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Article

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

Mark Castro

[Murillo, Gerardo]

(b Guadalajara, Oct 3, 1875; d Mexico City, Aug 14, 1964).

Mexican painter, printmaker, writer, theorist, volcanologist, and politician. Murillo first studied art in his native Guadalajara with the painter Félix Bernardelli (1866–1905). Murillo relocated to Mexico City in 1896, studying briefly at the Academia de San Carlos, before securing support from the government to continue his education in Europe. He stopped briefly in Paris in 1897 before moving on to Rome and beginning his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti and the Real Academia de España. Murillo’s encounters with European art had a profound impact on him, particularly Impressionism. He also achieved a measure of success on the European art scene, and his Self-portrait (1899; priv. col.) was awarded the silver medal at the Paris Salon. During his six-year stay Murillo also became absorbed by French and Italian socialist political theory.

Murillo returned to Mexico in 1904, joining the staff of the Academia de San Carlos, where he became an agitator for reform, clashing with the school’s administration over teaching methods and becoming a hero to students, among them José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. The debates culminated in the student strike of ...

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(Francisca )

(b East Los Angeles, CA, Sept 20, 1946).

American muralist, activist and teacher. Born to Mexican–American parents, Baca is recognized as one of the leading muralists in the USA. She was involved from a young age in activism, including the Chicano Movement, the antiwar protest and Women’s Liberation. She studied art at California State University, Northridge, where she received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Baca started teaching art in 1970 in East Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and became interested in the ways murals could involve youth, allowing them to express their experiences. She founded the City of Los Angeles Mural Program in 1974, which evolved into the Social and Public Resource Center, a community arts organization, where she served as artistic director. She held five summer mural workshops from 1976 through 1983 for teenagers and community artists to help her paint a huge mural on the ethnic history of Los Angeles, called the ...

Article

Pedro Querejazu

(b La Paz, Oct 14, 1883; d La Paz, 1953).

Bolivian painter and writer. He began painting in 1899 and was self-taught. He was a civil servant in various departments, and with his brother, Héctor Borda, he was a union organizer; together they founded the first workers’ federation in Bolivia. His paintings contain a substantial modernist literary element and were largely done as illustrations to his autobiographical work El loco. He exhibited his work in La Paz on fourteen occasions and twice in Buenos Aires (1920, 1950). From 1899 to 1920 he developed his style and technique in portraits of family members, such as Héctor (1915), My Two Sisters, and Yatiri (1918; all La Paz, priv. cols); the last was one of the first Bolivian paintings in which an Indian appeared as the main subject.

Between 1920 and 1940 Borda concentrated on literature, politics, public service, and union activity and completed very few paintings. The works he did produce included landscapes, jungles, and mountains, such as ...

Article

Jorge Alberto Manrique

(b Clayten Green, nr Chorley, Lancashire, April 6, 1917; d Mexico City, May 25, 2011).

Mexican painter, sculptor and writer of English birth. In 1936 she travelled to London, where she studied under Amédée Ozenfant and in 1937 met Max(imilian) Ernst, with whom she became involved artistically and romantically, leading to her association with Surrealism. They moved to Paris together in 1937. At the outbreak of World War II, Ernst was interned as an enemy alien, and Carrington escaped to Spain, where she was admitted to a private clinic after having a nervous breakdown; she later recounted the experience in her book En bas (1943). After marrying the Mexican poet Renato Leduc in 1941 (a marriage of convenience), she spent time in New York before settling in Mexico in 1942, devoting herself to painting. There she and Remedios Varo developed an illusionistic Surrealism combining autobiographical and occult symbolism. Having divorced Leduc in 1942, in 1946 she married the Hungarian photographer Imre Weisz.

Carrington remained committed to Surrealism throughout her career, filling her pictures with strange or fantastic creatures in surprising situations, notably horses, which appear in ...

Article

Paloma Alarcó Canosa

(Rodriguez)

(b Rianjo, La Coruña, Jan 29, 1886; d Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jan 7, 1950).

Spanish painter, caricaturist, writer and politician. He studied medicine at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. There he frequented informal gatherings of bohemian modernists and began working as a caricaturist and graphic humorist, publishing his drawings in journals such as Galicia noza, Vida gallega, Mi tierra and El Barbero municipal, a publication based in Rianjo, where he worked for a time as a country doctor. He presented his first one-man exhibition in Orense in 1912, exhibiting in Madrid in the same year.

From 1916 until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 Castelao lived in Pontevedra, working at the local office of the Instituto Geografico Estadístico and also as a drawing teacher. In the same year he joined the Irmandades da Fala, a Galician nationalist movement with which he remained involved for the rest of his life, and began working as an illustrator for A nosa terra, a publication that voiced their ideas. During these years he also worked for journals based in Madrid, such as ...

