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Willem Oorebeek (1953)

Another artist from my generation. Less colorful than the ones i usually admire, but still important in his own right. In 2015 the Boymans van Beuningen Museum had a “large” retrospective on the artist. It was showing ten early works by Willem Oorebeek (Pernis 1953) from the museum’s own collection. The artist’s work is based on commercial printing. He combines, isolates and repeats images from the endless stream generated by the mass media. This gives them a status in their own right, whereas in a commercial environment they are subservient to the product.

Oorebeek’s art deserves to be known by a larger public, but his art is one for connaisseurs and it will be a hard case to make this kind of art known and appreciated by a large public. Still www.ftn-books.com has books on the artist in its collection.

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Luciano Fabro (1936-2007)

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Luciano Fabro…an italian artist rooted in the ARTE POVERA and perhaps a little bit forgotten nowadays.

But Fabro stays very imortant for Modern Art, since his works are very much in line with other great artist from that era. Castellani and Manzoni were of great influence to him and in 1958, after he saw Lucio Fontana’s work at Venice Biennale, Fabro moved to Milan where he spent the rest of his life pursuing his artistic career.

Fabro was involved in the Arte Povera group, which was interested in experimenting with industrial and natural materials, focusing on process, language and the body. Fabro’s best known works were sculptural reliefs of Italy made out of glass, steel, bronze, gold and even soft leather. The signature unorthodox, ‘poor’ materials in his works include steel tubes, cloth, newspapers, and wax; the artist, however, often used also traditional and expensive art materials such as gold, marble, and bronze. At the height of the ARTE POVERA group, the Boymans van Beuningen Museum organized and exhibition with the works by Luciano Fabro and after this exhibition other exhibitions followed in the Netherlands. The catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Just a walk in PARIS 2009…. and Fluxus

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It was about 9 years ago that me and my wife Linda visited Paris. Dropped our son together with my sister in law, nephew and niece at the gates of Disneyland Paris and went to the city.

I know Paris well and took Linda for the first time to some “arrondissements” she had never visited before. There was the 16th where i had lived for almost a year and the Rue de Seine , the Modern art district .

At one of the galleries a FLUXUS exhibition was being held with art by BEN and Saito. To make this exhibition known to the outside world an extremely nice FLUXUS poster was published. Because i had a hunch that these posters would become important i asked if i could take 4 of them with me. NO problem….. and now 9 years later there is only one of these rare posters left and available at www.ftn-books.com and in time they have proven that i was right about them. They have proven to be important and highly collectable.

 

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Dennis Oppenheim (1938-2011)

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An artist i never heard of before , but since the exhibition of Alice Aycock in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag i know of him and his art and later of course i found out that there was an excellent exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 1974, which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

Why is that?…Oppenheim was married to Alice Aycock and many of the exhibition venues presented both these artist shortly after each other

And what about Dennis Oppenheim? For me Oppenheim stands for conceptual and performance art. His “earthworks” have become famous and on the cover of the stedelijk Museum catalogue one is depicted. BTW. the Stedelijk catalogue was designed by Wim Crouwel and he made it, because of the use of a beautiful impressive photograph of one of the earthworks, stand out from the rest.

If i compare both artist , I definitely have more interest in the large sculptures by Alice Aycock, but Oppenheim is important too and time will tell which of them will be the most important one…. my guess it will be the wife …Alice Aycock.

In 2011 Oppenheim died of pancreas cancer

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Bruce McLean (1944)

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It took me decades to discover the art of Bruce McLean. A typical Sixties artist who started with performances and now ends his career with HUGE paintings. In between …… an abundance of works of which the large canvasses i appreciate most.

An original and personal style of painting . …the result…. recognizable paintings. I looked up the artist Bruce McLean and found that his paintings are still on the verge of affordable to wealthy private collectors and maybe now is the time to start looking and finding a beautiful McLean painting for your collection?

