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Jan van den Broek (1937-1991)

Jan van den Broek, also known as Jan Karel van den Broek, was a Dutch painter and photographer, whose work was mostly non-representational……..

This is all the information i found on this dutch artist. Based in Rotterdam he showed his works on several exhibitions at Galerie Delta . Delta is arguably one of the best dutch galeries from the Sixcties and Seventies so i value their judgement on the quality of the artist, but it is hard to find information ( btw. Delta catalogue from 1970 is now available)

From what i have seen his art resembles in some ways Francis Bacon his large paintings, but they also have a Seventies touch and feel in them. it is a pity that i do not have more info, but i will keep this artist in mind since his work intrigues and as soon as i have more info i will share this.

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Judith Cowan (1954)

Judith Cowan

Artist in various media, and teacher, born in London. She did a foundation course at Bristol College of Art, 1973–4, followed by Sheffield College of Art, 1974–7, then Chelsea School of Art, 1977–8. She was a Gulbenkian Rome Scholar, attending British School there in 1978–9. From 1979 taught at various art schools and was a sessional lecturer at Reading University. Her exhibitions included Northern Young Contemporaries, at Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, from 1975, being a prizewinner in 1977; Rassegna Internazionale di Scultura Contemporanea, San Marino, Italy, 1979, where she was a prizewinner; and Woodlands Art Gallery touring show, 1981–2, of Greater London Arts Association award winners. Had a solo show at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, 1996, of sculpture and photosculpture.Arts Council holds her work.

http://www.ftn-books.co has currently the Miscetti/Roma exhibition catalogeu available,

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Luis Gordillo (1934)

Luis Gordillo

the following text was found on the artetc.nl site.

Luis Gordillo was born in Seville in 1934. As a painter he rebelled against the prevailing informal art of the 1950s, and as such he is today regarded as the pioneer of figuration and Pop Art in Spanish art of the 1960s.

Gordillo began law school in his youth, but soon discovered that he was more interested in art. He enrolled at the Escuela de Bellas Artes. In 1958 he traveled to Paris and became acquainted with the work of Jean Fautrier (1898-1964) and Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985). During this period, he still followed the aesthetics of Art Autre and Dau al Set, as shown at his first exhibition in 1959 in Seville.

After a new visit to the French capital, he created the Cabezas and Automovilistas series, underscoring the influence of Francis Bacon and the American Pop Art movement. With his new approach to figuration, he became the first true Spanish pop artist. He ironizes, among other things, the rise of the mass media.

Not long after, he transfers his experiences with psychoanalysis to his work, opening new avenues. He even temporarily left painting to devote himself entirely to his so-called dibujos automáticos, drawings that were put on paper in one line. In 1971 they were exhibited in Madrid. This exhibition has been of great importance to a new generation of young artists, who represented the movement of the Madrid figuration.

In the 1970s, Gordillo transfers the technique of his dibujos automáticos to linen, making use of color as well. Between 1980 and 1990, however, his theme changes. His pallet is also getting cooler. He ends up between his earlier figuration and a postmodern abstraction.

In 1981, Gordillo received the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas in his native country.

www.ftn-books.com has the Marlborough Madrid catalogue now available.

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William H. Johnson (1901-1970)

William H. Johnson

William Henry Johnson was an African American expressionist painter.  He was born on March 18, 1901 in Florence, South Carolina to mother Alice Smoot Johnson (known as “Mom Alice” or “Aunt Alice”) and father Henry Johnson.  William H. Johnson was the oldest of five children: Lacy, Lucy, James, and Lillian. Johnson spent his childhood helping out his family, finding a joy for painting, and attending rural grade schools in Florence.

At age 17 Johnson moved to New York where he worked as a cook, hotel porter, and stevedore.  In September 1921 he enrolled at the School of the National Academy of Design (NAD). Between 1923 and 1926 during the academic year he studied with Charles W. Hawthorne at the NAD and during the summers at The Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

In 1926 Johnson moved to Paris, France to study art.  He worked as a custodian to earn extra money.  Over the next few years he traveled and held exhibits in France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium.  In 1930 Johnson married Danish textile artist Holcha Krake.  Johnson and his wife lived and worked in countries throughout Europe and in 1932, the couple arrived in Tunisia where Johnson hoped to connect to his African heritage. After a three-month stay they returned to Denmark via France.  During the next couple of years the Johnsons visited Norway and Sweden where they continued to exhibit their art.

