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Floris Arntzenius (1864-1925)

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Floris Arntzenius is one of those painters who can be called a dutch impressionist. His touch is not as sunny as the French impressionists, but more subdued and influenced by weather and seasons in the Netherlands, making his paintings less bright and cheerfull. Still his depicting of daily life and townscapes makes his work of a rare quality. His painting can be compared with that of Jan Toorop, but where Toorop changed his style for several times during his life, Arntzenius stayed true to classic dutch impressionist scenes.

left Arntzenius / right Toorop

 

The Gemeentmuseum Den Haag has some very nice Arntzenius paintings in its collection and has published several catalogues over the years of which some are 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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New site for FTN books and discount code

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It was a necessary step to make the site more accessible, so i changed the lay-out made it much more clear for all visitors to find their way among the 8000+ items that are for sale at www.ftn-books.com.

The result a clean and pleasing site in a blue and creme color scheme. Pleasing to the eye, with a great search engine to find those titltes you are looking for . Please take a look at www.ftn-books.com and when you order use the discount code: FTNnew (10% discount on all items), which is valid until the 6th of February 2019.

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Felicien Rops (1833-1898)

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A true artist of the FIN DUS SIECLE. On a peer with Toulouse Lautrec and exercising his art on the edge of society. Where Toulouse Lautrec found his inspiration in cafes and brothels, Rops was more of an erotic caricaturist who was not a great fan of religion and the church. In many cases he offended the church in making drawings with a less pious christ,

but he was a master in drawing and made drawings that had two layers. The first was the masterful drawing, the second underlying layer was its erotic contents.

His drawings were forbidden for a very long time , but nowadays his drawings are recognized as true pieces of art and mainly in Belgium Rops has received many a retrospective exhibition of which some of the publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Josef Albers and his Christmas card from 1952

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On this Christmas eve some thoughts by Josef Albers :

Wenn ich male
sehe und denke ich zunächst – Farbe

Und zumeist Farbe als Bewegung

Nicht als Begleitung
von Form, die seitwärts bewegt,
nur seitwärts verbleibt

Sondern als Farbe in dauernder innerer Bewegung

Nicht nur in Interaktion und Interdependenz
mit Nachbarfarben,
verbunden wie unverbunden

Sondern in Aggression – zum wie vom Beschauer
in direktem frontalen Uns-Anschauen

Und näher betrachtet,
als ein Atem und Pulsieren – in der Farbe

When I paint
I think and see
first and most – color
but color as motion

Color not only accompanying
form of lateral extension
and after being moved
remaining arrested

But of perpetual inner movement
as aggression – to and from the spectator
besides interaction an interdependence
with shape and hue and light

Color in a direct and frontal focus
and when closely felt
as a breathing and pulsating
– from within

Josef Albers

The card below was the original Josef Albers Christmas card from 1952

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Unfortunately this card is NOT available at www.ftn-books.com, but many other Albers item are available. a Merry Xmas from Wilfried van den Elshout and FTN books

 

 

 

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Albert Marquet (1875-1947)

 

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Albert Marquet is the next stage in Impressionism, which is of course Fauvisme of which mouvement he was one of the most important contributors. It took me a very long time to finally see  “live” a painting by Marquet. It was in the “Monet to Matisse” exhibition at the Haags Gemeentemuseum . The museum had the highlights from the Pushkin museum on loan for a short period. The exhibition drew record numbers of visitors ( almost 250.000 came to visit) and among the paintings on loan there were 2 Marquet paintings of which one was my personal favorite.

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The painting shows the river Seine and in a fog the silhouette of the Notre Dame on Ile Saint Louis can be seen. It is a magical painting , just a little black, some grey lines   and some white  makes one of the best and most beautiful Fauve paintings i had ever seen. In the morning without the visitors crowding the rooms of the museum, you could visit the exhibition before its opening. It was quiet then and every time i saw the painting i was impressed. As a book dealer i learned that Marquet was not unknown in the dutch art and collectors scene, because several publications were published of which some are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Adolphe Monticelli ( 1824-1886) and Benno Wissing

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Why a blog on Monticelli? Two simple reasons. Monticelli was one of the great inspiration sources for the Impressionists and specially Vincent van Gogh was a great admirer and because of this connection two of the large museums in the Netherlands held exhibitions in the Fifties and Sixties. The Boymans van Beuningen was one of them and held a retrospective exhibition in 1959 of which the catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

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It is this appreciation of Monticelli’s art and the connection with van Gogh that some of the museums over here have Monticelli’s in their collections. I know that Kroller Muller, Gemeentemuseum, Boymans and the Stedelijk all have Monticelli’s in their collections. Personally i think it is time again for a re appreciation of this great painter who’s works are timeless and in so many cases a source of inspiration for the Impressionists. I started this blog on Monticelli because today i bought a poster for the 1959 Boymans exhibitions. It is in excellent B- condition and i consider this to be one of the best Benno Wissing made for the Boymans museum during the Fifties.

