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Francesco Clemente (1952)

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There is no larger Modern Art Museum in the world that has no Clemente in its collection. From Amsterdam to New York the works by Clemente have spread all over the world. But for us in the Netherlands, it was important that Clemente had some exhibitions with the Art & Project gallery and from one of these exhibitions a beautiful little book was the publication result edition of only 800 copies). This and other Clemente books are available at www.ftn-books.com.

Clemente’s work spans four decades. His work is stylistically varied, inclusive, erotic, and nomadic. It embraces diverse mediums and diverse cultures as well, aiming at finding wholeness through fragmentation and witnessing the survival of contemplation and pleasure in our mechanical age.

Clemente’s work is rooted in political utopia and expresses an anti-materialistic stance. In the 1970s he moved from photography to drawing and anticipated the return to painting of the 1980s.

His work is also nomadic. In the 1980s he divided his time between India and New York. While briefly associated with Neo-Expressionism he took an interest in collaborative works both with Indian craftsmen and with painters like Basquiat and Warhol, and poets like Robert Creeley and Ginsberg in New York. In an interview with The Brooklyn Rail, Clemente commented “these poets had been looking at the East for inspiration and I was also anxious to evade the materialism of the West.”

In the 1990s Clemente explored intensely erotic imagery, inspired by the Tantra traditions both of India and Tibet, and turning contemporary preoccupations with identity and sexuality into an occasion to ask questions about the nature of the self. In the 2000s Clemente underwent a darker and grotesque phase, returning in recent years to luminous images of repose and transformation.

Since the 1980s until today, Clemente has also chronicled New York intellectual and social life through a great number of portraits, contributing to the revival of a genre until then somehow discredited.

Clemente’s art has been presented in solo and group shows internationally. Major retrospectives have been held in the 1990s at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, at The Royal Academy in London, at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and at the Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo. Clemente’s art was also featured in 1999-2000 at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, and at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. In the 2000s retrospectives were held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, at the Museo MADRE, Naples and at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt. An exhibition of self-portraits and of Clemente’s own version of the Tarot Cards was held at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence in 2011. (the text and information above comes from Wikipedia).

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Denise Rene new additions

 

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The followers of this blog know that i have a preference for some galeries. Among them there is of course Galerie de France, galerie Steltman and certainly galerie Denise Rene. From the last one i have acquired some nice additions to my inventory.

Catalogue by Francois Morellet – 1967

Catalogue by Victoir Vasarely – 1966

Catalogue by Le Parc – Couleur – 1959

The catalogues of this gallery always amaze me. They stand out from many of the other catalogues published in the sixties and they are well worth collecting, because in many cases the edition size is very small and almost always the design is top notch…. even in some cases an original work of art is included. ( ~VASARELY invitation).

The choice is far from complete, but there are some very nice examples of GALERIE DENISE RENE catalogues available at www.ftn-books.com

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Beauty and simplicity at de RIJK Fine art

Last week i was in the Stedelijk Museum  Amsterdam and was very much impressed by the Malevich and “white” rooms with Dekkers and Schoonhoven. White and nothing but white and it reminded me of the current exhibition at de Rijk Fine Art ( Noordeinde 95 /Den Haag).

Excellent, high quality, museum worthy paintings by ao Schoonhoven , Dekkers and Leblanc… in a totally different setting which was more a cosy living room ( including the dog ;-), than a gallery. The simplicity and in the same time complexity of the works, work very well in this setting. They do not need a museum presentation to show their true qualities. This exhibition lasts until the 26th of February so i advise you to take a look at the de Rijk gallery and see for yourself the qualities of this great and important gallery exhibition.

For publications on Schoonhoven, Dekkers and Malevich visit www.ftn-books.com

 

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SOTO and galerie Denise Rene

One of my favorite galleries of all time is the galerie Denise Rene in Paris and not only because the artists they represent are the ones i like most, but also because of their publications which in many cases contain something extra. Like this SOTO catalogue from 1970 which i acquired last week. The blue, silver and yellow squares within the catalogue are all executed in silkscreen prints and which combinations forms an abstract composition within the catalogue, which makes this catalogue some kind of an artist book and not an ordinary catalogue. This catalogue is now available at www.ftn-books.com. As for the other Denise Rene catalogues search for Denise Rene and find some other great catalogues by this famous gallery in Paris.

