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Berggruen collection

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If there is one collection I have to mention, being important for all Impressionist and Neoimpressionist lovers around the world, it most certainly is the Berggruen collection. Literally every important artist from these periods is present within this impressive collection. No just one work of art but multiple makes this collection as important as many of the collections that were formed with tax money, and gifts over the centuries. This collection was formed over a period of Seventy years and holds over 165 masterpieces .

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Berggruen started to collect in 1939 after he fled Germany in 1936 and managed to obtain only the very best and in most cases extremely rare and highly collectable works of art. The collection was made a gift to Germany and is now housed in the Berggruen Museum in Berlin, but before it had a place of its own, it travelled the world and many have had the occasion to see for themselves the beauty of this impressive collection. http://www.ftn-books.com has now the catalogue for the Geneva location available. The exhibition was held in Geneva at the ~Musee d’Art et d’Histoire in 1988.

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Architecture and photography

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One of the greatest books on the subject of architecture and photography i recently added to my inventory. It is the 2001 publication by the Museum Folkwang /Steidl.

The Steidl publishing company stand for the best photography books in the world and this is no exception. The book  is a beautiful printed documentary on the best architectural photographs in the world and all come from the Folkwang collection. Over 168 you will find the best. Friedlander, Becher, Aiget, Hausser, Sander and Callahan ao.

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This is such a feast for the eye that i immediately bought the other copy at my local secondhand bookstore> Now i own two copies of which one is available at www.ftn-books.com

wenn berlin

 

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Franceso Clemente at Paul Maenz, 1988

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You wonder why there have not been many more publications like the CROWN SKY WAR special which was published on the occasion of the opening of the Clemente exhibition at the Paul Maenz gallery in 1988.

An important exhibition  and the specially designed collectible should be an example for other gallery publishers. It is not too expensive to produce, but its appearance is like no other publication. It looks and feels special from the moment you set eyes on it and when you “unbutton” it it shows its contents….3 fold out cards CROWN…SKY…WAR. estimated costs…less than 1 euro. But this special is worth much much more since it’s importance means that the Paul Maenz gallery is mentioned in all the years after its publication. Whenever a copy surfaces , one is reminded of the Clemente exhibitions at their gallery in 1988.

I have now finally found me a copy which is for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com. This gallery was/is an example to many others in the business

clemente crown c

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Valérie Favre (1959)

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Born in Switzerland , but working for most part of her artistic life in Berlin, Favre has gathered a loyal following of collectors. Her work is a typical feminal mix of abstraction and story telling.

Within the composition there are always recognizable elements, but background and even some of the props in the painting can be purely abstract.

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Valérie Favre makes up stories and tells us these stories, gradually mixing in their sociopolitical influences: war, death, suffering, as well as a few well-known suicides mingling with hybrid creatures in quest of sex, both masculine and feminine. In this way, her works can be seen as a kind of index of the world’s fears and anxieties. Yet, as the artist treats these anxieties with the derisory irony of a piece of paper, she also imposes a distancing from them, a distance from which rises humor.

Outside Germany her art is hardly known and certainly deserves to be known much better.

www.ftn-books.comwww.ftn-books.com has a nice Valerie Favre title available

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Elvira Bach (1951)

 

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Is another colorful figure from the early days of NEUE WILDE painting. She was famous for her female figures in her paintings. Bold, proud woman that always looked very much like herself. In many cases she used self portraits in her paintings.

Now for a personal opinion….. At the time i first saw an Elvira BAch painting i was very much impressed . Colorful , proud woman, large size . all the elements i like in a painting, but where Rainer Fetting  ( Yesterday’s blog) aroused my interest agin in the Neu Wilde, Elvira BAch i find much much less interesting after 35 years. I can not predict what this will mean for the future for the value of her art, but for me Elvira Bach is not so high anymore on my wish list.

There are some catalogues on Elvira BAch available at www.ftn-books.com

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L wig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969)qΩ“Ω~ |’| §

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When i think about Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, three of his designs i remember instantly. The first …a chair by Mies van der Rohe, One i always wanted to own and when i finally had one i did not think it was comfortable enough so i sold it. The chair… a Barcelona chair.

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The one he designed for the Barcelona Pavillion. It was designed for the World exhibition from 1929 and after the exhibition it was demolished, but a group of spanish architects recognized its importance and had it rebuild in the Eighties from last century. I finally had a chance to see it for myself when i visited Barcelona for the first time around 2005. We walked over there since it is only a 10 minutes walk from the Fundacio Joan Miro.

