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Ren Hang (1987-2017)

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It is sad to learn that the Chinese photographer Ren Hang ended his life yesterday at the age of only 29 years.

A very promising young photographer, a talent like Araki and Ryan McGinley, who dared to be different in his approach to contemporary (nude) photography. As FOAM remembered in a short blog. Provoking and poetic at the same time and totally different from his Chinese colleagues. A talent which can be recognized immediately.

The exhibition in the FOAM museum in Amsterdam is well worth visiting and lasts until the 12th of March

https://www.foam.org/nl/museum/programma/ren-hang

and to get a great overview of his works, please visit chose the year and click on the photograph for some highly original and great photographs by Ren Hang.

http://renhang.orghttp://renhang.org

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Jacques Monory (1924)

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Monory

Jacques Monory is “world famous” in France, but outside France he is hardly known by anybody. Not many works are to be found outside France and if one is encountered it rarely is in relation with the Figuration Narrative of which mouvement he can be considered as one of the founders. The works that can be found outside France are almost always in relation with international Pop Art scene. In the seventies Monory had a nice exhibition in the Stedelijk Museun. In which he presented paintings with the subject New York….title of the exhibition VELVET JUNGLE / N.Y. a Wim Crouwel designed catalogue. ( catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com ) But despite his commercial focus on France , time acknowledges the talents and qualities of Monory and his works are now presented all over the world. Recent auction results prove the importance of this typical French artist who was frequently neglected in the last 40 years, but now finds his way to the collections of to the true connaisseur.

Here is a recent list of exhibitions during the last 14 years ( not complete )

  • 2003 : « Extraits », Ludwig Museum de Koblenz, Allemagne
  • 2003 : « Nocturne » espace Paul-Rebeyrolle, Eymoutiers
  • 2004 : « J’ai vécu une autre vie », fondation Jean-Marc et Claudine Salomon, Alex
  • 2005 : « Couleurs », peintures, galerie Laurent Strouk, Paris
  • 2005 : « Détour » ouverture-inauguration du musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne (MAC/VAL), Vitry-sur-Seine
  • 2008 : « Roman-Photo », Maison européenne de la photographie, Paris
  • 2009 : « Tigre », Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence
  • 2010 : « Évasion », Forteresse de Salses (Cycle Casanova Forever FRAC Pyrénées-Orientales)
  • 2011 : « Jacques Monory photographe  galerie RueVisconti, Paris
  • 2012 : Galerie Iufm Confluence(s), université Lyon1 et galerie Anne-Marie et Roland Pallade, Lyon
  • 2013 : Galerie Nathalie Clouard, Rennes
  • 2013 : « Jean-François Lyotard and Jacques Monory: Screens », Space Studios, Londres
  • 2014 : « Memento Mori », galerie Sonia Zannettacci [note 7], Genève
  • 2014 : « Jacques Monory », L’Aspirateur, lieu d’art contemporain, Narbonne.
  • 2015 : « Jacques Monory », Capucins de Landerneau, Fonds Hélène et Édouard Leclerc pour la culture.
  • 2015 : « Mon cinéma », Fondation Stampfli, Sitgès (Barcelone).
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Eduardo Paolozzi- Stedelijk Museum catalogue nr. 442

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There are multiple reasons to like the publication no 442. of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Published in 1968 on the occasion of the Eduardo Paolozzi exhibition this is a 100% original work of art . A serigraphie by Paolozzi in his typical Pop Art style. Folded as issued and when folded out an impressive large work of art. Design?….by Wim Crouwel who used the backside of the serigraphie for all the information on Paolozzi. A great Pop Art work of art and available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Lucebert (1924-1994)

Everywhere i come across Lucebert (Lubertus Jacobus Swaanswijk) nowadays. Re-editions of his poems, paintings at auction and exhibitions in galleries and museums. There is a huge interest in his works since 20 years or so, but before that period he was hardly known  as a painter , but nowadays he is considered as one of the leading dutch artists from the 20th century . In his early years he was very much influenced by Cobra , but soon he developed his personal style which for me is a crossing between Cobra and Art Brut. He became known for his poems, but when you ask about Lucebert nowadays, people think of him first and foremost as a painter and because of this interest it is harder and harder to find the early publications on his paintings and etchings. There are some by Nouvelles Images, but the most important ones come from the pubvlications series of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Publications in which original etchings were bound and therefore are highly collectable ( and expensive) publications. www.ftn-books.com has a nice selection of classic and collectable Lucebert publications.

for more information on Lucebert visit http://lucebertstichting.nl

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Francesco Clemente (1952)

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There is no larger Modern Art Museum in the world that has no Clemente in its collection. From Amsterdam to New York the works by Clemente have spread all over the world. But for us in the Netherlands, it was important that Clemente had some exhibitions with the Art & Project gallery and from one of these exhibitions a beautiful little book was the publication result edition of only 800 copies). This and other Clemente books are available at www.ftn-books.com.