After sensing danger from the approaching war in Europe, in 1938 the Johnsons arrived in New York.  William H. Johnson taught painting for a short period of time at the Harlem Community Art Center.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art included his work of black soldiers in its 1942 exhibit Artists for Victory.  In 1943 Johnson’s wife Holcha was diagnosed with breast cancer and died the following year.  From 1944 to 1946 Johnson worked as laborer in the Navy Yards in New York.  He went to Denmark in 1946 with all of his and Holcha’s possessions and for a few months he stayed with the Krake family. After the police picked him up for vagrancy and he was diagnosed with syphilis-induced paresis he was sent back to New York and was admitted to Central Islip State Hospital in 1947 where he spent the rest of the life.

New York lawyer Sol Romaner became Johnson’s guardian in 1948.  Romaner arranged for Johnson’s works to be taken from storage and in 1955, Johnson’s artwork was transferred to the Harmon Foundation which in turn donated Johnson’s works to relatives, friends, museums, and foundations.  Johnson’s paintings are in the collections of numerous museums, including the National Museum of American Art, a branch of the Smithsonian Institution.  William H. Johnson died on April 13, 1970 of acute pancreatitis.

http://www.ftn-books.com has the important South African 1972 catalogue available that recognizes the importance of this African American painter.


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The dutch adventures of Keith Haring

A fascinating story on Keith Haring and his dutch adventures i encountered on the site of the Stedelijk Museum.

here is the beginning:

“You feel the deal is real You’re a New York City boy So young, so run into New York City/ New York City boy you’ll never have a bored day ‘cause you’re a New York City boy”— (Chris Lowe/David Morales/Neil Tennant: ‘New York City Boy;’ Pet Shop Boys, 1999)

When he comes to Amsterdam for his first museum solo in the spring of 1986, the American artist Keith Haring (27) doesn’t spend all his time at the Stedelijk – he goes out, to into the city. Haring, a former art school student, began by making chalk drawings on empty advertising signs in the New York subway. His drawings were seen and appreciated, and even collected. Teenagers adore him. Haring’s vibrant bouncy figures are a perfect match with hip-hop street culture. So, when Wim Beeren (58), appointed director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1985, stages a major show of Haring’s work, it turns out to be a good move.

After his European debut in Rotterdam (1982), Haring becomes an overnight sensation following an exhibition at Tony Shafrazi in New York, later that year. By showing Haring’s work, Beeren brings youth street culture into the Stedelijk. Things were very different under the directorate of his predecessor, Edy de Wilde. Haring achieves his much-coveted museum status, but loses none of his street credibility. He won’t compromise – for anyone or anything.

Outside and inside the Stedelijk, Haring spray-paints a velum, a woven canopy that filters daylight, and creates an equally monumental wall painting using paintbrush and ink. With the help of a hydraulic platform, he energetically paints a mural on the exterior of the Stedelijk’s storage depot at the Markthallen. Keith’s a social being who lives to share his work with everyone. During the Kunstkijkuren at the Stedelijk, he makes a large wall drawing in the museum with a class of 12-year-old kids from Amsterdam. Relaxed, open, no airs and graces. But in the mid-eighties, a global economic crisis strikes, and causes a rift between the established and alternative art scene. Up to then, artists who sell poorly, or are just starting to develop their career, have been entitled to social benefits. But now, the Dutch government brings the scheme to an end. And people are angry.

In this climate of austerity, Dutch art critics have little sympathy for the Haring exhibition. They accuse him of superficial opportunism. Unlike the masses of visitors who flock to the show, they don’t think much of the radical, fresh visual language Haring uses to address gay culture, AIDS, Apartheid and environmental issues. The alternative art circuit, from which Haring emerged in New York, think that he’s betrayed his roots by associating with art capitalism. The theft of a homo-erotic drawing during the opening, followed by blackmail from artists in the squatters’ scene, put Beeren and Haring in a tight spot. Who could have anticipated that taking art off the streets and bringing it into the museum would precipitate such outrage?

