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Erté / Romain de Tirtoff (1892-1990)

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It was at the time i was living in Paris, that i frequently walked the rue du Seine , it is the place where all the art galleries used to have their exhibitions. Among them there was one who was showing the most beautiful Erté drawings and gouaches. I wondered why a gallery in Paris had such a huge selection (they had a few hundred of these drawings in stock ) but later i realized that the reason probably was that many of the theaters in Paris commissioned Erté their costume designs for their plays and shows. If i had known at that time that Erte was going to be one of the most important Art Deco artists i should have borrowed some money and bought me some Erté’s .

Later i managed to buy 2 drawings at auction at a fair price and these are sold some 20 years ago, but the memory of these walks along the gallery window in the rue du Seine remains.  I should have kept these auction drawings too, but decided at that time to make some profit on them.

As it is …. there are only a few publications that rest me and all these are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Hans Aarsman (1951)

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I am always amazed at the details Hans Aarsman discovers in a photograph. Little things i look over or do not think important. Hans Aarsman discovers them and explains them. Hans Aarsman started as a photojournalist for Trouw newspaper, but found his true calling in looking at photographs by others and writing about the details he finds in a photograph. He is like an archeologist with photographs and a joy to read.

Hans Aarsman shows and discusses an importantn photograph each friday in de Volkskrant newspaper and was invited to search for and find interesting photographs in the archives of the Tropenmuseum Amsterdam and he came up with a series of bridges which he tells about in a beautiful publication of the Tropenmuseum and which is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Willem Adams (1937)

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It came as a small surprise….. because i found a publication on this painter ( available at www.ftn-books.com) that i re-discovered this painter. A cross between Constructivists art and abstract expressionism, makes his work stand out.

You can find traces of de Kooning, van Velde and even Paul Klee in his paintings , but the result is still original and makes his works having a signature of their own. Adams had his educaztion with Jan Gregoor and belonged together with Arie Berkulin to the “Mei 65” group. The group had a very short life span, but made some impression in the art world in the Sixties, but looking with a fresh eye to this group , one notices that it was important.

Now that i look again at his paintings i find them fresh and still up to date.

willem adams

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Pierre Weiss (1950)

 

An exhibition of which i remember a hellish ride to Gent to see the print proofs of the catalogue on Pierre Weiss.  One of the first exhibitions curated by Franz Kaiser and with a catalogue designed by Gracia Lebbink. The printers waited for my arrival, but extremely heavy rain showers delayed my arrival by some 2 hours. After finally arriving it was the lunch break at the printers and lunch is “holy” in Belgium. Everybody stops working and has lunch. So did i . I was invited by the printers to have lunch and with them it meant a very nice lunch indeed at one of the finest restaurants in Gent. a 3 course lunch was normal including 2 glasses of great wine and a coffee it made me forget the terrible ride i had to arrive in Gent. This was almost 30 year ago now. I have forgotten the catalogue on Weiss, but the ride is still a vivid memory.

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Piet Dirkx weekly

A cherished one…..this is one of a small homemade edition. Send as a Xmas gift.

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Milan Kunc (1944)

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Milan Kunc makes art on the cross roads of Memphis design meeting Picasso with a dash of childrens drawings and with a color palet that is endless. I managed to collect quite some titles by Kunc during the last two decades, because the Netherlands was fortunate to hold exhibitions at the galerie Swart , Groninger Museum ( 1984, large retrospective curated by Frans Haks), Stedelijk Museum and the Boymans van Beuningen museum. Many publications were the result , add to these the catalogues that were published with every gallery presentation in Europe and the result is a stack of publications , many artists would wish they had the same number of publications.

What strikes me every time i leaf through these books i find his work appealing, but in many cases i find it just too much absurd fantasies by the artist. Still this is, according to others, one of the qualities Kunc has. He exaggerates and creates scenes with many layers, but for me after some time they stop working and i am in need of a new ” surprising” composition. Milan Kunc is certainly a great artist, with many beautiful publications, but personally i prefer other artists. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Milan Kunc publications available.

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Piet Dirkx weekly

Here is the invitation for the HEDEN exhibition from 2009

dirkx heden

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Anton Martineau (1926-2017)

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One of the last painters in the Netherland who felt inspired and had strong feelings for the COBRA mouvement in the Netherlands. Her never joined Cobra, worked together with his friend and “partner in crime” Lucebert and had many one man exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad. Unfortunately his fame did not cross the borders, but his gallery ( Willy Schoots ) was loyal to him and represented him until the day he died.

My personal thoughts about Anton Martineau….. Over the years i have seen many paintings by this painter and what struck me is either the painting is good and appealing or it is not that good and i would never want to add it to a collection. Still Martineau paintings have their qualities. See and judge for yourself the examples below.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Martineau publications available.

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Jaap Wagemaker (1906-1972)

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Jaap Wagemaker, fascinated by Cobra, but never wanted to connect to the mouvement. Instead he searched for his won style. Influenced by and admiring Burri he discovered an interest in Oceanic art too. This influences he mixed into a style of his own. Building layers of paint and other materials into 3D paintings. Giving them a feel of assemblages, using materials that only few had used before. Bolts, paper, sand, wood everything could have a place in the paintings as long as it had an abstract function. This is how his painting became recognizable and in the last decade or so, his paintings are sought after and fetch prices higher than average.

Now that Zero is hardly affordable and kinetic goes the same way. It is time to focus on something different. I am sure that Minimal will fill this void, but this kind of material painting comes in a close second. Jaap Wagemaker publications are available at www.ftn-books.com including the impressive one Wim Crouwel designed for the Jaap Wagemaker exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum.

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Tim Ayres (1965)

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A great artist with an even better designed catalogue by Rutger Fuchs. In the spirit of the art of Tim Ayres this Rutger Fuchs designed catalogue shows the best Ayres has produced. It was an exhibition at the galerie Markus Richter/ Berlin in 2000 and the first copy i encountered .Bright contrasting colors and lettering across front and back made this catalogue, from a design point of view, stand out for me and without any hesitation  i bought it. Leafing through it i found Ayres his art fascinating and since i have searched for this artist on the internet . This is a catalogue to admire and cherish. available at www.ftn-books.com 

ayres