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El Kazovskij (1948-2008)

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Born in Russia, but living most of her life in Hungary, El Kazovskije has hada special role in Hugarian art. The art of Hungary from the second half of last century is mostly known for constructivist art, but El kazovskije had a totally differen t approach to art . Designing costumes and making performances made him a much more complete artist than the artists from his generation.

El Kazovsky was born under the name of Elena Kazovskaya in Leningrad, Russia to Irina Putolova, an art historian, and Yefim Kazovsky, a physicist. He moved to Hungary in 1965, at the age of 15, and graduated in 1977 with a degree in painting from the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts. El Kazovsky’s masters were György Kádár and Ignác Kokas.

El Kazovsky was open about being transgender – born biologically as a female and self-defining as an androphile man.

His art cannot be broken down into periods; all of his expressive paintings reveal the same mythological world that he created. Several recurring figures appear in many of his paintings, such as the long nosed dog or the ballet dancer figure. Besides paintings, his work includes stage designs, performances and installations.

http://www.ftn-books.com has a rare studio Galeria catalogue from 1979 on the artist available

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Jan Hendriks (1946)

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The first artists that i thought of when i first saw the works by Jan Hendriks was Klaus Staudt, but also in a distance you can experience some of the influences that Jan Schoonhoven had on art. Stil the works by Hendriks are not to be missed and must be valued on their own appearance and qualities. I like his works very much and noticed on a site when i did somne research on Hendriks that prices are still within reach of most people. The reason of writing this blog is that i recently acquired a small catalogue which shows a totally different aspect of his works.

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Ravelli pottery 1944-1977

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There was a time you could find Ravelli pottery on Bric a Brac markets all over the Netherlands. Not any longer since these Ravelli items have becom highly collectable items with a loyal following of collectors. Started in 1944 and finishing in 1977 these Ravelli items were designed and made by Jaap Ravelli. Who worked all these years in his studio helped by some assistants.

All items were signed, so there can be no mistake about a Ravelli item. In 1989 J.M. de Koning took the initiative to make a first book on these collectibles and it was a great effort. Later other publications were published but tghis first book from 1989 set a standard for Ravelli publications. In it some history and many items from the studio. This book is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Atze Haytsma (1929)

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Born in Amersfoort this little known photographer is still working.

Haytsma has become known for his nude photography in which he shapes the body into almost abstract forms. Inspired by the greats of all nude photographers like Bill Brandt and Lucien Clergue, his nudes are almost always made in a studio setting.

The difference is therefore the way light in the photograph is used . He can set up his studio lights in a way that is never possible when photographing outside. Personally i prefer the natural light of the outside photography, but that does not mean that i am not attracted to the photographs of Haytsma. His photographs still have a quality of their own, making these highly collectable items at a reasonable price. This is an artist to watch whenever an item appears on an online auction site. The ATZE book is available at www.ftn-books.com

Atze Haytsma (1929) was educated to be a sculptor. At fourteen years old he started his professional career as an assistant of Geert Marree, just before the Dutch famine of 1944. After that he studied at the Applied Art School and the State Academy of Expressive Arts. He also learned how to glaze and work with modelling clay in a pottery to finally produce the designs of sculptors such as Bill Couzijn, Carel Kneulman, Marie Andriesse and many others. Basically everything in his life revolves around shape. Where he used to work with stone, he now, because of his age, works only with wax. But it has always been about the shape of a woman’s body.

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Photographing women became an essential part of his life. It all began when he started to teach portrait and model moulding. At first he used nude models in the classes, but when the school could no longer afford to pay for the models, Atze started to photograph women and used the pictures as reference material for his students. They posed for him at his home, in the -presence of Atze’s wife, Mieke, who was a painter. First, they were students of the art academy he was teaching at, but by word of mouth the list grew longer through the years.

