Posted on Leave a comment

Fred Carasso (1899-1969)

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-21 om 16.12.15

Fred Carasso is most known in Rotterdam for his sculpture memorial DE BOEG he executed in Rotterdam, but there has been a revival lately, because since a few years a noticed an increase in demand for his publications. The latest one i have available is designed by Rutger Fuchs and was made for the Hannema Stuers Fundatie exhibition in 1996. An excellent publication in dutch and italian which focusses on his lesser known works . Carasso shows that his works are truly rooted in the INTERBELLUM and were influenced by Art Deco  and Bauhaus. www.ftn-books.com has this title available.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Hanns Schimanski (1949)

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-20 om 15.01.55

It takes some time to discover the qualities within the works of Hanns Schimanski but his touch and art language are truly original. His works remind me the most of Jurgen Partenheimer his drawings, but his approach is totally different. he composes a drawing/painting and if necessary then folds and/ or “cuts” it visually in pieces and makes changes and reorganizes the parts and folds into a new work.

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-20 om 15.13.48

Trained as an agronomist engineer, Hanns Schimansky decides in 1979 to devote his career to art and solely to drawing. In his scriptural drawings, he invites us to feel the rhythm of the world by capturing and prolonging the un seizable intensity of the instant, convoking and provoking chance, opposing a voluntary slowing down of the breathtakingly speed of our media-centered world. Geometric forms or interlacing lines, enhanced by the folded paper, create a dynamic writing specific to Schimansky. His works are filled with movements that inhabit us such as waves and winds. The œuvre of Hanns Schimansky is composed as much of sonorities as it is of silences. The rustles of the paper folded and unfolded, the ink-pen scratching the paper, the dot repeated forever with precision, the line sliding in variable rhythms are all sounds which contribute to the harmony of the artist’s drawings.

His works have been shown in Europe at the Gemeentemuseum of The Hague, at the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe, at the Museum of Art and History of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, as well as the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin in Germany. Schimansky’s drawings have integrated public collections such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo, the Berlinische Galerie, the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Berlin of the Museum of Art and History of Neuchâtel.

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

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-20 om 15.15.50

Posted on Leave a comment

Alice Neel (1900-1984)

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-20 om 14.51.40

Until a few years ago the works by Alice Neel were not known outside a small circle of admirers. Among them director Rudi Fuchs and some curators from duthc Modern Art museums. the result a breathtaking exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in 2017. Her works remind me of Georg Grosz his very best works.

Her importance startded to grow among a small circle of admirers in the Sixties, because in the early 60s Neel moved to the more prosperous Upper West Side of New York, where her subjects began to include influential curators, art critics and dealers. At the same time, she became interested in the subcultures that were beginning to lay claim to their position in society around this time. Thanks to her friendship with Andy Warhol, she met various gays and transsexuals, including Jackie Curtis (inspiration for Lou Reed’s song Walk on the Wild Side). Neel’s portraits of Curtis and of ‘liberated’ women contributed to the public acceptance of such subcultures. In this respect, her oeuvre includes a genre familiar to us from the world of photography – for example, that of Diane Arbus – but unique in painting. By the end of her life, Alice Neel had created a body of portraits that, taken together, represented a cross-section of 20th-century American society.

 

Alice Neel was a figurative painter at a time when the art world was dominated first by Abstract Expressionism and later by Minimal Art and Pop Art. Figurative painting was regarded as a thing of the past. Indeed, in the 1960s and ’70s painting itself was declared dead. Although she was well aware of contemporary trends, Neel chose to pursue a path diametrically opposed to them. Consequently, her life was a constant struggle for artistic recognition. She did not achieve broader recognition until the 1970s, and then partly due to the women’s liberation movement. In the United States she is now ranked as one of the most important figurative painters of the 20th century, alongside Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. In Europe, interest in her work has increased sharply in recent years and this exhibition can be seen as the culmination of her posthumous artistic breakthrough on this side of the Atlantic.

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-20 om 14.56.14

Posted on Leave a comment

Aaron van Erp (1978)

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-20 om 14.40.51

No better text on the works by Aaron van Erp than the one which was published on the occasion of his Gemeentemusem/ GEM exhibition from 2008. It looks a really long time ago, but nowadays his works are more or less the same. Their subjects hardly any different and the way they are painted has not changed at all. van Erp is an important “young” painter and i will be following his career from a short distance because his paintings fascinate me.

“Horrible things frequently also have a funny side.” This is how Aaron van Erp (b. 1978) explains how his paintings, despite their often brutal subjects, can raise a laugh thanks to their bizarre titles. Since graduating from the St Joost school of art and design in ’s-Hertogenbosch in 2001, Aaron van Erp has become a rising star of the art world. His weird paintings have been acquired for numerous collections in the Netherlands and abroad, including the trendsetting Saatchi collection. Aaron van Erp opens his first ever one-man museum exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag: an overview of paintings and drawings produced since leaving art school, with the emphasis on his most recent work.

