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Alice Aycock (1946)

1983, Just 3 years after i started my career at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, the museum made an exhibition with Alice Aycock. Within the Schamhart buidling the complete floor was covered with large kinetic sculptures by Aycock and at that time i could not appreciate them at all. Now 35 year later i wished i had the same knowledge at that time that i have know, because recently i leafed through the catalogue and it struck met that these works were not only great in dimensions, but even after 35 years fascinating. Where Tinguely made his kinetic sculptures in the Sixties. Aycock made them in much more modern and industrialized/high tech versions in the Eighties and after. Alice Aycock has received international fame with her sculptures.

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What remains to me is a wonderful catalogue ( available at www.ftn-books.com) and the memory of meeting a great artist and beautiful woman back in 1983.

To give an impression of her more recent works here is a video on her 2010 presentation:

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Ana Juan (1961)

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A combination of illustration and serious art is the art by Ana Juan. I stumbled upon her works some 20 years ago when within the same series as

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Joost Swarte’s Articulado was published, a beautiful book by Ana Juan was published.

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The book also with a thin wood cover impressed me so much that from that date on i followed her progression in art.

A second copy of the book is now available at www.ftn-books.com and you can see for yourself why i was so impressed , because the internet site at :

http://anajuan.net/ana-juan-mainmenu/

is well worth visiting. Here is the information Wikipedia has on her

After graduating in fine arts from Universidad Politécnica in Valencia (1982), she moved to Madrid at the height of the movida madrileña and in the early 1980s she collaborated with magazines such as La Luna and Madriz (where “for the first seven months of the magazine’s life, [she] was the only regular female artist” and for which “she authored seventeen comic book works” and illustrated many scripts for other artists).

In 1991 she temporarily moved to Paris and exhibited in Geneva and New York; in 1994 she received a fellowship by the Japanese publishing house Kodansha and lived in Japan for three months.

Back in Madrid, in 1995 she started contributing to The New Yorker, for which she has designed more than 20 covers over the years,[3] among which “Solidarité”, after the Charlie Hébdo shooting in Paris.

In 1998 and 1999 she was awarded the Gold Medal (category: Illustration) by the Society of Newspaper Design and on September 24, 2010 she was awarded the “Premio Nacional de Ilustración” by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

She currently creates her own books (texts and illustrations), exhibits her work all over the world (Spain, Mexico, Japan, Italy…) and contributes to many Spanish and international magazines. She has also illustrated many Isabel Allende’s book covers for Plaza e Janés (Penguin Random House), among which Retrato en Sepia, Eva Luna, El cuaderno de Maya, Of Love and Shadows, and is one of the very few artists who was allowed by the author himself to illustrate a book by Stephen King, namely The Man in the Black Suit (El hombre del traje negro, Nórdica Libros, 2017).

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Alberto Vargas (1896-1982)

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I consider Alberto Vargas ( born in Peru) as the most original and technically accomplished pin-up artist ever. Of course, France has known some great pin-up artist like Aslan was one of them, The US brought us Elvgren and the more modern Olivia de Barardinis, but for me personally Alberto Vargas is the very best. His style is recognizable, his models are exquisite and his art has always a personal note.

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He started making Pin Up drawings in the early 20’s and kept producing new Pin-Ups  until his early Eighties. Many of them appeared in Playboy magazine and the 60’s Playboy magazines contained each month a new Vargas drawing. The magazines edition rose to an enormous 7 million each month but now has fallen to 800.000.

7 million readers ( viewers) each month meant his name as a gifted (pin-up) artist spread rapidly and original drawings fetched high prices at auction. Prices have fallen a little since these GOLDEN VARGAS DAYS, but a good drawing still fetches  usd. 20K+

Artistically Vargas is for sure not the most important and ground breaking artist, but his drawings have a great appeal and are technically brilliant pieces of art.

www.ftn-books.com has some Vargas titles available

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Albert Gleizes (1881-1953)

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A misunderstanding from my part is that i always thought Gleizes to be a Suisse artist, but he isn’t, he is French and that places his works among other French Cubist artist to compare. So not Hodler was the greatest influence on his works, it is that what i thought to be true, but far more other contemporaries from the French art scene like Metzinger, Delaunay and Le Fauconier, who were his sparring partners in art. Self proclaimed founder of Cubism his works are among the best cubist works i know of and these art works build a bridge into the art of the Bauhaus that was more than interested in the ideas by Gleizes. Gleizes has not become the great name in art you should have expected, but became a “niche” artist, who received some special exhibitions in the Netherlands in the last few decades. Not the grand scale exhibitions you would expect with such an important artist. Maybe the future will bring the recognition Gleizes deserves but for the meantime you have only some nice exhibition catalogues which are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Fons Haagmans (1948)

Yesterday i wrote about Fons Haagmans and that he reminded me of Richard Artschwager…..why?…. i stil do not know, because when your really compare and study both, there are so many differences to be discovered, but at a glance i still say… they  belong to the same family.

For me Fons Haagmans stands for two things. His catalogues published belong to the best dutch art catalogues published over the last 25 years and he is a typical artist of the south. Born and still living in Limburg, in the south of the Netherlands, he had his most important exhibitions at the Bonnefanten museum ( Maastricht) which catalogues are available at www.ftn-books.com

His art is something special and his works ( beside they are related to Artschwager ;-)) are strongly graphical and have a signature of their own.

nature, Letters/ fonts and numbers are a constant source of inspiration and worked out into joyful , intriguing works of art.

While studying some pictures of Haagmans i noticed some similarities with other artists:

left Fons Haagmans and on the right Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita (1928):

and left Fons Haagmans and on the right Julie de Graag( ca. 1915)