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Michel Seuphor (1901-1999)

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Michel Seuphor…wrote a monumental biography on Piet Mondriaan and is one of the great names in constructivist art by himself. In the twenties he became friends with Joaquin Torres Garcia. For me their works are worlds apart from each other but somehow they became friends and started the artist mouvement CERCLE ET CARRE.

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the Netherland was not too far away for Seuphor …the result he had his exhibitions at galleries and museum in the Netherlands. Specially DEN HAAG was a well now city for him. He spent much time at the Gemeentemuseum to study Mondrian for his biography on this famous dutch abstract painter and ….he had an exhibition of his own at the Gemeentemuseum, soon followed with a gallery exhibition at the Nouvelles Images gallery ( closed now) . Both catalogues and a print by Seuphor are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Floris Arntzenius (1864-1925)

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Floris Arntzenius is one of those painters who can be called a dutch impressionist. His touch is not as sunny as the French impressionists, but more subdued and influenced by weather and seasons in the Netherlands, making his paintings less bright and cheerfull. Still his depicting of daily life and townscapes makes his work of a rare quality. His painting can be compared with that of Jan Toorop, but where Toorop changed his style for several times during his life, Arntzenius stayed true to classic dutch impressionist scenes.

left Arntzenius / right Toorop

 

The Gemeentmuseum Den Haag has some very nice Arntzenius paintings in its collection and has published several catalogues over the years of which some are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Henry Moore (1898-1986)

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There has always been a fascination for Henry Moore and his works by the dutch. Since the beginning of his career he has had exhibitions at all the major museums in the Netherlands, which resuklted in purchses by museums and privste collectors. One of the last collectors to add a major work by Moore was Joop Caldenborgh who added a very large bronze sculpture by the artist. It was one of the last sculptures he added to his collection before he build the Voorlinden museum.

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My guess is that eventually his majestic sculpture garden including the Moore and Sol LeWiit sculptures, will be integrated with the Museum Voorlinden.

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I love the large Henry Moore that is outside the Schamhart building at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and learned to truly love this one , because it was my outside view at the Gemeentemuseum when i had my office over there. Later i moved to the offices at the Museum of education and had the complete Berlage building as my view, but the office with the Henry Moore in front and a Rijsselberghe painting in our room was a great place to work.

Since there is a long history of Henry Moore exhibitions in the Netherlands , i have collected many important Henry Moore catalogues of which the Stedelijk Museum one stands out since this one is designed by Willem Sandberg.

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Peter Struycken ..a leporello of 212 inches

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It is certainly the longest of all leporello items i have in my inventory and perhaps it is one of the longest ever published.

Splash was published on the occasion of the Sikkens price which was presented to Peter Struycken in 1974. On this price winning occasions, Sikkens provides for the funds to have a special publication published on the artist and Struycken made/designed this special Leporello. The leporello is available at www.ftn-books.com

Artist/ Author:  Peter Struycken

Title : Splash / Plons 1972 / 1974

Publisher: Sikkens, 1974

Number of pages:  96 pages plus cover + leperello of 212 inches  !!!!

Text / Language:  dutch and englsih

Measurements: 8.2 x 8.2  inches

Condition: nm+ for the leperello and nm for the sleeve

extra information on this item:
Rare , important and collectible . This Sikkens publication is one of the most important Struycken  publications. a true artist book and highly recommended

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Jan Gregoor (1914-1982)

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Jan Gregoor, became “famous” in the Netherlands for his crayon works, but for me it is not his art that makes the artist attractive. It is typical for the decades he lived and worked in, but what struck me most about Gregoor was the EXCELLENT exhibition poster that was made by the van Abbemuseum for an exhibition on the artist and designed by Cornet. It has the simplicity of the greatest of 60’s designs and for me personally i think this is absolutely one of the most splendid of all van Abbemuseum posters ( available at www.ftn-books.com).

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I just told that i am not that fond of Gregoor, but still he has made some excellent prints., which are worthwile to search for.

gregoor shop

 

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Saul Steinberg (1914-1999)

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….and now for the other Steinberg…SAUL STEINBERG.

