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Roger Raveel archive

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Last month I aquired a small Roger Raveel archive, containing invitations, posters, small gallery booklets and a newspaper, from a Raveel collector who had sold his collection. Over 25 items were in the archive all in excellent condition and historically of importance. I have listed these items over the last 3 days on www.ftn-books.com and for those of you who are interested in Raveel there must be some interesting items among them. If any of you want to buy the complete archive do not hesitate to contact me at ftnbooksandart@gmail.com and i wil make you a special offer.

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Janine Schrijver (1966)

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Janine Schrijver (1966)  researches the relation between people and their surroundings. She searches for little signs of human contact and thus series of photographs came to exist which show daily life in the Netherlands during the last 3 decades. An interesting oeuvre of photographs in the tradition Ed van der Elsken made his photographs in the late Fifties, Sixties and early Seventies. I can recommend the book FOREVER YOUNG ( available at http://www.ftn-books.com). It contains photographs of people in the age of 55+ celebrating life in their own ways.

schrijver forever

 

 

 

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Atze Haytsma (1929)

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Born in Amersfoort this little known photographer is still working.

Haytsma has become known for his nude photography in which he shapes the body into almost abstract forms. Inspired by the greats of all nude photographers like Bill Brandt and Lucien Clergue, his nudes are almost always made in a studio setting.

The difference is therefore the way light in the photograph is used . He can set up his studio lights in a way that is never possible when photographing outside. Personally i prefer the natural light of the outside photography, but that does not mean that i am not attracted to the photographs of Haytsma. His photographs still have a quality of their own, making these highly collectable items at a reasonable price. This is an artist to watch whenever an item appears on an online auction site. The ATZE book is available at www.ftn-books.com

Atze Haytsma (1929) was educated to be a sculptor. At fourteen years old he started his professional career as an assistant of Geert Marree, just before the Dutch famine of 1944. After that he studied at the Applied Art School and the State Academy of Expressive Arts. He also learned how to glaze and work with modelling clay in a pottery to finally produce the designs of sculptors such as Bill Couzijn, Carel Kneulman, Marie Andriesse and many others. Basically everything in his life revolves around shape. Where he used to work with stone, he now, because of his age, works only with wax. But it has always been about the shape of a woman’s body.

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Photographing women became an essential part of his life. It all began when he started to teach portrait and model moulding. At first he used nude models in the classes, but when the school could no longer afford to pay for the models, Atze started to photograph women and used the pictures as reference material for his students. They posed for him at his home, in the -presence of Atze’s wife, Mieke, who was a painter. First, they were students of the art academy he was teaching at, but by word of mouth the list grew longer through the years.

Around the age of sixty, Atze quit teaching. He then started to create small sculptures. He did this without a model; the female body was imprinted in his head in such a way, that he did not need a model. However, the longing to photograph women remained. Since then, Atze has been working in a pocket-sized attic, with construction lamps as lighting. He started out with two cameras, but soon needed others, because of the use of different lenses. By now he has eight of them, all Mamiya and Rolleiflex cameras, purchased for a small price at the end of the analogue era, when everyone switched to using digital cameras. Twin-lens reflex cameras for a 6 x 6 cm picture size on a 120 mm roll-film. Cameras that should be handled with caution, perfectly suitable for portrait and model photography because of their precision and handy size. Ideal for Atze, who has a soft, modest, almost shy personality. Using a Rolleiflex camera, you look down, into the waist-level finder, indirect, much more pleasant for the model. Instead of piercing, probing eyes she sees a head humbly bowed. The camera, placed on a tripod, is deliberately at about the same height as the top of the sofa bed. Atze does not for a moment want to give the models the feeling he is looking down on them.

The models are amateurs. Just women he met or who were referred to him. He will never ask someone himself, he does not have the courage. Maybe after a second posing session he could ask: ‘Will you come again?’. Sometimes he only speaks to them over the telephone and sees them for the first time when they walk through the door. The first time, they are a bit uneasy and nervous. Atze himself is relaxed, because he has been working with nude models his whole life. Atze always asks new models to come and see his photographs first so they can decide after that. If you feel that you are too fat or not pretty enough, he reassures them. A roll of fat or a skin crease can heavenly divide the body.

Posing for the first time the woman sits uncertainly on the corner of the sofa bed. ‘Just let yourself fall on the sofa,’ is Atze’s friendly advice. Followed by: ‘Beautiful, keep it like that’. That is how it starts and it doesn’t get more complicated then: ‘Can you turn around’, ‘Stretch a little more’ or ‘Can you crouch’. Photographs improve when a woman is aware of her body. He wants to give as few directions as possible, because it is all about interaction. A few words suffice.

He always photographs his women naked. Atze sees clothing as a kind of mask, so he wants his models to take it off. The absence of jewellery and other modern body embellishments make the images look like they could have been taken in the 1930ties.

