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Allen Jones (1938) is British Pop Art

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For me Allen Jones stands for his mannequin like sculptures. Possibly the best known is a woman kneeling on all fours with on her back a glas table surface. The sculpture acting like a salon table. This use of glass and mannequin sculptures is frequently done by Jones. He made several tables and even some chairs out of these mannequins.

This is possibly the most famous part from his oeuvre, but one must not forget his paintings. Highly original Pop Art paintings and well deserving their place among the best Pop Art in the world. Jones his images are influenced by Lindner but they also have some parts of the cheesecake poses of the ones Mel Ramos produced ( tomorrows blog).

www.ftn-books.com has some Jones items available

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Charlotte Dorothée barones van Pallandt (1898-1997)

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One of the more classic sculptors in the Netherlands. She is probably the most well known sculptor from the last century. Possibly the reason is, that it is believed that she gave lessons to the young Princess Beatrix , who is a gifted amateur sculptor herself and has always admired van Pallandt.

For me van Pallandt stands for one of the very best catalogues the Stedelijk Museum has ever published and Eja Siepman van den Berg, who was the first to win the Charlotte van Pallandt prize for sculpture. van Pallandt is a classic sculptor and a great technician, but besides her fantastic technique, i always get the same feeling when i see her sculptures. I am a little bored. Great for a first look , but when studied for a longer time i loose interest where as the sculptures by Eja Siepman van den Berg grow on you and with every possible angle and lighting the sculpture shows itself differently and fascinates. Better judge for yourself…..On the left a van Pallandt portrait , on the right ” stapje” . by Eja Siepman van den Berg.

One exception… the statue by van Pallandt of the former Queen Wilhelmina…almost abstract in its approach, but the outline and posture are certainly that of Wilhelmina. See it from a distance and it is an abstract blur, come closer and it is Queen Wilhelmina determined to lead a small country.

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www.ftn-books.com has some publications on van Pallandt available including the mentioned Stedelijk Museum catalogue.

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Larry Bell (1939)

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The last day in this cycle of blogs on Forgotten artists. The 5th blog is devoted to Larry Bell. I was in doubt if he really is forgotten, but concluded that at least in Europe he is forgotten. Where he had an initial important exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1968, for which Wim Crouwel designed the catalogue his name never showed up again in the Netherlands for participating in an exhibition ……but on the other side of the ocean it was different and his fame rose in the US from the early Seventies until now. The cubes he has made are magical and are a long time element in his oeuvre.  This is what he says on his site on his Cubes.

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CUBES

Larry Bell became interested in glass in the early 1960s. As a medium, it had three properties that interested: it could transmit, absorb and reflect light, and with specific treatment, it could do all three at the same time. He found the cube to be an ideal form with which to investigate the phenomena of light on surface. The first cubes were made using household mirrors from which he would scratch away parts of the reflective material. Later he discovered a plating process that would make the glass reflective on both sides. With the early cubes, he incorporated geometric imagery, including the ellipse, adding visual complexity and depth to the simple forms. Eventually he eliminated the imagery. With a technology that deposited exquisitely thin films of various metallic and non-metallic substances to the glass. The resulting visual spectrum of colors is in fact light reflected in different wavelengths off the surface of the glass. Bell has continued to revisit the cubes throughout his career.

To end : there is a discount code on every purchase of 10% for the readers of this blog.

use: forgotten10    and you will receive the discount on your order/ valid until the 30th of June 2018

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Willem Hussem and Carel Visser … an (unusual) cooperation

Thursday is bookmarket day and sometimes you are lucky and you encounter a rare publication. Last Thursday there was one. I found an extremely nice publication published by Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof in Delft on the occasion of a WillMe Hussem Carel Visser exhibition. My guess it must have been in 1967 because an inlay with actual prices of the works in the exhibition s included with the mention that the works are from 1966-1967.