Jars of peanut butter

Van Erp’s paintings often include familiar objects from the world around us: shopping trolleys, meatballs, jars of peanut butter, supermarket bags and washing machines. These are located in bare, desert-like landscapes or huge empty interiors. His colourful pictures sometimes refer to well-known paintings of the past (The Meatball Eaters, 2000) or appear to allude to social issues like terrorism, problems in the health care system or child abuse. His painting The Child Tamer (2006), for example, featuring a shadowy figure keeping order with a whip, immediately suggests child abuse. But, despite its sadistic undertone, the work is painted in a humorous way. The green boots of the ‘tamer’, the title, the use of colour and the absurd setting all undermine the sense of violence.

Theme

Another important theme in Van Erp’s paintings is that of victims versus attackers. Medical Personnel at the Meatball Plantation (2005/06) is a good illustration: at first glance, the painting appears to show Red Cross staff attending to a victim. Look closer and you find that they are actually tearing the victim apart and turning his flesh into meatballs to hang in the leafless trees. Dividing lines between good and evil are blurred; saviours can also be attackers and vice versa.

Influence

As well as inspiration from everyday life, the paintings betray the influence of artists such as James Ensor and Francis Bacon. This is apparent in the amorphous figures, the artist’s palette, a certain surreal atmosphere, and the fragmentary way in which Van Erp paints his figures. His social and political commitment is akin to that of Francisco Goya, who also produced works denouncing violence, constraints on freedom of thought, and human suffering.

www.ftn-books.com has some important van erp titless available

erp a

Posted on Leave a comment

Art & Project bulletins (1968-1989)

Schermafbeelding 2019-05-27 om 08.23.18

Adriaan van Ravesteijn and Geert van Beijeren are in my opinion the most important gallery owners in the history of (dutch) Modern Art. Their gallery was for decades the venue for conceptual art and many important artists have found  in this gallery their starting point for their career.

Art & Project was an institution in the art scene and this was emphasized by publication of their Bulletins , which were published on a regular basis between 1968 and 1989.

bulletins 1-156

In total there were 156 bulletin published and i am proud to say that www.ftn-books.com has BULLETINS available by the following artists: Andre, Antonakos, Boezem, Breuker, Brouwn, Buren, Berghuis, Barry, Camesi, Charlton, Clemente, Chia, Cucchi, Cragg, Dibbets, Darboven, van Elk, Fulton, Flanagan, Giese , Gilbert & George, Knoebel, Leavitt, Long, Lord, Maconey, Mclean, Paladino, Pope, Ryman, Ruckriem, Rosenthal, Ruppersberg, Rajlich, Struycken, Salvo, Tremlett, Tordoir, Visser, Verhoef, Weiner, Yamazaki and the 1972 Catalogue of our Bulletins

( for more information and the “Bulletin” numbers available please inquire)

43 artist of the gallery Art & Project now available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on Leave a comment

the dutch Still Life painting

There is a tradition in dutch painting that the dutch are specially good at Still Life painting. It does not matter if the subject is flowers, a kitchen table or just some pots and pans, through the ages they have made beautiful and highly detailed still life paintings. How about this as an example: Jan van Huysem floral painting.

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-18 om 13.38.04

Filled with details and just an example of the many many still life paintings the dutch have made through the ages. Van Huysum is just an example , but to prove my point i want to present the Groninger painter Henk Helmantel as a contemporary colleague of the old masters. His technique is one of a kind and his works can be compared with the very best from the GOLDEN AGE in dutch painting.

If ever you want to see his paintings in a semi public surroundings, please visit the Hotel Restaurant de Zon in Ommen because they have some of his classic still life painting on permanent show and while at it have a nice lunch at the restaurant and enjoy the Vechtdal.

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-18 om 13.41.18

There ara several books on still life painting available at www.ftn-books.com, among them this one designed by Wim Crouwel for the Stilleven exhibition at the van Abbemuseum

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-18 om 13.50.27

Posted on Leave a comment

Jan Commandeur (1954)

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-16 om 12.03.24

Another painter from my generation is Jan Commandeur. Abstract lyrical work which is rooted in nature. Shadows and spots of light play with each other on his canvasses. Bright and dark places are depicted, but combined in an abstract way making the paintings related to nature, but purely abstract in its composition. A fascinating way of painting and because of their size very impressive.

