first in art education since 1901
 
Davis Art
2014 Catalog
art education curriculum
Artist Biographies
Select a letter below to see the biographies for artists
whose last names start with that letter.
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Caillebotte, Gustave (France, 1848-1894)
Caillebotte was educated to be a naval architect, but preferred to paint scenes of his daily life. He collected Impressionist art and helped organize numerous exhibitions for the Impressionists.

Calder, Alexander (United States, 1898-1976)
Alexander Calder was among the first American sculptors to work with abstract forms in space. Calder created an imaginative menagerie of animals from wire and scraps of other materials, which looked like whimsical drawings in space. The light and airy feeling of his space drawings was carried into more technical constructions called mobiles. His mobiles hung from a single point and were constructed so that every movement produced a change in the visual configuration.

Callahan, Harry (United States, b.1912)
Callahan had no formal training in photography and began taking pictures as a hobby. His photographs make use of strong light sources, which create dark shadows next to bright surfaces. His works often focus on landscapes and cities.

Canaletto (Italy, 1697-1768)
The artist Giovanni Antonio Canal is known as Canaletto. He is famous for painting detailed cityscapes, especially of the city of Venice, Italy. Canaletto used perspective to achieve great accuracy in his work. And his paintings are historically important because they give us an exact picture of places as they looked in the eighteenth century.

Caravaggio (Italy, 1571-1610)
The oil painter called Caravaggio was born Michelangelo Merisi. He was the first artistic giant of the Baroque period. His works are known for their naturalism, great contrasts of dark and light, and hard-edged painting style. Caravaggio shocked viewers by placing religious figures in common, earthy settings. Figures were often shown barefoot, sometimes even with dirty feet. The Supper at Emmaus is among his best-known works.

Cardinal, Douglas (Canada, 20th century)
Cardinal's designs for buildings are often planned to provide many sensory experiences. The multicurved elements in his structures invite kinesthetic awareness of forms. In some buildings the varied colored bricks appear to change color as sun and rain strike them from different angles.

Carr, Emily (Canada, 1871-1945)
Carr studied art in San Francisco and later in Europe. Carr's work was influenced by other Canadian artists, known as the Group of Seven, who sought to capture the distinctive color, light, and character of Canadian landscapes. She became well-known for her highly expressive paintings of British Columbia, especially Indian villages and rain forests.

Carrà, Carlo (Italy, 1881-1966)
Carrà, a leader of the Futurist movement, used bold colors and geometric design elements to capture the energy of modern life. After World War I, he briefly explored ideas and themes related to dreamlike experiences. He returned to a more academic style around 1918, painting in the manner of Italian masters of the Renaissance.

Cartier-Bresson, Henri (France, b. 1908)
Henri Cartier-Bresson has become one of the most influential photo-journalists of his time. He has traveled around the world covering wars, occupations of countries, and the people affected by these events. His photographs are as carefully constructed as fine paintings with a touch of human interest that spark them to life.

Cassatt, Mary (United States/France, 1845-1926)
Born in Philadelphia, Mary Cassatt studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy. She then traveled to Paris, France, in 1865, where she admired the works of the Impressionists. Her paintings are known for informal subjects and composition. Many of her works depict mothers and their children.

Catlett, Elizabeth (United States, b.1915)
Catlett was born in Washington, D.C., studied art in Mexico, and eventually moved there. Her African-American heritage and the influences in her Mexican environment inspire much of her work. In her lifestyle and her artwork, Catlett seeks to affirm human dignity and protests against injustice.

Cellini, Benvenuto (Italy, 1500-1571)
Cellini was an excellent goldsmith and sculptor in bronze. But he is probably most famous because he wrote a popular Autobiography. The book gives readers a vivid picture of life in sixteenth-century Italy. One of Cellini's best-known sculptures is Perseus and Medusa. This bronze stands in the Piazza della Signoria, an important square in Florence, Italy.

Cezanne, Paul (France, 1839-1906)
Cezanne was the leading painter of the late nineteenth century in France. He was also one of the most influential artists in Western painting. In his work, light seems permanent, and there are often no shadows. Cezanne did not want his paintings to imitate the realistic three-dimensionality of nature. He wanted them to remain as flat canvases with paint on them. His many landscapes and still lifes are among his best-known works, including Mont Sainte-Victoire.

Chagall, Marc (Russia/United States, 1887-1985)
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Chagall chose to paint a world of dreams and peaceful interactions. His style is based somewhat on Cubism with its fractured planes, but his own concepts and presentation are purely personal. His main subject is the Russia of his childhood, and the result is a delightful mixture of reality and happy recollections. Viewers need not be discouraged by failing to understand his symbolism because Chagall himself said, 'I do not understand them at all. They are only pictorial arrangements of images which obsess me.'

Chardin, Jean-Baptiste-Simeon (France, 1699-1779)
Chardin's still-life paintings of common cooking utensils and kitchen objects have simple and strong compositions. He also liked to paint servants and workers. Chardin wanted the common people of France to realize their importance and worth to society. And his works symbolize their power and dignity. His subjects, such as The Attentive Nurse, are very different from the delicate subjects popular with other Rococo artists.

Chase, Louisa (United States, b.1951)
Chase works with a variety of themes that include symbols of people and nature, often in unexpected combinations. She has described her work as 'psychological cubism.' This means that her work presents feelings and ideas in a design that reflects many points of view.

