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Article

Adams, Tate  

(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

Amighetti, Francisco  

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

Arikha, Avigdor  

(b Rādāuţi, Bukovina, April 28, 1929; d Paris, April 29, 2010).

Israeli painter, draughtsman, printmaker and writer, of Romanian birth, active in France. The drawings he made in deportation from Nazi labour camps at the age of 13 and 14 saved his life by attracting attention to his precocious talent. In 1944 he emigrated to Israel, living in a kibbutz near Jerusalem and studying art at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem; after being severely wounded in 1948 in the Israeli War of Independence, he continued his studies in Paris (which he made his home in 1954) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1949–51). He first made his name as an illustrator, for example of an edition of Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Way of Love and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke (Jerusalem, 1953), for which he was awarded a gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1954. From 1957 to 1965 he produced abstract paintings, such as Noir basse...

Article

Broodthaers, Marcel  

Michael Compton

(b Brussels, Jan 28, 1924; d Cologne, Jan 28, 1976).

Belgian painter, sculptor, printmaker, draughtsman, film maker and poet. He lived in poverty for 20 years as a bohemian poet in Brussels; with no artistic training he turned to visual art in 1964 as an ironic gesture, with an exhibition at the Galerie St Laurent in Brussels. He launched himself caustically into the art market with a brief text printed on the invitation: ‘I too wondered if I could not sell something and succeed in life … Finally the idea of inventing something insincere finally crossed my mind and I set to work straightaway’ (quoted in 1980 exh. cat., p. 13). In the 11 years that remained to him he established himself, in more than 70 one-man exhibitions, as an artist of considerable influence in terms not of style or sensibility but of attitude and approach.

Broodthaers regarded his art as a defence of European high cultural traditions in the face of barbarian threats and especially of western commercialism. His strategy allowed him to appropriate techniques and media from Nouveau Réalisme, Pop art, conceptual art and performance art so as to subvert them to his own aims; he emphasized the craftsmanship of his art but without any trace of academic technique or dexterity, as his work was often executed by others. At its most personal his work employed techniques associated with poetry but applied by him not only to words but to images and symbols, with a particular emphasis on irony, metonymy, tautology and synecdoche....

Article

Cage, John  

Hugh Davies

(b Los Angeles, Sept 5, 1912; d New York, Aug 12, 1992).

American composer, philosopher, writer and printmaker. He was educated in California and then made a study tour of Europe (1930–31), concentrating on art, architecture and music. On his return to the USA he studied music with Richard Buhlig, Adolph Weiss, Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg; in 1934 he abandoned abstract painting for music. An interest in extending the existing range of percussion instruments led him, in 1940, to devise the ‘prepared piano’ (in which the sound is transformed by the insertion of various objects between the strings) and to pioneer electronic sound sources.

Cage’s studies of Zen Buddhism and Indian philosophy during the 1940s resulted in a decision to remove intention, memory and personal taste from music, based on the Oriental concern with process rather than result. According equal status to both structured sound and noise, he treated silence (the absence of intentional sounds) as an element in its own right. In the early 1950s he began his close collaboration with the pianist ...

Article

Grasset, Eugène(-Samuel)  

Phillip Dennis Cate

(b Lausanne, May 25, 1841; d Paris, Oct 23, 1917).

French illustrator, decorative artist and printmaker of Swiss birth. Before arriving in Paris in the autumn of 1871, Grasset had been apprenticed to an architect, attended the Polytechnic in Zurich and travelled to Egypt. In Paris he found employment as a fabric designer and graphic ornamentalist, which culminated in his first important project, the illustrations for Histoire des quatre fils Aymon (1883). Grasset worked in collaboration with Charles Gillot, the inventor of photo-relief printing and an influential collector of Oriental and decorative arts, in the production of this major work of Art Nouveau book design and of colour photomechanical illustration. Grasset used a combination of medieval and Near Eastern decorative motifs to frame and embellish his illustrations, but most importantly he integrated text and imagery in an innovative manner which has had a lasting influence on book illustration.

In 1881 he was commissioned by Rodolphe Salis to design furnishing in a medieval style for the latter’s new Chat Noir cabaret in Montmartre. This project brought him in direct contact with Montmartre avant-garde artists such as Adolphe Willette, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Henri Rivière and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Grasset’s numerous posters include ...

Article

Janco [Iancu], Marcel  

Ioana Vlasiu

(b Bucharest, 1895; d Ein Hod, 1984).

Romanian painter, printmaker, architect and writer. He was a pupil of the painter Iosif Iser and from 1915 studied architecture in Zurich. With Tristan Tzara, Hans Arp, Richard Huelsenbeck and Hugo Ball, Janco participated in the Dada performances of the Cabaret Voltaire (see Dada, §1 and Mask, c. 1919). Janco made props and posters for the Dada group and illustrated with engravings the books of Tristan Tzara; he broke with Dada in 1922. In 1918 he became involved with the Neue Leben group in Basle. After returning to Romania in 1920 he took part in all the major avant-garde exhibitions, showed at the Maison d’Art in Bucharest (1922) and was a member of the group Contimporanul (1924), which published an eponymous review and organized the first international avant-garde exhibition in December 1924. Janco was prolific as an artist, drawing, painting, engraving, designing buildings (e.g. Wexler House, ...