Clemente’s work spans four decades. His work is stylistically varied, inclusive, erotic, and nomadic. It embraces diverse mediums and diverse cultures as well, aiming at finding wholeness through fragmentation and witnessing the survival of contemplation and pleasure in our mechanical age.

Clemente’s work is rooted in political utopia and expresses an anti-materialistic stance. In the 1970s he moved from photography to drawing and anticipated the return to painting of the 1980s.

His work is also nomadic. In the 1980s he divided his time between India and New York. While briefly associated with Neo-Expressionism he took an interest in collaborative works both with Indian craftsmen and with painters like Basquiat and Warhol, and poets like Robert Creeley and Ginsberg in New York. In an interview with The Brooklyn Rail, Clemente commented “these poets had been looking at the East for inspiration and I was also anxious to evade the materialism of the West.”

In the 1990s Clemente explored intensely erotic imagery, inspired by the Tantra traditions both of India and Tibet, and turning contemporary preoccupations with identity and sexuality into an occasion to ask questions about the nature of the self. In the 2000s Clemente underwent a darker and grotesque phase, returning in recent years to luminous images of repose and transformation.

Since the 1980s until today, Clemente has also chronicled New York intellectual and social life through a great number of portraits, contributing to the revival of a genre until then somehow discredited.

Clemente’s art has been presented in solo and group shows internationally. Major retrospectives have been held in the 1990s at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, at The Royal Academy in London, at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and at the Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo. Clemente’s art was also featured in 1999-2000 at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, and at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. In the 2000s retrospectives were held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, at the Museo MADRE, Naples and at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt. An exhibition of self-portraits and of Clemente’s own version of the Tarot Cards was held at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence in 2011. (the text and information above comes from Wikipedia).

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Denise Rene new additions

 

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The followers of this blog know that i have a preference for some galeries. Among them there is of course Galerie de France, galerie Steltman and certainly galerie Denise Rene. From the last one i have acquired some nice additions to my inventory.

Catalogue by Francois Morellet – 1967

Catalogue by Victoir Vasarely – 1966

Catalogue by Le Parc – Couleur – 1959

The catalogues of this gallery always amaze me. They stand out from many of the other catalogues published in the sixties and they are well worth collecting, because in many cases the edition size is very small and almost always the design is top notch…. even in some cases an original work of art is included. ( ~VASARELY invitation).

The choice is far from complete, but there are some very nice examples of GALERIE DENISE RENE catalogues available at www.ftn-books.com

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Beauty and simplicity at de RIJK Fine art

Last week i was in the Stedelijk Museum  Amsterdam and was very much impressed by the Malevich and “white” rooms with Dekkers and Schoonhoven. White and nothing but white and it reminded me of the current exhibition at de Rijk Fine Art ( Noordeinde 95 /Den Haag).

Excellent, high quality, museum worthy paintings by ao Schoonhoven , Dekkers and Leblanc… in a totally different setting which was more a cosy living room ( including the dog ;-), than a gallery. The simplicity and in the same time complexity of the works, work very well in this setting. They do not need a museum presentation to show their true qualities. This exhibition lasts until the 26th of February so i advise you to take a look at the de Rijk gallery and see for yourself the qualities of this great and important gallery exhibition.

For publications on Schoonhoven, Dekkers and Malevich visit www.ftn-books.com

 

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SOTO and galerie Denise Rene

One of my favorite galleries of all time is the galerie Denise Rene in Paris and not only because the artists they represent are the ones i like most, but also because of their publications which in many cases contain something extra. Like this SOTO catalogue from 1970 which i acquired last week. The blue, silver and yellow squares within the catalogue are all executed in silkscreen prints and which combinations forms an abstract composition within the catalogue, which makes this catalogue some kind of an artist book and not an ordinary catalogue. This catalogue is now available at www.ftn-books.com. As for the other Denise Rene catalogues search for Denise Rene and find some other great catalogues by this famous gallery in Paris.

