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Richard Mortensen (1910-1993)

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Richard Strange Mortensen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He studied between 1931 and 1932 at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen. Influenced by the works of Wassily Kandinsky, he developed an abstract art style. In Copenhagen, Mortensen was joint founder of the “Linien” school of abstract painters.

In 1937, he undertook a study trip to Paris, where he met pioneers of surrealism, such as Roger Vitrac, Gala Éluard, Michel Leiris, Antonin Artaud, Raymond Queneau and André Masson. During the Second World War, Mortensen’s works reflected the violence of Europe. After the death of his wife Sonja Hauberg, in 1947 moved to Paris remaining there until 1964. Together with Robert Jacobsen, Mortensen became connected to the Galerie Denise René in Paris, which became famous for concrete art. His later works are concrete works of art characterised by large, clear, bright colour surfaces. After his return to Denmark in 1964, he received a professorship at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen, which he held until 1980.

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Mortensen was awarded the Edvard Munch Prize (1946), the Kandinsky prize (1950), the Prince Eugen Medal (1967) and the Thorvaldsen Medal (1968). In 1945, he married author and poet Sonja Hauberg (1918–1947). They were the parents of literary researcher and professor Finn Hauberg Mortensen (1946–2013). Richard Mortensen died at Ejby in Lejre Municipality

The works by Mortensen were presented in the last two decades of his life at gallery Willy Schooots, bu unfortunately the gallery in Eindhoven and the foloow up in Antwerpen closed recently. However ….somne of the catalogues are available at www.ftn-books.com

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galerie Willy Schoots

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Galerie Willy Schoots was one of the iconic galeries that started in the Nineties with some great exhibitions. Later the gallery was continued in Antwerp  as Galerie Schoots – Van Duyse. But trying to find the internet pages of the gallery i found out that the gallery is now closed. A pitty since another great gallery whichg has dutch roots has now closed its doors . Just a few dozen of galeries for Modern Art continue their work to present dutch and international art to a dutch audience. I predict that in another decade most of these will have closed and ond only “an “online” art market will exist. Still there is lots of these galeries to collect. I have recently added some catalogues and invitations of the galerie Willy Schoots to my inventory at www.ftn-books.com

These are now for sale today the invitations and tomorrow the catalogues which are added.

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galerie Neuendorf and Hans Neuendorf

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Galerie Neuendorf is one of those iconic galeries that was active in the Eighties and early Nineties selling the very best works by the very best artists.

It nowadays is a private fine art dealership and advisory service based in New York, London, and Berlin, offering expertise on modern and contemporary art and specializing in sourcing the highest quality artworks for clients.
Founded as a gallery by Hans Neuendorf in 1964; Neuendorf represented, and was instrumental in the development and present artistic legacy of renowned artists including Georg Baselitz, Lucio Fontana, David Hockney, Francis Picabia, Cy Twombly, and others.
Since closing the gallery in 1995, Neuendorf has continued to work with a select group of clients to build and manage their collections. With over 70 years combined experience in the art market, we offer our clients a direct, personal, and discreet option to buying and selling artworks, but this is all “old school”….he probably will be remembered as the founder of Artnet.

When Hans Neuendorf created his online art company in 1989, he had little inkling that providing transparent art-market data would transform what was then a boutique art business into, 30 years later, a global industry that regularly transacts in $100 million sales. But that is exactly what has happened.

neuendorf

www.ftn-books.com has some of the Neuendorf catalogues availabel. The best one is the 1992 book, which included the list of available works and their prices. It shows exactly what Neunedorf predicts for the future. Prices of great art will rise in the decades to come

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Marcelle van Bemmel (1948)…Fantastic photography

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To be honnest…i did not know  Marcelle Van Bemmel until i recently discovered and purchases an nice catalogue on het fantastic photography from 1986. It shows the qualiteis in which she excells. Living in Rotterdam it can not ne coinsidence that many staged photography is being made . Many photographers are making staged photography as an art form ( Henk Tas ao) and van Bemmel is one of them.

