Naum Gabo (1890-1977)….and the Bijenkorf / Rotterdam

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De Bijenkorf building in Rotterdam is one of the iconic buildings in this city. After the bombardment which destructed its complete city centre in WWII, the city rebuild its centre with help of contractors and world famous architects. Among them Marcel Breuer who designed the Bijenkorf building and had a sculpture by Naum Gabo placed before the building. The sculpture has become possibly even more famous than the building by Breuer and was recently cleaned and restored and now has back its original splendor.

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Here is a short biography which can be found at the Tate site

Naum Gabo 1890-1977.Constructive sculptor and painter. Born in Briansk in Russia, named Naum Pevsner; younger brother of the sculptor Antoine Pevsner. Entered Munich University in 1910, studying first medicine, then the natural sciences; also attended art history lectures by Wölfflin. Transferred in 1912 to an engineering school in Munich. Met Kandinsky and in 1913-14 joined his brother Antoine (then a painter) in Paris. After the outbreak of war moved first to Copenhagen, then Oslo; began to make constructions in 1915 under the name Naum Gabo. 1917-22 in Moscow with Pevsner, Tatlin, Kandinsky and Malevich; wrote and issued jointly with Pevsner in 1920 a Realistic Manifesto proclaiming the tenets of pure Constructivism. Lived 1922-32 in Berlin in contact with the artists of the de Stijl group and the Bauhaus. First one-man exhibition with Pevsner at the Galerie Percier, Paris, 1924. With Pevsner, designed the set and costumes for Diaghilev’s ballet La Chatte 1926. 1932-5 in Paris, a member of Abstraction-Creation; 1935-46 in England, first in London, then from 1939 at Carbis Bay in Cornwall. Edited Circle jointly with J.L. Martin and Ben Nicholson in 1937. Moved in 1946 to the USA and settled in 1953 at Middlebury, Connecticut; became a US citizen in 1952. Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at Harvard University 1953-4. From 1950 onwards carried out several large sculpture commissions, including a sculpture for the Bijenkorf store in Rotterdam 1955-7. Created Hon. KBE 1971. Died at Waterbury, Connecticut.

www.ftn-books.com has some Naum Gabo titles available.

 

Armando (1929) . …and the Armando Museum/ MOA museum

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At one time in the last decade there was a true Armando Museum in AMERSFOORT, but since a fire destroyed the museum in 2007 the largest part of the Armando collection had to be relocated and found a place in the MOA museum / Museum Oud Amelisweerd.

http://www.moa.nl/nl/Collections/Armando

and of course this great short documentary in the series HOLLANDSE MEESTERS which is an excellent portrait of thsi dutch master.

This site contains over 2100 works by Armando , which makes it the most important public place on the internet to view the works by Armando (Herman Dirk van Dodeweerd). You can spent some great time over there, but what it lacks is the story and the essential timeline on the works by Armando. No problem , because www.ftn-books.com has some great titles on Armando available at http://www.ftn-books.com to read and see whyArmando is such a great artist.

 

Heinz Berggruen (1914-2007)… AAA publications

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What is the resemblance between Ernst Beyeler and Heizn Berggruen? ….. both are grand masters of the Modern Art dealer world, both have become famous and both have started their own galleries and the result was that in the end they both had their own museum. Beyeler in Riehen and Berggruen in Berlin.

This blog tells something about the history of Heinz Berggruen, who started his art dealer career with buying some Paul Klee’s in a time that money was scarce and good quality art and appreciation of modern art even more problematic. Still he bought one of his first water colours by Paul Klee for $ 100,- of a jewish person who was in need of money. This way he started dealing and collecting art and continued to do so , even after he resigned from his Paris gallery in 1980, and continued building his own collection into one of the great collections of modern art in the world. The collection contained, Paul Klee, Braque, Klee, Matisse, Giacometti and a very large collection of over 80 Picasso paintings. All this great art made it invaluable. The result …he wanted  the collection to stay together and sold his collection to the Berggruen Museum at a reduced price where his collection is now on show. Over 100 masterpieces still together at one place, the Berggruen Museum.

http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/museum-berggruen/home.html.

What made me look up the story of HeinZ Berggruen?  About two years ago i had a chance to buy a small collection of Berggruen catalogues at auction and had the final bid. At home i was struck with these beautiful little books. In many cases there was original art in them or on the cover. The best for me is the Arp catalogue , but all these small gems together give a great impression of the quality Heinz Berggruen realized with his art publications of his favorite artists. These are all AAA publications.

