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Herbert Bayer (1900-1985)

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Herbert Bayer is forgotten by many, but he definitely is one of the most important designers/artists from last century. He studied at the Bauhaus and was at one time educated by Kandinsky and Klee.

In the spirit of reductive minimalism, Bayer developed a crisp visual style and adopted use of all-lowercase, sans serif typefaces for most Bauhaus publications.[3] Bayer is one of several typographers of the period including Kurt Schwitters and Jan Tschichold who experimented with the creation of a simplified more phonetic-based alphabet. From 1925 to 1930 Bayer designed a geometric sans-serif Proposal for a Universal Typeface[1] that existed only as a design and was never actually cast into real type.[4] These designs are now issued in digital form as Bayer Universal.[2] The design also inspired ITC Bauhaus and Architype Bayer, which bears comparison with the stylistically related typeface Architype Schwitters.

Then his life changed drastically. In 1944 Bayer married Joella Syrara Haweis, the daughter of poet and Dada artist Mina Loy. The same year, he became a U.S. citizen. The result….Many lost interest in the works by Bayer, he did some typography and made some fonts, but gained again some importance in collecting over 30.000 works of art for the ARCO company. Still Herbert Bayer is recognized again as one of the more important artists from the Bauhaus era and this means his works start to grow in importance again.

www.ftn-books.com has some Bayer titles available.

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Barrie Cooke (1931-2014)

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For me Barrie Cooke stands for the excellent taste Rudi Fuchs has in art and the beautiful designed catalogue Gracia Lebbink made for the Cooke exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in 1992. I can not remember if Cooke was present at the opening, but i still remember the first impression his paintings made on me when i first saw them in the exhibition rooms in the Gemeentemuseun. These paintings were personal and overwhelming and reminded me of the ones Francis Bacon made.

left Cooke and right Bacon

At that time Fuchs had become very interested in Irish art and presented Cooke shortly after he had had an exhibition with works by Jack B. Yeats

An artists’ artist, he won enormous respect from his peers over several generations for his utter commitment and the integrity of his vision. He was a passionate fisherman and the natural world was always at the heart of his work. His figure paintings and portraits are also exceptional.

His paintings are cherished for their dynamic, immediate, visceral connection with their subject matter. Early training at Skowhegan in the US and at Oskar Kokoschka’s School of Vision in Salzburg helped to shape the urgent vitality of his pictorial approach – a vitality reflected in the artist’s personality.

Having grown up in Bermuda and studied in the US, he went to England in 1954 to revisit his roots but found little to engage him. So he took a ferry to Ireland and, he said, felt at home even as he walked down the gangplank.

Irish life
He settled in rural Co Clare where he and his first wife, Harriet Cooke, lived in some poverty. Later he moved to Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, with ceramic artist Sonja Landweer, who introduced him to Rudolf Steiner’s ideas on natural processes. His next move was to a remote house overlooking Lough Arrow in Co Sligo.

The Barrie Cooke Gemeentemuseum catalogue designed by Gracia Lebbink is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Teodoro Wolf Ferrari (1878-1945)

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It is hard to find work by Teodoro Wolf Ferrari, but here and there in Italy there is a chance you wil encounter his works in local Museums. Are his paintings known outside Italy….NO!

TWF always stayed a typical Italian painter who’s works were very rarely exported outside Italy, but very slowly his works becomes known outside Italy too. His works always remind me a little of Hodler and Klimt, but maybe this is because they were produced in the same time bracket as the ones by these 2 artists.

on the left Ferrari and on the right Klimt.

 

You even can distinguish an influence of Scandinavia paintings, but i doubt that he ever visited Scandinavia. It is rare to find publications on Ferrari, but ftn-books has one available at www.ftn-books.com

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Kenneth Noland (1924-2010)

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I love color field painting and what i think interesting about the works by Kenneth Noland is that he applied the color theories of Josef Albers to his own art.

Noland developed a signature style based on simplified abstract forms, including targets, chevrons, and stripes. Noland’s paintings are characterized by strikingly minimalist compositions of shape and color. In this regard, Noland’s art has influenced a wide range of contemporary abstractionists who continue to experiment with highly simplified forms and pure saturated color. The beginning of Minimalism is not far away in these works.

Noland applied Josef Albers’s theory of “the interaction of colors” to his own compositions, which explore the relationships between contrasting or complementary colors; painted in thin yet opaque layers, each tone reveals its particular characteristic weight, density, and transparency.