Article

W. Iain Mackay

(b Carhuás, Ancash, Oct 2, 1857; d San Miguel de Tucumán, Dec 1922).

Peruvian painter, photographer, teacher, and critic. At the age of four he was brought to Lima, where he began to take lessons in art. From 1885 he traveled through France, Italy, and Belgium, and on returning to Latin America he settled in Buenos Aires, where he took up photography. In 1905 he returned to Lima, where he set up a workshop and art college at the Quinta Heeren, introducing the latest photographic techniques. On visiting Spain in 1908 Castillo discovered the historical genre paintings of Mariano Fortuny, y Marsal, and once back in Lima worked as a painter and as art critic for the magazines Prisma, Variedades, Actualidades, and Ilustración peruana. He later supported Daniel Hernández in founding (1919) the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima (see also Peru, Republic of, §XI). In parallel with the writer Ricardo Palma, Castillo was concerned with recording the traditions of Lima’s colonial past, and such paintings as the ...

Article

Julieta Ortiz Gaitán

(b Mexico City, Jun 27, 1943).

Mexican painter, printmaker, performance artist, writer, teacher, and publisher. He qualified as a printmaker at a very early age, then as a painter and engraver under the tutelage of several masters, among whom the most influential on his life was José Chávez Morado. Although he at first worked with traditional media, he possessed a constantly innovative and critical attitude and experimented with performances, installations, happenings, correspondence art, and media art, as well as writing, lecturing, and publishing on such themes as artistic experimentation, cultural promotion, professional management for artists, collective mural painting, and the publishing process. From 1968 to 1972 Ehrenberg lived in England where, with the architect Martha Hellion and the critic and historian David Mayor, he founded the Beau Geste Press/Libro Acción Libre in Devon, to propagate the work of artists involved with the Fluxus movement of the 1970s. He was also instrumental in the rise of many artistic groups, workshops and small publishing houses, such as ...

Article

Veerle Poupeye

(b Gayle, St Mary, Jamaica, Dec 22, 1923; d Brown’s Town, St. Ann, Jamaica, Apr 24, 2002).

Jamaican painter and writer. She studied at McGill University, Montreal, and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. She began painting in the 1940s and is best known for her depictions of life in rural Jamaica. Other works have surreal imagery and often include art historical and literary references. Typically, even her genre scenes have surreal overtones: slightly distorted figures appear alienated and isolated and are placed in desolate settings. In many works she combined figurative elements with abstract geometrical elements such as patterned borders or geometrically structured backgrounds. A fine colorist, she worked in oil and acrylic as well as watercolor and gouache. One of her masterworks is the five-panel ...

Article

Karen Cordero Reiman

(b Aguascalientes, May 30, 1900; d Mexico City, Aug 26, 1984).

Mexican painter, printmaker, writer, and ceramicist. He enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, in 1917 and soon became active in the post-revolutionary nationalist cultural movement, attempting to recuperate folk-art motifs and techniques. In 1920 he designed a ceramic frieze for the Colegio Máximo de San Pedro y San Pablo, Mexico City. He edited the influential art magazine Forma (1926–1928) and was involved in creating the Escuela Libre de Escultura y Talla Directa, Mexico City, the ¡30–30! group (which promoted the democratization and de-academization of the arts), and the Centros Populares de Pintura, which offered art education to people in industrial areas, encouraging the representation of their surroundings without academic constraints. In the 1930s he directed an exhibition space funded by the Ministerio de Educación Pública, for which, with Roberto Montenegro and Francisco Díaz de León, he designed posters and catalogs noted for their innovative typography. Fernández Ledesma also produced prints inspired by popular graphics and figurative paintings influenced by Picasso and by Pittura Metafisica; he also wrote several books on popular traditions and stage and costume designs....

Article

Angel Kalenberg

(b Montevideo, Jun 29, 1861; d Montevideo, Jul 24, 1938).

Uruguayan painter, writer, lawyer, and politician. He showed artistic inclinations from childhood but completed a degree in law in 1886; his appointment as a defense counsel for the poor brought him into contact with social issues that later informed his art. In the same year he studied briefly with the academy-trained Italian painter Godofredo Sommavilla (1850–1944), married, and left for Europe, where he came into contact with Post-Impressionism. On his return to Uruguay he became actively involved in journalism, law, and politics as well as fostering the creation of the Escuela de Bellas Artes. During the course of his life he published a number of books that reflected his broad interests in art, art education, and legal matters. He was a member of the Uruguayan Parliament, president of the Ateneo of Montevideo (1901), and director of the Escuela Nacional de Artes y Oficios (1915)....