Atze keeps his sculptures anonymous. Because a face has such a different expression than a body, he keeps the face out of the picture. Sometimes if a model lies in such a way that her eyes are prominent, he asks her to look at the lens and takes a portrait as a present for the model.

The pictures are a mirror image of Atze’s softness and admiration. The women show themselves unrestrainedly, bask in his gaze, let his eyes caress them. It is about surrender and relief. From Atze’s side, it is reverence for a woman’s body. And a kind of eagerness. If it is there, he wants to capture it.

For 25 years Atze has been capturing the tangible in moulding clay, the visible in photography and his thoughts in poetry. Three things that are inseparably linked.

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Aernout Mik (1962)

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Once again a dutch artist. Aernout Mik…. Not that well known in the Netherlands but one look at his biography shows that his fame is truly international. Exhibitions and Video installations all over the world of which the exhibition at MOMA is perhaps his ultimate achievement until this date  (catalogue available at http://www.ftn-books.com). His video installations leave you with a sense of unease.

Look at this video in which Aernout Mik ao. explains the setting of his exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Mik is an artist who can not be explained. You have to look at his videos for yourself and wonder afterwards what the effect of the video has been. another exasmple is this SPEAKING IN TONGUES;

the MOMA Aernout Mik catalogue is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

aernout mik

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Guido Strazza (1922)

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One of the grand old masters in Italian modern art is Guido Strazza. His works remind me of the ones Hans Harting made during the Sixties, but these are different….more spontaneous and they have a lighter touch. Perhaps this is because his graphic works has a kind of transparency which is rare. thin lines , scattered in a pattern. like a mikado game transformed into art.

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This rare quality was recognized by Willem Sandberg who held an exhibition with Strazza in 1961 at the Stedelijk Museum ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com)/

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In the Seventies and early Eighties Strazza was almost forgotten, but lately his works are in fashion again. These are abstract works that tend to Minimalism and perhaps that is the reason why Strazza is becoming more popular by the year. The result several publications and some major exhibitions with his works.

 

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Amédée Cortier (1921-1976)

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This blog on Cortier is long due. I love Cortier and because his publications are scarce I almost forgot about him, but now that I have found the most important Cortier publication on his abstract works it is time to devote a blog to Amédée Cortier.  The book is on his abstract works and even contains a chapter on Cortier written by one of all times best curators …Jan Hoet.

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From 1936 to 1942, Amédée Cortier enjoys his training at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. On the one hand, his oeuvre consists of paintings that he makes in various media (acrylic, oil, gouache, aquarelle, India ink or bistre, among others) on panel, paper or cardboard. On the other hand, he makes pen drawings, reliefs and models. Around 1950, influenced by the exhibition Le Cercle Artistique (Ghent, 1949), he applies himself to a short-lived geometric-abstract experiment, but decides after this to return to embrace his figurative visual language. He begins with painting rural scenes (1940), still lives and portraits of women (1950), and evolves towards a stark, simplified figurative language in schematic compositions. André Lothe (1885 – 1962) exerts an important influence on him with his Traité de la figure (1950) and Traité du paysage (1939). Around 1964 Cortier begins to paint resolute abstract and from 1966 – 1967 he favours colour over the relations between the forms. The transition to acrylic paint is to be understood in the same context. This medium helps him to heighten the intensity of his colours. His stark works are witness to a sense of natural law, but also leave room for intuition. Ultimately Cortier changes over to monochrome, by which he creates mutually coherent ensembles in the form of diptychs and triptychs. With his reliefs (1968), he evolves from the traditional painting to painting as object. Beginning in the 1970’s his work is completely dominated by colour, built up around a stark composition and a unity between colour and form. He gains public recognition with these works.

Cortier sees his own oeuvre confirmed in the work by the artist Ellsworth Kelly (1923 – 2015). Under the impulse of Peter Struycken (1939) he meets Kelly in 1976. As a member of Het Antenneke, his fascination grows for the Golden Ratio, an important compositional rule in his oeuvre. His friendship with Yves De Smet (1946 – 2004) is of crucial importance for his artistic career. He is not only a like-minded artist friend, but is also an important promoter and organiser of exhibitions dedicated to Cortier, such as Horizonnen & horizontalen (Horizons & horizontals) (1976). Cortier becomes a member of the Ghent group organised by De Smet called Plus-Groep, a collective of Ghent constructivists that are seeking the unity between form and colour. Via Plus-Kern – Centre for Constructive Design, established by De Smet and others in 1969, Cortier is actively promoted. This occurs through the medium of publications such as Plus-Nieuws, though also through participation in international exhibitions. In 1973 he is internationally recognised with the Sikken Prize.

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Heimo Zobernig (1958)

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The catalogue i have available on this artist shows why he is appreciated as an artists. It shows why he is considered a multi-disciplined artist. Sculpture, design, painting etc. …all disciplines and aspects of Modern art come along in his works.

