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Helmut Dirnaichner (1942)

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Abstract and Konkret. These elements define the works of Helmut Dirnaichner.

A life filled with abstract art of the highest quality, but the people that have heard of Dirnaichner are not too many. His name is hardly known among art lovers, but his works deserve to be known better. I personally make the comparison with the Belgium Marte Wery, who , during her life was only known by a few art lovers outside Belgium, but nowadays her importance is growing and she is recognized as one of the greatest from the last 50 years.

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Dirnaichner will have possibly the same status in the future. His art is original , colorful and Contemporary, making these works fashionable even if they are 30 years of age.

www.ftn-books.com has a scarce Dirnaichner publication available.

Dirnaichner

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the Stuyvesant Foundation

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I have a weakness for the Stuyvesant Foundatio. The foundation was founded by Alexander Orlow of Turmac company who had the brilliant idea to bring great art works among his factory workers by placing the art in the middle of the production. This meant that many large sized works were purchased over a period of 30 years. Zero, Cobra en abstract expressionism being the most important among these works.  For most of the collection they had one thing in common. Their size was large and larger, since the works had to be seen by the people who worked a fair distance from them.

The following article appeared in the Telegraph a few days before the first auction was being held. In total there were 3 auctions. Personally i thought the first was exceptional, the second very good and the third was filled with the leftovers. I was lucky to buy one of the best Gerard Verdijk paintings ever in the 2nd auction at AAG. My luck….it is too large for many, so no bids were placed after the initial price set by the auctioneer.

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The cream of one of Europe’s most highly regarded corporate art collections is to be dispersed by Sotheby’s next week in spite of efforts by civil authorities and art experts to preserve it and turn it into a museum. Known as the Peter Stuyvesant collection, it originated in the late 1950’s when Alexander Orlow, managing director of Turmac Tobacco, which made the popular Peter Stuyvesant brand of cigarettes in its factory in Zevenaar, Holland, decided his workforce needed something to cheer them up. “However complicated the operations of a machine may look, it soon becomes monotonous to a factory worker,” he said.

His solution was to buy art – preferably big, colourful abstract paintings – and in 1960 commissioned 13 artists from different European countries to make works on the theme of “joie de vivre” to hang in the factory’s production halls. The experiment was so popular that in the following year he invited William Sandberg, formerly the director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, to expand the collection. Over the next 50 years, the collection grew under the supervision of a series of former Dutch museum directors.

However, in 2000, Turmac was swallowed up by the British American Tobacco Company (BAT), and the art collection renamed the BAT Artventure collection. But there was not to be much in the way of artistic venture in store. In June of 2006 it was announced that the Zevenaar factory would close with the loss of 570 jobs, so that European production could be concentrated in Germany and Poland. That left over 1,400 works in the art collection valued at some 23 million pounds looking for a new home.

Jan de Ruiter, the mayor of Zevenaar, supported by Martijn Sanders, chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the Stedelijk Museum, looked for a way to buy the collection and keep it locally, possibly as a wing of the museum. But “BAT did not really want to make a deal,” said de Ruiter. It went to Sotheby’s instead.

Sotheby’s has a good track record in handling corporate art collections. Back in 1989 it handled the disposal of the British Rail Pension Fund collection and the $93 million (£62.5 million) Reader’s Digest collection. Since then we’ve seen a series of high profile sales for IBM, the 7-Eleven photo collection, the HSBC collection of 19th century pictures, not to mention a certain £65 million sculpture by Giacometti from the German Commerzbank last month.

The company clearly sets some store by advising corporations on the acquisition and disposal of art, setting up a department just to deal with that in New York 20 years ago, and another in London last year. Saul Ingram, who runs the London department, says most companies sell to buy new work or channel profits into broader cultural activities. The Stuyesant/BAT collection is different because it was site specific, and without the factory and its workers, its purpose has gone.

Its value, though, is still substantial. The 163 works to be sold by Sotheby’s Amsterdam next week are estimated to fetch between £3.6 million and £4.6 million, with further sales planned in the future. Avant garde European groups from the 50s and 60s such as CoBrA, the abstract expressionist group based around Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, and Zero, the Dusseldorf based group who worked with experimental materials such as fire, nails and papier mache, are to the fore.

