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Ignasi Sumoy (1953)

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We are the same age and in all these years of collecting I had never heard of Ignasi Sumoy, an artist born in Barcelona, but beside Spain and the Netherlands hardly known in the rest of Europe, It is because I acquired the “Galerie de la TOUR” catalogue ( available at http://www.ftn-books.com) /Groningen(1989), that I now know Sumoy and his works. Leafing through the book i noticed elements from Ethnic art, Basquiat and the dutch painter Lucassen combined into a personal painting “language”.

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I like these kinds of paintings with realistic and symbolic elements composed in an abstract setting. here is the article I found on the Sumoy site which explains more on this artist:

IGNASI SUMOY BOLUFER (Barcelona, 1953)

Ignasi Sumoy’s painting is, paradoxically, in the desert. It is a dessert that can be turned into a likely metaphor as an implicit reference to all the progressive shifts -at times geometric- that many of the visuals arts have been going throughout in the last few years: a stage empty in origin like the desert in which under controversial but more or less homogeneous appearances there lies concealed the changing outline of the dunes. Not only do the sand-hills move, covering large distances because of their specific weight, they take on their own corporality and dimensions, non-transferable, subtly recognizable and subject at times to sudden change both in direction and composition, weight and mass. So the shift and well-nigh solid individuality of the dunes enable us to speak of some of the essences of the artist’s work. But Ignasi Sumoy’s painting, on the contrary, takes its point of departure from this kind of metaphorical recurrence of the idea of the dune, arid and almost prosaic, to participate immediately in its complete geographical opposite, in its opposition of ideal behaviour: life in and of the city, always understood from the particular viewpoint of one who seeks to locate it as an entity midway between apocalyptic-futurist and a re-creation deriving from the experiences of life and aesthetics of the past, a point in time where this Futurist aspiration occurred, together with other reminiscences of Primitivism still close in time and, even more, in the segment of space.

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Formally, this is one of the points of departure of his work. Without abrupt breaks, the connection between the various stages of his work has been maintained intact -and completely traceable- during the course of recent years: where formerly there existed a primitive, rather schematized being, without any clearly defined environment, urban, metropolitan man now lives. Unlike the universal prototype established by Musil, he is endowed with attributes that are not only specifically human, they serve to identify him, and even more, he identifies himself through them, thereby constructing a peculiar life-from in a peculiar kind of city locales somewhere between the ideal and the throw-away, formed by beings that mimic the physical elements of their environment so well that it finally takes them over, and in so doing becomes them themselves, assuming all the risks but also all their virtues, and hovering thus between outright apologetic qualities and the most violently critical allusions, maintaining a specific space, a private no-man’s-land where the action unfolds and where the most immediate and evident narrative events of his painting take place.

There is a kind of split suggested by the overall theory of his work that relates as much to the hypothetical apology-refusal already mentioned as to the fact that the characters take one another voice, that is, the recourse to the other and the double so strongly personified here, as though it were some terrifying Bernhardian voice imitator. This basically constitutes one of the founding elements the artist likes to play with, out of which he can build a new aesthetic space and, why not?, a new living space, made up of a personal symbology charred with unique systems and references. Out of reinterpretations, Ignasi Sumoy ends up creating a new, self-contained building, inside which the elements that live there and those that slip in from the world of meaning outside, function according to their own laws. In the realm of idiolect, the slight degree of referentiality matters little, nor what side the scale of referentiality tilts, whether towards resemblance or something real. So the problems of illusion are equally unimportant there too.

