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Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart (1899-1962)

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Beside the spectacular constructivist paintings Friedrich Vordemberg-Gildewart made, there is another aspect in his art life what made him special and important. FVG was the first artist who made abstract paintings throughout his entire career. At first glance his work is related to Mondriaan, de Stijl and Malewich, but look at it more careful and you notice that there is mus more space within the paintings. A way of painting which makes the painting seem less crowded. It is the way i like a painting to intrigue

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Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart was born in Osnabrück, Germany and studied architecture, interior design and sculpture at Hanover School of Art and the Technical College, Hanover. In 1924 he formed the abstract art group Gruppe K in Hanover with Hans Nitzschke and joined Der Sturm in Berlin. After meeting Theo van Doesburg, Kurt Schwitters and Hans Arp, he became a member of De Stijl in 1925. Together with Kurt Schwitters and Carl Buchheister he formed the ‘Abstrakten Hannover’ group in 1927. He was a member of a number of other artistic groups including: the Cercle et Carré, 1930, Paris and was a founding member of Abstraction-Création (1931), also in Paris. In 1937, in Munich, the Nazi regime exposed his works in the infamous Degenerate Art exhibition. Most of his works were confiscated and he was forced to leave Germany for the Netherlands.

there is a very special Bottrop publication from 1980 available at http://www.ftn-books.com, which contains 3 silkscreen prints by FVG.

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Nico Diemer designer for the Filmmuseum Cinematheek

I never had heard of Nico Diemer, but a few weeks ago i bought a stack of Seventies Filmmuseum/ Cinemateek publications . All of these had intriguing covers and showed a lot of design quality. I searched on the internet and tried to find more information on this graphic designer, but found nothing at all and i concluded that mr. Diemer was an amateur designer and must have been part of the staff in the early years of the “Filmmuseum Cinemateek” in Amsterdam. But just take a look at these covers and conclude for yourself that they have a quality of their own. The relation between graphic design and Cinema is obvious and highly recognizable.

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Cor van Dijk (1952)

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It took me along time to fianally appreciate the sculptures by van Dijk. At first i thought them to be too much copies of Judd sculptures, but i discovered them to be completely different. Why….surface , composition and construction differ from the one by Donald Judd. Still i consider his sculptures to be Minimal art and not constructivist.

 

He was  born in 1952 in Pernis, is a Dutch artist. The steel sculptures of Cor van Dijk are characterised by clear lines and geometric shapes. From first stages of their design, the material used for these works – steel – and their realisation are inextricably linked. To create his work, the artist uses separate sheets of solid steel, which he joins together with extreme precision. Van Dijk bases the dimensions of his sculptures on the standard gauge of the sheet metal. As a result, the mill scale found on the rolled steel is left intact in the finished works.

Viewing Van Dijk’s sculptures, one’s eyes constantly move across their surface and one’s attention keeps shifting from areas of open space to sections that take up space. The seams between the different segments play a key role in the works, since they lend a sense of scale to the mass of steel and define its different volumes. The artist strives to show interior space – its layout, possible compartments, the spaces between the segments and the massive quality of the steel itself. The different dimensions all interact with one another. Ultimately, this is also what gives the sculptures their specific presence: the precise handling of volumes and the perfect connection of individual sections in space. Each newly-realised concept is intended to bring even greater clarity to the context of the preceding work – while also pointing ahead, suggesting new concepts that are still waiting to be developed.

Van Dijk’s most recent sculptures comprise a single segment. The location of the open space and its dimensions determine the scale of the work as a whole. The result is an object in which mass (matter) and open space interact more intensively than ever before. In technical terms, the steel used for the sculptures shows no traces of machining or processing. Thanks to their mass, the open space and the interaction of these two elements, these tranquil objects seem to speak directly to the viewer.

www.ftn-books.com has the monograph on van Dijk now for sale

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Teun Hocks (1947)

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Teun Hocks. Is it staged photography or is it painting on photographs. It is a combination of both and the result is always absurd. Like Magritte he sketches a scene which is impossible , but pushes you to discover the meaning of the composition and look for the sabsurd and surreal in the painting/photograph. Hocks has build an oeuvre with these compositions and always plays a part in them.

He is an artist who creates self portraits with the utmost charm. “In my images I aim to achieve not so much, offering a mirror sometimes, or/and gaining a smile, and maybe a good feeling,” Teun tells It’s Nice That. This is a refreshingly humble aim, and one that is achieved with heart-warming artworks despite their surrealist edge.

