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Hervé Di Rosa (1959)

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Di Rosa is the artist from the LIBERATION LIBRE group who arguably has been influenced the most by the original comic art from the previous French decades in comics. He even published some comics on his own. A bit like Raymond Pettibon also publishes his own comics. In an interview he tells the following to the interviewer:

“The great names in comics have affected me every bit as much as the great painters I love.” Growing up in the 1960s, relatively isolated in Sète on the French Mediterranean coast, Hervé Di Rosa got his culture fix from reproductions of fine art in books and from comics. “I saw no difference between them in scale or validity.” Starting to exhibit his art in 1980, Di Rosa with his brother Richard and Robert Combas drew on their passions for both art and pop culture to pioneer the radical French ‘Figuration Libre’ movement in the 1980s. Unlike most earlier Pop artists, who were not necessarily raised on comics, Di Rosa explains, “I don’t cite comics in a superficial way, I incorporate their techniques into my work.”

Personally i think the works by Di Rosa are too much like comics. I prefer the Combas works with the heavy outlines around his subjects , making his works stand out and recognized instantly. Still the Groninger Museum liked Di Rosa his works so much that they devoted a nice exhibition on Di Roda and published ” LES AVENTURES DE HERVE ET RICHARD ” in 1986. This and other Di Rosa publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Figuration Libre

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This week several blogs on “Figuration Libre” . It is the french counterpart of the mouvement which was led by haring, Scharf and Basquiat in the US, b ut with a difference, because , in my opinion, The Europeans? French were influenced by comis art from the Sixties and Seventies. The US artist did not have this legacy but invented a kind of street art on their own. Artistically more important but in many cases less pleasing to the eye.

Figuration Libre (“Free Figuration”) is a French art movement which began in the 1980s. It is the French equivalent of Bad Painting and Neo-expressionism in America and Europe, Junge Wilde in Germany and Transvanguardia in Italy. Arists in the movement typically incorporate elements of comic book art and graffiti into their work. They use bright colors and exaggerated, caricature-like figures.

The group was formed in 1981 by Robert Combas, Remi Blanchard, François Boisrond and Hervé Di Rosa. The term ‘Figuration Libre’ was coined by Fluxus artist Ben Vautier. Other figures include Richard Di Rosa and Louis Jammes. Between 1982 and 1985, these artists exhibited alongside their American counterparts Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Kenny Scharf in New York City, London, Pittsburgh and Paris.

Figuration Libre (Free Figuration) can be translated as “Free Style”.

Of course there is a reason to devote these blogs to Figuration Libre. I have acquired a small collection of important books by these artists which is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

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Donald Janssen (1943)

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on Donald Janssen

Exhibition design is a relatively young design discipline that in recent decades has been developing strongly. Graphic and industrial designer Donald Janssen has for fifty years been part of this development, first as an independent designer and then with his design office in The Hague. In the 1970s he started as a freelance designer at the Haags Gemeentemuseum. Gradually several museums in the Netherlands and abroad followed, from which frequently long-term working relations emerged. He is a passionate designer who is constantly looking for new ways and sustainable solutions within the framework of a clear design concept.

This is an excerpt from an excellent series of blogs on great Dutch graphic designers. And Donald is certainly one of them. You can find the complete article on Donald Janssen at https://www.dutchgraphicroots.nl/?p=1757

and of course www.ftn-books.com has some very nice Donald Janssen designed books in its inventory

 

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Dora Tuynman (1926-1979)

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On the “outskirts” of the COBRA group she operated like a true Cobra artist. In 1951 she left for Paris and joined the artist at the Rue Santeuil and became friends with Karel Appel and Corneille and somehow got influenced by everything COBRA that surrounded her . in 1997 the NRC wrote about het works that they were still fresh and vivid and compared to some works by her fellow artists never had lost their quality. When you leaf through the book that is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com, one notices that her work is far more abstract than the early COBRA works that were in many cases inspired by children.

