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Joop Vegter (1931-2017)

Born in 1931, Joop Vegter was predominantly inspired by the 1950s. Abstract Expressionism, a form of painting that explored notions of spirituality and the sublime, dominated the 1950s. Many artists focused on the formal properties of painting, and action painting was influenced by the political freedom of the United States, in opposition to the strict nature of the Soviet bloc. New York City became the focus for modernism on an international scale during the Post-War period. Many artists had travelled to the city during the Second World War, fleeing in exile from Europe. This led to a substantial pooling of talent and ideas. Influential Europeans such as Piet Mondrian, Josef Albers and Hans Hoffmann provided inspiration for American artists whilst in New York, and influenced cultural growth in the United States for many later decades. Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Frank Kline, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still and Adolph Gottlieb were influential artists of this period. The male dominated environment has been subsequently revisited to recognise the contributions of female artists such as Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Louise Bourgeois, amongst others. has the signed THE MEZZOTINT book now available.

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Maria van Kesteren (1933-2020)

Maria van Kesteren emerged as one of the first prominent female woodturners in the late 1950s. She makes simple, beautifully proportioned bowl and box forms. Her simple forms and smooth surfaces contrast the material she shapes. The wood is secondary to the forms she creates, which is almost always a circle. She uses the circular form as a starting point and utilises the tension between inner and outer forms. Surfaces are evenly stained or painted so that the detail of the grain becomes secondary to their formal properties and fine definitions of interior and exterior space. She applies similar principles in style to her glass and ceramic objects. Even though her objects appear severe, when carefully examining the subtle curves and transitions one will no doubt be fascinated by the unquestionably tender side of her work.

Maria trained with the woodturner Henk van Trierum in Utrecht in the late fifties and is based in Hilversum, Netherlands. Although most celebrated for her works in wood, she has also designed glass for Royal Leerdam and ceramics for factories including Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum. A major retrospective exhibition of her work was held at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 1995. 

Maria’s work is widely collected and can be found in private and museum collections including the Boymans-van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York. has the book OM DE VORM and the special edition of the multiple now available.

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Piet Mondriaan ( continued)

Piet Mondriaan

Because of my 25 year career at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag i have seen many Piet Mondriaan paintings from very close up and always admired the transition from realistic into abstract art by the artist, but last month I encountered a painting by Mondriaan I had never seen before. A painting temporarily on loan to the Singer Museum Laren and it really impressed. A dutch windmill under a bright multi colored sky , showing the first signs of abstract elements on an impressive-sized canvas. Here it is and when it is still there try to visit the museum to see it yourself. has many books on Piet Mondriaan availanble.

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Anton Mauve (1838-1888)

Anton Mauve

I still have an admiration for the paintings by Anton Mauve, but when we visited the Singer Museum in Laren and saw the painting below

It struck me that many of his paintings were painted with people and animals seen from behind, leaving the scene and emphasizing the dept of the paintings. These are beautiful paintings and belong to the best dutch impressionism has given the world of art.

please look at some more examples and visit for more information and publications on Mauve.

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van Dongen vs Klimt

Same period. On the left van Dongen and his banned painting of a nude female figure and on the right Klimt, both with ornaments and flower patterns. Totally different in their appearance but unmistakenly by their hand. On both painters I have several publications available. Tomorrow another van Dongen painting compared.

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Alfred Kubin (1877-1957)

Alfred Kubin

Austrian draughtsman, illustrator, painter and writer, who was widely known for his illustrations of writers of Balzac, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Gustav Meyrink and Edgar Allan Poe. In 1902 Kubin had his first one-man show at the Galerie Cassirer in Berlin, which was well received by the critics. Besides ink drawings, in 1905 he experimented with a colour paste paint technique he had learnt from Kolo Moser (works like Tsar by the Tombs of his Ancestors (1905; Munich, Lenbachhaus)).

In 1906 Kubin travelled to Paris to visit ageing Redon, and later that year he settled in Zwickledt. He continued illustrating books, such as Die Tatsachen im Falle Waldemar (Berlin, 1908). After 1909 Kubin was a member of the Neue künstlervereinigung münchen and exhibited with its successor the Blaue Reiter in 1911, as well as contributing drawings to Der Blaue Reiter in 1912. Kubin was deeply affected by World War I. Occasionally he treated the war directly in his work, as in The Mortar, but usually he approached it more obliquely. Kubin’s work of the 1930s was generally less savage than earlier but retained a strong suggestive power, as in the dark Meeting in the Forest (c. 1931–2; Munich, Lenbachhaus). There is an archive at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich, containing drawings, paintings and other material by Kubin has several Kubin titles available

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Kees van Dongen ( continued)

