Marc Mendelson (1915-2013)

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Born in the UK, but worked and lived for most of his life in Belgium. He is considered to be part of the Cobra mouvement, but was not a participating member of the mouvement. Many people know his work without knowing that it is by Mendelson, because the mural in Brussel’s subwaystation “Parc” is by his hand. The development of his style and work is something special because he started as a figurative painter, became an abstract one and for the final part of his life he became a figurative painter again. Personally i stumbled upon his works , because at one time i could buy a large book on him in a remainder sale and became fascinated by his abstract works and maybe i can convince you with this blog too of his qualities as a painter and  to read something more about Mendelson after seeing these beautiful abstract paintings.

Books on Mendelson are available at www.ftn-books.com

I love the works by Victor Pasmore (1908-1998)

 

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Victor Pasmore (1908 – 1998) was born in Chelsham, Surrey, the son of a well-known physician and mental specialist and an amateur painter. He was educated at Harrow School where he first became seriously interested in painting. Following the sudden death of his father he had to abandon his studies at the Central School of Arts and Crafts where he had studied under A. S. Hartrick, an artist who had worked in France and who knew van Gogh. Pasmore, who had expected to go Oxford and then on to The Slade School of Art, now had to find employment as a clerk in the Public Health Department in London instead, a job he held until 1937.

During this time he joined the London Artists’ Association and had his first solo exhibition at their Cooling Galleries on Bond Street in 1933. In 1937 Pasmore left the Public Health Department and formed an independent art school with fellow artists Claude Rogers, Graham Bell and William Coldstream in Fitzroy Street. The school’s first show in 1938 coincided with its move to 316 Euston Road which led to the art critic Raymond Mortimer to identify them as the Euston Road Group. Pasmore himself moved to a studio at 8 Fitzroy Street, formerly occupied by Sickert and Whistler, and spent his time teaching and painting.

Pasmore abandoned visual representation and developed a purely abstract style in 1947. His work, often in collage and construction of reliefs, pioneered the use of new materials and was sometimes on a large architectural scale. He held his first abstract solo exhibition at the Redfern Gallery, London, in 1948. Herbert Read, an important art critic of the time, described Pasmore’s new style as ‘The most revolutionary event in post-war British art’. In the summer of 1950 he visited St Ives where he became associated with Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth and joined the Penwyth Society, the local exhibiting group. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Pasmore titles available.

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