Posted on

Ewerdt Hilgemann (1938)

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-07-04 om 12.19.28

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.

 

Posted on

Alice Aycock (1946)

1983, Just 3 years after i started my career at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, the museum made an exhibition with Alice Aycock. Within the Schamhart buidling the complete floor was covered with large kinetic sculptures by Aycock and at that time i could not appreciate them at all. Now 35 year later i wished i had the same knowledge at that time that i have know, because recently i leafed through the catalogue and it struck met that these works were not only great in dimensions, but even after 35 years fascinating. Where Tinguely made his kinetic sculptures in the Sixties. Aycock made them in much more modern and industrialized/high tech versions in the Eighties and after. Alice Aycock has received international fame with her sculptures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What remains to me is a wonderful catalogue ( available at www.ftn-books.com) and the memory of meeting a great artist and beautiful woman back in 1983.

To give an impression of her more recent works here is a video on her 2010 presentation:

Posted on

Jan Sobecki /Tribeca at Heeze…an artist on his own

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-16 om 09.30.11

The art world will probably not know about Jan Sobecki and his Tribeca Restaurant in Heeze, but the culinary world does certainly know Jan Sobecki. After starting his career at Chapeau and Boreas restaurants, he finally has a place of his own for 2 years now in Heeze. The former restaurant of Nico Boreas was turned into the TRIBECA restaurant run by Jan Sobecki and his wife Claudia. Why a blog on this restaurant and not a blog on art like always. Two reasons. The first is to commemorate that the day before yesterday it was Linda’s birthday and we visited Tribeca restaurant for lunch to celebrate and secondly, although there is no art in the TRIBECA restaurant on the walls, to show that there is a strong connection and influence of all kinds of art on the plates that Tribeca serves. The first thing we noticed were the similarities between the sculpture LA MUSE ENDORMIE by Brancusi and the little plate with butter which was served.

I had the very strong impression that this great chef is inspired by art. Not the taste of course ( which is by the way exquisite), but the plates look all like small pieces of art and go way beyond the regular way in making up a plate. another example is the “amuse” of mackerel which reminded me of a very small painting by Fiona Rae which is available at www.ftn-books.com.

I only know of one other chef in the Netherlands who still draws his inspiration from art and that is Jannis Brevet from the Inter Scaldes restaurant who matches his courses with the paintings he has hanging on the wall.

Of both, Sobecki is my favorite. Not just because i think the service at the table was far better and relaxed than at Inter Scaldes, but because he focusses on his beautiful and very impressive tasting menus and wine pairing in a way that i am convinced that in the long run he proves to be the better chef…..go there, admire and enjoy Sobecki’s  art on a plate and the “art” of Jan Sobecki will convince you that there is certainly (culinary) ART in his Tribeca restaurant.

Posted on

Giacomo Manzu (1908-1991)

My first impression was that Manzu is the illegitimate brother of Monsieur Hulot ( Jacques Tati). On the left there is Manzu and on the right Monsieur Hulot… there is certainly a resemblance.

But nothing of this, Giacomo Manzu  ( Giacomo Manzoni) is a typical Fifties Italian sculptor. A sculptor who had his conflicts with the fascist government but spent the Forties and early Fifties at teaching positions all over Italy . His latest being one in Brera and Torino ,after which he moved to Salzburg where he married his wife who was modeling for him.

Schermafbeelding 2018-06-11 om 15.21.41

His works are in the most prestigious museum and private collections. Although he was an atheist,] he was a personal friend of Pope John XXIII and had important liturgical commissions for the Vatican. In the United States, architect Minoru Yamasaki commissioned him the Passo di Danza (dance step) sculpture at the One Woodward Avenue building in Detroit. He also carved the Nymph and Faun at Wayne State University’s McGreagor Memorial Sculpture Garden. www.ftn-books.com has some rare Manzu publications available.

Posted on

Gijs Bakker … a dutch design genius

Schermafbeelding 2018-06-07 om 14.35.35

https://www.nowness.com/series/on-design/on-design-gijs-bakker

Most of us have some a little knowledge of the designs by Gijs Bakker, because Bakker designed many “objects to use ” for the HEMA company. An excellent example is his dishmop in bright and happy colors.

