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Ornela Vorpsi (1968)

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A strange but still highly collectable book is the book by Ornela Vorpsi, an Albanian writer/photographer who’s work i first encountered through a publication which is available at WWW.FTN-BOOKS.COM. An excellent and beautiful publicatioin by SCALO publishers who have a nose for new talented photographers. Photographs which are mysterious and erotic at the same time. Recommended and as said …..collectable.

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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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Gerard Petrus Fieret / Foto en Copyright Vol. 2

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Gerard Petrus Fieret Foto en Copyright volume 1 is arguably the most important recent photography publication from the last 20 years in the Netherlands, but there is also Volume 2 from 2010, of which i now have some copies in stock. It is an even beautiful and nice publication as the volume 1 is. The volume 1 is sold out even with the atiquarian booksellers and it is a rare book to find, but now i have the Volume 2 available and still at a reasonable price. So buy your copy when there still is a chance to add it to your collection of photography books.

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Max Ernst (1891-1976)

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Without any focus on Ernst i have maneged to collect many titles on this artist. The first time i noticed hsi name is when i was very much interested in the the Fantastic / HET FANTASTICHE in de Kunst ( book availabel at www.ftn-books.com

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Max Ernst, in full Maximilian Maria Ernst, (born April 2, 1891, Brühl, Germany—died April 1, 1976, Paris, France), German painter and sculptor who was one of the leading advocates of irrationality in art and an originator of the Automatism movement of Surrealism. He became a naturalized citizen of both the United States (1948) and France (1958).

Here is the excellent entry from the Encyclopedea Britannica

Ernst’s early interests were psychiatry and philosophy, but he abandoned his studies at the University of Bonn for painting. After serving in the German army during World War I, Ernst was converted to Dada, a nihilistic art movement, and formed a group of Dada artists in Cologne. With the artist-poet Jean Arp, he edited journals and created a scandal by staging a Dada exhibit in a public restroom. More important, however, were his Dada collages and photomontages, such as Here Everything Is Still Floating (1920), a startlingly illogical composition made from cutout photographs of insects, fish, and anatomical drawings ingeniously arranged to suggest the multiple identity of the things depicted.

In 1922 Ernst moved to Paris, where two years later he became a founding member of the Surrealists, a group of artists and writers whose work grew out of fantasies evoked from the unconscious. To stimulate the flow of imagery from his unconscious mind, Ernst began in 1925 to use the techniques of frottage (pencil rubbings of such things as wood grain, fabric, or leaves) and decalcomania (the technique of transferring paint from one surface to another by pressing the two surfaces together). Contemplating the accidental patterns and textures resulting from these techniques, he allowed free association to suggest images he subsequently used in a series of drawings (Histoire naturelle, 1926) and in many paintings, such as The Great Forest (1927) and The Temptation of St. Anthony (1945). These vast swamplike landscapes stem ultimately from the tradition of nature mysticism of the German Romantics.

In 1929 Ernst returned to collage and created The Woman with 100 Heads, his first “collage novel”—a sequence of illustrations assembled from 19th- and 20th-century reading material and a format which he is credited with having invented. Soon afterward he created the collage novels A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil (1930) and A Week of Kindness (1934).

After 1934 Ernst’s activities centred increasingly on sculpture, using improvised techniques in this medium just as he had in painting. Oedipus II (1934), for example, was cast from a stack of precariously balanced wooden pails to form a belligerent-looking phallic image.

At the outbreak of World War II, Ernst moved to the United States, where he joined his third wife, the collector and gallery owner Peggy Guggenheim (divorced 1943), and his son, the American painter Jimmy Ernst. While living on Long Island, New York, and after 1946 in Sedona, Arizona (with his fourth wife, the American painter Dorothea Tanning), he concentrated on such sculptures as The King Playing with the Queen (1944), which shows African influence. After his return to France in 1953, his work became less experimental: he spent much time perfecting his modeling technique in traditional sculptural materials.

In the meantime i have collected many Max Ernst titles at www.ftn-books.com

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Elvira Bach (1951)

 

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Is another colorful figure from the early days of NEUE WILDE painting. She was famous for her female figures in her paintings. Bold, proud woman that always looked very much like herself. In many cases she used self portraits in her paintings.

Now for a personal opinion….. At the time i first saw an Elvira BAch painting i was very much impressed . Colorful , proud woman, large size . all the elements i like in a painting, but where Rainer Fetting  ( Yesterday’s blog) aroused my interest agin in the Neu Wilde, Elvira BAch i find much much less interesting after 35 years. I can not predict what this will mean for the future for the value of her art, but for me Elvira Bach is not so high anymore on my wish list.

