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Guido Strazza (1922)

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One of the grand old masters in Italian modern art is Guido Strazza. His works remind me of the ones Hans Harting made during the Sixties, but these are different….more spontaneous and they have a lighter touch. Perhaps this is because his graphic works has a kind of transparency which is rare. thin lines , scattered in a pattern. like a mikado game transformed into art.

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This rare quality was recognized by Willem Sandberg who held an exhibition with Strazza in 1961 at the Stedelijk Museum ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com)/

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In the Seventies and early Eighties Strazza was almost forgotten, but lately his works are in fashion again. These are abstract works that tend to Minimalism and perhaps that is the reason why Strazza is becoming more popular by the year. The result several publications and some major exhibitions with his works.

 

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Amédée Cortier (1921-1976)

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This blog on Cortier is long due. I love Cortier and because his publications are scarce I almost forgot about him, but now that I have found the most important Cortier publication on his abstract works it is time to devote a blog to Amédée Cortier.  The book is on his abstract works and even contains a chapter on Cortier written by one of all times best curators …Jan Hoet.

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From 1936 to 1942, Amédée Cortier enjoys his training at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. On the one hand, his oeuvre consists of paintings that he makes in various media (acrylic, oil, gouache, aquarelle, India ink or bistre, among others) on panel, paper or cardboard. On the other hand, he makes pen drawings, reliefs and models. Around 1950, influenced by the exhibition Le Cercle Artistique (Ghent, 1949), he applies himself to a short-lived geometric-abstract experiment, but decides after this to return to embrace his figurative visual language. He begins with painting rural scenes (1940), still lives and portraits of women (1950), and evolves towards a stark, simplified figurative language in schematic compositions. André Lothe (1885 – 1962) exerts an important influence on him with his Traité de la figure (1950) and Traité du paysage (1939). Around 1964 Cortier begins to paint resolute abstract and from 1966 – 1967 he favours colour over the relations between the forms. The transition to acrylic paint is to be understood in the same context. This medium helps him to heighten the intensity of his colours. His stark works are witness to a sense of natural law, but also leave room for intuition. Ultimately Cortier changes over to monochrome, by which he creates mutually coherent ensembles in the form of diptychs and triptychs. With his reliefs (1968), he evolves from the traditional painting to painting as object. Beginning in the 1970’s his work is completely dominated by colour, built up around a stark composition and a unity between colour and form. He gains public recognition with these works.

Cortier sees his own oeuvre confirmed in the work by the artist Ellsworth Kelly (1923 – 2015). Under the impulse of Peter Struycken (1939) he meets Kelly in 1976. As a member of Het Antenneke, his fascination grows for the Golden Ratio, an important compositional rule in his oeuvre. His friendship with Yves De Smet (1946 – 2004) is of crucial importance for his artistic career. He is not only a like-minded artist friend, but is also an important promoter and organiser of exhibitions dedicated to Cortier, such as Horizonnen & horizontalen (Horizons & horizontals) (1976). Cortier becomes a member of the Ghent group organised by De Smet called Plus-Groep, a collective of Ghent constructivists that are seeking the unity between form and colour. Via Plus-Kern – Centre for Constructive Design, established by De Smet and others in 1969, Cortier is actively promoted. This occurs through the medium of publications such as Plus-Nieuws, though also through participation in international exhibitions. In 1973 he is internationally recognised with the Sikken Prize.

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Heimo Zobernig (1958)

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The catalogue i have available on this artist shows why he is appreciated as an artists. It shows why he is considered a multi-disciplined artist. Sculpture, design, painting etc. …all disciplines and aspects of Modern art come along in his works.

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Heimo Zobernig is a contemporary Austrian artist working across media—painting, sculpture, film, performance, and more—to create a completely interdisciplinary Postmodern practice. Known for his treatment of colour within his abstract works, Zobernig blends elements of Minimalism with expressive brushstrokes, geometry, or typography while retaining an emphasis kept on the grid and the monochrome. Born on April 30, 1958 in Mauthen, Austria, he studied at both the Akademie der bildenden Künste and Hochschule fur Angewandte Kunst in Vienna, where he currently lives and works. He created work for the Austrian Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Zobernig has commented, “there are moments when I really enjoy being an artist, but I also appreciate those moments when I completely forget about it.”

