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Article

Vanina Costa

(b Saverne, Lower Rhine, March 17, 1862; d Strasbourg, 1932).

French sculptor, decorative artist and draughtsman. He moved to Paris with his family after the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 and worked as an ornamental sculptor in a cabinetmaker’s studio in 1878. In the early 1880s he befriended painters such as Georges Seurat, Claude Monet and Toulouse-Lautrec. He is best known for the small number of pieces of furniture made before he became Director of the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg in 1920. These objects had more in common with sculpture than with the work of traditional cabinetmakers. He often made use of female nudes in his furniture, not as decoration but literally as construction, for example in one of his earliest works, a wooden table (h. 760 mm; Paris, Maurice Rheims priv. col., see exh. cat., p. 98), in place of conventional legs he used carved human figures depicted as if supporting the table-top with their uplifted arms.

Carabin’s interest in the female form is further attested to by life drawings. Apart from the furniture, he also produced small decorative objects and medals (e.g. a commemorative medal for the magazine ...

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

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

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

Donna Corbin

(b Münster, May 16, 1872; d Baierbrunn, Upper Bavaria, April 5, 1943).

German designer, architect, sculptor and painter. He was the son of a cabinetmaker and studied painting at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1889–91) and in Berlin (1891–2) before settling in Munich in 1892. Working as a portrait painter and graphic designer, he contributed illustrations to a number of periodicals including Pan (from 1895) and Jugend (from 1896). His earliest furniture designs were a chair and mirror shown at the seventh Internationale Kunstausstellung held at the Glaspalast in Munich in 1897. In the following year he was commissioned by F. A. O. Krüger (b 1868), one of the founder-members of the Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk, Munich, to produce designs for the workshop. Like other designers of the Vereinigte Werkstätten, such as Richard Riemerschmid, Peter Behrens or Bruno Paul, Pankok produced designs in a variety of media, although his designs for furniture are probably his most original. His early furniture designs are characterized by a certain heaviness and ‘organic’ look, recalling the work of Antoni Gaudí and representing the more expressionistic, less functional, aspect of ...

Article

Susanna Temkin

(b San Rafael de Mucuchíes, nr. Mérida, May 16, 1900; d San Rafael de Mucuchíes, Apr 18, 1997).

Venezuelan sculptor, furniture designer, weaver, and architect. He was self-taught as an artist. After various odd jobs including puppeteer, baker’s assistant, and clown, he learned to weave on a loom, making traditional blankets, and later hats (see Grupo Cinco 1982, 143–147). In 1935 he carved his first sculptural group representing Christ, the Virgin, and Mary Magdalene (untraced). In 1943 Sánchez moved from San Rafael to El Potrero. There, in 1946, he constructed the only loom in Venezuela with three heddles. In 1952 he began the construction of the Complejo de El Tisure, located in an immense isolated valley near Mérida. His major life’s work, this artistic and religious center included various chapels, shrines, and sculptural ensembles conceived and hand-built by Sánchez. Driven by a seemingly atavistic religious mysticism, Sánchez’s uniquely individual artistic vision can be compared with Antoni Gaudí.

Located near the Complejo de El Tisure’s arched stone entrance, a rough-hewn small shrine adorned with sea shells and corals was created in ...