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Georg Baselitz (1938)

 

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At the time i had not seen that many Modern Art works, the first time i encountered the works by Baselitz i thought of them as stupid, a gimmick, but seeing more of them ..specially the very large onses , i altered my opinion and now i find them impressive and monumental. This proces took some 30 years, but i honestly can say that for me, Baselitz is one of the greatest living artists.

Georg Baselitz, born Hans-Georg Kern in Deutschland near Dresden in 1938, now lives and works between Basel (Switzerland), the Ammersee (Bavaria) and Imperia (Liguria). He has been an influence on international art since 1960, his works developing in the arena of the reception of German expressionism on the one hand, and the lightness of American painting (Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning) on the other. His Helden [heroes] group, finger-paintings, fracture and Russian paintings, which focus on his German past are represented in almost all distinguished museum collections. From the late 1960s, Baselitz demonstrated his premiss of visual insight taking priority over the subject by deliberately showing his works upside down. The result is a unique simultaneity of figuration and abstraction. This urge towards permanent variation and change is also evident in his late work. Since 2006 he has produced so-called remix paintings in which, with an unprecedented lightness of touch, he re-examines the iconography of his own historical works. Many Baselitz titles can be found at www.ftn-books.com including the facsimile reprint of the famous Malelade artist book.

 

 

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Robert Crumb (1943)

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Robert Crumb, one of the “founders” of the underground comic movement and very important for the evolution of comics. Totally independent , a very personal style and a free spirit in thoughts and subjects, he introduced , sex and drugs into comics.

Robert Crumb was born in Philadelphia in 1943. As a kid, he started drawing homemade comic books, together with his brother Charles, for the amusement of himself and his family. One of the characters he invented back then was Fred the Cat, named after the family’s pet. Eventually, Fred became Fritz the Cat, one of Crumb’s best-known characters.

Crumb left home in 1962, getting a job as a greeting card artist in Cleveland, Ohio. At the same time, he continued his comics, sending one to the public gallery section of Harvey Kurtzman’s Help! Magazine. Encouraged by Kurtzman, Crumb moved to New York to work for Help! Unfortunately, this magazine folded just after Crumb returned from an eight-month stay in Europe. Crumb stayed in New York for a while, making comics trading cards for Topps Gum, among other things, and then returned to Cleveland.

In January 1967, Crumb moved to California, where he did some comics for a magazine called Yarrowstalks. His work was so well received they asked him to do a whole comic book, and soon the first issue of Zap was ready. The publisher however disappeared with all of the original artwork. Crumb, who had not only saved xeroxes of his work, but was already halfway with the next issue of Zap, found Don Donahue and Charles Plymell willing to publish it. And so the material for the second Zap comic was published as Zap #1, after which the older material for the first issue was printed as Zap #0. All of these have become collector’s items.

Zap Comix 1 by R. Crumb

Zap Comix became a success, and soon other artists, like Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso and S. Clay Wilson, started contributing their work. Interest in Crumb’s work resulted in ‘Head Comix’, a collection of his comics published by Viking Press, and a ‘Fritz the Cat’ book by Ballantine. Crumb also contributed to other publications from the underground movement, such as the East Village Other. When animator Ralph Bakshi turned to Crumb to make Fritz the Cat into an animated movie, Crumb eventually agreed, but soon became exhausted with the pressure and left it to his wife, Aline Kominsky, who signed the contract. Crumb hated the film so much that he killed off Fritz once and for all in a strip in The People’s Comics.

The end of Fritz the Cat

In the early 1990s, Robert Crumb and his family moved to France, where they still live today. The creator of unforgettable characters such as Mr. Natural, Mr. Snoid, Angelfood MacSpade and Devil Girl still has a tremendous production, which has been collected in many books. He has worked on a series of comic books with Charles Bukowski in the 1980’s, produced a book on Kafka with David Zaine Mairowitz and also illustrated several issues of Harvey Pekar’s ‘American Splendor’ series. Crumb’s daughter Sophie eventually also turned to comic art.

Crumb is also a talented musician. He plays banjo and mandolin, and has performed with R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders and Eden and John’s East River String Band. He has also illustrated a great many album covers, including ‘Cheap Thrills’ by Big Brother and the Holding Company and the compilation album ‘The Music Never Stopped: Roots of the Grateful Dead’.

There are some very nice Crumb titles available at www.ftn-books.com including the rare Point d’Ironie title Flesh and Blood