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Erté / Romain de Tirtoff (1892-1990)

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It was at the time i was living in Paris, that i frequently walked the rue du Seine , it is the place where all the art galleries used to have their exhibitions. Among them there was one who was showing the most beautiful Erté drawings and gouaches. I wondered why a gallery in Paris had such a huge selection (they had a few hundred of these drawings in stock ) but later i realized that the reason probably was that many of the theaters in Paris commissioned Erté their costume designs for their plays and shows. If i had known at that time that Erte was going to be one of the most important Art Deco artists i should have borrowed some money and bought me some Erté’s .

Later i managed to buy 2 drawings at auction at a fair price and these are sold some 20 years ago, but the memory of these walks along the gallery window in the rue du Seine remains.  I should have kept these auction drawings too, but decided at that time to make some profit on them.

As it is …. there are only a few publications that rest me and all these are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Key Hiraga (1936-2000)

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Rooted in Pop Art and Hippie art, this symbiosis of these influences in the art of Key Hiraga created an original approach to subject and painting itself. These paintings are one of a kind and can be immediately recognized for being done by Hiraga.

As with many of the artists from the final years of the Sixties and early Seventies these works are almost forgotten, but now and then they surface again. For instance there is a dutch artist belonging to the same category…. Jakob Zekveld. Color schemes are almost the same but compositions are totally different.  here is one by Zekveld.

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Although i have never seen his works in agllery nor museum, i am a fan , because his works are original and filled with symbolism and never bore. the following publication on Hiraga is available at www.ftn-books.com

hiraga

 

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Piet Dirkx weekly

Double Distance . An exhibition in which Piet exhibited in 1991 in HET KRUITHUIS

piet doubletogether with 19 other artists.

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Paul Van Biervliet

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I bought the book , because it looked to me as a very nice publication on a Belgian artist, but surprisingly the paintings and drawings within the book i found fascinating enough to read the book. It appeared that van Biervliet his works have been on show at the Muhka and that one of his first exhibitions was at the gallery that was one of the very first to present the works by Luc Tuymans.  I can not explain why the artist attracted me with his art.

Some of the early paintings reminded me of the golden ones by Rajlich or maybe it was the resemblance i noticed with some of the drawings by Marcel van Eeden i do not know, but what i do know is that Van Biervliet is original in his art  and because of the architectural compositions his art in not too abstract, which can be one of the reasons for many to appreciate it. The book on Paul van Biervliet is available at www.ftn-books.com

biervliet

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Willem Adams (1937)

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It came as a small surprise….. because i found a publication on this painter ( available at www.ftn-books.com) that i re-discovered this painter. A cross between Constructivists art and abstract expressionism, makes his work stand out.

You can find traces of de Kooning, van Velde and even Paul Klee in his paintings , but the result is still original and makes his works having a signature of their own. Adams had his educaztion with Jan Gregoor and belonged together with Arie Berkulin to the “Mei 65” group. The group had a very short life span, but made some impression in the art world in the Sixties, but looking with a fresh eye to this group , one notices that it was important.

Now that i look again at his paintings i find them fresh and still up to date.

willem adams

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Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)

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The people who know my taste in art , know also that i am not the greatest fan of Rembrandt his painting.

Technically Rembrandt belonged to the avantgarde of his age, but emotionally he never hit the right spot with me. Still there is one exception for Rembrandt as an artist, ….i admire his etchings. And this is feeling is emphasized since i recently acquired a book totally devoted to his erotic etchings.

rembrandt ertoiques

A french publication from 1978 which is according to my knowledge complete. The etchings are depiceted 1:1 and show exactly why I consider Rembrandt a great etcher. The only diappoint is that pubication is not a facsimile one, but i can still highly recommend it. Other titles on Rembrandt available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Pierre Weiss (1950)

 

An exhibition of which i remember a hellish ride to Gent to see the print proofs of the catalogue on Pierre Weiss.  One of the first exhibitions curated by Franz Kaiser and with a catalogue designed by Gracia Lebbink. The printers waited for my arrival, but extremely heavy rain showers delayed my arrival by some 2 hours. After finally arriving it was the lunch break at the printers and lunch is “holy” in Belgium. Everybody stops working and has lunch. So did i . I was invited by the printers to have lunch and with them it meant a very nice lunch indeed at one of the finest restaurants in Gent. a 3 course lunch was normal including 2 glasses of great wine and a coffee it made me forget the terrible ride i had to arrive in Gent. This was almost 30 year ago now. I have forgotten the catalogue on Weiss, but the ride is still a vivid memory.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Piet Dirkx weekly

A cherished one…..this is one of a small homemade edition. Send as a Xmas gift.

dirkx roos.jpg

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Dolf Henkes (1903-1989)

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Without knowing i have collected a number of important Dolf Henkes titles and what struck me is that the interest in his works is something which is still here and constant over the past six decades . Henkes was an artist creating on the crossroads of realism and abstraction and this shows in his paintings.

Born and raised in Rotterdam, moving to Paris and staying at Curacao for a while all these places shaped the art Dolf Henkes was creating. His painting touch is vivid and light and the city of Rotterdam valued the art of Henkes and presented him with a beautiful retrospective exhibition in 1988 to memorate his 85th birthday. Shortly after he died, but his name is still very much alive and used for the Henkes art price , which is each year presented to a young aspiring artist from Rotterdam. The Museum Boymans van Beuningen ( now closed for renovation) has a large collection of important Dolf Henkes paintings. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Dolf Henkes publications available.

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Milan Kunc (1944)

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Milan Kunc makes art on the cross roads of Memphis design meeting Picasso with a dash of childrens drawings and with a color palet that is endless. I managed to collect quite some titles by Kunc during the last two decades, because the Netherlands was fortunate to hold exhibitions at the galerie Swart , Groninger Museum ( 1984, large retrospective curated by Frans Haks), Stedelijk Museum and the Boymans van Beuningen museum. Many publications were the result , add to these the catalogues that were published with every gallery presentation in Europe and the result is a stack of publications , many artists would wish they had the same number of publications.

What strikes me every time i leaf through these books i find his work appealing, but in many cases i find it just too much absurd fantasies by the artist. Still this is, according to others, one of the qualities Kunc has. He exaggerates and creates scenes with many layers, but for me after some time they stop working and i am in need of a new ” surprising” composition. Milan Kunc is certainly a great artist, with many beautiful publications, but personally i prefer other artists. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Milan Kunc publications available.