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www.ftn-books.com has a few bruce McLean publications available

 

Bruce McLean is a Scottish sculptor, performance artist, filmmaker and painter. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1961 to 1963, and from 1963 to 1966 at St. Martin’s School of Art, London, where he and others rebelled against what appeared to be the formalist academicism of his teachers, including Anthony Caro and Phillip King. In 1965 he abandoned conventional studio production in favour of impermanent sculptures using materials such as water, along with performances of a generally satirical nature directed against the art world. When in 1972 he was offered an exhibition at the Tate Gallery, he opted for a ‘retrospective’ he titled “King for a Day” which lasted only one day. From the mid 1970s, while continuing to mount occasional performances, McLean has turned increasingly to painting/sculpture and film work. In 1985, McLean won the John Moores Painting Prize. Since retiring from his professorship of painting at the Slade School of Art, he has taken on a large studio in west London where he has been making increasingly large paintings and sculptural film works.

 

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Ewerdt Hilgemann (1938)

 

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For me Hilgemann was one of the first Zero artists i learned to appreciate, but there is so  much more to Hilgemann as an artist. Here is an excellent article i found on Hilgemann  at the Borzo site / www.borzo.com

Borzo still sells his works and perhaps now is right the time  for Hilgemann.

A child of about six in the war, Ewerdt Hilgemann searches through the rubble of the bombed ruins of his hometown Dortmund for shrapnel. He finds them interesting, exciting too, these sharp-edged metal splinters.

Forty years later, and now an artist, Hilgemann works in the marble quarries of Carrara (1975-1985). A truck transports a perfectly sawn one and a half metre cube of marble that he has carefully polished, to the top and then with a thunderous crash sends it toppling off the steep mountainside. And a marble sphere of a similar size, polished to a perfect sheen, has explosives inserted and is then blown up.

Both conceptual ‘performances’ are recorded on film. The artist creates perfect forms, which are then deformed using forces of nature: a sort of reverse creative process.

Thirty years later, in the summer of 2014, Hilgemann exhibits his Magnum Opus. In response to an invitation from the City of New York he places a series of implosion sculptures on Park Avenue. ‘Dancers’, ‘Triples, ’Flowers’ and ‘Cubes’, six metres high, gleaming in the sun, the deformed surfaces of these Titans of steel distort and reflect the overwhelming architecture of the buildings on each side of Park Avenue.

From his earliest days in a devastated Dortmund to the Park Avenue manifestation in New York, Hilgemann has been consistent in his fascination and his art. In his own words: “To deform a perfect shape without me hammering on it”.

From the start the cube and the square are his best-loved shapes. Hilgemann studies and comes to understand these solid forms. He learns it at the Saarbrucken Art Academy under his tutor Oskar Holweck. (In 1958 Holweck had joined the Zero movement, founded that year by Mack and Piene). Here the young art student Hilgemann learns to respect material and form in their most elementary states. Plasticity is achieved through the effect of light on the surface and the – mathematic – interventions performed thereon by the artist.

In 1970 Hilgemann and his wife Antoinette settle in Gorinchem and here a close friendship develops with Ad Dekkers, Marinus Boezem and herman de vries. In these days Gorinchem is apparently a hotbed for avant-garde art. Irritated – provoked even – by a conservative artistic climate in this small town on the River Merwede, these artists discover common ground for their minimalistic and conceptual ideas.

Their haven at the time is Riekje Swart’s legendary Amsterdam gallery. Hilgemann exhibits his white objects oriented according to mathematical studies here from 1966.

In 1973 the four artist friends – and their partners! – take the initiative for a much discussed and now legendary symposium, whereby the town wants to be a centre for “examining the position of the visual arts in our society”. Fifteen European artists stay together in Gorinchem for six weeks. These include now famous artists such as Kenneth Martin, Morellet, Panamarenko, Pohl, Prantl and Winiarski. Exceptional works of art, lectures and performances fill the town. For Hilgemann ‘Gorinchem’ is an extraordinarily significant period in which his art reaches full maturity and he also establishes his international orientation.

