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Leiko Ikemura (1951)

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Leiko Ikemura (イケムラレイコ Ikemura Reiko, born August 22, 1951 in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese-Swiss painter and sculptor.

It is often said that Leiko Ikemura’s work is characterised by the encounter of two cultures: it references Western art history, but the themes and formal vocabulary also immerse the beholder in the Japanese tradition, which venerates asymmetry, incompleteness, and ambiguity. “Imagination is the strongest force in my work”, says the artist, and it is precisely this exercise of completing something with one’s imagination that enables the viewer to enter into a dialogue with the Western tradition, which is oriented towards limits, an avoidance of ambiguity, and symmetry.
 
In her art, Ikemura attempts to elude rational control and to immerse herself and the beholder in sensual and emotional experience. The viewer seems to find himself in a kind of intermediate world, in horizontal landscapes with visually unlimited pictorial spaces, or in cosmic landscapes whose forms may be interpreted anthropomorphically – human creatures take on the shapes of animals, or trees or rocks metamorphose into human faces. The transitions are always fluid – in painting and sculpture, in landscape and in human portrayals.
 
Leiko Ikemura was born in Tsu, Japan. She studied Spanish literature at the University of Foreign Languages in Ōsaka and emigrated to Spain in 1972 to intensify her studies in Salamanca and Granada. From 1973 until 1978 she pursued painting studies at the Academy in Seville. After moving to Switzerland Ikemura left a lasting impression on the Zurich art scene of the Eighties. In 1983, the Bonner Kunstverein dedicated her works a major exhibition.

Leiko Ikemura lives and works in Berlin and Cologne.

This is just a short description of her life i found on the Karsten Greve gallery site, but there is much more to the work of Leiko Ikemura. Just take a look at some of her works and i hope you notice too that her works are a cross between the Japanese Anime figures and the watercolors by Marlene Dumas. The result is a personal and recognizable style. Ikemura is represented by the Karsten Greve gallery.

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Mark Wallinger (1959)

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The first time i took notice of the works by Mark Wallinger was when i learned that this artist was presented at the Tate modern and that Saatchi took an interestb in the artist. The second occasion was when i actually owned a true signed Mark Wallinger. Nothing very special because it was a Christmas Momart edition but still an original work of art signed by the artist himself.

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From that time on i occasionally encountered works by him, but never in the Netherlands, because to my knowledge non of the larger museums have works by Wallinger in their collections. Still there must be an interest for this artist because when you compare the black and white eighties paintings by Armando there are quite some similarities to be found in use of color and composition

Nevertheless for more books and publications on WALLINGER and the late ARMANDO please visit www.ftn-books.com

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Gerard Verdijk selection available at FTN-art

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About a week ago i announced the cooperation with Josephine Sloet and at that same day we met and had our first ever meeting, we thought it an excellent idea to devote a separate section of FTN-blog to Gerard Verdijk of whom a selection of works will be presented that will be for sale through FTN-art / FTN-blog.  We will be making a first selection when we meet again at the beginning of January, so expect some Verdijk works by the end of February . The selection of paintings and/or drawings which will become available will be presented after the site of Josephine Sloet has gone “live” and all works presented will be for sale .  For any inquiries please refer to wvdelshout@ziggo.nl

A great announcemet to end this year filled with art and art publications and i am really looking forward to continue and offer you more art and artist publications in the year to come.

Have a wonderful and healthy 2019

sloet atelier e

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Gisela Andersch (1913-1987)

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Another rather obscure artist for us in the Netherlands was Gisela Andersch. An artsits presented by Willem Sandberg with a special exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1961.

The catalogue for the exhibition was in one word….”SPECTACULAR”. It was not a catalogue but more a piece of art. The art being the cover and within  the stapled pages with the exhibition works. Cover was silkscreened upon the typical raw carton like paper Willem Sandberg was so fond of. Many people did not recognize the quality of this catalogue. But now that more and more collectors all over the world of Typography and catalogue design are appreciating the Stedelijk Museum catalogues, its importance is growing. This one is not collected for the artist, but for the combination of Sandberg excellent design together with the Andersch original art.

www.ftn-boooks.com has this Gisela Andersch catalogue available together with the van Abbemuseum one.