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The book is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Harke Kazemier and ATELIERLOG

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Just a site this time and an absolute tip for people who are interested in artist and their creative process. Artist are all photographed in their studios, which gives a great inside where and how art is created. The list contains numerous names of great artists and over the years has grown into one of the great sites to find information on art and their artists. Harke Kazemier, an artists himself has composed and edited this list from 2005 onwards.

example: Jan Cremer in his studio, 2008

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Here is the link which directs you to the blog he wrote on Piet Dirkx.  There are a few hundred names on the list and many you will recognize. Just wander around and be amazed by the many entries written on the artists and when you search for more information on the artists check with http://www.ftn-books.com for publications available

http://atelierlog.blogspot.com/search/label/Piet%20Dirkx%20%281953%29

 

 

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The Triton Foundation/collection

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The Triton collection is considered to be one of the 2oo most prestigious private art collections in the world. The collection was build in a relatively short period of time but contains the most important names from the modern art world. The spectacular collection was collected by the couple Willem Cordia (1940-2011) and Marijke van der Laan. Cordia built his fortune with investing in the port of Rotterdam and oil.

The collection was transferred into a Foundation and together with the foundation, the Gemeentemuseum named a room after the Foundation. the “Triton kabinet” and in this room the most important works of art were being presented. The result a series of art books dedicated to the artists and art of the Triton foundation ( available at http://www.ftn-books.com)

The collection contains 250 important works of art. Paintings, drawings and sculptures by the most famous of all artists a.o Vincent van Gogh, Odilon Redon, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Amedeo Modigliani, Kees van Dongen, Raoul Dufy, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondriaan, Francis Picabia, Alberto Giacometti, Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Günther Uecker, Willem de Kooning, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella en Lucian Freud.

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Hugh Weiss (1927-2007)

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The first time i encountered some actual painting by Hugh Weiss, was at the timne the Venduhuis held an auction with works from the estate of Hans Sonnenberg, the former owner of the Delta Gallery in Rotterdam. Sonnenberg had a very personal way of collecting and was not affraid to present young artists like Haring and Basquiat in the Eighties and Schjolte and van Geest in the Eighties/Nineties. In the Sixties he liked a different kind of art and beside some POP ART he presenetd there was this American born artist who he liked very much…..Hugh Weiss

Hugh Weiss was born in Philidelphia in 1925, but practically lived his entire working life in Paris /France. Here he has made a name for himself and from France  a contact with Sonnenberg was established, The result exhibitions at galerie Delta of which one catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com. It is the 1965 catalogue

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The works intrigue, but not so musch as that at timne of the auction i wanted to add one to my collection. I focussed instead on the Arie van Geest paintings and i was successful. Now that i look at them again in the catalogue i think it is a pity that i did not bid, but wh knows perhaps in the future there is another chance.

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Jet Nijkamp…Verdrongen Landschap

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The reason to write this blog is the book i recently purchased by Jet Nijkamp. Filled with nature drawings of wood, trunks and landscapes and enhanced with text by Tsead Bruinja. Thsi titel “Verdrongen Landschap” was published in a small edition and is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.

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An excellent title with drawings by Nijkamp , which remind me of the early drawings by Frank van Hemert influenced by Anselm Kiefer. but……visiting her site i noticed that she had published a complete series of Donald Trump dressed in Womans Clothing. A “funny” series of pastel drawings on international newspapers. It is not funny only , but it shows some criticism towards Donald Trump and his presidency. Trump takes poses like the great states man he think he is, however…..the drawings make fun of him and puts his presidency into perspective. The best one is the Obama meeting. Obama is the statesman and Trump the one with a dress on. I can not vote for any US president , but i wish i could and i  would not have any doubt who to vote for.

