Posted on Leave a comment

Minimal Art at the Haags Gemeentemuseum

minimal gm a

 

It was in the early Eighties that i learned of the Minimal Art collection and history of the Haags Gemeentemuseum.

Crucial for the collection was the interest of almost all modern art curators in Minimal Art. Starting with Enno Develing who introduced the key artists of the Minimal Art scene for the first time in a large exhibition in 1968. Among them Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre and of course Sol LeWitt. Many of them would receive solo prentations in the years to follow, but this first time was a breakthrough for Minimal Art. The catalogue is arare book nowadays and i am lucky to have a copy for sale at www.ftn-books.com

After this first exhibition many exhibitions would follow. Enno Develing, Flip Bool, Rudi Fuchs and Franz Kaiser all took an interest in Minimal Art and because of this interest , exhibitions with LeWitt, Andre and Judd were organized in the decades after this first  1968 Minimal Art exhibition. I doubt that none was as important as this very first one, because after this first one Minimal Art was established as an art form, but another aspect that makes this first ( Develing ) exhibition important is that the relationship between the Gemeentemuseum and these artist was not only an artistic one.  The museum and its curators became friends with practically all Minimal Art artists, resulting in an ever growing collection of Minimal Art.

There is a nice link to a tribute to Sol LeWitt to be found over here:

http://www.gem-online.nl/files/media/gem/2016/sol_lewitt._a_tribute/ebook_sollewitt_web.pdf

Posted on Leave a comment

Robert Morris, a true visionary (1931)

Schermafbeelding 2017-05-12 om 11.49.54

Time to dedicate a blog to another icon of minimal art, but not only minimalism , but also Land Art was one of the key parts within his oeuvre. Robert Morris was one of the central figures of Minimalism. Through both his own sculptures of the 1960s and theoretical writings, Morris set forth a vision of art pared down to simple geometric shapes stripped of metaphorical associations, and focused on the artwork’s interaction with the viewer. However, in contrast to fellow Minimalists Donald Judd and Carl Andre, Morris had a strikingly diverse range that extended well beyond the Minimalist ethos and was at the forefront of other contemporary American art movements as well, most notably, Process art and Land art. Through both his artwork and his critical writings, Morris explored new notions of chance, temporality, and ephemerality. This makes him one of the most important contemporary American artists alive. As early as the early sixties thre has been an interest in his minimal and land art in the Netherlands. The Kroller Muller, Stedelijk Museum and van Abbemuseum all held exhibitions on Morris. Some of these publications are still available at www.ftn-books.com. Lately the interest in his works has decreased, but that does not mean that his projects are not epic. This is an artists of whom people say in the 23rd century…….a true visionary.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Donald Judd and the Chinati foundation

Marfa Texas…that is where the Chinati Foundation is settled. The Foundation was an initiative by Donald Judd who founded this in 1979. Since buildings were eerected and exhibitions were being held with friends and admired artists. There were exhibitions with works by John Chamberlain, an installation by Dan Flavin occupying six former army barracks, and works by Carl Andre, Ingólfur Arnarsson, Roni Horn, Ilya Kabakov, Richard Long, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, David Rabinowitch, and John Wesley. Each artist’s work is installed in a separate building on the museum’s grounds.

Schermafbeelding 2017-04-01 om 14.52.55

One of the main buildings is called the Arena. It was built in the 1930s as a gymnasium for the soldiers at Fort D.A. Russell. After the fort closed in 1946, the gym floor was torn up for the wood, and sand was laid to provide an indoor arena for horses. In the mid 1980s, Judd restored the building, which was largely dilapidated. Judd left the long strips of concrete that had originally supported the wooden floor, and filled the intervening spaces with gravel. For practical considerations, Judd poured a large concrete area by the kitchen at the south end, and a smaller area at the north end of the building’s interior. These two areas comprise half of the total area of the building. Judd also added a sleeping loft and designed the outer courtyard, which includes areas for eating, bathing, and a barbecue. There are two works by David Rabinowitch installed in the building: one on the ground floor (Elliptical Plane in 3 Masses and 4 Scales, 1971-72) and one in the loft (6-Sided Bar, III, 1969). These works are on long-term loan from the Judd Foundation.

Chinati is like a Disney park for the Minimal art admirer. Everything breathes Minimal Art and the Judd designs make it even more special. There  are some very nice Donald Judd books available at www.ftn-books.com including one publication by the Chinati foundation.

Posted on Leave a comment

Minimal Art by Judd, Andre and LeWitt

I chose these 3 artists to tell you something on Minimal Art in the Netherlands. These 3 artists were the first to be invited to have an exhibition on Minimal Art in 1968,. The exhibition was curated by Enno Develing and the catalogue published with this exhibition has become one of the rarest of dutch museum catalogues from the last half century. I am fortunate to still have it available in PDF, because this one was so rare i decided, at the time i was working as a bookseller/publsher for the Haags Gemeentemuseum to buy one to turn it into PDF files and so making it available for collectors and visitors. Thanks to Ap Gewald, who had the original copy and lent it to me for this purpose, this project became possible. A good decision, because it has become a very hard to find catalogue and because of its importance it is still available for students and collectors alike in PDF.

