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Edward Burra (1905-1976)

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One of the nice side effects of being artbook dealer is that you still “discover” artists which were not known to you before you started with the inventory at www.ftn-books.

One of these artist is Britisch born Edward Burra. A painte who at first glance reminded me of Beckmann and Hopper, but studying the Lefevere catalogue which is available at www.ftn-books.com revealed a totally original artist.

burra

Burra was a British painter and printmaker best known for his large-scale watercolor paintings, as well as for his landscapes and still lifes. The artist depicted scenes of the seedy urban underbelly and African-American culture during the 1930s in Harlem, NY. Born on March 29, 1905 in London, United Kingdom, Burra studied at the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art under Randolph Schwabe and Raymond Coxon. He frequently collaborated with artist Paul Nash and was part of Nash’s Unit One, a British group of Modernist artists that included John Armstrong, Frances Mary Hodgkins, and Henry Moore. Burra was an avid traveler, but following the outbreak of World War II found himself unable to leave the country. During this period, the artist found success designing scenery and costumes for opera, ballet, and theater. The artist died on October 22, 1976 in Hastings, United Kingdom.Today, his works are included in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others and that is probably the reason why i never heard of him before, since his work is not to be discovered outside the UK.

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A discussion at the breakfast table….

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A few weeks ago, my wife Linda and i were having breakfast and she noticed the painting “Songbird” from 1982 by Bridget Riley. She immediately, knowing my taste in art, made the remark that this was one i would certainly admire, but now the question she posed me……she asked  “WHY is this a beautiful painting”   and i must confess i did not have an answer to it. I thought about this question a couple of days and asked myself …..why is an object beautiful? You can follow others in their opinions and make this opinion your own opinion. Another way is recognizing quality by technique, originality or by its contents and their messages, but an abstract painting like the one by Riley does not have a message nor is its technique something special.

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So it must be their feel they are transferring . This way being unique in composition, size and its use of colors amplifies this feeling. It is the package that appeals and the less frills a package has the more appealing it is to me and perhaps that is what i like so much about Minimal art. Abstract art is about feeling and experience and that makes is so hard to describe.

BTW. The painting was sold at the special George Michael collection at Christies on the 15th of March. Originally it was hanging above a fire place, which certainly means that it will not be in pristine condition.

This Riley Leporello is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Hildo Krop (1884-1970)

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Hildo Krop is truly the one and only city sculptor of the city of AMsterdam. When you see an ornament at a building or a statue on a square there is a fair chance that it was done by Hildo Krop. Krop was active in the period that Amsteram had its biggest growth .

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It was in preparation of the Olympic games of 1928 and many new buildings and parks were built in those days and if one wanted to make them more beautiful with a sclpture or statue, Hildo Krop was the artist of choice for many new projects in those days.

This was recognized by the Stedelijk Museum who devoted an exhibition to Krop in 1964 and had Wim Crouwel design the catalogue with the exhibition. Since that year there has been a growth of interest in Hildo Krop as an artist which resulted in a Museum devoted to Hildo Krop….location Amsterdam and on the internet at : http://hildokrop.nl

The Wim Crouwel publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Alfons Mucha (1860-1939)

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For me Mucha was a great way to start appreciating art. Together with Henri de Toulouse Lautrec ( roughly from the same period), Alfons Mucha was the artist i appreciated the most in my mid teenage period. Accessible art and still a little bit more avant garde than the Impressionist painters who were widely appreciated in those days. Mucha was THE Art Nouveau artist and together with some French and Belgian artist was the top in Art Nouveau art. The art of Alfons Mucha is highly recognizable. The use of women models who look straight at you is one of his trademarks.