Hilgemann produces his first sculpture created through implosion in 1984 for the exhibition “Beelden aan de Linge” by collector Piet Cleveringa from the neighbouring town of Acquoy. He moves to Amsterdam the same year and from that moment on this visual language of imploded constructions will always typify the art of the ‘air-smith’ Ewerdt Hilgemann.

m has some Hilgemann publications available.

 

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Anthon Beeke (1940-2018)

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This morning i learned that one of the greatest of all dutch graphic designers, Anton Beeke, died in an Amsterdam hospital, yesterday on the 25th of September. Born in 1940 he soon became part of Fluxus and Provo and was one of the famous names in the AMSTERDAM art world in the sixties. He even became later a contributing partner of Total Design, the agency which was founded by Wim Crouwel ao. I mention this because where Total design was one of the first agencies to apply the computer in designing, Beeke stayed true to his own method, the typical way of composing an image with “camera, scissors and glue”.

His images are strong and stood out and drew immediate attention to the subject. One of his best known designs was the alphabet composed with nude woman.

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It was a meant and searched for reaction on the New Alphabet by Crouwel. There are several Beeke publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Robert Filliou (1926-1987)

For me Fluxus is Robert Filliou and Robert Filliou is Fluxus. There are so many examples how Filliou approached art in his very personal way. Born in France, but at one time he worked in Los Angeles for Coca Cola. This is where he must have learned to speak and write english, but when you listen to him he learned to speak the language, but not without the french accent.

Still i like his works and there is always something to discover within his projects of which one  was a project he did at the StedelijK Museum Amsterdam in 1971 after which project a catalogue was published. The catalogue RESEARCH AT THE STEDELIJK Nov.5-Dec.5 1971 is available at www.ftn-books.com , is one of the rarest from the Seventies Stedelijk catalogues and is an excellent introduction into the fascinating world of Robert Filliou.

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Vassilakis Takis (1925)

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Day 4 of my “forgotten artists” blogs is devoted to Vassilakis Takis. Now 92 years of age, but forgotten by most. It used to be different because in the 60’s his name was quite known among art lovers , specially the one interested in Kinetic art. His Grec origins never showed in his works , no classical sculptures for him, but investigating the relations between art and science, resulting in Kinetic works which were original. Still he never became the household name as others from his generation have become. No Soto, Staudt or Agam stature for Takis, but he had his moments in art, which resulted in some nice and very hard to find catalogues. 2 of them available at www.ftnbooks.com. Since the early 1950s, he has been exploring these new aesthetic territories, creating three-dimensional works of art that incorporate invisible energies as a fourth, active element. Takis, who describes himself as an “instinctive scientist,” employs powerful, elemental forces to generate the forms, movements, and musical sounds of both his static and kinetic works but never became famous for his kinetic art and that is a pity, because his approach is original, which resulted in somne nice works of which some of them are in some pubic collections ( mainly in France).

 

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Raul Cordero (1971)

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Raul Cordero was born in Cuba in 1971 and influenced by the Americam Conceptual artist like Nauman and Baldessari. There are not many Cuban artist that rose to fame in the Western world but Cordero together with Wifredo Lam ( Blog next month) is definitely one of them and of course there is a relation between the Netherlands and Cordero too, because he studied at the Rijksakademie.

The publications are rare and very hard to find , but i was fortunate to find probably the most important book on his works until this date . The book was published on the occasion of the Cordero exhibition held in Salamanca (Spain) on his works from 1996-2002. The book is rare and those booksellers that have a copy ask high prices for it. Check for my price at www.ftn-books.com, where this title is now available too.

His art education started in Havana (Academia San Alejandro and Instituto Superior de Diseño) and as said his influences mix an interest in conceptual American artists such as John Baldessari, Bruce Nauman or Chris Burden -who later informed his conceptual training- together with elements of the 12th century’s Flemish painting tradition, acquired during his postgraduate formation in the Netherlands (Graphic Media Development Centre and Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten). Cordero has held visiting professorships at the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Havana, Cuba; The San Francisco Art Institute, California and The Art Academy of Cincinnati, in Ohio, U.S.A.

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