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One week….Lefebre gallery NY….day 1

Last week I acquired a large collection of catalogues from the LEFEBRE GALLERY. The collection contains 63 different exhibition catalogues all fro the period that this famous gallery was open between 1960 and 1986. A great collection which I will share in the coming 7 days….today day 1

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from top to bottom /left to right:

Antonio Segui, 1977

Sugai, 1967

Jules Bissier, 1967

Jules Bissier, 1965

Jules Bissier, 1985

Jules Bissier, 1964

Jules Bissier, 1974

Jules Bissier, 1972

The Lefebre Gallery was established in 1960 by John and Ljuba Lefebre at 47 East 77th Street in Manhattan, New York. John Lefebre became known for his photographs from the artist he presented, but the collection is from his exhibitions only.

The gallery’s inaugural exhibition, “A Collector in Paris becomes an Art Dealer in New York” was based on the Lefebre’s’ personal collection, which included artists who were part of The School of Paris in the 1950’s.  As Annette Michelson noted in her introductory text for the exhibition’s catalogue, “ There is an idea of a gallery –the almost ideal gallery- in which every painter represented, every painting, represents a personal taste, in which every canvas bears the mark of a private affection or of a passion (..) These canvases bear the stamp of a milieu (Paris), a period (the post-war years) and a particular sensibility; all have matured together.”

From this inaugural exhibition, the Lefebre Gallery established a reputation for mounting important exhibitions of post-war European art. Lefebre was the only American art dealer to represent Cobra artists such as Asger Jorn, Pierre Alechinsky, Corneille, Christian Dotremont, Carl-Henning Pedersen, and Reinhold. Other artists represented by the Lefebre Gallery included Horst Antes, Pol Bury, Julius Bissier, Klaus Fussmann, Hans Hartung, Serge Polikoff, Antonio Segui, Wallasse Ting, among others.

The gallery closed following the death of John Lefebre in 1986.

The series i have available at www.ftn-books.com contains 62 different titles. These publications will be listed in the upcoming 4 weeks. If there is a publication you would like to buy, please sent an email to ftnbooksandart@gmail.com and i will quote you your best preview price.

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Piet Dirkx weekly

A small exhibition at HEDEN in Den Haag was held in 2009. On this occasion a special book ( like a Moleskine) was published by Piet Dirkx and HEDEN. edition of only 400 copies. This was the invitation for the opening of the exhibition.

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Jaap Mooy (1915-1987)

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Jaap Mooy is a dutch artist who is increasingly recognized as being important for Modern Art in the Netherlands. He witnessed the development of abstract art and was in the last decade of his artistic life an abstract painter pur sang. There are many influences to be recognized within his art. There is a bit Lucebert, Karel Appel, Tajiri, Jean Arp and Tinguely, but also influences of Bauhaus in his collages.

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Still this kind of art is getting more important by the year, because it shows the way abstract painting was developing over the years in the Netherlands and Jaap Mooy was an important artist contributing to this development.

left Mooy and right Jean Arp

http://www.ftn-books.com has now the most important Jaap Mooy publication available.

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Piet Dirkx weekly

Another rare itemis this special publication by galerie van esch. Piet Dirkx has the largest contribution with some color photo’s and 2 special booklets.  numbered edition of only 200 copies . Published 0n the occasion of the KUNSTRAI 1990

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Rienold Postma (1950)

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A local celebrity in Friesland, but still not known outside this province of the Netherlands is Rienold Postma. Thom Mercuur who initiated the Museum Belvedere was an admirer and he organized several exhibitions with this painter , who is a master in smaller paintings. With a minimal composition he  transforms his small works into a work with maximum exposure and effect. Just look at these two examples

left : “a girl struggling with her sweater” and on the Right “Two girlfriend walking on the dyke”. These are examples of his art and i think they are impressive. When you leaf trough the book on Postma ( available at www.ftn-books.com) you will soon experience the power of these small paintings. These are realistic paintings that are on the border of being completely abstract.

The works by Rienold Postma can be seen at the Museum Belvedere near Heerenveen.

https://www.museumbelvedere.nl

reinold postma

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Wally Elenbaas (Continued)

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On the 8th of May 2018 i published a blog on the very impressive photography by Wally Elenbaas. These were photographs not lightly to be forgotten. Specially because Elenbaas was sentenced to prison for these beautiful photographs.

https://ftn-blog.com/?s=elenbaas

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Now it is time to shine some light on another aspect of this great dutch artist. Elenbaas was also a gifted designer and used his typography to create images and illustrations consisting of letters transforming these and their meaning into illustrations. Images tell a far better story than words so here are some illustrations….and….the LETTERBOEK is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

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Aat Veldhoen (1934-2018)

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Art collecting is full of surprises. I started collecting books and art some 50 years ago and in this time I encountered some amazing works of art. I bought only a few and “forgot” to buy many, but I always had an open mind for great techniques. Aat Veldhoen was such an artist. He was arguably the first dutch artist who made his art available for the common people. Selling rotaprints by Jasper Grootveld these “erotic” prints were not appreciated and thought to be pornographic.

