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Aat Veldhoen (1934-2018)

Perhaps he wasn’t the greatest dutch artist that ever lived, but still Veldhoen deserves his place in art history . He was the artist who almost “commercially” destroyed himself, by making his prints available for ALL and in someway inventing the multiple for the masses.

He drew his subjects directly on the plate and made rotaprints from these plates. Used cheap papers and sold these prints, which were not signed nor numbered from a cart run by Robert Jasper Grootveld for the extremely small amount of 3 dutch guilders. It meant that with so many works by Veldhoen on the market, his paintings and drawings were not valued as they should be.

Aat Veldhoen was a well known and colorful figure in the dutch art scene and had a 20 year relationship with Hedy d’Ancona, the former minister of Culture from the Netherlands.

 

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Minimal Art at the Haags Gemeentemuseum

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It was in the early Eighties that i learned of the Minimal Art collection and history of the Haags Gemeentemuseum.

Crucial for the collection was the interest of almost all modern art curators in Minimal Art. Starting with Enno Develing who introduced the key artists of the Minimal Art scene for the first time in a large exhibition in 1968. Among them Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre and of course Sol LeWitt. Many of them would receive solo prentations in the years to follow, but this first time was a breakthrough for Minimal Art. The catalogue is arare book nowadays and i am lucky to have a copy for sale at www.ftn-books.com

After this first exhibition many exhibitions would follow. Enno Develing, Flip Bool, Rudi Fuchs and Franz Kaiser all took an interest in Minimal Art and because of this interest , exhibitions with LeWitt, Andre and Judd were organized in the decades after this first  1968 Minimal Art exhibition. I doubt that none was as important as this very first one, because after this first one Minimal Art was established as an art form, but another aspect that makes this first ( Develing ) exhibition important is that the relationship between the Gemeentemuseum and these artist was not only an artistic one.  The museum and its curators became friends with practically all Minimal Art artists, resulting in an ever growing collection of Minimal Art.

There is a nice link to a tribute to Sol LeWitt to be found over here:

http://www.gem-online.nl/files/media/gem/2016/sol_lewitt._a_tribute/ebook_sollewitt_web.pdf

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Jean Messagier (1920-1999)

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Personally i think Jean Messagier was a true Avant Garde artist. He explored paths and ways of painting well before others did and researched and developed a kind of painting which was typical for his art.

An almost spontaneous movement with the brush makes paintings and watercolors that feel organic, but these works are far from spontaneous, but well thought over works of art . It is the same as with Hans Hartung. The works look existed from some movements with pencil or brush, but designs and sketches prove that the gesture is not spontane and the result not just abstract, but a very well thought over abstract composition which is enlarged for the painting.

The same with Jean Messagier works . It is not necessary to buy an expensive painting by Messagier, because the Maeght gallery made some very nice Derriere le Miroir publication with Messagier and www.ftn-books.com has one of the most sought after CARGO publications with work by Jean Messagier available at its site.

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Oliver Boberg ( 1965 )

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The first time i was confronted with the work by Oliver Boberg was when he had  a large Retrospective exhibition. This was in 2004 at the Fotomuseum and i was very much impressed. Specially the large scale photographs had a feel of desolation and now i have bought for FTN Art two of his greatest photographs at a much smaller scale but still these are originals and very well worth collecting. The book i had on Boberg was sold years and years ago, but this is even better for the true admirer. The photographs are both from a very small edition of 20, numbered and signed and in pristine condition. Framed in a quite expensive frame and come from a collector from the US.

Memorial by Oliver Boberg , 2002,  edition 20, number 14/20, C-Print and signed by Boberg.

Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. C print is 35 x 25 cm. , condition is MINT

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“Erdgeschoss” by Oliver Boberg , 2001, edition 20, number 13/20, C-Print and signed by Boberg.

Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. C print is 38 x 15 cm. , condition is MINT

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Please visit the FTN art section on this page for more information

Oliver Boberg was born in Herten, Germany, in 1965. He studied art history at the University of Würzburg, Germany, from 1985–86, before transferring to the Art Academy Nürnberg to study painting from 1986–93. Since 1997 Boberg has garnered attention for his photographs of what appear to be bleak, uninhabited architectural sites but are in fact models constructed by the artist in his studio. The sense of neglect that haunts these scenes contradicts the painstaking meticulousness applied to their fabrication. In Boberg’s work from the late nineties, the elegant formalism of his compositions contrasts with the subject matter—color-drained stairwells, roof decks, and building facades painted to dissemble age and dilapidation. Works such as Park (1998) and Playground (2000) offer barren sites of disrepair despite their sunny titles. Boberg created his first films for the series Night Sites (2002–03). In these films, the artist utilizes familiar Hollywood devices—fluorescent blue lighting that typically permeates suspenseful night scenes and eerie settings like an abandoned alley or fog-coated forest—to promise a drama that never unfolds. In 2003, with his Building Shell series, Boberg returned to his characteristic photography of elaborate models, this time recreating multistory edifices in the midst of the construction process. In 2004 the artist began to work for the first time with black-and-white photography for his Pagesseries. In Pages and Walls (2007), Boberg revisited his photographic investigation of highly constructed, formalist sites of inattention. Inattention gives way to tragic neglect in his series Slums, begun in 2008, which focuses on the derelict makeshift dwellings composed of serrated tin and other urban debris. For this series, the artist juxtaposed his photographs with computer-generated drawings.

Solo exhibitions of Boberg’s work have been organized by the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago (2001), Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne (2002), Kunstverein Hannover (2003), and Duolun Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai (2005). His work has also been included in major group exhibitions such as Experiment at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2000), Moving Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2003), and Artist’s Choice: Herzog & De Meuron, Perception Restrained at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2006). Boberg has been recognized with the Bayerischer Staatsförderpreis für junge Künstler, Fotografie (1997) and Förderpreis für bildende Kunst der Stadt Nürnberg (2005), among other awards. Boberg lives and works in Fürth, Germany.

 

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Dennis Bailey (1931-2016) a prominent British graphic designer

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It was just recently that my eye was caught by a cover for a British exhibition on Architecture. ( available at www.ftn-books.com) The exhibition “ARCHITECTURE TODAY, has over 140 page filled with examples of typical Sixties architecture but what made it stand out for me was the excellent cover by Dennis Bailey.

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Bailey was of great influence to other British designers because he taught at the Central School Of Art & Design (1957-60), Chelsea School of Art (1970-81) and at Middlesex Polytechnic during the late 1980s.

I wondered why i find his design so appealing. It must have been the influence of Swiss design . at least there is a hint Gerstner in his designs and it is no wonder, because he contributed for a period of over 20 years to GRAPHIS magazine based in Zurich.

For more information on this great Britisch designer please read the article that i found over here:

Remembering Dennis Bailey – design’s unassuming statesman

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Felix Labisse (1905-1982)

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Felix Labisse, is for me one of the great surrealist painters from last century and i have a life long admiration for the artist and his works.

It must have been around 1970 that i visited in the company of my parents Paris. I started to grow an interest in art and limited editions because i had a membership with ARTA . a small gallery with a subscription program to buy at membership prices graphic art. My entire collection at that moment well below 5 lithographs.

Paris it was and beside the scenic neighbourhoods , museums and tourist attractions we went to shop at “galerie Lafayette”. We took the escalator and on the top floor …there it was . a true ART gallery and the first piece on show was this lithograph in a signed edition.

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I was so impressed with the lithograph that i borrowed the money with my father to buy it and since it has been in my collection. I still love the beauty of the typical Labisse female figures. It is not on the wall anymore, but is still very much appreciated as a wonderful piece of art that i cherish for being a Labisse and for being one of the first pieces of art that i ever bought.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Labisse publications available

btw. The beautiful portrait of Labisse sitting is by Brassai

 

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Bob Bonies (1937)

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For me the only true “Hard edge” artist in the Netherlands is Bob Bonies, however Michiel Morel refers to the art of Bob Bonies as a rearrangement of FORMS AND COLORS.