Article

Maria-Laura Steverlynck

(b Montevideo, Nov 7, 1917; d Montevideo, Jun 19, 2015).

Uruguayan painter and sculptor. Freire was a founding member of the Grupo de Arte No Figurativo established in 1952 along with her painter husband José Pedro Costigliolo. She studied at the Circulo de Bellas Artes and the Universidad del Trabajo in Montevideo between 1938 and 1943 under the guidance of José Cúneo and Severino Pose (1894–1963). Freire began working in pure abstraction in 1950 after creating a series of three-dimensional sculptures representing masks and figures purely influenced by the formal qualities of African sculptures. During the postwar period, Freire became interested in the formal absolutes of Russian Suprematism and De Stijl, and came into contact with artists working with concrete art in Buenos Aires, most notably those associated with the Arte Madí movement. These influences, along with the industrial and economic prosperity of Uruguay during this period, led Freire to develop a purely abstract and geometric aesthetic that was both mechanical and exacting. This stylistic development in both Freire’s and Castigliolo’s work place them and their peers of Grupo Arte No Figurativo in the same category as other artists in Latin America during the postwar period that chose to work with geometric abstraction, most notably the artists of ...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Quetzaltenango, Jan 26, 1897; d Guatemala City, Jun 1, 1970).

Guatemalan painter, collector, and writer. He began his artistic studies in Quetzaltenango, where he was fortunate to come into contact with the Spanish painter Jaime Sabartés (1881–1968) and Carlos Mérida, with whom he became friends. He continued his studies in Guatemala City and then in Mexico City at the Real Academia de San Carlos, where his fellow students included Rufino Tamayo, Roberto Montenegro, and Miguel Covarrubias. He returned briefly to Guatemala only to leave for Europe. He studied in Madrid at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and from 1924 to 1925 lived in Paris. He returned to Guatemala City in 1927 and in 1928 became director of the Academia de Bellas Artes. By then he had developed a style derived from French Impressionism, although he gradually moved toward a more naturalistic style, perhaps in response to the taste of his clients.

Garavito generally painted in oils on a medium or small scale, concentrating on the beautiful Guatemalan landscape, of which he can in a sense be considered the “discoverer.” His preferred subjects were the mountains, volcanoes, and lakes of the Guatemalan high plateau, and he was the first to incorporate in his works the Indians in their brightly colored clothes. He was the central figure and teacher of a group of figurative painters and painters working in a naturalistic style, such as ...

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, April 16, 1909; d San José, 1986).

Costa Rican painter, draughtsman and writer. A self-taught artist, in 1934 he joined the Círculo de Amigos del Arte founded in 1928 by Teodorico Quirós and Max Jiménez, collaborating with Quirós on a mural in encaustic for the group’s meeting-place, Las Arcadas in San José. In 1946–7 he founded the Teatro Experimental. He started teaching in the fine arts faculty of the Universidad de Costa Rica in San José, but in 1949 he left the country for political reasons and went to Havana. During this period he started a series of nudes and pictures of Cuban peasant girls (goajiras; e.g. Goajira, 1954; artist’s col., see Ulloa Barrenechea, p. 106) in Indian ink with a scraping or sgraffito technique, in which the forms were simplified and stylized. The influence of Wifredo Lam is evident in these works.

In 1952 González went to Venezuela, where his painting was influenced by the geometric abstraction followed by the group Los Disidentes (e.g. ...

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, Jan 14, 1915; d Barcelona, Oct 14, 1965).

Argentine painter, sculptor, performance artist, conceptual artist, poet, and illustrator. After studying in Buenos Aires at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes and with Cecilia Marcovich and Tomás Maldonado, he quickly established a reputation for his scandalous views, attracting extreme disapproval and equally strong support. After delivering a lecture at the Juan Cristóbal bookshop, Buenos Aires, entitled “Alberto Greco y los pájaros” he was briefly imprisoned for his “Communism and subversive acts.” On his release in the same year he travelled to Paris on a French government grant, selling drawings and watercolors in the cafés and studying painting with Fernand Léger and printmaking with Johnny Friedlaender. Between 1956 and 1958 he lived in São Paulo, where he became aware of Art informel; he painted in this style in the late 1950s and early 1960s (Glusberg 1985, 284–285).

As early as 1959, when he had returned from São Paulo to Buenos Aires, Greco had expressed his corrosive vision of society through the form of his work. In his shows he exhibited tree trunks and rags for cleaning window gratings or floors. He moved again to Paris in ...

Article

Fausto Ramírez

(b Texcoco, nr. Mexico City, May 20, 1824; d Texcoco, Apr 4, 1904).

