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André Kertész (1894-1985)… a leporello

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André Kertész is one of the most important and influential photographers from last century. Not only his works cover all important decades from the century, but also his innovative way in seeing and photographing subjects made him famous during his life. One of the special items i have in my inventory is a leporello on the studio of Piet Mondrian. A selection of photographs resembling the classci still lifes of the dutch painters from the golden age. Great photography which proves the quality of these photographs. This leporello is available with other great Kertesz titles at www.ftn-books.com

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Michael Dudok de Wit (1953)

Linda on Cyprus gave me some time in catching up with Game of Thrones and the movie i was looking forward LA TORTUE ROUGE/The red turtle an animation movie by Michael Dudok de Wit, who’s career i have been following since the win of Father and Daughter.

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I can not recommend this movie enough. It has a rare quality…it is poetic, dramatic, lifting up and all those qualities combined in a movie made by the Ghibli studio’s with only a sound track to support the story. Ghibli became famous with the Miyazaki movies they made ( the last THE WIND RISES i can also recommend),

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but with this de Wit movie they struck gold again and in the combination of these 2 there must be another Golden 3 decades in front of them. Go see THE RED TURTLE and take a look at the books i have on dutch animation at www.ftn-books.com

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Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979)

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Sonia Delaunay… I always thought she was french, but she lived in France because she married Robert Delaunay, but was born in Ukrainia. She became known as the cofounder of the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colors and geometric shapes. Her work extends to painting, textile design and stage set design. She was the first living female artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre in 1964.

In short she was one of the first female modern artists to became known all over the world. Her patterns, tissues and paintings have been of influence to many modern artists after her, including the hard edge and kinetic artists who combined her use of colors and patterns into their own works of art. Art Deco fashion could not have existed without Delaunay tissues she had fabricated for her costumes.

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A fascinating artist who’s patterns and paintings look still very modern and one of those artists who made her publications very special by using serigraphs, lithographs and pochoir prints as a cover. Making these publications stand out from the others and turning them into very desirable collectable items. There are a few available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985)

It was early February that we visited Paris and ended our 3 day’s in this city with a visit of the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Situated next door to the Louvre it is much less known, but the reason to visit was the Bauhaus exhibition which was held over there.  However , it was not the Bauhaus exhibition , but de exquisite Dubuffet collection which won me over. Because www.ftn-books.com has a large inventory of Dubuffet publications ( 24 available items) i searched for this blog the internet and found a great short synopsis on this Art Brut artist.

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Jean Dubuffet disliked authority from a very early age. He left home at 17, failed to complete his art education, and wavered for many years between painting and working in his father’s wine business. He would later be a successful propagandist, gaining notoriety for his attacks on conformism and mainstream culture, which he described as “asphyxiating.” He was attracted to the art of children and the mentally ill, and did much to promote their work, collecting it and promulgating the notion of Art Brut. His early work was influenced by that of outsiders, but it was also shaped by the interests in materiality that preoccupied many post-war French artists associated with the Art Informel movement. In the early 1960s, he developed a radically new, graphic style, which he called “Hourloupe,” and would deploy it on many important public commissions, but he remains best known for the thick textured and gritty surfaces of his pictures from the 1940s and ’50s.

Key Ideas

Dubuffet was launched to success with a series of exhibitions that opposed the prevailing mood of post-war Paris and consequently sparked enormous scandal. While the public looked for a redemptive art and a restoration of old values, Dubuffet confronted them with childlike images that satirized the conventional genres of high art. And while the public looked for beauty, he gave them pictures with coarse textures and drab colors, which critics likened to dirt and excrement.
The emphasis on texture and materiality in Dubuffet’s paintings might be read as an insistence on the real. In the aftermath of the war, it represented an appeal to acknowledge humanity’s failings and begin again from the ground – literally the soil – up.
Dubuffet’s Hourloupe style developed from a chance doodle while he was on the telephone. The basis of it was a tangle of clean black lines that forms cells, which are sometimes filled with unmixed color. He believed the style evoked the manner in which objects appear in the mind. This contrast between physical and mental representation later encouraged him to use the approach to create sculpture.
http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/francais/musees/musee-des-arts-decoratifs/parcours/galeries-thematiques/galerie-jean-dubuffet/
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King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima into Zero art ( Staudt and Leblanc)

