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Keith Haring, Bulletin contribution, 1990

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1986….Keith Haring had his retropective at the Stedelijk Museum and made the VELUM for the entrance at that time. Since, there has been a friendship between Wim Beeren and Keith Haring. The 1990 Bulletin published by the STEDELIJK MUSEUM, had a small contribution on the memorial held at the MAZZO discotheque in Amsterdam. With the article a note written by Keith Haring addressed to Wim (beeren) was published for the first time. Here is the letter.

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The Bulletin frm 1990 is now availabe at www.ftn-books.com

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Simon Benson represented by gallery Phoebus

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The following text is written by Mirjam de Winter from gallery Phoebus, who represents Simon Benson.

Simon Benson is a draughtsman above all else. In pencil, on A4 and A3 size paper, you find almost everything: from almost invisible organic lines drawn in a searching automatic hand, to harder lines, drawn with the help of a ruler or a template; as well as areas of solid fill or cross-hatched and soft nebulous planes. Since the end of the 80’s nature and architecture have been his main subjects in which he can deploy his drawing skills. In the course of the 90’s, language and text make an appearance, along with the human form, sensory perception and feelings. In 1998, he makes the first self-portraits. In the meantime, new techniques are being used in the works on paper: photography and digital prints. Alongside all this, Benson has been making wall-paintings and three dimensional wall and floor objects made from mdf: he has also realised a number of public space commissions.

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In 1997, Simon Benson, made a text-piece, ‘Universal Anatomy’, in the form of a digital and a silk-screen print. It consists of a list of about 300 Italian words. (Italy referring to the beginnings of art in the Renaissance). The scope of this theme becomes clear: from roof to foundation, mountain peak to valley floor, from human head to feet – the body expanded to include perception, feeling and thought – all this subject matter described in one descending movement. At the same time, with a fascination for crossovers, Simon Benson drew a house in the form of a head, or a tree that appeared to be speaking; and he also made an installation entitled ‘An Anthropomorphic Landscape’, with consisted of a series of mdf objects with an block-like architectural appearance, which contained textual references to certain facets of the human form.

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Not just in this conceptual framework -that to this day continues to grow and is still a way to get to know Simon Benson’s work- but individual text works also play a role. For example, ‘Solutio’, ‘Heiliger Platz’, Senza Fiato’, ‘Fluchtpunkt’, ‘Seed’, ‘Cielo’ and others confront you with a greater or lesser degree of
ambiguity, of under- or overstatement – and creates a lot of space for association. Words or letters are sometimes, through a clear yet abstract arrangement, made unreadable. For example, the sixteen letters of the name of the gallery ‘ P H O E B U S R O T T E R D A M ‘ are placed in a grid of four by four letters on the facade of the building in which the gallery in housed. Text as starting point and secret language, a labyrinth to wander around in, a place where you can stand still, think and dream.

That Simon Benson is inspired, on various levels, by the traditions of western art and architecture is discernable in his work. Sometimes it is possible to point out variations on existing images, like in the references to Dürer’s drawings or Botticelli’s, or in the assimilation of architectural drawings of Gothic cathedrals or Le Corbusier’s buildings. As far as sources from literature are concerned, Simon Benson made, in 1999, a series of drawings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy and lately he has been inspired by James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, especially by the notion of a varyingly, inward and outward looking subjectivity. ‘Thought Through My Eyes’- eyes open and closed. His work is becoming more and more personal. Image and text, increasingly woven together – something like what you see in a present day source of his: television and computer culture.

The ‘ DO YOU STILL HEAR THE BIRDS SINGING” publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Niek Kemps (1952)

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Niek Kemps has been a part of the international art scene since the eighties. The artist wants to stimulate the spectator with his conceptual work, to process images in a different way; a statement about the attention span of modern day society and the accompanying image culture. Kemps’ work is like a laboratory, wherein he does both substantial as visual research to the social and cultural context, and how this relates to image, space, contemporary art and the concept of ‘museum’.

Sculpture becomes space, space becomes museum. A museological space can take diverse appearances: whether it’s static, collapsed, moving, hidden or even virtual. In his work, the artist questions, among other things, the more traditional configuration of the museum. From the need for a funded complexity, he analyses the different connotations, and this from a philosophical and visual stand point. In doing so, Kemps researches the impact of a full virtualization of the museological existence, wherein a virtual (read: fictional) museum merely displays digital work.

