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Art  &  Artist

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Nabis, the (Hebrew, the prophets). A group of artists who exhibited together from 1891 to 1900, of whom the best known are *Vuillard and *Bonnard; Ranson, K.-X. Roussel and Maillol were other members. The style they had in common was partly derived from Gauguin's flat pattern compositions done in Brittany; *Denis wrote several articles which outlined N. ideas. Lithography was especially congenial as a medium and well used in book illustration, posters and theatre decoration.

Naive Art. Term applied to the work of non-professional, self-taught artists who, while lacking orthodox skills, apply themselves to their art in a resolute and independent spirit. The history of naive art is both the history of the complex evolution of the many art forms lying outside the fine arts tradition and of the critical attempts to disentangle a distinct strand from this broader fabric. In the course of the 19th century in Europe, the arts and crafts of rural peoples (normally termed FOLK ART, or sometimes ‘peasant art’) and the urban traditions of semi-skilled craftsmen gradually faltered in the face of growing industrialization. Factory products enfeebled the individual impulse to fashion handmade artefacts; itinerant portrait painters (‘limners’) found their trade dwindling after the advent of photography; and in general the rise of an industry-based economy and the growth of cities sapped the vitality of vernacular and communally recognized artwork such as embroidery, toymaking, the carving of ships’ figureheads, painted targets and so forth. Similar developments took place in North America, though at a slower pace, partly determined by a wilful defence of inherited models on the part of culture-conscious immigrants.

Naples, school of. 17th-c. Italo-Spanish school of painting characterized by pictures of torture and martyrdom in a *Tenebrist style derived from Caravaggio, exemplified in the work of Ribera.

Nara Yoshitomo. Yoshitomo Nara born 1959 in Hirosaki, Japan, is a contemporary Japanese Pop artist. He currently lives and works in Tokyo, though his artwork has been exhibited worldwide. Nara received his B.F.A. (1985) and an M.F.A. (1987) from the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. Between 1988 and 1993, Nara studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, in Germany. Nara has had nearly 40 solo exhibitions since 1984. He is represented in New York City by Marianne Boesky Gallery and in Los Angeles by Blum & Poe.
Nara first came to the fore of the art world during Japan’s Pop art movement in the 1990s. The subject matter of his sculptures and paintings is deceptively simple: most works depict one seemingly innocuous subject (often pastel-hued children and animals drawn with confident, cartoonish lines) with little or no background. But these children, who appear at first to be cute and even vulnerable, sometimes brandish weapons like knives and saws. Their wide eyes often hold accusatory looks that could be sleepy-eyed irritation at being awoken from a nap—or that could be undiluted expressions of hate.. Nara, however, does not see his weapon-wielding subjects as aggressors. "Look at them, they [the weapons] are so small, like toys. Do you think they could fight with those?" he says. "I don’t think so. Rather, I kind of see the children among other, bigger, bad people all around them, who are holding bigger knives…"Nara’s own explanation of his work, then, casts us as the aggressors guilty of betraying and attacking childhood innocence. When cast in that light, Nara incriminates himself as well, for his art is above all based upon the perversion of otherwise innocent subjects. Lauded by art critics and hipsters alike, Nara’s bizarrely intriguing works have gained him a cult following around the world.

The manga and anime of his 1960s childhood are both clear influences on Nara's stylized, large-eyed figures. Nara subverts these typically cute images, however, by infusing his works with horror-like imagery. This juxtaposition of human evil with the innocent child may be a reaction to Japan's rigid social conventions. The punk rock music of Nara's youth has also influenced the artist's work. Recalling a similar – if more unsettling – image of rebellious, violent youth, Nara's art embraces the punk ethos. That said, Nara has also cited traditions as varied as Renaissance painting, literature, illustration, and graffiti as further inspiration.
But perhaps most significantly, Nara’s upbringing in post-World War II Japan profoundly affected his mindset and, subsequently, his artwork as well. He grew up in a time when Japan was experiencing an inundation of Western pop culture; comic books, Walt Disney animation, and Western rock music are just a few examples. Additionally, Nara was raised in the isolated countryside as a latchkey child of working-class parents, so he was often left alone with little to do but explore his young imagination. The fiercely independent subjects that populate so much of his artwork may be a reaction to Nara's own largely independent childhood.

Narrative painting. Type of painting which flourished in the 19th c; it relies on anecdotal subject matter to create interest. The title is an important part of the whole: Last Day in the Old Home by Martineau and 'And When Did You Last See Your Lather?' by William Frederick Yeames are examples.

Nash Paul (1889-1946). British painter, mainly of landscapes, in oils and watercolour. He studied at the Slade School (1910—11); his early works were influenced by Rossetti, but his reputation was made as an official war artist (1917—18). N. then continued to paint landscapes in a formalized, decorative manner. In the 1930s he fell under the influence of *Surreahsin and in 1933 was one of the founders of the *Unit One group. During World War II he was again an official war artist, painting aircraft, reverting to landscapes and symbolic pictures of an intense and mystical quality in the years before his death. He was also a distinguished photographer. An incomplete autobiography, Outline, was publ. in 1949. His brother, John (1893—1977), also a painter of landscapes, shows affinities of style, but his formalized shapes remain closer to naturalistic forms and he specialized more in botanical subjects.

Nattier Jean-Marc (1685-1766). French painter of historical subjects, noted particularly for his delicate portraits of young ladies and for starting the vogue for classical and mythological trappings in portraiture. As a fashionable portraitist he painted members of the Russian and French Royal Houses. His pictures were delicate and fragile in feeling, with a fondness for bluish colouring.

Naturalism. Late njth-c. French literary movement led by Emile Zola whose writings, also on art, exerted considerable influence. In art the term signifies the depiction of subject matter with uncompromising fidelity and in deliberate defiance of conventional distinctions between 'high' and low', 'seemly' and 'unseemly', and 'ugly' and 'beautiful'.