Around the age of sixty, Atze quit teaching. He then started to create small sculptures. He did this without a model; the female body was imprinted in his head in such a way, that he did not need a model. However, the longing to photograph women remained. Since then, Atze has been working in a pocket-sized attic, with construction lamps as lighting. He started out with two cameras, but soon needed others, because of the use of different lenses. By now he has eight of them, all Mamiya and Rolleiflex cameras, purchased for a small price at the end of the analogue era, when everyone switched to using digital cameras. Twin-lens reflex cameras for a 6 x 6 cm picture size on a 120 mm roll-film. Cameras that should be handled with caution, perfectly suitable for portrait and model photography because of their precision and handy size. Ideal for Atze, who has a soft, modest, almost shy personality. Using a Rolleiflex camera, you look down, into the waist-level finder, indirect, much more pleasant for the model. Instead of piercing, probing eyes she sees a head humbly bowed. The camera, placed on a tripod, is deliberately at about the same height as the top of the sofa bed. Atze does not for a moment want to give the models the feeling he is looking down on them.

The models are amateurs. Just women he met or who were referred to him. He will never ask someone himself, he does not have the courage. Maybe after a second posing session he could ask: ‘Will you come again?’. Sometimes he only speaks to them over the telephone and sees them for the first time when they walk through the door. The first time, they are a bit uneasy and nervous. Atze himself is relaxed, because he has been working with nude models his whole life. Atze always asks new models to come and see his photographs first so they can decide after that. If you feel that you are too fat or not pretty enough, he reassures them. A roll of fat or a skin crease can heavenly divide the body.

Posing for the first time the woman sits uncertainly on the corner of the sofa bed. ‘Just let yourself fall on the sofa,’ is Atze’s friendly advice. Followed by: ‘Beautiful, keep it like that’. That is how it starts and it doesn’t get more complicated then: ‘Can you turn around’, ‘Stretch a little more’ or ‘Can you crouch’. Photographs improve when a woman is aware of her body. He wants to give as few directions as possible, because it is all about interaction. A few words suffice.

He always photographs his women naked. Atze sees clothing as a kind of mask, so he wants his models to take it off. The absence of jewellery and other modern body embellishments make the images look like they could have been taken in the 1930ties.

Atze keeps his sculptures anonymous. Because a face has such a different expression than a body, he keeps the face out of the picture. Sometimes if a model lies in such a way that her eyes are prominent, he asks her to look at the lens and takes a portrait as a present for the model.

The pictures are a mirror image of Atze’s softness and admiration. The women show themselves unrestrainedly, bask in his gaze, let his eyes caress them. It is about surrender and relief. From Atze’s side, it is reverence for a woman’s body. And a kind of eagerness. If it is there, he wants to capture it.

For 25 years Atze has been capturing the tangible in moulding clay, the visible in photography and his thoughts in poetry. Three things that are inseparably linked.

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Guido Strazza (1922)

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One of the grand old masters in Italian modern art is Guido Strazza. His works remind me of the ones Hans Harting made during the Sixties, but these are different….more spontaneous and they have a lighter touch. Perhaps this is because his graphic works has a kind of transparency which is rare. thin lines , scattered in a pattern. like a mikado game transformed into art.

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This rare quality was recognized by Willem Sandberg who held an exhibition with Strazza in 1961 at the Stedelijk Museum ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com)/

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In the Seventies and early Eighties Strazza was almost forgotten, but lately his works are in fashion again. These are abstract works that tend to Minimalism and perhaps that is the reason why Strazza is becoming more popular by the year. The result several publications and some major exhibitions with his works.

 

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Heimo Zobernig (1958)

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The catalogue i have available on this artist shows why he is appreciated as an artists. It shows why he is considered a multi-disciplined artist. Sculpture, design, painting etc. …all disciplines and aspects of Modern art come along in his works.

