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Holland zonder Haast / 7 volumes

“Holland zonder Haast” is a series of photo books by famous dutch photographers who documented the Netherlands in the Fifties and Sixties and published by Uitgeverij VOETNOOT. The title in dutch means ” The Netherlands without rush”.

Time passed more slowly in those decades and there was more time available to simply enjoy family, friends and have some pleasure in your free time. No internet, not so many cars and less pressure on life made these times perhaps a better time to live in. The series is done by the best in dutch photography. There were 7 volumes done by Jan Blazer, Emmy Andriesse, Kees Scherer, Henk Jonker, Ad Windig,  Maria Austria and Sem Presser. All of them have been sold out since these books were almost published 20 years ago, but fortunately i have some titles available at www.ftn-books.com

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Emmy Andriesse ( 1914-1953)

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Emmy Andriesse was married to another famous dutch graphic designer. Dick Elffers was her husband and together they formed a formidable and important artistic couple. Where Elffers excelled in design and typography,

Emmy Andriesse found her artistic goal in photography. Het photographs belong to the best dutch photography has produced in the 20th century. People were her main subjects, but beside her portraits and scene photographs she proved to be an excellent landscape photographer too. At one time she travelled to Arles to photograph what van Gogh must have seen in his days and these photographs belong to the best ones she ever has made.

Book available at www.ftn-books.com. Het photographs have a social element which was rare and give an extra depth to the scenes she photgraphs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Flowers and Art…it is springtime

This morning after visiting a local flowershop, setup every year near a field where these are grown, i realized that we always have a lot of flowers at home. The owner cut the flowers from the field while i was there. It is a wide variety of sorts that is now available  and they all give color and atmosphere to the house.

The moment he came to me with the 2 freshly cut bundles of wild and cultivated flowers i knew the subject for todays blog, because at this moment the realization occurred to me ,that flowers are important in art too. Many artists have used the subject of flowers in their works. From very realistic. like Erik Andriesse to more abstract like Leo van Gestel ( from both www.ftn-books.com has publications available).

But for many these will not be very well known or familiar names, but there are many more…… How about Monet? a flower painter “pur sang” and Vincent van Gogh.

Just look at all the great names in art, even the almost abstract painters, They all draw inspiration from flowers. Perhaps the most beautiful ones come from Georgia Ao’Keeffe. Realistic, dreamlike and mystic these are perhaps the very best flower paintings in the world.

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Eva Besnyö (1910-2003)

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Eva Besnyö has reached a very high age and stayed active in photography for almost her entire life. It was not until her children had left the house, she took up photography again and started to make a name for herself with photographing the feminist movement of ” DOLLE MINA” in the early seventies. This made her quit famous in the Netherlands and with this recognition her older photographs of portraits and architecture were appreciated again too. Since she has had multiple exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad and is now considered with Oorthuys, Andriesse, Diepraam and van der Elsken to be the photographers that photographed the Netherlands and its society after WWII.

There are some Eva Besnyö publications available at www.ftn-books.com 

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Erik Andriesse (1957-1993)

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Exceptional talent, a great dutch artist and one of the greats in Dutch Modern Art. Andriesse died at the age of 35 in 1993 and left us some very impressive works of art. His most important themes were flowers and skulls. The equivalent for him of life and death. Admirer of Salvador  Dali, educated at the Ateliers 63, he soon became one of the most talented young artists in the Netherlands. He did not want to paint abstract paintings and chose for realism instead. Flowers and skulls being the centre of his works but also, lobsters, shells and apes. All his subjects were related to nature around us and he made wonderful paintings out of them. A large archive can be found on the internet at http://www.erikandriesse.nl

One of his techniques was to paint animals and use dead models to paint/draw them as accurately as possible. There is a nice video on YouTube  in which Marc Mulders and Erik Andriesse discuss this technique and some footage is shown while Erik is at work. A tremendous artist of whom some books are available at www.ftn-books.com

On the Andriesse site there is a nice text by Marlene Dumas in which she describes the works by Andriesse and concludes that not all of his works are naturalistic:

Nightmares of Beauty

Once upon a time there lived a boy called Erik Andriesse, who distinguished himself from the passionless people around him by glowing in the dark. Now the country he lived in was a quite dark. Artists however would talk about the extraordinary light in that country.

During the 80’s all the artists were interested in the artificiality of life. A picture of a flower was much more interesting than the flower itself. Very few people still believed that everything that existed was part of nature itself. People lived in cities. Artists lived in their studios. Places filled with books, bottles and talk about art and artists and what was relevant and what was not.

And they forgot to love…

But Erik was aware of the fire that eats at the heart, while the clock ticks at night. The shortage of time, the repetitive movements of desire, the energy of the body watched by death. Flowers larger than life, dreams larger than life.

Nightmares of beauty.

He was ignored by the calculators, whose blood did not rise, when they saw his exotic death-dances on paper, but he continued on his own impatient way. Erik is not a conceptual artist. Erik is not an associative artist. He is not interested in displaying the cultural-historical aspects of his subject-matter. But Erik is also not the naturalist he seems to be. He even shows similarities (at times) to Spiderman, the comic-strip hero. Erik is not a cultural barbarian or a primitive. He reflects on the good, the bad and the ugly of the artworld and the synthetic problems of painting.

MARLENE DUMAS, 1986