Schermafbeelding 2018-06-07 om 14.38.54

This is just a small example of the many products Bakker designed and made with his designs a beautiful design product available to many at a reasonable price. Furniture, jewelry, books, posters and kitchenware all items that at one time were designed by Gijs bakker. 010 publishers published an excellent monography on Bakker. Title : OBJECTS TO USE ..This book is still available at www.ftn-books.com.

Posted on

Heringa / van Kalsbeek at DE FUNDATIE

The first time i saw these sculptures by Heringa / van Kalsbeek was at the time i was still working at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

Schermafbeelding 2018-06-05 om 16.25.18

It was 1999 and i was impressed. These resin sculptures looked almost accidental. But they are far from it. These sculptures are created by guidance and when finished they have shape, form, volume and color thought out by the artists. Since 1999 they have had their installations shown in many venues. One of them was the DE FUNDATIE in 2006 which catalogue is now available at www.ftn-books.com.

heringa

Heringa /van Kalsbeek are important contemporary artists and are included in the dutch series of portraits on dutch modern art ” HOLLANDSE MEESTERS”

Posted on

Robert Jacobsen at Galerie Asbaek / 1976

jacobsen asbaek a

The year 1976. The exhibition …Robert Jacobsen at gallery Asbaek. This catalogue i found some weeks ago and knew instantly that this was one of the most important Jacobsen catalogues. Only a few color illustration, the rest black and white, but all the works powerfull and form his most important periods. The portrait shows a happy and confident artist who knows that his works are important.

jacobsen asbaek b

jacobsen asbaek c

jacobsen asbaek d

The catalogue itself has . Plain cartonboard cover with the initials of Robert Jacobsen printed upon. A weak black paper spine completes this simple but effective and highly important little book which is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com  together with some other Jacobsen publications.

Posted on

Memphis…no not the city in the US!

memphis veur

This is a blog on Memphis as a design and art form. Memphis was born in 1982 in Italy in Milano and founded by ao Ettore Sottsass. They designed Postmodern furniture, fabrics, ceramics, glass, and metal objects from 1981 to 1988. and were of great influence to many designers started their careers in those days. The design ideas by Memphis spread all over the world and culminated possibly in one building ….the Groninger Museum. Memphis designs are known for us dutch by one gallery shop in Den Haag who presented all these artists and had many specials an limited editions from the Memphis group. The COPI shop in the Prinsenstraat / Den Haag does not exist any longer but ask any dutch collector interested in Memphis, they know the name for sure. Because of the blog i finally know the origin of the name and found it on Wikipedia and want to share this information with you:

On December 11, 1980, Ettore Sottsass organized a meeting with designers, and in 1981 formed a design collaborative named Memphis. The name was taken after the Bob Dylan song “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” which had been played repeatedly throughout the evening’s meeting. They drew inspiration from such movements as Art Deco and Pop Art, including styles such as the 1950s Kitsch and futuristic themes. available at www.ftn-books.com are the following Memphis publications.

 

 

Posted on

Kenneth Martin (1905-1984)

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-30 om 11.50.13

Kenneth Martin was for me one of the grand old masters of Constructivism. Outside England hardly known, but considered by many of great influence and importance. His best works for me are his prints in which he excels. His wife Mary was a gifted artist too and from both www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications. I only know of one exhibition outside Great Britain, which is the Bottrop exhibition but when you see one announced , i strongly recommend a visit to discover yourself the importance of Kenneth Martin.

 

Posted on

Ossip, Winter and Chezhin

There different artists, 3 different backgrounds, 3 different era’s, but somehow their works have a resemblance with each other. The source is with all three an old photographs, which is worked over in a way the scene becomes surreal.

Above are some of the examples i found in my inventory of www.ftn-books.com , which has pubications of all three artists available.

From left to right: Ossip, Julie Winter and right Chezhin.

Chronologically and artistically there is for me no doubt who is the most original of these three……by far it is my friend OSSIP, who’s art is still developing . His “sculptures”are literally on the move nowadays.