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These erotic prints can be considered the same as the Japanese Shunga prints, but with less colour and possible more realistic. Still the technique is stupendous. Lifelike figures making love, not hiding themselves and enjoying each other. Veldhoen became famous for these prints and drawings and during his life eventually was admired for them. Now culminating in a great solo exhibition at Museum Kranenburgh ( https://www.kranenburgh.nl/english/exhibitions-and-activities/aat-veldhoen-art-of-life). Unfortunately coles at this moment because of the Covid-19 virus, but hopefully open again later in June. Seeing these great drawings I have a feeling to compare these with Lucian Freud his works. the human figure in all its glory, not hiding anything.

Why this blog on Veldhoen now. …….Yesterday I met with a client who wanted very much to by the Jan Cremer i had in my collection for over 30 years. We made a deal and I sold him the Cremer. Today he came to fetch it and brought a beautiful drawing by Veldhoen of his former wife KABUL. I was very much impressed with this drawing and I could buy it from the Cremer buyer. So now this drawing is mine and I am still impressed by it. There are not many drawings by Veldhoen. A great many of them were destroyed and cut, but this remains and was in its former private collection for over 30 years. It was bought directly from Veldhoen and his a fitting ” Heijdenrijk” frame which enhance s the drawing. A classic ‘nude pose” of by Kabul makes this a typical Aat Veldhoen drawing.

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Aat Veldhoen (1934 – 2018) lived for and surrounded himself with his art. He worked in his teeming house and studio on Amsterdam’s Wittenburgergracht. The creative urge that underscored his versatile oeuvre, including drawings, etchings, paintings, photos, ceramics and sculptures, remained unwavering to the end.

Desire, love, sex, illness, old age, death

After studying drawing, Veldhoen set about documenting desire, love, sex, illness, old age and death, all with uncompromising zeal and compassion. This exhibition includes work Veldhoen made after suffering a partial paralysis at the age of 69, as well as Polaroids from the Rijksmuseum collection which have never been shown before.

Veldhoen’s exceptional and enduring curiosity for everything human resulted in an intimate, lifelong study of those around him. We see this in Veldhoen’s countless portraits of himself and his family, friends and artists.

Life and art

The works in Aat Veldhoen – Art of Life show remarkable connections with the work of those he knew and encountered. His life and art were inextricably intertwined. The result is a personal and tender view of human existence. Since Veldhoen often portrayed himself, the viewer is no longer the only voyeur.

for more information on the drawing please inquire at ftnbooksandart@gmail.com

 

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Wim de Haan (1913-1967)

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Wim de Haan was a self taught artist . He invented a kind of art which can not be compared with anything made in the Fifties and Sixties. If there is an influence i would say early Cobra and Miro, but the result was very WIM DE HAAN art. Sculptures paintings, drawings all are exceptional works of art  and i really admire his art. I think his paintings are one of a kind and very appealing. His sculptures are like viewinh boxes. Opening up and with a look into a fantasy world which is typically de Haan. One of the most recent exhibitions is an exhibition from almost 40 years ago and it is now time for another major exhibition on Wim de Haan to give him a platform he deserves after so long a time.

 

