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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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Bacher, Tom (United States, b.1951)
Bacher is fascinated with the effects of color and light. He developed a technique of mixing paint with crystals of calcium sulfite so the colors appear different under various lighting conditions. Each painting can be seen as a different artwork depending on the lighting.

Baer, Gordon (United States, 20th century)
Baer is an internationally known photographer who works on his own projects as well as assignments. He is well known for his photo essays including an award-winning book-length project documenting the lives of Vietnam veterans.

Bailey, Xenobia (United States, 20th century)
Bailey is an African-American artist with a degree in industrial design. She works in a variety of art forms inspired by different cultures. In addition to creating hats based on traditional African designs, she makes puppets and dolls and performs as a storyteller.

Bakst, Léon (Russia, 1866-1924)
Bakst is best known for the scenery he designed for several Russian ballet companies, including the Ballets Russes. His highly imaginative, colorful stage sets and richly-patterned costume designs were inspired by Russian folk art and Asian decorative arts.

Ball, Douglas (Canada, b.1935)
Ball has worked on exhibition design as well as designs for office systems and chairs. He is internationally known for his transportation devices for the physically disabled, such as a curb-climbing wheelchair and a child's wheelchair.

Balla, Giacomo (Italy, 1871-1958)
Balla, founding member of the Italian Futurist movement, is best known for his abstract paintings that convey motion and speed. He often juxtaposed several partial images to create compositions that resemble multiple-exposure or time-lapse photographs.

Bannister, Edward Mitchell (Canada/United States, 1828-1901)
The African-American painter, Edward Mitchell Bannister, was born in New Brunswick, Canada, but moved to Rhode Island where he became friends with the art community. He was one of the founders of the Providence Art Club, which formed the nucleus of what would become the Rhode Island School of Design. His landscapes and seascapes were widely exhibited in his lifetime.

Barlach, Ernst (Germany, 1870-1938)
Barlach was a German Expressionist sculptor whose simple, strong style was the result of a visit to Russia and his contact with the peasants and their folk art. He carved in wood, but also cast bronzes that expressed basic human emotions such as anger, fear, wrath, and grief. His large forms are simply sculpted. Yet, they are very powerful when combined with such passionate human traits.

Barthé, Richmond (United States, 1901-1989)
Barthé was one of the most influential African-American sculptors of the twentieth century. He was the first African-American artist to have work included in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. His subjects include portraits of celebrities and sculptures that express the dignity and grace of African-American athletes and dancers.

Bartlett, Jennifer (United States, b.1941)
Bartlett has been surrounding viewers with her investigations of simple, single themes since the 1970s. Her works are always based on recognizable elements. However, the repetition and manipulation of particular images infuse an abstract component into her final pieces. Bartlett includes viewers in her work by encroaching on their own physical space. Since viewers share the stage with her installations, their entire bodies and not just their minds fully engage in the experience.

Baskin, Leonard (United States, b.1922)
Baskin focuses on human and animal forms in haunting and often lonely relationships. His prints and sculpture often suggest the hardships of life by exaggerating anatomical features such as a sagging belly or very thin legs.

Baziotes, William (United States, 1912-1963)
Baziotes developed a variation on the style of Abstract Expressionism. His paintings often included soft-edged shapes and subtle colors that suggested unknown objects floating in a silent or mysterious world.

Bearden, Romare (United States, 1911-1988)
Bearden, an African American, painted in oils and watercolor for many years and first explored collage in the 1960s. He is internationally recognized for his lifelong work on themes from the African-American experience and his innovative collages, which combine drawings and paintings with photographic images.

Beckmann, Max (Germany, 1884-1950)
Beckmann painted humanity as puppet-like figures that have been dehumanized by social conditions. His works commented on the self-centeredness of society, which was characterized as decadent, and hinted at the dire consequences of such behavior. Like many German artists of the time, Beckmann had to flee Germany when he was officially labeled 'degenerate' by the Nazis.

Beekenkamp, Gerald (Canada, 20th century)
Beekenkamp revived a dying business in a Canadian town by designing a playground slide that is safe, colorful, durable in many climates, and easy to ship. The modular spiral units can be packaged in small containers, saving distributors over fifty percent in shipping costs.

Bellini, Giovanni (Italy, 1431-1516)
Bellini's works show great attention to detail. He was a master painter of Venice, a city in northern Italy. Bellini came from an artistic family. And his work was influenced by the painter Mantegna, who was married to his sister. Unlike many of the early painters of the Italian Renaissance, Bellini used oil paints.

Bellows, George (United States, 1882-1925)
At the age of twenty-six, George Bellows became the youngest member ever elected to the National Academy of Design. He was an exceptional athlete who loved to draw. His interest in sports led him to paint several boxing scenes of bouts in New York's private clubs. But, he also loved to paint the unbelievable clutter and congestion of New York's East Side slums. Because Bellows never went abroad, he was untouched by the art movements flourishing in Europe. Bellows is regarded by many as the quintessential American artist.

