Silvie Defraoui

1935 · Switzerland

Artist biography

Silvie Defraoui is an established contemporary artist, who was born in Switzerland, like other famous artists such as Giacometti,, Ernesto Schiess, Aubry / Broquard, David Weiss, and Andrew Dolling. Silvie Defraoui was born in 1935.

Historical Context of Switzerland

Perhaps the most significant Swiss contribution to the development of Modernism was the formation of the Dada movement in Zurich in 1916. Its founding members included Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Jean Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Emmy Hennings, and Marcel Janco. Their headquarters, the Cabaret Voltaire, quickly became an vital centre of the artistic and intellectual avant-garde, with the political neutrality Switzerland being a shelter from political instability elsewhere in Europe. Prior to that, Switzerland had originated some quirky and distinctive artists in the Post-Impressionist span of the early twentieth century, including Ferdinand Hodler and Felix Vallotton. Another major movement that can be connected to a Swiss artist was the ‘International Style’ of modernist architecture, pioneered by Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier may have become a French citizen in 1930, but he was born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret in the Neuchâtel canton of Switzerland in 1887. Indeed, his first independent projects were executed in his hometown of La Chaux-de-Fonds, including proto modern domestic villas for affluent local clients. Important Swiss artists of the twentieth century include Jean Tingely, Alberto Giacometti, John Armleder, Pipilotti Rist and Thomas Hirschhorn.

Further Biographical Context for Silvie Defraoui

Born in 1935, Silvie Defraoui's creative work was predominantly influenced by the 1950s. The 1950s can be said to have been dominated by Abstract Expressionism, a form of painting that prioritised expressive brushstrokes and expressed ideas about organic nature, spirituality and the sublime. Much of the focus was on the formal properties of painting, and ideas of action painting were unified with the political freedom of the United States society as opposed to the strict nature of the Soviet bloc. Important artists of the Abstract Expressionist Generation included Jackson Pollock (who innovated his famed drip, splatter and pour painting techniques), Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Frank Kline, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still and Adolph Gottlieb. It was a male dominated environment, though necessary reassessment of this period has emphasised the contributions of female artists such as Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Louise Bourgeois, amongst others.

Silvie Defraoui

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