Nauman Bruce (1941- ). U.S. artist whose work, in a rich variety of types, forms, styles and media (e.g. sculpture, neon, film, video, performance and environments), defies simplistic categorization. Yet N.'s personal and reflective vision results in an (tuvre of total, complex and convincing coherence, carrying perceptual and philosophical, especially ethical, social, political and sexual meaning. These ideas are often presented with deliberate ambiguity and in binary form, e.g. Lrom Hand to Mouth (1967), a wax cast of mouth, shoulder, arm and hand, or Liat/Deatli (1972), a neon piece of the two words where EAT is in yellow and DEATH in blue (the first word contained within the second, placed one on top of the other and lighting up alternately) and the large figurative neon piece Welcome Shaking Hands (1985) in which the two naked male figures facing each other appear alternately standing and shaking hands, with erect or limp penises. As N. re-examines and modifies ideas constantly in his work, it is only by looking at it in terms of ideas rather than of chronology that its cohcsiveness is revealed. In Window or Wall Sign (1967) the neon spiral contains the text: 'The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths'. In 100 Life and Die (1984) contradictory commands in neon are arranged below and alongside each other in 4 rows, e.g. 'live and die', 'live and live', 'die and die', 'die and live', 'fuck and die', 'fuck and live', etc. Several of N.'s early sculptures are related to the body - a persistent theme in all his work. He uses its poses and limitations, or its volume and traces, as either container or contained, e.g. the 2 Untitled (1965 and 1967) and Six Inches of My Knee Extended to Six Feet (1967), which in later works arc modified into tunnels, underground passages and chambers, e.g. House Divided (1983) and Room With My Soul Left Out/Room That Docs Not Care (1984).

Nazarenes. A group of German artists who formed a brotherhood of painters, the Lukasbruder (Brotherhood of St Luke), 111 Vienna in 1809. The following year *Overbeck and *Pforr were joined by *Cornclius at the monastery of Isidoro outside Rome. The intention ot these artists was to revise German religious art after the examples of Dtirer, Michelangelo, Perugino and the young Raphael.

N.E.A.C. *New English Art Club and added the architectural detail to the paintings of other contemporary artists. His son, Pieter (1620—after 1675), painted the same subjects in the same idiom, which has led to confusion in attribution.

Neizvestny Ernst (born 1925 in Sverdlovsk) is a famous Russian sculptor of the second half of the 20th century. Ironically, his surname (often taken for a pseudonym) translates to "unknown" or "not famous" in English. He currently lives and works in New York City.
His parents, Jews, were purged in the 1930s. At the age of 17, Neizvestny joined the Red Army as a volunteer. At the close of World War II, he was heavily wounded and sustained a clinical death. Although he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner "posthumously" and his mother received an official notification that her son had died, Neizvestny managed to survive.
In 1947, Neizvestny was enrolled at the Academy of Arts in Riga. He continued his education at the Surikov Moscow Art Institute and the Philosophy Department of the Moscow State University. His sculptures, often based on the forms of the human body, are noted for their expressionism and powerful plasticity. Although his preferred material is bronze, his larger, monumental installations are often executed in concrete. Most of his works are arranged in extensive cycles, the best known of which is The Tree of Life, a theme he has developed since 1956.
Although Nikita Khrushchev famously derided Neizvestny's works as degenerate art at the Moscow Manege exhibition of 1962 ("Why do you disfigure the faces of Soviet people?"), the sculptor was later approached by Khruschev's relatives to construct a tomb for the former Soviet leader at the Novodevichy Cemetery. Other well-known works he created during the Soviet period are Prometheus in Artek (1966) and the Lotus Flower at the Aswan Dam in Egypt (1971). In 1976, he moved from the USSR to Switzerland.
During the 1980s, Neizvestny was a guest lecturer at the University of Oregon and at UC Berkeley. He also worked with Magna Gallery in San Francisco, and had a number of shows which were well-attended in the mid 1980s. This gallery also asked him to create his "Man through the Wall" series to celebrate the end of Communism at the end of the 1980s. He subsequently ended his relationship with the gallery.
In 1996, Neizvestny completed his Mask of Sorrow, a 15-meter tall monument to the victims of Soviet purges, situated in Magadan. The same year, he was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation. Although he still lives in New York City and works at Columbia University, Neizvestny frequently visits Moscow and celebrated his 80th birthday there. A museum dedicated to his sculptures was established in Uttersberg, Sweden. Some of his crucifixion statues were acquired by John Paul II for the Vatican Museums.

Nefertiti (c 1360 вс). Brightly coloured limestone portrait bust of Queen Nefertiti, the wife of the Egyptian king Akhenaton. It was found in the workshop of the sculptor Thutmose in Akhenaton's new royal city of Tel-el-Amarna by the German expedition ot 1912—14, and is in the naturalistic Tel-el-Amarna style.

'Neo'. Prefix meaning new. When placed before the name of a past art style or movement it indicates a subsequent manifestation and at least partial revival of the style's look, e.g. *Neoclassicism. Especially since the 1970s, 'Neo' has indicated the *Postmodern indifference to art styles and the free recycling of the look of previous movements, but with different meaning and intent, e.g. Neo-Geo indicating the revival of the style of a work which would originally have been described as a Geometric Abstraction.

Neoclassicism. In painting the name given to the late 18th— and early iyth-c. revival of classical motifs, subjects and decorations. Its inspiration came from the excavations at Herculaneuin and Pompeii (begun 1748) and the publ. writing of the German archaeologist *Winckelmann. In Britain the sculptor *Flaxman, Wedgwood's Etrurian ware, and the Adam style of interior decoration were all inspired by the revival; in Rome the sculptors *Canova and *Thorwaldsen were the great exponents of N.; and in France, where it became associated with the Revolution, the painters J.-L. *David, G.-J. *Drouais and *Girodet, the latter both pupils of David. In architecture N. developed in the 17th с in Italy and spread to France, Britain and Russia (18th c). Its characteristic features are the use of the orders (columns or pilasters), pediments, entablatures, friezes and classical ornamental motifs. Architects include Juvarra, Vanvitelh, Mansart, Gibbs and Nash.

Neo-Dadaism Organizers.

Group of Japanese artists who showed at the Yomiuri Independent exhibitions of the late 1950s and developed ‘anti-art’ activities modelled on those of the DADA movement. There were frequent dissolutions and reformings, but the group that formed in March 1960 included Masunobu Yoshimura (b 1932), Genpei Akasegawa (b 1937), Shusaku Arakawa, Sho Kazakura, Ushio Shinohara (b 1933) and Soroku Toyoshima (and later Shintaro Tanaka (b 1940) and Shin Kinoshita); with the exception of Tetsumi Kudo and Tomio Miki, who associated with the group but never joined, it seemed then to comprise all the major ‘anti-art’ artists in Japan.

