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Boris Mikhailov

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I can not make a better blog than the information which is given on the Saatchi site at:

http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/boris_mikhailov.htm

but what i know from a personal point of view  is that Mikhailove for me is arguably the best photographer from the last 3 decades. Raw and tender at the same time and a very personal point of view.

Here is the short Biography on Mikhailov :

Born in the former Soviet Union, Mikhailov lived and worked for several decades in his hometown of Kharkiv, Ukraine. He received an education as an engineer and started to teach himself photography. Today he is one of the most successful and well-known among the photographers who were already active in the Soviet era. His work combines conceptual art and social documentary photography.

Mikhailov had his first exhibition at the end of the 1960s. After the KGB found nude pictures of his wife he was laid off his job as an engineer and started to work full-time as a photographer. From 1968 to 1975 he shot several series documenting everyday scenes, the best known of them being the Red Series. In these photographs he mainly used the colour red, to picture people, groups and city-life. Red symbolized the October Revolution, political party and the social system of Soviet society. It is often said that within those works critical elements toward the existing political circumstances can be found.In Mikhailov’s Klebrigkeit (1982), he added explanatory notes, or diary-like text. In Case History, considered an important part of contemporary art, he examines the consequences of the breakdown of the Soviet Union for its people. He systematically took pictures of homeless people. It shows the situation of people who after the breakdown of the Soviet Union were not able to find their place in a secure social system. In a very direct way Mikhailov points out his critique against the “mask of beauty” of the emerging post-Soviet capitalistic way of life.

There were some classic Mikhailov books published during the last 20 years and some of them can be found at:

www.ftn-books.com

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Hannie Bal and Verve

Hannie Bal was married to Willem Schrofer. Schrofer was one of the founding members of VERVE and together with her husband they both were VERVE members during its existence. Both Hannie Bal and Schrofer were later recognized as highly influential in the Dutch art scene ( Schrofer taught at the Koninklijke Academie) and both were important for the  NIEUWE HAAGSE SCHOOL. A group of artists, all living in the The Hague area, and working close together in the 50’s and 60’s , meeting regularly in the Haagse Kunstkring and the Bodega DE POSTHOORN.

Hannie Bal was one of the few female artist in those days, but her work has nothing feminine. It was inspired by great artists like Cezanne and the later Neo Impressionists like Seurat and Signac

…..and she even had a very productive period at the end of the sixties/early seventies in which she made Constructivist paintings.

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Why this short story on Hannie Bal and Verve. Verve because there are some extremely nice early publications on Verve and its artists at www.ftn-books.com available and secondly. ….Today i started 2 auctions with work by Hannie Bal on Catawiki. Both starting at only euro 1,– which make these very nice works a possible win for all. Take a look at them and start bidding on this Black Friday weekend………

here are the links for the Hannie Bal auctions:

https://veiling.catawiki.nl/kavels/8902465-hannie-bal-schuin-vierkant

https://veiling.catawiki.nl/kavels/8932619-hannie-bal-station-met-trein-tuin

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Roger Raveel (1921-2013)

I am not the greatest fan of Roger Raveel, but occasionally i can appreciate his works. Specially the Beervelde project in the cellar corridors together with his friends from the Nieuwe Figuratie is a highlight. From his early days he has held exhibitions in the Netherlands and therefore a nice set of publications was published in the 60’s and 70’s by galerie Espace, who represented Raveel during these decades. Raveel is one of the great artists in Belgium, but beyond the Belgian borders his works are scarce. There are some in the Stedelijk Museum and van Abbemuseum, but those are the only ones i know of. Given the fact that he is not very well known outside Belgium and the Netherlands, i was surprised to find the number of publications i managed to collect over the years and which are now in my inventory. So if you are looking for Raveel publications please visit www.ftn-books.com

and complete your collection.

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Pat Andrea and Zomeravond Softball

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I have always been an admirer of Pat Andrea’s work. From his earliest days he illustrated books by Herman Pieter de Boer to his later years in which he made large sized paintings. One of the first ( possibly the first) large paintings i saw by Pat Andrea was his ZOMERAVOND SOFTBAL which was in one of the staircases of the Haags Gemeentemuseum. An impressive painting which in the late 80’s disappeared. Is it in the depot or has it been exchanged with another collection? ….i do not know, but what i do know is, that in 1985 the Berlage masterpiece , the Haags Gemeentemuseum, celebrated his 50 years of history since opening. Gerrit Jan de Rook was the curator who was in charge of a special editions program in which he invited a selection of artists to make a “special” for the celebration. Among these works by the famous Carl Andre, but Pat Andrea was commissioned too, to make a series of 8 small paintings on the theme of “Zomeravond softball”. When they became for sale i was very much impressed by these little gems too and decided to buy one… Now i had my small version of “Zomeravond softball”

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I have very much enjoyed this beautiful Pat Andrea for over 20 years , but decided to sell it when i needed the funds to buy another piece of art. The work was sold, but the admiration for Pat Andrea remained. You can look at www.ftn-books.com for more publications on Pat Andrea. Including Journal d’Aurore, which is at this moment the only copy on the market ( inquire)

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Pierre Soulages

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In contrast with the colorful works by Daniel Buren, This blog on Pierre Soulages. The master of black and white from France. I have not seen many works by him in the real, but what i have seen impressed me very much. One of the last museums i visited in France was the Centre Pompidou in Metz. The new museum which houses a few of the extremely large works from the Centre Georges Pompidou Museum. Among them a very impressive large Soulages.

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Only for this painting alone the museum is worth visiting. Bu there are a few others worth mentioning. A very impressive large Miro and one of the best Louise Nevelson sculptures i have ever seen.

But back to Soulages. Soulages is the French counterpart of Pollock and recognized as one of the great  abstract expressionists in the world. His works have been on show in several European Museums, but a few years ago  a special Soulages museum opened in Rodez. Became interested in Soulages? Then Visit the museums Georges Pompidou ( Paris and Metz) and the Soulages museum in Rodez. A great excuse for a trip to France …..

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and prepare your visits with some available books at www.ftn-books.com

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