Cheng-Ming, Wen (China, 1500s)
Cheng-Ming devoted his life to the study of Chinese art, art history, and literature. He collected art created by masters and taught their techniques and histories to young students. In his later years, Cheng-Ming painted in an original and spontaneous style. The pine tree was a favorite theme.

Chermayeff and Geismar, Ivan and Tom (United States, 20th century)
Chermayeff and Geismar are internationally known for their versatile and imaginative solutions to graphic design problems. Both have worked on logos for companies and organizations and designs for museum exhibits and international expositions. Chermayeff is also an illustrator and has designed posters and advertisements.

Chicago, Judy (United States, b.1939)
Judy Chicago works in many directions with her art, but is always involved in advancing the cause of women's rights. She often works in the tradition of women's communal sewing bees, conceiving her own projects, then relying on the assistance of many volunteers and employees to complete her ambitious tasks. Her art defies easy categorization.

Church, Frederick Edwin (United States, 1826-1900)
Church created idealized and dramatic paintings based on scenes around the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains in New York state. He also painted scenes from his travels in South America, Europe, and the Near East.

Claude, Christo and Jeanne (Bulgaria/United States, both b. 1935)
Christo and Jeanne Claude take something familiar and wrap or curtain it. While wrapping something well-known might sound pretty ordinary, it becomes distinctly astonishing when you think of surrounding anything as large as eleven islands in Miami's Biscayne Bay in pink plastic. The Christos have also wrapped a bridge in Paris and one million square feet of the Australian coast. Thousands of workers and much equipment are used to construct their pieces, which are not permanent structures. The Christos believe that their art is an 'event' that is much more than the final installation.

Close, Chuck (United States, b.1940)
Chuck Close is one of the pioneers of the use of photography as a source of imagery. Close started gaining attention in the late sixties with his gargantuan, photographically realistic black and white portraits of himself and his friends. Like other Realist artists, Close wants to make a very objective rendering of his subjects. He depicts only the human figure, usually with head and shoulder views seen frontally against a uniform background. These are completely dispassionate studies and do not in any way reflect the inner qualities of his subjects.

Cole, Thomas (Great Britain/United States, 1801-1848)
Thomas Cole was born in England and came to the United States at seventeen. He became the leader of a group of New York and New England painters called the Hudson River School. They painted the local landscape, which would soon disappear as the population increased. To Cole, rustic beauty and ideal settings were the essence of America. Among his significant works is View on the Catskill, Early Autumn.

Collins, J. Gorsuch (United States, 20th century)
Collins, who was originally a graphic artist, now works in stained glass. Her artworks range in size from one foot to hundreds of feet. Collins creates glass works for private homes, commercial buildings, and galleries.

Constable, John (Great Britain, 1776-1837)
Constable was among the first painters to paint outdoors. He made dozens of quick studies on paper. And he tried to match oil colors with those of nature. He loved the English landscape and never left his homeland to find subject matter for his work. Constable was also the first artist to paint water that appears to sparkle. He achieved this effect by adding white to the canvas. Among his best-known works is the huge oil painting The Hay Wain.

Copley, John Singleton (United States, 1738-1815)
The painter Copley did not have formal training as an artist, but he had natural talent. He developed his own style after studying the works of European artists who worked in the American colonies. Copley's early works include portraits, such as his painting of Paul Revere. They are known for strong light, dark backgrounds, and solid figures.

Cordero, Helen (United States, 1915-1994)
Cordero was a Pueblo Indian who used clay and natural pigments from her native New Mexico. She became well-known for her sculptures based on memories of her storyteller grandfather. Her sculptures were painted with a yucca needle and fired in an open cedar fire in Cordero's backyard.

Corot, Jean-Baptiste-Camille (France, 1796-1875)
The painter Corot was interested in the clearness of light and the harmony between humans and their environment. He painted this harmony in small sketches and large paintings, often done on the spot. The artist painted patches of color in flat strokes and used only a few closely related colors. Later in life, Corot's style changed. His dreamy landscape paintings from this period include Seine and Old Bridge, Limay.

Courbet, Gustave (France, 1819-1877)
The Realist painter Courbet liked to depict events or things that he had seen and knew well. He thought of himself as a member of the working class and joined their search for better treatment in French society. When his works were rejected for an art exhibition in 1855, Courbet built a special shed to show them. This became the first modern-day, one-artist exhibition. Burial at Ornans is one of the artist's best-known paintings.

Cranach, Lucas (Germany, 1472-1553)
Lucas Cranach (the Elder) was a Northern Renaissance painter and architect. He worked in Wittenberg, Germany, where he and his two sons, Hans and Lucas (the Younger), created dozens of works of art. Cranach painted religious subjects, mythological stories, and a number of hunting scenes. He also painted several portraits of his friend Martin Luther, who was a leader of the Protestant Reformation.

Crite, Allan Rohan (United States, b.1910)
Crite, an African American, is best known for his portraits and street scenes depicting everyday African-American life during the 1930s and 1940s. Later, he also painted religious themes. His black-and-white drawings of religious themes have been published in four books.

Cunha, Barbara E. (United States, 20th century)
Cunha creates custom designed glass works in her studio. Most of her works are inspired by nature. Cunha is noted for her use of strong, bright colors and merging of traditional and modern designs.


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