(born October 25, 1881, Málaga, Spain—died April 8, 1973, Mougins, France) Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century and the creator (with Georges Braque) of Cubism.
The enormous body of Picasso's work remains, and the legend lives on—a tribute to the vitality of the “disquieting” Spaniard with the “sombre... piercing” eyes who superstitiously believed that work would keep him alive. For nearly 80 of his 91 years Picasso devoted himself to an artistic production that contributed significantly to and paralleled the whole development of modern art in the 20th
To say that Pablo Picasso dominated Western art in the 20th century is, by now, the merest commonplace. No painter before him had had a mass audience in his own lifetime. The total public for Titian in the 16th century or Velazquez in the 17th was probably no more than a few thousand people--though that included most of the crowned heads, nobility and intelligentsia of Europe. Picasso's audience--meaning people who had heard of him and seen his work, at least in reproduction--was in the tens, possibly hundreds, of millions. He and his work were the subjects of unending analysis, gossip, dislike, adoration and rumor.
In today's art world, a place without living culture heroes, you can't even imagine such a protean monster arising. His output was vast. This is not a virtue in itself--only a few paintings by Vermeer survive, and fewer still by the brothers Van Eyck, but they are as firmly lodged in history as Picasso ever was or will be. Still, Picasso's oeuvre filled the world, and he left permanent marks on every discipline he entered. His work expanded fractally, one image breeding new clusters of others, right up to his death.
Pour Roby from L'Age de Soleil Lithograph on Paper
Portrait de Gongora Lithograph on Arches Paper
Untitled Aquatint and Drypoint on Rives Wove Paper
La Page Blanc (The White Page) Color Lithograph on Paper
The Domain of Arnheim Color Lithograph on Paper
After Cloud Color Lithograph on Paper
The French painter and sculptor Henri Matisse was one of the great initiators of the modern art movement, which uses the combination of bold primary colors and free, simple forms. He was also the most outstanding personality of the first revolution in twentieth century art—Fauvism (style of art that uses color and sometimes distorted forms to send its message).
Matisse's true artistic liberation, in terms of the use of color to render forms and organize spatial planes, came about first through the influence of the French painters Paul Gauguin and Paul Cezanne and the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, whose work he studied closely beginning about 1899. Then, in 1903 and
1904, Matisse encountered the pointillist painting of Henri Edmond Cross and Paul Signac. Cross and Signac were experimenting with juxtaposing small strokes (often dots or “points”) of pure pigment to create the strongest visual vibration of intense color. Matisse adopted their technique and modified it repeatedly, using broader strokes. By 1905 he had produced some of the boldest color images ever created.
From the 1920s until his death, Matisse spent much time in the south of France, particularly Nice, painting local scenes with a thin, fluid application of bright color. Often bedridden during his last years, he occupied himself with decoupage, creating works of brilliantly colored paper cutouts arranged casually, but with an unfailing eye for design, on a canvas surface. Matisse died in Nice on November 3, 1954. Unlike many artists, he was internationally popular during his lifetime, enjoying the favor of collectors, art critics, and the younger generation of artists.
Matisse's work reflects a number of influences: the decorative quality of Near Eastern art, the stylized forms of the masks and sculpture of African, the bright colors of the French impressionists, and the simplified forms of French artist Paul Cezanne and the cubists.
Lithograph on Paper
Pasiphae, Chant de Minos Linocut
Alexander Calder (1898-1976), internationally famous by his mid-30s, is renowned for developing a new idiom in modern art-the mobile. His works in this mode, from miniature to monumental, are called mobiles (suspended moving sculptures), standing mobiles (anchored moving sculptures) and stabiles (stationary constructions). Calder's abstract works are characteristically direct, buoyant, colorful and finely crafted. He made ingenious, frequently witty, use of natural and manmade materials, including wire, sheetmetal, wood and bronze.
Calder was born in Philadelphia, the son of Alexander Stirling Calder and grandson of Alexander Milne Calder, both
well-known sculptors. After obtaining his mechanical engineering degree from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Calder worked at various jobs before enrolling at the Art Students League in New York City in 1923. During his student years, he did line drawings for the National Police Gazette.
In June 1936, Calder moved to Paris. He took some classes at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and made his first wire sculptures. Calder created a miniature circus in his studio; the animals, clowns and tumblers were made of wire and animated by hand. Many leading artists of the period attended, and helped with, the performances.
Calder's first New York City exhibition was in 1928, and other exhibitions in Paris and Berlin gained him international recognition as a significant artist. In early 1932, he exhibited his first moving sculpture in an exhibition organized by Marcel Duchamp, who coined the word "mobile." In May 1932, Calder's fame was consolidated by the first United States show of his mobiles. Some were motor-driven, His later wind-driven mobiles enabled the sculptural parts to move independently, as Calder said, "by nature and chance." From the 1940s on, Calder's works, many of them large-scale outdoor sculptures, have been placed in virtually every major city of the Western world.
Calder was prolific and worked throughout his career in many art forms. He produced drawings, oil paintings, watercolors, etchings, gouache and serigraphy. He also designed jewelry, tapestry, theatre settings and architectural interiors.