Blue skies with clouds chasing by, Grey Skies, meadows, windmills, ponds, hay stacks. Put this all in a blender and you will have the ingredients of a dutch impressionist or THE HAGUE school painting. The Netherlands was famous for his landscape painting from the 16th century on, but only in the last 150 years the painter approached his subjects and showed in detail what landscape painting was all about. Willem Maris was one of them and together with Weisssenbruch he made some of the best landscape paintings from his time. Beautiful skies and detail , perfect light and in many cases decorated with cows in the meadow. If you want to see the best from the THE HAGUE school painters, buy the books on the DE HAAGSE SCHOOL at www.ftn-books.com and for the best examples from this school visit the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Mesdag museum, both in The Hague.
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At least you can say that he has a completely different approach to his subjects than any other of his colleagues. Most of the time hechoses a highly controversial subject. This differs from sex to the morgue, but most of the time the result is “shocking”.
Taschen made an excellent book titled AMERICA with Serrano and it is one of the books i keep for my own collection. A little search resulted in enough copies for the collector to add this to his or her collection, but there is another one… a much harder to find book which was published with the Groninger Museum exhibition A History of Andres Serrano/ A HISTORY OF SEX in 1997. The design was done by Swip Stolk ( the house designer at that time ) and blown up pictures from the exhibited collection were used as posters in the street. One of them ( a girl peeing in a mans mouth) hit the street , but was removed a couple of days later , because it was a little bit too shocking. Still the result of this publicity campaign was that the Groninger Museum registered a record number of people, who visited this exhibition. The catalogue sold out within a few weeks, with no reprint and has become one of the most searched for catalogues of the Groninger Museum…..and www.ftn-books.com luckily
has one copy available.
The text in the Taschen book on Serrano is :
Even though I consider myself a conceptual artist, I am a traditionalist when it comes to photography. I like to use film and shoot straight. No technical gimmicks or special effects. What you see is what I saw when I looked though the camera. If I’ve dazzled you with lights and colors, it’s because I’ve dazzled you with lights and colors. Ideas are more important than effects. And effects are always better when they’re real. In Lori And Dori, for instance, the conjoined sisters are dressed like fairy tale princesses evoking a dreamy and surreal landscape of the mind. But they’re real. Other times I have to make things look real, even if they’re not. In White Nigger, a man is made Black through make-up, while a child is “hung” with a harness. Ezra Pound once said, “Make it new.” I do. And make it real, too.
The trick is not so much coming up with ideas, as how to make them work. When I first tried to photograph my ejaculations, for instance, I kept shooting and missing. After about eight times of getting back black film I realized that I needed a motor drive on my camera. I would start shooting film before I felt myself coming, and was able to shoot a roll of film in seconds. Invariably, there would be one shot, and one shot only, of my ejaculate. In Vagina Dentata (Vagina with Teeth) the teeth-they were shark’s teeth-kept falling out. I had to keep pushing them in to keep them from coming out. After a while, they stayed in place. When the shoot was over, I tried to get them out, but they were stuck. I then realized that the glue that kept them in place was dried menstrual blood.
–Andres Serrano, Reprinted from an interview with Julie Ault for “America and other Work by Andres Serrano” published by Taschen.
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Fabre’s fame began when he was making 100% blue drawings with a BIC ballpoint pen ( 1980). It was the early eighties , but before that he shook the art scene with making drawings with his own blood ( 1978) .Since he made stage designs for plays and dance, movies and many more drawings and objects and of course sculptures….extremely large sculptures. Jan Fabre is considered one of the greatest living artist in Europe.
A short introduction to one of the greatest Belgian artist from this time. For me Fabre and Panamarenko will be remembered as the great Belgian artist from the last part of the 20th century. Both imaginative in their own way and both highly original with an own signature.
There is a huge list of all his activities during the last 3 decades, but the best way to get an impression of Jan Fabre is to read what Wikipedia says about him and visit his site afterwards
There is a large selection of Fabre titles available at www.ftn-books.com
Fabre is famous for his Bic-art (ballpoint drawings). In 1990, he covered an entire building with ballpoint drawings.
