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Tobias Pils (1971)

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I entered the Josef Albers Museum 3 months ago, crossed the treshold and there it was ….on the left at 20 meters, large and totally in black and white…..one of the most impressive paintings i had seen in years. This is how i learned about Tobias Pils. I dit not know of the artist before, but his works have an abstract and graphic quality i had not seen before.

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Working within a palette of blacks and whites and the range of grays that can be made from them, he creates mixed media paintings full of abstract and representational elements. These elements are often arranged so that they flow from one to the next seemingly of their own accord, obeying the dictates of a painterly logic that generates meaning through the accumulation of many small moments. As such, Pils’s works are endlessly captivating as arrangements of textures, flows, and material invention—in a sense, as symphonic, non-objective compositions, even when their mythological content and primal imagery tempt narrative readings. This syncretic approach reflects a mind that revels in contradictions, even as it seeks to suture together contrasting passages with a subtle and virtuosic array of mark-making strategies that are alternately bold, incisive, impressionistic, and completely open to the innate properties of paint medium and support. Pils works at a variety of scales and in different contexts, responding to the urgency of his own intuition and the external constraints of architectural and institutional settings with equal fluency. In each of these forums, he locates the places where the vast and the intimate meet, both in the physical world and the human psyche alike. The Tobias Pils poster for his Josef Albers MUseum exhibition is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jerry Zeniuk (1945)

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The first thing that i thought when i saw the poster for the Jerry Zeniuk exhibition at the Josef Albers Museum was…..it looks like a large Piet Dirkx. Of course i know the works by Piet Dirkx very well and there are quite some similarities between them . They both prefer large sizes. Zeniuk even larger ones. And the use of color is almost the same.

on the left Jerry Zeniuk on the right Piet Dirkx

Zeniuk follows in the tradition of American art after 1950 with his largeformat works. The wall-filling aspect of his painting does not however seek to redefine real space; it retains its pictorial identity, which allows the painter as well as the viewer to be present in the painting. “To be present, mentally, emotionally, physically” – this was Zeniuk’s motivation as well as his challenge when creating a painting measuring four by eight meters, as he did in 2001 in Mainz, or five by five meters in Munich in 2013. These two works, which act like brackets in relation to the rest of Zeniuk’s oeuvre, are the focus of the current presentation. The oil paintings on canvas were created without the aid of a preliminary sketch. The choice and combination of colors, the movement involved in the application of paint, and the artist’s wealth of experience alone gave rise to these authentic “depictions.” Jerry Zeniuk (b. 1945 in Bardowick near Lüneburg) is one of the foremost representatives of so-called “elementary” or “essential” painting.

www.ftn-books.com has the Josef Albers Museum (signed) poster available.

For more information on the Piet Dirkx paintings please inquire since ftn art has these together with other Piet Dirkx paintings for sale.

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Carol Huebner-Venezia (1947)

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Carol Heubner-Venezia is represented by  Galerie Heike Curtze, one of the leading galeries in the world, they recognized the qualities of this photographer from the early Nineties until now. Her series of BOXER photographs has become iconic and her works can now be found in all important public photography collections.

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Roughly speaking, Carol Hübner-Venezia shows in her works the fast passing moments of everyday life. For example, since the early 90s Carol Huebner-Venezia has been photographing in Gleason’s Gym (New York). In the oldest and most famous boxing stable in the world, heavyweights such as Muhammed Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Jake la Motta and Mike Tyson once trained. But Carol Huebner-Venezia shows neither prominent boxing stars nor spectacular wrestling matches. 
Instead, her large-format works reflect the atmosphere of the milieu, they provide insight into training situations and tell of the athletes’ self-image.

In her beach series, for example, her photos show various beaches. In this series, the works depict everyday life on the beach in New Jersey. In front of us, infinite sand expanses open up, interwoven with traces and giving us a sense of loneliness.

http://www.ftn-books.com has the Carol Heubner-Venezia poster for her Josef Albers Museum exhibition available.

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Boris Kleint (1903-1996)

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He was born in 1903 in Masmünster , Alsace . After graduating from high school in Baden-Baden (1921), he studied psychology , philosophy , medicine , languages ​​and art studies at the universities in Heidelberg , Leipzig , Berlin and Würzburg from 1921 to 1925 . In 1925 he received his doctorate in Frankfurt in the subject of psychology [1] and was there at the Psychological Institute assistant to Max Wertheimer , the founder of Gestalt theory . From 1933 he studied in Berlin Painting by the Swiss painter and art teacher Johannes Itten , whose assistant he became in 1933. In 1936 Kleint emigrated to Luxembourg .

Between 1936 and 1942 he traveled from there to Walter Gropius in London and to Kandinsky and Picasso in Paris , later a second trip to Kandinsky followed. After the liberation of the Grand Duchy by Allied troops (1944) he was interned in the Luxembourg state prison “Im Grund” for four weeks.