Willem Hussem died in 1974 and the works that are included were probably from his best years. Carel Visser started at that time his career and stayed true to iron, the material he kept using for all the decades to come. Both these artists became famous in their own way. The Delft catalogue has a simple layout, where the first  part is used to cite some of the Haiku’s Willem Hussem used to write in those years. The second part is for Carel Visser’s works. I tried to find another copy on the internet, but could not find one. Conclusion www.ftn-books.com is probably the only internet store that has this rare title available

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Arthur Spronken (1930- 2018)

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A few weeks ago Arthur Spronken died, Famous in the South of the Netherlands with his horse sculptures. He has become each decade of more importance for the dutch sculpture scene. His statues are widely spread in public spaces in Limburg and because of their size in most cases outside.

What do i think of Spronken as a sculptor and his sculptures. To me they look like classic sculptures , influenced by the “classic” Chinese Tang hors ceramic horses. Their legs in most cases missing , leaving a muscular torso of the horse and in most cases there is “action and mouvement ” in the torso.

A little like the technique the futurists used to use within their paintings, suggesting a mouvement. After his initial fame in Limburg, his sculptures spread over the Netherlands. Making sculptures in public places in towns like Amsterdam, Haarlem and Zwolle. I respect his craftsmanship but his sculptures never fascinated me enough to buy a small one for my collection,. They come up for auction regularly and their prices are still on the verge of affordable. His sculptures are nice to look at and they draw your attention immediately when you encounter them, but for me the do not intrigue long enough to collect them.

Arthur Spronken has had some important exhibitions in the Netherlands. Among them Beelden Aan Zee and the Frans Hals Museum and www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles on the sculptor Arthur Spronken. What i personally like about Spronken is the catalogue which was made for the van Bohemen/Spronken Stedelijk Museum exhibition in 1968. A designed catalogue by Wim Crouwel.

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Olle Baertling (1911-1981), in search of the Open Form

Baertling is hardly known outside Scandinavia. He had the occasional exhibition in Switzerland at the von Barth gallery ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com) but that’s it, but look at auction results from the last decade of Baertling paintings and you will notice that prices are on the rise and not only because there is a raised interest in his works from Sweden. After the large Retrospective exhibition in the Moderna Museet, people began to notice his works and appreciate them.

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They recognized in them the link between Modern constructivist art and architecture. This is what i noticed myself when i first encountered a book on Baertling 2 years ago. This is not an artist for the masses, but see one of his paintings or sculptures and you certainly will be impressed. This is constructivist art in “optima forma” with a highly personal approach. Impressive and his sculptures of thin materials seems to vanish in the air. Not being there, but at the same time present.

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In memory of 
Olle Bærtling
There is one Swedish artist who has made an entirely original contribution to the art of our time, comparable with the foremost masters of modern art history, and that is Olle Bærtling. It is all too easy to use presumptuous words on a matter like this. And yet, I wish to maintain that Bærtling, with his ‘open form’ and his ‘two-dimensional sculptures’, is the only Swede-besides Viking Eggeling, whose achievement came to a stop at its very beginning-who has added something unique to the store of forms available to art. His work of the last three decades has an innovative quality and an international range which may be compared – mutatis mutandis – with the finest achievements of scholarly research. It is not by chance that his works have found a place in many universities around the world.
 
Gunnar Berefelt 
Doctor of Philosophy, Professor emeritus of the History of Art at the University of Stockholm
Here is what Baertling had to say on his approach of OPEN FORM
“Invisible wealth is to be found in open form. 

It radiates a compressed concentration of highly-charged power that is transformed with suggestive radiant force into infinite space in strong dynamics and unknown dimensions. Art at its most sublime is a hymn of praise to creation, an invisible but ever-present force. 
A sense of the infinite, a flight to an invisible destination. 
A positive change of man’s inner life, a realization of his world of ideas. An intellectualization, a visualization of the positive source of creative power, a visualization of its ethereal beauty.”

