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Aart Klein (1909-2001) …typically dutch?

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No definitely not!….Klein is of the most important dutch photographers from the last century and recorded daily life in the Netherlands , but that does not mean that his photographs are typically dutch. Their subject is in many cases dutch, but their appeal is more international than one would imagine. I have sold Klein publications all over the world , including some to Japan. Aart Klein is for me one of the greats from the last century . His black and white photography has a graphic quality, which is rarely seen among his contemporaries.

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The Stedelijk Museum devoted a special exhibition to his photographs, but beside this special show he contributed to many other exhibitions with his quality photographs. Aart Klein publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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de Angst … Juni 1983

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If ever there was an obscure magazine in the Netherlands it was de Angst. Only a few volumes were published and the one depicted in this blog is one of them. It is from June 1983, was published in an edition size of only 100 copies. Printed/stencilled contents, hand bound signed in the plate by the authors Edzard Diderik, Martin Bril, Dirk van Weelden and Rob Scholte, who also made the original etching which was used as cover.

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The etchinh was colored by hand and the design was later used for one of his editions and a painting with the same name. In the magazine contributions a.o. by members of the ( Amsterdam) punk/avant garde scene which were finding their way into the multiple disciplines of Contemporary Art. There are contributions by Scholte, Maarten Ploeg and Peter Klashorst, who all made a serious art career. This rare magazine is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jackson Pollock and the Stedelijk Museum.

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Willem Sandberg was the fan and admirer who initiated the first presentations of Jackson Pollock in Europe. The Stedelijk Museum presented on several occasions his art and during these exhibitions made acquisitions resulting in some of the most iconic and important paintings in their collection. Among them is REFLECTIONS OF THE BIG DIPPER from 1947.

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Reflection of the Big Dipper consists of built up layers of paint with dripped enamel as the final touch, concluding the composition. It was around 1947 that Jackson Pollock traded in his brushes for sticks, trowels and knives and began adding foreign matter, such as sand, broken glass, nails, coins, paint-tube tops and bottle caps to his canvases. From this point on, Pollock’s application of paint became his main theme, which he tried to radicalize. With the body of work he thus created, Pollock found a unique position within the concurrent Abstract-Expressionist movement. Reflection of the Big Dipper was exhibited at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1948, along with sixteen other paintings by Jackson Pollock. The show received positive reviews. Pollock’s works from this time are a transitional step between a more traditional handling of paint and his revolutionary technique of dripping paint on canvases off a large scale.

www.ftn-books.com has a nice selection of Stedelijk Museum  publications on Jackson Pollock available.

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Robert Olaf Stoof (1945-1999)…and Real Free Press.

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Why this blog on a publisher? It is just plain simple…. Stoof is one of the most influential European publishers who paved the way for the alternative comic scene of which for instance , Joost Swarte, was one.

Robert Olaf Stoop was born in Amsterdam and grew up with his grandmother in Indonesia. He grew up to be a full-blooded anarchist, putting provocational pamphlets in the newspapers of non-suspecting travellers when he was working at the AKO in Schiphol Airport. He made posters for Provo magazine, and got involved with comics during the 1960s. In 1966, he self-published his comic ‘De Lotgevallen van Roza’, which can be considered the first European underground comic.

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He founded publishing house The Real Free Press in Amsterdam, “the lost connection for solid facts” which imported American underground comics and reprinted the work of long-forgotten geniuses such as George Herriman, Winsor McCay, Gustave Verbeck and George McManus. Stoop also published magazine De Real Free Press Illustratie, which featured many old and new comic artists, and ran from 1968 until 1974.

Olaf Stoop was one of the first to recognize the talent of Joost Swarte, and published his work in several forms, such as ‘De Papalagi’, which became famous world-wide, and Swarte’s first comic, ‘Modern Art’ (1980).

Stoop can be considered the founder of the Dutch alternative comics scene. An intriguing personality, he lived his whole life as an anarchist and a free mind. He died of a heart attack at the age of 52.

www.ftn-books.com has found of the Real Free Press papers with works by a.o Robert Crumb and has them for sale .

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“Negerkunst uit Centraal Afrika”

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Yesterday morning there was an article in the Volkskrant about the way art in museums by colored people and minorities must be described . The reason why the dutch museums are also looking for a desirable idiom is that also in dutch history there is a part of their history which is very doubtful. The catalogue which is in the title is the example which was given in the article ( available at www.ftn-books.com ). The exhibition was in those days, (which is very recent history) announced by the journalists and museum as “primitive art by natives inspired by western civilization a way of announcement as if we in Western Europe were civilized and others not.” A complete wrong way of describing the art from these artists. On the positive side…Sandberg was the one who thought these artists deserved a museum platform in the Stedelijk Museum as early as 1957. which was the place for these artists where they could, for the first time, present and show their art , side by side with Malevich and Mondrian. I can really understand why some words and expressions can not be used any longer, however …where a museum decides to remove an object from an exhibited collection and with this action denying some of the history from a country, should not be done…. in my opinion a better way would be to keep it within the collection and add an explanation why the museum thinks different nowadays about an object . This way explaining and not judging. Let the public judge for itself if the object is still beautiful or not.