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The photographs make you guess and wonder  why these objects, forms and figures were in a way that emotions are aroused. Humor, darkness and phantasy all are fighting to concur your mind. The book is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

marcelle van bemmel

 

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Ex Libris

Because of the lockdown i had the time to describe and list some of my inventory which i bought , but never had the time for to research, photograph and list. Among them some small prints by Ru van Rossem and 5 series of Ex Libris with nude figures printed. Some are signed and numbered, but they have two things in common, nudes on the prints and excellent qualityfor all. These were made and used in the Fifties and Sixties . At that time books were enlightened with small graphics which were commissioned by the owner of the books.  Some excellent examples are now for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com

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ex libris set c a

 

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Wifredo Lam (1902-1982)

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A long time overdue and i really do not know why i missed this artist , because if there is one artist from that region i have been following  as long as i have an interest in art it is Wifredo Lam. Full name : Wifredo Oscar de la Concepción Lam y Castilla
It is his compositions filled with abstract almost religious like figures that strcuk me from the beginning. It is a little the same i experience with the painting by Basquiat . Both invented their own art language and filled their paintings with these abstract heads and figures . There is almost half a century between both artists but their paintings have this art language in common and both are favorist of mine. I am not the only one…. Ickecked this on the internet and found an excellent article on the same comparison at: https://medium.com/@lexxbeknown/root-of-self-portraits-basquiat-meets-lam-698ab830deeb

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The reason i finally checked if i ever had written someting on Wifredo Lam is that i just listed one of his important publications. It is the Derrier le Miroir edition no. 52 from 1953, which is now have available in excellent collectable condition. This beside some other Wifredo Lam publications will show the best way why i consider Lam to be one of the greatest from last century.

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Zoom, Magazin Kreativer Fotografie

The Seventies and Eighjties were the two decades that artistic photography magazines were launched with great success. These magazines also functioned as a platform for the young, lesser known photographers who were featured with their latest works in these magazine. There was in the Netherlands a magazine called FOCUS , in France there was ZOOM , which later had also a German edition. These were all filled with photographs of the most famous of these young photographers. There were special issues with photographs by Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, Araki, Jan Saudek and Lucien Clergue. All would rise to world fame with their photographs, but it is interesting to see that they used these magazines to grow their audience, making these magazines highly collectable items since they are the first two give some publicity space to, which are nowadays considered to be, the greatest photographers from the last century.

http://www.ftn-books.com has some nice examples available.

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Nono Reinhold (1929)

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It has been almost 50 years ago that the Stedelijk Museum presented dutch graphic artist Nono Reinhold for the first time. She has never become a “household’ name among dutch graphic artists, but now is the time to recognize the importance of Reinhold . Her works , inventive techniques and place among the arists of her generation , shows that she is important. the Teylers Museum adn Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam have an important collection of her works , which is occasionally on show. When you first see her works the immediate association is the liquid slides from the SIXTIES, with one difference. slides are random, but these compositions and colors are intentional. Until 10 years ago i never had heard of the artists but since i grew my inventory i encountered several books on Reinhold ( availabel at http://www.ftn-books.com ) and i started to like her works. May be it is time for you to discover Nono reinhold at this moment too.

 

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Marlene Dumas, 1992…Miss Interpreted

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There is a reason for using the above photograph in which Marlene Dumas stands next to Rene Daniëls. The iconic book for her first major museum exhibition was published by the van Abbemuseum and dedicated to René Daniëls, who had a cerebral haemorrhage in 1987.  They boht attended Ateliers ’63 , but did not study in the same period, but after their studies they met at several exhibitions in which they were presented as young promissing artists from the Ateliers ’63.

After they met at the Stedelijk Museum exhibition they became friends and had several (group) exhibitions together.
With the painting “De gele vingers van de kunstenaar”, she had already begun to establish herself as a promising young artist. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1953, she had moved to the Netherlands to study at the independent art school Ateliers ’63 in Haarlem, near Amsterdam, from 1976 to 1978. Founded in 1963, the institute is now known as De Ateliers and located in Amsterdam. In 1978, at merely 25 years of age, Dumas exhibited her work for the first time as part of the group exhibition Atelier 15 (10 Young Artists) at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and in 1982 participated in Documenta 7.

