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William Turnbull (1922-2012)

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In some ways the stone sculptures of William Turn bull remind of the ones i saw last year by the late Joost Barbiers. Rough pieces of stone, worked over in a way that a different object is created and which blends with its surroundings.

( above right is by Barbiers)

But where Turnbull developed his art into a colorful and sometimes joyful abstract modern art. Barbiers stayed sombre and kept working over the rough pieces of stone. Both i appreciate but in the longterm i would like to have an original Barbiers only for the outside and place it in the garden and let it blend with nature, whereas an original Turnbull would be admired and cherished inside the house and becoming an important part of the collection of Modern Art.

In 1952, he was included in the Young Sculptors exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) which had become the focal point for new art in London. Turnbull, along with Paolozzi ( a colleague and fellow art student)and Richard Hamilton and others, became a member of the Independent Group, a splinter group within the ICA which became an important forum for discussion and debate. The Independent Group has been cited as a progenitor of Pop Art, but soon after Turnbull was far from being another British Pop Art artist, going his own way and developing an art and style of his own.

Unknowingly Turnbull must have had a great influence on another dutch painter. Willem Hussem must have been inspired by Turnbull’s paintings since some of his compositions use the same patterns and colors.

and Willem HussemSchermafbeelding 2018-08-20 om 14.19.18

There are some nice early William Turnbull publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Hans Hartung (1904-1989)

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One of the exhibitions i thought to be one of the very best during the time i was working at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, was one curated by Franz Kaiser on the abstract artist Hans Hartung . Just one word describes the exhibition….impressive.

It showed that the art Hartung created was not just random, but a well thought over creation of abstract art in which a small sketch was turned into a large painting.

Here is the text on the exhibition:

Hans Hartung (b. Dresden, 1904) was regarded as one of the founding fathers of French Lyric Abstractionism, the European counterpart of American Abstract Expressionism: a term in which the word Expressionism refers to an extremely physical and spontaneous manner of painting. The members of the movement wanted, as it were, to work out their emotions on the canvas without any form of symbolism.

Hartung’s paintings displayed a plain ground covered with rough and apparently spontaneous brushwork, with all the paint spatters and brush marks that go with that way of painting. After his death, therefore, people were astounded when the study of unfinished pictures revealed that his paintings had not in fact been created in a wild and spontaneous way, but by carefully filling in predetermined outlines based in every detail, right down to the smallest flecks of paint, on sketches prepared in advance. This exhibition, which the Gemeentemuseum is holding to mark the hundredth anniversary of Hartung’s birth, reveals an artist who would better be described as a conceptual artist, were it not for the fact that conceptual art did not exist as a movement when he produced his works. In this first Dutch retrospective of Hans Hartung’s work, early drawings are presented next to the equivalent paintings, and early versions alongside later versions. The similarities in terms of motif are astonishing.

More about Hans Hartung: www.fondationhartungbergman.fr

There are some nice publications on Hartung available at www.ftn-books.com

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Herman Bieling (1887-1964)

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Born in Germany, but living near Rotterdam for almost his entire life, Bieling has somehow not become the great and well known artist he was expected to become. His art is a very personal kind of art. With influences of cubists and realism he composes paintings that are only part abstract , but for the most part one can recognize the scene.

left Bieling and right Boers

I have always been fascinated by Bieling, not that i want to own a Bieling for my collection , but more in a way that i think that Bieling stands for typical Forties art in the Netherlands in the past century. He is a kind of link between the “old” realistic” way of painting and the emerging art of abstraction. In the same way i am fascinated by Willy Boers, who is a far better artist and of who i think he was important in developing abstract art in the Netherlands. www.ftn-books.com has on both mentioned artists books available.

 

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Giovanni Nicolai ( continued )

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This is to announce that FTN Art will represent Giovanni Nicolai with his art work.

From now on a selection of his art will be available in the FTN Art section of these pages. Feel free to contact me if you want more information. The start will be  a series of affordable sketches at euro 150,–. Executed in different techniques with Crayon , pencil and paint on paper. If you desire information on his paintings please sent me a mail and i will propose you  a selection of paintings currently available.

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Bob Bonies (1937)

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For me the only true “Hard edge” artist in the Netherlands is Bob Bonies, however Michiel Morel refers to the art of Bob Bonies as a rearrangement of FORMS AND COLORS.

