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Cesar Manrique (1919-1992)

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Because i encountered a nice publication on this obscure painter , i decided to write a blog on the artist. The main part of this text comes fromT the Cesar Manrique devoted site. They did an excellent job in making more information available on Manrique

César Manrique Cabrera was born on April 24,1919 in Puerto Naos, Arrecife (Lanzarote), the son of Francisca y Gumersindo. His father was a food merchant and his grandfather a notary public. César preceded his twin sister Amparo by just a few minutes. He had another sister and brother all of whom are alive today. Don Gumersindo came from Fuerteventura of good family background and emigrated to Lanzarote.

The Manriques constituted a typical middle class family, without financial burdens. In 1934, his father bought a lot in Caleta de Famara and built a house next to the ocean. This house left a visible impression that lasted his lifetime, he remembered with joy:” My greatest happiness is to recall a happy childhood,five month summer vacationsin the Caleta and the Famara beach, with its eight kilometers of clean and fine sand framed by cliffs of more than four hundred meters high that reflected on the beach like in a mirror. That image has been engraved in my soul as something of extraordinary beauty that I will never forget in all of my life.”

He participated as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War on Franco’s side. His experience of the war was atrocious and he refused to talk about it. In the summer of 1939, once the war was over, César returned to Arrecife. He returned still wearing his military uniform. After greeting his mother and siblings, he went up on the flat roof, took off his clothes, agrily stepped over them, sprayed them with petroleun and burned them.

At the end of the Spanish Civil War, he entered the La Laguna University to study Technical Architecture, which he would abandon after two years. In 1945 he travels to Madrid and enters with a scholarship, to the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where he would graduate as Art Professor and painter.

In the Fall of 1964, following the advise of his cousin Manuel Manrique, a New York Psychoanalyst and writer, Cesar traveled to that city where he stayed until the summer of 1966. He was the guest of Waldo Diaz-Balart, a Cuban painter, who lived in the Lower East Side, at the time, a neighborhood of artists, journalists, writers, and bohemians. Later he was able to obtain through his cousin Manuel’s friendship with the Director of the Institute of International Education, which was sponsored by Nelson Rockefeller. a generous grant which allowed him to rent his own studio and produce a number of paintings which he exhibited with success in the prestigious New York gallery “Catherine Viviano” .
While in New York, he would write his friend Pepe Dámaso “(…) more than ever I feel true nostalgia for the real meaning of things. For the pureness of the people. For the bareness of my landscape, and for my friends (…) My last conclusion is that MAN in N.Y. is like a rat. Man was not created for this artificiality. There is an imperative need to go back to the soil. Feel it, smell it. That’s what I feel.” He began to feel nostalgia for Lanzarote.

” When I returned from New York, I came with the intention of turning my native island into one of the more beautiful places in the planet, due to the endless possibilities that Lanzarote had to offer. ” .

And this is the present reality: It is impossible to imagine Lanzarote as it stands today without César Manrique. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, ecologist, monument preserver, construction advisor, planner of urban developments, outliner of landscapes and gardens.

Those who knew Manrique only superficially ignored the load of puritanism that ruled his conduct. Manrique was really a frugal man, he didn’t drink, didn’t smoke and didn’t allow others to smoke next to him, he regularly went to bed very early and got up at dawn, and began work in his studio very early.

He died at the age of 73 in a tragic car accident, on the 25 of September 1992, next to the Fundacion, near Arrecife. The irony of fate had it that he would encounter death in a car accident, as he loathed the massive amount of vehicles

www.ftn-books.com has the best publication on Cesar Manrique now available.

 

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Ernst Barlach (1870-1938)

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Barlach died just before the outbreak of WWII.  Kathe Kollwitz was about the same age and both were heavily influenced by the events of WWI. This war made an impression on both artists and many of their statues and sculptures  reminders of this war.

Wood was the material with which Barlach preferred to work and it has taken a very long time that his works received the appreciation they rightfully deserved to get. In the Netherlands only one exhibition was held. It was held at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in 1961. Personally i did not take notice of this exhibition until last week when i found the catalogue.  I discovered it at the local Bookmarket and thought it had a beautiful design….yes designed by Benno Wissing and the design of the catalogue emphasized the qualities of barlach’s sculptures. The catalogue is nowavailable at www.ftn-books.com and for those visiting the Hamburg region, There are 2 Barlach museums in the region. One in Wedel and one in Ratzeburg.

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Albert Van Der Weide ( 1949 )

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A good way to start the New Year.

ALLE MACHT AAN DE KUNST

A happy and healthy 2020

 The art item ” ALLE MACHT AAN DE KUNST ” ( all power to art ) is available at www.ftn-books.com

weide macht

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Armando exhibition until the 26th of January 2020

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For those living in the Netherlands, there is a great Armando exhibition until the 26th of January 2020 in Museum Flehite /Amersfoort

https://museumflehite.nl/tentoonstellingen/146365184/armando-in-amersfoort

And for all collecting Armando publications….. i just added a collection of Armando books of which some are signed by the artist. Now available at www.ftn-books.com

 

 

 

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A classic Christmas Card by Bill Hurtz, ca. 1940

This year a classic Christmas Card for all blog readers. It is a card by one of Walt Disney’s 1940 studio employees…Bill Hurtz. he made a true Disney “classic” with this card.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS,

wilfried

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Frank Mandersloot (1960)

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Frank Mandersloot is still one of the great sculptors in the Netherlands . Piules of furniture, draperies seemingly random placed, but always making curious and interacting with the space in which it is placed.

