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Charlotte Mutsaers ( continued )

One of my earliest blogs (2016) was dedicated to Charlotte Mutsaers. I explained the importance of Mutsaers for dutch art in general. Mutsaers has started as a teacher in art and as as higy original painter. I Think her paintings from the early Eighties belong to the most important ones from that period. This conclusion is not lightly taken. Yesterday evening i leafed throught the catalogue which was published on the occasion of her exhibition at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in Den Haag and i was really impressed. Timeless, Poignant and colorful they impressed me once again. Some 25 yeasr ago, Mutsaers made a career swith and decided for a career in writing and since she has published some of the most important books in the dutch language. I like her books, but when i had to chose i always would chose one of her paintings instead of one of her books.

http://www.ftn-books.com  has several Mutsaers items / books available including the Den Haag poster from  2010

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Barend Blankert (1941)

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Some will say and compare him as being a dutch Lucian Freud, but Barend Blankert is for me still Barend Blankert and personally i would not compare him with anybody else.

Every time i encounter a painting by Blankert and study it i make up my own story. The scene and composition are the inspiration and the result always an original story and probabaly not the story Blankert intended.

So beside the impressive painting technique in which Blankert excels his storytelling is another quality this artist has. It is well worth studying this artist and whenever there is a possibility to see his paintings, do not hesitate and go there to admire these.

www.ftn-books.com has some Blankert publicatons available.

blankert

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Christian Boltanski (1944-1921)

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For me personally Boltanski stands for “remembering” and expressing this in gloomy art. The dark side is always present in his art and publications. Now Boltanski is dead and he leaves us with some of the greatest art from the last 50 years.

Christian Boltanski was born in 1944 in Paris and died in 2021 in Paris. In the 1960s he began to develop a “personal ethnology” marked, among others, by the influence of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Harald Szeemann. At the same time, drawing on museology, Boltanski exhibited inventories of items of anonymous owners. It is often the case in Boltanski’s work that objects (photos, pieces of clothing, bells, flowers…) give voice to absent subjects and are an invitation to the viewer to meditate and contemplate.

Since his first exhibition at LeRanelagh cinema in 1968 Boltanski’s work has been shown in numerous countries. Recent solo shows have been at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2019); Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo, Japan (2019); The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan and the National Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2019); The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2018); The Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China (2018); the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017); Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Italy (2017); The Museum of Contemporary Art of Monterrey, Mexico (2016); Instituto Valenciano Arte Moderno (IVAM), Spain (2016); Mac’s Grand Hornu, Belgium (2015); and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile (2014).

Boltanski was recognized with several awards over his lifetime, including the Praemium Imperiale Award (2006) and the Kaiser Ring Award (2001). He participated in Documenta (1977 and 1972) and numerous Venice Biennales (2011, 1995, 1993, 1980, and 1975).

www.ftn-books.com  has a large selection of Boltanski titles available

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Project KATSHOEK

Without knowing . The VOORMOLEN company made an artist book which contains contributions by the very best artists from the Netherlands from the Sixties. Katshoek was an architectural project in the rebuilding of Rotterdam after WWII. New architectural design , enhanced with art from the very best of dutch artists.

Together with the project the Voormolen company made an artist book. with contributions by Boezem, Bonies, Dekkers, Dibbets, Eikelenboom, van Elk, Gribling, Koetsdier, Manders, n, Rous, Schuitema, Graatsma, Slothouber, Staakman, Struycken, Volten

katshoek a

the above publication is also in the collection of several dutch museums and now available at www.ftn-books.com

Katshoek office building

Heer Bokelweg became the connection between Schiekade and the Rotte Tracé, a wide road from the centre to the motorway to Utrecht. The Katshoek building was the first structure built on this new and wide city boulevard.

Katshoek multi-tenant building on Heer Bokelweg.

Katshoek multi-tenant building on Heer Bokelweg.

Foto Kramer/Rotterdam City Archives

What a contrast between the large modern building faced in white Kirchheimer limestone and the Oude Noorden district behind it! The huge structure has been built on Heer Bokelweg in the Zomerhof District.