In an odd kind of pensée du dehors, Ignasi Sumoy’s painting includes an active and always strange theory that begins with inclusion and ends with rejection, working through a considerable process of selection and refinement both formal and conceptual in nature. In a process not so much of mimicry as ingestion and consumption, anything that resides outside of man ends up assimilated inside, participating in what we could call his natural conditions, becoming one more part of his anthropomorphic definitions to which it is added and which it modifies to a greater or less extent. The use of metasigns and the written language -of the word, in short- has the effect of intensifying the characteristics of reflection: What more human, therefore, than the possibility of voice in the form of articulate speech? And what more civilized than recourse to written cries? So then, his titles become external words and elements equally derived from outside; not simple denominating devices, they frequently coincide, having already been quickly and violently digested. Also, having recourse to verbal/written language allows parallels to be set up between the textual unfolding occurring in the pictures and a kind of iconographical unfolding, formal in the repertoire, that servers to distribute the leading roles. But they are always the same characters, the same characters, the same doubles, treated alike and referring of similar questions.

The building are bodies; spirals, bodies too. Triangles are heads, the gears mouths, tracks are feet, and forks, the sexual organs. But this is not the man-machine, as Kraftwerk sang; rather, we are confronted with the same process that schematizes thought and action. Nor is it a clumsy or puerile criticism of the general dehumanization or advanced industrialization that depersonalizes and homogenizes humans and objects. That would be too immediate. It may be a search for Utopia, not as a liberation, unattainable because so strongly desired, but as future, a kind of private S.F. that invites us to speculate on this present, however subjective.

sumoy

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Jan Roëde ( continued )

 

Schermafbeelding 2020-04-28 om 11.00.08One of my personal favourite painters is Jan Roëde. Not very well known outside the Netherlands, but in the Netherlands, he has build a name for himself with frequent gallery and museum exhibitions. One thing I want to share with the readers of this blog is the frequent return of some elements in his paintings. Children, parents and some animals are to be found on his colourful paintings, but the one I like personally most is this “bird he puts in many cases next to his signature.

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It is a typical Roëde element which makes his paintings immediately recognized.  A fun fact, but also a part of the paintings which has the function of an extra signature, because the Roëde bird is one of a kind and no other bird in the world has this shape and can be found in so many colours.

There are some nice Roëde publications available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Hergé (1907-1983)

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Hergé is Georges Prsoper Remi and deserves a well earned place among the greatest of artists from the last century. His Kuifje/Tintin albums have been translated in over 40 languages and have sold hundreds of millions all over the world. It is still a true delight to read once in a while these great adventure stories and after reading these i realize that the amount of detail which is drawn on every page of the story is tremendous,

making these not only great stories but also travel journals in which everyday life from a certain decade in an exotic country was depicted. Since i admire Hergé very much and i think together with Franquin and Swarte this is the best comic art can present i have collected a number of albums and Hergé collectibles of which some are available at www.ftn-books.com. The latest addition is an official bag by ther Moulinsart Museum.

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Paul Klee (1879-1940)

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“Über Bergeshohen” and “Im Bach’schen Still” are the 2 Paul Klee works that the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag ( Kunstmuseum Den Haag) has in its collection. I remember these works well since I have seen these without their protective glass frame when they were photographed.

These works made a great impression on me and grew my interest in Paul Klee. This was about 35 years ago and since i have bought and sold many Paul Klee publications, but besides the Gemeentemuseum publications there is one which is my absolute favourite….it is the PAUL KLEE 1879-1940 book which was published on the occasion of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum exhibition in New York in 1967. Great cover and a tremendous exhibition which has so many great Paul Klee works in it. Unfortunately the 2 from the Gemeentemuseum, but the rest belongs to the very best by Paul Klee and it is highly unlikely that there will ever be a greater and better Klee exhibition.

klee guggenheim

 

This and other Klee publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Cao Fei (1978) at the Serpentine gallery

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I am a great fan of the Serpentine gallery and consider their program to be one of the best in the current art world. So I read their announcement of their Cao Fei presentation with a little bit more than a casual interest.

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The image struck me when I received this announcement in my mailbox yesterday. The text describes an apocalyptic uncertainty and in these times of Covid 19 for me, this image symbolizes the situation we currently live in. Solitude in a barren landscape.