The complete story can be read inclusing many documentary pictures at :

https://www.stedelijk.nl/en/digdeeper/dutch-adventures-keith-haring

for Keith HAring publication visit www.ftn-books.com

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Annie Pootoogook (1969-2016)

Annie Pootoogook

Recently i bought a small booklet published the Power Plant in 2006 it shows some powerful , cartoon like drawings. Drawings that tell personal stories of Annie Pootoogook. ( book available at www.ftn-books.com)

Annie Pootoogook was born in 1969 in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. She began drawing in 1997 and although she did most of her work at home she was a steady presence at the Kinngait studios during the early part of her career. Annie was a member of an extraordinary artistic family. Her father, Eegyvadluk, was a talented carver and one of the first stonecut printmakers in the studios in Cape Dorset. Her mother, Napachie was a committed graphic artist and long-time contributor to the annual print collections. Her grandmother, Pitseolak Ashoona, was one of the first to experiment with the new medium of drawing during the transition years when Inuit were leaving their traditional camps and moving to permanent settlements in the Canadian Arctic. Pitseolak and Napachie went on to become two of the most prolific and highly respected Inuit graphic artists of their respective generations.

Playing Nintendo

Annie Pootoogook was an instinctive chronicler of her times. She shared this sensibility with her mother and her grandmother, both of whom used their drawings to share their way of life with an outside audience. Annie’s drawings reflected her experience as a contemporary female artist living and working in the changing milieu of Canada’s far north. Although firmly rooted to the specifics of her time and place, she managed to transcend cultural boundaries and present the details of her everyday life in an engaging way, inviting the viewer into both her public and private worlds. From the apparently mundane (the line-up for the ATM machine at the Co-op store, watching television with her family) to the personal and intimate (her experience with spousal abuse, the loss of her mother) Annie expressed a wide range of content and emotions.

Annie had her first one person show in 2002 and was represented in several successful exhibitions during her career. She spent the summer of 2006 in Dufftown, Scotland where she was artist-in-residence at the Glenfiddich Distillery “Spirit off Creativity” program. Following a solo show at the The Power Plant gallery in Toronto, she went on to win the prestigious Sobey Arts Award in October and subsequently went on to exhibit at the Basel Art Fair and Documenta 12 in Kassel Germany. Her drawings are in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Toronto and several other notable institutions. Annie was the subject of a critically acclaimed documentary film by Site Media and her work has been shown in numerous public galleries in Canada and around the world.

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ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum

ARoS

The following video was shared on Facebook by Sigrid Calon and it feels exactly why this is so special. An absolute must see when you are in Denmark. http://www.ftn-books.com has not many but still some books on the museum collection in its collection.

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Aldona Gustas (1932)

Aldona Gustas

Aldona Gustas is a Lithuanian-born German writer and graphic artist and a formative figure in the independent West Berlin art and cultural scene in the post-war period.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, Aldona Gustas became friends with artistic personalities such as Günter Grass, Günter Bruno Fuchs and Robert Wolfgang Schnell. These contacts and her own interest in combining literature and painting led her to found the Berlin Painting Poets in 1972.  For the group of 14 painting writers and writing painters, she curated exhibitions and edited anthologies. Through her, the Berliner Malerpoeten also became internationally known.

Aldona Gustas also provided the opportunity to link an exhibition of Berliner Malerpoeten and six contemporary (female) Lithuanian artists in a common show entitled Oxymoraas part of Lithuania’s Presentation as Guest of Honor at the 2017 Leipzig Book Fair.

Female identity, eroticism and sensuality represent central themes in the lyrical and pictorial works by Aldona Gustas, which she has also combined in numerous publications. According to Olav Münzberg, spontaneity, brevity and simplicity are her basic constructive principles – in both her literary and visual works. Many of her speech-images are populated with paradoxes. As androgynous figures with the curves of their bodies transformed into fish or birds.