Neo-Expressionism. Term used with reference to the Expressionist art revival in Germany, the U.S.A. and Italy in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as practised by artists such as *Baselitz, *Kiefer and *Polke, in Germany, *Chia, *Clemente and Mimmo Paladino, in Italy and Cuchi, *Fischl, *Salle and *Schnabel, in the U.S.A. Also referred to as 'Bad' art and New Image Painting.


Paraguayan movement, active in the second half of the 1960s. It developed in Asunción as the Paraguayan equivalent of the Nueva Figuración movement in Argentina. However, it formulated its own guidelines and aims, and had a considerable influence on later developments in the visual arts in Paraguay. It represented an approach to figurative art halfway between Art informel and Expressionism, between a preoccupation with the physical material of the painting and the intention of distorting the figure. It was used by a group of Paraguayan artists to loosen the rigid pictorial image that had become accepted in the 1950s and to assimilate aspects of historical experience that had not until then played a part in artistic development. Social criticism was approached from two different angles within Neofiguración. The first, represented primarily by CARLOS COLOMBINO and OLGA BLINDER, had a sense of drama and a strong political message; the second, represented by William Riquelme (b 1944) and RICARDO MIGLIORISI, had a more satirical perspective and a playful and irresponsible spirit that to some extent was characteristic of the time.

Neo-Impressionism. A late 19th-c. style of painting also known as Pointillisiii or Divisionism, associated above all with Seurat but also practised by Camille Pissarro, Signac, Cross and, in some of their works, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and even Matisse. Instead of mixing pigments on the palette the artist applied pure colours, in small dots or dashes (hence Pointillism); seen at the right distance the fragmented areas of vivid colour dots produced the effect of colour areas more subtle and rich than could be achieved by conventional techniques.


Italian architectural movement that developed in the second half of the 1950s as a reaction to the widespread diffusion of the International Style, especially in relation to the sensitive historic environment of many Italian cities. Its name was originally coined by detractors of the movement to imply that it was simply a revival of the Italian Stile Liberty or Art Nouveau. The initiators of the movement were the Turin architects Roberto Gabetti (b 1925) and Aimaro d’Isola (b 1928), who were both pupils of Carlo Mollino at the Politecnico, Turin. In 1957 the architectural journal Casabella Continuitŕ, edited by Ernesto Nathan Rogers and Vittorio Gregotti, published a number of works by Gabetti and d’Isola, including the influential Borsa Valori (1953) and Bottega d’Erasmo residential block (1953–6), both in Turin. In presenting their work, the architects declared their rejection of the idealist and doctrinaire theories of the Modern Movement, preferring instead to immerse themselves in the continuation of a local building tradition in the interests of an educated and bourgeois clientele. This sparked off an international debate that polarized on the one hand the defenders of the orthodoxy of the Modern Movement, led by the British critic Reyner Banham (1922–88), and on the other a group of architects from Turin, Novara and Milan who supported the views expressed in Casabella. While having their own differences, Vittorio Gregotti from Novara, Aldo Rossi, Guido Canella and Gai Aulenti from Milan, together with Gabetti, d’Isola and Giorgio and Giuseppe Raineri from Turin, were united in their wish to heal the rupture they perceived in the history of architecture through a reappraisal of the sources of the Modern Movement. The ideas expressed by Gabetti and d’Isola were part of a general move away from the purist principles of the Modern Movement at that time, and, like many other architects, they continued to develop new approaches in their architecture in the 1960s and after.

Neo-plasticism. (Fr. neo-plasticisme, from the Du. nieuwe-beelding; new-forming). Theory of art propounded by *Mondrian which influenced his painting, and that of disciples such as Van *Doesburg (1912-18). Its precepts were that art was to be entirely abstract; that only right angles in the horizontal and vertical position were to be used, and that the colours were to be simple primaries, supplemented with white, black and grey. *De Stijl.


Term coined by PIET MONDRIAN and first used in 1919 as the title of a collection of his writings published by the dealer Léonce Rosenberg. It gained currency as a descriptive term applied to Mondrian’s theories of art and to his style of painting, in which a grid, delineated by black lines, was filled with blocks of primary colour (see fig.). The original term applied to some of his principles was nieuwe beelding (new imagery); he also used abstract-reële schilderkunst (abstract-real painting) and Neo-Cubism. Neo-plasticism applied to all aspects of design that were part of daily life. The evanescence of natural shapes was reduced to a few essential expressive means: horizontal and vertical lines, areas of primary colour and black and white. For Mondrian a composition had to present a dynamic balance, in which the internal was externalized and the external internalized. Mondrian published Le Néo-plasticisme while in Paris, having become convinced that his theories, published in DE STIJL, were almost unknown beyond his native country. A collection of his articles was translated into German and published in 1925 as Neue Gestaltung as the fifth in the series of Bauhausbücher. His theories were published in English for the first time in 1937 under the title of ‘Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art’ in Circle: An International Survey of Constructivism.


Russian movement that took its name from Aleksandr Shevchenko’s Neo-primitivizm (1913). This book describes a crude style of painting practised by members of the DONKEY’S TAIL group. Mikhail Larionov, Natal’ya Goncharova, Kazimir Malevich and Shevchenko himself all adopted the style, which was based on the conventions of traditional Russian art forms such as the lubok, the icon and peasant arts and crafts. The term Neo-primitivism is now used to describe a general aspiration towards primitivism in the work of the wider Russian avant-garde during the period 1910–14. It embraces the work of such disparate painters as Chagall, David Burlyuk and Pavel Filonov, and poets such as Velimir Khlebnikov and Aleksey Kruchonykh.