In the late 1960s, Noland’s approach to Color Field Painting grew even more reductive, but no less bold. Having run through multiple permutations of both the target and chevron format for the time being, Noland switched to using rectangular canvases and horizontal lines in a new series he called Stripes (1967-70). In his Targets and Chevrons, the artist tended to juxtapose color bands of equal width and to impose some form of axial symmetry on the canvas, leaving portions of unprimed canvas blank in contrast to the color. None of these features occur in Noland’s Stripes. Instead, Noland began playing with scale, color, and form on new levels. He reduced his compositions to a basic formula: parallel horizontal lines of varying widths and colors, running along the entire width of the canvas.

An interesting artist of whom not many publications are available in Europe, still there are some available at www.ftn-books.com

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Claude Monet and abstract art

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A few months ago i encountered on Blouin.com a very interesting article on the importance of the “abstract” waterlilies paintings by Claude Monet. Because of this importance i will post the complete article in this blog and please know that www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on Monet available.

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As hard as it may be to believe today, Claude Monet’s beloved Water Lilies series received little admiration during the artist’s lifetime. regarded as too neo-classical, or too decorative, or confusing and messy — perhaps the product of the artist’s failing eyesight — more than 200 of the monumental compositions leaned against the walls of Monet’s Giverny studio for some 30 years, unsold. After his death, 22 “Water Lilies” panels out of some 250 he had produced were installed in the Musee del’Orangerie in Paris, a gift the artist bequeathed to the French state. but they were largely ignored.

“When it opened, it stayed nearly empty,” said Cecile Debray, the chief curator of the l’Orangerie. “Everyone had forgotten these works of art. I remember one writer saying that it was a place where lovers went to hide.” It wasn’t until the 1950s, nearly 30 years after Monet’s death, that the works began to find a popular following. The Museum of Modern Art’s founding director, Alfred J. Barr Jr., bought three for the New York museum in 1955 — at an absurdly cheap price— and hung them as a panorama.

Art critics such as Clement Greenberg were arguing that Monet’s late works were the precursors to the American abstract art movement, positioning his Water Lilies in relation to Jackson Pollock‘s paintings, such as “Autumn Rhythm (number 30),” 1950. Seen that way, the works resonated with American Abstract expression and the concept of something called “Abstract Impressionism” was forged.

The Orangerie, now one of the key art attractions in Paris, is mounting an exhibition that focuses on the precise moment when these works entered into dialogue with American post-war art. “The Water Lilies. American Abstract painting and the Last Monet” runs until August 20.

With a selection of 20 major paintings by artists such as Jackson PollockMark RothkoBarnett NewmanHelen FrankenthalerMorris LouisJoan Mitchell and other key figures of American abstraction, the show juxtaposes Monet’s late works with the artists he influenced, either directly or indirectly.

“The question of influence is very delicate,” said Debray, curator of the exhibition. “Some of the artists have visited the Orangerie and Giverny, such as Barnett Newman and Ellsworth Kelly who were really influenced by Monet’s work. but some, like Pollock, were linked to Monet through Clement Greenberg, and not through themselves. It isn’t always just a simple question of influence, but how connections were made through art critics, the art market, and also museums.”

Monet embarked on the grand project of the Water Lilies series at the age of 73, and they consumed his attention for the last decades of his life from about 1914 to 1926, when he died. He intended some of them to be shown in series of three, alone in a single chamber, in what today we would call an installation, but others were standalone works.

At his home in Giverny, Monet built an enormous garden and tended to it with extreme care, expressly for the purpose of making these artworks and capturing water lilies and other scenes of nature in paint. “in French, you’d call it the aboutissement of his life’s work,” said Debray. “When you realize what you wanted to do your whole life.”

“These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession for me,” Monet wrote to a friend in 1909. “It is beyond my strength as an old man, and yet I want to render what I feel.”

In 1952, the Kunsthalle Zurich borrowed five Water Lilies paintings for a Monet retrospective, and the exhibition catalog lauded them as the precursors of Modern art. thereafter, they received more attention, and Barr’s purchase of the works led to the biggest wave of subsequent interest.

According to the MoMA’s book “Claude Monet’s Water Lilies,”  the connection between the late Monet paintings and the Abstract Art Movement was mostly an intellectual construct: “In the wake of World War II, the artists that would come to be known as thNewew York school developed a form of art that was radically different from their predecessors in Europe or the United states.

Works that claimed to be fatherless… made room for a putative precedent. Monet’s Water Lilies, as free from polemic as the Americans’ work was a clarion call, would come to take on a prominent role.”

By October 1957, the New York Times critic David Sylvester called Monet “the art world’s most newly resurrected deity, the painter whose standing has risen more than that of any other, as a result of post-war movements in taste,” which he called “obviously a by-product of action painting, abstract expressionism, and other activities.”