In 2017 her most recent volume of poems Zeit zeitigt was published by Corvinus Presse in an exclusive manual print-run. Currently an exhibition with 30 drawings, Aldona Gustas und die MUNDFRAUEN (Women’s Voices) – is travelling through museums and libraries in Lithuania for 2 years, organized by Browse Gallery and funded by Goethe-Institute Lithuania.

Edition of 600, signed and numbered 272 available at www.ftn-books.com

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Alexander Lichtveld (1953)

Alexander Lichtveld

Born in Amsterdam in 1953, Alexander Lichtveld studied ceramics at the Gerrit Rietveld
Academie under Jan van der Vaart from 1973 to 1978.
Since his graduation from Rietveld Academie, Alexander Lichtveld has been making ceramic
sculptures; in the early years these took the form of architectonic, geometric sculptures that
are not generally associated with the ceramics craft. At first sight, these sculptures made of
clay slabs do not resemble the material of which they are made. The coating, the colour
range, and the slick finish create the illusion that the material is very different from ceramics
as we know it. Nevertheless, Lichtveld is devoted to clay, or as he himself once put it, ‘I am a
sculptor who fires his own stone’.
Until 1985 Lichtveld worked in series, each sculpture in the series using the same principle.
After living, working and exhibiting in Japan for several extended periods, he stopped working
in series. More autonomous sculptures began to appear. The architectonic element of the
earlier sculptures was now complemented by a more narrative style. Round shapes, curves
and new themes entered the scene. ‘After so many years of working with straight lines,
planes, volumes and the relationships between them,’ says Lichtveld, ‘I had the feeling that I
more of less understood everything. That was the moment I started to make use of the
irrational and unpredictable.’ From then on, most of the sculptures were given titles.
Themes of earlier sculptures recur years later in a different form; new forms are created in an
unremitting pursuit of new kinds of sculpture. ‘Every single day I am amazed at the boundless
opportunities for creating new sculptures,’ Alexander Lichtveld explains. ‘Each time I think I
have exhausted all the possibilities, a new line of approach arises and another world of form
emerges, with infinite potential. The challenge is to make the right choices.’
In the midst of this creative dynamic, each sculpture requires and gives its own space and
peace. Tranquillity and contemplation are evident in virtually all the sculptures. ‘You can look
at my sculptures in the same way as you look at a Japanese Zen garden,’ says Alexander
Lichtveld. ‘What I see is a man-made setting that represents nature: all the components,
materials, sizes and colours in such a garden have been placed in a way that appears
accidental and self-evident, as in nature. In fact, the opposite is true. I have always been
fascinated by the knowledge that all of this has been created by man and everything has
been thought out carefully even though it appears natural, in a way that you will never come
across in nature. You are looking at something that is actually something else. That’s when it
really gets exciting.

l

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Semâ Bekirović (1977)

Sema Bekirovic

To what extent does an artwork create itself? And how much of the final product is a result of the artists’ guiding hand? I sometimes get the impression that most of my works seem to make themselves. It’s as if they have all these opinions regarding what they want to be/look like/say, and I find my role in the process reduced to that of collaborator instead of creator. Semâ Bekirovic

The work of artist Semâ Bekirovic is best described as playful conceptualism. Like reality, it’s a universe of temporary constellations wherein objects, people, animals and/or chemical reactions trigger each other into acting out their parts in a play directed by coincidence. Bekirovic tries to create a field of tension between the parameters she defines and her subject’s personal agenda. She eschews a hands-on, interfering approach, allowing her subject to co-author the work.

Bekirovic has always been inspired by scientific ideas and concepts. Her work has been known to feature black holes (Event Horizon, 2010), human-influenced-animal-culture (Koet, 2007), the first and second laws of thermodynamics (Fire Sequence, 2013/ Radiance Of Sensible Heat, 2016) as well as forensic techniques (Cube 02, 2017).  Her work deals with the supposed difference between culture and nature, as well as the obtaining (and letting go) of control. At times she has deployed animals in her work, though not really as subject (or object), but in a more collaborative fashion. Her method usually consists of deciding on and implementing parameters and letting the work ‘develop itself’. In this sense you could say that she is a spectator in her own practice, yet this does in no way deminish the idiosyncracy of her work.

www.ftn-books.com has KOET available , an artist book by Bekirovic