Term used to describe a movement among certain French painters in the 1920s and 1930s, resulting in works of a poetic naturalist style. Among the main exponents were Maurice Asselin, Jean-Louis Boussingault, Maurice Brianchon, Charles Dufresne, André Dunoyer de Segonzac, Raymond-Jean Legueult (b 1898), Robert Lotiron (b 1886) and Luc-Albert Moreau; Dunoyer de Segonzac was the unofficial leader. Though there was no conscious grouping, various of these artists were associated in an informal way. Néo-Réalisme arose in reaction to modern movements such as Cubism and Surrealism, which were seen as breaking with the French tradition. Essentially it was a manifestation of the post-war ‘rappel ŕ l’ordre’, and the artists concerned attempted to steer a path between modernism and academicism. It placed primary emphasis on the study of reality and nature as ordinarily perceived, and its aesthetic was well summed up by Dunoyer de Segonzac’s statement (Jamot, p. 102):The search for originality at any price has led only to a terrible monotony. The world of illegibility, the lecture-picture and the puzzle-picture, which are a result of a decadent symbolism, is going to become dated...In actual fact the French tradition has been carried on quietly by Vuillard, Bonnard, Matisse and many others...There has been no break with the magnificent school which stretches from Jean Fouquet to Cézanne.Typical of the style is Dunoyer de Segonzac’s Church of Chaville (Winter) (1934–7; Paris, Mus. A. Mod. Ville Paris). Néo-Réalisme is not connected with the later movement Nouveau Réalisme.


British movement of the 1930s to early 1950s in painting, illustration, literature, film and theatre. Neo-Romantic artists focused on a personal, poetic vision of the landscape and on the vulnerable human body, in part as an insular response to the threat of invasion during World War II. Essentially Arcadian and with an emphasis on the individual, the Neo-Romantic vision fused the modernist idioms of Pablo Picasso, André Masson and Pavel Tchelitchew with Arthurian legend, the poetry of William Wordsworth (1770–1850) and the prints of William Blake and Samuel Palmer. Celebrated as modern yet essentially traditional, its linear, lyrical and poetic characteristics were thought to epitomize the northern spirit. Neo-Romanticism flourished in response to the wartime strictures, threat of aerial bombardment and post-war austerity of the 1940s, in an attempt to demonstrate the survival and freedom of expression of the nation’s spiritual life.

Nerdrum Odd (born April 8, 1944) is a Norwegian figurative painter. Nerdrum was born in Oslo and studied traditional classical painting in the Art Academy of Oslo and, with Joseph Beuys, at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He began to teach himself how to paint in a classical manner, putting himself in direct opposition to the art of his native Norway. Nerdrum devised a method of painting of mixing and grinding his own pigments, stretching his canvas and the working from live models. He had his first one-person gallery exhibition in New York at the Martina Hamilton Gallery in 1983. He is now living in Iceland. Nerdrum became a controversial artist, claiming among other things that his art should be understood as kitsch rather than art as such. "On Kitsch" is a manifesto composed by Nerdrum concerning his distinction between kitsch and art. Nerdrum divides his time between his home in Iceland and his farm in Norway.

Neroccio di Bartolomeo Landi (1447-1500). Italian painter and sculptor of the Sienese school, the pupil of Vecchietta. He worked for a time with his brother-in-law, Francesco di Giorgio. His paintings are religious or devotional, in the tradition of Simone Martini.

Nesterov Mikhail (b Ufa [now in Bashkirskaya Republic of Russia], 31 May 1862; d Moscow, 18 Oct 1942). Russian painter. From 1877 to 1881 and again from 1884 to 1886 he studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under the Realist painters Vasily Perov and Illarion Pryanishnikov. Between 1881 and 1884 he worked under Pavel Chistyakov (1832–1919) at the Academy of Arts, St Petersburg. At the estate of Savva Mamontov at Abramtsevo he met the most influential painters of the period, then at the epicentre of the development of Russian Art Nouveau. Nesterov sought to combine this style with a deep Orthodox belief; however, in his desire to revive religious art he was influenced more by French Symbolism, particularly by Bastien-Lepage, than by old Russian icon painting. All of Nesterov’s canvases are marked by a lyrical synthesis between the figures and their landscape surroundings, as in Hermit (1888–9; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.), which shows the stooped figure of an old man against a northern landscape of stunted trees and still water. The large oil painting Vision of Young Bartholomew (1889–90; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) depicts the legend of the childhood of the Russian saint Sergey of Radonezh. A monk appears to the young Bartholomew (the future St Sergius) and prophesies a glorious future for him. The simplified outlines and muted colours of the Abramtsevo landscape recall the works of the French artist Puvis de Chavannes, which Nesterov saw on a trip to Paris in 1889.

Neue Kunstlervereinigung Munchen [NKVM; Ger.: ‘New Artists Association of Munich’].

Organization founded as an independent exhibiting group to counteract the inability of both official outlets and the Munich Secession to accommodate avant-garde practice. It was established at the home of Marianne Werefkin, and was subsequently entered in the Munich Association’s Register on 22 March 1909. Vasily Kandinsky was elected president and Alexei Jawlenski vice-president; Alexander Kanoldt (1881–1939) was appointed secretary and Adolph Erbslöh (1881–1947) chairperson of the association’s exhibition committee. Gabriele Münter and Alfred Kubin offered their allegiance; other dedicated supporters included Heinrich Schnabel, Oscar Wittenstein and the Russian dancer Aleksandr Sakharov.

Neue Leben

[Ger.: ‘new life’]. Swiss group of artists active from 1918 to 1920. It was founded in Basle in 1918 and came to prominence primarily through four exhibitions of its members’ work: at the Kunsthalle in Basle (1918 and 1920), the Kunsthaus in Zurich (1919) and the Kunsthalle in Berne (1920). The driving force behind it was Fritz Baumann (1886–1942), a painter and teacher from Basle who before World War I returned to his native city having studied in Munich, Karlsruhe, Paris and Berlin (where he was a member of the circle associated with the magazine Der Sturm). With Arnold Brügger (1888–1975), Otto Morach (1887–1973), Niklaus Stoecklin (1896–1982) and Alexander Zschokke (1894–1981), he initiated a loose association of 44 known artists, women and men, of whom a considerable number worked in the arts and crafts. Lively contacts were established between Neue Leben and avant-garde artists living in exile in Switzerland, particularly the Dada group in Zurich, and also artists in Geneva and Ticino. Other prominent members were Hans Arp, Alice Bailly, Augusto Giacometti, Marcel Janco, Oscar Lüthi (1882–1945), Francis Picabia and Sophie Taeuber-Arp.

