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Jan Vercruysse (1948-2018)

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Inspired by yesterdays blog on Niek Kemps, this one is about Jan Vercruysse, who , together with Kemps, were presenting their art on the Venice Biennale in 1993. The Belgian conceptual art scene lost one of his most important members in 2018 when Vercruysse died unexpectedly. He refused to participate in the DOCUMENTA IX, because he had completely different ideas how art should be presented. Art was made into a spectacle by Jan Hoet and vercruysse thought different about presenting his art.

kemps ven a

He was the complete the opposite of Jan Hoet, who thought art was a spectacle, where Vercruysse stood for a much more contemplative form of art.  This is reflected in his art which dooes not impress by its colors or forms , but intrigues and makes you study the setting and objects. Both the catalogues http://www.FTN-books.com has available show this in an excellent way.

 

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Jagoda Buic (1930)

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Joagoda Buic is now listed as a Croatian artist but in 1970 Seventies she participated for the former Republica of Iugoslavia at the Venezia Biennale. Her works can be compared to other artists like Pat Steir , but studying her works more closely is that their size in many cases differ.

 

Her works are oversized and abstract and the use of layers of Tissues makes them more like 3 Dimensional sculptural works. Flat against the wall or hanging from a ceiling their sculptural quality is always present. Recently i added the Venezia 1970 catalogue from the Jugoslavia contribution to my inventory. A nice and spectacular publications with 4 separate books in a cardboard sleeve. One on Buic and the other on Bernik and Dzamonja.

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The Buic portrait is one of the most intriguing women protraits i have seen lately , A beautiful adult face with an artistic life ahead of her.

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Vic Gentils (1919-1997)

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Another of those more obscure Belgian artists is definitely Vic Gentils. Studied in Antwerp and became known through participating in the Kassel and Venice Biennales in the mid Sixties, but soon after people lost interest in his art was only known in Belgium. Not many museums have work by Gentils, but if you encounter work in a museum it is probably a “painting” from the series of ANTI-PEINTURE. a series of non paintings which is pure abstract and can be categorized as Informal.

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Following years of search and doubt during which Vic Gentils assimilates expressionism and the ubiquitous Picasso and Klee, in 1955 he turns to abstract painting. And when that too seems inadequate, Gentils starts making his famous assemblages. These are indeed abstract compositions, from wood scraps – usually frames from doors or windows – that he combines with appropriated picture frames, thus also referring to the painting as ‘window on the world’. In this sense *Anti-peinture I* (1960) is not really an adieu to painting but rather an evocation of painting’s own shortcomings. Gentils makes art-historical art. With cast-off decorations once sold to nostalgic parochial folk, he forges a new patrimony. In the white modern spaces so desirous of being timeless, his assemblages function like alienating interventions, objects that underscore the historical nature of each object, each space. And perhaps the opting for dark tones was his way to escape from the shadow of expressionism, by ironic reference to that somber style sometimes drown in asphalt.

 

Possibly there will be a time that the works by Gentils will be reevaluated and appreciated but for now the only thing to do is to study the older publications on Gentils of which some are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Tracey Moffatt (1960)….. from Australia!

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There are not many Australian artist ( born in Brisbane) who have become known for their works outside  Australia, but Tracey Moffatt is certainly one of them and build a reputation in the nineties as one of the most prommissing photographers. If you ask me to describe her works i would say it is a cross between Cindy Sherman and Erwin Olaf , possibly influenced by both but also original and a very gifted photographer/ video artist. I will show you some examples so you see what i mean.( left is Moffatt)

Still…. i like her works and therefore i have collected some books at www.ftn-books.com which are for sale.

Here is an impression of the presentation she gave at the Venice Biennale 2017

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Damien Hirst (1965)… “Treasures” in Venice

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Question….who is Damien Hirst…a serious artist or a vulpine charlatan. In my opinion he is both. When Hirst started his career, his approach to art was highly original, finding an art form in which he commented on society and the world around him. In the past 2 decades his art was a hype and he made a tremendous amount of money creating and selling art to please his admirers and collectors. This is the moment I gladly forget Damien Hirst as a serious artist, but now there is his new show, The first in almost 10 years.

TREASURES FROM THE WRECK OF THE UNBELIEVABLE

in Venice in the Palazzo Grassi / http://www.palazzograssi.it and i must say, it fascinates. Perhaps it is a little overdone and because of the scale too much, but this world he creates is totally artificial but includes the icons Hirst loves so much and fascinates from beginning to end.  Disney figures combined with Kate Moss can de recognized in many objects, making this the Pop Art show of 2017.

A world created by Hirst as  if it is real discovery , but totally artificial and in no way to be kept together as one art object, because i am convinced that after the show in Venice all object will be sold to collectors for very serious money. For a much smaller amount you can find some Damien Hirst publications at www.ftn-books.com 😉