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Also in this imaginary constellation, the focus remains on the perception of context and space. An intertwining between fiction and reality is created. Virtual work is easily translated into a physical construction, a spaciousness, a sculpture, and vice versa. Kemps’ images never stand alone; they consistently show a sensitivity in relation to their surroundings, they interact so to speak with the space wherein they are located.

‘The narrow line between sight and seeing’, a work from 1986, is a speaking example of this. Until now, this illustrates the essence of his oeuvre. Originally it seems to be a sculpture. Yet the work is experienced as a space; a between area that questions all sorts of traditions and clichés. By continuously operating on this interface, the artist challenges the spectator to get out of their comfort zone, to explore the work, and to spend time with / in it. The artwork reveals itself only to the patient, attentive spectator. Every composition is formulated very precisely, like a poem. This form of complexity ensures that the work can never be apprehended at first glance. To fathom the different layers of meaning(s) takes time and effort. By defying fixed landmarks, meanings, perspective, and scale, every form of rational analysis is extracted or simply removed and it results in an astonishing artwork that invites to be lived and incites the spectator to reflect one self.

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Joost Swarte and THE ROUSERS, 1980

 

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There has always been a warm relationship between Joost Swarte and music in general. The result album covers, cd covers and cd specials which were published over the last 40 years . One of the earliest albums  Swarte designed was the THE ROUSERS album from 1980. The band is forgotten, but the album has one of the strongest covers i remember from the Eighties. Both sides of the cover look the same but there are differences between them. The perspective and timeframe are different making this a look into a scene …just seconds apart. Everything was designed by Swarte. Cover, Lettering and album labels all Swarte design making this one of the scarcest and certainly most collectable Swarte items i remember. The album is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Burgoyne Diller (1906-1965)

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A pioneer of American modernism, Burgoyne Diller devoted his career to the exploration of geometric abstraction in paintings, drawings, collages, and sculptures.

For Diller, abstraction was the ideal realm of harmony, stability and order in which every form and spatial interval could be controlled and measured. His style began with forms of modernism, including cubism, Kandinsky’s abstraction, constructivism, and other European models.He simplified his palette to the bold colors and black and white of neoplasticism and reduced his visual vocabulary to squares and rectangles.” “Diller developed a highly personal language based on three major compositional themes. These themes, which he labeled “First,” “Second,” and “Third,” explored the picture plane in relation to forms in movement and forms in constant opposition. By 1934 Diller had likely become the earliest American exponent of Mondrian’s type of geometrical abstraction. In the early 1940s, he began creating wall-mounted wood constructions, and during the 1950s and 1960s his sculptures developed into the large-scale, free-standing, formica works for which he is well known.”

The Sullivan Goss Art Gallery notes the following about Diller’s style: “Composed predominantly of squares and rectangles and accented with primary colors against a solid white background, Diller’s mature abstract paintings are the result of his explorations of pure color and form. Diller’s austere work recalls the stinging isolation of the lives of all Americans of the Depression era, and possibly his own. However, the well-planned geometric nature of his paintings reveals his desire for a reconstructed world prevailing over the seemingly hopeless situation in the United States during the Depression

Above is the excellent text on Diller and his style of painting found on Wikipedia

http://www.ftn-books.com has some excellent and scarce Diller publications available

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VIII Bienal 65 at Sao Paulo by Jurriaan Schrofer

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For many years this was the last time a dutch group of artists presented diutch art at the Sao Paulo Bienal exhibition. For several reasons the Bienal was boycotted and only in the late Eighties dutch art was presented once again at the Sao Paulo Bienal.

But the reason for this blog is not the presence of dutch art in SAo Paulo….no….. the reason is that this 1965 catalogue for the dutch pavillion was designed by Jurriaan Schrofer, who made this catalogue a very special one. The idea came from a leporello in which each fold contains a small catalogue. The artists present are for the official contribution: Co Westerik adnPeter Vos and for the special room: Melle, Carel Willink, Charles Roelofsz and Pyke Koch.