Educated in Den Bosch he nowadays is a valued teacher at the Rietveld Academy. For me the Frank Mandersloot catalogue is one of the best the Museum Boymans van Beuningen has published in the Nineties. Designed by 8vo from London it is a highlight among their publications. The catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Sérgio Camargo (1930-1990)

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Camargo was an almost forgotten sculptor until there was a sudden raise of interest in Brazilian art in the Nineties. This meant that his works were considered to be important for the development in Modern Art and sculpture in Brasil. When you look at the studio pictures in the books that is for sale at www.ftn-books.com, you will soon conclude that Camargo was inspired by Brancusi and Chillida, but still there is so much of his own .

Where Brancusi was inspired by nature, Camargo is much more inspired by the minimal forms. It has been over 20 years now that the last show took place in Europe. Time again to present Camargo again and put his works into context with European and minimal sculptors.

The Nineties catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

camargo

 

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Adriaan Rees (1957)

One of the most astonishing and surprising books i came across during my search for art books in the last year is certainly this Adriaan Rees book. Published in english and chinese. Containing cut outs, double pages , velvet cover this is a true artist book. Central theme within the book is the sculpture SCREAMING IN A BUCKET . Adriaan Rees is an exceptional sculptor in many ways.  Here is the text he wrote on himself and published it on his site.

EXPLORING WANDERER

Adriaan Rees (1957, Amsterdam) lives and works in China and Amsterdam. Rees is famous for his large-scale projects and assignments for public space. He makes sculptures and installations in many materials such as ceramics, bronze, glass, textiles, plaster and stone. He also works with photography and video.

When he works with clay, traces of his hands and the use of extreme power can easily be seen at the surface. He is approaching his sculptures almost as a landscape or a human body, sometimes in a sensual, sometimes in a brutal way. He is an artist who is not predictable, someone who always surprises with new ideas and approaches, a cosmopolitan artist.

Exploring wanderer, 2015

From 2000 Rees increasingly travelled to Asia, specifically to Japan, Korea and China. He is intensely affected by these cultures and settled in Jingdezhen, China where he works in his own studio among the thousands of craftsmen locally.

Tradition and innovation, humor and seriousness, monumentality and intimacy, vulnerable and tough, traditional and contemporary, religion and war, fantasy and reality. All this you can find in his sculptures: it is a dialogue between cultural traditions like Europe and Asia.

His work can be found in collections around the world, in museums, private collections and in public space. Rees teaches in The Netherlands, Germany, Finland, USA, Japan and China and frequently gives lectures about his own work, art and art in public space.

He also works as an art advisor and curator. Since 2008 he is the initiator and project leader for the Exchange project 400 years Delft – Jingdezhen. This project brings artists, designers, archaeologists and museums from both cities together. Famous are the Blue Revolution shows in museums in Delft (NL) and Jingdezhen and Donguan (CHN). The shows attracted more than 40.000 visitors in Delft, more than 80.000 in Jingdezhen and more than 200.000 in Donguan.

Rees was the curator of these shows.

The Adriaan Rees book is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Geoffrey Dashwood (1947)

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I had never seen a sculpture by Geoffrey Dashwood before until i saw in an art magazine one of the super birds by Dashwood. At least 4 times as big as a human being and oh so impressive. I must say the sculptures remind me of the ones made in the Netherlands around the 20’s in last century. Specially the bird sculptures by Mendes da Costa have the same way of simplifying as Dashwood does.

But i can understand the attraction of these beautiful sculptures. They are likable and at the same time they have a true artistic quality. By no means these are cheap, affordable sculptures. Since the book that www.ftn-books.com has for sale includes the price list from the Sladmore gallery in 2005. Price range between 5000 and 50.000 ( monumental owl) British Pounds. But certrainly do not hesitate to visit a n exhibition when it is held nearby.

 

dashwood

Here is the biography from the Dashwood official site

Geoffrey Dashwood was born in Hampshire, England in 1947. At the age of fifteen he won a scholarship to study fine art at Southampton College of Art, but left after a brief period, preferring to study directly from nature.

He worked in varied occupations to support himself and experimented in various art mediums and techniques in his spare time. His last employment was with the Forestry Commission where he was engaged as a keeper in the New Forest. He also became the unofficial artist in residence for his employers. Dashwood left the Forestry Commission in his mid-twenties to pursue a freelance career in art and he soon received commissions for illustrations and design work, whilst concurrently drawing and painting independently.

In the 1980s Dashwood discovered a gift and a passion for sculpture. His earliest works were small, highly realistic studies in the mainstream of traditional English wildlife art and comparable in style to the famous 19th century French Animalier School of Sculpture. Although these early works brought him commercial success, he became increasingly dissatisfied with the constraints of realism and the lack of personal expression the genre afforded him.

Dashwood started to experiment with larger life-size and monumental works and began to eliminate all superfluous details, creating boldly modeled pieces. He refined his sculptures to attain smooth, tactile, pure forms, further enhanced in bronze by the application of coloured and multi-coloured patinas. In these sculptures he combined his own aesthetic ideals, establishing a distinctive style which is now internationally recognised as being quintessentially Dashwood. His affinity for and empathy with birds and his unique ability to express these emotions to others through his sculpture is undisputed. Dashwood’s work is exhibited and collected worldwide.

 

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Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881-1919)

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A sculptor, not that very well known outside Germany, but a sculptor who nevertheless has its own museum. The Wilhelm Lehmbruck museum in Duisburg has a nice collection, but the Lehmbruck name is kept alive by practically all large museums in Germany.

Personally i do not know the fascination , because in my opinion Lehmbruck has not freed himself of making classical sculptures. He did not make the full transition into modern sculpture as for instance Giacometti did. Perhaps this is explained from the short life he had and he did not have the time to develop himself completely. If you look at that way, Lehmbruck took the first steps into modern sculpture but never had the time to complete his ideas on modern sculpture. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Lehmbruck publications available.