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William Turnbull (1922-2012)

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In some ways the stone sculptures of William Turn bull remind of the ones i saw last year by the late Joost Barbiers. Rough pieces of stone, worked over in a way that a different object is created and which blends with its surroundings.

( above right is by Barbiers)

But where Turnbull developed his art into a colorful and sometimes joyful abstract modern art. Barbiers stayed sombre and kept working over the rough pieces of stone. Both i appreciate but in the longterm i would like to have an original Barbiers only for the outside and place it in the garden and let it blend with nature, whereas an original Turnbull would be admired and cherished inside the house and becoming an important part of the collection of Modern Art.

In 1952, he was included in the Young Sculptors exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) which had become the focal point for new art in London. Turnbull, along with Paolozzi ( a colleague and fellow art student)and Richard Hamilton and others, became a member of the Independent Group, a splinter group within the ICA which became an important forum for discussion and debate. The Independent Group has been cited as a progenitor of Pop Art, but soon after Turnbull was far from being another British Pop Art artist, going his own way and developing an art and style of his own.

Unknowingly Turnbull must have had a great influence on another dutch painter. Willem Hussem must have been inspired by Turnbull’s paintings since some of his compositions use the same patterns and colors.

and Willem HussemSchermafbeelding 2018-08-20 om 14.19.18

There are some nice early William Turnbull publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Hans Hartung (1904-1989)

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One of the exhibitions i thought to be one of the very best during the time i was working at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, was one curated by Franz Kaiser on the abstract artist Hans Hartung . Just one word describes the exhibition….impressive.

It showed that the art Hartung created was not just random, but a well thought over creation of abstract art in which a small sketch was turned into a large painting.

Here is the text on the exhibition:

Hans Hartung (b. Dresden, 1904) was regarded as one of the founding fathers of French Lyric Abstractionism, the European counterpart of American Abstract Expressionism: a term in which the word Expressionism refers to an extremely physical and spontaneous manner of painting. The members of the movement wanted, as it were, to work out their emotions on the canvas without any form of symbolism.

Hartung’s paintings displayed a plain ground covered with rough and apparently spontaneous brushwork, with all the paint spatters and brush marks that go with that way of painting. After his death, therefore, people were astounded when the study of unfinished pictures revealed that his paintings had not in fact been created in a wild and spontaneous way, but by carefully filling in predetermined outlines based in every detail, right down to the smallest flecks of paint, on sketches prepared in advance. This exhibition, which the Gemeentemuseum is holding to mark the hundredth anniversary of Hartung’s birth, reveals an artist who would better be described as a conceptual artist, were it not for the fact that conceptual art did not exist as a movement when he produced his works. In this first Dutch retrospective of Hans Hartung’s work, early drawings are presented next to the equivalent paintings, and early versions alongside later versions. The similarities in terms of motif are astonishing.

More about Hans Hartung: www.fondationhartungbergman.fr

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

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Edgar Fernhout (1912-1974)

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Edgar Fernhout comes from an interesting background. His grandfather was Jan Toorop and his mother Charley Toorop. This meant he was raised among artists and writers. An inspiring surroundings in which art took centre stage. He specially moved to Bergen after the divorce of his mother , where his grandfather has built the house/studio de VLERKEN specially for the family of his daughter to raise her children and create her own works of art. The interesting part of Fernhout for me personally was his transition from realism into abstract art. Fernhout being one of the first in the Netherland together with M0ndrian to discover abstract art as a genre.

the other aspect i like of his history is that when he received his first large museum presentation in the Netherlands at the van Abbemuseum , the catalogue with exhibition was designed by Wim Crouwel. This being one of the first publications he made for a large museum in the Netherlands. This catalogue is of course available at www.ftn-books.com

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Minimal Art at the Haags Gemeentemuseum

minimal gm a

 

It was in the early Eighties that i learned of the Minimal Art collection and history of the Haags Gemeentemuseum.