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Painted in 1985, De gele vingers van de kunstenaar belongs to the breakthrough body of work The Eyes of the Night Creatures that Dumas created after a five-year hiatus from painting, during which time she had primarily created works on paper. While her drawings oeuvre had been already been subject to her first museum solo exhibition at the Centraal Museum Utrecht in 1984, the debut of this series at Galerie Paul Andriesse in Amsterdam in 1985 marked the triumphant return to painting and figuration in Dumas’ practice and signaled the emergence of what would become one of the most daring and influential figurative contemporary painters.

Invitation for Galerie Paul Andriesse, Marlene Dumas, The Eyes of the Night Creatures, 1985

Many of the works from the series now reside in public collections, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Centraal Museum Utrecht.

Installation view of The Eyes of the Night Creatures series in Marlene Dumas, Image as Burden, Tate Modern, London, 2015

It is important to remember that the art world in Amsterdam at the time was very small, with only two major contemporary art galleries and many of the artists, gallerists, critics and curators knowing each other very well. Recalling the great lineage of French Impressionist bourgeois café scenes, De gele vingers van de kunstenaar captures a late night art world gathering of friends that smoke, drink and talk.

The diptych is indeed based on photographs that Dumas took during nights out with her friends in Amsterdam. On the left, eminent artist and close friend René Daniëls is depicted holding a cigarette with yellow fingers, evocative of fresh paint, but also the staining that occurs from extensive smoking — hence the corresponding title.

De gele vingers van de kunstenaar speaks to a particular moment in time in which Dumas and René Daniëls were on the rise as the most promising young painters in the Netherlands. While Dumas and Daniëls did not overlap in their studies at Ateliers ’63, they had notably been included in the 1978 Stedelijk Museum group exhibition Atelier 15 (10 Young Artists).
The catalogue MISS INTERPRETED which is now available at www.ftn-books.com honours this friendship and the appreciation of Daniels his art by Marlene Dumas.

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Project KATSHOEK

Without knowing . The VOORMOLEN company made an artist book which contains contributions by the very best artists from the Netherlands from the Sixties. Katshoek was an architectural project in the rebuilding of Rotterdam after WWII. New architectural design , enhanced with art from the very best of dutch artists.

Together with the project the Voormolen company made an artist book. with contributions by Boezem, Bonies, Dekkers, Dibbets, Eikelenboom, van Elk, Gribling, Koetsdier, Manders, n, Rous, Schuitema, Graatsma, Slothouber, Staakman, Struycken, Volten

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the above publication is also in the collection of several dutch museums and now available at www.ftn-books.com

Katshoek office building

Heer Bokelweg became the connection between Schiekade and the Rotte Tracé, a wide road from the centre to the motorway to Utrecht. The Katshoek building was the first structure built on this new and wide city boulevard.

Katshoek multi-tenant building on Heer Bokelweg.

Katshoek multi-tenant building on Heer Bokelweg.

Foto Kramer/Rotterdam City Archives

What a contrast between the large modern building faced in white Kirchheimer limestone and the Oude Noorden district behind it! The huge structure has been built on Heer Bokelweg in the Zomerhof District.

It was originally designed as a multi-tenant building for small industries that had previously been housed in temporary structures in the area. However, this plan was dropped on account of the drastic increase in construction costs since the plan was launched in 1959. The idea now is to house ten large offices in the building, among them probably, subject to approval by the city council, a number of municipal departments. In addition, the Voormolen contracting firm that built the structure hopes to move from its current address on Westersingel into the new building on Heer Bokelweg in early 1968.