The artworks featured are each part of Teun’s Analogue Works painted pieces that are the result of a thorough process from the artist. “First I start out with almost no ideas, or vague ones, drawing thoughts I have about all kinds of situations that get me dreaming.” The artist explains that once he is settled upon a concept, “I build and paint a setting, checking and controlling everything by taking digital photos to compare to my drawings”.

Next, once a desired light is found, “I take my place, and start to take polaroids (using a self-timer and longer cable release). If I am satisfied with the result I take eight photos on 6×9cm black and white film. Looking at the contact sheet, I decide which negative is the one to print. If not I start all over again.” This extensive process doesn’t stop there either. “I make three large black and white prints on fibre-based photographic paper, tone them to sepia, glue them on aluminium and start to colour them with transparent oil paint.”

The result of Teun’s perfectionism is a series of artworks that leave the viewer bewildered. Are they paintings? Are they photographs? The answer as the artist explains is both, and his ability to merge the mediums flawlessly is brilliantly baffling.

 

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Barend Blankert ( 1941 )

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Barend Blankert excels in realism with a twist. In some cases his works remind me of  Teun Hocks ( tomorrows blog) , but most of the time one feels an “unease” in the scene. Wether the object/person is curled up on the floor, on the edge of a bed or crouching at a table. You feel a pity for the person in the painting. Blankert does not hesitate to refer to other painters in his paintings. There is this great example of the two boys in the Seurat painting BAIGNEURS A ASNIERES (in the National gallery collection). The two boys in the Blankert painting are exact copies of the ones in the Seurat painting, but where the painting by Seurat is crowded by others. The two boys are alone in an empty room, making the scene a sad one.

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Still his works are worthwhile to look at and timeless. Barend Blankert is represented by galerie Mokum. The  Blankert monograph is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Tiong Ang (1961)

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The work of TIONG ANG spans a wide array of media, from collective performance, experimental film, through video and installation to painting, photography, and the display of objects. His practice across these forms centers around the social, emotional and existential consequences and negotiation of dislocation, disparate identities, and dispersion of imagery. _ Recurring themes are the impact of mass and digital media on individual perspective and collective memory, and the anxieties evoked by mobility and globalization. In these hybrid contexts, Ang addresses multiple modes of human presence and representation, using social intervention and juxtaposition, chance and communality, mockery and disguise. He explores subjective positions in divided, ambivalent, and collective conditions, be it on ethical, ethnic, or sociopolitical grounds. _Initially an object/painting based studio artist, from the mid-1990s Ang has expanded his production including experimental film, performative and relational enactments, interdisciplinary collaborations and curated projects. In a divergent practice, he examines authority and sustainability of images and narratives. The common thread in the work is the conflict between detached objectivity and engaged subjectivity; it demonstrates how universal media not only affect our perceptions of places and events but also denote our concept of reality. Elements of selfhood, cultural meaning, and social absorption have emerged in a diversity of mediated images. Thus, human perception and behaviour converge in complexities of disparate truths. The persona of the artist, distorted by media based projections, is the ultimate body to explore the human experience.

The above text comes from the Tiong Ang site.

www.ftn-books.com has recently added 2 important Tiong Ang publications to its inventory.

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2x Borek Sipek and 2x Erwin Olaf

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Why another blog on Erwin Olaf? This one is on the occasion of the addition of the book BOREK SIPEK / Glas Design Architectuur in which a series of photographs by Erwin Olaf with works by Sipek is published . Almost the exact series was used before. The series was made on location with gypsies holding glas and design by Sipek and photographed by Erwin Olaf for the Stedelijk Museum exhibition and publication which was designed by Irma Boom ( Book on the left/private collection). The addition to my inventory is the book published by the Drents Museum, which contains 8 color photographs by Erwin Olaf together with the Anton Corbijn cover. This makes the book a true collectors item since these photo’s are among the best Olaf ever made.

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When you study both series ( Stedelijk Museum and Drents museum), at first you think the photographs are the same , but study them closely and you will notice some subtil differences. I conclude that Erwin Olaf must have made shortly after each other two series. One in Black and white, the other in color.

