Gottlieb Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950), a Finnish-born architect and city planner, significantly shaped 20th-century architecture with his distinctive blend of national Romanticism and modernism. Known for his holistic approach to design, Saarinen made major contributions to both European and American architecture, including the iconic Helsinki Central Railway Station and the masterful campus plan for the University of Michigan. Saarinen’s multidisciplinary approach extended beyond architecture to the realms of furniture and textile design, demonstrating his commitment to integrated design principles. His influence on architectural theory and education, particularly during his tenure as president of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, cemented his legacy in the global architectural landscape.
Keith Haring was best known for his graffiti-like painting, initially on the black paper used to cover discontinued billboard advertisements in the New York subway. After after a feverish 1980’s style career of surging popular success and grudging critical attention, Haring died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 31.
Gertrude Anna Bertha Hermes was born in Bickley, Kent, on August 18, 1901. Louis August Hermes and Helene, née Gerdes, were from Altena, Germany, near Dortmund. She attended the Beckenham School of Art in around 1921. She then enrolled in Leon Underwood’s Brook Green School of Painting and Sculpture in 1922, where she met Eileen Agar, Raymond Coxon, Henry Moore, and Blair Hughes-Stanton, whom she later married in 1926. They divorced in 1933 after separating in 1931.
She worked on the editorial staff of The Building Manual from 1944 to 1955. She was a crucial figure in Borge Mogensen’s research on the standardisation of consumer product sizes, and she collaborated with him frequently. They created the Boligens Byggeskabe (BB) and resund cabinet-storage systems in 1957.
GEORGIA O’Keeffe, the acclaimed American painter and pioneer of modern art, lived long enough she was 98 when she died to see her work honoured as masterpieces in American museums. She continued to paint regularly well into her eighties until her eyesight began to fail, and she had to give up what she once called her “struggle to do justice to the feelings Nature inspires.”
Clare Veronica Leighton, a significant 20th-century British wood engraver, stained glass designer, and writer, was born in England but became an American in 1945. She was known for her rural subjects and influenced many Canadian artists. Leighton created figurative wood engravings and illustrations for mass production, contributing to books like Wuthering Heights and The Farmer’s Years.
Johanna Grawunder is a renowned artist and designer known for her innovative use of light and color in installations. Born in San Diego, Grawunder’s work blurs the boundaries between art, design, and architecture, incorporating neon and LED lights to create immersive experiences. With clean lines and geometric forms, her installations captivate viewers by transforming spaces through the interplay of light and structure. Grawunder’s collaborations with architects and designers have brought her distinctive vision to public spaces and commercial environments. Through teaching, she inspires emerging artists to push creative boundaries. Discover the transformative power of light and color in Johanna Grawunder’s mesmerizing works.
William Lescaze, a Swiss architect and designer, revolutionized the field of architecture and design with his visionary approach and innovative creations. He established his own practice in New York City in 1923 and collaborated with architects like George Howe, creating groundbreaking projects like the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building. Lescaze also excelled in furniture and product design, creating clean lines, functionality, and seamless integration. His artistic expressions included painting, reflecting the modernist movement’s influence. Lescaze’s contributions continue to inspire architects, designers, and artists, highlighting the power of innovation and the boundless possibilities of artistic expression.
Albert Paley (born 1944) is an American modernist metal sculptor. Starting as a jeweller, he has evolved into one of the world’s most renowned and famous metalsmiths. Furniture, gates, railings, and staircases are among his creations. He consults with architects and space planners, and he leads a team of craftspeople in his Rochester, New York, facilities.
Armand Point (1861-1932) was a Symbolist painter, engraver, and designer from France, one of the Salon de la Rose + Croix founding members.
Point’s first paintings were orientalist scenes of markets and musicians and scenes from his childhood in Algeria’s streets. In 1888, he moved to Paris to study under Auguste Herst and Fernand Cormon at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
One of my favourite pinup artists was Minnesota born Duane Bryers, creator of the famous Hilda, a pleasingly, popular and plump pinup girl. Bryers’ background was as interesting as his illustrations. Born in northern Michigan, he excelled at acrobatics as a child. His family moved to Virginia, Minnesota, at 12 and he soon had the neighbourhood gang putting on the “Jingling Brothers circus, complete with burlap-sack sidewalls.
Warm, soft, luxuriant reds, mauves, saffron’s pinks, greens, and blues emanate in vaporous waves from each canvas of Jules Olitski’s paintings. He is well-known for his unwavering dedication to saturating his canvases with colour that is distinguished by the spray, the medium, and his use of an inclined foreshortened angle of vision, which rediscovers and extends a method of creating space pioneered by Claude Monet in the 1880s. Through the use of color, Olitski creates illusions of obliqueness.