Neue Sachlichkeit, Die. *New Objectivity Neue Sezession. *Sezession

Neue Sachlichkeit [Ger.: ‘new objectivity’].

Term applied to the representative art that was developed in Germany in the 1920s by artists including MAX BECKMANN, OTTO DIX and GEORGE GROSZ. The term MAGIC REALISM is associated but not directly related to it. The use of ‘Neue Sachlichkeit’ may derive from the Dutch word zakelijkheid, which was used from c. 1900 to describe the work of such Dutch architects as H. P. Berlage; this was followed by nieuwe zakelijkheid used from 1923 to indicate the reaction against Expressionism in architecture. The political events in Europe and the general mood to which they gave rise influenced painting, design and photography (e.g. the work of ALBERT RENGER-PATSCH), as well as architecture. Despite the wide significance of objectivity at this time, the term applies primarily to a movement in German painting, and it is this with which this article is primarily concerned.


Name given to a group of Austrian artists formed in Vienna in 1909. They exhibited together at the Gustav Pisko Galerie, Vienna, in December 1909 as the Neukünstler. The application of the term Neukunst may have been influenced by Ludwig Hevesi’s book Altkunst–Neukunst (Vienna, 1909). Egon Schiele is credited with inventing the name ‘Neukünstler’. He was not only one of the exhibitors but also author of an untitled manifesto (published in Die Aktion, 1914) that demanded the complete independence of the artist from tradition, and that preached subjective creativity as an absolute: ‘The "Neukünstler" is and must be his unlimited self, he must be a creator, he must be able to build his foundations completely alone, directly, without all the past and the traditional.... Each one of us must be—himself’. The other artists who participated in the Neukunstler exhibition included Anton Faistauer (whose poster for the exhibition was derivative of Schiele), Franz Wiegele, Rudolf Kalvach, Albert Paris von Gutersloh and Hans Böhler (1884–1961). Like Schiele and Faistauer, Gütersloh was fascinated at that time by the gestural language of thin, young, male figures. Kalvach and Gutersloh, as far as can be seen from their few extant graphic works, shared a preference at the time of this exhibition for small-scale narratives similar to caricature.

Nevay Heather  was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 13th January 1965. She studied at Glasgow School of Art and graduated with BA Hons., Art and Design (Printed Textiles) in 1988. Heather exhibits regularly at the Compass Gallery and Cyril Gerber Fine Art, Glasgow, and the Portal Gallery, London. Heather has also exhibited many times in important mixed shows at The Royal Scottish Academy, The Society of Scottish Artists, The Royal Glasgow Institute, and at the London and Glasgow Art Fairs. Heather uses symbolism to express ideas of heroism, weakness, fear and the shifting balance of human relationships. Her paintings are mostly figurative with colour being an important element of her work.

Nevelson Louise (1900—88). Russian-born U.S. sculptor. From early affinities with *Constructivism and *Surrealism, she developed a unique personal idiom of wooden relief-like assemblages. Her characteristic works of the 1960s were large wooden structures, often occupying a whole wall, consisting of many compartments filled with carefully arranged found objects, usually sawn fragments of furniture or woodwork from old houses. These were then painted in flat, uniform colours, black or, later, white or gold. She also made similar structures, on a smaller scale, in aluminium and lucite, e.g. 'Transparent Sculpture VI (1967—8).

Nevinson Christopher Richard Wynne (1889-1946). British painter, who became associated with W. *Lewis and *Vorticism, under the influence of *Futurism. With *Marinetti, he published in 1914 Vital Unglish Art.

New Artists’ Society.

Bulgarian association of artists active from 1931 to after 1944. Founded in 1931 in Sofia, its objective was to unite artists with similar aesthetic viewpoints who espoused new trends in art in keeping with movements in western Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. Its members enriched Bulgarian art by creating works with a sophisticated approach to style, a purity of form and a stable internal structure. From 1931 to 1937 the Society participated in all the exhibitions of the various artists’ associations in Bulgaria. In 1934 it organized exhibitions in Sofia, Ruse and Zagreb, and in 1935 exhibitions of prints and drawings in Zagreb and Ljubljana and in Varna, Bulgaria. Although its first members worked primarily in a realistic manner, around 1936—when membership had grown to 55—other Bulgarian artists who had studied and worked in Paris, Munich and Vienna joined its ranks. Artists such as Alexandar Zhendov, BENCHO OBRESHKOV, Boris Eliseev, Vera Nedkova, David Perets, Eliezer Alshekh, IVAN NENOV, Kiril Petrov and KIRIL TSONEV contributed more modernist approaches, rejecting academic art, folkloric elements and especially the ideas of Socialist Realism put into practice by the founders of the Society. After 1944 the New Artists’ Society was absorbed by the Union of Bulgarian Artists . Many of those who had been members of the Society were declared ‘bourgeois artists’ by the Communist regime and were no longer able to take part in exhibitions; several, including Alshekh, Eliseev and Perets, emigrated.

New Brutalism.

Term coined by Peter Smithson in 1953 with reference to the design by Smithson and Alison Smithson for a school (completed 1954) at Hunstanton, Norfolk. It was intended as a counter to such terms as New Empiricism.

New Empiricism.

Term coined in the 1950s by the editors of the Architectural Review to describe the compromise between traditional and modern domestic architecture developed in war-time Sweden for large-scale social housing.

New English Art Club. Exhibiting society founded in 1886 as a protest against the R.A., by artists interested in reviving Naturalism. *Sickert and *Steer were among the original members, and they later became the *Camden Town Group. The Club's position as the leading progressive art exhibition was lost to the *London Croup, founded in 1913.

New Horizons [Heb. Ofakim Hadashim].

Israeli group of painters founded in 1948 around Yosseff Zaritsky after his dismissal from the chairmanship of the Israeli Association of Artists and Sculptors over his choice of artists for the Venice Biennale in that year. He and other founder-members such as Arie Aroch, Zvi Mairovich (1911–74), Yehezkel Streichman and Avigdor Stematsky, who first exhibited together in November 1948 at the Tel Aviv Museum, wished to free Israeli art from the Expressionist style and Jewish imagery and symbolism that it had inherited from the 1920s. Among the 30 painters contributing works to the first show were Marcel Janco, Yochanan Simon (1905–76) and Aharon Giladi (b 1907).

