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Arie van Geest (1948)

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Without realizing i have collected a beautiful small collection with works by Arie van Geest. Born in Maasland he stayed in the region and had several studios in Rotterdam. The friendship with Pat Andrea shows in his early works which were a little surreal, but in the mid eighties he changed in the approach of his painting. His works became abstract with realistic elements and that is the time i met Arie and bought my first drawing. Together with Mariette Josephus Jitta, as the curator in charge, he made the Tableau Mourant exhibition in which 98 watercolors were shown. This series was later bought by the van Gogh Museum. For the exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum 2 editions were made. One “ordinary edition” designed by Paul Stoute and the other a linnen bound one, with a drawing/watercolor by van Geest.

The style changed dramatically and personally i prefer this “new” Arie van Geest above his more realistic style. He stayed loyal to this new found abstract style for almost 20 years and changed again to a more a realistic way of painting in 2002. All three periods are important, but when you look at the museums that bought Arie van Geest ( Gemeentemuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Boymans van Beuningen ) , They all made their acquisitions in the abstract period, except for the Athens Museum which made purchases from his most recent period. Arie van Geest was represented by Delta Gallery. He now has frequent shows with Livingstone gallery.  I have decided to sell part of my Arie van Geest works, so please have a look at FTN art and for the book related material visit www.ftn-books.com

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Woody van Amen (1936)… dutch Pop Art

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Ask me … who is the greatest Pop Art artist in the Netherlands….my answer would be Woody van Amen.

Woody van Amen (Eindhoven, 1936)* studied at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. His fascination for contemporary culture stemmed from the 2 year period he spent in New York from 1961 to 1963, where he met pioneers of the Pop Art movement such as Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. Woody van Amen states himself on what he encountered there: ‘Pop Art is a purely American phenomenon, based on American advertising. I am concerned with figurativism and new realism. I make things about subjects that intrigue me… everything is usable because everything can become symbolic when taken out of its usual surroundings’.

His contact with artists and his discovery of artist’s cafes, jazz music, junk art and neon light gave him inspiration and informed the themes and methodology of his work. He started to incorporate the logo’s of big Dutch brands and used techniques such as assemblage, in this way developing his own new style.

Foreign countries and cultures have remained an important point of inspiration for Woody van Amen. In the Seventies a trip to South-East Asia lead to many new oriental influences in his work. In 2007 he produced a film, put together with footage he shot during his travels in Vietnam, Burma and Indonesia. Man, religion and the beauty of nature are important themes in this video piece and they recur once again in the exhibition SHAN 2013.

van Amen has won numerous prizes during his art career and his works are important parts of the permanent collection in many museum around the world. Since Pop Art has become important and main stream, the works by van Amen reappeared in presentations and i predict that in a few years his works will be on show permanently.

www. ftn-books.com has some important van Amen publications available.

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Sixties magazines TIQ versus PLEXUS

The sixties were the years of my teens. And with these years belong some dutch fan music magazines . There was Muziek Express and Tuney Tunes for the young fans, For the somewhat older teens there was HITWEEK( Which later became Aloha)

and then there was finally TIQ…. a a magazine focussing on art, music, fashion, photography and ….”sex”  making this a true Dutch Pop Art magazine .It was a groundbreaking magazine , years ahead of its time. Published as a glossy magazine , but with a contents that was solely focussing on the teens and twens from the sixties.

Unfortunately it was not popular and only 14 of these magazines were published in 1966 and 1967. It disappeared much to soon from the market ,leaving the youth only Hitweek, but in France it was totally different. Of course there were BD’s ( Bandes Dessinees/ Comics) with Pilote as the leading magazine. But is focusses on the very youthful , this was recognized by L.D. publisher who wanted something different and then there suddenly was PLEXUS. No glamour photography but artful photographs by renowned photographers. Paintings by Labisse and Leonor Fini . Painters and artists who did not look away from nudity. Nudity, erotic art, erotic cartoons and short stories were the main ingredienst. Focussing with this contents on a youthful audience. In France this was the equivalent for the TIQ magazine in the Netherlands. A pop Art magazine with only 40 volumes in its publication years. Both nostalgic collectables of which there are now 3 volumes available at www.ftn-books.com

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Robin Winters (1950)

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Robin Winters has had his exhibitions in the Netherlands. Both in museums and galleries he was presented in solo exhibitions during the 90’s. These days, Winters is represented by the Deweer gallery in Belgium, but in the Nineties there were several who thought this artist was interesting enough to develop special publications with Winters. One of these “specials” was produced by Bebert. It is a large cotton sheet printed with heads which are so typical for Winters his art.

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Here is the description as it appears at www.ftn-books.com where this large work is for sale.