Kees van Dongen

Kees van Dongen ….copycat?. This is how i wanted to start this blog because after visiting the van Dongen exhibition in Laren, I really do not know who inspired who. Last month we visited the Van Dongen exhibition in Laren and after the first room it was clear that van Dongen was ” inspired ” by van Gogh and Monet, but in the second room the van Dongen style emerged and later it became clear that all the artist around 1910 must have known each other, Influenced each other and copied each others style and techniques. It was after another 10 years that the van Dongen typical techniques and compositions found their way onto the canvas. Still, there are some questions to be asked , because in the same museum ( Singer Museum Laren) some other paintings can be found by Maks, Sluyters, and the famous van Dongen painting of a lady resting her arm on the table. One can see elements that are all the same in these paintings. just Look at the right arm, the movement in the painting and the use of color. Who is copying who?

for books on these artist please visit

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Moniek Toebosch (1948-2012)

Moniek Toebosch

The way in which Moniek Toebosch (Breda 1948 – Amsterdam 2012) expressed herself in her work as an artist was incomparable. In Metropolis M (2013, no. 1) she was posthumously characterized as: “fearless, provocative and absolutely unconventional”. Toebosch shifted effortlessly between various art forms, without any regard whatsoever for the rules. She appeared as performer, sound artist, film actress, theatre-maker, text writer, and in the visual arts she worked as a painter, video-artist and happily incorporated the latest technology in her installations and projects for public spaces.

As an artist she also generously accepted the responsibility she felt for the artistic community. This was apparent in her many roles: as an inspiring teacher and mentor at various art schools, a director at DasArts, (De Amsterdamse School, Advanced Research in Theatre and Dance Studies), a member of juries and advisory boards, as an often invited speaker / performer, a member of the Arts Council, and a supervisor of the PhDArts team, guiding professional artists in their doctoral research at Leiden University.

With the exception of one year spent at the music conservatory in Tilburg, she received her art education at the St. Joost academy in Breda, where she graduated rather atypically from the fashion department with a 16 mm film. This was not a complete surprise however, since at the time she came in contact with Frans Zwartjes, an artist and musician but mostly known as an experimental black-and-white filmmaker. As his favorite silent protagonists he manipulated his wife Trix and Moniek Toebosch in outrageously absurd situations. Looking back, this collaboration was to define her artistic endeavors. At that time her signature theatrical courage, uninhibited freedom and openness undeniably defined her as artist.

She exploited these qualities to their fullest in her legendary anarchistic music-theatre performances from the seventies in collaboration with Michel Waisvisz. He played electronic music on the crackle box he had invented as she improvised wild singing performances.

The highlight of Toebosch’s theatrical career was Aanvallen van Uitersten (Attacks of Extremes, 1983) her presentation of a remarkable evening program for the Holland Festival that took place at the well attended Carre Theater in Amsterdam, broadcast live on television as part of a series by VPRO. The most notorious evening included Glenn Branca and his band playing terribly loud music, a sensational fashion show and the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ivan Fisher that was supposed to perform the Prelude of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and accompany Toebosch as mezzo soprano singing the Liebestod. As she appeared from the wings onstage, the conductor walked off. Disgusted by the noisy commotion, he tapped his baton, signaling his departure with a good portion of the orchestra following at his heels. What happened next was breathtaking as we watched Toebosch mobilize her grandiose talent for improvisation. Begging the remaining members of the orchestra to stay, they timidly began to play under her direction. Dressed in her magnificent costume as opera Diva she began to sing, holding notes and jumping up into the air to reach the high ones.

Much of her later work was created in response to specific requests, commissions and contexts. With finely honed antennae for what was happening around her and in the world, she was very much in tune with the zeitgeist. She persistently created new, adventurous work with verve and flair. Even though the work often included her very personal voice, was light-hearted and not at all moralistic, the outcome was never the same. An important example is the nationally recognized Engelenzender (Angel Radio Station, 1994 – 2000) on the Houtribdijk. She was asked to come up with a proposal for a public work with the theme of shelter / refuge. Instead of proposing a physical object or monumental structure, Toebosch turned to her love of driving for inspiration. The car, routinely taking you back and forth from home, is the shelter where you truly feel at ease. And if you can listen to angels singing from your car radio, the experience is made perfect. The site she chose was a 29 kilometers long, narrow stretch of the dike between Lelystad and Enkhuizen, straight through the Ijsselmeer, with an endless view of water on both sides. She herself sang all of the angels in countless variations; high and low, soft and loud, choral and solo about faith, hope and love.The only material aspect of this work consisted of the blue signs posted on the dike, announcing the radio frequency “Engelen / Angels, FM 98.0 Mhz”.

Art-historians have a hard time categorizing her body of work. Even though as an artist she typically used performance, sound and language, one cannot pin point her work through her choice of specific materials, a reoccurring theme or particular disciplines.

