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Rudolf Steiner …. art & architecture

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Yesterday my wife an i visited the ‘ DE PARADE ” a cultural fair with music and performances. a great evening and great fun on the fairground and at the time we left it was still light enough to distinguish the buildings in the surroundings. We took a shortcut to the tramstop and ….there it was …. a great building used nowadays as a care home for older people. architecture by J.W.E. Buijs en J.B. Lursen from 1924, commissioned by the dutch anthroposophic society and heavily inspired by the architecture of Rudolf Steiner.

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This was a great building and for me a total surprise, because i never had seen it before nor heard about it. It brought back memories and i remembered the large inventory we had during the Spiritual in Art exhibition which was organized by the Haags Gemeentemuseum together with the Los Angeles County Museum which catalogues are still available at www.ftn-books.com. The exhibition showed the importance of the iedeas of rudolf Steiner and the influence these ideas had on the art and artist of the Interbellum and shortly after.

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Piet Dirkx daily …696

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Piet Dirkx cigarbox 696

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Henk Visch (1950)

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The first time i read about Visch was in the Metropolis M magazine in the early Eighties and the first time i encountered his Art was at the van Abbemuseum  after i had visited the studio of Piet Dirkx. At that visit Piet and I spoke about the works we were going to see at the van Abbemuseum and i learned that Piet knew Henk Visch quit well and even had exhibited at one time in Eindhoven together with him. Since, the FTN collection on Henk Visch is growing steadily and some of them are available at www.ftn-books.com.

Henk Visch is one of the talents that gathered a loyal following. In Germany his name is still getting more important with every exhibitions organized with his works and because his importance for dutch art is undisputed , the Hollandsche Meesters series devoted a special on him:

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Piet Dirkx daily …695

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Piet Dirkx cigarbox 695

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Sonsbeek…an exhibition park near Arnhem

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A City and its Exhibition

It was in 1948 that a councillor, a VVV tourism official and the mayor of Arnhem launched an initiative for a contemporary art exhibition on a scale unprecedented in Europe. Their aim was to give the city which had experienced so much destruction during the Second World War a totally new appeal.

Processing the traumatic wartime experience

Sonsbeek ’49 opened that following year with over two hundred works displayed along the paths in the park. Most of these were figurative sculptures created since the turn of the century. A recurring theme among the newer works was the processing of Holland’s traumatic wartime experience, such as Nel Klaassen’s monumental Honour the Woman which still stands in Arnhem.

Connected to the present

In subsequent editions of the exhibition, the idea was the same. Sculptures by internationally renowned artists were presented to Arnhem’s public: Auguste Rodin, Ossip Zadkine, Henri Moore, Pablo Picasso, John Rädecker and Hildo Krop. After each edition the Arnhem council selected some of the exhibited works for permanent display in the city. Often, these were works that referred to the war, such as Ossip Zadkine’s Phoenix which found a permanent place in front of the town hall. Since the beginning, SONSBEEK has always been closely concerned with contemporary issues and current affairs.

Selected by a curator based on a specific theme

After the first four editions, one every three years and each similarly presented, SONSBEEK seemed to have become a tradition. Until in 1971 SONSBEEK broke with that tradition and quite literally went off the beaten track with a show compiled for the first time by a curator and expressing a specific theme. Sonsbeek Buiten de Perken was assembled by Wim Beeren, then chief curator at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. The exhibits abandoned their pedestals, some even left the city and the country. Prominent conceptual artists such as Claes Oldenburg, Wim T. Schippers, Robert Smithson and Nam June Paik turned the exhibition into a milestone for avant-garde art. SONSBEEK became synonymous with progressive and experimental, thematic art shows.

SONSBEEK has constantly played a pioneering role through its novel presentations of art in public space. In collaboration with the curatorial collective ruangrupa, SONSBEEK once again brought art to the public in 2016. SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION marked the start of a quadrennial, the 12th edition will take place in 2020.

www.ftn-books.com has some of the Sonsbeel catalogues still available

 

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Piet Dirkx daily …694

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Piet Dirkx cigarbox 694

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Piet Warffemius (1956)

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It took me 2 decades to finally appreciate Piet Warffemius his works. Personally i was not that much convinced by his early graphic works , but from the moment he depicted branches and leaves in his paintings and translated them into cortensteel “outside” sculptures, i was convinced of their quality and now we have almost 7 years now our own Warffemius sculpture ” van een naar twee” in our garden.

It is not unique, it comes from an edition of 5 copies but that does not matter. For us it was our first and until now our only outside sculpture. The most beautiful aspect is that the sculpture present itself differnntly with the change of the seasons. Cortensteel is not a evry friendly material but corrosion gives it a beautful reddisch browm patine which blends perfect with flowers and plants.

Since i have been collecting Warffemius books and found some extra ones which are now for sale at www.ftn-books

 

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Piet Dirkx daily …693

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Piet Dirkx cigarbox 693

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Otto Hamer (1938)…The Killing of Desire

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Never heard of the artist before, but what a great find this is. People following the blog know that concrete and constructivist artists are among my favorites. Last week i visited the bookmarket and found an intriguing title ” OTTO HAMER : Mijnheer I.KAA EN DE KUNST” leafing through the book i noticed immediately why his art fascinates me personally . The repetitions of form(s), the use of bright colors and the feel for composition “hit” me. The book itself was a surprise too. Beautiful lay-out, excellent print quality . Designed by Otto Hamer himself together with Aernout Tas this is a highly  accomplished book. To give an impression of Hamer’s work here is the Youtube video i found:

There is not much info to be found on the artist, but i found an article in dutch:

Otto Hamer

and some photo material of his studio and works. In the coming months i will try to find more information, but for the meantime you can start with the sites supplied.

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Piet Dirkx daily …692

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Piet Dirkx cigarbox 692