Newman Barnett (1905-70). U.S. painter, a founder of N.Y. *Abstract Expressionism. He-shared the group's interest in mythological themes, e.g. Pagan Void (1946). His 1st paintings of vertical elements, which characterize his mature work, were started in 1946. The work which best expressed his formal, spatial and mystical preoccupations of that period was Onement I (1948). Later vast canvases of saturated colour fields, inflected with vertical stripes or 'zips' with fragmented edges, present majestic colour-spatial experiences which create the impression of an opening in the picture plane. N. had a profound influence on younger painters of the 1960s. Examples include Vir Heroicus Sublimis (1951), Stations of the Cross (1965—6) and Jericho (1969).

New Objectivity (Ger. neue sachlichkeit). Term coined in 1923 by G. F. Hartlaub, director of the Kunsthalle, Mannheim, to describe the paintings of *Beckmann, *Dix and *Grosz. The term *'magic realism' was also used to describe the work of these artists. Clear, detailed, highly realistic, sometimes grotesque, satirical paintings and drawings, which express disillusionment and are a form of social realism, are characteristic of these artists, who reacted against the violent distortion of other Expressionists. An exhibition under this name was held in 1925.

New Realism. Name sometimes applied to the work of *Social Realist painters.
New Topographics.

Term first used by the American William Jenkins (1975 exh. cat.) to characterize the style of a number of young photographers he had chosen for the exhibition at the International Museum of Photography, Rochester, NY, in 1975. These photographers avoided the ‘subjective’ themes of beauty and emotion and shared an apparent disregard for traditional subject-matter. Instead they emphasized the ‘objective’ description of a location, showing a preference for landscape that included everyday features of industrial culture. This style, suggesting a tradition of documentary rather than formalist photography, is related to the idea of ‘social landscape’, which explores how man affects his natural environment. Jenkins traced the style back to several photographic series by Edward Ruscha in the early 1960s of urban subjects such as petrol stations and Los Angeles apartments.

New York Five.

Term applied in the late 1960s and early 1970s to five architects practising in New York—Peter D. Eisenman, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk and Richard Meier—whose work was the subject of an exhibition at MOMA, New York, in 1969 and subsequent publication Five Architects (1972). These architects were related at that time in their allegiance to the forms and theories developed by Le Corbusier in the 1920s and 1930s. This is most clearly seen in the work of Graves, Gwathmey and Meier, while Hejduk was also strongly affiliated with Synthetic Cubism and Constructivism, and Eisenman was deeply influenced by the work of the Italian Rationalist architect Giuseppe Terragni. Anticipating criticisms of this ‘Twenties Revivalism’, Colin Rowe challenged the idea of Modernism as the constant pursuit of originality by stating that the great revolutions in thought and form in the early 20th century were so ‘enormous as to impose a directive that cannot be resolved in any individual life span’ (Frampton and Rowe, 1972, p. 7). The most vehement critique of the work of the New York Five (referred to as the ‘Whites’) came in a group of essays, ‘Five on Five’ (1973), written by the architects Ronaldo Giurgola, Allan Greenberg (b 1938), Charles W. Moore, Jaquelin Robertson (b 1933) and Robert A. M. Stern (the ‘Grays’), whose theoretical affiliation was with Robert Venturi and Vincent Scully. Denying the existence of a ‘school’ and very anxious to nullify the possibility of Corbusian Modernism as a major tendency in the 1970s, they attacked the Five’s ‘lack of concern with siting’, the ‘unusability’ of their spaces and, particularly, their ‘élitism and hermeticism’—their treatment of architecture as ‘ "high art", divorcing it from day to day life’ (Robertson). The phenomenon of the New York Five is not to be seen as a school or movement but as a tendency signalling a deliberate reworking of early 20th-century Modernism in the face of a counter-tendency later defined as POST-MODERNISM. The work of the members of the New York Five subsequently developed in different directions.

New York school. The heterogeneous group of predominantly abstract painters who were centred in N.Y. after 1940. The powerful and original work, which came to dominate contemporary art internationally, was also called *Abstract Expressionism and * Action painting.

Niccolo dell' Abbate born c. 1512, , Modena, Duchy ofModena died 1571, Fontainebleau, Fr.
Abbate also spelled Abate painter of the Bolognese school who, along with others, introduced the post-Renaissance Italian style of painting known as Mannerism to France and helped to inspirethe French classical school of landscape painting. He began his career in Modena as a student of the sculptor Antonio Begarelli. His “Martyrdom ofSt. Peter and St. Paul” in the church of S. Pietro, Modena (1547), probably established his reputation. During his stay in Bologna (1548–52), his style matured, influenced by his contemporaries Correggio and Parmigianino. His stucco-surface landscapes in the Poggi (now Palazzo dell'Universitŕ) survive to show his understanding of nature. In 1552 Abbate was called to the court of the king of France, Henry II, at Fontainebleau, and remained in France for the rest of his life. With Francesco Primaticcio he composed immense murals, most of them later lost. His easel works, which included an enormous number of lyrical landscapes based upon pagan themes, were burned in 1643 by the Austrian regent, Anna. Among his later paintings executed for Charles IX were a series of landscapes with mythologies that influenced the 17th-century French painters Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. He also designed a series of tapestries, “Les Mois arabesques,” and some of his designs were adopted by the painted enamel industry of Limoges. His last works are believed to be 16 murals (1571) in which he was assisted by his son, Giulio Camillo. His work in Franceis recognized as a principal contribution to the first significant, wholly secular movement in French painting, the Fontainebleau style.

Nicolas de Bataille. The Apocalypse of Angers, France, 1373-1387

Nieuwe beelding [Dut. ‘new imagery’].

Term used by PIET MONDRIAN and other artists associated with DE STIJL in the 1910s and 1920s. The search for the ‘new imagery’ was characterized by the use of the most basic elements of image-making: straight lines (horizontal and vertical), the primary colours and rectangular forms. The theosophist M. H. J. Schoenmaekers also used the term in writing about his central concepts in Het nieuwe wereldbeeld (‘New world image’; 1915) and Beeldende wiskunde (‘Visual mathematics’; 1916). The two uses of nieuwe beelding are not, however, related.

Nikakai [Second Division Society].