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In 1946 Kleint received an appointment at the State School for Art and Crafts in Saarbrücken, where he took over the master class for painting and at the same time set up a “basic teaching” based on the Itten preliminary course ( Bauhaus ), which he passed on to his assistant Oskar Holweck after a few years passed on. In 1953 he took over the chairmanship of the Saarland Artists Association. In 1954 he was appointed professor and four years later a visiting professorship at the Technical University of Aachen . In 1957, Kleint and like-minded people founded the artists’ association “ neue gruppe saar ”. In 1969 his main work “Bildlehre” appeared, which became decisive for later generations of students and in several languages, including insJapanese , has been translated.

Kleint’s oeuvre covers a broad spectrum and is stylistically diverse. Both constructive – concrete elements and informal tendencies can be found in the work . According to his own statement, his artistic goal was a “visual universality” to which he subordinated the finding of a personal style.

In 1994 Klein received a Retrospective exhibition at the Josef Albers Museum. He signed a few of the exhibition posters of which one is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jonas Weichsel (1982)

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Weichsel is without doubt one of the youngest artists that had a one man show at the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop and….deservedly. His works have a minimalist quality and are bright filled with color. Just see his show and it makes you comfortable and happy at the same time. Thre is nothing to distract….just the composition.

He creates minimalist paintings of uncanny precision and impalpability, which upon closer inspection translate into sensuous, lived experiences. Early on, Weichsel developed his unique analytical and systematic painting technique, which he continues to pursue often combining digital and plotting techniques with hand-painted elements to explore the possibilities and limits of painting and the boundaries between immateriality and a tangible, material presence. His paintings inherit a deceptive simplicity and unfold their full power only in the contemplation of the original.

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Jonas Weichsel, born 1982 in Darmstadt, Germany, first studied in Mainz and Düsseldorf before completing his Meisterschüler with Judith Hopf at Städelschule Frankfurt. In 2016, he was awarded a residency at the Villa Romana in Florence, Italy. In 2012, he won the Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Stipendium after having been awarded the Dies Academicus—the Prize of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz—alongside a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes in 2009. Recent solo exhibitions include the Joseph Albers Museum, Bottrop (2018), Museum Wiesbaden (2016), and Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt a.M. (2013). Important group exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt (2018; 2017; 2011), Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2017), Kunstverein Braunschweig (2016), Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2016), Villa Romana, Florence, Italy (2016), Frankfurter Kunstverein (2015), Kunsthalle Wiesbaden (2015), Kunsthalle Mainz (2015; 2010), Kunstraum Bethanien, Berlin (2015), Salondergegenwart, Hamburg (2013), Kunstmuseum Wiesbaden (2012), Heidelberger Kunstverein (2011), Wilhelm Hack Museum (2010), and Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden (2010). Jonas Weichsel lives and works in Frankfurt a.M.

The Josef Albers Museum poster is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Joachim Brohm (1955)

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I never had seen his photographs. The first time was when i encountered work by Brohm at the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop ( poster available at www,ftn-books.com). I was impressed mand saw similarities with dutch 17th century painter Hendrik Avercamp.

Joachim Brohm was one of the first photographers in Germany to take pictures exclusively in color starting in the late 1970s. “Color lent my pictures credibility in the documentary sense,” he explains, defining at the same time his artistic credo. His approach went against the trend at the time in that it did not exhaust all of the possibilities of color photography: Joachim Brohm challenged omnipresent advertising aesthetics with his photographic naturalism, staged productions with documentation, picture effects with austerity, vibrant, high-contrast colors with his muted tones. As a student, he met with incomprehension from his professors, but photographic role models such as Stephen Shore and Lewis Baltz, who would go on to enjoy world fame, encouraged him to continue on his chosen path. “The Americans presented seemingly trivial scenes, content and context appeared to be missing – many people were unable to make any sense of it.”

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Joachim Brohm brought this approach to a higher level: He combined mostly deserted landscape scenes with his interest in social interaction, turning his photographs into small-scale studies of society. They show how people change the landscape – and how the landscape changes people. He took his photographs of the Ruhr region at a time when theme parks and artificial lakes were being built to help cast off the image of a desolate mining region. Joachim Brohm shows this transition from work to leisure which accompanies the transformation from rural to urban from the perspective of a neutral observer. He sends the viewer on a mystery tour: “I wanted to show people in an environment undergoing change: What do they look like, what are they doing, what activities stand out?”

Joachim Brohm reveals structures in the landscape that would otherwise remain hidden. The camera’s elevated position, which is characteristic of many of his photographs, reinforces the impression of photographic surveillance which he himself describes as “all over”. The absence of a clear focus, and a depth of field that covers the entire image, mean that the individual scenes merge to form a situational snapshot. “The whole picture is the motif – the viewer can choose his or her focal point.” In this way, Joachim Brohm draws our attention to the big picture – with an excellent eye for detail.

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Fred Sandback (1943-2003)

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A very special Minimal artist definitely is Fred Sandback.

