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Alice Aycock (1946)

1983, Just 3 years after i started my career at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, the museum made an exhibition with Alice Aycock. Within the Schamhart buidling the complete floor was covered with large kinetic sculptures by Aycock and at that time i could not appreciate them at all. Now 35 year later i wished i had the same knowledge at that time that i have know, because recently i leafed through the catalogue and it struck met that these works were not only great in dimensions, but even after 35 years fascinating. Where Tinguely made his kinetic sculptures in the Sixties. Aycock made them in much more modern and industrialized/high tech versions in the Eighties and after. Alice Aycock has received international fame with her sculptures.

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What remains to me is a wonderful catalogue ( available at www.ftn-books.com) and the memory of meeting a great artist and beautiful woman back in 1983.

To give an impression of her more recent works here is a video on her 2010 presentation:

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Ana Juan (1961)

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A combination of illustration and serious art is the art by Ana Juan. I stumbled upon her works some 20 years ago when within the same series as

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Joost Swarte’s Articulado was published, a beautiful book by Ana Juan was published.

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The book also with a thin wood cover impressed me so much that from that date on i followed her progression in art.

A second copy of the book is now available at www.ftn-books.com and you can see for yourself why i was so impressed , because the internet site at :

http://anajuan.net/ana-juan-mainmenu/

is well worth visiting. Here is the information Wikipedia has on her

After graduating in fine arts from Universidad Politécnica in Valencia (1982), she moved to Madrid at the height of the movida madrileña and in the early 1980s she collaborated with magazines such as La Luna and Madriz (where “for the first seven months of the magazine’s life, [she] was the only regular female artist” and for which “she authored seventeen comic book works” and illustrated many scripts for other artists).

In 1991 she temporarily moved to Paris and exhibited in Geneva and New York; in 1994 she received a fellowship by the Japanese publishing house Kodansha and lived in Japan for three months.

Back in Madrid, in 1995 she started contributing to The New Yorker, for which she has designed more than 20 covers over the years,[3] among which “Solidarité”, after the Charlie Hébdo shooting in Paris.

In 1998 and 1999 she was awarded the Gold Medal (category: Illustration) by the Society of Newspaper Design and on September 24, 2010 she was awarded the “Premio Nacional de Ilustración” by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

She currently creates her own books (texts and illustrations), exhibits her work all over the world (Spain, Mexico, Japan, Italy…) and contributes to many Spanish and international magazines. She has also illustrated many Isabel Allende’s book covers for Plaza e Janés (Penguin Random House), among which Retrato en Sepia, Eva Luna, El cuaderno de Maya, Of Love and Shadows, and is one of the very few artists who was allowed by the author himself to illustrate a book by Stephen King, namely The Man in the Black Suit (El hombre del traje negro, Nórdica Libros, 2017).

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Alberto Vargas (1896-1982)

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I consider Alberto Vargas ( born in Peru) as the most original and technically accomplished pin-up artist ever. Of course, France has known some great pin-up artist like Aslan was one of them, The US brought us Elvgren and the more modern Olivia de Barardinis, but for me personally Alberto Vargas is the very best. His style is recognizable, his models are exquisite and his art has always a personal note.

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He started making Pin Up drawings in the early 20’s and kept producing new Pin-Ups  until his early Eighties. Many of them appeared in Playboy magazine and the 60’s Playboy magazines contained each month a new Vargas drawing. The magazines edition rose to an enormous 7 million each month but now has fallen to 800.000.

7 million readers ( viewers) each month meant his name as a gifted (pin-up) artist spread rapidly and original drawings fetched high prices at auction. Prices have fallen a little since these GOLDEN VARGAS DAYS, but a good drawing still fetches  usd. 20K+

Artistically Vargas is for sure not the most important and ground breaking artist, but his drawings have a great appeal and are technically brilliant pieces of art.

www.ftn-books.com has some Vargas titles available

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Albert Gleizes (1881-1953)

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A misunderstanding from my part is that i always thought Gleizes to be a Suisse artist, but he isn’t, he is French and that places his works among other French Cubist artist to compare. So not Hodler was the greatest influence on his works, it is that what i thought to be true, but far more other contemporaries from the French art scene like Metzinger, Delaunay and Le Fauconier, who were his sparring partners in art. Self proclaimed founder of Cubism his works are among the best cubist works i know of and these art works build a bridge into the art of the Bauhaus that was more than interested in the ideas by Gleizes. Gleizes has not become the great name in art you should have expected, but became a “niche” artist, who received some special exhibitions in the Netherlands in the last few decades. Not the grand scale exhibitions you would expect with such an important artist. Maybe the future will bring the recognition Gleizes deserves but for the meantime you have only some nice exhibition catalogues which are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Fons Haagmans (1948)

Yesterday i wrote about Fons Haagmans and that he reminded me of Richard Artschwager…..why?…. i stil do not know, because when your really compare and study both, there are so many differences to be discovered, but at a glance i still say… they  belong to the same family.

For me Fons Haagmans stands for two things. His catalogues published belong to the best dutch art catalogues published over the last 25 years and he is a typical artist of the south. Born and still living in Limburg, in the south of the Netherlands, he had his most important exhibitions at the Bonnefanten museum ( Maastricht) which catalogues are available at www.ftn-books.com

His art is something special and his works ( beside they are related to Artschwager ;-)) are strongly graphical and have a signature of their own.

nature, Letters/ fonts and numbers are a constant source of inspiration and worked out into joyful , intriguing works of art.