He explores the relationships between drawing and sculpture. He also makes sculptures in bronze (among them The man who measures the clouds and Searching for Utopia) and with beetles.
His decoration of the ceiling of the Royal Palace in Brussels Heaven of Delight (made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases) is widely praised. In 2004 he erected Totem, a giant bug stuck on a 70-foot steel needle, on the Ladeuzeplein in Leuven.
In 2008, Jan Fabre’s The Angel of Metamorphosis exhibition was held at the Louvre Museum.
On 26 October 2012, several media reported how during a shoot in the Antwerp town hall for a forthcoming film on Fabre, living cats were thrown repeatedly several meters spinning into the air, after which they made a hard landing on the steps of the entrance hall. Animal welfare executive chairman Luc Bungeneers said he was having a meeting with his party chairman when he heard howling cats. “To my horror, we found cats were being assaulted in the name of art”, Bungeneers said. “It went on for several hours.” The filming was eventually aborted after protests from the crew’s own technicians. Later that day, Fabre claimed all cats were still in good health and it was a conspiracy of the political party NVA. Mr. Fabre has received 20,000 emails slamming his act. He has also been attacked seven times by men carrying clubs whilst out jogging in the park and been forced to sleep in a different location every night. Antwerp’s deputy mayor for animal wellbeing and the animal rights organisation Global Action in the Interest of Animals also launched complaints about Mr Fabre’s controversial act.
On February 2016, Jan Fabre was appointed by the Greek Ministry of Culture as the Creative Director of the annual Athens – Epidaurus Festival. He resigned less than two months later, on the 2nd of April 2016, after a huge controversy over his plan to turn Greece’s major arts festival into “a tribute to Belgium” and devote eight of the festival’s ten productions to those from his homeland.
In September 2016 Fabre made an attempt to not break cyclist Eddy Merckx‘s 1972 hour record at the Tête d’Or Velodrome in Lyon. Fabre completed a total of 23 km in an hour, compared to Merckx’s record of over 49 km. The attempt was commentated on by Merckx, fellow cyclist Raymond Poulidor, and veteran cycling commentator Daniel Mangeas and was performed as the opening of his “Stigmata” retrospective exhibition organised by the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon. Fabre described the attempt as “how to remain a dwarf in the land of giants”.
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The Finnish master of design and glas has had some great exhibitions in the Netherlands, but the most important one was the one in the Stedelijk Museum ( 1976). The Stedelijk Museum took a special interest in Wirkkala and acquired many beautiful works by him and from his wife Rut Bryk, who also had her exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum (1970) , even before her husband had his. Both their catalogues were designed by Wim Crouwel and both catalogues are collectors items now.
Wirkkala designed many great glas objects for Iitala which are still in production. I wish i had more publications on Wirkkala and his wife, but these are rare. The ones i have are both from the Stedelijk Museum. One is the monography and the other two are on a group exhibitions on Finnish glas and design.
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In the Zandstraat 20/ The Belgium Museum for Comics, ( centre of Brussels ) in an art nouveau building there is the Brasserie Horta, named after the famous Belgian Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta. If you walk Brussels there are many Art Nouveau buildings to be found , but the one that is the most important is probably the one which houses the Victor Horta museum in Saint Gilles. If you want to visit it, please note that the opening hours are very limited and only small groups may enter the building. Once there ,you will find one of the most authentic and beautiful Art Nouveau buildings to be found in Brussels. The Tourist Office has some nice walks on which the most typical Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings are indicated and when you take this walk , beside the buildings , there are many wall drawings to be seen ( practically all related to Belgian comic art ). Stop at the mentioned Brasserie Horta at the Museum for Comics, have a coffee and visit its collection, containing many authentic TinTin/Herge items. https://www.stripmuseum.be/nl/home
and continue your walk to end at the Horta museum in Saint Gilles.
prepare your visit with the nice little book which i have available at www.ftn-books.com
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