There are some catalogues on Elvira BAch available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jean-Gabriel Domergue (1889-1962)

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France has had its share of society painters and i f ever there was one who came after the flood of great names who build a career in making portraits of wealthy women,  it must have been Domergue. He started his career in 1911 after he had finished his art studies at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Onwards he specialized in makeing portraits of Parisian women. Some people even say that this is how the French Pin Up was invented. His technique is something between impressionism and the style of Matisse.

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His portraits are highly recognizable and the artistic appreciation and also the value of his works are starting to grow. This making him an artist for the future. The importance of Domergue is not only his figure studies , but also the works he has done as a fashion designer. The clothes he designed for Paul Poiret are considered as true classics. www.ftn-books.com has some nice vintage 60’s cataloges of the artist available.

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Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980)

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Two aspects of her art life spring to mind. First and foremost a great Art Deco painter and one of the frist female artists being recognized by the greater public as a great artist and secondly …she depicted the “beau monde” in the Interbellum. The period between WWI and WWII.

Although she was born in Poloand she spent her working life in France and the United States. She is best known for her polished Art Deco portraits of aristocrats and the wealthy, and for her highly stylized paintings of nudes.

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Born in Warsaw, Lempicka briefly moved to Saint Petersburg where she married a prominent Polish lawyer, then travelled to Paris. She studied painting with Maurice Denis and André Lhote. Her style was a blend of late, refined cubism and the neoclassical style, particularly inspired by the work of Jean-Dominique Ingres.[1] She was an active participant in the artistic and social life of Paris between the Wars. In 1928 she became the mistress of Baron Raoul Kuffner, a wealthy art collector from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. After the death of his wife in 1933, the Baron married Lempicka in 1934, and thereafter she became known in the press as “The Baroness with a Brush”.

Following the outbreak of World War II in 1939, she and her husband moved to the United States and she painted celebrity portraits, as well as still lifes and, in the 1960s, some abstract paintings. Her work was out of fashion after World War II, but made a comeback in the late 1960s, with the rediscovery of Art Deco. She moved to Mexico in 1974, where she died in 1980. At her request, her ashes were scattered over the Popocatépetl volcano. www.ftn-books.com has one nice publication on Lempicka

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Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)

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A wish of mine was for a very long time to add a Bonnard painting to my collection, Knowing at the same time that it is an unrealistic and certainly impossible wish. I have been looking for Bonnard paintings in all major museums. found them and they always impress. They have some realistic elements, a lot of abstraction and truly magnific atmosphere. Bonnard catches the light as no other painter does. A brushstroke and technique which resembles the pointillist technique of painting and with this technique he created a style of his own. the result highly recognizable paintings which always fascinate.

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It took a very long time before finally his works were considered to be the very best from the century. There were two exhibitions in the late Nineties which contributed to this recognition ( Tate and Moma)

Wikipedia describes why his paintings are one of a kind:

Bonnard is known for his intense use of color, especially via areas built with small brush marks and close values. His often complex compositions—typically of sunlit interiors and gardens populated with friends and family members—are both narrative and autobiographical. Bonnard’s fondness for depicting intimate scenes of everyday life, has led to him being called an “Intimist“; his wife Marthe was an ever-present subject over the course of several decades She is seen seated at the kitchen table, with the remnants of a meal; or nude, as in a series of paintings where she reclines in the bathtub. He also painted several self-portraitslandscapes, street scenes, and many still lifes, which usually depicted flowers and fruit.

Bonnard did not paint from life but rather drew his subject—sometimes photographing it as well—and made notes on the colors. He then painted the canvas in his studio from his notes. “I have all my subjects to hand,” he said, “I go back and look at them. I take notes. Then I go home. And before I start painting I reflect, I dream.”

He worked on numerous canvases simultaneously, which he tacked onto the walls of his small studio. In this way he could more freely determine the shape of a painting; “It would bother me if my canvases were stretched onto a frame. I never know in advance what dimensions I am going to choose

www. ftn-books.com has some nice Bonnard titles available

 

 

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Peter Pontiac (1951-2015)….Infanticide

 

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This is the farewell exhibition of the Groninger Stripmuseum . It stops after this appealing exhibition in which comic artist show that beside their talents as comic artists they are in many cases also serious and very accomplished painters. Here is the painting that struck me most. It is INFANTICIDE by the late Peter Pontiac.

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I am an admirer of Peter Pontiac for a long time now and this painting shows in an excellent way that there is more to his art than his stand alone comics. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Peter Pontiac items and limited editions available.