Fred Sandback would stretch lengths of colored yarn taut in a space to make people experience it differently, uniquely, unexpectedly. His ingeniously simple sculptures had no weight or mass, no inside or out.

He described is work eloquently in his booklet A Children’s Guide to Seeing made to accompany his 1989 exhibition of yarn sculptures at the Houston Contemporary Arts Museum. His words for kids provide illumination for adults:
We all need a place for play, whether it’s jump rope, baseball, or making a sculpture. I’m lucky enough to have the whole Contemporary Arts Museum in which to build my sculptures that are made out of knitting yarn.

I need a big space like this because I mean my sculptures to take space and make it into a place—a place that people will move around in and be in.

Knitting yarn is great for making the proportions, intervals, and shapes that build the places I want to see and to be in. It’s like a box of colored pencils, only I can use it to make a three-dimensional sculpture instead of making a drawing on paper.

My knitting-yarn sculpture is a somewhat distant cousin to some other string games. Maybe the one that uses the most space is kite flying. But the one that is the oldest, and the most universal, is cat’s cradle. Indians, Eskimos, Bushmen, and many other cultures around the world have had games like cat’s cradle since before anyone can remember.

Often cat’s cradle is about making a little place—just for yourself, or to share with someone. If you don’t know any of the moves, you can probably learn some from a friend, a relative, or from your mom or dad, if they remember them.

If you ask the attendant here in the Museum now, he or she will give you some yarn to use while you are here and to take home. Your fingers might do some thinking while you wander around and look at my sculptures.

And here are a few cat’s cradle ideas.

Cat’s cradle is nice because you can put it in your pocket when you’re busy with something else, and take it out again when you’re not. Although, as you can see, it’s not so hard to build big things like my sculpture. All it takes is a ball of string. If you were feeling a little adventurous, you could even wrap up your whole house.

http://www.ftn-books is fortunate to have some nice Sandback items available

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Luc Peire (1916-1994)

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Geometric abstract painting. This is the speciality of Peire.  I was late to discover this great Belgian painter who was a contemporary of Walter Leblanc, but since i took an interest in Leblanc, soon afterwards i discovered Luc Peire. If i must describe his art …. mix Geometric Abstract painting with a little Pop Art and the works of Luc Peire emerge. The one painter that reminds me of his work in the Netherlands is Willy Boers who experimented in the final years of his life with “hard edge” painting and made some wonderful paintings. I was fortunate to see the Luc Peire exhibition from 1995 which was held at the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop, ( poster available at www.ftn-books.com)

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but since, i only have seen the occasional painting by Peire which was collected some 40 years ago for the public collections in the Netherlands and Belgium. Peires works are not that well known, but every time i see work of his, I find them intriguing and timeless. Peire is one of the greats of Geometric Abstraction and will soon be recognized as one of the greatest Belgian artist from last century.

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Edward Quinn (1920-1997)

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Edward Quinn, or “Ted” as his family called him, was born 1920 in Ireland. Starting in the 1950s, he lived and worked as a photographer on the Côte d’Azur, which was a playground for celebrities from the world of show biz, art and business during the “Golden Fifties”. The rich and famous came to the Riviera to relax. But the movie stars recognized the importance of their off-screen image, and Quinn was in the right place at the right time, managing to capture spontaneous and enchanting images that documented the charm, sophistication and chic of a legendary era.

In 1951, Edward Quinn met and photographed Pablo Picasso for the first time. Their friendship lasted until Picasso’s death in 1973. This encounter with Picasso had a lasting influence on Quinn, both personally and in regard to his subsequent work. Quinn is the author of several books and films about Picasso.

Starting in the 1960s, Quinn concentrated his professional activities on artists, photographing such figures as Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Francis Bacon, Salvador Dalí, Graham Sutherland and David Hockney. In the late 1980s, a close relationship – similar to his friendship with Picasso – developed between Quinn and Georg Baselitz.

From 1992 until his death in 1997, Edward Quinn lived in Altendorf near Zurich with his Swiss wife Gret. She passed away in 2011.

There was a special exhibion of the Quinn photographs he made of Pablo PIcasso at the Quadrat Museum in Bottrop. The exhibition poster is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Josef Albers silkscreens

A great inspiration for Sol LeWitt and considered by many as one of the greatest artists from the 20th Century. Josef Albers is the artist I am writing about this time. In an earlier blog I explained the importance for Minimal art of Josef Albers but this time the blog is devoted solely to the great original silkscreens I am exclusively offering on eBay. The series of 4 comes from a private collector and is from 1973. The silkscreens are executed on a double sheet of paper and are exquisite in the choice of colours. Albers is the true master of matching the best colours. The composition of HOMAGE TO THE SQUARE is always the same but the choice of colours and size make you look at a different work of art the moment you see it. These original silkscreens are 8.1 x 8.1 inch and now available at eBay’s  all international sites.