It was originally designed as a multi-tenant building for small industries that had previously been housed in temporary structures in the area. However, this plan was dropped on account of the drastic increase in construction costs since the plan was launched in 1959. The idea now is to house ten large offices in the building, among them probably, subject to approval by the city council, a number of municipal departments. In addition, the Voormolen contracting firm that built the structure hopes to move from its current address on Westersingel into the new building on Heer Bokelweg in early 1968.

Het Vrije Volk, 28 September 1967

Katshoek-Bouw-1966

Flashy perspective drawing of Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Bouw, 1966

The post-war Basis Plan for the centre of Rotterdam earmarked Heer Bokelweg as a main access route into the new city from the north-east; an entrance between ‘gateways’ like the Shell building and the Schieblok to the renewed Hofplein and Coolsingel. Heer Bokelweg later became the connection between Schiekade and the Rotte Tracé, a wide road from the centre to the motorway to Utrecht. The Katshoek building was the first structure built on this new and wide city boulevard. After completion of the building the widening was extended on the north side, including an unsophisticated gap punched in the Hofbogen viaduct. But the changing insights of the early 1990s are visible on the southern side in the narrowing of the street with the construction of the Scala apartment complex beside the RAC garage, which today houses the city archives.

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Model of Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Stedenbouw, 1968

Multi-tenant building

The sturdy seven-floor concrete-frame building is designed as a multi-tenant building, but it differs considerably in both layout and architecture from Maaskant’s other multi-tenant buildings such as the Industriegebouw, Groothandelsgebouw and Verzamelgebouw Zuidplein. According to Maaskant expert Michelle Provoost, this is an atypical work for Maaskant. “Especially the facade, which is very flat. You don’t see that very often in Maaskant’s buildings. The facades of his buildings are usually very expressive.”

The exterior is indeed fairly flat, with sleek bands of fenestration in aluminium profiles and stone cladding. The interior and the columns along the lower volume on Almondestraat are finished in bush-hammered concrete, a technique used to leave the concrete surface rough. The use of luxury materials gives the building a strongly representative feel. The floors of the two halls of the main staircases and of the shopping gallery are finished in Jura stone. The walls of the halls and the ground-floor columns feature exposed concrete adorned with a relief, while the entrances to the staff lifts are finished in white anodized aluminium.

The angle on the front facade is elegantly highlighted by the stone bands that continue as a vertical series of balconies.

Clearing the way for cars

The widening of Heer Bokelweg cleared the way for cars, but the building facilitates cars in other ways too. A car park for 250 vehicles was built behind the building and was directly connected to the office volume. In addition, an Aral petrol station was built on the triangular site between Heer Bokelweg and Almondestraat. And so the number of petrol stations within a 100-metre radius came to three!

Artwork

Art plays an important role in the building. The facade features an entrance relief by André Volten (1925-2002), one of the best-known abstract sculptors of the post-war period, whom Maaskant frequently worked with. The piece (Untitled, 1968) is a facade element with circular segments. The lines of the architecture are repeated in the work and distorted to form a new image. It was originally made of stainless steel and stone, but during renovation it was painted black along with the columns, ruining the effect. An art event was held in the entrance hall to mark the opening of the building in 1968.

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Advertisement for NV Aannemingsmij. v/h H & P. Voormolen, proud builder and owner of the Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Stedenbouw, 1968

Until 21 December, the ground floor of the new Katshoek office building in Rotterdam is the venue for an exhibition that is as unusual as it is striking. At the invitation of Voormolen, the contractors responsible for building Katshoek, sixteen artists were given an opportunity to express themselves creatively with all sorts of construction materials.

Het Parool, 14 December 1968

It was, according to organizer Bob Bonies, a remarkable project:

“After all those exhibitions, which always consisted of the finest possible arrangement of existing works, I wanted to try another approach. I proposed inviting a number of Dutch artists to create their contribution inside that wonderful space by using construction materials supplied by Voormolen. Including engines, blowers and the like. And with the help of skilled workmen from Voormolen. It was an expensive project, but I immediately received full cooperation.