HRH King of the Netherlands, Koning Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima collect Zero art. It was yesterday evening that there was a 90 minute interview with King Willem-Alexander on the occasion of his 50th birthday on prime time television.  An open and honest interview in which i learned to appreciate more the person Willem-Alexander is. I am still opposed to a King or Queen as head of state, but this was the first time i admired this King and learned that he and his wife Maxima appreciate Zero art. At the beginning of the interview , where Wilfried de Jong ( interviewer) was received in the entrance hall of the kings home, villa Eikenhorst. Willem- Alexander showed 2 of the works from his collection, the first was a work by Klaus Staudt ( he referred to it as being from a german artist) and the other was not mentioned at all , but i am for 99% sure it was a TORSIONS painting by Walter Leblanc.

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Both great works of art and it makes me curious about the other works in their collection. To celebrate the Kings birthday there will be a 10% discount today on the entire inventory of www.ftn-books.com and an invitation to the King to look at the great books i have in my collection on ZERO art.

We live nearby and it will be an honor to show you some nice ZERO publications.

discount code only the 27th and the 28th of april: Koningsdag2017

 

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Julio Galan (1958-2006)

There are not many publications on this fantastic artist, but www.ftn-books.com has two of them. In 1992 the Stedelijk Museum had a large retrospective exhibition on him and this catalogue is one of the 2 available books on Galan.

Julio Galan Romo was born in Muzquiz, Coahuila, and grew up in Monterrey, attending private schools. He began to paint while studying architecture at the University of Monterrey and received encouragement from the Monterrey art dealer Guillermo Sepúlveda. He had his first exhibition at Mr. Sepúlveda’s gallery in 1980. A precocious talent with a prickly, flamboyant personality, Mr. Galán began showing in Monterrey at age 20. In the late 1980’s and 90’s, he was Mexico’s best-known young artist. Julio was in effect a second generation Neo-Expressionist. He came to New York in 1984, in the heyday of this polymorphous painting style, whose freewheeling strategies of collage, fragmentation, cultural borrowing and dreamlike suspension were formulated by David Salle, Julian Schnabel and Francesco Clemente, who were influenced by Sigmar Polke. Galan, already strongly influenced by the self-scrutiny of Frida Kahlo, filtered Neo-Expressionism’s lessons through a personality and cultural heritage as polymorphous as the style. Throughout an astoundingly varied, often uneven range of images, he laced references to his childhood and his sexual identity with allusions to Catholicism, the Mexican Baroque, pre-Columbian cultures, retablos and folk art. The result was a kind of postmodern Symbolism: overripe, often perverse, yet mesmerizing. Julio Galán’s works often had the heat of colorful circus murals that had been defaced by a very sophisticated vandal. Their torturous dreamlike settings tended to be haunted by a handsome young man or boy-child who strongly resembled the artist. He underscored this preoccupation by frequently having himself photographed in different roles, for example as Jesus wearing the crown of thorns, or as sensitive bohemians, Mexican Indians and women in black gowns or veils.

Although he never exhibited these self-portraits as his art, they were invariably used in his exhibition catalogs to inflammatory effect: it was like Salvador Dalí channeling Cindy Sherman. In 1985, the young painter made his gallery debut at the Art Mart Gallery in the East Village and began to exhibit widely in Europe. In New York, he also exhibited at Anina Nosei, Ramis Barquet and Robert Miller, where he had his last solo show in 2001; he was included in the 1995 Whitney Biennial. A survey of his work was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey in 1994. His work has been exhibited individually in Mexico, Argentina, USA, Holland, Spain, Italy, England and France. He was the recipient of numerous awards, from fine art institutions like the Arvil Gallery in Mexico City, Vitro Art Center in Monterrey, Mexico, Salon de la Plastica of the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and the Concurso Nacional de Artes Plasticas in Aguascalientes. Julio Galan died on August 4th 2006 after suffering a brain hemorrhage in Zacatecas, where he spent the last years of his life.

