Alberto Giacometti: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Alberto Giacometti, the Swiss painter and sculptor.

  • Alberto Giacometti was born on 10th October 1901 in Borgonovo, Switzerland (near to the Italian border).
  • His father was the painter, Giovanni Giacometti.

  • Giacometti went to the Geneva School of Fine Arts.
  • He moved to Paris in 1922 and studied with the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle.
  • Giacometti’s work started to be influenced by cubism and surrealism.
  • His sculptures of the human form became larger, thinner and more elongated as the years passed by.
  • He once said that he wasn’t sculpting the human body but rather the shadow it cast.
  • He was an associate of Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro.
  • Giacometti died in 1966. He was suffering from heart disease and chronic bronchitis. He is buried in Borgonovo, his birthplace, close to his parents.
  • In 2000 one of Giacometti’s bronze sculptures, the lifesize L’Homme qui marche I, sold for about £65 million.
  • He was friends with the writer Samuel Beckett.
  • Alberto Giacometti had three brothers and sisters and they were often the inspiration for his sculptures and paintings.

10 Salvador Dali Facts

Salvador Dali was a Spanish surrealist painter. Here are some facts about him.

  • Salvador Dali was born on 11th May 1904 in Figueres, Spain.
  • His brother, also called Salvador, had died nine months before Dali was born. Dali, encouraged by his parents, believed he was the reincarnation of his brother, and this theme is sometimes featured in his work.

  • Salvador went to drawing school and the first exhibition of his work (a series of charcoal drawings) took place in 1917 (organised by his father).
  • Dali’s mother died in 1921 of breast cancer. Dali was just sixteen and was severely affected by his mother’s passing.
  • Dali moved to Madrid to study at the School of Fine Arts. He experimented with Cubism, and also gained a reputation for being a bit eccentric.
  • He was expelled from the School of Fine Arts for his role in causing ‘an unrest’, and he visited Paris, meeting Pablo Picasso.
  • Dali joined the Surrealist group in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris.
  • He painted The Persistence of Memory, one his most famous works, in 1931. It features the classic surrealist image of the melting clock.
  • Dali and his wife, Gala, moved to America to escape World War 2. They lived there for eight years.
  • He returned to Paris after WW2 and began to experiment with other forms and different techniques. He used optical illusions and visual puns, and he became interested in mathematics and science – particularly the structure of DNA.
  • Dali designed the Chupa Chups logo.
  • Dali died of heart failure on 23rd January 1989. He was 84.
  • Several images often appear in Dali’s surrealist paintings. These include: melting clocks, elephants, eggs, ants, snails and locusts.
  • Salvador Dali produced more than 1500 paintings in his lifetime. He also created numerous drawings, illustrations, sculptures, short films, books and lithographs.

Paul Cezanne: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Paul Cezanne, the famous French Post-Impressionist painter.

  • Paul Cezanne was born on 19th January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, France.
  • He is often credited with forming the bridge between the dominant style of painting in that late 19th century (Impressionism) and the trend towards Cubism in the early 20th century.

  • Cezanne was born into a wealthy family. His father was a founding member of a successful banking firm, and Paul Cezanne never had to worry about money.
  • He moved to Paris in 1861.
  • In Paris, Cezanne met Camille Pissarro (an Impressionist painter). They formed a strong friendship and worked together on some pieces of artwork.
  • Cezanne wanted to represent real life in simple forms. He explored using ‘geometric simplification’ and his work inspired Picasso and Matisse. They referred to Cezanne as ‘the father of us all’.
  • Paul Cezanne died of pneumonia on 22nd October 1906.
  • An exhibition of his work in Paris in 1907, the year after Cezanne’s death, exposed a new generation of artists to his work and techniques.
  • Cezanne was a Roman Catholic and religious images often appeared in his early work.
  • Cezanne painted a range of different subjects during his career, including: landscapes, still life and portraits.
  • Cezanne painted slowly believing that he needed to truly observe and understand his subject matter before he could capture the moment with a brushstroke. He portrait might take him over 100 working sessions to complete.

10 Paul Klee Facts

Here are some facts about Paul Klee, the famous painter.

  • Paul Klee was born on 18th December 1879 in Muchenbuchsee bei Bern, Switzerland. His father was a German music teacher and his mother was a Swiss singer.

  • As a young boy he started to follow in his parent’s footsteps and train as a musician, but by the time he was a teenager, he became inspired by visual art.
  • In 1898, Klee studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. He then went to Italy, visiting Rome, Florence and Naples.
  • In 1911 Paul Klee became friends with Wassily Kandinsky, and in 1912 Klee travelled to Paris and was inspired by Cubism and Robert Delaunay’s brave use of colour. Klee started to experiment with colour and define his own style.
  • Klee’s first abstract painting was In the Style of Kairouan.

In the Style of Kairouan

  • His style doesn’t fall into just one artistic movement. He borrows from Cubism, Surrealism and Expressionism.
  • Paul Klee was involved in World War 1, but he never served on the front line. He continued to paint abstract art during the war and was gaining popularity.
  • Klee taught art at the Bauhaus school in Germany but he was forced to leave by the Nazi party after his house was searched by the Gestapo.
  • He produced the work Ad Parnassum in 1932, one of his most well-known paintings.