In 1958, when a fire at the MoMA destroyed the museum’s original Water Lilies paintings, Barr had to replace them immediately with others from the same series because they were such a popular draw to the museum, Debray said.

“There came a time when just to have a Water Lilies work from this series became very important to every museum of Modern art,” said Debray.

It makes sense that the museum would explore the complex history of the paintings that were designed for the Orangerie, and how American abstraction, in a way, brought about the appreciation of Monet’s late works. debray said, however, that the show doesn’t try to make simple-sum comparisons or settle into an easy narrative — there are many strands to this story.

For example, the show looks at how the monumentality of Monet’s Water Lilies was linked to Modern art  — which, following World War II, required larger and larger spaces to house it. While there are some Abstract works that clearly reflect a kind of homage or reference to Monet, others have a more theoretical or conceptual link.

Most important for the Color Field painters, perhaps, was the effect of Monet’s zooming into the surface of the water, removing all boundaries and borders and placing the viewer inside the subject itself. in an interview that the painter Ellsworth Kelly once gave to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he explained how his work was linked to the late works of Monet:

“Painting in the Renaissance and after was like a window, and your spacial view was always through the window,” he said. “With Monet, with Cezanne, they started messing up paint and started bringing attention to the surface of the painting and you had to go up to it and see how it was done and how they did it. I feel that, in my work, the space between the viewer and the painting is the area that I want to enliven.”

Among the works on display is a 1968 reductive pencil drawing on paper by Kelly of a single water lily, part of a series of plant drawings that the abstract artist worked on throughout his career. Another work is Kelly’s “Tableau Vert,” in which one can feel the ripples of Monet’s watery surfaces in the textured greens and blues of kelly’s palette.

Another element of the exhibition is an exploration of the term “Abstract Impressionism,” which was used by Elaine de Kooning, the artist, and art critic, to describe the early colorful painterly style of Philip Guston. Abstract impressionism was also employed as a catchall for two post-war American styles: the Action painting expressed by artists like Pollock and Willem de Kooning; and the Color Field painting practiced by Rothko and Noland.

Various artists throughout the post-war era looked into Monet’s watery gardens and didn’t see flowers and light and water and sky. they saw modernity or something like it.

And as for Monet? “ I think he was against abstraction because he was a man of the 19th century,” said Debray. “He knew that what he was doing was not fashionable and people were not at ease with his radicality. I think he did it because i think it was a necessity.”

http://www.blouinartinfo.com

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Max Liebermann (1847-1935)

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There is a long history between the art of Max Liebermann and the Netherlands, because Liebermann used to work for long periods of time in this country.

From 1874 until 1914 he stayed during the summer period in Holland and painted together with his friend Isaac Israels in Laren, Scheveningen and Noordwijk. This is the reason why so many of great Liebermann paintings can be found in this country. These were given, trade or sold to collectors and friends , building this way the largest collection of Liebermann paintings outside Germany.

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It was therefore no problem for the Gemeentemuseum to organize some 40 years ago one of the first retrospektives on Liebermann ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com) and because it was so long ago the Gemeentemuseum organized this year another Libermann exhibition with the focus on the dutch paintings he made during the summers he stayed here.

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MAX LIEBERMANN

IMPRESSIONS OF SUMMER

Max Liebermann (1847-1935) enjoyed a special bond with the Netherlands. From the end of the 19th century the German artist would visit Holland every summer. The country inspired his paintings for many years and he established a number of close friendships with artists from the Hague School. Despite these ties, Liebermann’s work is rarely exhibited in the Netherlands, so it is high time for a change!

The Gemeentemuseum is organising a major exhibition on this famous German artist:Max Liebermann – Impressions of summer. Top items from Liebermann’s oeuvre will highlight how he developed from Realist tot Impressionist. The exhibition will also consider his important role in the European art world, and his extraordinary private life.

 

Between 1870 and 1914 Liebermann spent a number of summers in the Netherlands with his friend Jozef Israels. Together they painted the fashionable lifestyle emerging in that period: outdoor cafés teeming with patrons enjoying the sun, riders and bathers on the beach. By that time Liebermann was a celebrated artist both in his native Germany and abroad, famous for his paintings with ‘sunspots’. In 1920 he was even appointed director of the academy in Berlin, a position he would have to relinquish towards the end of his life, when Hitler came to power. Yet he continued to be a favourite with the public in Germany, even after his death.