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Georg Baselitz (1938)

 

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At the time i had not seen that many Modern Art works, the first time i encountered the works by Baselitz i thought of them as stupid, a gimmick, but seeing more of them ..specially the very large onses , i altered my opinion and now i find them impressive and monumental. This proces took some 30 years, but i honestly can say that for me, Baselitz is one of the greatest living artists.

Georg Baselitz, born Hans-Georg Kern in Deutschland near Dresden in 1938, now lives and works between Basel (Switzerland), the Ammersee (Bavaria) and Imperia (Liguria). He has been an influence on international art since 1960, his works developing in the arena of the reception of German expressionism on the one hand, and the lightness of American painting (Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning) on the other. His Helden [heroes] group, finger-paintings, fracture and Russian paintings, which focus on his German past are represented in almost all distinguished museum collections. From the late 1960s, Baselitz demonstrated his premiss of visual insight taking priority over the subject by deliberately showing his works upside down. The result is a unique simultaneity of figuration and abstraction. This urge towards permanent variation and change is also evident in his late work. Since 2006 he has produced so-called remix paintings in which, with an unprecedented lightness of touch, he re-examines the iconography of his own historical works. Many Baselitz titles can be found at www.ftn-books.com including the facsimile reprint of the famous Malelade artist book.

 

 

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Karl Gerstner (1930-2017) – Kalte Kunst?

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Karl Gerstner

One of the greatest book designers recently died. Karl Gerstner died on the 1st day of this New Year.

If there was one iconic Swiss book from the late Fifties it is probably Kalte Kunst?

Designed by Karl Gerstner, this book has become an example to many. Look at the early Wim Crouwel designs….influence Gerstner. Benno Wissing…influence Gerstner.

Karl Gerstner is a contemporary designer who’s work is strong and clean, but full of details. Typography and design melt together into a publication which is modern and classic. One of the first of these publications was Kalte Kunst? in which the most modern artist from the fifties were invited to make a contribution, which was placed within the publication. Special prints, silkscreens and litho’s were bound in Kalte Kunst?

“Kalte Kunst?” (1957, 2 editions, both 1000 copies) was Gerstner’s first authored book where he advocates for a specific form of rational, geometric and mathematical art with examples from Josef Albers, Max Bill, Camille Graeser, Richard P. Lohse, Gerard Ifert, Mary Vieira and Marcel Wyss.

a great biography on gerstner can be found here:http://www.historygraphicdesign.com/the-age-of-information/the-international-typographic-style/256-karl-gerstner

A true classic and one of the only copies on the market at this time available at www.ftn-books.com together with some other Gerstner publications.

 

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Anish Kapoor donates 1 mln. USD.

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According to the Volkskrant Kapoor wins the prize and donates it to the refugees from Syria. Here is part from the article from Forward .

Kapoor was named the winner on Sunday of the annual $1 million prize that has been dubbed the “Jewish Nobel.” He joins Itzhak Perlman, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and actor-director Michael Douglas as recipients.

Known as ‘the Jewish Nobel’, the Genesis Prize is awarded by the Genesis Prize Foundation in partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel. It recognizes individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their fields and whose actions and achievements express a commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community and the State of Israel.

Kapoor said he will use his $1 million award  to help alleviate the Syrian refugee crisis and try to expand the Jewish community’s engagement in a global effort to support refugees. More than 12.5 million Syrians have been displaced during the current conflict, of which around 2.5 million are children.

Kapoor has been called one of the most influential and innovative artists of his generation. His works include “Turning the World Upside Down” at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, “Cloud Gate” in Chicago’s Millennium Park and the “Orbit” in London. Kapoor also created the Holocaust Memorial for the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London and the 70 candles for Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain in 2015, commemorating 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Kapoor won the Turner Prize in 1991 and received a knighthood in 2013. He was born in Bombay to a Baghdadi Jewish mother and Indian father. At 16, he moved to Israel and has been based in the United Kingdom since the 1970s. The artist has a long history of social activism and a commitment to social justice. For many years, he has been a public advocate for the cause of refugees and an outspoken advocate for displaced people around the world. He recently visited Syrian refugees in the Za-atari refugee camp, as part of Unicef’s art therapy program, which is intended to help children who have witnessed atrocities to express themselves through art.