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These works by Tuynman are more like the Klee drawings from the Twenties, but put on canvas. The publication was initiated by Mrs. E. Tuynman and published by DE DRIJVENDE DOBBER of Tom Mercuur. A keen publisher who has an eye for the undiscovered talent. The book is now available.

tuynman

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Josephine Sloet (continued)

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Yesterday i visited the studio of Josephine Sloet to talk about the last couple of months and the future. She has had a very productive period while staying in France during last summer and i took the opportunity to photograph 2 of the completed 9 paintings and beside the already finished series of paintings, she told me that she has plans to make a series of smaller drawings in the coming months. I will make another appointment in the near future to photograph the other paintings made during last summer, but the 2 i have already photographed will be presented in the next couple of weeks. here is the first one:

title: Meeting of Leaves

size: 101 x 81 cm.

technique: acrylic on canvas

 

sloet leaves 2019 a

an impressive painting in a handy size.

for more information inquire at wvdelshout@ziggo.nl

 

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Charlotte Salomon (1917-1943)….Leben oder Theater

I remember it well. Together with a huge publicicty campaign the Book by Charlotte SALOMON, Leven of Theater? / Life or Theater? was published on a worldwide scale. In the Netherlands it was pub lished by Meulenhoff and in the US by Viking press. My estimate is that there were several 100K book printed and published, but it is remarkable that this title is a rare find nowadays. The one i finally have in my inventory is a 1st printing by the original publisher of the work GARY SCHWARZ. Book is in english and a highly collectable item. here is the blog from some years ago i wrote on Charlotte Salomon

The Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam shows the complete set of “LEBEN ODER THEATER” the magnificent works by Charlotte Salomon . It is the equivalent of a written diary of her life in Auschwitz before she was murdered. The complete original set is now on show at the Joods Historisch Museum until the 25th of March 2018, but…. not only the complete set is on show, there is another way of viewing the set…..for those who are interested and live to far away you can view the complete set at :

https://charlotte.jck.nl/section

This is what makes the internet worthwhile, so visit this site and convince yourself why this is not only a historical important work, but also a great work of art by a gifted artist.

www.ftn-books.com has the very rare first dutch publication on Charlotte Salomon availablle at www.ftn-books.com

charlotte salomon schwartz

 

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Cesar Manrique (1919-1992)

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Because i encountered a nice publication on this obscure painter , i decided to write a blog on the artist. The main part of this text comes fromT the Cesar Manrique devoted site. They did an excellent job in making more information available on Manrique

César Manrique Cabrera was born on April 24,1919 in Puerto Naos, Arrecife (Lanzarote), the son of Francisca y Gumersindo. His father was a food merchant and his grandfather a notary public. César preceded his twin sister Amparo by just a few minutes. He had another sister and brother all of whom are alive today. Don Gumersindo came from Fuerteventura of good family background and emigrated to Lanzarote.

The Manriques constituted a typical middle class family, without financial burdens. In 1934, his father bought a lot in Caleta de Famara and built a house next to the ocean. This house left a visible impression that lasted his lifetime, he remembered with joy:” My greatest happiness is to recall a happy childhood,five month summer vacationsin the Caleta and the Famara beach, with its eight kilometers of clean and fine sand framed by cliffs of more than four hundred meters high that reflected on the beach like in a mirror. That image has been engraved in my soul as something of extraordinary beauty that I will never forget in all of my life.”

He participated as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War on Franco’s side. His experience of the war was atrocious and he refused to talk about it. In the summer of 1939, once the war was over, César returned to Arrecife. He returned still wearing his military uniform. After greeting his mother and siblings, he went up on the flat roof, took off his clothes, agrily stepped over them, sprayed them with petroleun and burned them.

At the end of the Spanish Civil War, he entered the La Laguna University to study Technical Architecture, which he would abandon after two years. In 1945 he travels to Madrid and enters with a scholarship, to the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where he would graduate as Art Professor and painter.

