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Eugene Brands (1913-2002)…there are forgeries on the market.

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In 1946 he participated in the exhibition JONGE SCHILDERS in the Stedelijk Museum and joined the experimental group of young painters in the Netherlands which would later become the COBRA mouvement. From there on he developed a very recognizable style with light bright colors, using many shades of red and yellow. Almost every large museum in the Netherlands has works by Brands in their collections and paintings and drawings are frequently offered for sale at auction or on auction sites. But beware !….. at one time i was visiting a viewing day ( many many years ago) by Sothebys on their Nes location when Brands walked in with the Amsterdam director of Sotheby’s. At that time there were about 10 works by Brands for sale. Brands walked around, glasses and furcoat still on (inside a heated room) , made a quick tour in the viewing hall, pointed out  and marked at least 5 works that were forgeries, since that occasion and knowing that there are many fake Brands paintings, i stayed away from them. Of course you can buy them at the gallery Nouvelles Images and Galerie de Rijk. It will be a safe buy, because all works sold by them are genuine, guaranteed and mostly registered pieces from the Brands studio, but from other sources …..BEWARE. Eugene Brands publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Johannes Gachnang (1939-2005)…quality publications

 

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The first time i met Gachnang was during an exibition at the Haags Gemeentemuseum when he visited his friend Rudi Fuchs , who was at that time the director of the Gemeentemuseum. I remembered an unpleasant person, but Rudi wanted the publications by Gachnang to be sold at the shop of the Gemeentemuseum and i was critical about them. It was not that i was not convinced of the art within these publications, but the art by Gachnang was so personal and i thought “strange” that i did not see any selling possibilities for them. Years later, i started to encounter his works in museums and found them far more accessible than i first had thought they were. ALL Gachnang publication have a certain quality and belong to the best publications on art in the last 3 decades of the 20th century and some of them are available at www.ftn-books.com

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It is just a painting by …Kandinsky

…..and there are many more far more important Kandinsky paintings than the one recently sold at a record price.

Source is Blouin art info. This is what i read this morning and shows exactly what i was talking about yesterday.

Sotheby’s has smashed the auction record for Wassily Kandinsky not just once but twice during its Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale in London.

“Murnau – Landschaft mit grünem Haus” 1909 was the first to break the artist’s previous auction record of $23.3 million when it sold for £21 million / $26.4 million.

Six lots later “Bild mit weissen Linien” 1913 broke the record for the second time, selling for a monumental £33 million / $41.6 million.

The sale also achieved a new auction record for Joan Miro in sterling with the artist’s “Femme et oiseaux” 1940 selling for £24,571,250.

Sotheby’s, Actual Size and Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sales achieved a combined total of £148.9 Million / $187.7 Million / €169.5 Million, with the three top sales marking the first time that three works have sold for over £20 million in a London auction.

Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department & Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said: “To have three landmarks in the development of 20th Century art by Kandinsky, Miró and Giacometti come to the market in a single sale tonight was momentous.”

“Collectors were out in force, participating from a record number of locations around the globe, with the level of Asian buyers as numerous as those from the US, underscoring the enduring importance of London as a key driver of the global art market,” she added.

Art has become an investment and something to break records with. Accessible to the “Happy Few”, but art is more than just a record at an auction sale. Art is a very personal experience. In which it moves you, reaches out to you and eventually stays with you the rest of your life. There are some Kandinsky books available at www.ftn-books.com

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David Salle (1952)

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David Salle…..still one of te great names in Modern Art and still very famous in the US, but his works tend to be forgotten a little bit in Europe after he had had many important shows here in the eighties and nineties. Painter, graphic artist, cinema director and photographer Salle is a multi disciplined artist who was one of the first living artist who reached star status in the art world after his works were soled for over a million dollar at auction. Personally i do not think any painting is worth so much money, because i  think art is to be consumed and admired and not bought or sold as an investment. An artist who’s works are bought after he/she died is an exception. The works have proven themselves and it is important for museum to show the works of an artist in relation to other works of art, but….for living artists like Salle, Hirst and Koons ART has become a way of making money ( and a lot if it). The idea behind the work is less important than the interest t should create with buyers and investors. So my advice …buy what you personally think is worth to look at, admire and collect it and if it is more expensive … pay a little more for it because you will enjoy the work every day you look at it.

Books on Salle are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Fernand Leger (1881-1955)

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I am still in doubt for myself if i must consider Leger as one of the great artists from last century…or does he uses a ‘Trick” to compose and impress with his paintings. If one sees an extremely large sized work …it is almost in every case impressive, but as soon as it is a smaller one, the attraction is gone. I will show this with to examples. The first painting is roughly 3 x 4 meters and in the collection of the Fondation Maeght. The send is Trois Camarades in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The first has typical figures by Leger with an abstract pattern painred over them….. a beautiful and impressive Leger. The second one, is for me far less appealing and a “flat” painting.

