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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

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Sylvie Fanchon (1953)

Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon is a landmark in French painting. She was born in Nairobi in 1953. She has been living and working in Paris since the early 1980’s, after she graduated from the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris, where she was then head of a workshop from 2001 to 2019.

For 30 years, her painting has remained faithful to radical means and intentions, in accordance with a series of previously fixed rules: two-tone color scheme, flatness of the surface, absence of depth and extremely schematic forms. The touch, the gesture, the transparency, after having been eliminated in favor of quasi-abstract forms drawn from the world around us, become today close to the parody, the grotesque. Decontextualized, these familiar forms are difficult to identify: Sylvie Fanchon thus plays between the unknown and the recognized, between oblivion and the work of recollection, leaving room for a multiplicity of interpretations.

With around 50 artworks in public collections, Sylvie Fanchon’s work is present in more than 15 major French institutions including CNAP, MAC VAL, Pompidou Center, MAM Paris … and eight regional contemporary art funds. Sylvie Fanchon has also benefited from important monographic exhibitions at the CRAC in Sète (2015), the FRAC Franche-Comté (2018), the Espace de l’Art Concret (2019). has two important Fancon publications available.

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Véronique Filozof (1904-1977)

Veronique Filozof

Véronique FILOZOF (1904-1977) was a Swiss-French artist and illustrator. After moving to France at a young age, Filozof worked for the Swiss Red Cross during World War II helping Jews and refugees fleeing the Franco regime. In 1948 she began her artistic career with a series of paintings inspired by the poems of Jacques Prévert and Honoré de Balzac. Later, Filozof developed extended series of India ink drawings, for which she is best known. Executed in her signature style, these drawings depict castles, churches and fortresses as faded symbols of authority in a post-war France dominated by existentialism and secular humanism, but also by the events of May ’68 in Paris, as well as the war in Algeria and Vietnam. Supported by artists of the calibre of Jean Dubuffet, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Jean Cocteau, Filozof developed a strong career in Paris, where she exhibited alongside Picasso, Miro, and Max Ernst during her lifetime.

Filozof’s work is held in public collections around the world, including the Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Le Musée International d’Art Naïf, Nice, France; and The City College of New York, New York, NY, USA, amongst others. has a beautiful and scarce silkscreened card by Filozxof now available.

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Ettore Spalletti

Ettore Spalletti

Ettore Spalletti (1940-2019) was born in Cappelle sul Tavo (Pescara) where he spent his whole life. He began his career when Arte Povera was revolutionizing visual culture in Italy and beyond. Spalletti developed a singular, solitary voice and a resultant body of work that exceeds any movement that circumscribes an artist to regional or ideological boundaries. Spalletti’s formal vocabulary has always melded and balanced painting and sculpture, form and color, interior and exterior space. Each work is the result of a meditative but rigorous process of applying a layer of color at the same time of each day, to capture a specific tone that recalls an hour, a season, and the weather. 

Spalletti has been the subject of major international exhibitions over the last 40 years, most recently at the Galleria Nazionale d’arte moderna e contemporanea, Rome, Italy (2021); has currently 1 title on Spalletti available

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Joel Shapiro (1941)

Joel Shapiro

Joel Shapiro is a sculptor and draftsman. He studied art at New York University, the city where he grew up and still lives and works. His works are recognizable, based on simple rectangular shapes of abstracted human forms. This makes him a representative of minimalism. This is reinforced by giving his works the designation Untitled.

A trip to India and acquaintance with the sculptural tradition there would prove decisive for his approach to sculpture. Shapiro has been researching space, volume, surface, and openness versus closedness all his life as an artist. This gives his sculptures an expressive power. Gradually, Shapiro’s work developed from extremely abstract to forms in which human figures are visible.

In Shapiro’s work the boundary between abstract and figurative is blurred. Prominent minimalist sculptors such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd and Richard Serra were his examples. Joel Shapiro’s work is a bit more playful and colourful.

His sculptures can be seen in all major museum collections, sculpture parks and private collections, especially in the United States. His sculptures can also be found in Australia and Europe. In 1999 Untitled was shown in Rotterdam during the sculpture route on the Westersingel.

Well known is Loss and Regeneration, a 1989 statue that was placed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, not far from the National Mall in Washington. Joel Shapiro has long led a somewhat secluded life and is reserved with the media. has ao the Stedelijk Museum catalogs for the Shapiro exhibition available.