Olle Bærtling

baertling

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Mark Prent (1947)

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Yesterday, Polish born artist Mark Prent contacted me about the Stedelijk Museum catalogue i have for sale on his exhibition in 1978. A never had studied the catalogue in detail before. But is a “dark’ catalogue which reflects the work of Prent in an excellent way. His works are “dark”

have a look at www.markprent.com and see for yourself what i mean

Mark Prent works consist of life-moulded mixed media, polyester resin and fiberglass casts of human models in sometimes disturbing poses and juxpositions. Mark Prent has consistently maintained throughout the years, that his sculptures and installations do not carry intentional messages. Despite the powerfully grotesque imagery that he has employed, interpretation is left to the viewer. Prent developed his own unique technique of layering to give a heightened realism to his figures; thus giving rise to the label “Extended Realism”. When he later became concerned about the toxicity of polyester resin, he began to experiment with other materials, developing innovative techniques for recreating that trademark quality of virulent realism. This venture into new materials led him in many new directions in his own work and ultimately, to become a technical resource for other artists as well.

Having followed his education in the US and exhibitions in Amsterdam , Berlin and Montreal his works are known all over the world, but because of their “Dark” nature never have become popular.

In 2005 Prent began a new series of video-taped performance pieces in collaboration with videographer/son Jesse Real Prent. In this series, Prent’s own body becomes a living, interacting component of his nightmarish scenarios. He continues to produce new sculptures in his Vermont studio. www.ftn-books.com  has the Stedelijk Museum Mark Prent catalogue available.

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Yayoi Kusama… a zero artist

Kusama stands for me as “ZERO”.

Being one of the first to have participated as a Zero artist Dancing together with Jan Schoonhoven (in the nude)

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and after that building an oeuvre on just one pattern…the Polka dot.

i love these artist that stay true to their belief. Kusama is not the only one. Leblanc, Peeters and Schoonhoven ,all from this generation , stayed true to their art ” inventions” developing it into something very perosmnal , recognizable and in many cases a beautiful and impressive work of art.

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Kusama participated in the first ZERO/Nul exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum, but beside that she had her Retrospektives held all over the world including the Tate Modern where a large rRetrospektive was held in 2012. Now she has turned into a grand old lady of  Contemporary Art and perhaps together with Louise Bourgeois  and Georgia O’Keefe she has given a feminine touch to Modern Art. www.ftn-books.com holds some excellent Kusama titles in its inventory.

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Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

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Here si a classic sculptor who paved the way for modern sculpture. You just have to visit the Rodin museum in Paris to find the most beautiful Rodin sculptures all assembled into one place and find the “studies” among them. Look at them closely …travel in time some 50 years ahead and find parts of Henri Moore and Brancusi in them. Rodin was a genius and the dutch are lucky to have some great Rodin sculptures in public collections. There are statues in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Stedelijk Museum and there are 7 sculptures by Rodin collected by Mr. and Mrs Singer which are frequently on show at the Singer Museum in Laren. The most important one is a smaller sized “THINKER” statue.

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Beside the statues , Rodin made some very impressive  (erotic) watercolors. Studies of bodies which also have an abstract quality.

Rodin erotic

There are publications on Rodin available at www.ftn-books.com

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Richard Long (1945)

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Hamish Fulton and Richard Long…. Two artist who i learned to appreciate in the time that Rudi Fuchs was director at the Gemeentemuseum. Long was nominated 4 times for the prestigious Turner price , but only won it once in 1989 for White Water Line.

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Since i first saw works and publications i have seen Richard Long his works on many occasions and one of the most recent ones was at the Guggenheim Bilbao museum. Each time the lines, circles and labyrinths look random, but this is not true. The placement of the stones and paint is strict and makes it free whitin the object , but it has very strict boundaries making it perfectly shaped. The way each work is created is described and laid down in drawings i a way that each work can be re-cretaed at any other place than it was first was created. It is somewhat the saem as with the walldrawings by Sol LeWitt who uses the same method . The art work is the sketch/drawing and materials and can be re-created anywhere as long as you have the original drawing belonging to the work.

What makes Richard Long stand out from other contemporary artists is that many of his publications are also artist books which hold beside the works, photography and word “sculptures” by Long and www.ftn-books.com has some of these titles available.