• Adolf Behne

    Adolf Behne was a critic, art historian, architectural writer, and artistic activist. He was one of the leaders of the Avant Garde in the Weimar Republic.Behne was born in Magdeburg and studied architecture briefly, then the history of art in Berlin. He joined the Deutscher Werkbund and was a guiding light of the Arbeitsrat für Kunst in 1918. In a 1913 critique of Bruno Taut, Behne helped coin the term "Expressionist architecture", and soon became one of the leading promoters of expressionism. He was close to the members of the Magdeburg artist collective 'The ball' and demanded the creation of a new closeness between art and architecture. He was influenced by the writings of Jakob von Uexküll. He taught at the University of Berlin until 1933. Between 1945 and 1948 he was a professor at the National University for Fine Arts, (Staatlichen Hochschule für Bildende Kunst Berlin) and belonged to…

  • Aleksei Gan

    Russian theorist and designer. In 1918–20 he was head of the section of mass performances and spectacles of the theatrical department of Narkompros, and he made a radical proposal for the entire population of Moscow to enact the May Day spectacle ‘The Communist City of the Future’ (1920). This ‘mass action’ activity presaged the anti-aesthetic stance that was to characterize Gan’s approach. Through his co-founding with Varvara Stepanova and Aleksandr Rodchenko of the First Working Group of Constructivists (1921–4), and his publication of Constructivist principles in his book Konstruktivizm (1922), Gan played a leading role in the development of the Constructivist aesthetic. In his interpretation of Constructivism, which he saw as the creative counterpart to the socio-political tasks of the Revolution, Gan called for creative activity to be politicized to the maximum and for its artistic component to be minimized. His slogans included ‘we declare uncompromising war on art’ and…

  • Alexander Rodchenko

    Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko was a Russian artist, sculptor, photographer and graphic designer. He was one of the founders of constructivism and Russian design; he was married to the artist Varvara Stepanova.Rodchenko was one of the most versatile Constructivist and Productivist artists to emerge after the Russian Revolution. He worked as a painter and graphic designer before turning to photomontage and photography. His photography was socially engaged, formally innovative, and opposed to a painterly aesthetic. Concerned with the need for analytical-documentary photo series, he often shot his subjects from odd angles—usually high above or down below—to shock the viewer and to postpone recognition. He wrote: "One has to take several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole again and again." Rodchenko was born in St. Petersburg to a working-class…

  • Bart Anthony van der…

    Bart van der Leck was a Dutch painter, designer, and ceramacist. With Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian he founded the De Stijl art movement.Son of a house painter, he started his career learning how to make stained glass in a shop in Utrecht. An example of his later stained glass work is in the Kröller-Müller Museum in Hoge Veluwe, Netherlands. After having met Mondrian and van Doesburg and having founded the Stijl movement with them, his style became completely abstract, as did Mondrian's. But after disagreements with Mondrian his abstract style became based on representational images. His painting Tryptich is an example, in which he transformed sketches of a mine in Spain into seemingly abstract shapes. In 1919-1920 he created the interior design for St Hubertus Hunting Lodge, in the Hoge Veluwe estate. The hunting lodge was designed by Hendrik Petrus Berlage. In 1930, he was commissioned by Jo…

  • Gerrit Rietveld

    Gerrit Thomas Rietveld was a Dutch furniture designer and architect. One of the principal members of the Dutch artistic movement called De Stijl, Rietveld is famous for his Red and Blue Chair and for the Rietveld Schröder House, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Rietveld was born in Utrecht in 1888 as the son of a joiner. He left school at 11 to be apprenticed to his father and enrolled at night school before working as a draughtsman for C. J. Begeer, a jeweller in Utrecht, from 1906 to 1911. By the time he opened his own furniture workshop in 1917, Rietveld had taught himself drawing, painting and model-making. He afterwards set up in business as a cabinet-maker. Rietveld designed his famous Red and Blue Chair in 1917. Hoping that much of his furniture would eventually be mass-produced rather than handcrafted, Rietveld aimed for simplicity in construction. In 1918, he…

A rebus is an allusional device that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words. It was a favourite form of heraldic expression used in the Middle Ages to denote surnames, for example in its basic form three salmon fish to denote the name "Salmon". A more sophisticated example was the rebus of Bishop Walter Lyhart of Norwich, consisting of a stag (or hart) lying down in a conventional representation of water. The composition alludes to the name, profession or personal characteristics of the bearer, and speaks to the beholder Non verbis, sed rebus, which Latin expression signifies "not by words but by things" (res, rei (f), a thing, object, matter; rebus being ablative plural).

Rebuses are used extensively as a form of heraldic expression as a hint to the name of the bearer; they are not synonymous with canting arms. A man might have a rebus as a personal identification device entirely separate from his armorials, canting or otherwise. For example, Sir Richard Weston (d.1541) bore as arms: Ermine, on a chief azure five bezants, whilst his rebus, displayed many times in terracotta plaques on the walls of his mansion Sutton Place, Surrey, was a "tun" or barrel, used to designate the last syllable of his surname. An example of canting arms proper are those of the Borough of Congleton in Cheshire consisting of a conger eel, a lion (in Latin, leo) and a tun (another word for a barrel). This word sequence "conger-leo-tun" enunciates the town's name. Similarly, the coat of arms of St. Ignatius Loyola contains wolves (in Spanish, lobo) and a kettle (olla), said by some (probably incorrectly) to be a rebus for "Loyola".



The term rebus also refers to the use of a pictogram to represent a syllabic sound. This adapts pictograms into phonograms. A precursor to the development of the alphabet, this process represents one of the most important developments of writing. Fully developed hieroglyphs read in rebus fashion were in use at Abydos in Egypt as early as 3400 BCE.

 



The writing of correspondence in rebus form became popular in the 18th century and continued into the 19th century. Lewis Carroll wrote the children he befriended picture-puzzle rebus letters, nonsense letters, and looking-glass letters, which had to be held in front of a mirror to be read. Rebus letters served either as a sort of code or simply as a pastime.