peaceful uneasy feeling…Emil Schuhmacher (1912-1999)

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At the time Rudi Fuchs was director of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, he organized an exhibition with works by Emil Schumacher in the just finished “Polak” zalen of the Gemeentemuseum. These rooms are on the ground floor and you have to pass these when you enter the museum by its back entrance where the personel enters the museum. It is just some 45 meters, but every time i passed these paintings by Schumacher i got an uneasy feeling. Perfect abstract paintings but because of the layers of paint these paintings almost were “organic” in their appearance and this organic quality made me uneasy everytime i passed them. What else can be said about them?… these paintings were impressive but i never would one for myself , because this feeling i got from them was to unpleasant to ever want one. A work of art not has not to be beautiful, nor being pleasing in its appearnce, but the way Schumacher paintings evoked feelings with me is the reason i never will want one for my collection. Still these abstract paintings have a great abstract quality and in some cases even a peaceful one.

There are some Schumacher titles available at http://www.ftn-books.com

the above titles are available at www.ftn-books.com

Gabi Dziuba (1951)

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Jewelry artist and a lifetime friend of Günther Förg. Both had a different approach to art. Where Günther Förg chose for abstract geometric painting. Gaby Dziuba chose for jewelry. I think it is fair to say that Dziuba was Günther Förg his “muse”. He used Dziuba on many occasion as his model in his photographs and this is the reason why i would like to show in this blog that one specific catalogue is very important as an artist book. Dziuba had in 1998 a solo exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. The catalogue with this exhibition did not sell very well, but when you look into the colofon, you will find that many of the photographs within the catalogue were taken by Günther Förg. An excellent reason to pick up this catalogue for a reasonable price at www.ftn-books.com. It is still available , but when people realize that this is a disguised artist book by Günther Förg it will be picked up by many and will become a rare collectible.

Jaap van de Ende (1944)…an abstract constructivist

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Personally i think that Jaap van den Ende is the only true successor of Jan Schoonhoven. Specially his early works have the similar qualities as the ones Schoonhoven made in the sixties and early seventies. The Stedelijk Museum has some excellent examples of these early works in which little cut out pieces of grey plastic foil are placed on a white surface according a well though over pattern. the System and pattern make the composition, but thus creating a fascinating , lively work of art.

A little like the way Struycken worked, but with a simplicity that resembles the great early Sol LeWitt works. I love this early works, Later he changed his style into more colorful compositions, but always along a line of well thought over abstract contructivist forms. Since 1997 his works become far more realistic. Seascapes, parks and landscapes are all painted with perfection . a fascinating artist which you can encounter in several dutch museum collections. There are some nice van den Ende publications available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Arshile Gorky (1904-1948)

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Friend of famous surrealists like Breton, Tanguy and Matta, but above all finding his own way in painting . Influenced by Picasso, Cezanne and later Miro, Gorky received several exhibitions in the Netherlands. The dutch public was spoiled by the exhibitions in the Stedelijk and Boijmans and this was something different. It wasn’t abstraction as they encountered it in the fifties and sixties, but it also was not surrealism as the Boijmans had had on show.

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It was a symbiosis between cubism and surrealism and this combination made Gorky stand out from the other painters from his generation and for this combination he would become known after his suicide in 1948. There are some nice Gorky publications available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Jaap Nanninga (1904-1962)

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Jaap Nanninga was born in Winschoten in the north of the Netherlands but after travels to Germany and Poland he settled in Den Haag in 1936, where he stayed and worked his entire life. meber of the famous Posthoorn group het met his friends artist for drinks and dinners at the POSTHOORN cafe at the Voorhout in Den Haag ( and yes…it is still there and serves the finest “Bitterballen” in Den Haag. He received his artist eductaion from Werkman and Wiegers and stayed for a short moment with Geer van Velde in Paris. These 3 artists made Nanninga the artist which we know nowadays. Abstract compositions rooted in the Fifties . a little Cobra mixed with abstract expresionism. Many dutch museum have some great Nanninga’s, but one museum i would like to mention specially is the FIGURA painting in the van Abbemuseum collection. Powerful and typically Fifties abstraction.

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www.ftn-books.com has some nice Nanninga titles available

Ruri Matsumoto (1981)

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Sometimes you encounter works by an artist for which you have an instant liking and admiration. This is the case with Ruri Matsumoto. She was born in Tokyo and had her education in Japan and Germany. This is where she followed lessons with Helmut Federle and Markus Lupertz a.o.. She stayed after her education in Germany and now has her own studio in Dusseldorf, which she will leave for a temporary studio in Berlin until January 2018.

Her works are characterized by the use of  very bright colors and are compositions of almost random like patterns formed with tape, but look more closely….. you will find layers of abstract constructivist forms making a spectacular work of art. Of course art is always something personal and subjective, but i like these paintings very much and because there is this rare chance to see her works at Livingstone Gallery i write this blog to let you know that until the 4th of November some of her works are on show in the PAINTING NOW exhibition, curated by Jan Wattjes.

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To get an excellent impression of her works please visit:

https://www.rurimatsumoto.com and of course http://www.livingstonegallery.nl/home

for the information on the exhibition at Livingstone gallery in The Hague

Joel Fisher (1947)

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Quote from a Joel Fisher catalogue :

“Sometimes, though not always, old meanings invade the new forms and hold on with a tenacity that cannot be broken. At other times the forms are innocently open to any of the uses we might make of them.”

Joel Fisher is the master of making little works of art that mock with the abstract figuration. He was not that frequently invited to have an exhibition in the Netherlands , but i know of 2 occasions that there was one. The first in 1978 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

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and secondly a far more obscure exhibition in gallery Art Affairs in 1993. Both were rare occasions to see his works, but what i remember most is the pure simplicity of his drawings.

With a few lines he shows that he is almost perfect in his composition, which is a true quality. I like it very much when with so little effort such a nice result is created. These are not random lines, but carefully created compositions. It is the quality i like so much in an artist. and for me Fisher operates with his art in the same category as Miro and Ouborg.