It is by Cao Fei, a multi-media artist and filmmaker based in Beijing. Video, digital media, photography and objects all play a role in the artist’s engagement with an age of rapid technological development. The Serpentine Galleries exhibition will bring together new and existing works in an immersive, site-specific installation, expanding the themes of automation, virtuality and technology that Cao Fei continuously draws upon. Cao Fei’s work is underpinned by an ongoing exploration of virtuality, how it has radically altered our perception of self and changed the way we understand reality. This slippage between the physical and the virtual is always present in her work; from the utopic and dystopic potentials of our modern-day cities, the escapism of users via the virtual platform, Second Life, to the alienating effects of mechanised labour in China, Cao Fei often addresses these far-reaching topics through deadpan humour and the creation of surreal encounters. Although each of Cao Fei’s worlds appear to teeter on the edge of apocalyptic uncertainty, her characters navigate these complex and chaotic realities with vigour and agency, harnessing the unique possibilities of technology in order to shape a collective future. The exhibition is now open and on view until the 13th of September 2020. http://www.ftn-books.com has several Serpentine gallery items available at this moment.

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Brian Maguire (1951)

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This is an artist I really like since his painting is not only fast and contemporary, but he makes political statements with his painting that are important. This is possibly also the reason why his paintings are not found within the large museum collections. Only some daring museums that are not afraid to take a stand will add his works to their collection. But these works are important since, in. a an artistic way,  they confront you with the world around us that is easily and possibly conveniently forgotten.
Since the very beginning of his career in the 1970s, Brian Maguire has approached painting as an act of solidarity. He operates a truly engaged practice, compelled by the raw realities of humanity’s violence against itself, and the potential for justice.

Maguire’s preoccupations draw him to the margins of the art world—alternative space, prisons, women’s shelters, and psychiatric institutions—making shows in traditional gallery and museum spaces something of a rarity. Maguire’s most recent paintings directly confront issues of migration, displacement and human dignity in the face of the current global unrest. They are some of his most nuanced and ambitious to date, which he has crafted with larger brushes and thinned-down acrylic on canvas. He works slowly, using photographic sources, searching for that point where illustration ceases and art begins. This growing contrast between the seductive painterly aesthetic and the subject matter only adds to the potential impact of these formidable canvases.In 2018 Maguire released his newest publication that displays a substantial new artist monograph surveying his career to date. Maguire has shown extensively in Europe and the US, also participating in shows in Korea, China and Japan.

Recent solo exhibitions include: War Changes It’s Address, United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA, (2020); Scenes of Absence, Rubin Center, Texas University, TX, USA, (2019); Escenarios de ausencia, Art Museum Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, (2019); War Changes Its Address: The Aleppo Paintings, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, (2018); Concerned, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2018) and the European Parliament, Brussels (2012). Recent group exhibitions include: Naked Truth, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, (2018); Demise, Cleveland University Art Gallery, Cleveland, OH, USA, (2018); The sea is the limit, York Art Gallery, York, UK, (2016); Conversations, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2014) and Ni Una Mas, Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA, (2010).

Maguire’s work is represented in the collections of Irish Museum of Modern Art; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; Museum of Fine Art Houston, Texas; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Netherlands; Alvar Alto Museum, Finland.

www.ftn-books.com has one Maguire title available

maguire

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Ton van Os (1941)

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During the last years of the twentieth century, Ton van Os created, among other things, series of works dedicated to the painter Paolo Uccello and the composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

In the last 20 years, his source of inspiration is both the music and the writings about music and visual arts of American composer Morton Feldman. Since 2000, he made more than 150 mostly large paintings black-and-white, in bright colors, in glittering silver and in sparkling gold. Paintings of space and sourceless, invented light with shifting structures and patterns in which, as the Dutch composer Anthony Fiumara wrote in his review MorTon: ‘Paradoxical themes are discussed as dynamic stasis, chaotic order, unpredictable repetition, intuitive austerity and ringing silence.’