At several international exhibitions she presented her impressive and moving installation Les Douleurs Contemporaines (Contemporary Sorrows). Hundreds of different size loudspeakers were placed to form a walking trail for the exhibition space. The sound they produced was a sequence of horrified cries, waling, sobbing, and crying women and children. It was the middle of the nineties and the news was filled with daily catastrophes from war zones…

The proposal for an exhibition of her work instantly led Toebosch to an unparalleled alternative. She made a video of herself behind a desk, dressed in a conservative suit, and greets the viewer with Welkom, gaat u zitten (Welcome, Please Take a Seat). She proceeds to describe her work verbally. It was, in essence, a type of performance that allowed her to express her own ideas, as was the case when, about two years before she passed away, she presented herself as her alter ego Paul Rubens. With combed back hair, heavy rimmed glasses, a severe looking outfit and a distorted low voice she made it clear that there was also a male soul residing inside her. At the same time she shot footage of De Strijkrol (The Role of the Ironer), which was a rather meditative film. It shows her hands slowly pushing white linens through an ironing machine and carefully folding them, an act which she keeps repeating peacefully. It is an intimate, domestic activity, driven by the sound of Toebosch’s sturdy shoe on the pedal.

Her last performance before her passing, Erasing and Recovering on a Saturday Afternoon, was like a fairytale. Dressed all in white she climbed onto an elephant and rode it slowly through a rainy Oude Warande Park in Tilburg, which she had known as a zoo in the past. The elephant was dragging a harrow, simultaneously erasing traces of old, and turning the soil in preparation for something new. has a few Toebosch publications available.

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Haim Steinbach (1944)

Haim Steinbach

Haim Steinbach’s art is a staging of objects in formats that underscore their presence both anthropologically as well as aesthetically. These objects come from a spectrum of social and cultural contexts and are put together in a way that is analogous to the arrangement of words in a poem, or to the musical notes in a score.

Steinbach’s work sets forth new contexts for a wide range of objects that are handmade and mass-produced, ordinary as well as extraordinary, new and old. He has said that his work is “about vernacular, which is a common form of language: things that we make, express and produce” and that it is “not only about selecting and arranging objects of my own choice, but also presenting the objects chosen by others”. For Documenta IX (1992), for example, Steinbach transported the entire collection of objects that he found on the shelving in curator Jan Hoet’s office and rearranged them in a specifically conceived architectural structure in the work Display #30 – An Offering (collectibles of Jan Hoet).

Steinbach often refers to the structures he builds for the objects he presents as “framing devices”. The prototypical wedge-shaped shelf that he conceived for the presentation of the objects he selects is a structure employing a geometrical system based on three angles – 90, 50, and 40 degrees – of a triangle. The shelf is a device since it functions like a level or a musical instrument, and may be enlarged or reduced proportionally to the three angles of its cross-section, and in relation to the objects on it. Regarding colour, a term also used in music, a layer of plastic laminate skin may set the tone for an object when applied to the section on which it is placed.

Steinbach sets up a dialectic within his work between ‘high’ versus ‘low’ culture, the unique versus the multiple, the personal versus the universal. Furthermore, these dialectics function both in terms of objects and language since the work’s titles as well as the objects themselves are ‘found material’. The titles come from a wide range of sources such as texts, headings in magazines, or adverts. They are often statements and sayings that may be idiomatic, allegorical, proverbial or axiomatic. Steinbach also uses these texts as works in their own right. Presented in black vinyl on the wall in variable scales (large and small) these ‘found objects’ are presented exactly as they are, with both content and typeface unchanged since Steinbach considers both aspects to be integral to the wording as well as image of the final work. 

Haim Steinbach was born in 1944 in Rehovot, Israel, and lives and works in New York. He received a BFA from Pratt Institute, New York in 1968 and a MFA from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut in 1973. Steinbach has had solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2020); Museion, Bolzano, Italy (2019); Museum Kurhaus, Kleve, Germany (2018); Magasin III Museum and Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel (2018); The Menil Collection, Houston (2014); Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland (2014); Serpentine Gallery, London (2014); CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale on Hudson, New York (2013); The Artist’s Institute, New York (2012); Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2000); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2000); Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna (1997); Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy (1995); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1993); Witte de With, Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (1992); and CAPC musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux, France (1988). has a few publications on Haim Steinbach

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Sjoerd de Vries (1941-2020)

Sjoerd de Vries

Using a knife, De Vries (Oudehaske, 1941) slices, carves and tears old-fashioned layered cardboard or the covers of old hard-backed books to create ‘drawings’ (the size of which were for a long time determined by the format of his found materials). Via a process of heating and cooling using a domestic iron and bleach, he turns these into portraits and landscapes with a wonderfully lively surface.

De Vries’ sculptures are carved out of blocks of peat. Their elementary, sometimes primitive forms are reminiscent of the fertility figures of exotic ancient civilisations. But the most striking thing is the close relationship between this three-dimensional work and his own drawings. De Vries draws as a sculptor. has some important Sjoerd de Vries publications available