I chose sixteen artists: the cool guys Dekkers, Manders, Koetsier, Struycken and myself, Boezem, Dibbets and Van Elk with their micro-emotive art, the kinetic artist Staakman, Eikelenboom with his utopian situations, Rous, who makes a sort of minimal art, André Volten, Paul Schuitema with his colour scheme and his alphabet and the Slothouber-Graatsma team from the Cubic Construction Centre. And Gribling with his space structures.”

Het Parool, 21 December 1968

Today

The building housed the offices of Robeco, Procter & Gamble Benelux and a number of municipal departments. Owing to its out-of-the-way location, the building later fell out of favour. The current tenants are OMA and Havensteder.

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Sandro Chia (1946)

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The very first time when i saw work by the Italian CHia was when he was presented together with contemporary artist from Italy presented at the Stedelijk Museum and i decided at that moment that fro me personally i liked the works by Chia the best. Not cucchi, not Clemente and not Palladino i liked most but the semi bombastic paintings by Chia  i liked most. They have a classical quality, but look very contemporary. Bright colors and filled with action his paintings still fascinate me.

chia sm a

Sandro Chia is an Italian painter and sculptor. A native of Florence, he was a key member of the Italian Transavanguardia movement, along with fellow countrymen Francesco Clemente, Mimmo Paladino, Nicola De Maria, and Enzo Cucchi. The movement was at its peak during the 1980s and was part of a wider movement of Neo-Expressionist painters around the world.

http://www.ftn-books.com has some nice Chia titles available.

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Burgoyne Diller (1906-1965)

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A pioneer of American modernism, Burgoyne Diller devoted his career to the exploration of geometric abstraction in paintings, drawings, collages, and sculptures.

For Diller, abstraction was the ideal realm of harmony, stability and order in which every form and spatial interval could be controlled and measured. His style began with forms of modernism, including cubism, Kandinsky’s abstraction, constructivism, and other European models.He simplified his palette to the bold colors and black and white of neoplasticism and reduced his visual vocabulary to squares and rectangles.” “Diller developed a highly personal language based on three major compositional themes. These themes, which he labeled “First,” “Second,” and “Third,” explored the picture plane in relation to forms in movement and forms in constant opposition. By 1934 Diller had likely become the earliest American exponent of Mondrian’s type of geometrical abstraction. In the early 1940s, he began creating wall-mounted wood constructions, and during the 1950s and 1960s his sculptures developed into the large-scale, free-standing, formica works for which he is well known.”

The Sullivan Goss Art Gallery notes the following about Diller’s style: “Composed predominantly of squares and rectangles and accented with primary colors against a solid white background, Diller’s mature abstract paintings are the result of his explorations of pure color and form. Diller’s austere work recalls the stinging isolation of the lives of all Americans of the Depression era, and possibly his own. However, the well-planned geometric nature of his paintings reveals his desire for a reconstructed world prevailing over the seemingly hopeless situation in the United States during the Depression

Above is the excellent text on Diller and his style of painting found on Wikipedia

http://www.ftn-books.com has some excellent and scarce Diller publications available

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van Gogh and Ruscha by David B.

It was a few days ago that David B. published on Facebook some photographs he had taken. Without knowing  where these were taken I immediately ralized that these could have been made some 50 even 120 years ago.

I refer to the Hollywood sign paintings by Ed Ruscha and the landscapes around Arles by Vincent van Gogh.

Without knowing, we have learned to look at objects, landscapes and forms like we are our own artists and  these observations must have influenced us in the way we look at the world around us and take and create our own art with the many pictures we nowadays can take with camera’s and phones. It even proves that art is important for those who have an open mind towards it. Learning from the art and artists they have encountered in museums and galeries, to create their own interprations of the world around them.

http://www.ftn-books.com has some very nice Ruscha and van Gogh titles available.