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Heimo Zobernig is a contemporary Austrian artist working across media—painting, sculpture, film, performance, and more—to create a completely interdisciplinary Postmodern practice. Known for his treatment of colour within his abstract works, Zobernig blends elements of Minimalism with expressive brushstrokes, geometry, or typography while retaining an emphasis kept on the grid and the monochrome. Born on April 30, 1958 in Mauthen, Austria, he studied at both the Akademie der bildenden Künste and Hochschule fur Angewandte Kunst in Vienna, where he currently lives and works. He created work for the Austrian Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Zobernig has commented, “there are moments when I really enjoy being an artist, but I also appreciate those moments when I completely forget about it.”

zobernig

The book is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Parade , 1952 by Charles and Ray Eames

A few weeks ago my American friend David, wrote in a Facebook post that he truly enjoyed the classic PARADE movie by Charles and Ray Eames. Although i am a great fan of the Eames couple. I never had heard of these stop motion/animated movies and immediately opened the link . Ok…. it is not the greatest of stop motion movies that ihave seen, but it is charming and one can see that the Eames couple is trying to find a way to make this work. Music is typical for the US,  a de Sousa march is backing up the movements of the figures, making this PARADE a highly enjoyable short movie”

Parade was filmed by Charles and Ray in 1952. It is a live-action pageant of mechanical toys, animals, puppets, cars, lead soldiers, and dolls–all set into motion, with colorful toy buildings and photographic and painted images of city streets used as backdrops. Hugh De Pree, the former CEO of @hermanmiller, recalls spending the night at the Eames Office, helping Charles, Ray, and Billy Wilder, wind up toys for the film until 3 AM.

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Władysław Strzemiński (1893-1952)

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I had almost forgotten this great artist until recently I discovered a great monograph on him at the local bookmarket (sold). Just quickly leafing through it i noticed the resemblance with some of the greatest Piet Zwart designs and even, after searching on the internet  I discovered his influence in some recent Japanese designs. His art is truly avant-garde. When you look at Minimal Art from the Sixties and Seventies and the hard edge paintings from the Sixties you can only draw one conclusion. All the great artists from these decades must have known, Władysław Strzemiński and drawn inspiration from his art.

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An excellent biography on the artist can be found here:

https://culture.pl/en/artist/wladyslaw-strzeminski

Władysław Strzemiński (Belarusian: Уладыслаў Страмінскі; 21 November 1893, Minsk – 26 December 1952, Łódź) was a Polish avant-garde painter of international renown.

In 1920 he married Katarzyna Kobro.

In 1922 he moved to Wilno (now Vilnius), and in the following year supported Vytautas Kairiūkštis in creating the first avant-garde art exhibition in what is now the territory of Lithuania (then under Polish rule).

In November 1923 he moved to Warsaw, where with Henryk Berlewi he founded the constructivist group Blok.

During the 1920s he formulated his theory of Unism (Unizm in Polish). His Unistic paintings inspired the unistic musical compositions of the Polish composer Zygmunt Krauze. He is an author of a revolutionary book titled “The theory of vision.” He was co creator of unique avant-garde art collection in Łódź gathered thanks to the enthusiasm of members of the “a.r.” group as Katarzyna Kobro, Henryk Stażewski (the artists) and Julian Przyboś and Jan Brzękowski (the poets).

In postwar Łódź he was an instructor at the Higher School of Plastic Arts and Design .Neoplastic Room in Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź. where one of his students was Halina Ołomucki, survivor of the Nazi concentration camps. His Neoplastic Room was installed in the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź in 1948 but was removed in 1950 as it failed to fit in with the socialist realism aesthetic imposed by Włodzimierz Sokorski, the minister of culture of the Polish United Workers’ Party.

His works have been exhibited in such museums around the world as Centre Pompidou, Museo Reina Sofia Moderna Museet Malmö and Whitechapel Gallery

The following Strzeminski publications are available at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

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Jet Nijkamp…Verdrongen Landschap

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The reason to write this blog is the book i recently purchased by Jet Nijkamp. Filled with nature drawings of wood, trunks and landscapes and enhanced with text by Tsead Bruinja. Thsi titel “Verdrongen Landschap” was published in a small edition and is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.

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An excellent title with drawings by Nijkamp , which remind me of the early drawings by Frank van Hemert influenced by Anselm Kiefer. but……visiting her site i noticed that she had published a complete series of Donald Trump dressed in Womans Clothing. A “funny” series of pastel drawings on international newspapers. It is not funny only , but it shows some criticism towards Donald Trump and his presidency. Trump takes poses like the great states man he think he is, however…..the drawings make fun of him and puts his presidency into perspective. The best one is the Obama meeting. Obama is the statesman and Trump the one with a dress on. I can not vote for any US president , but i wish i could and i  would not have any doubt who to vote for.

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