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Felicien Rops (1833-1898)

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A true artist of the FIN DUS SIECLE. On a peer with Toulouse Lautrec and exercising his art on the edge of society. Where Toulouse Lautrec found his inspiration in cafes and brothels, Rops was more of an erotic caricaturist who was not a great fan of religion and the church. In many cases he offended the church in making drawings with a less pious christ,

but he was a master in drawing and made drawings that had two layers. The first was the masterful drawing, the second underlying layer was its erotic contents.

His drawings were forbidden for a very long time , but nowadays his drawings are recognized as true pieces of art and mainly in Belgium Rops has received many a retrospective exhibition of which some of the publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Pyke Koch (1901-1991)

 

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For me Pyke Koch stands for the paintings of Bertha van Antwerpen and de Schoorsteenveger, both paintings are in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum en are part of a very small oeuvre of around 120 paintings. This makes this artist one of the hardest to collect in the Netherlands and it is therefore that it is a true accomplishment by Dirk Scheringa that he collected so many of Koch’s paintings. Beside Scheringa, that Centraal Museum is known for his larger collection of Koch paintings.

Koch’s paintings of formidable women captured the public’s imagination: with Mercedes of Barcelona (1930), Bertha of Antwerp (1931) and The shooting gallery (1931), Koch gained a reputation as an artist who used his highly perfected technique to create an idiosyncratic fantasy world, both ominous and bitingly ironic. His Nocturne (1930) even caused a scandal: the small temple at night, surrounded by dimly lit façades on a city square, is, after all, a public urinal – and a notorious meeting spot for homosexuals.

In this exhibition, Koch’s work is displayed in the context of his contemporaries – not just of Dutch artists like Carel Willink, Raoul Hynckes and Charley Toorop, but also of Georg Grosz, Anton Räderscheidt and Christian Schad, as representatives of the German Neue Sachlichkeit (New Sobriety movement). In addition, short documentaries compiled by Ad van Liempt capture the mood of those years.

In this way, the exhibition seeks a deeper understanding of Koch’s artistic career and inspiration while exploring the political complexities of the Interbellum: the period in between the two world wars. It also aims to put Koch’s affiliation with fascism into perspective and thereby to add some nuance to the debate on ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ that has continued unabated since 1945. Now that rightist populism is on the rise all across Europe and an anti-democratic voice is becoming more strident, this re-examination of the Interbellum is highly relevant.

After the Second World War, Koch was condemned for his fascist sympathies and was banned from exhibiting his work for one year. But his friends and colleagues remained faithful to him. In 1950 he and a number of colleagues represented the Netherlands at the 25th Venice Biennale. And in 1955 he was offered a solo exhibition in Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum by its director and renowned member of the resistance, Willem Sandberg. By that time he was exploring new avenues in his work, painting a series of portraits and scenes with strong references to Piero della Francesca, one of the great masters of early Italian Renaissance work. He also revived his fondness for the so-called ‘naive’ art of Henri Rousseau. His Sleeping gypsy (1897) inspired Koch’s Resting somnambulist, of which he painted four versions between 1959 and 1971.

Koch continued to work as an artist until 1980. His last painting, The tightrope walker III (1980), can be interpreted as a metaphorical self-portrait in which Koch takes stock of his life and work. In a bare and shabby room with two doors leading to stairs going up and going down, a man balances on a rope, his head covered by a cloth. It is a desolate scene, and a poignant finale to an impressive oeuvre. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Pyke Koch publications available, including the 2 versions the Stedelijk Museum published of this Crouwel designed catalogue

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James Bishop (1927)

It was i think our third visit to the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop when we encountered the works by James Bishop… and…they blew me away!