“Jewish identity and history have witnessed recurring conditions of indifference, persecution and Holocaust. Repeatedly, we have had to repossess ourselves and reidentify our communities. As inheritors and carriers of Jewish values it is unseemly, therefore, for us to ignore the plight of people who are persecuted, who have lost everything and had to flee as refugees in mortal danger. Outsider consciousness resides at the heart of Jewish identity and this is what motivates me, while accepting the honor of the Genesis Prize, to re-gift the proceeds to refugee causes,” Kapoor said in a statement.

Of course there are Kapoor books available at www.ftn-books.com since he is one of the most important and influential artist from the last 4 decades.

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Jan Dibbets (1941)

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One of the first dutch modern artist i learned to appreciate and admire. Also an artist who has had exhibitions all over the world, so a nice selection of his publications is available at www.ftn-books.com

Conceptual artist in the beginning, he began to alter perspectives with modifications of and cutting out elements from photographs and with these new elements he created a new comopistion. A fascinating proces resulting in practically all cases a new way of looking at an object, building or landscape.

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Because i had to read something on Dibbets i encountered something i did not know before. Thanks to Dibbets , the republic of Albania has a small collection of Modern Art. When Dibbets visited Triana in the early nineties he noticed there was no Modern Art at all. He invited his artist friends to make a donation in art and 57 of his friend donated one or more works to start a collection of Modern Art in Triana. Dibbets himself coordinated the transport and thanks to Dibbets, Triana now has its own collection of Modern Art. A great success and important to know that such a small initiative by an artist can give great results.

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Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002)

A few months ago i dedicated a blog to Jean Tinguely who’s exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum can be seen until the 15th of March. Within this exhibition there are some excellent examples of Tinguely letters illustrated by his wife Niki de Saint Phalle.

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Niki et Jean

Of course she was in the beginning the wife of….but on her own she has become famous with a highly original and recognizable oeuvre. Illustrations , sculptures, books and paintings. became her world after she had divorced from her first husband. Autodidact , she first made very masculine art, but in the mid sixties she made a 180 degrees turn and “invented” the Nana. Niki de Saint Phalle’s version of the super woman. An expressive figure painted in bright colors . This became her trademark and this figure was used in multiple exhibitions. As a statue, as an entrance for an exhibition ( Stockholm), as a fountain and hanging from the ceiling as an angel. She made these statues/sculptures from polyester and plastics and because of these frequently used materials she became ill and had to move to the US for the cleaner air in San Diego. This helped her , but after a long sick bed she finally died in 2002.

SInce her art has become more important every year. At auction her works are in high demand. She had major exhibitions in Japan, in the Tinguely Museum/ Basel and Centre Pompidou and every year i notice that her books are sought after more an more. Even the small decals which she made for the Tinguely Museum are sold rapidly. So find still some publications at www.ftn-books.com as long as they last.

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Zero..Walter Leblanc.. Edoardo Landi..Dadamaino at de Rijk Fine Art

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Last Saturday at De Rijk Fine Art in Den Haag a very exquisite small exhibition opened …name….Too Good To Be True…. and yes this is a small art dealer exhibition where all works shown are for sale and of a rare exceptional quality. Zero, Gruppo N and Minimal art all combined in one beautiful presentation and very well worth visiting, because such an excellent selection of works is rare.( I have never seen so many Dadamaino’s in one place for sale ….so only for this fact visiting is a must.)

We visited the exhibition last Sunday. Just returned from 2 days Vienna where we chose our new dog, we loved the contrast between the “Art Nouveau and Wiener Werkstatte” and the minimal, but still very complex modern art on show at De Rijk. For me there were 2 highlights. First of all the Walter Leblanc. aprox 90 x 90 cm. A Zero inspired circle of twisted strings from 1963 in AAA condition, very well framed and the lightning made this work in all its simplicity stand out as one of the very best Walter Leblanc’s i have ever seen.

 

Secondly there were 2 works by Edoardo Landi i liked very much. The larger one of the 2 won me over as soon as i started to take some distance from it. The space between the lines appeared to be different each time, meaning an extra dimension was added to the work. Visiting Den Haag?…go to de Rijk to see some amazing art!

De Rijk Fine Art, Noordeinde 95, Den Haag, +31(0) 653953493

 

The above publications are available at www.ftn-books.com