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Jeroen Henneman (1942)

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Personally i am not the greatest fan of Jeroen Henneman, but i Recognize the importance of the artist for dutch art in the 20th century. Specially the time bracket between 1965 and 1980 is important, because in this period his works found their way into private collections. They were accessible and of high quality, but they never had great appeal to me personally. Nevertheless i encountered his works at auction and exhibitions and i always had an extra look at them, because when you first see them they have something extra, therefore i made the occasional book purchase because i like the institutions were he had his exhibitions. Specially the Nouvelles Images Gallery and the Stedelijk Museum made some great publications with his exhibitions which are both available at www.ftn-books.com

Henneman is certainly one of the best known  “modern” artists in the Netherlands and admired by some well known dutch famous collectors, but i am not one of them. Many dutch people know of his portrait of the former Queen Beatrix and his silhouetted portraits are well known too, but as said….i am not a fan.

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(Reinier) Lucassen (1939)

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Possibly the best known member of the NEW FIGURATION mouvement in the Netherlands is Lucassen. If i must describe his art, it is a mix between geometric colorfield and daily household objects like screens, plants and kitchenware, add some comics into it , stirr it and you have an early Lucassen painting .

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Later he developed this style into a very authentic and recognizable personal style. Making abstract compositions with shapes, numbers and letters. These paintings are intuitive compositions combining , more or less at random elements from his direct surroundings, but these can not be recognized as such. The compositions, titles, execution are like small poems executed on canvas.

www.ftn-books.com, has a large selection of Lucassen titles including the catalogues he made for his galerie Espace exhibitions.

 

 

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Larry Bell (1939)

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The last day in this cycle of blogs on Forgotten artists. The 5th blog is devoted to Larry Bell. I was in doubt if he really is forgotten, but concluded that at least in Europe he is forgotten. Where he had an initial important exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1968, for which Wim Crouwel designed the catalogue his name never showed up again in the Netherlands for participating in an exhibition ……but on the other side of the ocean it was different and his fame rose in the US from the early Seventies until now. The cubes he has made are magical and are a long time element in his oeuvre.  This is what he says on his site on his Cubes.

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Larry Bell became interested in glass in the early 1960s. As a medium, it had three properties that interested: it could transmit, absorb and reflect light, and with specific treatment, it could do all three at the same time. He found the cube to be an ideal form with which to investigate the phenomena of light on surface. The first cubes were made using household mirrors from which he would scratch away parts of the reflective material. Later he discovered a plating process that would make the glass reflective on both sides. With the early cubes, he incorporated geometric imagery, including the ellipse, adding visual complexity and depth to the simple forms. Eventually he eliminated the imagery. With a technology that deposited exquisitely thin films of various metallic and non-metallic substances to the glass. The resulting visual spectrum of colors is in fact light reflected in different wavelengths off the surface of the glass. Bell has continued to revisit the cubes throughout his career.

To end : there is a discount code on every purchase of 10% for the readers of this blog.

use: forgotten10    and you will receive the discount on your order/ valid until the 30th of June 2018

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Jasper Johns (1930)

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Another great artist who surfaced in the Sixties was Jasper Johns. Starting his career at the end of the Fifties , he soon became one of the best known and expensive artists from his generation. At one time one of his flag paintings was the first to fetch an incredible 10 Million dollars at auction, making it the most expensive painting by a living artist.

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Now we are accustomed to these crazy prices collectors are paying for art, but at that time is was unbelievable that a living artist could fetch such a price. Because of his popularity Johns soon had an exhibitions in the Netherlands at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. A special print exhibition and this exhibition was for me personally the perfect one.

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It was one of the first exhibitions i ever visited in the Stedelijk. I had an interest in graphic art and , young as i was,  a rookie in the world of art, i had no idea of prices. I thought i could afford a small print. But no way, these were far too expensive for a young starting collector. What remains?   … i still have the catalogue for sale at www.ftn-books.com and cherish it together with my personal copy. Book design was done by Wim Crouwel and it is available at www.ftn-books.com together with other Jasper Johns titles.

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Erwin Olaf donates 500 “key” works to the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

This morning you could read in the Volkskrant that Erwin Olaf donated 500 of his key works to the Rijksmuseum. Why the Rijksmuseum….because the last 5 year a bond between these 2 major forces in the art world grew now resulting in the extremely generous and large gift of the 500 most important works from Erwin Olaf’s career.

At the same time as this gift was announced, it was announced that the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Fotomuseum will both open an Erwin Olaf exhibition in February 2019. Please check  both their sites in half a year when the details will be known for both these exhibitions. If you can not wait until February…… Check Erwin Olaf’s site and visit www.ftn-books.com for his publications.