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Jean Messagier (1920-1999) continued

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I always have been a great admirer of the abstract art of Jean Messagier. Recently i acquired a collection of gallery catalogues of the New Yrok based Lefebnre gallery . A renowned gallery that was active from 1960 – 1986 and run by John Lefebre. In the early years he chose original lithographs as cover for his publications and one of these is the very impressive lithograph by Jean Messagier. Spread over 3 page this is probably the best i have ever seen by this artist. I am biased, since i am the fan of his abstract art, but even for a normal art lover this work must be outstanding.

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The Lefebre catalogue is now available at http://www.ftn-books.nl

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KRH Sonderborg (1923-2008)

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A Danish born artist where KRH stands for Kurt Rudolf Hoffmann and the Sonderborg stands for his birth town and he started to call himself KRH Sonderborg since 1951.

Sonderborg went to school in Hamburg, Germany and completed a merchant’s apprenticeship in 1939. He became a private student of the painter Ewald Becker-Carus in Hamburg in 1946. From 1947 to 1949 he studied painting, graphic art and textile design at the State Art School in Hamburg under Willem Grimm and Maria May.

Starting in 1953, he became a member of the group “Zen 49” and he went to Paris the same year where he learned engraving from Stanley William Hayter in the Atelier 17. Paris is also the place where he first encountered Tachism. In the years following the artist continued his travel and worked for some time in London, Cornwall, New York, Ascona, Rome and Paris again. While in New York, Sonderborg came into contact with Action Painting and Abstract Expressionism.

His own style is became more abstract, painting using swift, gestural strokes that reveal the painting process, with spontaneous colour application. Black and white contrasts are an important feature, later he added colours such as cadmium red.

K.R.H. Sonderborg exhibited in the 1958 Biennale in Venice. He was awarded the Prize for Graphic Art at the Biennale in Tokyo in 1960 as well as the Great International Prize for Drawing at the 1963 Biennale in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

From 1965 to 1990 Sonderborg held a post as professor of painting at the Stuttgart Art Academy. In 1969/70 he was a guest lecturer at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, as well as at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1986.

the following Sonderborg publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Serge Poliakoff (1906-1969)

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I love his art. It always reminds me of the best dutch abstract artists from the 60’s and i would not be surprised of Willem Hussem was influenced by Poliakoff’s art

Serge Poliakoff was born in Moscow in 1906, the thirteenth of fourteen children. (Some sources claim that he was born in 1900, which in fact fits in better with his later history – 1906 would have him leaving home and earning his living as a musician at the age of 12.) His father, a Kyrgyz, supplied the army with horses that he bred himself and also owned a racing stable. His mother was heavily involved with the church, and its religious icons fascinated him. He enrolled at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, but fled Russia in 1918. He arrived in Constantinople in 1920, living off the profits from his talent as a guitarist.

He went on to pass through Sofia, Belgrade, Vienna, and Berlin before settling in Paris in 1923, all the while continuing to play in Russian cabarets. In 1929 he enrolled at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. His paintings remained purely academic until he discovered, during his stay in London from 1935 to 1937, the abstract art and luminous colours of the Egyptian sarcophagi. It was a little afterwards that he met Wassily Kandinsky, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, and Otto Freundlich.

With these influences, Poliakoff quickly came to be considered as one of the most powerful painters of his generation. In 1947, he was trained by Jean Deyrolle in Gordes (Vaucluse region in France) amongst peers such as Gérard Schneider, Giloli, Victor Vasarely, and Jean Dewasne. By the beginning of the 1950s, he was still staying at the Old Dovecote hotel near Saint-Germain-des-Prés, which was also home to Louis Nallard and Maria Menton, and continuing to earn a reliable income by playing the balalaika.. A contract enabled him to quickly gain better financial stability.

In 1962 a room was given over to his paintings by the Venice Biennial, and Poliakoff became a French citizen in the same year. His works are now displayed in a large number of museums in Europe and New York. Poliakoff also worked with ceramics at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres. He influenced the paintings of Arman.

The following Poliakoff publications are available at www.ftn-books.com