Society of progressive Japanese artists. It was founded in 1914 by the painters Halentei Ishi, Shinto Yamashita and Honjiro Sakamoto, among others. The name is a reference to the divisions of Japanese government exhibitions, the First Division covering traditional work and the Second, the new school of art. Nikakai was seen as a breakaway movement from the official selection process. The first exhibition was held in 1914 with annual presentations thereafter. Sculpture was included from 1919. After World War II, exhibitions covered painting, sculpture, commercial art, photography and art theory.

Nitsch Herman (Austrian Painter, born in 1938). Performance Art.

Noble Brad. Surrealism.

Noguchi  Isamu (1904—89). U.S. sculptor. He studied with *Borglum and *Brancusi whose assistant he became in 1927. He was also influenced by *Calder, *Giacometti, *Miro and *Picasso in his Surrealist phase. In the 1930s N. was, with Calder, the most advanced sculptor working in the U.S.A.

Nok. Ancient culture of Central and N. Nigeria. Archaeological sites have yielded terracotta heads of which the earliest have been dated to the 2nd half of the 1st millennium BC. Among later art styles those of *Benin and *Ife are closest to N.

Nolde Emil (1867—1956). German *Expressionist painter. N. studied at Flensburg (1884-8), Karlsruhe (1889), and with Holzel at Dachau (1889). He moved to Munich с 1900 and was an invited member of the *Brucke group (1906—8). In Berlin (1910) he founded the revolutionary Neue *Sezession and was associated with the *Blaue Reiter, but remained a solitary individual in his work. His art had a strong folk-art background: he was only able to give all his time to painting through the financial success of his coloured postcards (painted с 1896-8) of peasant mythologies (mountain spirits, trolls, goblins, etc.); and this element of primitive imagery remained the basis of his work. His early admiration for Rembrandt, Goya and Daumier was replaced с 1905 by the influence of Van Gogh, Munch and Ensor (whom he met in 1911). His major religious paintings (c. 1909—15) were interspersed with paintings such as the Candle Dancers (1912) which in their emotional violence of colour and paint typify the sensual anti-intellectual character of Expressionism in its purest form.

Non-figurative. Abstract art in which no figures or recognizable motifs appear. It is a moot point whether geometric figures (triangles, circles) are figurative: the term usually refers to paintings in which not even these appear.

Nootka. North American Indian people of the *North-west Coast group, centred on Vancouver Island. The masterpiece of N. art is a painting on wood, some 10 ft (3 m.) long, depicting the myth of the abduction of the Killer Whale by the Lightning Snake and the Thunder Bird.

Northern school. *Chinese art

North-west Coast Indians. Collective term for a group of American Indian peoples living in a coastal and island zone stretching from S. Alaska to Washington. Their ancient artistic tradition, of which the earliest examples are carvings m stone, is noted for painted wood carvings — masks, ceremonial rattles and whistles, totemic structures and decorated utensils. They also built wooden houses and vast ocean-going canoes. Principal members of the group are: the *Haida, Kwakiutl, *Nootka and Tlingjt. The N. C. T. are also famous for the potlatch, a ceremonial connected with status, which involved the competitive distribution of wealth, generally blankets, and sometimes the destruction, or sinking at sea, of immensely treasured 'coppers', shield-like objects made of copper. As an economic mechanism the potlatch redistributed surplus wealth and gave it a social function.

Norwich school. English regional school of landscape painting, the only local school in English art history which is comparable with the earlier Italian schools. Its leaders were *Crome and *Cotman, and it flourished from 1803 (when Crome founded the Norwich Society of Artists) until f. 1830. Minor artists included J. B. Crome (1794-1842), J. S. Stannard (1797-1830), G. Vincent (1796-1831).


Cultural movement that influenced all areas of artistic activity in Catalonia between 1908 and 1923. The term was coined by the philosopher EUGENIO D’ORS, who used it to refer to a new ‘20th-century’ spirit that he perceived in Catalan art at the beginning of the century. In a series of articles in periodicals d’Ors qualified as Noucentistes those artists and writers whose work in his opinion was characterized by a new sensibility, and the designation was established in 1911 with the publication of the Almanac dels Noucentistes, a collection of drawings and poems that had in common a reversion to classicism, a particular interest in urban life and a special concern for the determining aspects of private life. Noucentisme was influential in Catalan art for more than two decades and constituted a parallel movement to that of avant-garde art, towards which, however, it showed only a detached curiosity. Noucentisme encouraged a return to order and normality after the radicalism, bohemianism and individualism that had characterized some of the major figures of modernism. Among painters, its leading exponents were JOAQUÍM SUNYER, Jaume Mercadé (1887–1967), Francesc Galí (1880–1965) and (in their early work) Josep Torres García (1874–1949) and JOAN MIRÓ, while in sculpture the leading figures were ARISTIDE MAILLOL, MANOLO, JOSEP CLARŔ, Fidel Aguilar and, to some extent, PABLO GARGALLO. In architecture, the classicizing aspects of the Vienna Secession influenced Rafael Massó and Joseph Maria Pericas, while a stricter classicism marked the work of Adolf Florensa (1889–1968), Francesc Folquera (1891–1960), the brothers Ramón (1887–1935) and Josep (1886–1937) Puig Gairalt and Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí (1891–1981). Other influences derived from Modernisme, the Catalan version of Art Nouveau, were introduced by such architects as J. PUIG I CADAFALCH and J. Torres Grau (1879–1945). Noucentisme also inspired the foundation of such cultural institutions as the Universitat Industrial, the Escola Nova, the Bernat Metge Foundation (for the translation into Catalan of Greek and Latin classics) and the Institut d’Estudis Catalans.

Nouveau realisme (Fr. New Realism). Term coined by the French art critic Pierre Restany in a manifesto published in 1960. He used it to characterize a group of French artists, among them *Tinguely, *Klein and *Arman, who were rejecting the free abstraction of the period in order to make use of existing objects, particularly found material from the urban environment. *assemblage, *decollage, *Rotella, *Villegle, *Hains and *Vostell.
Nouveau Realisme. Movement of French and other European artists announced by the publication in Paris of a short manifesto of 27 October 1960, drawn up by the French critic Pierre Restany (b 1930) and signed by the original Nouveaux Réalistes. These were Arman, the French artist François Dufręne (1930–82), Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and the French artist Jacques de la Villeglé (b 1926).
Nouvelle Tendance.

