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Daniel Buren

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For this day’s blog i thought of something more colorful. This to compensate for the rather sombre previous ones and i immediately thought about Daniel Buren, who has done some tremendous beautiful projects with light and color. The latest i have seen of him was 1,5 years ago in Strasbourg where he altered the ceiling with colored panes of glas. I have put together some examples of his projects below, so you can see yourself the impact it has on the space.

One of his projects was during the seventies in the Stedelijk Museum, on which occasion a catalogue was published titles “HIER”.

Is this minimal art?…..possibly, but it is highly recognizable and what is more ….the effect on the space where the colored stripes are applied is extremely large.So i agree with what Wikipedia says about him that he is more a conceptual artist. Many of his art can be seen in public places in France , but the largest collection of Buren’s work is still in French museums like the Centre Georges Pompidou.

Some very nice items by Buren are available at www.ftn-books.com

and yes….the one on the left are expresso cups by illy

 

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Poster by Richard Paul Lohse

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Just a single item to blog about this day. Not an ordinary one , but a very special poster. The original silkscreen print was used as the exhibition poster for the Richard Paul Lohse exhibition in the van Abbemuseum in 1971.

One of the secrets of the  dutch publications which were published in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s is that in some cases  a special printing method ( lino/silkscreen/woodblock) was used for the publicity and exhibition publications….result a true piece of art. This Lohse poster is such a special production. A very large screenprint , printed by Hoffman and a special design by Richard Paul Lohse makes this a highly collectable Lohse item. A large screenprint with an impressive composition by Lohse. It is not a cheap poster, but once framed it shows its true quality and will impress all. A special item and a true piece of art of which i think it is probably the only one available on the market at this moment.

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There are only 7 R.P. Lohse’s in dutch collections but these are excellent ones ( see above).

The poster on offer can be compared to these beautiful paintings because it is from the same period.

available at www.ftn-books.com

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Mark Tobey (1890-1967)

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There was a time when i had not heard of Tobey, but since i saw some large works by him in both the Beyeler, Stedelijk Museum….. i am a fan.

It started with the catalogue i acquired 20 years ago. Bought the catalogue because of the Wim Crouwel design ,but was immediately attracted by the works within….They were Tobey’s .

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Tobey is most notable for his creation of so-called “white writing” – an overlay of white or light-colored calligraphic symbols on an abstract field which is often itself composed of thousands of small and interwoven brush strokes. This method, in turn, gave rise to the type of “all-over” painting style made most famous by Jackson Pollock, another American painter to whom Tobey is often compared.

Tobey is working on different sizes but for me his large works are the most impressive. The last 16 years of his live he spend in Basel, which is of course the reason why so many of his works stayed  there. Throughout the years he travelled all over the world.

He was an incessant traveler, visiting Mexico, Europe, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, China and Japan and spread his works this way in an organic way, but the main part of his oeuvre stayed in Switzerland, in Basel where le lived for 16 years.

Here are some locations where his works are part of the collection: Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Tate Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. There have been at least four posthumous individual exhibitions of Tobey’s work: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA, 1984; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany, 1989; Galerie Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland, 1990; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

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

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Günther Uecker

All you need is a hammer and a bucket of nails….this is what you first think when you see the early ZERO works by Günther Uecker.

Together with Mack and Piene he belongs to the German part of the Zero mouvement.

It is now 15 years that ZERO is collected the world all over, but before this period the works by Uecker could only be seen in some of the larger german Museums.

Now his early Zero works and editions have spread all over the world, all because Zero has become such an important art mouvement.

Outside Germany , Uecker works was first presented in the dutch NUL exhibition from  1962 in the Stedelijk Museum. Together with Mack and Piene he made the light salon, which is still one of the masterpieces of Zero art.

Personally i have a preference for the works by Piene…. Uecker is a great artist, but what troubles me is that Uecker has not progressed with his art… he is still making paintings and objects with nails, cashing the great idea he once had. So an early Uecker for a collection can be one of the highlights, but a later period Uecker is just adding a famous name to a collection. Still there are some nice publications on Uecker at www.ftn-books.com

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Museum Voorlinden…first visit

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It took us two months to finally visit the recently opened museum Voorlinden. Why so long….because we agreed to visit this together with friends and have dinner afterwards. The visit was postponed because of other obligations a few weeks earlier, but finally yesterday 11/11 the visit was there. It was late in the afternoon and still quite busy. Both parkings were more than half filled with cars and people were walking the park. We were early and walked around the museum building and saw the plants and garden layout by Piet Oudolf and both of us imagined how this must look like when early summer has arrived. A colorful “painting” of plants which can be admired from within the building, because one of the qualities of the architecture is that the “outside” is brought into the building by huge windows which show the garden by Oudolf as a work of art on its own.

