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Henri-Edmond Cross (1856-1910)

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Why I did not think of Cross before I do not know, but it is a fact that Cross is at least as import as Maximilien Luce (he painted the portrait above this blog) and Henri Le Sidaner. His name did not become the household name like the ones of Seurat and Signac became, but his works are not less important than the ones by these. Cross his works are more intimate and reflect nature mainly of the French South Coast.

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Cross became in his time one of the artists who embraced neo-impressionism and the pointillist way of painting.

Cross’s paintings of the early- to mid-1890s are characteristically Pointillist, with closely and regularly positioned tiny dots of colour. Beginning around 1895, he gradually shifted his technique, instead of using broad, blocky brushstrokes and leaving small areas of exposed bare canvas between the strokes. The resulting surfaces resembled mosaics,and the paintings may be seen as precursors to Fauvism and Cubism In the Pointillist style, minute spots of paint were used to blend colours harmoniously.

What most people do not know is that Henri Matisse was a great admirer of Henri-Edmond Cross and that the influence of Cross can be discovered in the early paintings of Matisse. This alone makes Cross of importance in Art’s history.

www.ftn-books.com has a nice title on his sketches available

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Janine Schrijver (1966)

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Janine Schrijver (1966)  researches the relation between people and their surroundings. She searches for little signs of human contact and thus series of photographs came to exist which show daily life in the Netherlands during the last 3 decades. An interesting oeuvre of photographs in the tradition Ed van der Elsken made his photographs in the late Fifties, Sixties and early Seventies. I can recommend the book FOREVER YOUNG ( available at http://www.ftn-books.com). It contains photographs of people in the age of 55+ celebrating life in their own ways.

schrijver forever

 

 

 

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PTT…Operatie bedrijfsstijl 1988/1989

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It took over 2 years to realize and implement a new style for PTT NEDERLAND. This took place at the end of the Eighties and after many years of preparations, this completely new style for the dutch company was effective by the end of 1989.  I counted almost 180 people who were involved in executing this operation. The result was another new and completely modern, almost timeless house style, after many years of illustrious and classic house styles  ( Piet Zwart ao) . Another classic and impressive house style was realized. Studio Dumbar was responsible for this new dutch design classic and it was the last house style before PTT was split up into a number of private companies of which KPN and TPG were the main ones.

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With this split up the design department for which PTT was famous, ceased to exist. This department was solely responsible for many of the designs for which PTT became famous. Piet Zwart would not have had the chances as a graphic designer were it not for the orders PTT has given him. The portrait at the head of this article is the self-portrait of Piet Zwart. The greatest of all PTT designers.

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http://www.ftn-books.com has the beautiful publication on this change of house style of PTT , published by PTT publishing, with the text of Paul Hefting available.

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Aernout Mik (1962)

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Once again a dutch artist. Aernout Mik…. Not that well known in the Netherlands but one look at his biography shows that his fame is truly international. Exhibitions and Video installations all over the world of which the exhibition at MOMA is perhaps his ultimate achievement until this date  (catalogue available at http://www.ftn-books.com). His video installations leave you with a sense of unease.

Look at this video in which Aernout Mik ao. explains the setting of his exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Mik is an artist who can not be explained. You have to look at his videos for yourself and wonder afterwards what the effect of the video has been. another exasmple is this SPEAKING IN TONGUES;

the MOMA Aernout Mik catalogue is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

aernout mik

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Amédée Cortier (1921-1976)

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This blog on Cortier is long due. I love Cortier and because his publications are scarce I almost forgot about him, but now that I have found the most important Cortier publication on his abstract works it is time to devote a blog to Amédée Cortier.  The book is on his abstract works and even contains a chapter on Cortier written by one of all times best curators …Jan Hoet.

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From 1936 to 1942, Amédée Cortier enjoys his training at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. On the one hand, his oeuvre consists of paintings that he makes in various media (acrylic, oil, gouache, aquarelle, India ink or bistre, among others) on panel, paper or cardboard. On the other hand, he makes pen drawings, reliefs and models. Around 1950, influenced by the exhibition Le Cercle Artistique (Ghent, 1949), he applies himself to a short-lived geometric-abstract experiment, but decides after this to return to embrace his figurative visual language. He begins with painting rural scenes (1940), still lives and portraits of women (1950), and evolves towards a stark, simplified figurative language in schematic compositions. André Lothe (1885 – 1962) exerts an important influence on him with his Traité de la figure (1950) and Traité du paysage (1939). Around 1964 Cortier begins to paint resolute abstract and from 1966 – 1967 he favours colour over the relations between the forms. The transition to acrylic paint is to be understood in the same context. This medium helps him to heighten the intensity of his colours. His stark works are witness to a sense of natural law, but also leave room for intuition. Ultimately Cortier changes over to monochrome, by which he creates mutually coherent ensembles in the form of diptychs and triptychs. With his reliefs (1968), he evolves from the traditional painting to painting as object. Beginning in the 1970’s his work is completely dominated by colour, built up around a stark composition and a unity between colour and form. He gains public recognition with these works.

Cortier sees his own oeuvre confirmed in the work by the artist Ellsworth Kelly (1923 – 2015). Under the impulse of Peter Struycken (1939) he meets Kelly in 1976. As a member of Het Antenneke, his fascination grows for the Golden Ratio, an important compositional rule in his oeuvre. His friendship with Yves De Smet (1946 – 2004) is of crucial importance for his artistic career. He is not only a like-minded artist friend, but is also an important promoter and organiser of exhibitions dedicated to Cortier, such as Horizonnen & horizontalen (Horizons & horizontals) (1976). Cortier becomes a member of the Ghent group organised by De Smet called Plus-Groep, a collective of Ghent constructivists that are seeking the unity between form and colour. Via Plus-Kern – Centre for Constructive Design, established by De Smet and others in 1969, Cortier is actively promoted. This occurs through the medium of publications such as Plus-Nieuws, though also through participation in international exhibitions. In 1973 he is internationally recognised with the Sikken Prize.

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George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923)…continued

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Over 3 years ago I wrote a short blog on Breitner in which i wrote about his models and his Japanese Kimono painting. This blog is on another aspect of his artist life.

Breitner is known to have been one of the very first artists who used photography as a means for composing his paintings. The photographs he made were for him like sketches he made in the streets. These early days of photography everything was different…ni camera phones but large camera’s with sensitive plates, but the result was not only historically of importance but showed great artistry.

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This quality is now recognized of one of the very important aspects of his artist life and many of his photographs are now in public collections being a part of the heritage of the complete artist George Hendrik Breitner was. He was one of the very first street photographers in the world.

www.ftn-books.com has some Breitner photography books available.

 

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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.”

zobernig

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

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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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Marijke van der Wijst (1940)

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Marijke van der Wijst is a true force in the dutch design world and responsible for many of the great dutch interior designs of public cultural places. There is of course the interior of the Anne Frank huis and the Berlage wedding room,

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but for me, van der Wijs most important project was her influence tof the way the Boymans van Beuningen Museum reshaped its presentations in the Eighties. More spacious, clean coll colours and almost transparent. This way of presenting the great collection of the Boymans van Beuningen was followed by many in the years after they had made the changes in resenting the collection. This is part of the great book on van der Wijst published by 010 Publishers and designed by the very best for this subject…Gracia Lebbink. A beautiful publication, timeless and filled with great van der Wijst designs. Available at www.ftn-books.com

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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.