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Sean Scully (1945)

Sean Scully

Sean Scully is one of the most important painters of his generation, whose work is held in major museum collections around the world. While known primarily for his large-scale abstract paintings, comprised of vertical and horizontal bands, tessellating blocks and geometrical forms comprised of gradated and shifting colours, Scully also works in a variety of diverse media, including printmaking, sculpture, watercolour and pastel. Having developed a style over the past five decades that is uniquely his own, Scully has cemented his place in the history of painting.  His work synthesises a thoroughly international collection of influences and personal perspectives – ranging from the legacy of American abstraction, with inspiration from the likes of Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, and that of European tradition, with nods to Henri Matisse and Piet Mondrian, as well as references to classical Greek architecture. While monumental in scale and gesture, Scully’s work retains an undeniable delicacy and sincerity of emotion. \ has a few Scully titles now available

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Lucas Samaras (1936)

Lucas Samaras

The theme of self-depiction and identity has been a driving force behind his practice, which, at its onset in the early 1960s, advanced the Surrealist idiom yet proposed a radical departure from the presiding themes of Abstract Expressionism and Pop art.

Samaras emigrated with his family from Greece to the United States in 1948, settling in West New York, New Jersey. He attended Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, studying under Allan Kaprow and George Segal, and then at Columbia University, New York, where he studied art history under Meyer Schapiro. His interest in self-investigation began during this period, when he initiated painting self-portraits from the front and back using a mirror. He also gravitated toward the use of pastels, which enabled him to work quickly, exploring figurative and geometrical forms in rich colors and with luxuriant texture, characteristics that would reoccur throughout his work. He soon shifted toward objects, producing assemblage reliefs and boxes comprised of elements culled from his immediate surroundings and five-and-dime stores—cutlery, nails, mirrors, brightly colored yarn, and feathers—affixed with liquid aluminum or plaster.

His first New York exhibition was held at Reuben Gallery in 1959, which came on the heels of his first group show at the gallery, Kaprow’s 18 Happenings in 6 Parts. Through his involvement at the Reuben Gallery and his participation in Happenings, Samaras met Jim Dine, Red Grooms, and Claes Oldenburg. He had met Robert Whitman, another key figure in the Happenings movement, while at Rutgers and the two collaborated on performances. Samaras debuted his assemblage boxes in 1961 at Green Gallery, New York. For the artist, the boxes possessed elements of sculpture, architecture, and painting, amplified by the inclusion of objects such as mirrors and photographs—additions that situated Samaras as one of the earliest artists to emphasize his ego and corporeal self in his art. His early boxes led to his inclusion in his first institutional group show, The Art of Assemblage, held at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1961.

In 1965, Samaras joined Pace Gallery, which mounted an exhibition of his works made between 1960 to 1966, that included Samaras’ immersive Room No. 2 (1966), also known as Mirrored Room. A culmination of his mirrored boxes, Room No. 2 was his first installation to become a part of a museum collection, acquired in 1966 by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. Samaras received his first major solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1969, which was followed by his first international museum exhibition, held at the Kunstverein Museum in Hanover (1970). By the mid-1970s, he had also received his first large-scale commission for which he produced Silent Struggle (1976), a sculpture comprised of Cor-ten steel, initially installed at the Hale Boggs Federal Courthouse in New Orleans.

In 1969, Samaras began to expand upon his use of photography, experimenting with a Polaroid 360 camera, which appealed to his sense of immediacy. His innovation further materialized with his use of the Polaroid SX-70 in 1973 in a melding of self-portraiture and abstraction, created by manipulating the wet-dye emulsions with a stylus or fingertip before the chemicals set. This processed progressed with digital art in 1996 when he obtained his first computer and began to experiment with printed texts on typewriter paper. By 2002, he had acquired a digital camera and the use of Photoshop became an integral component of his practice. These technologies gave way to Photofictions (2003), a series characterized by distorted self-portraits and psychedelic compositions.

Gesturing toward a larger investigation of (self) reflection in his work, found in his mirror rooms, self-portraiture, and use of digital mirror-imaging, Samaras’s oeuvre acts as an extension of his body while underscoring the transformative possibilities of the everyday—a true blurring of art and life. has 2 of the PAce catalogues now available.

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Architecture DECOUPER


One of my personal fascinations is model kit architecture and over the years I have collected many of the great architectural kits and put them up for sale. Most of these were sold to the US and the UK, but now I recently sold one to Paris and the client mentioned that he got his ideas from a book devoted to architectural model kits. During my last trip to France I discovered 2 copies of the book in Belfort and now one copy is for sale. There is not much literature on these kits, but the ones that are discussed in the book are true architectural classics. The book is now available at