What about the collection and the special exhibition? The museum feels more like an experience than  a thoroughly prepared exhibition which teaches the visitor some aspects of art. Every museum room is such an experience. The Mueck and the Serra are excellent examples of this approach. You can compare yourself with the giant figures by Mueck and the Serra is one of the very best and impressive”mazes” he ever has made. It is like a smalle MATTER OF TIME ( see earlier post) Even the special exhibition with the works by Ellsworth Kelly feels like an experience. These works are extremely large and because of their sheer size you can only look at them thoroughly when you take your distance from them. Still it is almost unbelievable to see so many impressive and beautiful Kelly paintings in one exhibition and it will be a very long time before these will be brought together again.

It was a nice visit. The building is impressive and the architecture is almost as good as the Beyeler Museum in Basel. The Landscape is a highlight, the collection is worth visiting, The Kelly’s are a dream, but i am very curious about the future. This is at the moment one of the very best museums in the Netherlands, situated in arguably the best location and surroundings. Wim Pijbes the former director of the Rijksmuseum made the transfer to this museum, but resigned within 3 months. So this  makes me curious what the next exhibitions will be without the guidance of Pijbes. Joop van Caldenborgh , the initiator of the museum , has a very large modern art collection, but it would be nice to not only show the established names, but to show the “young” in Modern art in relation to this establishment.  I am hoping for exhibitions on Sol LeWitt and Anish Kapoor ( both in the Caldic collection), but also for lesser names like Ossip  and Broszat . This is a quality museum and one of the very best museums in Europe supported by the Caldic collection…one of the most important private collections in the world

Conclusion: A Must visit …and do not skip this one when you come to the Netherlands.

 

btw. Dinner we had afterwards was great;-)

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Walter Leblanc (1932-1986)

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It was only 10 years ago that i first heard about Walter Leblanc. There was a small exhibition in a local gallery and at that time the owners predicted me that there would be a great interest in the works by Leblanc…… and they were right!….Leblanc was one of the artists related to the ZERO mouvement, but with a very personal approach to ZERO/NUL. His works were much more poetic and simplistic….a bit more like the early works by the Minimalists. But these works were completely different than most zero/nul works. These were “crafted” paintings with meticulously executed patterns made with “Twisted strings” or torsions, resulting in a composition which in many cases is  closely related to Minimal Art. But Minimal art “avant la Lettre” because these works were made some 5 years before the first Minimal Art was made by Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre and Donald Judd. Walter Leblanc sadly died in a car crash in 1986 , but his works remain. The works are now brought together in a foundation and every once in a while an exhibition is organized. The last one being a Retrospective in Brussels in which sculptures, Torsions and Twisted string were all presented in a fantastic Retrospective on Leblanc.

If a new exhibition is programmed on this artist i will keep you informed through my blog but for now i can recommend some nice publications on www.ftn-books.com

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Gustav Mahler and Willem Mengelberg

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Mahler pioneer Willem Mengelberg

Willem Mengelberg, conductor of  the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, was grasped by Mahler’s music when he attended  the first performance of his Third Symphony in Krefeld (G) in 1902. Right from that moment, he vigorously took on promoting Mahler’s music, claiming Mahler to be  “the Beethoven of his time”.  In his persistent efforts to introduce Mahler’s music, Mengelberg gradually acquired an outstanding position  both  in The Netherlands and  in Europe,  in this respect  leaving behind  other contemporary conductors.

Time and again, Mengelberg tried to persuade Mahler to conduct his own works in Amsterdam. This materialized   in 1903, 1904, 1906 and 1909. During these visits, the composer was staying with the  Mengelbergs at their home. However, because of his numerous engagements elsewhere, Mahler was often compelled to decline Mengelberg’s  invitations for conducting.

Mengelberg’s commitment to promote Mahler’s music should not be underestimated. At the time, a substantial part of the public would leave the concert hall to demonstrate their disapproval of Mahler’s music, which was, on top of that, often ridiculed by the critics. Mengelberg  was convinced  of Mahler’s genius, which inspired him to persist in his dogged endeavours, taking for granted  that this implied  rowing against the stream . Only after years of sustained perseverance, a ‘Mahler community’ came into existence in The Netherlands, which formed the basis of the unprecedented success of the ‘Mahler Feest’ in 1920, drawing worldwide attention. In the 1920’s,  Mengelberg,  who had  by then also become conductor of the New York Phiharmonic, repeated his efforts to promote Mahler’s music to the American  public.

