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Piet Mondriaan, studio Rue du Départ

Piet Mondriaan was famous for his studios he occupied in Paris and New York and his Paris studio at the Rue du Départ was even a subject for a special exhibition at the Beurs van Berlage who had it rebuild in their main hall in 1994.

With the exhibition they produced together with the Benschop architects an impressive model kit of the studio, which even contains some of the paintings Mondriaan made in this famous studio. During the Nineties some of the DE STIJL icons were produced in Model Kit versions ( Meudon, Rietveldhuis) but this is probably the rarest of them al, since i understand it was not sold, but only presented to the sponsor and its relations. Now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

mondrian depart

 

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Helmut Dirnaichner (1942)

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Abstract and Konkret. These elements define the works of Helmut Dirnaichner.

A life filled with abstract art of the highest quality, but the people that have heard of Dirnaichner are not too many. His name is hardly known among art lovers, but his works deserve to be known better. I personally make the comparison with the Belgium Marte Wery, who , during her life was only known by a few art lovers outside Belgium, but nowadays her importance is growing and she is recognized as one of the greatest from the last 50 years.

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Dirnaichner will have possibly the same status in the future. His art is original , colorful and Contemporary, making these works fashionable even if they are 30 years of age.

www.ftn-books.com has a scarce Dirnaichner publication available.

Dirnaichner

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Cor van Dijk (1952)

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It took me along time to fianally appreciate the sculptures by van Dijk. At first i thought them to be too much copies of Judd sculptures, but i discovered them to be completely different. Why….surface , composition and construction differ from the one by Donald Judd. Still i consider his sculptures to be Minimal art and not constructivist.

 

He was  born in 1952 in Pernis, is a Dutch artist. The steel sculptures of Cor van Dijk are characterised by clear lines and geometric shapes. From first stages of their design, the material used for these works – steel – and their realisation are inextricably linked. To create his work, the artist uses separate sheets of solid steel, which he joins together with extreme precision. Van Dijk bases the dimensions of his sculptures on the standard gauge of the sheet metal. As a result, the mill scale found on the rolled steel is left intact in the finished works.

Viewing Van Dijk’s sculptures, one’s eyes constantly move across their surface and one’s attention keeps shifting from areas of open space to sections that take up space. The seams between the different segments play a key role in the works, since they lend a sense of scale to the mass of steel and define its different volumes. The artist strives to show interior space – its layout, possible compartments, the spaces between the segments and the massive quality of the steel itself. The different dimensions all interact with one another. Ultimately, this is also what gives the sculptures their specific presence: the precise handling of volumes and the perfect connection of individual sections in space. Each newly-realised concept is intended to bring even greater clarity to the context of the preceding work – while also pointing ahead, suggesting new concepts that are still waiting to be developed.

Van Dijk’s most recent sculptures comprise a single segment. The location of the open space and its dimensions determine the scale of the work as a whole. The result is an object in which mass (matter) and open space interact more intensively than ever before. In technical terms, the steel used for the sculptures shows no traces of machining or processing. Thanks to their mass, the open space and the interaction of these two elements, these tranquil objects seem to speak directly to the viewer.

www.ftn-books.com has the monograph on van Dijk now for sale

cor van dijk

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Teun Hocks (1947)

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Teun Hocks. Is it staged photography or is it painting on photographs. It is a combination of both and the result is always absurd. Like Magritte he sketches a scene which is impossible , but pushes you to discover the meaning of the composition and look for the sabsurd and surreal in the painting/photograph. Hocks has build an oeuvre with these compositions and always plays a part in them.

He is an artist who creates self portraits with the utmost charm. “In my images I aim to achieve not so much, offering a mirror sometimes, or/and gaining a smile, and maybe a good feeling,” Teun tells It’s Nice That. This is a refreshingly humble aim, and one that is achieved with heart-warming artworks despite their surrealist edge.