Despite the political and social tensions, Liebermann remained a sunny Impressionist in his work, as you will see in this exhibition. Max Liebermann – Impressions of Summer is organised with partner the Liebermann-Villa am Wannsee museum, featuring highlights like Free Hour at the Amsterdam Orphanage (1881-1882) and The Parrot Man (1902), painted at Amsterdam’s Artis zoo. Special detail: Liebermann’s Free Hour at the Amsterdam Orphanage will for the first time be leaving Frankfurt since it gained a permanent home there at the city’s Städel Museum.

 

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Rob Scholte ( continued )

 

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Since ii have sold several Scholte multiples during the last months , i was on the look out for more of these excellent mScholte multiple editions and……found them. I contacted a collector of whom i knew he had sold me several in the past and he could help me with 6 more of these Scholte multiples. All from the” Lucifer in paradise ” edition which was originally sold at the Kruidvat stores in 2007. As far as i know all are unique because every one of them depicts a different kind of set of match boxes. The one on the upper right is not available. It is now part of my personal collection because Donald Duck is an all time favorite of mine. The other 5 are all available at www.ftn-books.com. For more inquiries please mail me at wvdelshout@ziggo.nl

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Rob Scholte (1958)

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For me the first confrontation with Scholte’s art was at the gallery ‘t Venster where he had a show on the floor below where Piet Dirks was having his first Rotterdam gallery exhibition. I was shown around by mrs van Gennep who told me that Scholte was a rising star in the art world. Rob Scholte is one of the great dutch contemporary artists. He was on the rise when there was an assassination attempt on him. His car was blown up and in the vent he lost both his legs. This story is known by almost everyone in the Netherland. People who know something of the art scene in the Eighties know that Scholte, Klashorst and Ploeg were the names that rose to fame and of these three Rob Scholte was picked up by important german galleries. Since the bomb explosion it took Scholte a very long time to come back as an artist, but finally he managed to make a come back and have his art in the spot light again, although it never became as important as before his assassination attempt. But his name was important enough to be invited for a “Kruidvat” project. Schermafbeelding 2018-07-17 om 14.10.46

The shops of Kruidvat had the idea to make important art and artists financially accessible to their customers and Scholte was invited to participate. Scholte made silkscreens on canvas of collages of lucifer boxes. Which were sold out immediately after they were published and presented in the Kruidvat stores. www.ftn-books.com has managed to acquire 2 of these highly collectable art works of which the last one is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Ronald de Bloeme (1971)

 

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It took me a very long to finally acquire a Ronald de Bloeme painting for our collection , but finally we found one and added it on the 2nd of October 2018. It is one from the series “Oil On Postal bags” and comes from the former Hans Sonnenberg collection.

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This collection was split up and auctioned some months ago and this work found in the end its way to our collection. It is an impressive painting and shows exactly why de Bloeme becomes more and more important in modern art. The series of postal bag paintings was partially painted at the time he was in residence at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien where he made several of these large paintings. Postal bags stitched to each other and with their original postal prints still on them, de Bloeme made a composition on them in which points, arrows, dots, numbers and stripes are attached to each other, making a composition in which you can see that the subject is COMMUNICATION in all its appearances and the essence of this series of paintings. The feel of the canvas is totally different than expected.  You expect a coarse surface, but this is not the case. The surface feels like nylon and it looks and feels more like a sail or a tent canvas.

The painting that we now hold in our collection has all these symbols included. Planes, dots, postal bags from czechoslovakia, Turkey and India symbolize the routing of the planes and the dots could stand for all the places that are reached in these countries. Of course this is my personal interpretation, but it is for certain a very impressive and important painting.

The painting is depicted in the Ronald de Bloeme Bethanien catalogue on page 33 and it is available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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A new OSSIP addition from 2003.

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Ossip / JONGEN, 2003

Just take a look and see that i added this beautiful hypnotizing Ossip to FTN collection about 2 months ago at www.ftn-blog.com. It comes from the the Vescom collection . A collection which was created over the last 3 decades and was sold at auction in Amsterdam. I was lucky to buy this “JONGEN” by Ossip together with 2 works by Joris Geurts ( in another blog later). This “Jongen” is one of the more “static” works . It has the same qualities as the works he presented in his exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag . Most of the works i know of have moving parts but this late Nineties /early 2000 work was made when composition and image were the typical Ossip elements within a work of art. I know that there exists also a larger version of ” JONGEN” which is depicted in the Ossip monograph , but this version measures 112 x 89 cm. and is signed and dated Ossip, 23-11-2003 and now available at www.ftn.blog.com

at : https://ftn-blog.com/product/ossip-jongen-2003-112-x-89-cm-excellent-condition/