The Zero artists, Gunther Uecker and Jan Schoonhoven, who starred at Sotheby’s recent Lenz collection sale last month, are expected to do exceptionally well. A rarity is Lily ou Tony (1965), one of Nicki de St Phalle’s first Nana sculptures that celebrate womanhood. Though fragile, made of tissue and wire mesh, it carries a £180,000 to £270,000 estimate. The most significant example of British art is a 1958 Alan Davie painting that has been undervalued at £27,000 to £36,000.

In addition to the stylish brand name Stuyvesant gave to the world of smoking, it also achieved brand recognition in the art world, especially in Britain, where, during the sixties, the Stuyvesant Foundation sponsored the Whitechapel Gallery’s trendsetting The New Generation exhibition, which included David Hockney and Bridget Riley, and also the talent spotting Young Contemporaries, much of which was immortalised in the Tate Gallery’s Recent British Art show of 1967. The separate collection of British art that was formed by the Stuyvesant Foundation between 1964 and 1967 was eventually sold in the late 1980s and established what were then huge prices for Davie, Riley, and others of that generation. The last sale, held at Bonhams in 1989, was a complete sell out. Next week will see how well the Stuyvesant brand has survived.

http://www.ftn-books.com has nearly all  dutch publications on the Stuyvesant collection available.

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Alberto Burri (1915-1995)

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A blog on Burri since i acquired a very MIce 1961 catalogue by Galerie de France on Burri. Numbered 495 from an edition of only 1600 copies and in excellent condition.

Burri i have known for his MATTER paintings. A bit created like the ones Jaap Wagemaker made in the Netherlands. But there is so much mofre . His “paintings” are like three dimensional sculptures and make in some way a bridge to the zero art from a decade later.

He remained a reserved artist, ceaselessly working and creating, initially in a small studio in Via Margutta but frequently moving out. As a matter of fact, Milton Gendel – an American journalist who visited Burri’s studio in 1954 –, later reported: “The studio is thick-walled, whitewashed, neat and ascetic; his work is ‘blood and flesh,’ reddened torn fabric that seems to parallel the staunching of wounds that Burri experienced in wartime.”

Burri’s first solo figurative artworks exhibition took place on 10 July 1947 at the gallery-cum-bookshop La Margherita, in Rome, presented by the poets Leonardo Sinisgalli and Libero De Libero. However, Burri’s artistic production flowed definitively into abstract forms before the end of the same year, the use of small format tempera resulting from the influence of such artists as Jean Dubuffet and Joan Miró, whose studio was visited by Burri during a trip to Paris in the winter of 1948.

In the sixties Burri has had several exhibitions all over Europe and one, in 1961, was at the galerie de France. Who made a beautiful catalogue for it.

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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 http://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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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 http://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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Erik Oldenhof (1951)

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One of the reasons why i started this blog is to introduce artists and their works to a larger audience and here is one of these artists. Erik Oldenhof has had a lng time careeer now and his abstract art leans towords Zero and more abstract painting. However his technique reminds me of Jakob Gasteiger who molds his paint after he has applied it to the canvas. This is what Oldenhof must also do when i look at his paintings. There is a growing interest in his works, but still they can be bought at fairly reasonable prices at galleries and art loan institutions and whenever you find a painting by Oldenhof put up for auction they can be outright cheap. Still this stands in no relation with the artistic values. Oldenhof his paintings have a personality of their own and will not bore for a long time to come.

http://www.ftn-books.com has a nice Erik Oldenhof publication available

oldenhof

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Black Friday at FTN books

Not just a 3 days discount but a total of 11 days, a one period discount of 10% on all your FTN books purchases. Valid from the early hours  of Friday the 22nd of November until midnight on the 1st of December 2019. Use the special Black Friday 10% discount code:

                                                               B2019F

 

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Jaap Wagemaker (1906-1972)

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Jaap Wagemaker, fascinated by Cobra, but never wanted to connect to the mouvement. Instead he searched for his won style. Influenced by and admiring Burri he discovered an interest in Oceanic art too. This influences he mixed into a style of his own. Building layers of paint and other materials into 3D paintings. Giving them a feel of assemblages, using materials that only few had used before. Bolts, paper, sand, wood everything could have a place in the paintings as long as it had an abstract function. This is how his painting became recognizable and in the last decade or so, his paintings are sought after and fetch prices higher than average.

Now that Zero is hardly affordable and kinetic goes the same way. It is time to focus on something different. I am sure that Minimal will fill this void, but this kind of material painting comes in a close second. Jaap Wagemaker publications are available at http://www.ftn-books.com including the impressive one Wim Crouwel designed for the Jaap Wagemaker exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum.

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