The ones in the picture are for sale at www.ftn-books.com

berggruen set

Jungwook Kim 김정욱….i need information please

 

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It is now almost 2 years ago that i acquired a beautiful Korean painting at auction by Jungwook Kim for our collection, but beside the origins and original purchase place of the painting / Gallery Skape in Seoul and its original purchase price, it is impossible for me to find more information on the painting or the artist. My question is …who can help?

I need the following information.

  • A complete biography of Jungwook Kim
  • has anybody photographs of this artist and if so at work in the studio?
  • have there been museum or gallery presentations in Europe or US beside the Berlin and Istanbul ones?
  • Are there US or European museums that collect work by this artist

Any help and information is appreciated. Thank you….

wilfried

 

John Heartfield ( Helmut Herzfeld 1891-1968) ….a DaDa artist

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John Heartfield is considered as one of the inventors of the PHOTOMONTAGE. Together with George Grosz he experimented with this new technique. Because of this  new technique he made some of the most powerful anti Nazi statements in art.

On the back of a photograph which was taken in 1912 his name is written as “Helmut.” While living in Berlin, in 1917, he anglicised his name from “Helmut Herzfeld” to “John Heartfield,” an English name to protest against the anti-British fervour sweeping Germany. In 1916, crowds in the street were shouting, “Gott strafe England!” (“May God punish England!”)

In 1917, Heartfield became a member of Berlin Club Dada. Heartfield later became active in the Dada movement, helping to organise the Erste Internationale Dada-Messe (First International Dada Fair) in Berlin in 1920. Dadaists were the young lions of the German art scene, provocateurs who disrupted public art gatherings and ridiculed the participants. They labeled traditional art trivial and bourgeois. Heartfield was a member of a circle of German titans that included Erwin Piscator, Bertolt Brecht, Hannah Höch, and a host of others.

Heartfield built theatre sets for Erwin Piscator and Bertolt Brecht. Using Heartfield’s minimal props and stark stages, Brecht interrupted his plays at key junctures to have the audience to be part of the action and not to lose themselves in it.

He is best known for the 240 political art photomontages  he created from 1930 to 1938 to expose fascism and The Third Reich. These famous works of political photomontage were an astounding cohesive critique of the rise of fascism.

Heartfield’s artistic output was prolific. His 240 political montages appeared as covers for the Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ, Workers’ Illustrated Newspaper) from 1930 to 1938, a popular weekly whose circulation (as large as 500,000 copies at its height) rivaled any magazine in Germany during the nineteen thirties. Heartfield’s anti-nazi photomontages were featured monthly on the AIZ cover, an important point, because most copies of the AIZ were sold at newsstands. His anti-fascist art mocked Hitler, fascism, and The Third Reich on major street corners throughout Berlin where Heartfield lived until he nearly escaped assassination by the SS in April, 1933.

It was some 30 years ago that the art / photomontage were first recognized as true works of art and the van Abbemuseum presented them in a special exhibition of which the catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

Eva Besnyö (1910-2003)

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Born in Hungary, educated by Pecsi and advized to continue her education in Berlin she met John Fernhout, the son of Charley Toorop and married him and became a dutch citizen. She worked and lived practically her entire life in the Netherlands and because of the contacts she made through her husband she became one of the most important artist photographers of her time. She contributed to many publications with her excellent photographs and for the DOLLE MINA movement ( Womens Liberation movement) she was the house photographer. Personally i find her 50’s and early sixties photographs the most intriguing . They stand out from the rest. I was surprised to find so many books with her photographs in my inventory but one has to be mentioned separately. Eva Besnyö in Bergen is special.

For more Eva Besnyö search at www.ftn-books.com on Besnyo and find more

UTZ…George Sluizer movie and Meissen porcelain

Utz is a 1992 dramatic film directed by George Sluizer, produced by John Goldschmidt and starring Brenda Fricker, Peter Riegert and Armin Mueller-Stahl. Mueller-Stahl won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival.[1]

The film is based on the 1988 novel Utz by Bruce Chatwin, who also co-wrote the screenplay.

The most iconic scenen in this movie is Armin Mueller Stahl destroying his beautiful collection of Meissen porcelain. Yesterday we were in Vienna to chose our new dog and visited the Dorotheum. Not only an auction house but more a very large department store where one can buy and sell all kinds of collectibles. Among these items for sale were some examples of Meissen from the 19th and 18th century. ( ca. euro 15.000). I never realized these pieces were so valuable, but seeing them you can see where many Contemporary artists get there inspiration from. http://www.dorotheum.com

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There are not many but still some 10 titles to be found on porcelain in the inventory of www.ftn-books.com so please take a look.