For all customers ordering in the next week, i make this catalogue available on request and sent it by Wetransfer. But because of this long time relation of these 3 artists, all three of them have made special editions with the museum shop. Sol LeWitt made painted tiles, Carl Andre small copper plates in editions of 1/1 and Donald Judd, made brightly colored furniture for the bookshop in the early nineties. Of course these products are all completely sold out, but what is still available, but is increasingly becoming more scarce every day, is the Museum publications and artist books by these artists. Specially Sol LeWitt works are harder to find each

 

month, but i am proud to have one of the 1972 editions by Sol LeWitt in my inventory. It is the Macerata edition of 8 original /signed silkscreens by Sol LeWiit in its original white plastic container.

https://ftnbooks.myshopify.com/admin/products/448412805

And because we have to celebrate a milestone on Facebook there is of course a discount code (valid for only 2 days) , which gives a 10% discount : FBminimal10

Please take a look at the many beautiful Minimal Art books that are available at:

www.ftn-books.com

lewitt-2015

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Dan Flavin (1933-1996)

Schermafbeelding 2017-03-08 om 09.15.29
Dan Flavin

 

Minimal Art, but for me completely different because of the great change his art makes to its direct environment. Colors, size and composition of the lights change the room  where the light sculptures are exhibited completely.

There must be a wealth of unfinished projects, because Flavin generally conceived his sculptures in editions of three or five, but would wait to create individual works until they had been sold to avoid unnecessary production and storage costs. Until the point of sale, his sculptures existed as drawings or exhibition copies. As a result, the artist left behind more than 1,000 unrealized sculptures when he died in 1996.

 

His earliest works were exhibited in the van Abbemuseum in 1966. The Netherlands were at that time one of the earliest countries to adopt the Minimal Artists. Major exhibitions by LeWitt, Andre and Judd in the late 60’s  were held in Den Haag and Amsterdam.

Schermafbeelding 2017-03-08 om 09.25.41

Flavin realized his first full installation piece, greens crossing greens (to Piet Mondrian who lacked green), for an exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands, in 1966. Flavin’s “corridors”, for example, control and impede the movement of the viewer through gallery space. They take various forms: some are bisected by two back-to-back rows of abutted fixtures, a divider that may be approached from either side but not penetrated (the color of the lamps differs from one side to the other). The first such corridor, untitled (to Jan and Ron Greenberg), was constructed for a 1973 solo exhibition at the St. Louis Art Museum, and is dedicated to a local gallerist and his wife. It is green and yellow; a gap (the width of a single “missing” fixture) reveals the cast glow of the color from beyond the divide. In subsequent barred corridors, Flavin would introduce regular spacing between the individual fixtures, thereby increasing the visibility of the light and allowing the colors to mix.[24]

By 1968, Flavin had developed his sculptures into room-size environments of light. That year, he outlined an entire gallery in ultraviolet light at documenta 4 in Kassel, Germany. In 1992, Flavin’s original conception for a 1971 piece was fully realized in a site-specific installation that filled the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s entire rotunda on the occasion of the museum’s reopening.

www.ftn-books.com has many titles on Minimal Art and some on Dan Flavin

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Pat Andrea and Zomeravond Softball

schermafbeelding-2016-11-23-om-09-33-20

I have always been an admirer of Pat Andrea’s work. From his earliest days he illustrated books by Herman Pieter de Boer to his later years in which he made large sized paintings. One of the first ( possibly the first) large paintings i saw by Pat Andrea was his ZOMERAVOND SOFTBAL which was in one of the staircases of the Haags Gemeentemuseum. An impressive painting which in the late 80’s disappeared. Is it in the depot or has it been exchanged with another collection? ….i do not know, but what i do know is, that in 1985 the Berlage masterpiece , the Haags Gemeentemuseum, celebrated his 50 years of history since opening. Gerrit Jan de Rook was the curator who was in charge of a special editions program in which he invited a selection of artists to make a “special” for the celebration. Among these works by the famous Carl Andre, but Pat Andrea was commissioned too, to make a series of 8 small paintings on the theme of “Zomeravond softball”. When they became for sale i was very much impressed by these little gems too and decided to buy one… Now i had my small version of “Zomeravond softball”

andrea-softball

I have very much enjoyed this beautiful Pat Andrea for over 20 years , but decided to sell it when i needed the funds to buy another piece of art. The work was sold, but the admiration for Pat Andrea remained. You can look at www.ftn-books.com for more publications on Pat Andrea. Including Journal d’Aurore, which is at this moment the only copy on the market ( inquire)

Posted on Leave a comment

Tomas Rajlich…Structures in paint

 

schermafbeelding-2016-10-03-om-12-13-05

Just a short blog to let you know that a large retrospetcive on Tomas Rajlich will be opened on the 15th of October 2016 which will be on show until 22nd January 2017.

Tomas Rajlich, a minimal painter for whom the grid is the measure of things. Rajlich’s starting point is usually a network of horizontal and vertical lines, which he lays down and then covers them with loose brushwork. The result – constructed with an exceptional feel for colour, sheen and the substance of his materials- is a painted surface  in which texture and structure predominate.

The exhibition is made partly with works that Rajlich recently has donated to the collections of the Gemeentemuseum.

The Irma Boom designed book is available at www.ftn-books.com