The last one is the Seagram building which is one of the skyscrapers i admired when i first visited New York together with my father. A building i remembered well and of which i recognized style elements when i visited the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin some 30 years later. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is a force in design and has made his mark on many of last centuries greatest designs. Some of his classic publications are availabel at www.ftn-books.com

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Theo Eissens (1952-2015)

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I had never heard of Theo Eissens until i received the catalogue by Eissens SPRING BRUNNEN, which is now available at www.ftn-books.com. He photographs his surroundings and alters it by putting colored grids as an overlay on his photgraphs. It makes the works having a typical Eissens signature.

The catalogue which is for sale is the 2008 catalogue, but on 22 March 2015 the exhibition Theo Eissens – Berlin Calling opened at the Livingstone gallery with a series of new works: unique silkscreened images on canvas of abandoned and burdened places in and around Berlin.
Berlin played an important role in the life of Theo Eissens (Amsterdam 1952-2015). The title of this publication refers to the frequent trips he made from Amsterdam to Berlin and vice versa, and the recurrent long and short periods he lived and worked there, starting in 1992.
He worked at the Bethanien ( the same place as RONALD DE BLOEME worked at ) and exhibited with artists like A.R. Penck and Bruce McLean (1996, Galerie im Parlement, Druckwerkstatt Bethanien, Berlin) and was able to immerse himself in German (art)history.


In 2004 his focus shifted from prints on paper to works on canvas and wood panel. His ‘new’ concept involved photography combined with abstract and geometric shapes in acrylic paint. His extensive experience with printing techniques enabled him to use a silkscreen to literally transfer a photograph onto canvas and merge the image with parts painted in acrylic.
This development in his work led to the 2008 catalogue and exhibition Spring Brunnen. .

In 2015 Theo Eissens died unexpectedly, leavind us an important but small collection of impressive art works.

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Marianne Brandt (1893-1983)

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Marianne Brandt is one of the true fist multi disciplined female artists from last century. One of the front “(wo)men” for Bauhaus and what it stands for. She was responsible for some truly great designs for everyday objects.

Teapots, lamps, cupboards and plates, she has designed it.
Lesser known is that she was one of the pioneers of Photomontage.

A discipline in which she excelled and on which subject a few years ago an exhibition was dedicated at the Bauhaus Museum in Berlin ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com)

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It is time that outside Germany Marianne Brandt becomes known for her excellent designs. At auctions her designs are very much sought after and reach record prices, so how is it possible that a great female artist like Marianne Brandt is hardly known?

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Ronald de Bloeme (1971)

 

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It took me a very long to finally acquire a Ronald de Bloeme painting for our collection , but finally we found one and added it on the 2nd of October 2018. It is one from the series “Oil On Postal bags” and comes from the former Hans Sonnenberg collection.

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This collection was split up and auctioned some months ago and this work found in the end its way to our collection. It is an impressive painting and shows exactly why de Bloeme becomes more and more important in modern art. The series of postal bag paintings was partially painted at the time he was in residence at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien where he made several of these large paintings. Postal bags stitched to each other and with their original postal prints still on them, de Bloeme made a composition on them in which points, arrows, dots, numbers and stripes are attached to each other, making a composition in which you can see that the subject is COMMUNICATION in all its appearances and the essence of this series of paintings. The feel of the canvas is totally different than expected.  You expect a coarse surface, but this is not the case. The surface feels like nylon and it looks and feels more like a sail or a tent canvas.

The painting that we now hold in our collection has all these symbols included. Planes, dots, postal bags from czechoslovakia, Turkey and India symbolize the routing of the planes and the dots could stand for all the places that are reached in these countries. Of course this is my personal interpretation, but it is for certain a very impressive and important painting.

The painting is depicted in the Ronald de Bloeme Bethanien catalogue on page 33 and it is available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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George Rickey (1907-2002)

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Rickey stayed an unknown artist to me until i bought 10 years ago an edition in which  a small print was included of a design for a contruction in Berlin.

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The print fascinated me and i started to search for publications on his work. For me he is a typical sixties artist . His works are rooted in the Kinetical art scene, because they move, turn, and spin. Elements which are also used by other artists who make large for works for outdoor place ( Auke de Vries does so in the Netherlands) .

The print and some more Rickey titles are available at www.ftn-books.com