Benglis, Lynda (United States, b.1941)
Benglis constantly experiments with materials and is especially interested in the interactions among visual elements in different media. She is well-known for her abstract sculpture, using materials such as metal tubing and screens covered with plastic or cloth-like sheeting, which is pleated or folded, then cast or finished to resemble metal.

Bening, Simon (The Netherlands, 16th century)
Bening's major work was the Prayer Book illustrated for his patron, Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg. Bening was the master of intricately painted pictures and elaborate calligraphy. He managed the last great manuscript workshop.

Benton, Thomas Hart (United States, 1889-1975)
Benton was the leader of the Regionalists, a group of American scene painters from the Midwest who limited their subject matter to the regions in which they lived. Benton's subjects often reflected the history and activities of typical midwestern farmers. He tried all the avant-garde styles, but ultimately felt comfortable with his own brand of Realism. He was a critic of modern trends in art and forged a style that was based on the history and folklore of the United States.

Bernini, Gianlorenzo (Italy, 1598-1680)
Bernini was one of the most influential artists of the Baroque period. Like the greatest artists of the earlier Renaissance, he was a man of many talents: sculptor, painter, architect, stage designer, and composer. The artist's largest and most impressive project was the design for a magnificent plaza in front of St. Peter's in Rome, Italy. Among his best-known sculptures is the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.

Beuys, Joseph (Germany, 1921-1986)
Joseph Beuys' primary artistic outlet became his socially motivated Performance Art. Performance Art is a form similar to theater, but the artist becomes an integral and active ingredient in the work itself. A great deal of Performance Arts' impact comes from its shock value, expressed by such elements as irreverent humor and incongruity.

Bevins-Ericsen, Sue (United States, b.1941)
Bevins, an Inuit Indian, creates works in stone and other media. Her sculpture expresses the emotions associated with traditional Inuit activities such as fishing, hunting, and dancing. Bevins is noted for her ability to communicate memorable experiences through simple but powerful abstract forms.

Bierstadt, Albert (Switzerland/United States, 1830-1902)
Bierstadt is best known for his landscapes of the American West. His views of the Rockies were so dramatic that they seem to have been staged. The artist composed these paintings in his New York studio from sketches he made during expeditions to the Rocky Mountains. He romanticized the West to look the way easterners wanted it to be. His mountains were higher and more craggy, the gorges deeper, and the reflections sharper. Many critics claimed that he made the West look like the Swiss Alps, a subject that greatly interested him.

Bingham, George Caleb (United States, 1811-1879)
Bingham is known for his paintings of the American West. He grew up along the Mississippi River, and many of his works are based on events he saw there. He enjoyed depicting the quiet moments and friendly activity of pioneering. In later life, Bingham gave up most of his painting activity and became a politician. Fur Traders Descending the Missouri is one of his best-known works.

Bishop, Isabel (United States, 1902-1988)
Although she was excited by the artists of the Armory Show, an exhibit that opened American eyes to the European art scene, Isabel Bishop would not give up her realistic style in favor of abstraction. From a large picture window in her studio on Union Square, she painted the workers, shoppers, and derelicts of New York with a lively sense of movement that mirrors the constant flux and rhythm of people passing along crowded streets.

Boccioni, Umberto (Italy, 1882-1916)
Boccioni was the young leader of Italian Futurism, a movement that rejected traditional art. Futurists were interested in the mechanized advancement of society and the destruction of all symbols of the past. Boccioni believed that objects have an emotional life of their own. He advocated the use of materials such as glass, electric lights, and motors to create movement. His finest achievement was in sculpture. His figures portray abstract rather than representational forms to produce a human-like result in vibrant motion.

Bochner, Mel (United States, b.1940)
Bochner uses geometric forms and other systems of measurement to plan his works. He is interested in the analysis of art and believes that it is important for his work to show the thought process he has used to create it.

Bologna, Giovanni (worked in Italy, 1529-1608)
The Mannerist sculptor Bologna moved to Italy from northern Europe. He is known for works that have spiraling compositions. All sculpture before his time was made to be viewed from front, back, and profile. But to appreciate a Bologna statue, viewers must move around it. Parts of arms, legs, and heads burst out at various angles. Abduction of the Sabine Woman is among his most famous works.

Bonheur, Rosa (France, 1822-1899)
Rosa Bonheur was an important Realist painter. She is well known for her paintings of animals, which were her favorite subject. The artist frequently sketched at horse fairs and cattle markets. Among her significant works of art is The Horse Fair, which is more than sixteen feet long. In 1865, Bonheur became the first woman artist to receive the coveted cross of the French Legion of Honor.

Bonnard, Pierre (France, 1867-1947)
Bonnard's work ranges in style from Impressionism, in which he captures the stunning bright light of scenes along the Riviera, to highly decorative paintings with flat subdued colors, an influence from seeing Japanese prints. He also created designs for books, stained glass, and furniture.

Borgman, Jim (United States, 20th century)
Borgman is an editorial cartoonist for the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper. He has also published books and multilanguage posters of his cartoons. He won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for his editorial cartoons.

