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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

Marco Livingstone

(b Washington, DC, Dec 26, 1924; d in Albany, NY, Feb 9, 2013).

American sculptor and painter . He studied art in 1949–50 under Amédée Ozenfant in New York. During the 1950s he designed and made furniture in New York, but after a fire that destroyed most of the contents of his shop in 1958 he turned again to art, initially painting abstract pictures derived from memories of the New Mexican landscape.

Artschwager continued to produce furniture and, after a commission to make altars for ships in 1960, had the idea of producing sculptures that mimicked actual objects while simultaneously betraying their identity as artistic illusions. At first these included objets trouvés made of wood, overpainted with acrylic in an exaggerated wood-grain pattern (e.g. Table and Chair, 1962–3; New York, Paula Cooper priv. col., see 1988–9 exh. cat., p. 49), but he soon developed more abstract or geometrical versions of such objects formed from a veneer of formica on wood (e.g. Table and Chair...

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

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

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

Cecile Johnson

(b Detroit, MI, Nov 17, 1929).

American sculptor and draughtswoman. She had no formal art education but from an early age enjoyed making useful domestic furniture, such as shelves and cupboards. After moving to live and work in New York in 1952, she became involved in the arts in various ways, taking classes in leatherwork and pottery and, through her job at the Henry Street Settlement, coming into contact with dance and theatre. In the 1960s she attended performances and Happenings at the Judson Gallery and Judson Church and herself performed in two of Claes Oldenburg’s Happenings (1962 and 1965), which influenced her. At this time she was making various sorts of sculpture. She began making the work for which she became known in the 1970s. It typically comprises wooden pyramidal/ziggurat-type constructions, made by stacking horizontally layered steps. An early mature work is Hollow Core Pyramid (plywood, 0.61×0.61×0.61 m, 1974; Glen Ridge, NJ, Levy priv. col.), for which the inspiration was an unwrapped mummy, which she found intensely ‘beautiful, haunting and evocative’; she wanted her own work to have a similar quality. Other early works for which she is known include ...

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

Gjergj Frashëri

(b Shkodër, May 25, 1926).

Albanian woodworker. He was introduced to the furniture-maker’s trade at the largest joiner’s yard in Shkodër. In 1953 he moved to Tiranë and established a specialist workshop for making such wooden musical instruments as violins, guitars, mandolins, çifteli (a type of two-stringed mandolin) and lutes. He joined the Migjeni Artistic Products Enterprise in Tiranë, which was set up in 1966, and became renowned for his designs for mass-produced wooden decorative goods. His designs are characterized by refined and rich floral decoration together with crisp geometric patterns. Most of his work emphasizes the natural colour of the wood. Some of his products, however, are brightly coloured with stylized motifs that imitate traditional Albanian folk designs. A large retrospective exhibition of his work held in the Albanian National Culture Museum in Tiranë in 1984 confirmed him as one of the most distinguished craftsmen of post-war Albania.

Tiranë, A.G. [‘Burhan Ishmaku’, MSS]

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

John-Paul Stonard

(b Düsseldorf, Feb 19, 1950).

German sculptor. He attended the Staatlichen Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (1975–82), where he studied under Klaus Rinke. From 1979 Mucha made assemblages and constructions from furniture and other objects, creating an oblique, highly personal oeuvre that alludes to industry and travel in contemporary Germany. During the 1980s he created installations, often using furniture found in situ — desks, chairs, lights etc. — that raised questions of ownership and display, and of the autonomy of the museum environment. In 1982 he made Wartesaal (see 1982 exh. cat.), a steel structure holding 242 signs bearing six-letter German station names that could be removed and displayed on a brightly-lit table. The theme of travel, especially of the railway, is central to Mucha’s work. With Wartesaal he constructed an endless imaginary journey that may refer to the spiritual journey of a people during reconstruction. Other major room installations during the 1980s include Das Figur-Grund Problem in der Arkitektur des Barok (für dich allein bleibt nür das grab...

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 ...

Article

Daniel Le Couédic

(b Douarnenez, Aug 4, 1901; d Tréguier, Dec 24, 1983).