Mengelberg was one of the most important Mahler pioneers who deserves a special place of honour in our remembrance.  His tireless efforts to make  Mahler’s music better known to a greater public contributed  greatly to the international Mahler culture of this era.

The Willem Mengelberg’s archives in the Netherlands Music Institute contain, amongst other things, his conducting scores, which are characterized by his colourful  annotations that clearly indicate  his conductors interpretation of  the work concerned.  In addition, many of these scores also contain instructions and  remarks of Mahler himself: tangible and visible evidence of the close ties between Mengelberg and Mahler.

the above text is from willemmengelberg.nl

Why this blog on Mengelberg? It was about 20 years ago that well before the “craze” of huge and impressive publications ( Newton, Araki) that this tremendous large publication was published on the occasion of the Mengelberg Festival 1995. It is indeed a huge publication. Weight being well over 5 kg and published in a cardbox blue linnen covered container with a text plublication and in a different volume the musical score by Mengelberg with his annotations . This is the perfect facsimile.

Best of all: designed by one of my heroes ….Wim Crouwel. This is such a publication that will be in demand for a very long time and very hard to find. Now i have two copies available from a remainder stock and both in “new” condition at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Seurat and pointillism

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Seurat can be seen as one of the founders of the style which is now know as Pointillism. Painting small dots in a specific color and order, thus making a composition which is fresh, clear, has vivid colors , because the dots look to melt which each other and in this way producing a vivid , shiny color. The composition itself was in many cases linear with imaginary lines all moving in one direction. For instance the lines of Le Chahut all go up. ( see the moustaches).

There are not many paintings executed in the pointillistic style by Seurat. Seurat only became 31 years of age and in this time he made 50 known paintings in the pointillist style. We are fortunate to have one  in the Netherlands and it is not the least important one, because mrs Kroller Muller chose this herself to be part of her impressive collection. So do not visit the Museum Kroller Mulelr for the van Gogh’s , but instead look at the other paintings in the collection which are at least as impressive . The Seurat being one of them.

Tip. When you visit the Kroller Muller Museum. Leave your car at the entrance and hop on a bike to cycle to the museum and the Jachtslot by Berlage one of the most beautiful National Parks the Netherlands has and a great way to spend a day.

for some nice titles on Seurat: www.ftn-books.com

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Panamarenko

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In the beginning i did not take the work by Panamarenko serious, however times and perspectives change. It took some years ( 20 years) but now  i consider Panamarenko as one of the greatest living modern artist. Panamarenko stayed true to his inventions, flying machines, submarines and all other vehicles and objects he invented, but what makes Panamarenko for me special is the way he designs them and executes the “real thing”

His sketches and drawings show detail and from the drawing itself one gets the immediate impression that it will work if it is executed properly. The way he invents makes one think about the possibilities of many items. He not only is an inventor but a truly original artist.

A future world made by Panamarenko could well be not too far away. Panamarenko is here now, but will be present with his machines in the future too. This is an artist who does not looks behind him, but Panamarenko designs the future for us.

soon we will be wearing, flying and driving, machines with the logo’s “copyright by” or “designed by”…PANAMARENKO.

For more publications on Panamarenko visit www.ftn-books.com

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Hussein Chalayan

In the 90’s several exhibitions were held in the Gemeentemuseum with some fashion items by Issey Miyake, but after these exhibitions there was a period without any real fashion talents. Exhibitions were held with new aspiring fashion designers but none had the original quality of Miyake until………there was Hussein Chalayan, but this time in a different location..the Groninger Museum.

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For me, suddenly he was there and the Groninger Museum made a wonderful exhibition with his designs. I do not follow fashion very much, but for me Chalayan combined fashion with Modern Art and sculpture and the setting in the Groninger Museum ( Mendini architecture) made it very special. According to Vogue he now makes HIGH TECH dresses. His approach to fashion has stayed the same. Explore the boundaries of fashion, ,wearability is of less importance, but originality is what he is looking for ….and finds.

The article on Chalayan in Vogue can be found here:

http://www.vogue.com/13431267/met-gala-chalayan-erika-wall-morgane-dubled/

Publications on this fascinating fashion designer are rare but www.ftn-books.com has some nice ones.