Artist/ Author: Robin Winters Title : composition with figures on cotton tissue Published: 1986 Measurements: 150 x 130 cm for the cotton tissue. 16 x 12 cm for the paper print Condition: nm++/ Mint for the large cotton print extra information on this item: Highly collectable multiples by Winters . edition of only 169. Signed and dated with initials on the accompanying paper print.

Later today i will include this beautiful and impressive Robin Winters at www.ftn art too.

Beside this impressive multiple there are some very nice publications published in Europe which are also for sale at www.ftn-books.com

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Harunobu ( 1724-1770) and Utamaro (1753-1806)

Both are Japanese print masters and there is only a time difference 30 years between these two great Japanese artists, but the difference between them is as large as  a classical painting by Sir Alma Tadema and a Modern painting by Soulages.

Where Harunobu’s craftmanship is rooted in the tradition of Japanese print making , i find Utamaro’s prints being far more inventive. His lines are clean and do remind me a little of the  outlines used by Herge and Joost Swarte. Classic scenes, actors and geisha’s and even shunga prints, all is mastered by this great Japanse artist. These prints were “In Vogue” by the impressionist artists and that is one of the reasons why so many of them can be found in Western Europe. Monet had them, van Gogh collected them and even made some paintings after them and the Rijksmuseum has thousands of them in their collection from which a selection is now and then on show. These shows are accompanied by some great bilangual catalogues of which the Harunobu and Utamaro ones are for sale at www.ftn.books.com

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Stang Gubbels …. a dutch designer

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It was at the time Wim van Krimpen was the director for the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag that i met Stang Gubbels. Stang had worked with van Krimpen before on some projects he did with the KUNSTHAL/ Rotterdam. His style and designs are truly original , highly recognizable and together with the designs by Irma Boom and Gracia Lebbink, belons to the best dutch designs produced during the last 2 decades in the Netherlands.

Stang has an excellent internet site which can be reached at www.stang.nl and for those looking for his scarce publications…..www.ftn-boooks.com has two nice STANG titles available.

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Mel Ramos ( 1935 )

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Mel Ramos made hyperrealistic paintings , but if i had to decide what kind of artist he was , i would rather say he was first and foremost a Pop Art artist.

Ramos is best known for his paintings of superheroes and voluptuous female nudes emerging from cornstalks or Chiquita bananas, popping up from candy wrappers or lounging in martini glasses.

Ramos was among the first wave of Pop Art artists who gained recognition for their art. His art was hidden for a long time for us dutch. No publications were available and the nude paintings/illustrations we had in magazines over here were practically all done by Alberto Vargas, the famous Playboy illustrator, but none by Mel Ramos

Ramos received his first important recognition in the early 1960s; since 1959 he has participated in more than 120 group shows. Along with Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, he was one of the first artists to do paintings of images from comic books, and works of the three were exhibited together at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1963. Along with Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselman and Wayne Thiebaud, Ramos produced art works that celebrated aspects of popular culture as represented in mass media. His paintings have been shown in major exhibitions of Pop art in the U.S. and in Europe, and reproduced in books, catalogs, and periodicals throughout the world.

PS. i started to write this blog knowing for sure i had a great publication on Ramos in my stock, but unfortunately it was sold some years ago and it is not available any longer at www.ftn-books.com

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Julian Opie (1958) ….between Pop Art and Minimalism.

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Stylized paintings are a trademark of Julian Opie. In the Netherlands one would compare him with Joost Swarte who uses a thick outline for his drawings. With this he emphasizes his compositions and makes it look stylized, but still realistic.

He is a very influential figure on the British art scene in the 1980’s who created humourous art. His sculptures have been said to be a cross between architecture and art. His portraits had a pop art feel to them and his most famous piece is probably the cover of a Blur album. Julian Opie’s work is extremely distinctive and although many people have created pieces of work inspired by him, you can always tell that his work has been made by him from the block colors and simple facial features and the thick black lines. His minimalist portraits are so unique because of the simplicity of them.

On the left there is an example of Opie on the right there is an example of Swarte.If i must describe the portraits by Opie…these are simplified portraits of the essence of a face The same technique as Joost Swarte uses but less realistic and more suitable for the use in comics and illustrations.

www.ftn-books.com has some Julian Opie titles available

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Then I ducked my Head and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the Dark……

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This brilliant title is given by William N. Copley to a painting he made in 1966. Copley must be one of the wittiest artists.

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He had no trouble at all in finding or coming up with original titles. ( a little like Piet Dirkx/ follow the Piet Dirkx daily at this blog). I love Copley and artists who can come up with original and fun titles for their works. Compare the above and for example” Mount Venus and the Hula-Hula Graces in the Glade” to titles like composition I and composition II. This does not mean that “composition” is a worse painting, but when there is a story in a title it says something about the artist himself. Looking for some more great titles for paintings? visit www.ftn-books.com for other Copley publications.

( and search within my blog to find another blog on Copley)