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Since for me personally a lot has changed. From the accessible Art Nouveau by Mucha i made a “travel” through art history which resulted in appreciating Minimal and conceptual art. Still Mucha has a lot of quality and for those seeking a nice work by an Art Nouveau , please include the works by Mucha, since there are many extremely nice prints now available since this artist is copyright free. For those looking for some publications on Mucha , visit www.ftn-books.com

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Erich Heckel (1883-1970)

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Germany has a great history of Woodblock printing. Dürer was one of the arliest of great artists who used the technique but the 20th century had his own group of great aretists who used the technique. Tere were of course the rtaist of the BLAUE REITER, but there was also the group of the BRÜCker to which Heckel belonged. Heckel is arguably one of the most abstract Brücke artists, but his technique is as good as all the other together, Personally i like Heckel very much and this has resulted in a nice selection of publications available at www.ftn-books.com

Heckel and other members of Die Brücke greatly admired the work of Edvard Munch, and aimed to make a “bridge” between traditional neo-romantic German painting and modern expressionist painting. The four founding members made much use of the print as a cheap and quick medium with which to produce affordable art.

Primitive art was also an inspiration to the members of the Die Brücke. It was Heckel’s brother who introduced the group to African sculpture, and it is noted that their acceptance of primitive art, which was to fortify decisively the expressive yearnings of European artists- Was unequivocal. It is through this style that they found a source of strength in the barbaric figures.

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My personal bookcase

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I have had questions in the past….what is your personal interest in books?…. and…..you must have a very nice collection after so many years of being a bookseller. These questions and remarks can be answered simply. I have a large inventory of about 10.000 books that are for sale including some very nice and hard to find titles, but every book in my personal bookcase has a small story attached to it. There are books of exhibitions being held at the Gemeentemuseum while i was a publisher/bookseller at that museum and some were given to me by artists i collect.

About half of the books in my personal bookcase are very small publications related to the artists in our art collection and the remainder is about the artists i like very much and admire. I can say that none of them is very valuable, but for me these books are valuable and important, because they belong to the publication history of the artists i admire. Curious?….just “zoom in” on the picture and discover that of many of these titles i have multiple copies available at www.ftn-books.com. So make this your personal interactive blog and find/discover the titles at www.ftn-books.com

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Klaus Fußmann / Fussmann (1938)

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Klaus Fussmann is not very well known outside Germany, but still important enough to devote a blog to this painter. My interest in Fussmann grew when i bought a signed copy of a 30 years old book. It is interesting to see that his style developed into a much more abstract approach to his subjects. If i must compare his works it might me with the later works of the dutch painter Contant. Both found a more realistic style in their paintings with lots of abstract elements. I think Fussmann’s fame stay in Germany only and not cross the border, but for those interested in this fascinating painter, know that www.ftn-books.com has some nice (signed) publications available.

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Bouke Ylstra (1933)

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In some ways Bouke Ylstrat reminds me of Jan Roëde. An artists who uses bright colors in combination with child like scenes, but Ylstra works differ enough to stand on their own. Where Roede populates many of his paintings with children, Ylstra depicts adults in their world and creates a world of their own. Combining human elements with abstract surfaces, filling them with symbolism and creating in this way a world of its own. Ylstra is not that know. Even in the Netherlands his work is rare to find, but when you look at his biography you will find that his works has been included in practically all of the large museums in the Netherlands.

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1933 Geboren in Den Haag. Groeit op in Rotterdam.
1950 -1954 Academie voor Beeldende kunsten in Rotterdam.
1955 Ontmoet Marie José Nicolaí met wie hij trouwt. Ze gaan in Dordrecht wonen en krijgen drie kinderen.
1959 Maakt zijn eerste monumentale werk, een zeventig meter lang mozaïek in Leeuwarden.
1960 -1964 Docent “Vrij schilderen”aan de Academie voor Industriële Vormgeving in Eindhoven.
1964 -1967 Docent “Grafische technieken”aan de Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Rotterdam.
1967 -1972 Afdelingsdocent “Gebonden kunsten” aan de Academie van BK in Rotterdam.
1979 -1981 Adviseur “Beeldende kunst”van de Rijksbouwmeester Ministerie VROM.
1983 -1990 
Docent “Vrij schilderen”aan de afdeling “Monumentaal” van de Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.