First i must say that writing a blog on Steinberg, can not do justice to the excellent site , which the Steinberg foundation has constructed on the life, times and art of Saul Steinberg. You can visit the site at : http://saulsteinbergfoundation.org

But some personal notes on the artist. Saul Steinberg is a very well known artist in Europe. He had his exhibitions at the Maeght galleries in the Sixties and Seventies and both the Stedelijk Museum and the Boymans van Beuningen museum in the Netherlands organized exhibitions on the artist. In the beginning i always had considered Steinberg to be an illustrator and not the artist he later became to me. Later i realized to look at his art in a way that his drawings were meant to be seen. A citation from his site makes this clear :

Saul Steinberg defined drawing as “a way of reasoning on paper,” and he remained committed to the act of drawing. Throughout his long career, he used drawing to think about the semantics of art, reconfiguring stylistic signs into a new language suited to the fabricated temper of modern life. Sometimes with affection, sometimes with irony, but always with virtuoso mastery, Saul Steinberg peeled back the carefully wrought masks of 20th-century civilization.

This is an artist to be discovered by a far larger audience. At this moment i think he is the lesser of both Steinberg’s  i recently wrote a blog on, but perhaps time will prove me wrong and i will think of his art just the way around in a few years. www.ftn-books.com has some nice and rare Saul Steinberg publications available.

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Robert Ryman (1930-2019)

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One of the greats in Abstract Modern Painting died at the age of 88 on the 8th of February 2019. White was his “color” and he painted on every material with his “white”. Impressed by the Rothko paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he was working as a museum guard, he started to paint himself and finding in the process the strength of “white” when used as the only color in his paintings. This approach made him famous within a period of 5 years. After these initial years he had had his first gallery exhibitions and soon after his his first major exhibition at the Guggenheim museum. Rymans paintings are highly recognizable abstract paintings and can be seen as the link between abstract expressionism and minimalism ( btw. Sol LeWitt also started his career as a museum guard). We are lucky to have al large collection of his paintings iin the Netherlands since the Stedelijk Museum started collecting his paintings from the very first years of his career. The result an impressive 11 paintings from all periods of his artistic life. Robert Ryman publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Holland in Vorm 1987

I remember it well. It was the first time i met with Jan van Capellen, the responsible person who had the same  function at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum as i had with the Gemeentemuseum at that time and we carried box after box with one of the heaviest catalogues ever produced by the combined (important) dutch museums. Within the project the Stedelijk Museum, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Arnhem Gemeentemuseum, Museum Boymans van Beuningen and Centraal Museum Utrecht all participated and all had a different approach and subject on dutch design. The overall design of posters and catalogues was executed by Anthon Beeke and Swip Stolk. Unfortunately the catalogue was at that time not the success the museums had hoped it would be , but now…. over 30 years later, it is a sought after collectable catalogue. One that inspires and was at the start of the dutch design mouvement which is now collected all over the world. Catalogue and exhibition posters are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jean Gorin (1899-1981)

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It took me almost 20 years to first see an actual work by Jean Gorin. I knoe if his great catalogue which was designed by Wim Crouwel for the 1967 Gorin exhibition. But at that time i was far too young to appreciate art in general, but since i took an interest in art, i took an interest in constructivist art and certainly Gorin is one of the great artists when you look and take in consider the reliefs produced by the other artist from his generation.

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He was a French neoplastic painter and constructive sculptor. He was a disciple of Piet Mondrian, and remained true to the concept of rigid geometricism and use of primary colors, but pushed the limits of neoplasticism by introducing circles and diagonals. He was known for his three-dimensional reliefs. His art developed along the same line as the art of Cesar Domela developed , resulting in complex reliefs that are now collected and appreciated worldwide. His appeal is still growing and personally i think his art is far better than the works Cesar Domela produced in the same period of his life.

I have to devote some special text on this publication, since the Crouwel designed catalogue is very special. It has the typical 60’s Crouwel dimensions, but what makes this one special is the embossed /relief printed cober, making this one, one of the very special Stedelijk Museum 60’s catalogues. Other titles are available too at www.ftn-books.com

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Barry Flanagan (1941-2009)

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Barry Flanagan, a protege of Rudi Fuchs, presented this artist at different venues on several occasions. The van Abbemuseum and the Stedelijk Museum among them. This way creating a platform for this artist who, after the exhibitions in dutch museums , could count on a loyal following of admirers. He began his career as a minimalist working in folded cloth, but later became Britain’s best-known and most controversial modernist, internationally renowned for his colossal bronze figures of leaping hares.

That said i personally am impressed with his small scale art. His drawings, linocuts and lithographs are like dreamlike landscapes with an abstract twist and bright colors, making these far more intimate. For us in the Netherlands it is still hard to find the nice publications published on this artist, because the edition size was on all occasions “small”. Less than 1000 copies were produced of his catalogue of which most part was over the years destroyed. His following may be loyal and admiring, but it is too small too sell a complete edition of his art catalogues. www.ftn-books.com has some Flanagan titles available.