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Jaap Mooy (1915-1987)

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Jaap Mooy is a dutch artist who is increasingly recognized as being important for Modern Art in the Netherlands. He witnessed the development of abstract art and was in the last decade of his artistic life an abstract painter pur sang. There are many influences to be recognized within his art. There is a bit Lucebert, Karel Appel, Tajiri, Jean Arp and Tinguely, but also influences of Bauhaus in his collages.

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Still this kind of art is getting more important by the year, because it shows the way abstract painting was developing over the years in the Netherlands and Jaap Mooy was an important artist contributing to this development.

left Mooy and right Jean Arp

http://www.ftn-books.com has now the most important Jaap Mooy publication available.

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Ben Akkerman (1920-2010)

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I have always been an admirer of the works by Ben Akkerman. The first time i saw a painting by Akkerman was at the Centraal Museum and since i have been interested in his works. The paintings and drawings i could not afford so instead i started to collect Ben Akkerman publications. The result is that i have collected myself a small but important Akkerman library and the years made me find some duplicates which i now have put up for sale at www.ftn-books.com

Ben Akkerman was , the same as Jan Schoonhoven, an employee for the municipality of Enschede and he painted in the evening in his spare time. Called a ‘hardcore abstract ” painter i personally share his paintings among the Minimal paintings from that era. These are very delicate compositions that are pure minimal art.

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The Gemeentemuseum used the “diamond” by Ben Akkerman for almost 10 years in its letters and invitations, but now that the name has changed in the far less appealing name ” Kunstmuseum Den Haag” they left the beautiful yellow diamond shaped logo for one i do not like at all. To commemorate the diamond they collected 30 Ben Akkerman paintings and made a wonderful presentation  to honor Ben Akkerman and its “diamond”.

 

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Ko Oosterkerk ( 1928-2012)

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Jacobus Willem (Ko) Oosterkerk. It has not been recently that Ko Oosterkerk was admired for his black and white , highly abstract etchings. Almost in a contstructivist way he builds his compositions, but always was free, where the constructivist set their limitations.

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A few years ago (2016) there was an exhibition at the Kampen Museum, which showed all the qualities of his work through the years. Just have a look at all these wonderful works by searching with Google and you will be amazed how timeless these works are. I leafed through the van Abbemuseum catalogue from 1975 and noticed the quality of all his works. I can highly recommend this artist who is on the verge of becoming much more popular, but now still is very affordable.

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Stephan Fritsch (1962-2014)

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It is impossible to know every artist that ever had a gallery or museum presentation in the last 50 years or so. But sometimes you encounter work by an artist in a way you did not expect an artist who you did not know of, but who fascinates with the first works you see. In this case i had bought a lot of mainly German books on German artists , because i wanted to have the two titles on Richard Schur included in the lot. I had the winning aftersale bid and bought together with the Schur books, books ( all sealed) on other German contemporary abstract painters. One of them Stephan Fritsch.

For me an unknown painter, but with a fascinating approach to his abstract expressionist art. His works reminded me somehow of the ones i had seen in the past by Kirkeby, but where Kirkeby has a link with nature, i only see abstracttion in the works by Fritsch and …..COLOR!

Still Fritsch is a painter to get to know and to explore , however i also learned that he died in 2014 and now it is unfortunate that he died at such a young age and only leaves us a limited amount of works.

The Stephan Fritsch book is available at www.ftn-books.com

fritsch

 

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Sam Francis (continued) and Nico Delaive

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As long as i remember i encountered the works by Sam Francis at the gallery Nico Delaive. From the early days of Swatch specials  (Sam Francis special) and the space occupied by Nico Delaive together with Art Unlimited the publisher i took an interest in Sam Francis  and even now , many years later,  i am always keen on the publications by Sam Francis. The copy that i recently added to my inventory is a rare one. Only 1500 copies worldwide of which not many will be on the market. The copy is now available at www.ftn-books.com

francis sam delaive.jpg

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Wim Izaks (1950-1989)

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Almost violent in his approach of his canvas. Bright colors, large mouvements, complex compositions in the true Lyrical abstract tradition. studied at AKI under Roger Raveel, who valued his works as important and promising.

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Izaks died at an early age but had an extremely large production. His paintings come up for sale occasionally and are sold by the Izaks foundation who uses these funds for publications on Izaks and a yearly stipendium for promising young artists.

izaks

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Felix Vallotton (1865-1925)

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Felix Valotton is without a doubt one of those less familiar names in Modern Art, but still he is very important for the development of modern Art as we know it, because when you look at his works more closely you can discover the fundaments of abstraction.

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In 1893, he became a member of Les Nabis, a semi-secret, semi-mystical group of young artists, mostly from the Academie Julian, which included Pierre Bonnard, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Maurice Denis, and Édouard Vuillard, with whom Vallotton was to form a lifelong friendship. While the Nabis shared certain common ideas and goals, their styles were quite different and personal. While he was a member of the Nabis, he kept his distance; his jocular title among the Nabis was “The Foreign Nabi”, [10] Vallotton’s paintings in this period reflected the style of his woodcuts, with flat areas of color, hard edges, and simplification of detail. His subjects included genre scenes, portraits and nudes. Examples of his Nabi style are the deliberately awkward Bathers on a Summer Evening (1892–93), now in the Kunsthaus Zürich, and the symbolist Moonlight(1895), in the Musée d’Orsay.