Ad Parnassum by Paul Klee

  • In 1933 he completed more than 500 pieces of work, and in 1939, he completed 1200. He finished more than 9000 pieces of art in his lifetime.
  • In the latter years of his life, Klee suffered from scleroderma, a wasting disease. He died on 29th June 1940. He is buried at Schlosshaldenfriedhof in Switzerland.

M. C. Escher: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about M. C. Escher, the famous graphic artist from the Netherlands.

  • M. C. Escher was born on 17th June 1898 in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.
  • The M. C. stands for Maurits Cornelis.

  • Escher was a poor student at school. He didn’t get very good grades, but he was excellent at drawing.
  • In 1922, Escher visited Italy and Spain. He was particularly inspired by the patterns and mathematical designs which decorated the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain.
  • Escher’s work was focused on the idea of impossible reality – artwork which was inspired by mathematics and explored infinity and optical illusion.
  • He also produced a lot of artwork which involved tessellation.
  • M. C. Escher did not have any formal mathematical education, his understanding of the subject is plain to see in his artwork.
  • Escher died on 27th March 1972 in a retirement home for artists. He was 73.
  • He was awarded the Knighthood of the Order of Orange Nassau in 1955.

M C Escher

Henry Moore: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Henry Moore, the English sculptor and artist.

  • Henry Moore was born on 30th July 1898 in Castleford in Yorkshire.
  • His best known work features massive bronze scultpures. These are usually abstract versions of the human form and often contain hollow spaces. His sculptures are often public artworks and are located all over the world.

  • Henry Moore decided he wanted to become a sculptor at the age of eleven.
  • Moore fought in World War 1 and he was badly injured during a gas attack in the Battle of Cambrai in 1917.
  • He studied at Leeds College of Art. He met Barbara Hepworth there – she would also become a famous sculptor.
  • He attended the Royal College of Art in London, and in 1924 he spent time abroad (in Italy and France) studying the works of Michelangelo.
  • During World War 2, Henry Moore was commissioned as a war artist. He produced a series of drawing of Londoners using the London Underground as an air raid shelter during the Blitz.

Henry Moore

  • Moore worked on commission, and he earned lots of money producing sculptures for individuals, companies and organisations. His work can be seen opposite the House of Lords in London, in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in Kew Gardens, London, to name just a few.
  • He set up the Henry Moore Foundation, a charity with the aim of promoting fine art.
  • Henry Moore died on 31st August 1986. He was 88.

10 Andy Warhol Facts

Here are 10 facts about the American artist, Andy Warhol.

  • Andy Warhol was born on 6th August 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • He is known for his pop art and his work focuses of the crossover between celebrity, advertising and artistic expression.
  • He worked with many forms of media, including: painting, printmaking, photography, drawing, sculpture, film and music. He also started a magazine (called Interview Magazine) and he wrote several books.
  • He called his studio The Factory and it became a famous meeting place for creative people and celebrities.
  • Warhol was a hypochondriac and was scared of hospitals and doctors.
  • In the 1960s he produced a series of paintings of iconic American images and objects, these included: Campbell’s Soup cans, dollar bills, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley and Coca-Cola bottles.
Andy Warhol Art
  • Andy Warhol was shot (and nearly killed) on 3rd June 1968. The shooter was Valerie Solanas.
  • In the 1970s Warhol produced work for many celebrities, including: Mick Jagger, John Lennon and Diana Ross.
  • He founded the New York Academy of Art in 1979.
  • Andy Warhol died on 22nd February 1987 following post gallbladder surgery complications. He is buried at St John the Baptist Byzantine Cemetery, next to his parents.

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Other Andy Warhol Facts and FAQs

What condition did Andy Warhol suffer from as a child?

When he was growing up in Pittsburgh, Andy Warhol suffered from St Vitus Dance (Sydenham chorea), a neurological condition that can develop following an infection caused by strep bacteria. Some of the symptoms included twitching and involuntary jerking of the arms and legs. On some days, the condition meant that Andy was unable to go to school.

Why was Andy Warhol bullied at school?

Andy Warhol had very bad acne, and from the age of eight, his skin also started to lose it’s pigment. He was often teased about his red and blotchy face.

Did Andy Warhol have any brothers of sisters?

He had two brothers, both older than him. Paul (Pavol) and Jan. Paul’s son, James Warhola, became an artist and illustrated lots of picture books for children.

What was Andy Warhol’s real name?

Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh as Andrew Warhola. His parents had emigrated to the US from the area that is now Slovakia in the 1920s.

Who inherited Andy Warhol’s money after he died?

The majority of Andy Warhol’s estate was used to start the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. It was founded in 1987 with the aim of advancing the visual arts. His brothers, Paul and Jan, both received sums of $250,000.

Where is the Andy Warhol Museum?

The Warhol (a Carnegie Museum) is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (his birthplace), and it houses a massive collection of Warhol’s artworks (including more than 350 of Warhol’s films) and other research materials. It opened in 1994.