1993.  Eerste expositie Galerie Duo Duo / Rotterdam
Galerie Sapet / Mirmande Frankrijk
1994. Galerie Witt /Dordrecht
Zomerexpositie Duo Duo / Rotterdam
1995. Galerie Duo Duo / Rotterdam
Opdracht: ontwerp vloerintarsia school Rotterdam
1996. Galerie Witt / Dordrecht – Institut Néerlandais / Parijs Groepstentoonstelling
1997. Galerie Duo Duo / Rotterdam
1998. Galerie Witt /Dordrecht. Zomerexpo Duo Duo
Houten beeld bij experimentele bouw Almere
1999. Duo Duo / Rotterdam
2000. Galerie Witt / Dordrecht
2001. Galerie Duo Duo / Rotterdam – Opdracht ontwerp i.s.m Cor Kraat beelden voor het Raadhuis te Veenendaal
2002. Galerie Dom Arte / Rucphen Galerie Witt / Dordrecht
Opdracht beeld Rijkspolitie te Dordrecht
2003.  Galerie Witt / Dordrecht
Opdracht Beeldengroep Westelijk Handelsterrein Rotterdam
2004.  Galerie Duo Duo / Rotterdam
2005.  Galerie Sapet / Mirmande frankrijk
Galerie Les Sagnes / st.Michel de Chabrianoux Frankrijk
Galerie Witt / Dordrecht
2006.  Galerie Duo Duo / Dordrecht
Opdracht 4 beeldengroepen voor scholengemeenschap
ROC te Leeuwarden
2009. Bouke Ylstra is op 17 Augustus 2009 in zijn woonplaats Dordrecht overleden.
    

www.ftn-books.com has a nice Ylstra publication including an original drawing for sale.

 

 

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Joris Minne (1897-1988)

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Together with Cantre and Masereel , Joris Minnen is for personnally one of the best woodblock artists from the 20th century. His compositions and subjects are a symbiosis of Art Deco design and abstraction. The result is a highly authentic and personal oeuvre of mainly woodblock prints

He was born in Ostend. His parents moved to Antwerp soon after he was born. In Antwerp he completed middle school and then went to the higher school (ateneum) where one of his teachers was August Borms. During the weekend, he attended art classes at the Berchem Academy of Fine Arts.

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During World War I Minne took a job at the Antwerp city Welfare Department. Here he came into contact with Roger Avermaete who was departmental head. Roger Avermaete had a circle of artistic friends who decided to found a magazine. The magazine ‘Lumière’ was first published in Antwerp in August 1919.[3] The magazine was an artistic and literary journal published in French. Lumière’s title was a reference to the magazine Clarté, that was published in Paris by Henri Barbusse. The principal five artists who illustrated the text and the column headings were Frans Masereel, Jan Frans Cantré, Jozef Cantré, Henri van Straten and Joris Minne. They became known as ‘De Vijf’ or ‘Les Cinq’ (‘The Five’). The magazine ‘Lumière’ was a key force in generating renewed interest in wood engraving in Belgium. The five artists in ‘De Vijf’ group were instrumental in popularizing the art of wood, copper and linoleum engraving and introducing Expressionism in early 20th-century Belgium.

www.ftn-books.com has some Minne titles available.

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Antonio Saura (1930-1998)

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Followers of this blog know that i have an admiration for Saura to whom i devoted a blog on the 17th of August 2017. Now i want you to know that i have added an important early pub;lication to my inventory. It is is the 1964 Pierre Matisse gallery publication which is according to my information the first publication that has some colored ( tipped in) illustrations in it. An excellent designed catalogue and certainly one that must be interesting for the Saura admirer.

saura matisse 1964