Title of a series of exhibitions held in Europe in the 1960s. The first of these, a result of the initiative of the Yugoslav critic Matko Mestrovic, took place at the Galerija Suvremene Umjetnosti in Zagreb in 1961, under the title Nove Tendencije, and brought to light the common bond among young contemporary artists working broadly within the Constructivist tradition in Eastern and Western Europe. For the first time since the 1920s there was a widely based movement transcending national frontiers, which was working to counter romantic and individualistic notions of artistic practice, and place the scientific notion of ‘research’ in the foreground. Among the artists contributing to this first exhibition were the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel of Paris, Gruppo N of Padua and Gruppo T, which comprised an international cross-section of artists including Gerhard von Graevenitz from the Netherlands and Richard Lippold from the USA.


Term used to describe the work of a group of young architects in Milan after World War I who responded to the post-war ‘call to order’. The four original collaborators were GIOVANNI MUZIO, Mino Fiocchi (1893–1983), Emilio Lancia (1890–1973) and GIO PONTI, joined later by Aldo Andreani (1887–1971), GIUSEPPE DE FINETTI, Gigiotto Zanini, Piero Portaluppi (1888–1976), Pino Pizzigoni (1901–67) and others. Inspired by Milanese Neo-classicism, they proposed an architecture that would be recognizably Italian, although more disciplined than fin-de-sičcle Italian eclecticism. Their ideas were linked with the aims of metaphysical painters such as Giorgio de Chirico. Thus, unlike the Futurists, they favoured the symbolic use of historic elements, while admitting new concepts in spatial design and building technology at a practical level, although not as generators of form. Ideologically moderate, the protagonists of Novecentismo expressed themselves through buildings rather than the written or spoken word. Muzio was the most important and prolific of the Novecentismo architects, and his oeuvre characterizes the development of the movement.

Novecento Italiano. An association of Italian artists founded m 1922. Its aim was to revive the large-scale figurative 'Neoclassical' composition, and to some extent it became associated with Fascism.
Novecento Italiano. Italian artistic movement. It grew out of an association of seven artists at the Galleria Pesaro in Milan in 1922, who were brought together by a post-war European tendency of a ‘call to order’: Anselmo Bucci (1887–1955), Leonardo Dudreville (1885–1975), Achille Funi, Gian Emilio Malerba (1880–1926), Piero Marussig, Ubaldo Oppi and Mario Sironi. Together with their leader, Margherita Sarfatti, writer and art critic for Mussolini’s newspaper, the Popolo d’Italia, they aimed to promote a renewed yet traditional Italian art. Bucci suggested the name Novecento, which identified the group with a series of illustrious epochs (Quattrocento, Cinquecento) in Italian art history, each with specific stylistic connotations. The choice was not entirely presumptuous, despite the fact that the 20th century had barely begun, for the group represented a vote of confidence in their times and linked the great art of the past to their own.
November Group.

Finnish group of painters who first exhibited in November 1917. Though the two groups co-existed for some time, the November Group was effectively the successor to the SEPTEM GROUP, representing a nationalist Expressionist art in contrast to the international Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist art of the latter. Its leader was Tyko Konstantin Sallinen, and other members included Marcus Collin (1882–1966), Alvar Cawén (1886–1935), Jalmari Ruokokoski (1886–1936) and William Lönnberg (1887–1949). The group exhibited between 1917 and 1924, though even before this, largely through the impact of Sallinen’s work, Expressionism had become established in Finnish art.

Novembergruppe. A movement, formed in Berlin in 1918, of Expressionist artists, writers and architects, the leaders being M. Pechstein and Cesar Klein, who were soon joined by the Berlin *Dadaists. Their aim was the unity of the arts, architecture and city planning in the socialist state. They sponsored publications, composers, radio broadcasts and abstract film experiments (1920 and 1921 by Viking Eggeling and H. Richter). Many of their aims were incorporated into the programme of the Weimar *Bauhaus.


Group of German artists named after the German Revolution of November 1918, founded in Berlin on 3 December 1918 and active until 1932. In the wake of World War I and the German Revolution, a number of Expressionist artists including Max Pechstein and César Klein invited all the ‘revolutionaries in spirit (Expressionists, Cubists, Futurists)’ to form an association of ‘radical creative artists’. Their intention was not to form an exhibition society but to influence and demand participation in all activities of importance to the arts and to artists: in architecture as a public affair; in the reorganization of art schools; in the restructuring of museums; in new exhibition spaces; and in new laws to protect the arts and artists. A hope for a new and better society, a tendency towards socialism and a belief that the arts would be able to change society formed the Expressionist basis for the association.

Nul [Dut.: ‘Zero’].

Group of Dutch artists founded at the end of 1960 by Armando, Jan Henderikse (b 1937), Henk Peeters (b 1925) and Jan Schoonhoven as a continuation of the Informele Groep to which the same artists had belonged with Kees van Bohemen (1928–85). It was named after its German counterpart, the ZERO group, whose members Peeters met in 1960 and with whom Nul exhibited frequently. The exhibition Monochrome Malerei (1960; Leverkusen, Schloss Morsbroich) played a part in the birth of Nul. The group was a reaction against the expressionism of the 1950s. The artists turned against the expression of emotion through painterly means. In place came an attempt to represent space by means of uniform monochrome fields of colour, as seen in the work of Yves Klein, whom Peeters had met in 1960, and to manifest rational arrangement by composing objects and materials in series. A work of art was not allowed to be an illusionistic representation of reality but should be a reality itself. This is evident from the actual works: Armando’s nuts and bolts welded on to plates, inspired by the welding techniques in shipbuilding; the changing light and shadow play in the white reliefs of Jan Schoonhoven; the series of objets trouvés by Henderikse; the smoke-paintings of rain, snow and fog by Peeters.

Nuraghic culture. Bronze age culture of Sardinia (1500—1100 вс), so named from the fortified towers (nuraghi) of the period. N. c. is particularly noted for primitive and stylized bronze statuettes.

Nuzi Allegretto. (di Nuzio) (1315/20-73). Italian painter working at Florence. He was affected by the Sienese school as well as by the work of Giotto. A. signed many of his pictures in full, which was unusual in the 14th с.



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