Borromini, Francesco (Italy, 1599-1667)
Borromini was a seventeenth-century architect who influenced later generations of artists. His buildings are especially noted for their fronts, or facades. Among his best-known buildings is Sant' Agnese in Rome, Italy. The building combines Classic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles into a unified design. This style was adopted in other parts of Europe and even as far away as Mexico.

Bosch, Hieronymus (Flanders, about 1450-1516)
Bosch was a Northern Renaissance painter. Known for his incredible imagination, he painted a world full of weird images, tiny people, and puzzling symbols. One of his best-known works is the three-part Garden of Earthly Delights. The fantastic landscape is filled with hundreds of figures riding on various beasts, sitting on giant birds, swimming, and crawling in and out of gigantic eggs.

Botticelli, Sandro (Italy, 1445-1510)
The works of many Renaissance artists reflect their appreciation of the human body. This is especially true in the paintings of Botticelli. The artist often relied on mythology for subjects. And one of most famous works is Birth of Venus, a huge painting done on canvas. Botticelli's paintings are known for beautifully drawn figures and fabrics as well as pale colors.

Boucher, Francois (France, 1703-1770)
Boucher enjoyed painting romantic and idealized settings and beautiful women. Many of his works deal with figures from mythology. And-as usual in French Rococo painting-his figures have pink skin and tiny hands. Boucher's friends compared his use of color to 'rose petals floating in milk.' Pastoral Scene is among his best-known works.

Bozzi, Julie (United States, b.1943)
Bozzi's paintings are detailed records of places she has seen. She often creates a series of related paintings of roadside scenes, noting subtle differences in the land, trees, fences, and so on. The titles of her paintings refer to the locations of the landscapes.

Brancusi, Constantin (Rumania, 1876-1957)
Brancusi was the first sculptor of abstract forms to completely eliminate normal representational reference and to emphasize the form itself. He pared down his forms to reveal the essential shape hidden in everything we see. Brancusi's limestone carving, The Kiss, shows his simplification and the essence of unity.

Braque, Georges (France, 1882-1963)
Georges Braque advanced the vocabulary of Cubism by adding actual bits of real objects to his canvases such as newspaper clippings, pieces of rope, bits of wallpaper, and even sand. The result is called collage, from the French word collé for glue or paste. Braque settled on the still life as his basic subject. Using the fractured planes of Cubism, he abstracted from still life setups to create sophisticated designs based on simple objects.

Bravo, Claudio (Chile, b.1936)
Bravo lives in Spain and is best known for extremely realistic portraits and precisely rendered still lifes, which have a dreamlike quality. He sometimes creates two paintings of each subject with a detailed front and back view.

Breeze, Claude (Canada, b.1938)
Breeze's best known work, Canadian Atlas, is a series of sixty serigraphs and paintings. In it he combines imagery from maps with drawings of human cardiovascular systems. Some of his works have been purchased for government buildings in Ontario.

Bruegel, Pieter (Flanders, about 1525-1569)
Bruegel was among the most important sixteenth-century artists of northern Europe. He often painted peasants in their daily activities and enjoying special festivals. Such simple activities seem both important and dignified in Bruegel's art. His works also show careful attention to natural surroundings. The Return of the Hunters is one of his best-known paintings. Very few artists have captured the silent, cold crispness of winter the way Bruegel did in this work.

Brunelleschi, Filippo (Italy, 1377-1446)
This architect designed the famous dome that tops the cathedral of Florence in Italy. The dome is enormous; it is 140 feet in diameter and rises 300 feet above the floor. His work proved that people could use scientific approaches to solve difficult technical problems. Like many of the greatest artists of his time, Brunelleschi worked in many areas. He was also a goldsmith, mathematician, sculptor, and clock builder.

Bulfinch, Charles (United States, 1763-1884)
Bulfinch had no formal training in architecture and learned about building through travel, research on Classical architecture, and consultations with masons and carpenters. He designed churches, public buildings, and served as one of the architects of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Burchfield, Charles (United States, 1893-1967)
Burchfield's first paintings were based on childhood memories of scenes and emotional events. His later paintings have a strong symbolic quality with elements of fantasy. His expressive use of abstract design elements help to convey the moods and energies he associated with landscapes and with changes in seasons and weather.

Burchfield, Charles (United States, 1893-1967)
Burchfield's first paintings were based on childhood memories of scenes and emotional events. His later paintings have a strong symbolic quality with elements of fantasy. His expressive use of abstract design elements help to convey the moods and energies he associated with landscapes and with changes in seasons and weather.

Burke, Selma (United States, b.1900)
Burke, an African American, began modeling clay figures as a child. She works in varied sculptural media, but prefers stone. She created the relief sculpture of President Roosevelt used for the ten cent coin issued in 1943. She has a doctoral degree and founded an art center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Burroughs, Margaret (United States, b.1917)
Burroughs, an African American, creates paintings and prints that reflect her interest in the textural qualities of media and design concepts from diverse cultures. She has also written children's books and is a leader of community art programs in Chicago, Illinois.


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