10 Piet Mondrian Facts

Here are ten facts about Piet Mondrian, the Dutch painter.

  • Piet Mondrian was born on 7th March 1872 in Amersfoort, the Netherlands.
  • From a very young age, Piet Mondrian was exposed to art. His father was a qualified art instructor and his uncle was an artist.

  • Piet Mondrian became a primary school teacher and he painted in his spare time.
  • His early paintings were mainly landscapes, featuring fields, rivers and windmills.
  • Mondrian moved to Paris in 1911. He was immediately influenced by the Cubist style of Picasso and Braque, and his work started to incorporate more geometric shapes, moving away from being purely naturalistic.
  • Piet Mondrian returned to the Netherlands for the duration of the First World War. He met the artist Bart van der Leck, who only used primary colours in his paintings. Mondrian started to develop his own painting theory and style.
  • After WW1, Mondrian returned to Paris and he began to produce the grid-based abstract paintings for which he is best known.

Piet Mondrian

  • Mondrian left Paris in 1938 to escape the inevitable advance of the Nazis. He moved to London and then to Manhattan.
  • In Manhattan, Mondrian started to develop anew technique using pieces of paper tape to create small rectangles of colour.
  • Piet Mondrian died on 1st February 1944. He had pneumonia.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the Austrian artist.

  • Hundertwasser was born on 15th December 1928 in Vienna, Austria.
  • His real name was Friedrich Stowasser, and his full pseudonym was Friedensreich Regentag Dukelbunt Hundertwasser.
  • After World War 2, Hundertwasser studied for three months at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He left to go travelling.
  • The first exhibition of his work was held in Vienna in 1952.
  • Hundertwasser has produced many different types of works of art (ranging from paintings, postage stamps, clothes, flags).
  • His work often includes bright colours and natural, organic forms. He seldom used straight lines, and he used lots of spirals.

Today we live in a chaos of straight lines, in a jungle of straight lines. If you do not believe this, take the trouble to count the straight lines which surround you. Then you will understand, for you will never finish counting.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser
  • He also became interested in architecture and designed many houses using organic forms, curved lines, and bold use of colour.
  • Hundertwasser had very strong political views, shaped by his experiences of the Nazi regime during World War 2. He was anti-totalitarian and campaigned against the European Union because he thought it would eradicate regional variation. He was also very aware of environmental issues.
  • In the 1960s, Hundertwasser spent time in Uganda, Africa, and in the 1970s, he purchased property in New Zealand. In New Zealand, he experimented with self-sufficient living, and he used solar panels and water wheels to provide his property with electricity.
  • During his career, Hundertwasser designed buildings in cities and locations all over the world, including Vienna, Frankfurt, Osaka, Kawakawa, Napa Valley, and Magdeburg.
  • Towards the end of his life, Hundertwasser settled in New Zealand, and he was buried there after his death at sea on the ship Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2000. He was 71.
  • John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) asked Richard Evans to produce an homage to Hundertwasser for the cover of PiL’s Happy? album.
  • His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in dozens of cities, including Vienna, Paris, Tokyo, Hamburg, New York, Sydney, Munich, Montreal, Rotterdam, Seoul, Venice, and Christchurch.

If we do not honor our past, we lose our future. If we destroy our roots, we cannot grow.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser
  • In 2017 Hundertwasser’s Ville vue d’au-delà du soleil sold at auction for more than 500,000 Euros.
  • Hundertwasser was commissioned by the German government to design a poster for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
  • During his lifetime, he owned homes in New Zealand, Austria, France, and Italy. He also spent some time believing on his sailboat, Regentag (Rainy Day).
  • Hundertwasser was married twice (to Herta Leitner, and then to Yuko Ikeweda). Both marriages ended in divorce.
  • In 1983, Hundertwsser designed the Koru Flag as an alternative to New Zealand’s national flag. The design is based on a Maori curling fern pattern,

Visual pollution is more poisonous than any other pollution because it kills the soul.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

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10 Andy Goldsworthy Facts

Here are ten facts about Andy Goldsworthy, the British artist who produces natural sculptures and environmental and land art.

  • Andy Goldsworthy was born on 26th July 1956, in Cheshire, England.

  • He studied fine art at Bradford College of Art and he also trained at Preston Polytechnic.
  • He lives and works in Scotland in a village called Penpont.
  • Andy Goldsworthy produces artwork using natural materials (such as flowers, mud, ice, leaves, twigs, pebbles, boulders, snow, thorns, bark, grass and pine cones).
  • Much of his work is made outside and is meant to be temporary. He photographs the artwork and then allows it to remain in the natural environment and decay at its own rate. Sometimes he photographs the same work in different conditions.
  • Goldsworthy says he ‘works with nature as a whole’ and sometimes he often doesn’t use man-made tools to produce his sculptures.
  • He has four children.
  • Andy Goldsworthy was given an OBE in 2000.
  • He has won many awards for his work, including: the Yorkshire Arts Award and the Scottish Arts Council Award.
  • He has shown his work in many exhibitions and he’s published several books containing photographs of his environmental art, including: Arch, Wood, Passage, Enclosure and Stone.

Andy Goldsworthy