Het Vrije Volk, 28 September 1967

Katshoek-Bouw-1966

Flashy perspective drawing of Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Bouw, 1966

The post-war Basis Plan for the centre of Rotterdam earmarked Heer Bokelweg as a main access route into the new city from the north-east; an entrance between ‘gateways’ like the Shell building and the Schieblok to the renewed Hofplein and Coolsingel. Heer Bokelweg later became the connection between Schiekade and the Rotte Tracé, a wide road from the centre to the motorway to Utrecht. The Katshoek building was the first structure built on this new and wide city boulevard. After completion of the building the widening was extended on the north side, including an unsophisticated gap punched in the Hofbogen viaduct. But the changing insights of the early 1990s are visible on the southern side in the narrowing of the street with the construction of the Scala apartment complex beside the RAC garage, which today houses the city archives.

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Model of Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Stedenbouw, 1968

Multi-tenant building

The sturdy seven-floor concrete-frame building is designed as a multi-tenant building, but it differs considerably in both layout and architecture from Maaskant’s other multi-tenant buildings such as the Industriegebouw, Groothandelsgebouw and Verzamelgebouw Zuidplein. According to Maaskant expert Michelle Provoost, this is an atypical work for Maaskant. “Especially the facade, which is very flat. You don’t see that very often in Maaskant’s buildings. The facades of his buildings are usually very expressive.”

The exterior is indeed fairly flat, with sleek bands of fenestration in aluminium profiles and stone cladding. The interior and the columns along the lower volume on Almondestraat are finished in bush-hammered concrete, a technique used to leave the concrete surface rough. The use of luxury materials gives the building a strongly representative feel. The floors of the two halls of the main staircases and of the shopping gallery are finished in Jura stone. The walls of the halls and the ground-floor columns feature exposed concrete adorned with a relief, while the entrances to the staff lifts are finished in white anodized aluminium.

The angle on the front facade is elegantly highlighted by the stone bands that continue as a vertical series of balconies.

Clearing the way for cars

The widening of Heer Bokelweg cleared the way for cars, but the building facilitates cars in other ways too. A car park for 250 vehicles was built behind the building and was directly connected to the office volume. In addition, an Aral petrol station was built on the triangular site between Heer Bokelweg and Almondestraat. And so the number of petrol stations within a 100-metre radius came to three!

Artwork

Art plays an important role in the building. The facade features an entrance relief by André Volten (1925-2002), one of the best-known abstract sculptors of the post-war period, whom Maaskant frequently worked with. The piece (Untitled, 1968) is a facade element with circular segments. The lines of the architecture are repeated in the work and distorted to form a new image. It was originally made of stainless steel and stone, but during renovation it was painted black along with the columns, ruining the effect. An art event was held in the entrance hall to mark the opening of the building in 1968.

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Advertisement for NV Aannemingsmij. v/h H & P. Voormolen, proud builder and owner of the Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Stedenbouw, 1968

Until 21 December, the ground floor of the new Katshoek office building in Rotterdam is the venue for an exhibition that is as unusual as it is striking. At the invitation of Voormolen, the contractors responsible for building Katshoek, sixteen artists were given an opportunity to express themselves creatively with all sorts of construction materials.

Het Parool, 14 December 1968

It was, according to organizer Bob Bonies, a remarkable project:

“After all those exhibitions, which always consisted of the finest possible arrangement of existing works, I wanted to try another approach. I proposed inviting a number of Dutch artists to create their contribution inside that wonderful space by using construction materials supplied by Voormolen. Including engines, blowers and the like. And with the help of skilled workmen from Voormolen. It was an expensive project, but I immediately received full cooperation.

I chose sixteen artists: the cool guys Dekkers, Manders, Koetsier, Struycken and myself, Boezem, Dibbets and Van Elk with their micro-emotive art, the kinetic artist Staakman, Eikelenboom with his utopian situations, Rous, who makes a sort of minimal art, André Volten, Paul Schuitema with his colour scheme and his alphabet and the Slothouber-Graatsma team from the Cubic Construction Centre. And Gribling with his space structures.”

Het Parool, 21 December 1968

Today

The building housed the offices of Robeco, Procter & Gamble Benelux and a number of municipal departments. Owing to its out-of-the-way location, the building later fell out of favour. The current tenants are OMA and Havensteder.