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Jean Messagier (1920-1999) continued

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I always have been a great admirer of the abstract art of Jean Messagier. Recently i acquired a collection of gallery catalogues of the New Yrok based Lefebnre gallery . A renowned gallery that was active from 1960 – 1986 and run by John Lefebre. In the early years he chose original lithographs as cover for his publications and one of these is the very impressive lithograph by Jean Messagier. Spread over 3 page this is probably the best i have ever seen by this artist. I am biased, since i am the fan of his abstract art, but even for a normal art lover this work must be outstanding.

messagier lefebre b

messagier 1964 b

The Lefebre catalogue is now available at

messagier lefebre a

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Erik Ortvad (1917-2008)

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One of the founding cities of the COBRA movement is Copenhagen and one of the true Danish COBRA members was Erik Ortvad.

Ortvad was born on the 6th of June, 1917 in Copenhagen. He was a painter and a graphic artist, who was known to be an autodidact. He has been painting since 1935 from a very young age. In this period his paintings were influenced by the surrealistic and abstract style of Ejler Bille (1910-2004), Vilhelm Bjerke Petersen (1909-1957) and the artists group called Linien (The Line) (1934-1949). During 1941 and 1942 Ortvad was, just like many other Danish artists and contemporaries, in search of more spontaneity in the course of his creative process. He began to paint with a more spontaneous-abstract style, at which he would use small brushstrokes to purvey his canvases on numerous occasions with the colours grey, pink, yellow and blue.

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Ortvad joined the Danish pre-war experimental artists association Høst (1942-1949) in 1945 as the youngest member. Through Høst he came in contact with members of CoBrA (1948-1951), an international post-war avant-garde movement that believed that art must originate from artistic freedom, fantasy and spontaneity. Ortvad’s artworks were shown in 1948 at the Van Lier gallery in Amsterdam. His artworks were also shown in 1949 and 1951 at the renowned CoBrA exhibitions in Amsterdam and Liège. Ortvad decided a year after the abolishing of CoBrA to put his paintworks aside and focus on his desire to draw cartoons. He did this under the pseudonym ‘Enrico’. After the year 1960 he directed his focus on his spontaneous painting style once again. In contrast with his earlier works, his later works are defined by a powerful characterization existing of fiercely, saturated colours, strong lines and visible brush strokes.

It took al very long time for me personally until I discovered Ortvad, but now that I have encountered his works I believe I like him better than most of his dutch fellow COBRA members. The below publication is available at

cobra denmark


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Josef Albers silkscreens

A great inspiration for Sol LeWitt and considered by many as one of the greatest artists from the 20th Century. Josef Albers is the artist I am writing about this time. In an earlier blog I explained the importance for Minimal art of Josef Albers but this time the blog is devoted solely to the great original silkscreens I am exclusively offering on eBay. The series of 4 comes from a private collector and is from 1973. The silkscreens are executed on a double sheet of paper and are exquisite in the choice of colours. Albers is the true master of matching the best colours. The composition of HOMAGE TO THE SQUARE is always the same but the choice of colours and size make you look at a different work of art the moment you see it. These original silkscreens are 8.1 x 8.1 inch and now available at eBay’s  all international sites.


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Two “scarce” Stedelijk Museum additions

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bloc parent c

It has been a long time since i encountered the No. 183 catalogue ,published by the Stedelijk Museum in 1958. The publication is a leporello like publication which folds out and describes the contributions by three French artists. The design done by Willem Sandberg makes this one stand out and it is one of the most scarce publications by the Stedelijk Museum. The artists André Bloc, Claude Parent and Charlotte Perriand. an absolute must have for the admirers of these artists and a highly collectable item for all interested in the Stedelijk Museum publications. (now available at

The second one is even more scarce and it is one i never have encountered before in all these years that i sell Stedelijk Museum publications. Designed by Wim Crouwel it is only a 4 page publication. Specially made for the Werkgroep Plakat Praag / Politieke affiches uit Tsjechoslowakije ( ODPOVĒDNOST)/ 1965. This is another highly desirable item for Stedelijk Museum/Crouwel collectors.

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Jan Hendrix (1949)

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Hendrix is a well known artist outside the Netherlands but is hardly known over here. Traveling all over the world he collects images and scenes which he later translates into paintings and drawings. Such a series is “Bitacora” which was exhibited in the Netherlands too.

Jan Hendrix was born in Maasbree, the Netherlands .He was born into a farm family that opposed his artistic aspirations. At sixteen, he routinely skipped classes except for art.[2] At seventeen, he entered the Den Bosch Royal Art Academy, but was expelled for rebelliousness. In 1968, he was invited by dutch/Japanese artist Shinkichi Tajiri to enter the Ateliers ’63 School in Haarlem, which was considered the most radical school at the time. Here he received a multidisciplinary education and at the same time worked at the Smeets press in the city of Weert. From 1971 to 1975, he worked on his masters at the Jan van Eyck Academie, where a professor encouraged him to focus on the graphic arts.

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Between 1971 and 1976, he lived in France, Portugal, Norway, and Iceland, and has lived and worked in Mexico since 1978.He has visited Kenya (1990), Egypt (1991), China and Australia (1996), Turkey (1998), Ireland (1999), Spain and Yugoslavia (2001) .

Since 1978, he has remained in Mexico City, where he currently resides. He took a year sabbatical in 2010 to study the first Australian plants collected in 1770, which are at the Natural History Museum of London.