Article

Kent, Rockwell  

Fridolf Johnson

(b Tarrytown, NY, June 21, 1882; d Au Sable Forks, NY, March 13, 1971).

American painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer, and sailor. He first studied architecture but turned to painting, studying in New York at the schools of William Merritt Chase and of Robert Henri. In his realistic landscapes, the most famous of which related to his long sojourns in such remote and rugged places as Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, and Greenland (e.g. Eskimo in a Kayak, 1933; Moscow, Pushkin Mus. F.A.), he favoured a precise rendering of forms with strong contrasts of light and dark. He was also renowned for the many books that he illustrated and wrote about his adventures. His considerable reputation as an illustrator was based on his striking drawings for such classics as Voltaire’s Candide (New York, 1928) and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (Chicago, 1930). His simple but distinctive graphic designs, such as God Speed (wood-engraving, 1931; see Kent, 1933, p. 87), were widely imitated.

Rockwellkentiana (New York, 1933)...

Article

Kós [Kosch], Károly  

(b Temesvár [now Timişoara, Romania], Dec 16, 1883; d Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Aug 24, 1977).

Hungarian architect, graphic artist, teacher, writer and politician. He studied (1902–7) at the Hungarian Palatine Josef Technical University, Budapest, where he experimented with Romanesque Revival designs, then travelled to Italy, Germany and Austria. On his return he became the leading figure of Fiatalok (Hung.: ‘the young’), a group of Hungarian architects including Béla Jánszky (1884–1945), Valér Mende, Dezső Zrumeczky (1883–1917) and Dénes Györgyi, who rejected both Ödön Lechner’s Secessionist architecture and the prevalent historicism. Kós was influenced by the works of Ruskin, William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. The example of the Finnish architects Eliel Saarinen and Lars Sonck, who studied vernacular buildings in Karelia, was also important, and it was in imitation of these that Kós toured Transylvania with his associates, studying and recording the village architecture. The result was the development of an individual style derived from Finnish architectural trends and Transylvanian folk architecture. The ...

Article

Lissitzky [Lissitsky], El  

John Milner

[Lisitsky, El’ ; Lisitsky, Lazar’ (Markovich )]

(b Pochinok, Smolensk province, Nov 23, 1890; d Moscow, Dec 30, 1941).

Russian draughtsman, architect, printmaker, painter, illustrator, designer, photographer, teacher, and theorist.

After attending school in Smolensk, he enrolled in 1909 at the Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt, to study architecture and engineering. He also travelled extensively in Europe, however, and he made a tour of Italy to study art and architecture. He frequently made drawings of the architectural monuments he encountered on his travels. These early graphic works were executed in a restrained, decorative style reminiscent of Russian Art Nouveau book illustration. His drawings of Vitebsk and Smolensk (1910; Eindhoven, Stedel. Van Abbemus.), for example, show a professional interest in recording specific architectural structures and motifs, but they are simultaneously decorative graphic works in their own right and highly suitable for publication. This innate awareness of the importance of controlling the design of the page was to remain a feature of Lissitzky’s work throughout radical stylistic transformations. He also recorded buildings in Ravenna, Venice, and elsewhere in Italy in ...

Article

Masyutyn, Vasyl’  

Myroslava M. Mudrak

(Mykolayovych) [Masyutin, Masyuta-Soroka; Vasyl’ Nikolayevich]

(b Chernihiv, 1884; d Berlin, Dec 15, 1955).

Ukrainian printmaker, sculptor, medallist and art historian, active in Germany. He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under Vasyl’ Maté (1856–1917). After the 1917 Revolution he taught briefly at Vkhutemas (Higher Art and Technical Studios), moving to Berlin in 1921. He frequently sent works back to Ukraine to participate in the exhibitions of the Association of Independent Ukrainian Artists (ANUM), of which he became a member when it was formed in Lwów (L’viv) in 1931. His early graphic work includes etchings treated as symbolic fantasies bordering on the grotesque. He also produced a cycle of engravings, the Seven Deadly Sins, and illustrations to Aesop’s fables and to the works of Gogol and Balzac. He sculpted busts of Balzac and several hetmans and produced an entire series of commemorative medallions of the Cossack leadership, medieval princes and contemporary cultural figures, a total of 63 portraits rendered with historical accuracy. Examples of his work are in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. He also contributed to art pedagogy with his ...

Article

Museum of Modern Art  

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

Porter, Fairfield  

John D. Kissick

(b Winnetka, IL, June 10, 1907; d Southampton, NY, Sept 18, 1975).

American painter, printmaker, and writer. He was the son of American architect James Porter (d 1939). He studied fine art at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, from 1924 to 1928 and spent the next two years studying painting and mural art under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League in New York. He travelled extensively between 1927 and 1932, especially in Europe, where he came into contact with socialism. In 1935, while working as editor of the short-lived American socialist tabloid Arise, he began to write art criticism—an interest that culminated in his position as associate editor at ARTnews (from 1951) and as a frequent contributor to periodicals such as The Nation.

As a figurative painter Porter was particularly influenced by an exhibition held in 1938 of work by Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard at the Art Institute of Chicago, which provided the impetus for his emphasis on colour relations. He painted consistently in a schematized realist style, favouring figure studies and domestic scenes often on a small scale, as in ...

Article

Visual culture  

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....