In the Fall of 1964, following the advise of his cousin Manuel Manrique, a New York Psychoanalyst and writer, Cesar traveled to that city where he stayed until the summer of 1966. He was the guest of Waldo Diaz-Balart, a Cuban painter, who lived in the Lower East Side, at the time, a neighborhood of artists, journalists, writers, and bohemians. Later he was able to obtain through his cousin Manuel’s friendship with the Director of the Institute of International Education, which was sponsored by Nelson Rockefeller. a generous grant which allowed him to rent his own studio and produce a number of paintings which he exhibited with success in the prestigious New York gallery “Catherine Viviano” .
While in New York, he would write his friend Pepe Dámaso “(…) more than ever I feel true nostalgia for the real meaning of things. For the pureness of the people. For the bareness of my landscape, and for my friends (…) My last conclusion is that MAN in N.Y. is like a rat. Man was not created for this artificiality. There is an imperative need to go back to the soil. Feel it, smell it. That’s what I feel.” He began to feel nostalgia for Lanzarote.

” When I returned from New York, I came with the intention of turning my native island into one of the more beautiful places in the planet, due to the endless possibilities that Lanzarote had to offer. ” .

And this is the present reality: It is impossible to imagine Lanzarote as it stands today without César Manrique. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, ecologist, monument preserver, construction advisor, planner of urban developments, outliner of landscapes and gardens.

Those who knew Manrique only superficially ignored the load of puritanism that ruled his conduct. Manrique was really a frugal man, he didn’t drink, didn’t smoke and didn’t allow others to smoke next to him, he regularly went to bed very early and got up at dawn, and began work in his studio very early.

He died at the age of 73 in a tragic car accident, on the 25 of September 1992, next to the Fundacion, near Arrecife. The irony of fate had it that he would encounter death in a car accident, as he loathed the massive amount of vehicles

www.ftn-books.com has the best publication on Cesar Manrique now available.

 

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Jaap Berghuis (1945-2005)

 

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To be honest …i lost track of Jaap Berghuis in the last decades. Berghuis was educated at Ateliers 63 and one of the most promising young artists in the Seventies, but somehow after his shows at the gallery Art & Project, the collectors lost interest in his works and to me it now seems that this was not just.

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Recently i encountered a truly wonderful painting at auction (i was outbid) and the amazing Art & Project BULLETIN publications that Berghuis made for van Ravesteijn and van Beijeren in their series of Bulletin publications. It shows now that Berghuis may have been ahead of his time since his painting now look as fresh as it must have been 40 years ago.

berghuis bulletin 130 b

www.ftn-books.com has the Art & Project Bulletin 77, 79, 118 and 130 available

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Mark Tobey (1890-1976)

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Mark Tobey is a great artist and well ahead of his time with his abstract painting. His works look to be coincidental, but these abstract paintings and drawings are far from accidentally. It is a bit like the painting by Hans Hartung. The sketches he makes are the starting point for the paintings. Tobey has influenced Jackson Pollock with his paintings, but never has become the household name that Pollock became after his death. Still his paintings are impressive and there are always parts to discover and admire. It is a way of modern painting, greatly influenced by Chinese calligraphy,  that never grows old fashioned. It fascinates from beginning to end. Finding Tobey paintings in Europe is a hard job. There are some of them to be found in the Beyeler and Kunstmuseum Basel since he moved to Switzerland in the Sixties with his companion. But his paintings are rare, i am not completely sure, but according to my information, but even the Stedelijk Museum has no works by Tobey in its collection. They had an exhibition with Tobey in 1966, which catalogue was designed by Wim Crouwel and is one of the best Crouwel designed in the Sixties for the Stedelijk Museum (available at www.ftn-books.com), but that is all i could find. Still Tobey is well worth checking out, since he is the natural link between Jackson Pollock and the newest generation of Abstract painters.

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Albert Van Der Weide ( 1949 )

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A good way to start the New Year.

ALLE MACHT AAN DE KUNST

A happy and healthy 2020

 The art item ” ALLE MACHT AAN DE KUNST ” ( all power to art ) is available at www.ftn-books.com

weide macht