials. One extant work in tempera from 1932 (see Tanchis, p. 13) suggests that Munari had fully adopted Futurist aesthetics. Several other examples from the 1930s, however, show a clear debt to Surrealism.

In his sculpture from 1930 Munari adopted a different attitude. Aerial Machine (1930; see Tanchis, p. 21), for example, indicates a move towards a Constructivist aesthetic. This elegant object is a precursor of his Useless Machines, the first of which was executed in 1933. Constructed of painted cardboard and other lightweight materials, they served to liberate abstract forms in three dimensions. Moreover, they were meant to integrate with the surrounding environment through their kinetic action....

Article

Elisabeth Lebovici

(b Béziers, Hérault, Dec 25, 1924).

French painter and sculptor. He studied drawing and painting in Pau from 1939 to 1945 while qualifying as an engineer there. From 1945 to 1955 he worked as an aeronautics designer and draughtsman within the firm Turboméca before deciding to devote himself full-time to painting, taking as his starting-point Art informel and particularly the work of Jean Dubuffet. He wrote, in a sort of graffiti, directly on to the substances from which he made his pictures, favouring materials that offered resistance and that could be built up and modelled, such as crushed flint mixed with a synthetic resin and coloured with powdered pigments. Through such methods an affinity was suggested with ancient palimpsests covered in successive layers of writing.

Noël lived in New York from 1969 to 1981 and under the influence of Minimalism subjected his work to a more formal structure. His signs lost their resemblance to mysterious writing, instead becoming enmeshed in patterns of latticework, grids and patchworks that defined the painted surface. On his return to France he again took up the large scale and themes of murals that he had painted on commission before moving to New York, for example at the Lycée du Grand Lac in Var, Alpes Maritimes, in ...

Article

Bengt von Bonsdorff

(b Helsinki, Aug 19, 1924).

Finnish painter, sculptor and printmaker. He studied at the Central School of Industrial Arts in Helsinki (1946–9) and practised drawing at the Free Art School. His earliest work consisted mostly of figure drawings and still-lifes (e.g. the coloured wood engraving Chair Still-life, 1946; see 1982 exh. cat., no. 1). He was drawn to Synthetic Cubism in the spirit of Juan Gris and to faces and masks similar to those in the works of Picasso or in non-Western art. These representations soon gave way to the purely abstract. Nordström first exhibited in 1947 at Nuorten näyttely (‘Exhibition by young artists’; Helsinki, A. Exh. Hall). Two years later he held his first one-man exhibition. It was the first in Finland that consisted entirely of paintings influenced by Constructivism. Nordström developed his abstract programme in a very short time at the end of the 1940s and the beginning of the 1950s. It was then that the foundation of his painting was laid, both technically and formally. This also applied to the prints and three-dimensional constructions, which were small at first (e.g. the coloured wood engraving ...

Article

(b Leith, nr Edinburgh, March 7, 1924; d London, April 22, 2005).

British sculptor, collagist, printmaker, film maker and writer. Born of Italian parents, he attended Edinburgh College of Art in 1943 with a view to becoming a commercial artist. After brief military service, in 1944 he attended St Martin’s School of Art in London, and from 1945 to 1947 he studied sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art (then based in Oxford). While in Oxford he saw ethnographic sculpture at the Pitt Rivers Museum and also became friendly with William Turnbull and Nigel Henderson. The influence of art from non-Western cultures is evident in such early works as Fisherman and Wife (ink, wash and collage, 1946; London, Tate). In 1947 he had his first one-man show at The Mayor Gallery Ltd in London, and in the summer of that year he moved to Paris. He remained there until 1949, meeting artists such as Arp, Braque, Brancusi, Giacometti, Jean Hélion, Léger and Tristan Tzara. He was attracted to Surrealist art and ideas and was also impressed by the ...

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Wadowice, nr Kraków, July 20, 1928; d Kraków, Feb 16, 1986).

Polish industrial designer, photographer, sculptor and painter. He studied at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts from 1945 to 1950, later becoming dean of the Faculty of Industrial Design there, as well as president of the Polish Association of Designers and vice-president of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. He was the author of numerous theoretical studies on design and an adherent of ‘natural’ design. Throughout his life he experimented with photography, producing works without using a camera or negative, such as prints of gestures of the flat of the hand and abstract forms painted with developers on light-sensitive materials. His camerawork consisted of wide-angle close-ups of fragments of the human body, which transformed into semi-sculptural compositions. Cineforms (1957) were kinetic, abstract images projected on to a screen by a special device without the use of film. The variable composition was achieved by the movement of coloured forms between the light of the projector and its likewise variable system of lenses. ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Brooklyn, NY, Dec 20, 1924).

American sculptor. She began her career as a commercial art director, then studied at the Pratt Institute and afterwards at the Art Students’ League in New York. She then went to Paris and studied painting at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière with Fernand Léger and André Lhote. In 1951 she settled in Italy, and in 1960 she began producing sculptures. She maintained homes in Todi, Italy, and New York City. During the 1960s her sculptural style became gradually less expressionistic and more geometric, and she began using stainless steel as a material. Her sculptures, which tended to be large and located outdoors, were often made up of stacked, irregular, rectangular box-like shapes that were open on two sides, enabling the viewer to see through them. At once monumental and partly invisible, these works seemed to incorporate parts of their surroundings while reflecting other parts in their metallic surfaces. Later works were more overtly environmental, for example ...