I read his excellent article and it is unfortunate that it is only available in dutch, but for those who understand the language here is the link :

Bonies: Ordening van vorm en kleur (periode  1964 – 1968) (3)

As you can read in the article . Bonies stayed true to his art of rearranging , shifting and placing forms and colors in a new context and one of the earliest silkscreen that was published in a larger edition was the one he made for the Stedelijk Museum catalogue VORMEN VAN DE KLEUR

in which his contribution stands out together with the one Ellsworth Kelly made for the same publication. This Wim Crouwel designed publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

left Bonies and right Kelly

I have a lifetime admiration for Bob Bonies. He was one of the first artists i personally met at the Gemeentemuseum and a few years ago i bought a small collection of his publications from another bookdealer who had bought them from a Bonies collector and within one of the publications i found the birth card of his son Jiri. Even this card shows the quality of his works. The card is for sale too together with many other Bonies publications.

 

 

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Klee / Kupka and music

 

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Two totally different painters with a complete different background. Both rose to fame in the Interbellum and booth were very much inspired by music and the rhythm of it.

In a time that exhibitions were developed around a theme. btw. the Spiritual in Art was such an exhibition, one of the most iconic exhibitions of the Eighties was presented in Germany. its name VOM KLANG DER BILDER. An exhibition in which the relation between music , sounds and rhythm and the influence they had on paintings was tried to be explained. It is for certain that music has been of influence to artists and both Klee and Kupka were the artist who made paintings in relation to music . Kupka is perhaps the artist who has been influenced by Music the most, but certainly Paul Klee has become known for his music inspired paintings and drawings.

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Klee perceived a clear visual connection to the structural articulations found in music. Focusing on polyphony and counterpoint, Klee produced his watercolor Fugue in Red in 1921.

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This early attempt to achieve a synthesis between music and art exposes a number of floating forms, either figurative or as abstract derivations. Overlapping shapes float over a two-dimensional surface, with the temporal aspect graphically represented by a gradual shift in color. Moving from the dark background to maximum transparency, the visualized counterpoint combines in a cosmic harmony that reaches towards a new sense of spirituality. Although essentially structural in approach, this painting embodies Klee’s believe in “harmony, autonomy, and universality in humankind.” As a musician and a painter, Klee essentially created a harmonious arrangement that echoes a universal order. www.ftn-books.com has on both artists several publications available.

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Just a walk in PARIS 2009…. and Fluxus

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It was about 9 years ago that me and my wife Linda visited Paris. Dropped our son together with my sister in law, nephew and niece at the gates of Disneyland Paris and went to the city.

I know Paris well and took Linda for the first time to some “arrondissements” she had never visited before. There was the 16th where i had lived for almost a year and the Rue de Seine , the Modern art district .

At one of the galleries a FLUXUS exhibition was being held with art by BEN and Saito. To make this exhibition known to the outside world an extremely nice FLUXUS poster was published. Because i had a hunch that these posters would become important i asked if i could take 4 of them with me. NO problem….. and now 9 years later there is only one of these rare posters left and available at www.ftn-books.com and in time they have proven that i was right about them. They have proven to be important and highly collectable.

 

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BMW (Jeff Koons) and art cars

 

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I love cars and really appreciate when a car has a beautiful design and a futuristic technique, but if there is one car make that i personally truly detest it is BMW. It not the cars that i think are detestable but more the drivers who drive a BMW. The cars have a fairly good designed exterior and a beautiful “top in class” interior, but the drivers are arguably the worst there ar on the road. In general they think they are invincible and superior to any other driver, drive to fast and are rude in traffic. That said … there is an aspect to BMW i like instead. The BMW company has a large art collection and because they value art, famous artists are invited to decorate their cars. Because the car itself represents the design of an era , the invited artist can enhance such a design. In the Netherlands a BMW was decorated by Herman Brood, but the factory BMW art program is from another level.

The best modern artists are invited to make the most spectacular designs. Among them….the late Andy Warhol and more recently Jeff Koons who worked on several of the latest BMW cars.

There are other car manufacturers that have a comparable program, but the quality of the BWW art program stands out from the rest. There is a nice book on cars and art available at www.ftn-books.com

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