MONTICELLI aa

 

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Hendrik Jan Wolter (1873-1952)

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Hendrik Jan Wolter is not on show in many Museum collections, however his works appear frequently at auctions in the Netherlands. It took at least 20 years of auctioning, but now his works fetch average to good prices ( 1000-5000 euro) and deservedly so, because according to many his impressionist works belong to the best impressionist works made in the Netherlands in the 20th century. he knew Theo van Rijsselberghe, Seurat and Signac and was greatly influencedx by all 3 without becoming a pointilist “pur sang” his works are more a cross between the pointillists and impressionists meeting with Matisse.

Here are some examples of his works:

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Boats in sorts and kinds were his passion, because on the majority of his paintings you will encounter boats. A fascinating artist who becomes increasingly important in the Netherlands. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Hendrik Jan Wolter publications available.

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Claude Monet and Keith Haring

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Worlds apart in their art but with one common factor in their lives. Because of the blog on Liebermann, i Realized that there were many famous artist who visited at one time in their life the Netherlands and worked together with dutch artists or were in residence to refresh their point of views and make some impressive works of art. So did Claude Monet who visited more than once de Zaanse Schans to make some impressive and beautiful impressionist paintings

and one century later there was Keith Haring who stayed a month in Amsterdam and during that time he made the “velum” in the Stedelijk Museum.

There are more examples to be found but these two sprung to my mind when i thought about the frequent times Liebermann spent his summer holiday in the Netherlands.

On both artists there are some nice publications to be found at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Claude Monet and abstract art

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A few months ago i encountered on Blouin.com a very interesting article on the importance of the “abstract” waterlilies paintings by Claude Monet. Because of this importance i will post the complete article in this blog and please know that www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on Monet available.

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As hard as it may be to believe today, Claude Monet’s beloved Water Lilies series received little admiration during the artist’s lifetime. regarded as too neo-classical, or too decorative, or confusing and messy — perhaps the product of the artist’s failing eyesight — more than 200 of the monumental compositions leaned against the walls of Monet’s Giverny studio for some 30 years, unsold. After his death, 22 “Water Lilies” panels out of some 250 he had produced were installed in the Musee del’Orangerie in Paris, a gift the artist bequeathed to the French state. but they were largely ignored.

“When it opened, it stayed nearly empty,” said Cecile Debray, the chief curator of the l’Orangerie. “Everyone had forgotten these works of art. I remember one writer saying that it was a place where lovers went to hide.” It wasn’t until the 1950s, nearly 30 years after Monet’s death, that the works began to find a popular following. The Museum of Modern Art’s founding director, Alfred J. Barr Jr., bought three for the New York museum in 1955 — at an absurdly cheap price— and hung them as a panorama.

Art critics such as Clement Greenberg were arguing that Monet’s late works were the precursors to the American abstract art movement, positioning his Water Lilies in relation to Jackson Pollock‘s paintings, such as “Autumn Rhythm (number 30),” 1950. Seen that way, the works resonated with American Abstract expression and the concept of something called “Abstract Impressionism” was forged.

The Orangerie, now one of the key art attractions in Paris, is mounting an exhibition that focuses on the precise moment when these works entered into dialogue with American post-war art. “The Water Lilies. American Abstract painting and the Last Monet” runs until August 20.

With a selection of 20 major paintings by artists such as Jackson PollockMark RothkoBarnett NewmanHelen FrankenthalerMorris LouisJoan Mitchell and other key figures of American abstraction, the show juxtaposes Monet’s late works with the artists he influenced, either directly or indirectly.