Large scaled paintings, extremely delicate colors combined in compositions which were part constructivist and familiar and other ways totally different because of the scale,  composition and impact.

I tried to find more on James Bishop , but beside the excellent gallery exhibitions at David Zwirner it is hard to find more on Bishop. Here is a short list of exhibitions in which he was presented.

  • 1963: Galerie Lucien Durand, Paris, France
  • 1966: Fischbach Gallery, New York, New York
  • 1993: Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland
  • 2008: Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich, Germany
  • 2014: David Zwirner, New York, New York

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This is an artist who grows on you. An artist who is one of a kind. For me he has the same qualities as many better known artists from his genaration, but is not the household name in modern art he should be. Try to see some of his works when you the chance , because this is an artist well worth discovering. www.ftn-books.com has a signed exhibition poster from this artist available.

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Andre Derain (1880-1954)

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Derain is specially known for his Fauve paintings. Friends with Matisse and de Vlaminck he stood at the craddle of the post impressionist mouvement and became aone of the most well known Fauvist painters. Lesser known is that Andre Derain was also a gifted sculptor. He used in most cases wooden logs as his raw material and inspired by african masks and ethnic art he transformed them into his own kind of fauvist sculptures. I remembered this because at one time we visited an impressive Derain sculptures exhibition in DE KUNSTHAL in Rotterdam where a Derain sculpture exhibition was held. The catalogue , which is a more than excellent publication, is still available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Josef Albers and his Christmas card from 1952

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On this Christmas eve some thoughts by Josef Albers :

Wenn ich male
sehe und denke ich zunächst – Farbe

Und zumeist Farbe als Bewegung

Nicht als Begleitung
von Form, die seitwärts bewegt,
nur seitwärts verbleibt

Sondern als Farbe in dauernder innerer Bewegung

Nicht nur in Interaktion und Interdependenz
mit Nachbarfarben,
verbunden wie unverbunden

Sondern in Aggression – zum wie vom Beschauer
in direktem frontalen Uns-Anschauen

Und näher betrachtet,
als ein Atem und Pulsieren – in der Farbe

When I paint
I think and see
first and most – color
but color as motion

Color not only accompanying
form of lateral extension
and after being moved
remaining arrested

But of perpetual inner movement
as aggression – to and from the spectator
besides interaction an interdependence
with shape and hue and light

Color in a direct and frontal focus
and when closely felt
as a breathing and pulsating
– from within

Josef Albers

The card below was the original Josef Albers Christmas card from 1952

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Unfortunately this card is NOT available at www.ftn-books.com, but many other Albers item are available. a Merry Xmas from Wilfried van den Elshout and FTN books

 

 

 

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Piet Dirkx daily … Christmas edition

On the 1st of September 2016 i started the “Piet Dirkx daily” with the publishing of a Piet Dirkx cigarbox on each day since. There were over 850 cigarboxes that were once part of the installation Biotoop at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. This publication of the collection of cigarboxes has come to an end. That does not mean that the Piet Dirkx daily will not continue. Yes…. it continues ….however the frequency will be different. Every week on Saturday or Sunday a new “classic” Piet Dirkx item will be published, but this time it will be mostly very colorful larger and extreme large items. Drawings, paintings and special publications all other parts of my/our collection will eventually be published.

So it is certainly still not the time to stop, but the name will change and be different of course. the “Piet Dirkx daily” will become the “Piet Dirkx weekly”. Starting this weekend when a new chapter in the Piet Dirkx publications will start. I did not plan it, but there was some real symbolism in this last Piet Dirkx cigarbox no. 855 published .

For all those who are not familiar with the dutch language…on the last box Piet stated …De trein staat stil and positief leven, which means the “train has stopped” and “live positively”. The last few words are maybe the most important to us all. Translated they mean:

Live positively

and on a personal note….Merry Xmas to you all.

The BIOTOOP / Biotope catalogue of the Piet Dirkx exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is available at www.ftn-books.com