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Schrofer managed to include all these artist in a very special way in this catalogue in which all the artists received their own small book. Cover design is special too in which the title spirals away….I really am a great fan of this catalogie which is now available at www.ftn-books.com.

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Elspeth Diederix (1971)

 

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Elspeth Diedrix is born in Nairobi/Kenya. Her art is photography in which she places objects in strange and unexpected settings or a a simple object in a strange setting. Her ideas are not limited to her studio, but she invents and constructs her works everywhere. Her head is her studio, making her a conceptual artist “pur sang”. Het ideas are noted in her sketchbooks and at some other time executed in her studio. Photography is her preferred way of expressing herself. To experiment with photography is much easier and more real life.

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http://www.ftn-blog has a very nice work by Diederix available for sale. For more information inquire at ftnbooksandart@gmail.com

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Donald Judd and the Sikkens prijs ’93

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In 1993 Donald Judd was awarded the Sikkens Prijs for his radical approach to Modern Art. It was a well deserverd award for an artist who stood at the brink of Minimal Art and founded one of the most inspiring artists “colonies” in Marfa texas.

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Not much later Judd died in 1994 of Cancer, but his art remains and has proven to be (arguably) being the most important art made in the 20th century. The Stedelijk Museum and the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag both have some very important Judd’s in their collections and over time these works have not lost their appeal. I am personally convinced that in a few decades , the Minimal art by Judd is considered to be of the highest importance in the development of Modern Art/ http://www.ftn-books.com has the Judd publication published with the Sikkens Award ao. available .

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Peter Lanyon (1918-1964)

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I have made it myself easy this time. The following text was found on the internet. I searched but this painter is rather obscure and not much information can be found on him. I thought Peter Lanyon interesting enough to look for some more information, because his works in his GIMPEL FILS looks promissing ( available at http://www.ftn-books.com). I found some info, but many pictures ( Tate collection ao)

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(8 February 1918 – 31 August 1964) was a Cornish painter of landscapes leaning heavily towards abstraction. Lanyon was one of the most important artists to emerge in post-war Britain. Despite his early death at the age of forty-six he achieved a body of work that is amongst the most original and important reappraisals of modernism in painting to be found anywhere. Combining abstract values with radical ideas about landscape and the figure, Lanyon navigated a course from Constructivism through Abstract Expressionism to a style close to Pop. He also made constructions, pottery and collage.

Lanyon took up gliding as a pastime and used the resulting experience extensively in his paintings. He died in Taunton, Somerset, as the result of injuries received in a gliding accident and is buried in St. Uny’s Church, Lelant.

In September 2010 Peter Lanyon’s work was honoured with a large-scale retrospective exhibition: Peter Lanyon 9 October 2010 – 23 January 2011 at Tate St Ives. Curated by Chris Stephens, Head of Displays and Curator of Modern British Art at Tate Britain, it was the first thorough museum retrospective for almost forty years. In 2015 Lanyon’s Gliding Paintings were shown as a set in the Soaring Flight exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery, London.

In 2018 the catalogue raisonné of Peter’s oil paintings and three-dimensional works was published by Modern Art Press, after a decades work by Toby Treves.

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Een Nieuwe Synthese, 1988

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis publication is one of the starting points for my collection.

I had been working for 8 years at the Haags Gemeentemuseum when this exhibition was held at the Rijksmuseum Twenthe. First there was the catalogue which we sold in the museum shop and then there was the exhibition itself which opened my eyes for the quality of Abstract Geometric art in the Netherlands.

It has been 32 years now since that exhibition was held , but it has proven to be a very important one. Of all the names presented at that time, artists which were hardly known and could be picked up at auction at extreme low prices, many have had their reevaluation, resulting in a steep rise of prices fetched at auction.

Among them names  as Constant, Domela, Hussem, Huszar, van der Leck, Peeters and Vordemberge Gildewart. But among them were so many other great artists. These are now the artist who are on the verge of their breaktrough. I predict that these names will be the future stars in private and public collections. The names?…….. Siep van den Berg, Piet de Haard, Frieda Hunziker, Wim Sinemus, Andre Volten and Nicolaas Warb.

I have the exhibition publication now available at www.ftn-books.com and you can check these names and all others within the exhibition out in the “DE NIEUWE SYNTHESE”