Wim de Haan was born as Willem Jacobus de Haan in Amsterdam on the 14th of June, 1913. He was active as a painter and as an assemblage artist. De Haan grew up in Haarlem. In 1937 he was sent to Indonesia by the company that he worked for, where he worked as a stevedore and insurer until 1942. In addition to that he was also an actor. He is fascinated by the eastern mentality and takes in a lot of this culture. In 1942 he becomes a Japanese prisoner of war and is forced to work on the Burma Railway. He barely survives this camp and returns in 1946 to the Netherlands. For several years he studies philosophy, psychology and social sciences, he briefly was the manager of an orphanage and he draws and writes poems. In 1951 he published “Freedom in captivity,” a thesis on group phenomena in Japanese prisoner of war camps. In 1953 he decided to fully devote himself to drawing and painting. As an artist he was self-taught. In the beginning his first paintings and drawings exhibited an elaboration of themes and motifs that initially display a strong evidence to pre-war surrealism, soon after his works went into an abstract expressionist direction, in which a clear distinction can be made in his drawings and paintings. His drawings are ruled by expressive line structures, which more or less allow insightful signs tob e recognized. With continuance he keeps researching the possibilities of pen, brush, ink and paper. His unbound utilization of lines are characterized by his drawing style. The lyrical abstract paintings that arise from this process are characterized by abstract signs and unclear confined colored spots. Later on he began to mix ash, sand and other materials in his paints. At that point his painting artistry ran parallel for some time to that of his Dutch friend Jaap Wagemaker (1906-1972). Both are members of the ‘Liga Nieuw Beelden’ (League New Images). Constantly looking for new opportunities, De Haan decides to take a different path in 1957. The two-dimensional plane is broken up by his use of cut-outs, protruding and recessive surfaces. There are all kinds of ‘objets trouvés’ (found objects) added. Finally in 1958, a first exhibition of his work was held at the Galerie ‘t Venster in Rotterdam. As from the 60’s De Haan exhibited on a regular basis in London, but also in Cambridge, Lyon and Frankfurt. At that time he also joined the group ‘Europa’ and the group Oekwa with which he exhibits in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. After 1962 he creates free-standing objects, in which -even more than in his earlier works- his interest in magic and mysticism is reflected. Wim de Haan dies in 1967 in Amsterdam. In that year a memorial exhibition is held in London at the Grosvenor Gallery and about a decade later a big retrospective exhibition of his works is opened in 1975 at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

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Berend Strik (1960)

Berend Strik creates images with embroidery. Using thread and needle his images get an extra dimension, The result a strange picture of a realistic composition enhanced by an almost abstract image created with thread. Original , very personal and sometimes very explicit images occur. loo at the series CANDLE 1. 2 and 3 . And from a distance you see abstract elements but look closer you will see 3 explicit scenes. Strik is a highly original artist and i still feel regret of not having bought a nice embroidered “painting” when i had the chance a few years ago, but who knows what the future will bring.

Here follows the text from the Berend Strik site in which Rem Koolhaas commented on the works by Strik:

I don’t know quite why, but in this society at this point in time we are being urged to curb our enthusiasm. Enthusiasm creates vulnerability, it’s not cool and often seems rather ridiculous. Enthusiasm is a risk; you can get it completely wrong. But this afternoon I want to openly proclaim my enthusiasm for this new work by Berend Strik. I am fascinated by this work.
I won’t try to convince you; I just want to share with you why I am so enthusiastic. The painting is based on Strik’s photo of the floor in Jackson Pollock’s studio – part of a series of ‘artist’s studios’, all based in principle on an invasion of privacy. The floor is covered in smudge splashes. You can spot the outline of the canvases that once lay on the floor. Strik surreptitiously inserts his own work in that relatively clean, empty space. In this way, Strik introduces a new genre: the involuntary collaboration. It is a stroke of strategic genius, disguised as homage. Inserting yourself in a history that seemed to be closed…
Pollock was a real man in the days when white men were still popular. A carefully staged action painter. An artbeast.
His work appears macho but you can also see it as meticulous doodles, a tissue of threads made of ink and paint. Pollock’s surface is harmonious rather than wild – Berend isn’t wild either – so why does his combination have this strong conviction? Perhaps it is the planks that give this work its unique impact. Neither Pollock nor Strik – both really embroiderers – want to give their work visible structure but here the subdivision created by the planks has raised both to a more powerful level, given them more authority. It is time to take a fresh look at Berend Strik’s work – and eenwerk is a unique space – really a machine – that can function as a magnifying glass. See here the new Strik – a new force with new depths.
I hope you see what I see – in this unique one-off setup – and that your observation will have consequences for Strik’s future.

www.ftn-books.com has several titles on Strik of which the BODY ELECTRIC title is the most important one with an original embroidered cover

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Luciana Matalon (1937)

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Perhaps the true importance of Luciana Matalon is that she initiated the founding of an art space in Milano as a platform for young aspiring artist to have their first exhibitions.

http://www.fondazionematalon.org

Luciana Matalon was born in the Veneto region but moved to Milan where she made her debut in 1968. As a multifaceted artist she dedicated herself to painting, scuplture and the creation of jewellery.

Her artstic studies took place mainly at Milan’s Accademia di Brera and during periods spent in a variety of foreign countries. Since 1966 she has taken part in numerous exhibitions and has organized her own in Europe, America and Japan.

In 2000 the artist set up a self-titled foundation in Milan, where she aspired to create a new museum space to become an international crossroads of new ideas and new artistic orientations. Moreover, since 2006 she has been promoting the Premio Beniamino Matalon per le Arti Visive (Beniamino Matalon Prize for Visual Arts), which has a duration of two years, with the aim of stimulating artists under the age of 35 to produce work that is meaningful and worthy, whilst supporting them in their  path of artistic growth.

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http://www.ftn-books.com has the 1981 Matalon catalogue for her EP galerie presentation available.