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Brian Maguire (1951)

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This is an artist I really like since his painting is not only fast and contemporary, but he makes political statements with his painting that are important. This is possibly also the reason why his paintings are not found within the large museum collections. Only some daring museums that are not afraid to take a stand will add his works to their collection. But these works are important since, in. a an artistic way,  they confront you with the world around us that is easily and possibly conveniently forgotten.
Since the very beginning of his career in the 1970s, Brian Maguire has approached painting as an act of solidarity. He operates a truly engaged practice, compelled by the raw realities of humanity’s violence against itself, and the potential for justice.

Maguire’s preoccupations draw him to the margins of the art world—alternative space, prisons, women’s shelters, and psychiatric institutions—making shows in traditional gallery and museum spaces something of a rarity. Maguire’s most recent paintings directly confront issues of migration, displacement and human dignity in the face of the current global unrest. They are some of his most nuanced and ambitious to date, which he has crafted with larger brushes and thinned-down acrylic on canvas. He works slowly, using photographic sources, searching for that point where illustration ceases and art begins. This growing contrast between the seductive painterly aesthetic and the subject matter only adds to the potential impact of these formidable canvases.In 2018 Maguire released his newest publication that displays a substantial new artist monograph surveying his career to date. Maguire has shown extensively in Europe and the US, also participating in shows in Korea, China and Japan.

Recent solo exhibitions include: War Changes It’s Address, United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA, (2020); Scenes of Absence, Rubin Center, Texas University, TX, USA, (2019); Escenarios de ausencia, Art Museum Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, (2019); War Changes Its Address: The Aleppo Paintings, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, (2018); Concerned, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2018) and the European Parliament, Brussels (2012). Recent group exhibitions include: Naked Truth, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, (2018); Demise, Cleveland University Art Gallery, Cleveland, OH, USA, (2018); The sea is the limit, York Art Gallery, York, UK, (2016); Conversations, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2014) and Ni Una Mas, Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA, (2010).

Maguire’s work is represented in the collections of Irish Museum of Modern Art; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; Museum of Fine Art Houston, Texas; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Netherlands; Alvar Alto Museum, Finland.

www.ftn-books.com has one Maguire title available

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Graham Sutherland (1903-1980)

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When i looked for information on Sutherland I found this excellent article on the WIDEWALLS site.

One of the leading British artists of the 20th century, Graham Sutherland was widely known for his prints and paintings. Despite some other names coming to mind before him when talking about the art history, such as David HockneyFrancis Bacon, or Lucian Freud, there was a time when Sutherland ruled undisputed. From mid-1930’s, when he established his identity as a modern painter, to the 1950s, when his influence began to wane, there was a widespread consensus amongst fellow artists and critics that Sutherland was the most exciting and compelling voice in contemporary British painting.[1] He was even commissioned to paint a portrait of Winston Churchill, in what turned out to be one of the most famous cases of the subject disliking the artwork, which eventually led to its destruction.

Sutherland’s artistic career included several significant changes in direction. After specializing in engraving and etching, he began achieving fame as a printmaker. His early pastoral prints display the influence of the English Romantic Samuel Palmer, whereby prefiguring Sutherland’s later involvement within the Neo-Romantic movement in Britain. However, the famous 1929 Wall Street Crash bankrupted many of his collectors, thus forcing Sutherland to turn to other sources of income. He worked as an illustrator until he visited Pembrokeshire, becoming completely captivated by it, and subsequently, turning to painting as a primary medium for his expression. The artist continued to draw inspiration from Pembrokeshire countryside and its enthralling anthropomorphic natural forms for the rest of his life.[2] When working on landscapes, Sutherland’s working method included seizing on a detail such as a dead tree, boulder, thorn bush, everything that according to the artist, required a separate existence. He would sketch this on the spot, and later a studio painting would evolve. Sutherland wasn’t the first to do so – many landscape artists before him had done pretty much the same, but his studio hand moved considerable further from what his outdoor eye had seen. Neo-romantic at the core, his work inspired others such as Paul NashJohn Craxton, and John Piper. Over time, Sutherland began to reveal himself as a vivid colorist with an original sense of harmonies. He somewhat banished the dark and heavy tones which he had used earlier, though preserving the sharp black and white oppositions and using acid pinks and mauves, orange and light blue, emerald, chrome yellow, and scarlet.

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

 

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Barrie Cooke (1931-2014)

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For me Barrie Cooke stands for the excellent taste Rudi Fuchs has in art and the beautiful designed catalogue Gracia Lebbink made for the Cooke exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in 1992. I can not remember if Cooke was present at the opening, but i still remember the first impression his paintings made on me when i first saw them in the exhibition rooms in the Gemeentemuseun. These paintings were personal and overwhelming and reminded me of the ones Francis Bacon made.

left Cooke and right Bacon

At that time Fuchs had become very interested in Irish art and presented Cooke shortly after he had had an exhibition with works by Jack B. Yeats

An artists’ artist, he won enormous respect from his peers over several generations for his utter commitment and the integrity of his vision. He was a passionate fisherman and the natural world was always at the heart of his work. His figure paintings and portraits are also exceptional.