“The question of influence is very delicate,” said Debray, curator of the exhibition. “Some of the artists have visited the Orangerie and Giverny, such as Barnett Newman and Ellsworth Kelly who were really influenced by Monet’s work. but some, like Pollock, were linked to Monet through Clement Greenberg, and not through themselves. It isn’t always just a simple question of influence, but how connections were made through art critics, the art market, and also museums.”

Monet embarked on the grand project of the Water Lilies series at the age of 73, and they consumed his attention for the last decades of his life from about 1914 to 1926, when he died. He intended some of them to be shown in series of three, alone in a single chamber, in what today we would call an installation, but others were standalone works.

At his home in Giverny, Monet built an enormous garden and tended to it with extreme care, expressly for the purpose of making these artworks and capturing water lilies and other scenes of nature in paint. “in French, you’d call it the aboutissement of his life’s work,” said Debray. “When you realize what you wanted to do your whole life.”

“These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession for me,” Monet wrote to a friend in 1909. “It is beyond my strength as an old man, and yet I want to render what I feel.”

In 1952, the Kunsthalle Zurich borrowed five Water Lilies paintings for a Monet retrospective, and the exhibition catalog lauded them as the precursors of Modern art. thereafter, they received more attention, and Barr’s purchase of the works led to the biggest wave of subsequent interest.

According to the MoMA’s book “Claude Monet’s Water Lilies,”  the connection between the late Monet paintings and the Abstract Art Movement was mostly an intellectual construct: “In the wake of World War II, the artists that would come to be known as thNewew York school developed a form of art that was radically different from their predecessors in Europe or the United states.

Works that claimed to be fatherless… made room for a putative precedent. Monet’s Water Lilies, as free from polemic as the Americans’ work was a clarion call, would come to take on a prominent role.”

By October 1957, the New York Times critic David Sylvester called Monet “the art world’s most newly resurrected deity, the painter whose standing has risen more than that of any other, as a result of post-war movements in taste,” which he called “obviously a by-product of action painting, abstract expressionism, and other activities.”

In 1958, when a fire at the MoMA destroyed the museum’s original Water Lilies paintings, Barr had to replace them immediately with others from the same series because they were such a popular draw to the museum, Debray said.

“There came a time when just to have a Water Lilies work from this series became very important to every museum of Modern art,” said Debray.

It makes sense that the museum would explore the complex history of the paintings that were designed for the Orangerie, and how American abstraction, in a way, brought about the appreciation of Monet’s late works. debray said, however, that the show doesn’t try to make simple-sum comparisons or settle into an easy narrative — there are many strands to this story.

For example, the show looks at how the monumentality of Monet’s Water Lilies was linked to Modern art  — which, following World War II, required larger and larger spaces to house it. While there are some Abstract works that clearly reflect a kind of homage or reference to Monet, others have a more theoretical or conceptual link.

Most important for the Color Field painters, perhaps, was the effect of Monet’s zooming into the surface of the water, removing all boundaries and borders and placing the viewer inside the subject itself. in an interview that the painter Ellsworth Kelly once gave to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he explained how his work was linked to the late works of Monet:

“Painting in the Renaissance and after was like a window, and your spacial view was always through the window,” he said. “With Monet, with Cezanne, they started messing up paint and started bringing attention to the surface of the painting and you had to go up to it and see how it was done and how they did it. I feel that, in my work, the space between the viewer and the painting is the area that I want to enliven.”

Among the works on display is a 1968 reductive pencil drawing on paper by Kelly of a single water lily, part of a series of plant drawings that the abstract artist worked on throughout his career. Another work is Kelly’s “Tableau Vert,” in which one can feel the ripples of Monet’s watery surfaces in the textured greens and blues of kelly’s palette.

Another element of the exhibition is an exploration of the term “Abstract Impressionism,” which was used by Elaine de Kooning, the artist, and art critic, to describe the early colorful painterly style of Philip Guston. Abstract impressionism was also employed as a catchall for two post-war American styles: the Action painting expressed by artists like Pollock and Willem de Kooning; and the Color Field painting practiced by Rothko and Noland.

Various artists throughout the post-war era looked into Monet’s watery gardens and didn’t see flowers and light and water and sky. they saw modernity or something like it.

And as for Monet? “ I think he was against abstraction because he was a man of the 19th century,” said Debray. “He knew that what he was doing was not fashionable and people were not at ease with his radicality. I think he did it because i think it was a necessity.”

http://www.blouinartinfo.com