The artworks featured are each part of Teun’s Analogue Works painted pieces that are the result of a thorough process from the artist. “First I start out with almost no ideas, or vague ones, drawing thoughts I have about all kinds of situations that get me dreaming.” The artist explains that once he is settled upon a concept, “I build and paint a setting, checking and controlling everything by taking digital photos to compare to my drawings”.

Next, once a desired light is found, “I take my place, and start to take polaroids (using a self-timer and longer cable release). If I am satisfied with the result I take eight photos on 6×9cm black and white film. Looking at the contact sheet, I decide which negative is the one to print. If not I start all over again.” This extensive process doesn’t stop there either. “I make three large black and white prints on fibre-based photographic paper, tone them to sepia, glue them on aluminium and start to colour them with transparent oil paint.”

The result of Teun’s perfectionism is a series of artworks that leave the viewer bewildered. Are they paintings? Are they photographs? The answer as the artist explains is both, and his ability to merge the mediums flawlessly is brilliantly baffling.

 

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Piet Dirkx weekly

Another beautiful Christmas/New Years card for 2008. In the bottom of the photograph are 4 drawings of Piet Dirkx ” flowers”

dirkx ny 2008

dirkx ny 2008 b

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Tiong Ang (1961)

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The work of TIONG ANG spans a wide array of media, from collective performance, experimental film, through video and installation to painting, photography, and the display of objects. His practice across these forms centers around the social, emotional and existential consequences and negotiation of dislocation, disparate identities, and dispersion of imagery. _ Recurring themes are the impact of mass and digital media on individual perspective and collective memory, and the anxieties evoked by mobility and globalization. In these hybrid contexts, Ang addresses multiple modes of human presence and representation, using social intervention and juxtaposition, chance and communality, mockery and disguise. He explores subjective positions in divided, ambivalent, and collective conditions, be it on ethical, ethnic, or sociopolitical grounds. _Initially an object/painting based studio artist, from the mid-1990s Ang has expanded his production including experimental film, performative and relational enactments, interdisciplinary collaborations and curated projects. In a divergent practice, he examines authority and sustainability of images and narratives. The common thread in the work is the conflict between detached objectivity and engaged subjectivity; it demonstrates how universal media not only affect our perceptions of places and events but also denote our concept of reality. Elements of selfhood, cultural meaning, and social absorption have emerged in a diversity of mediated images. Thus, human perception and behaviour converge in complexities of disparate truths. The persona of the artist, distorted by media based projections, is the ultimate body to explore the human experience.

The above text comes from the Tiong Ang site.

www.ftn-books.com has recently added 2 important Tiong Ang publications to its inventory.

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Mario Negri (1916-1987)

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Almost forgotten this sculptor from Italy, but because of a recent addition to my inventory i rediscovered the sculptures by Negri.

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Mario Negri had a dutch exhibition in 1970 in the van Abbemuseum, curated by Hammacher who made a publication possible which is quite scarce. The 8 page fold out is designed by Jan van Toorn and depicts several works by Negri and a photograph of his studio.

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A bright green is chosen as a cover to draw attention and it oozes Seventies design. I love this great fold out and it even comes with a handwritte price list in Lire for those who want to complete their archives on the sculptor this is an absolute musey. A great sculptor and a great publication are brought together in this typical early Seventie van Toorn design. The Negri publication is now available at www.ftn-boooks.com

 

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2x Borek Sipek and 2x Erwin Olaf

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Why another blog on Erwin Olaf? This one is on the occasion of the addition of the book BOREK SIPEK / Glas Design Architectuur in which a series of photographs by Erwin Olaf with works by Sipek is published . Almost the exact series was used before. The series was made on location with gypsies holding glas and design by Sipek and photographed by Erwin Olaf for the Stedelijk Museum exhibition and publication which was designed by Irma Boom ( Book on the left/private collection). The addition to my inventory is the book published by the Drents Museum, which contains 8 color photographs by Erwin Olaf together with the Anton Corbijn cover. This makes the book a true collectors item since these photo’s are among the best Olaf ever made.