Crucial for the collection was the interest of almost all modern art curators in Minimal Art. Starting with Enno Develing who introduced the key artists of the Minimal Art scene for the first time in a large exhibition in 1968. Among them Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre and of course Sol LeWitt. Many of them would receive solo prentations in the years to follow, but this first time was a breakthrough for Minimal Art. The catalogue is arare book nowadays and i am lucky to have a copy for sale at www.ftn-books.com

After this first exhibition many exhibitions would follow. Enno Develing, Flip Bool, Rudi Fuchs and Franz Kaiser all took an interest in Minimal Art and because of this interest , exhibitions with LeWitt, Andre and Judd were organized in the decades after this first  1968 Minimal Art exhibition. I doubt that none was as important as this very first one, because after this first one Minimal Art was established as an art form, but another aspect that makes this first ( Develing ) exhibition important is that the relationship between the Gemeentemuseum and these artist was not only an artistic one.  The museum and its curators became friends with practically all Minimal Art artists, resulting in an ever growing collection of Minimal Art.

There is a nice link to a tribute to Sol LeWitt to be found over here:

http://www.gem-online.nl/files/media/gem/2016/sol_lewitt._a_tribute/ebook_sollewitt_web.pdf

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Carel Blazer (1911-1980)

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A great dutch photographer who is known for his Fifties and Sixties photography , but also for his active part in the resistance during WWII.

Some interesting periods during the life of Blazer made him a true international photographer.

After been educated at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich, he soon after travelled Spain to photograph the Civil war. After that period he travelled Italy and visited Rome to photograph this city which photographs were published in a book by Contact. Later there were travels to Asia and Sicily. On both occasions series of photographs were taken and published.

Willem Sandberg took an interest in these photographs and presented a selection at an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum which catalogue is available at www.ftnbooks.com

There are many titles which have these breathtaking Blazer photographs in them, so beside the ones that i have in my shop please locate 50’s and 60’s books at bookmarkets and look into the colofon to discover if photographs by Blazer are included.

 
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Herman Bieling (1887-1964)

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Born in Germany, but living near Rotterdam for almost his entire life, Bieling has somehow not become the great and well known artist he was expected to become. His art is a very personal kind of art. With influences of cubists and realism he composes paintings that are only part abstract , but for the most part one can recognize the scene.

left Bieling and right Boers

I have always been fascinated by Bieling, not that i want to own a Bieling for my collection , but more in a way that i think that Bieling stands for typical Forties art in the Netherlands in the past century. He is a kind of link between the “old” realistic” way of painting and the emerging art of abstraction. In the same way i am fascinated by Willy Boers, who is a far better artist and of who i think he was important in developing abstract art in the Netherlands. www.ftn-books.com has on both mentioned artists books available.

 

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Jean Messagier (1920-1999)

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Personally i think Jean Messagier was a true Avant Garde artist. He explored paths and ways of painting well before others did and researched and developed a kind of painting which was typical for his art.

An almost spontaneous movement with the brush makes paintings and watercolors that feel organic, but these works are far from spontaneous, but well thought over works of art . It is the same as with Hans Hartung. The works look existed from some movements with pencil or brush, but designs and sketches prove that the gesture is not spontane and the result not just abstract, but a very well thought over abstract composition which is enlarged for the painting.

The same with Jean Messagier works . It is not necessary to buy an expensive painting by Messagier, because the Maeght gallery made some very nice Derriere le Miroir publication with Messagier and www.ftn-books.com has one of the most sought after CARGO publications with work by Jean Messagier available at its site.

cargo 3 a

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Oliver Boberg ( 1965 )

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The first time i was confronted with the work by Oliver Boberg was when he had  a large Retrospective exhibition. This was in 2004 at the Fotomuseum and i was very much impressed. Specially the large scale photographs had a feel of desolation and now i have bought for FTN Art two of his greatest photographs at a much smaller scale but still these are originals and very well worth collecting. The book i had on Boberg was sold years and years ago, but this is even better for the true admirer. The photographs are both from a very small edition of 20, numbered and signed and in pristine condition. Framed in a quite expensive frame and come from a collector from the US.

Memorial by Oliver Boberg , 2002,  edition 20, number 14/20, C-Print and signed by Boberg.

Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. C print is 35 x 25 cm. , condition is MINT

boberg memorial a

 

“Erdgeschoss” by Oliver Boberg , 2001, edition 20, number 13/20, C-Print and signed by Boberg.

Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. C print is 38 x 15 cm. , condition is MINT

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Please visit the FTN art section on this page for more information

Oliver Boberg was born in Herten, Germany, in 1965. He studied art history at the University of Würzburg, Germany, from 1985–86, before transferring to the Art Academy Nürnberg to study painting from 1986–93. Since 1997 Boberg has garnered attention for his photographs of what appear to be bleak, uninhabited architectural sites but are in fact models constructed by the artist in his studio. The sense of neglect that haunts these scenes contradicts the painstaking meticulousness applied to their fabrication. In Boberg’s work from the late nineties, the elegant formalism of his compositions contrasts with the subject matter—color-drained stairwells, roof decks, and building facades painted to dissemble age and dilapidation. Works such as Park (1998) and Playground (2000) offer barren sites of disrepair despite their sunny titles. Boberg created his first films for the series Night Sites (2002–03). In these films, the artist utilizes familiar Hollywood devices—fluorescent blue lighting that typically permeates suspenseful night scenes and eerie settings like an abandoned alley or fog-coated forest—to promise a drama that never unfolds. In 2003, with his Building Shell series, Boberg returned to his characteristic photography of elaborate models, this time recreating multistory edifices in the midst of the construction process. In 2004 the artist began to work for the first time with black-and-white photography for his Pagesseries. In Pages and Walls (2007), Boberg revisited his photographic investigation of highly constructed, formalist sites of inattention. Inattention gives way to tragic neglect in his series Slums, begun in 2008, which focuses on the derelict makeshift dwellings composed of serrated tin and other urban debris. For this series, the artist juxtaposed his photographs with computer-generated drawings.

Solo exhibitions of Boberg’s work have been organized by the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago (2001), Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne (2002), Kunstverein Hannover (2003), and Duolun Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai (2005). His work has also been included in major group exhibitions such as Experiment at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2000), Moving Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2003), and Artist’s Choice: Herzog & De Meuron, Perception Restrained at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2006). Boberg has been recognized with the Bayerischer Staatsförderpreis für junge Künstler, Fotografie (1997) and Förderpreis für bildende Kunst der Stadt Nürnberg (2005), among other awards. Boberg lives and works in Fürth, Germany.

 

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Dennis Bailey (1931-2016) a prominent British graphic designer

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It was just recently that my eye was caught by a cover for a British exhibition on Architecture. ( available at www.ftn-books.com) The exhibition “ARCHITECTURE TODAY, has over 140 page filled with examples of typical Sixties architecture but what made it stand out for me was the excellent cover by Dennis Bailey.

architecture today

Bailey was of great influence to other British designers because he taught at the Central School Of Art & Design (1957-60), Chelsea School of Art (1970-81) and at Middlesex Polytechnic during the late 1980s.

I wondered why i find his design so appealing. It must have been the influence of Swiss design . at least there is a hint Gerstner in his designs and it is no wonder, because he contributed for a period of over 20 years to GRAPHIS magazine based in Zurich.

For more information on this great Britisch designer please read the article that i found over here:

Remembering Dennis Bailey – design’s unassuming statesman

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Luciano Fabro (1936-2007)

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Luciano Fabro…an italian artist rooted in the ARTE POVERA and perhaps a little bit forgotten nowadays.

But Fabro stays very imortant for Modern Art, since his works are very much in line with other great artist from that era. Castellani and Manzoni were of great influence to him and in 1958, after he saw Lucio Fontana’s work at Venice Biennale, Fabro moved to Milan where he spent the rest of his life pursuing his artistic career.

Fabro was involved in the Arte Povera group, which was interested in experimenting with industrial and natural materials, focusing on process, language and the body. Fabro’s best known works were sculptural reliefs of Italy made out of glass, steel, bronze, gold and even soft leather. The signature unorthodox, ‘poor’ materials in his works include steel tubes, cloth, newspapers, and wax; the artist, however, often used also traditional and expensive art materials such as gold, marble, and bronze. At the height of the ARTE POVERA group, the Boymans van Beuningen Museum organized and exhibition with the works by Luciano Fabro and after this exhibition other exhibitions followed in the Netherlands. The catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com