Mexican painter and writer. He entered the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City in 1836, studying under Miguel Mata (1814–1876) and subsequently with Pelegrín Clavé; the preponderance of biblical themes in his student production can be attributed to the emphasis on such subject-matter both in Clavé’s work and among the conservative group that dominated the Academia in the mid-19th century. Gutiérrez’s ideological sympathies with the liberal faction, however, soon led him to produce paintings such as the Judgement of Brutus (1857; Mexico City, Mus. N. A.), republican in theme and markedly influenced in style by David, although falling far short of the latter’s technical perfection.

Unlike most of his fellow students at the Academia, Gutiérrez did not begin to teach until after he had completed many years of traveling; from 1862 he lived in various cities in Mexico, then, from 1867 on, in San Francisco, Paris, Rome, Madrid, New York, and finally in Bogotá, where he achieved considerable renown as a teacher of painting. He visited Colombia on three occasions (...

Article

María Antonia González-Arnal

(b Valencia, Jan 16, 1857; d Caracas, June 26, 1914).

Venezuelan painter and writer. He studied in Caracas under Martín Tovar y Tovar, José Manuel Maucó and Miguel Navarro y Cañizares, before being awarded a government fellowship in 1875 to study in Europe. He went to Paris and two years later to Rome, where he was taught by Modesto Faustini (1839–91), Cesare Maccari and Francesco Santoro (b 1844). He returned to Venezuela in 1880. From 1882 he taught at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Caracas and distinguished himself as a portrait painter and as a painter of historical scenes in an academic style: among his best-known works are Fire Started by Ricaurte in San Mateo (1883) and Self-portrait, Standing (1895; both Caracas, Gal. A. N.). He also completed the decoration of Caracas Cathedral in 1883 and of the soffit of the Municipal Theatre of Valencia in 1892. That year he also founded the humorous publication ...

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, Apr 16, 1900; d Buenos Aires, May 3, 1947).

Costa Rican painter, sculptor, engraver, and writer. After spending two years in London, in 1922 Jiménez moved to Paris, where he dedicated himself to sculpture, drawing, and painting. He came into contact with leading Spanish literary figures, and he discovered the African-influenced work of Picasso and Modigliani, as well as that of the Paris-based Brazilian painter Tarsila. These influences led to the monumentality and Afro-Caribbean elements present in Jiménez’s painting and sculpture, in which traditional concepts of beauty were disregarded and the subjects painted in an exuberant manner (e.g. Ileana; see Ulloa Barrenechea 1975, 231). In 1925 he returned to Costa Rica, but the lack of galleries or museums and of artistic activity (other than academic) frustrated Jiménez. Having been exposed in Paris to trends far in advance of Costa Rican art and feeling that his avant-garde ideas were not understood, he temporarily ceased to produce art.

In 1928 Jiménez returned to Europe; his collection of poems, ...

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, Jul 10, 1923).

Argentine painter, critic, and teacher. He studied in Paris under André Lhôte, the French painter Georges Dayez (1907–1991), and Ossip Zadkine. In the mid- to late 1950s, after his return to Argentina, he investigated collage, contributed to the development of Art informel, and experimented with assemblage and gestural and calligraphic abstraction. He played a leading part in helping to extend the boundaries of art beyond the conventions of traditional media in the early 1960s, for example by his participation in an exhibition, Arte destructivo (1961), at the Galería Lirolay, Buenos Aires, at which he showed burned, broken, and half-destroyed objects. A supreme formalist, Kemble arrived at an exultant and evocative abstraction simulating the characteristics of collage in trompe l’oeil. He also taught and wrote art criticism, and he lived for periods in Los Angeles and Boston.

“Autocolonización cultural: La crisis de nuestra crítica de arte.” Pluma y pincel...

Article

Eloísa Uribe

(b Venária Reale, Jan 27, 1809; d Rome, Jan 29, 1879).

Italian painter, printmaker, teacher, and writer, active in Mexico. He was a pupil of the Hungarian painter Károly Markó (i) and studied at the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome. There he met the Spanish Catalan painter Pelegrín Clavé, who in 1854 proposed to the governing body of the Academia de las Nobles Artes de San Carlos in Mexico that Landesio be engaged as professor for the perspective and landscape class, recommending him for his skill as a painter, engraver, lithographer, and restorer. His work, which was influenced in particular by the landscapes of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, was already known at the academy, since five of his paintings had been shown in the exhibitions of 1853 and 1854 and had subsequently been bought for the academy’s collection (e.g. View of Rome, 1853; Mexico City, Pal. B.A.). Once in Mexico, Landesio taught the students to work from nature and concentrated on perfecting their drawing before allowing them to use color. His pupils included ...