Make up your mind yourself on Leger , but know that there are some excellent publications available at www.ftn-books.com including a famous Sandberg designed catalogue

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Raquel Maulwurf ….continued (1975)

I now followed her career for over 10 years and was lucky to acquire some nice small works for our collection. She still amazes with her works in black and white turning horrid events into beautiful , almost abstract works of art.  The large special project teh CARBON WAR ROOM “retrospective” at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag ended last weekend. Online you still have a possibility to get an impression.

https://www.gemeentemuseum.nl/nl/tentoonstellingen/raquel-maulwurf-carbon-war-room

Raquel Maulwurf (Madrid, 1975) developed the installation ‘The Carbon War Room’ especially for the Gemeentemuseum. It arose from the desire to physically create the depth that is evoked in her charcoal drawings in three-dimensions. By working with a very large format and creating wall drawings that cover several walls, she previously captured the feeling of ‘walking into a drawing’. This third dimension was also added literally from the moment she began scratching the museum board she uses for her drawings with a box cutter. The installation in the museum’s Projects Gallery enables Maulwurf to take the final step.

The Carbon War room was a project specially done for the Gemeentemuseum, but can be placed everywhere in the world and consists of the objects and subjects which are very typical for her work.This is an artist who impresses and shows us a world of “beauty” and ” horror” at the same time.

Some titles on Raquel Maulwurf are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Sculpture 10 days… Day 6 ..Per Kirkeby (1938)

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Ever since Rudi Fuchs for the first time presented his friend and artist Per Kirkeby in the Gemeentemuseum , i have been an admirer. First and foremost an admirer of his paintings. But when in the early nineties a brick sculpture was realized in the inner garden of the Gemeentemuseum i became an instant fan of his sculptures too. His brick sculptures are typical Kirkeby and the use of bricks make these sculptures stand out from the others of his time. There is another sculpture specially made for the Caldic collection which i admire too.

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The trick is …it looks closed…but it is open…A must see when you visit Wassenaar. To prepare your visit look at the books on Kirkeby at www.ftn-books.com  

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Andy Warhol in Stockholm (1968)

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The sixties were the time that Pop Art was introduced in Europe and one of the venues where a large exhibition was held was the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Of course the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam has had its Pop Art and Warhol exhibitions in those days, but what makes the Stockholm exhibition stand out, was the catalogue which was published with the Andy Warhol exhibition in 1968. Not a small booklet , designed by Wim Crouwel of 40+ pages, but a large catalogue containing approx. 500 pages filled with art and photography. . A true documentary publication with the most important works by Warhol and over 300 photographs with documentary photographs on Warhol and his circle of friends. the Factory photography was done by Billy Name. Spontaneous and random photography, giving great insight in the world of Warhol and his Friends in the surroundings of the Factory. This is one of the most important Andy Warhol catalogues ever published and now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Emmett Williams (1925-2007) , Fluxus poet and master of Concrete Poetry

A little anecdote….the first time i saw the publications of Emmett Williams was in the early eighties in the Gemeentemuseum. It was a very nice publication, but at that time i did not see the qualities of his works and publications. When a few years later too many of the edition was unsold , we decided to put them in a “sale” for 2 guilders each. Even at that price they were very hard to sell and now 30 years later… I was offered a small collection of Emmett Williams books and  bought them back at 30x the price of 2 guilders,  a price well worth the books ,because these are very special books. The VOYAGE is published in only 1000 copies and works like a classic “flip book”. These books are absolute “must have’s” for serious collectors. They are becoming more rare every year and as an artist Emmett Williams will become one of the most important artists from the Fluxus mouvement.

These books are available at www. ftn-books.com

williams add

 

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Thomas Schütte (1954)

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The German sculptor Thomas Schütte is constructing a museum to house his artwork in the town of Hombroich, located about 16 km (10 miles) southeast of Düsseldorf.

The new structure—which will offer 700 square meters (1,300 sq. ft.) of floor space when completed—was designed by Schütte, and is being built close to the grounds of the Museumsinsel Hombroich, a multi-building complex that also houses the collection of the German collector Karl-Heinrich Müller……

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I just encountered this old news on the internet and was reminded about the sculptures i had seen by Schuette, when Rudi Fuchs was director of the Gemeentemuseum. Since  i have seen his works on multiple occasions and whenever there was a catalogue published on the exhibitions i was full of admiration, because his catalogues are among the best published in the last 3 decades. There are several available at www.ftn-books.com. So in the near future when you visit the Dusseldorf area you can include Hombroich together with Bottrop to visit 2 exquisite museums.