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This is how the text on Ton van Os his site gives a description of his works and career. This is an artist who’s works are timeless, Even his earliest works from the early Seventies ( Forty Etchings book is available at http://www.ftn-books.com ) has this same abstract quality. Of course the scenes are realistic and depicts his suroundings or details from it, but this can only be seen when studying more intensely the (abstract) compositions. From a distance it is pure geometric abstraction. When you consider this the beginning of his career you can follow his artistic career with more and more abstraction over the decades…. eventually resulting in the repetition of forms in a rythm which is music inspired. http://www.ftn-books has several Ton van Os titles available.

ton van os set

 

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Keiichi Tanaami (1936)

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My first impression when i encountered this set of Tanaami posters was that these were original 60’s posters , but no….these are from ca. 2005 and strongly rooted in the Japanese culture of making prints and heavily inspired by Psychedelic Sixties posters

Born in 1936 in Tokyo, Japan, Keiichi Tanaami is an influential pop artist of postwar Japan. Tanaami took a keen interest in drawing at a very young age and often spent time in cartoonist Kazushi Hara’s studio. He studied at Musashino Art University, earning a Special Selection recognition with a major design and illustration group. Since the mid 1960s, he became increasingly interested in psychedelic culture, Acid Music, and Pop Art, in particular Andy Warhol’s work. In 1968, his award-winning antiwar poster “No More War” and his album artwork for the Monkees and Jefferson Airplane became a major impetus for the movement of psychedelic and pop art in Japan. In 1975, he became the first Art Director of Playboy (Japanese Edition), and in 1991 he started to teach at Kyoto University of Art and Design, where he is currently a chairperson of a Faculty of Information Design.
tanaami posters

There is a wonderful site on this artist which reads like a comic book and some outstanding graphic quality and yes i have 2 of his posters now available at http://www.ftn-books.com

for the site go here: https://mangadejapan.com/articles/detail/1356

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Over 200 different Art & Project items in store

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It has been almost a decade to collect as many as the 210 different Art & Project items that i currently have for sale. It started when i bought a “lot” of museum catalogues at auction and among theme were some Bulletins by this worldwide known and respected dutch gallery. Not the most famous ones , but still a nice selection with Richard Long and Hamish Fulton. I got focussed on these publications and found some rare ones at reasonable prices in a time that nobody was interested. But the big breakthrough came when i finally was lucky enough to encounter 2 nice collections. One at a local book dealer who wanted a fair price for a selection of 30 Bulletins and the second time was at auction where a lot was not sold and i decided to buy it in the aftersale of the auction house.This last one added over 80 different Art & Project items to my collection and inventory. Just have a look at http://www.ftn-books.com and search for “art & project” and you will be pleasantly surprised with the large selection that i was able to collect for FTN books.

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Marino Marini (1901-1980)

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When i think of Marino Marini, i think of the guided tour we had at one time on the estate of Joop van Caldenborgh. He collected the Caldic collection and recently was the founder of the museum Voorlinden near Wassenaar.

marini caldic

The Marini sculpture from the Caldic collection / Cavaliere (1952) is one of the first sculptures you will see when you enter the estate and it is placed on the corner of a “fragile” red brick wall and both the times i saw the sculpture i was scared it would fall, but beside that i was struck with the beauty of the sculpture. A typical Fifties work of art and important! because many great italian sculptures were made during the Fifties and Sixties, but only a few can be found in dutch public collections.

There was a raised interest in italian art during both these decades and the Stedelijk Museum, Boymans van Beuningen and Haags Gemeentemuseum, all presented the best from Italy in those years, but only a few of the presented works of art stayed in the Netherlands and became a part of the public collections of these museums.

Still some very nice publications were published to accompany the exhibitions and some are availabel at www.ftn-books.com