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When you study both series ( Stedelijk Museum and Drents museum), at first you think the photographs are the same , but study them closely and you will notice some subtil differences. I conclude that Erwin Olaf must have made shortly after each other two series. One in Black and white, the other in color.

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Using 2 cameras this must have been technically possible. Just look at the position of the hand of the gypsy boy. The book published for the Drents Museum is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Joachim Grommek (1957)

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Joachim Grommek, Master of Arts of Free Art/ Film at HBK Braunschweig (Professor: Malte Sartorius), Germany, in 1982 has mainly shown in German and European institutions and galleries since 1987, among them important solo shows like “Malerei 300” at the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany in 2011. His geometric-abstract, illusionary work in perfection lays varies the topic of authentic image and copy like the ancient Trompe-l’œils, always asking for a second look. Grommek’s work though is reflecting art history and prominent artists like Kasimir Malewitsch, Piet Mondrian, Blinky Palermo or Robert Ryman.

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This is how the Taubert gallery describes the works by Joachim Grommek. They have a nice selection in stock. This blog on Grommek is written on the occasion of the purchase for FTN-art of a beautiful impressive diamond shaped work : STAR IV, 2006 (Black Diamond). You really have to study his works from very close up. It appears these are not tapes nor raw chipped wood material, but literally everything….lines , wood, tapes …is painted. Materials used, acrylic paint, lack, wood , special paints…the result a fascinating work of art that impresses with its composition, but in the meantime is a technical painters masterpiece.

The works by Grommek can be found in numerous German museums and ao. the Centraal Museum / Utrecht

here is the text from the book TILT:

Grommek’s pictures have an extraordinarily immediate visual presence, despite their comparatively small size. Whereas they seem rigorously minimalistic in terms of both areal composition and chromatic clarity, there is still something provisional and unfinished about them. More like tantalising intermediates, they seem to imply that the artist has not yet decided which area should be superimposed on which. Patches of bald fibreboard are visible in places, as are strips of adhesive tape.

But nothing is what it seems in these works. Although Grommek does indeed use standard industrially laminated fibreboard as a ground, the grey-brown speckled areas that the viewer takes for unpainted fibreboard turn out to be no less painted albeit with deceptive verisimi|itude -than all the other areas. Even the brightly coloured transparent »adhesive tape« turns out to be lacquer which, perfectly applied layer upon layer, creates the illusion of overlapping strips of plastic tape. An abstract, »unrepresentational« picture by Grommek, therefore, is actually the result of a highly representational style of painting, with what it represents being its own materiality.

Once the temptation to tear off the strips of non-exlstent adhesive tape has been resisted, the viewer can step back a few paces and in doing so go back to the beginning and to the play of shapes and colours. The tension remains, just as the contradictions between the reality seen, painted and represented remain unresolved.
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A.R. Penck exhibition at Kunstmuseum Den Haag…HOW IT WORKS

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Until the 10th of May there will be a Penck exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Den Haag.

8 days ago i visited the combined opening of 3 exhibitions. I came for the Verdijk exhibition to see part of the gift which the Kunstmuseum received and exhibited in a very small room. But because i was early i had the pleasure to look atat the great art by Penck. I met Penck in 1988 when he drummed on the opening of his own exhibition at the Haags Gemeentemuseum  ( curated by Rudi Fuchs), so this was my second retrospective, with one great difference.

This show includes the oversized paintings. For the first 15 minutes after the rooms were opened i was almost on my own , because the guest stayed with the Lucassen exhibition which was openend too.

This is a great exhibition which shows that Penck is and will be very important to modern art and i really appreciated that the museum had made an extra effort to show the extreme sized paintings. This is a show you must see…modern art at its best and if i must compare the inmpact that the show had on me i must go back in time to the Basquiat exhibition at the Beyeler. The size and impact of these paintings is overwhelming. A must see.

 

There are several Penck publications available at www.ftn-books.com