I read his excellent article and it is unfortunate that it is only available in dutch, but for those who understand the language here is the link :

Bonies: Ordening van vorm en kleur (periode  1964 – 1968) (3)

As you can read in the article . Bonies stayed true to his art of rearranging , shifting and placing forms and colors in a new context and one of the earliest silkscreen that was published in a larger edition was the one he made for the Stedelijk Museum catalogue VORMEN VAN DE KLEUR

in which his contribution stands out together with the one Ellsworth Kelly made for the same publication. This Wim Crouwel designed publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

left Bonies and right Kelly

I have a lifetime admiration for Bob Bonies. He was one of the first artists i personally met at the Gemeentemuseum and a few years ago i bought a small collection of his publications from another bookdealer who had bought them from a Bonies collector and within one of the publications i found the birth card of his son Jiri. Even this card shows the quality of his works. The card is for sale too together with many other Bonies publications.

 

 

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Walter Gramatte (1897-1927) a German expressionist rediscovered.

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Totally original…that is what i think of Walter Gramatte. His style is as recognizable as some of his contemporaries. Schiele, Klimt and and Klee are recognized within a split second and Gramatte is one of these artist who’s works are recognized as soon as you encounter and see them.

Since two decades there has been a new a renewed appreciation for his works, but publications on Gramatte are still rarities. Nevertheless www.ftn-books.com has a few titles in its inventory.

Walter Gramatté was born in 1897 in Berlin and died in 1929 in Hamburg.

Gramatté had a very short (15 years) career but a very productive one – paintings, drawings and prints with subjects of figures, portraits, still life’s, landscapes and book illustrations.

He fought in the First World War and was disillusioned as a result.  Like many artists of his generation his works depicted the individual and existential states of being. (Gramatté book, Kirchner museum). He was married to the Russian composer Sonia Fridman-Gramatté.

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Hendrik Jan Wolter (1873-1952)

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Hendrik Jan Wolter is not on show in many Museum collections, however his works appear frequently at auctions in the Netherlands. It took at least 20 years of auctioning, but now his works fetch average to good prices ( 1000-5000 euro) and deservedly so, because according to many his impressionist works belong to the best impressionist works made in the Netherlands in the 20th century. he knew Theo van Rijsselberghe, Seurat and Signac and was greatly influencedx by all 3 without becoming a pointilist “pur sang” his works are more a cross between the pointillists and impressionists meeting with Matisse.

Here are some examples of his works:

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Boats in sorts and kinds were his passion, because on the majority of his paintings you will encounter boats. A fascinating artist who becomes increasingly important in the Netherlands. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Hendrik Jan Wolter publications available.

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Just a walk in PARIS 2009…. and Fluxus

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It was about 9 years ago that me and my wife Linda visited Paris. Dropped our son together with my sister in law, nephew and niece at the gates of Disneyland Paris and went to the city.

I know Paris well and took Linda for the first time to some “arrondissements” she had never visited before. There was the 16th where i had lived for almost a year and the Rue de Seine , the Modern art district .

At one of the galleries a FLUXUS exhibition was being held with art by BEN and Saito. To make this exhibition known to the outside world an extremely nice FLUXUS poster was published. Because i had a hunch that these posters would become important i asked if i could take 4 of them with me. NO problem….. and now 9 years later there is only one of these rare posters left and available at www.ftn-books.com and in time they have proven that i was right about them. They have proven to be important and highly collectable.

 

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Ben Shahn (1898-1969)

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Ben Shahn  is one of the older Modern Painters emerging in the 40’s and 50’s from the American art scene. Jewish background and born in Russia. After his marriage to mrs Goldstein he travelled North Africa and the great museums in Europe and this shows, because from that date the influence of Klee and Picasso can be recognized in his works. Later he developed a style of his own in which color was an important aspect in his paintings.

Shahn mixed different genres of art. His body of art is distinctive for its lack of traditional landscapes, still lifes, and portraits. Shahn used both expressive and precise visual languages, which he united through the consistency of his authoritative line. His background in lithography contributed to his devotion to detail Shahn is also noted for his use of unique symbolism, which is often compared to the imagery in Paul Klee’s drawings. While Shahn’s “love for exactitude” is apparent in his graphics, so too is his creativity. In fact, many of his paintings are inventive adaptations of his photography and that is an aspect i did not know before. The Ben Shahn catalogue designed by Willem Sandberg for the Stedelijk Museum and available at www.ftn-books.com shows exactly why i think Shahn is one of the more important painters from last century.

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