His paintings are cherished for their dynamic, immediate, visceral connection with their subject matter. Early training at Skowhegan in the US and at Oskar Kokoschka’s School of Vision in Salzburg helped to shape the urgent vitality of his pictorial approach – a vitality reflected in the artist’s personality.

Having grown up in Bermuda and studied in the US, he went to England in 1954 to revisit his roots but found little to engage him. So he took a ferry to Ireland and, he said, felt at home even as he walked down the gangplank.

Irish life
He settled in rural Co Clare where he and his first wife, Harriet Cooke, lived in some poverty. Later he moved to Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, with ceramic artist Sonja Landweer, who introduced him to Rudolf Steiner’s ideas on natural processes. His next move was to a remote house overlooking Lough Arrow in Co Sligo.

The Barrie Cooke Gemeentemuseum catalogue designed by Gracia Lebbink is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Michelangelo Pistoletto (1933)

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I know his work and recognize it by his reflecting surfaces and mirror like qualities , but Pistoletto is much more than an artist who uses a “Gimmick”. Now , 85 years of age he has proven to be one of the most influential Italian artists from the last century and his works have spread all over the world . (I even have illy collection cups by Pistoletto in my collection ;-).

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Why is he, i think, so important?…. Probably this is because he stayed true to his art and has developed it into a very personal and recognizable form which is now appreciated by many. Pistoletto had had his exhibitions in the Netherlands in the van Abbemuseum and Stedelijk Museum and has built steadily an appreciative audience because of these exhibitions in the Netherlands since his earliest one at the van Abbemuseum in 1986. Arte Povera is Pistoletto ….and within his works he brings together Fluxus and conceptual art. The admiration of Bacon started his art career, but since he has walked his own path of “REFLECTION”.

Here are some of the books www.ftn-books.com has on Pistoletto in collection

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Leon Kossoff (1926)

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One of the grand old masters of British painting is Leon Kossoff. Kossoff is not very well known outside Great Britain , but had his exhibitions in one of the most prestigious museum for modern art, the Louisiana museum in Denmark. Beside that occasion he was presented on the Venice Biennale and in several group exhibitions in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. In 1956, Kossoff joined Helen Lessore’s Beaux Arts Gallery, located on Bruton Place in London. In 1959, Kossoff began to teach at the Regent Street Polytechnic, the Chelsea School of Art, and the Saint Martin’s School of Art, all in London. While teaching, he continued his artistic career, and soon started featuring in galleries and shows, along with his friend Frank Auerbach and other artists such as Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Keith Critchlow a school friend from Saint Martin’s. During this time, Kossoff moved his studio to Willesden Junction, and in 1966, moved his studio to Willesden Green. It is not only his friendship with Auerbach, Bacon and Freud that his paintings deserve to be known better, but the quality of them stands out from many of the rest from his generation and he deserves a place next to his three famous friends and not behind them. Kossoff is a great painter. There are 2 publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Francis Bacon

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If you ask me which artist was represented with the most beautiful and best catalogues published for every exhibition organized with his works…. the answer is Francis Bacon.

Oversized catalogues with several hundreds of pages, excellent print quality and because of its content in many cases with multiple fold out pages to show Bacon’s Triptych’s in the best possible way outside a museum.

I followed Bacon closely because in 2001 the Gemeentemuseum organized its most expensive and logistically one of the most difficult exhibitions ever ….the one on Francis Bacon. The plan was to print the catalogue in Singapore, but because of a promised book publication to the former director, he decided for a dutch publisher. An initial publication run was set in relation with the expected number of visitors. Soon after opening it proved a wrong estimate, because fortunately, the works by Bacon proved to be far more popular than expected. 3 editions of the catalogue were printed during the exhibition and in total almost 8.00o copies were sold . A huge commercial succes, but even more important a great succes for Bacon as one of the leading modern artists from the 20th century.

This was one of the last times so many large Bacon paintings ,including many Triptychs, were presented in one Bacon exhibition. The exhibition showed the importance of Bacon and because of this, the Gemeentemuseum got on loan the Bacon which is in the collection of the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and one from the estate of Francis Bacon. Nowhere in the Netherlands so many Bacon paintings can be seen in one spot and  and the sixties acquisition  of the PARALYTIC CHILD WALKING ON ALL FOURS proved to be a worthy addition the collection of the Gemeentemuseum. ( in the JAARBOEK a study by Josephus Jitta is published on the “Paralytic child”)

 

wilfried

www.ftn-books.com