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-16 om 11.59.12

FTN books has a very nice designed catalogue on Commandeur available at www.ftn-books.com

commandeur grijs

Posted on Leave a comment

Georges Rouault (1871-1958)

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-16 om 11.35.53

When i mention the names Matisse and Marquet you will probably draw the conclusion that i want to write a blog on Fauvism, But no, these names, together with Manguin and Camoin, belong to the circle of friends around Georges Rouaul. Who certainly was also influenced by them, but distilled from their ideas a style of his own. An expressionist way of painting which was highly influenced by religion. Rouault is one of thsoe artist who believed that his painting was a way of devotion. The Christian faith informed his work in his search for inspiration and marks him out as perhaps the most passionate Christian artist of the 20th century: first of all, in the theme of the passion of Christ. The face of Jesus and the cries of the women at the feet of the cross are symbols of the pain of the world, which for Rouault was relieved by belief in resurrection. Perhaps this is the reason why i do not like his work that much. It is not that i oppose to religion in art ( i like the way Muilwijk and Mulders use religion in their art) but his paintings are dark and troublesome and hardly positive. In many cases you can feel and experience the pain. That is perhaps the reason why these paintings still have a quality of their own, but for me personally they are “diificult” and dark paintings and not the ones i will search for in a museum. www.ftn-books.com has some Rouault titles available.

Posted on Leave a comment

Edward Burra (1905-1976)

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-16 om 11.26.20

One of the nice side effects of being artbook dealer is that you still “discover” artists which were not known to you before you started with the inventory at www.ftn-books.

One of these artist is Britisch born Edward Burra. A painte who at first glance reminded me of Beckmann and Hopper, but studying the Lefevere catalogue which is available at www.ftn-books.com revealed a totally original artist.

burra

Burra was a British painter and printmaker best known for his large-scale watercolor paintings, as well as for his landscapes and still lifes. The artist depicted scenes of the seedy urban underbelly and African-American culture during the 1930s in Harlem, NY. Born on March 29, 1905 in London, United Kingdom, Burra studied at the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art under Randolph Schwabe and Raymond Coxon. He frequently collaborated with artist Paul Nash and was part of Nash’s Unit One, a British group of Modernist artists that included John Armstrong, Frances Mary Hodgkins, and Henry Moore. Burra was an avid traveler, but following the outbreak of World War II found himself unable to leave the country. During this period, the artist found success designing scenery and costumes for opera, ballet, and theater. The artist died on October 22, 1976 in Hastings, United Kingdom.Today, his works are included in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others and that is probably the reason why i never heard of him before, since his work is not to be discovered outside the UK.

Posted on Leave a comment

Sam Francis (1923-1994)

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-15 om 10.19.51

Sam Francis is a subject for a blog a long time overdue. Since i have been admiring the works by Sam Francis for many years now and of course there is a special connection with the Netherlands, because he has had many solo exhibitions in this country for over 30 years and not at the less important museums and galleries but at the very best ones. First there is of course the exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum with the beautiful Wim Crouwel designed catalogue. secondly there are the gallery exhibitions at gallery Delaive and third there is the Museum van der Togt/Cobra Museum exhibition. All of these exhibitions were accompagnied by beautiful large catalogues and available at www.ftn-books.com

My first interest in Sam Francis was raised in the early Nineties when i collected Swatch watches. Together with my brother in law we searched for the earliest of these watches and bought, collected and resiold them and one of these watches was a Christmas special by Sam Francis. We had multiple copies of this rare watch and the last one was sold some 5 years ago. Still whenever i hear the name Sam Francis i am reminded of this swatch collection. But from that time on i noticed that there is more to Sam Francis than just his Swatch watch. Just read this short biography which can be found on the Sam Francis site too:

Sam Francis (1923 – 1994) occupies a prominent position in post-war American painting. Although associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement and Clement Greenberg’s Post-Painterly Abstraction, unlike many American painters of he time he had direct and prolonged exposure to French painting and to Japanese art which had an individual impact on his work.

On leaving the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1944 owing to illness Francis took up painting as a hobby. He decided to make this a serious undertaking studying under David Park in 1947 and completed his BA and MA at the University of California. He was greatly influenced by Abstract Expressionism particularly the works of Clyfford Still and Jackson Pollock. In his use of space on the canvas to allow free circulation of strong colour and the sensitivity to light Francis developed his own style by the time his studies had ended.

Francis moved to Paris in 1950 where he met Jean-Paul Riopelle who was to remain an important influence, and study of Monet’s Waterlilies had a profound impact on his work. From a very muted palette of greys and whites he returned to the qualities of light and colour producing such works as Big Red 1953. He continues to develop the use of white space and increased the dimensions of his paintings for greater emphasis. During his period in Europe he executed a number of monumental mural paintings.

Francis returned to California in 1962 and was then influenced by the West Coast School’s preoccupation with mysticism and Eastern philosophy. Blue had become a more dominant feature of his work since 1959 inspired by personal suffering and the great joy of becoming a father for the first time in 1961. This led to combinations of hard colour and more disciplined structures with centrally placed rectangles during the 1970s. Eventually these more rigid structures gave way to looser configurations sometimes of snake-like forms with web-like patterns. Blue, sometimes brilliant, remained an important part of many later works.

The above publications and other Sam Francis publications are available at www.ftn-books.com