A short story on the works by Emil Schumacher. Being one of the proteges of Rudi Fuchs, one of the first exhibitions Fuchs curated for the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag was the exhibition on Emil Schumacher. Held in the ” Polak” zalen on the ground floor you could not avoid walking through the exhibition when you arrived by bike and entered the museum at the back. You had to pass these paintings ….and i found them unsettling. The many layers of paint on the canvas made me feel uneasy as i passed them. It felt i was walking passed a morbid crime scene. This way the painting was not only a 2 dimensional image but also a 3d piece of work because of the thickness of the paint.
I never learned to appreciate Emil Schumacher, but i know his exhibitions have drawn many visitors and the number of admirers is growing steadily.
books available at www.ftn-books.com
She chose her own way and always has made her art in the shadow of her husband…Josef Albers. When you first see her work, her works are far more complex than those of Josef Albers, but where Josef uses the square and rectangle as his main subjects, Anni choses more complex patterns. They look like patterns in fabric, woven and knitted but all with a regularity and balance. No wonder, because Anni Albers was one of the foremost textile artists from the 20th century. Whenever you visit the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop you can encounter some nice works , but for the larger part of her oeuvre you have to be in the USA where she found many loyal admirers. www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles on both, but will focus this time on Anni Albers, because she deserves it for being the original artist she was.
It must have been the early 70’s. There was an art dealer in the Hoogstraat in The Hague, who had in his window 2 silkscreen prints by Vasarely. I thought them wonderful, but lost interest in them because the edition size was 100 numbered /signed copies. At that moment i never had heard of art published in an edition. Nowadays it is common practice. Artists make a living out of these editions and people can purchase an affordable original piece of art. I should have bought them at that time, but time passes and one forgets about these. All of Vasarely’s works are practically forgotten in the 3 decades to follow, but now in the present days, Vasarely works are sought after and well worth collecting…even the one’s which are published in editions of over 100 copies.
Vasarely has become one of the leading artists from the Geometric Abstract art/ optical art movement and the interest in his works is well deserved. With a highly original point of view and approach to Modern Art he has made many beautiful and impressive works of art and you can encounter them in all the large museums of the world.
When you travel Budapest do not forget to visit the Vasarely museum on the outskirts of this town. ( half an hour by tram ). It is not a museum as we nowadays have grown used to, but the art by Vasarely within this “basic” Museum is fantastic and the best OP ART you will seen gathered within one place .
It even has in a showcase one of the Kriwin catalogues which is depicted below.
It is nice to know that the Vasarely catalogue published by the Stedelijk Museum has on the backside of the cover an original relief print in black and white. (above)
The opening exhibition at the Museum Voorlinden will be an Ellsworth Kelly exhibition. I read this morning, that there are some very special drawings of the MOMA on loan within the exhibition. An exchange granted because the Museum Voorlinden lent their best of their Broodthaers drawings to the MOMA.
The weather is extremely nice in the Netherlands the last couple of days . If the weather stays like this and if we have some time we certainly go to visit the museum and their gardens by Piet Oudolf in the coming weeks and look for ourselves at the Kelly exhibition. I know that i have met him once when he was in the Netherlands for the opening of the Spiritual in Art exhibition. He even signed a catalogue for me, but i cannot remember the person, except that this was a friendly man. Since, i only know his works from the catalogues within my inventory and the occasional painting on show in the permanent collections of the larger museums in Europe.
This will be a great occasion to finally see more of one of the best Modern Artists from the last century.
( to be continued )
Personally i am not a great fan of Picasso. I understand his importance for Modern Art, but somehow he never appealed to me very much. One exception . In 1937 Picasso painted GUERNICA. The first time i saw this extremely large painting was in 1977 when i visited New York with my father. It was breathtaking!
So much to see in this painting. I shows the city of Guernica while it was bombarded by the Condor legion of the Luftwaffe. Pure panic and chaos on every painted part of the painting. This is a painting you must see in reality, because the sheer size is breathtaking already. It was one memory i brought home with me.
About 12 years ago the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag had the studies for Guernica in a special show and even on these much smaller studies you can see the struggle of the painter and the power of the subject.
A few years ago we went to the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and saw this masterpiece again. The same experience…still breathtaking.
When you look at this painting you can see that it has influenced many painters. . For one, there is a dutch painter ” Willy Boers” who borrowed the theme with the horse and made his own version of chaos and despair. The painting is called “La Quintessence” dated 1947/1948, 10 years after Guernicia was painted and is depicted in DOORBRAAK VAN DE MODERNE KUNST IN NEDERLAND. Can you spot the similarities too?