While studying some pictures of Haagmans i noticed some similarities with other artists:

left Fons Haagmans and on the right Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita (1928):

and left Fons Haagmans and on the right Julie de Graag( ca. 1915)

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Jan Sobecki /Tribeca at Heeze…an artist on his own

 

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The art world will probably not know about Jan Sobecki and his Tribeca Restaurant in Heeze, but the culinary world does certainly know Jan Sobecki. After starting his career at Chapeau and Boreas restaurants, he finally has a place of his own for 2 years now in Heeze. The former restaurant of Nico Boreas was turned into the TRIBECA restaurant run by Jan Sobecki and his wife Claudia. Why a blog on this restaurant and not a blog on art like always. Two reasons. The first is to commemorate that the day before yesterday it was Linda’s birthday and we visited Tribeca restaurant for lunch to celebrate and secondly, although there is no art in the TRIBECA restaurant on the walls, to show that there is a strong connection and influence of all kinds of art on the plates that Tribeca serves. The first thing we noticed were the similarities between the sculpture LA MUSE ENDORMIE by Brancusi and the little plate with butter which was served.

I had the very strong impression that this great chef is inspired by art. Not the taste of course ( which is by the way exquisite), but the plates look all like small pieces of art and go way beyond the regular way in making up a plate. another example is the “amuse” of mackerel which reminded me of a very small painting by Fiona Rae which is available at www.ftn-books.com.

I only know of one other chef in the Netherlands who still draws his inspiration from art and that is Jannis Brevet from the Inter Scaldes restaurant who matches his courses with the paintings he has hanging on the wall.

Of both, Sobecki is my favorite. Not just because i think the service at the table was far better and relaxed than at Inter Scaldes, but because he focusses on his beautiful and very impressive tasting menus and wine pairing in a way that i am convinced that in the long run he proves to be the better chef…..go there, admire and enjoy Sobecki’s  art on a plate and the “art” of Jan Sobecki will convince you that there is certainly (culinary) ART in his Tribeca restaurant.

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Gianni Versace (1946-1997)

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This is not a blog on Versace, but  a blog on Fashion house catalogues in general. The great fashion houses like Chanel , Hermes and certainly Versace, invite the best photographers  to photograph top fashion models by the best photographers in the business. A very “organic” combination was Karl Lagerfeld who photographed Claudia Schiffer in the time he was responsible for all fashion designs.

A lesser known combination is Bruce Weber who photographed at least 3 catalogues for Gianni And Donatella Versace of which the most important one is the 1997 catalogue which was published shortly before he was assassinated. Another Bruce Weber one was the 1996/97 one. He was invited to photograph the COLLEZIONE AUTUNNO INVERNO 1996/97 for which he did the main part of the male models, together with Richard Avedon who did the female models. A classic in the publishing history of fashion catalogues. www.ftn-books.com has bought a small collection of these Versace catalogues which is now for sale.

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Robert Filliou (1926-1987)

For me Fluxus is Robert Filliou and Robert Filliou is Fluxus. There are so many examples how Filliou approached art in his very personal way. Born in France, but at one time he worked in Los Angeles for Coca Cola. This is where he must have learned to speak and write english, but when you listen to him he learned to speak the language, but not without the french accent.

Still i like his works and there is always something to discover within his projects of which one  was a project he did at the StedelijK Museum Amsterdam in 1971 after which project a catalogue was published. The catalogue RESEARCH AT THE STEDELIJK Nov.5-Dec.5 1971 is available at www.ftn-books.com , is one of the rarest from the Seventies Stedelijk catalogues and is an excellent introduction into the fascinating world of Robert Filliou.

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KD at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1963

 

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Willem Sandberg was a visionary designer and director for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. He was one of the first who recognized the importance of designs by artists for daily used items and so he decided to invite 4 artist to design special curtains and tissues for a ” KD” exhibition/ Kunstenaars Dessins.

The artists? …Karel Appel, Jef Diederen, Ger Lataster and Dick Elffers. These four made some wonderful designs which were presented in the KD exhibition. With the exhibition a catalogue was published in 1963 which has become one of the rarest of Stedelijk Museum catalogues of all time. Three reasons why this has become rare. Less than 500 copies were made. The paper used was fragile and it was a thin catalogue of only 12 pages and folded and last but not least…. the photography was done by Ed van der Elsken which made the remaining copies desirable and collectable. Still at least one copy is still on the market and available at www.ftn-books.com

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Co Westerik ( 1924-2018) dies at the age of 94.

Yesterday morning the family of Co Westerik announced the death of this great dutch painter. His works are present in practically every large dutch museum and some admiring collectors ( the late Frits Becht ao) managed to buy more than average numbers of paintings from him and that is quite an accomplishment since his production was low…..extremely LOW. In many a year he managed to complete only as few as 3 paintings, making his work a rare work to add to a collection. It was different with his prints and drawings, because here his production was “normal”. One quality all his works have in common……it is the extreme detail and craftsmanship that make his works of high quality and stand out from the rest. At the time i worked at the Gemeentemuseum  i met the artist on several occasions, but i only remember that i spoke to his representatives concerning catalogue and postcard productions. Even on these occasion he was highly (rightfully) concerned about the result. But in the end he had the publication as he had visualized it. The costs did not matter to him….the result did. ww.ftn-books.com has many titles available on Co Westerik.