 

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GÜNTER BRUS (1938)

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First of all aq uote by Peter Weibel…GÜNTER BRUS, An observer of the second order, he explored the contexts of body and painting, the body’s social and sexual functions, the social and cultural functions of painting. By treating painting and body as a single system, and by analysis of these media of expression, he ultimately pursued an anatomy of society and its social systems.”

It was one of the first artists Rudi Fuchs introduced to the collection of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and since that occasion , GÜNTER BRUS fascinated me. Specially his drawings are my favorites and 2 years ago i saw some movies by Brus in Vienna in an exhibitions on Aktionismus. Self mutilation does not make this an easy art form, but fascinating it is. You do not have to watch the video, but for those interested know that this is not a pleasing art form and could be shocking to some. There are some more examples to be found on you tube and for those interested in Brus, know that there are some nice publications available at www.ftn-books.com

 

 

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Antoni Tapies (1923-2012)

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It must have been some 12 years ago that i first visited Barcelona and found myself amazed and surprised by this city full of Gaudi and other modernista marvels, but the best find for me was the discovery and first visit of the Fundacio Antoni Tapies.

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The building itself is already worth visiting and the inside is even more spectacular. An old facade houses a very modern museum inside which houses the works donated by Antoni and Theresa Tapies. I loved its collection and it proved to me that Tapies his art is timeless, very spanish and cosmopolitan at the same time. Tapies is possibly , next to Picasso and Dali , the most important spanish name in Modern Art. He often uses large canvasses and on them paints with “earth” colors impressive abstract compositions and uses  matter in them.

In these matter paintings , the materials used are no longer simple media used to express an idea; they are the idea itself. That process produces a complete identification between material and form, between concept and language. Those works become opaque surfaces, walls on which the artist writes his graffiti and attaches the forms of objects or people. His identification with the work through his surname (in Catalan Tàpies means “walls”) expresses a more profound desire to break with Western dualism and blend with the material in a continuous formlessness.
Over the post-war years there was a general interest among artists on both sides of the Atlantic in material. Awareness of the atomic bomb and the new scientific discoveries aroused a strong curiosity in science, the new ideas about space-time and substance, while inventions such as the electronic microscope provided a new view of nature.
At the same time, Tàpies had developed an interest in Eastern philosophy, because of its emphasis on material, the identity between man and nature and its denial of the dualism of our society.

There are some excellent Tapies publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Brice Marden (1938)

It took some while for me to appreciate Brice Marden, that was because the first works i encountered by him where his monochromatic paintings, which i did not like very much at that time ( now i do!),  but influenced by Robert Rauschenberg ( he was his assistant during a couple of years) , multi panelled and more colorful paintings began to emerge from his studio.

That was the same period i became interested in Brice Marden. There was a nice exhibition in 1981 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which Crouwel designed catalogue is now a true collectors item ( available with other Marden publications at www.ftn-books.com ).

The list of collections in which Brice Marden is present is almost endless and contains all major Modern Art Museums in the world. One has to be mentioned, because The MOMA was the first to present a large retrospective on this young artist. It was in 1975 and this early interest resulted in having one of the largest Marden collections in the world.

 

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Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) ,first retrospective in the Netherlands in April-October 2018

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Ettore Sottsass was one of the founding members of the Memphis group in 1981. He made some iconic designs for Alessi and Artemide and now is announced that a large retrospective will be held in the Stedelijk Museum in the April-October period in 2018 Prepare your self for this exhibition and look at the books available on Sottsass at www.ftn-books.com