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Using 2 cameras this must have been technically possible. Just look at the position of the hand of the gypsy boy. The book published for the Drents Museum is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Joachim Grommek (1957)

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Joachim Grommek, Master of Arts of Free Art/ Film at HBK Braunschweig (Professor: Malte Sartorius), Germany, in 1982 has mainly shown in German and European institutions and galleries since 1987, among them important solo shows like “Malerei 300” at the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany in 2011. His geometric-abstract, illusionary work in perfection lays varies the topic of authentic image and copy like the ancient Trompe-l’œils, always asking for a second look. Grommek’s work though is reflecting art history and prominent artists like Kasimir Malewitsch, Piet Mondrian, Blinky Palermo or Robert Ryman.

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This is how the Taubert gallery describes the works by Joachim Grommek. They have a nice selection in stock. This blog on Grommek is written on the occasion of the purchase for FTN-art of a beautiful impressive diamond shaped work : STAR IV, 2006 (Black Diamond). You really have to study his works from very close up. It appears these are not tapes nor raw chipped wood material, but literally everything….lines , wood, tapes …is painted. Materials used, acrylic paint, lack, wood , special paints…the result a fascinating work of art that impresses with its composition, but in the meantime is a technical painters masterpiece.

The works by Grommek can be found in numerous German museums and ao. the Centraal Museum / Utrecht

here is the text from the book TILT:

Grommek’s pictures have an extraordinarily immediate visual presence, despite their comparatively small size. Whereas they seem rigorously minimalistic in terms of both areal composition and chromatic clarity, there is still something provisional and unfinished about them. More like tantalising intermediates, they seem to imply that the artist has not yet decided which area should be superimposed on which. Patches of bald fibreboard are visible in places, as are strips of adhesive tape.

But nothing is what it seems in these works. Although Grommek does indeed use standard industrially laminated fibreboard as a ground, the grey-brown speckled areas that the viewer takes for unpainted fibreboard turn out to be no less painted albeit with deceptive verisimi|itude -than all the other areas. Even the brightly coloured transparent »adhesive tape« turns out to be lacquer which, perfectly applied layer upon layer, creates the illusion of overlapping strips of plastic tape. An abstract, »unrepresentational« picture by Grommek, therefore, is actually the result of a highly representational style of painting, with what it represents being its own materiality.

Once the temptation to tear off the strips of non-exlstent adhesive tape has been resisted, the viewer can step back a few paces and in doing so go back to the beginning and to the play of shapes and colours. The tension remains, just as the contradictions between the reality seen, painted and represented remain unresolved.
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A.R. Penck exhibition at Kunstmuseum Den Haag…HOW IT WORKS

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Until the 10th of May there will be a Penck exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Den Haag.

8 days ago i visited the combined opening of 3 exhibitions. I came for the Verdijk exhibition to see part of the gift which the Kunstmuseum received and exhibited in a very small room. But because i was early i had the pleasure to look atat the great art by Penck. I met Penck in 1988 when he drummed on the opening of his own exhibition at the Haags Gemeentemuseum  ( curated by Rudi Fuchs), so this was my second retrospective, with one great difference.

This show includes the oversized paintings. For the first 15 minutes after the rooms were opened i was almost on my own , because the guest stayed with the Lucassen exhibition which was openend too.

This is a great exhibition which shows that Penck is and will be very important to modern art and i really appreciated that the museum had made an extra effort to show the extreme sized paintings. This is a show you must see…modern art at its best and if i must compare the inmpact that the show had on me i must go back in time to the Basquiat exhibition at the Beyeler. The size and impact of these paintings is overwhelming. A must see.

 

There are several Penck publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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David Bade (1970)

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It must have been round 2002 that i first saw a sculpture by David Bade. It was the Yellow one/ BIG FISH DAY  that was placed at the entrance of the GEM, the contemporary museum next door to the Kunstmuseum Den Haag.  A bright yellow sculpture with a stork ( weapon of THE HAGUE) in top .

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My personal thought is that this is a monstrosity and over the nearly 20 years now that it is at this spot i never learned to appreciate it. Last week i walked by it , looked at the sculpture and noticed it was worn at some places and a thin layer of green algae is covering the sculpture, so perhaps in short time the sculpture will be removed from its spot and placed elsewhere. So far the negative on David Bade, because one always must have an open mind and when i leafed through the 2010 David Bade catalogue i was impressed….powerful sculptures, great paintings and drawings which reminded me of the great Expressionist painters . So there is a shift towards the positive. It does not mean that i now admire the sculpture outside GEM, but i definitely makes me look different to David Bade his art. The 2010 book is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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