 

 

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Floor van Keulen added to the FTN art collection

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It was a long time on my wish list and ia finally could fullfill this wish. Since i met Floor van Keulen at the Haags Gemeentemuseum where he painted the  “Project room” at the Haags Gemeentemuseum in 1989.

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His wall drawings are extremely large narratives. You can discover human figuren, weapons, books and landscapes all within the same wall painting/drawing. Connected with eachother by more figures and objects, resulting in an almost abstract painting, but with so many details that are realistic. His stand alone paintings are scarce. Most of the time lare/extremely large and where his small drawings are just sketches and exercises for the large wall drawings. His paintings on paper are true paintings. Where his wall drawings are most of the time removed or painted over. His large “paintings” are permanent and one of these , from 1987 , i now have added to the FTN art collection.

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The following text was found on the Piet Heen eek site and shows a different approach to his art.

Human figures and cartoons are the only motifs in the repertoire of drawings created by Floor van Keulen since 1980. They appear to be randomly spread across the surface, components of a well-balanced composition without any specific meaning. Shapes effortlessly melt into one another, debate with each other; emotions occasionally flare up, only to harmoniously merge together afterwards.

Floor van Keulen appears to shirk from the formal experiment, the abstract art experiment, in which realistic and figurative art that set the tone for hundreds of years is brushed aside as a truly relevant form. Van Keulen does not allow himself to be drawn into movements or trends within contemporary art. He has developed his own unique vision and confrontational visual language in which figurative depictions are interwoven with abstract shapes.

His art originates in his imagination and reality. He uses the ‘vocabulary’ he has put together through the years to formulate a vision of the world around him. The viewer encounters the virtuosity of the image and gets carried away in the painter’s exuberant gesture. On closer analysis of what it is exactly that affects the viewer so strongly, he or she first focuses on the pattern and motifs, attempting to decipher the artist’s story by interpreting the figurative elements. Only later does he or she discover that it is the work as a whole that is key here, the total emotion, not the details, form and contra-form. At first glance, the work appears to be expressive, but on closer inspection, clearly has a more subdued character and is carefully balanced and considered.

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Stedelijk Museum “on line” visits

Blog readers know of the large collection i have for sale on the Stedelijk Museum, its artists and its exhibitions ( http://www.ftn-books.com), but it is hard to grow this collection . No book markets, no museum visits and the only thing i could do is to photograph and describe my stock and add this to my inventory. It has now grown over by 1100 entries and i am convinced it is one of the largest collections for sale on the Stedelijk Museum and itss history. But to bridge the time between closure and reopening its collections to visitors, they made available some interesting virtual visits to the museum and its collections. Guided by curators and director Rein Wolfs , you can now make a virtual visit. One of the best i think is the one Rein Wolfs hosts. It shows the direction into which the Stedelijk is developing for the next decade or so. Interesting…. yes…., but i do hope they still will keep their focus on their history and great collection, they build over the years.

 

 

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Dirk Vander Eecken (1954)

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I was trying to find some information on the Belgian artist Dirk Vander Eecken when i stumbled upon a painting by this artist. The work was sold nearby at auction. SO there i was at the viewing day…..It was there high up in the shade and badly presented to the public, but i decided to take the gamble and made a bid and won.

Now i have it in my sudy. It is there, proudly standing against one of my bookcases and i am getting more and more impressed by its qualities. It is a combinbation of painted papers, prints and tissues worked into two sides which appear to have no relation which each other accept……. study it closely and you will see that in the background of the right part a part of the composition of the left part is still visible. The right part has been overprinted/painted with some wooden/organic/vegetal parts making the painting much more complex and appealing. This painting is now for sale at http://www.ftn-blog.com ( ftn art).

It measuers 200 x 100 cm. signed by Vander Eecken and its condition is still excellent. For a viewing appointment please contatc me at ftnbooksandart@gmail.com. Vander Eecken has had exhibitions all over Europe and his works are present in the collection of the SMAK, Mhka and many more.

eecken a