His works range from artist’s books, print editions, enamel installations, etched glass, and paintings, to architectural projects. Since the 2000s, he has held an average of three to four exhibitions each year. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he started with multiple exhibitions at galleries in the Netherlands such as Agora Studio in Maastricht and Printshop and Galerie Clement in Amsterdam then the Galería de Arte Mexicano in Mexico City after he took up residence.[3] He began exhibiting solo in 1975 and since has participated in both solo and group exhibitions in Mexico, Europe, the United States, Asia and Africa.

A number of these were major exhibitions which toured in multiple places. Bitacora consists of images from various countries. It was exhibited in the Wan Fung Gallery in Beijing, Zhu Qi-Zhan Museum in Shanghai, Erasmushuis, in Djakarta, UTS Gallery Sydney, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, Museum of Painting and Sculpture in Ankara and the Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City. Storyboard was exhibited in the Instituto Cultural Cabañas in Guadalajara, Museo Amparo, Puebla and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey. Botánica was exhibited at the Calcografía Nacional de España in Madrid, Espacio Cultural Metropolitano in Tampico, Museo de Arte in Querétaro, Centro Cultural Tijuana, Galería de Arte Mexicano in Mexico City.

He work can be found in numerous public and private collections in various parts of the world including, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, National Council for Culture and Arts of Mexico, Hiscox in London, Institution Ferial de Extremadura, Junta de Extremadura, the Bankinter Collection, the Baker & McKenzie Collection, the Caixanova Collection, the Museo de la Comunidad de Madrid, Rodriguez Acosta Foundation in Granada, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Bonnefanten Museum, Fundación Cultural Televisa, Institution de Artes Gráficas in Oaxaca, Museum Von Bommel and Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte of UNAM and Irish Museum of Modern Art .

Some of Jan Hendrix his publications are available through

jan hendrix

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Jan Bor (1910-1994)

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Recently i added a catalogue published by the Dordrechts Museum to my inventory. The catalogue published in 1995, caught my eye because of its design. Designed by Richard van den Dool it has become a beautiful publication on a painter who is hardly known. Taught and certainly influenced by Charley Toorop he left a small oeuvre which deserves to be better known. Among art lovers his name is known, but outside the “in Crowd” his name will rarely be mentioned. Here is an oppertunity to inform yourself on this lesser known painter from the last century. Book is available at 

jan bor


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Yoshitoshi, two sides of the same medal

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There are literally two sides of Yoshitoshi as an artist . There is the dreamlike artist with a poetic flute player and on the other side there is the violent artist who depicts horror scenes.

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What is present in both these prints from the same artists is the beautiful technique of his prints. Mouvement, use of color and composition are all of the highest quality. I personally prefer Yoshitoshi’s art above all other Japanese print makers. Of course Utamaro has depicted the most beautiful women and Hokusai’s landscapes are beyond compare, but with Yoshitoshi his prints it is something special for me. There is mouvement and action in these prints and put these prints one after the other, a story emerges, just like a modern graphic novel. The RIJKSMUSEUM has published a great series on Japanese Prints and has recently acquired the Volume V in the series totslly dedicated to Yoahitoshi and his fellow artists from that age… THE AGE OF YOSHITOSHI is an absolute must for his admirers.



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Naar een Nieuwe Abstractie, 1966

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Mid Sixties , right after the start of the Zero/NUL mouvement a new group of young abstract artists emerged in the Netherlands. These artist were presenting their abstract art in a way that was “new” to the dutch art world. Concrete, Abstract geometric art, inspired by German and US artist but definitely in a style of their own. These artist were presented in a 1966 exhibition at the Waag museum in Nijmegen and this has now become one of the starting points of Abstract Geometric art in the Netherlands. A small but historically important catalogue . Cover by Frank Gribling makes this a highly collectable publication and now available at

nieuwe abstractie

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Leonard Forslund (1959)

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One of the advantages you have when you buy art books is  that you frequently encounter artists and their publications you have never heard of and Leonard Forslund was one of them, Intrigued by his “contour” paintings i learned that he has been active for quite some time now and has deservedly acquired a good reputation in the art world.

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Leonard Forslund (b. 1959) is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Since his breakthrough in the mid-80’s, he has exhibited widely in Denmark, Sweden and other countries. Forslund works with a new definition of painting. His subject matter frequently includes recognizable objects or photographic material isolated against a monochromatic surface. This focus triggers the meanings. A stark contrast emerges between the recognizable, evocative element and the alienation the spectator feels when experiencing an abrupt lack of perspective and context. The artist often makes a virtue out of bringing together several perspectives – scientific, personal, spatial or historical/political – on a single plane, rendering the painting ambiguous and enabling new connections of meaning to emerge across the given elements. Forslund challenges the spectator’s self-image, in the redefinition of his or her own point of view and way of thinking. Leonard Forslund lives and work in Copenhagen.

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This 1989 publication is now available at

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Lotti van der Gaag, Kees van Bohemen & Bram Bogart

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Three famous names in the dutch and Belgian art scene, but never named in relation to each other except for this one occasion in 1956. In March/April of this year these 3 artists were presented in an exhibition at the “galerie Colette Allendy” in Paris. Lotti van der Gaag and Kees van Bohemen knew each other from Den Haag , but Bram Bogart had left Delft/Den Haag years before and was at that time working and living in Paris. In 1960 he would return to Brussels , but in 1956 they met and were exhibiting at this little known Parisian galerie. I want to share this rare item i have on this exhibition and which is now for sale at It is a leporello like folder with 6 small pages and portraits of the artists. This is a truly scarce item and for collectors a one time only offering.