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Heimo Zobernig is a contemporary Austrian artist working across media—painting, sculpture, film, performance, and more—to create a completely interdisciplinary Postmodern practice. Known for his treatment of colour within his abstract works, Zobernig blends elements of Minimalism with expressive brushstrokes, geometry, or typography while retaining an emphasis kept on the grid and the monochrome. Born on April 30, 1958 in Mauthen, Austria, he studied at both the Akademie der bildenden Künste and Hochschule fur Angewandte Kunst in Vienna, where he currently lives and works. He created work for the Austrian Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Zobernig has commented, “there are moments when I really enjoy being an artist, but I also appreciate those moments when I completely forget about it.”

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The book is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Harke Kazemier and ATELIERLOG

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Just a site this time and an absolute tip for people who are interested in artist and their creative process. Artist are all photographed in their studios, which gives a great inside where and how art is created. The list contains numerous names of great artists and over the years has grown into one of the great sites to find information on art and their artists. Harke Kazemier, an artists himself has composed and edited this list from 2005 onwards.

example: Jan Cremer in his studio, 2008

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Here is the link which directs you to the blog he wrote on Piet Dirkx.  There are a few hundred names on the list and many you will recognize. Just wander around and be amazed by the many entries written on the artists and when you search for more information on the artists check with http://www.ftn-books.com for publications available

http://atelierlog.blogspot.com/search/label/Piet%20Dirkx%20%281953%29

 

 

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Parade , 1952 by Charles and Ray Eames

A few weeks ago my American friend David, wrote in a Facebook post that he truly enjoyed the classic PARADE movie by Charles and Ray Eames. Although i am a great fan of the Eames couple. I never had heard of these stop motion/animated movies and immediately opened the link . Ok…. it is not the greatest of stop motion movies that ihave seen, but it is charming and one can see that the Eames couple is trying to find a way to make this work. Music is typical for the US,  a de Sousa march is backing up the movements of the figures, making this PARADE a highly enjoyable short movie”

Parade was filmed by Charles and Ray in 1952. It is a live-action pageant of mechanical toys, animals, puppets, cars, lead soldiers, and dolls–all set into motion, with colorful toy buildings and photographic and painted images of city streets used as backdrops. Hugh De Pree, the former CEO of @hermanmiller, recalls spending the night at the Eames Office, helping Charles, Ray, and Billy Wilder, wind up toys for the film until 3 AM.

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LIVINUS (van de Bundt) (1909-1979)

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Experimental photo painting and one of the first video artists in the world , Livinus made a name for himself in the mid Seventies with this kind of art and the Haags Gemeentemuseum was one of the first to show this kind of art by a dutch artist in the Netherlands.

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There is a reality that is “more real that what is visible”, in which thinking can only use the abstract formulas of physical science. In contemporary art this reality can be experienced with new methods. The light experiments of Van de Bundt have a special place in this; his light manipulations, (projections or so-called photo paintings) are non-material and provide a picture of a pure energetic world.

Since he received several prestigious art prizes of which the Sikkens price is the most renowned one. http://www.ftn-books.com has some nice LIVINUS publications available including one with some original film.

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Jet Nijkamp…Verdrongen Landschap

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The reason to write this blog is the book i recently purchased by Jet Nijkamp. Filled with nature drawings of wood, trunks and landscapes and enhanced with text by Tsead Bruinja. Thsi titel “Verdrongen Landschap” was published in a small edition and is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.

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An excellent title with drawings by Nijkamp , which remind me of the early drawings by Frank van Hemert influenced by Anselm Kiefer. but……visiting her site i noticed that she had published a complete series of Donald Trump dressed in Womans Clothing. A “funny” series of pastel drawings on international newspapers. It is not funny only , but it shows some criticism towards Donald Trump and his presidency. Trump takes poses like the great states man he think he is, however…..the drawings make fun of him and puts his presidency into perspective. The best one is the Obama meeting. Obama is the statesman and Trump the one with a dress on. I can not vote for any US president , but i wish i could and i  would not have any doubt who to vote for.

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