French cabinetmaker and sculptor. The son of a carpenter, in 1929 he opened his own workshop in Tréguier. He joined the Unvaniez ar Seiz Breur (Brez.: Assembly of the Seven Brothers), which brought together artists and craftsmen dedicated to the revival of the applied arts in a spirit of Breton nationalism. The architect James Bouillé (1894–1945) introduced him to ancient Irish art, which became the basis of his decorative vocabulary. He became a friend of the sculptor Henri Laurens and met Le Corbusier in 1935. In 1937 he and Le Corbusier produced their first piece together, a chest (priv. col.) made of wood that had been treated with acid and in places discreetly heightened with orange. In the same year Savina received a bronze medal in the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris for his involvement in the Brittany Pavilion. As a prisoner of war during World War II he began to sculpt, initially in a conventional idiom, and later illustrating Breton themes in a style influenced by Expressionism. He was liberated in ...

Article

Roger Avermaete

(b Diegem, nr Brussels, June 26, 1897; d Vilvoorde, nr Brussels, Dec 12, 1965).

Belgian painter, sculptor, designer and writer. He studied from 1913 to 1917 at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, winning a number of prizes for academic paintings while simultaneously exploring abstract art, of which he was one of the first practitioners in Belgium. He was encouraged in this direction by his work in a wallpaper factory, where he became fascinated by the interplay of coloured dyes in the vats; he continued working there for many years, contributing to the development of wallpaper designs. He also became involved with domestic interior decoration and took an interest in the different branches of the applied arts.

Servranckx was a vigorous champion of abstract art as a writer and teacher and in his own work, and he staunchly defended it as a rigorous and disciplined idiom against those who conceived of it in purely decorative terms. Seeking through abstraction to transcend the mere imitation of appearances, as an act of bravado he occasionally painted in a representational style in order to display his skill as a conventional painter; such is the case with ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Castle Eden, nr Hartlepool).

English sculptor, installation artist, curator and writer. She studied at Sunderfield Polytechnic between 1980 and 1983 and Goldsmiths’ College, London, between 1984 and 1986. In the early 1990s she used furniture and domestic objects as sculptural materials, reworking them so that they became art objects, as with Shadow Box (1990; see 1997 exh. cat.). Here a padded leather seat, which seems to be a typical gallery bench, is echoed by an abstract wall relief, also in leather; closer inspection reveals that the latter is sewn into squares that could be the interior of the seat, inducing the sensation both of sitting on the installation and of looking at what is normally ignored or unseen in the gallery. For Gold Card (1992; see 1997 exh. cat.) Smith placed gold credit cards bearing the message ‘I wanna be your fantasy’ in various phone booths along Charing Cross Road in London, adjacent to cards advertising the services of prostitutes; the invitation to use the card to buy intimacy linked ‘acceptable’ consumer lust with the taboo sale of the fantasises on display next to them. Smith often created viewing situations that encourage a reassessment of the values represented by everyday objects and scenarios, transforming the ordinary into trophies or mementos that lay bare uncomfortable associations. In the sculpture ...

Article

Ingeborg Wikborg

(b Øystese, Hardanger, March 5, 1867; d Øystese, March 23, 1927).

Norwegian sculptor. He began carving wood as a child at his father’s furniture workshop in Hardanger. Around 1881 he was apprenticed to the wood-carver Sjur Utne in Hardanger and in 1882–4 to the carver Hans J. Johannessen (1851–1932) in Bergen. At the same time Vik attended evening classes at the technical school. For the next two years he worked with the carver Sophus Petersen (c. 1837–1904) in Copenhagen, where he entered the Kunstakademi in 1885. From 1888 to 1892 he worked again in Copenhagen, where he assisted the sculptor Hans Christian Petersen (1835–1919), resuming his studies at the Kunstakademi in 1889. Back in Bergen, Vik established himself as an independent carver, making ivory reliefs and modelling small terracotta figures in a naturalistic style. After a visit to the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900 he modelled the bronze Worker (1901; Bergen, Billedgal.), which reveals the influence of Constantin Meunier....