His paintings began to be noticed by the public and critics; Bathers on a Summer Evening, presented at the Salon des Indépendents, was met with harsh criticism and laughter.  But they also woodcuts also attracted considerable and growing attention and clients, and he became financially secure. Between 1893 and 1897, he received many commissions for illustrations from notable French newspapers and magazines, including La Revue Blanche, and from foreign art publications, including The Chap-Book of Chicago. He also made woodcuts for the covers of theater programs and book illustrations. One of his prominent patrons was Thadée Natanson, the publisher of the Revue Blanche, and his wife Misia, who commissioned many important decorative works from the Nabis. Through the Natansons Vallotton was introduced to the avant-garde elite of Paris, including Stéphane Mallarmé, Marcel Proust, Eric Satie, and Claude Debussy.

During the Nabi period, he also produced a remarkable series of woodcuts. His woodcut subjects included domestic scenes, bathing women, portrait heads, and several images of street crowds and demonstrations—notably, several scenes of police attacking anarchists. He usually depicted types rather than individuals, eschewed the expression of strong emotion, and “fuse[d] a graphic wit with an acerbic if not ironic humor”. Vallotton’s graphic art reached its highest development in Intimités (Intimacies), a series of ten interiors published in 1898 by the Revue Blanche, which deal with tension between men and women. Vallotton’s woodcuts were widely disseminated in periodicals and books in Europe as well as in the United States, and have been suggested as a significant influence on the graphic art of Edvard Munch, Aubrey Beardsley, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. In 1898, he produced one of his most important series of woodcuts,

By 1900, the Nabis had drifted apart. One source of the division was the Dreyfus affair, the case of a Jewish army officer falsely accused of aiding the Germans. The Nabis were divided, with Vallotton passionately defending Dreyfus. He produced a series of satirical woodcuts on the affair, including The age of the Newspaper,which were published on the first page of Le Cri de Paris on January 23, 1898, at the height of the affair.

Another major event during this period was his marriage to Gabrielle Rodrigues-Hénriques, a upper middle class member of the Paris artistic and social elite. The union also brought to his household three children from her previous marriage. After a brief honeymoon in Switzerland, they moved to a large apartment on near the Gare Saint-Lazare train station. He also established a solid relationship with the Bernheim family and their gallery, which presented a special exhibition devoted the Nabis, including ten of his works. The marriage brought him financial security, and he gradually abandoned woodcuts as his main source of income. Thereafter he devoted his attention almost entirely to painting. www. ftn-books.com has some titles on vallotton available.

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Jan Commandeur (1954)

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Another painter from my generation is Jan Commandeur. Abstract lyrical work which is rooted in nature. Shadows and spots of light play with each other on his canvasses. Bright and dark places are depicted, but combined in an abstract way making the paintings related to nature, but purely abstract in its composition. A fascinating way of painting and because of their size very impressive.

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FTN books has a very nice designed catalogue on Commandeur available at www.ftn-books.com

commandeur grijs

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Yves Tanguy (1900-1955)

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Look at the portrait and you think Tanguy is a punk from the Seventies, but he is far from ….

He is rooted in the surreal mouvement of the mid Twenties from last century and met with artists like Dali, Miro and de Chirico and found himself in the middle of a surrealistic art mouvement. His paintings are typical for surrealism, but because of the landscape qualities  and the typical Tanguy surreal elements they more look like abstract forms in a landscape than other typical surreal paintings that always have a realistic element in them.

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For me Tanguy’s art goes beyond surrealism and is more an abstract kind of art than surreal. In the Netherlands there was a painter who had the same qualities. Pieter Ouborg started as a surreal painter but later he developed an art language of his own. Turning surreal elements into abstract elements. This is the same what i think Tanguy does. Turning forms in to abstract elements and composing them in the landscape of the painting.  www.ftn-books.com has Tanguy titles available

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Jean Paul Riopelle (1923-2002)

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Two names spring to mind when you look at the works by Jean Paul Riopelle  ( Canada , 1923) and read about his life. He lived near Giverny ( the place where Monet had his studio and gardens) and he used a technique much the same as Jackson Pollock did. Dripping paint on a horizontal canvas. The result ….. colorful and abstract compositions which have the colors of a Monet painting and the abstract construction of a Pollock one.

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Riopelle’s style in the 1940s changed quickly from Surrealism to Lyrical Abstraction (related to abstract expressionism), in which he used myriad tumultuous cubes and triangles of multicolored elements, facetted with a palette knife, spatula, or trowel, on often large canvases to create powerful atmospheres.

The presence of long filaments of paint in his painting from 1948 through the early 1950s has often been seen as resulting from a dripping technique like that of Jackson Pollock. Rather, the creation of such effects came from the act of throwing, with a palette knife or brush, large quantities of paint onto the stretched canvas (positioned vertically).

For me Riopelle is a fascinating artist and because of the beautiful publications Maeght made with this artist it is not entirely out of reach financially. A very nice Riopelle publications can be obtained for less than euro 100,– at www.ftn-books.com