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Arie van Geest (1948)

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Without realizing i have collected a beautiful small collection with works by Arie van Geest. Born in Maasland he stayed in the region and had several studios in Rotterdam. The friendship with Pat Andrea shows in his early works which were a little surreal, but in the mid eighties he changed in the approach of his painting. His works became abstract with realistic elements and that is the time i met Arie and bought my first drawing. Together with Mariette Josephus Jitta, as the curator in charge, he made the Tableau Mourant exhibition in which 98 watercolors were shown. This series was later bought by the van Gogh Museum. For the exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum 2 editions were made. One “ordinary edition” designed by Paul Stoute and the other a linnen bound one, with a drawing/watercolor by van Geest.

The style changed dramatically and personally i prefer this “new” Arie van Geest above his more realistic style. He stayed loyal to this new found abstract style for almost 20 years and changed again to a more a realistic way of painting in 2002. All three periods are important, but when you look at the museums that bought Arie van Geest ( Gemeentemuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Boymans van Beuningen ) , They all made their acquisitions in the abstract period, except for the Athens Museum which made purchases from his most recent period. Arie van Geest was represented by Delta Gallery. He now has frequent shows with Livingstone gallery.  I have decided to sell part of my Arie van Geest works, so please have a look at FTN art and for the book related material visit www.ftn-books.com

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Tomas Rajlich (1940) in the Boijmans van Beuningen until the 27th of May.

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Last Sunday me and Linda visited the Tomas Rajlich exhibition in the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam. I had to see it , because i am a long time admirer of the works by Rajlich. Fundamental paintings almost like Minimal art , Rajlich stayed loyal to his monochrome paintings, with or without a grid with or without a very precise space of 5 cm. in between the lines just paint.  I admire his gold paintings with the pencil grids, but his grids can appear in very different ways. white lines, black lines, pencil or painted with the fingers or the entire hand. The ones in the Boijmans have a vertical grid which is applied with some sort of comb and like the smaller sketches/drawings in the adjacent room, glitter is applied on the surface which gives an extra dimension. Still the execution of the paintings is almost the same like some 30 years ago.

Look at the details of one of his gold paintings and the much more recent red painting. At the bottom of the painting it looks like paint is dripping from the canvas. as if all sites matter except the bottom. Rajlich is for my personally one of the most fascinating artist whom i have met and his art is timelesss. I am glad this show is organized with a great and impressive overview of some of his best recent paintings ( 2003) which he has lent on an extended loan to the Boijmans van Beuningen.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice and rare Tomas Rajlich publications available

Here is the text Boijmans published on its site:

Painting was declared dead in the early 1970s. Tomas Rajlich (1940) opposed this notion and revived painting by making the act of painting itself the subject of his canvases. In 1975 he was one of the most important exponents of Fundamental painting: a collective term for works in which idea and materials are inseparable. Rajlich still considers himself a Fundamental painter and has continued to develop as such to the present day.

The grids that were so characteristic of Rajlich’s early works seem to have disappeared from his recent monochrome canvases. The grid has become simply one of the elements, like the paint, glitter and linen that Rajlich uses to build up his extravagant paintings.

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Arshile Gorky (1904-1948)

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Friend of famous surrealists like Breton, Tanguy and Matta, but above all finding his own way in painting . Influenced by Picasso, Cezanne and later Miro, Gorky received several exhibitions in the Netherlands. The dutch public was spoiled by the exhibitions in the Stedelijk and Boijmans and this was something different. It wasn’t abstraction as they encountered it in the fifties and sixties, but it also was not surrealism as the Boijmans had had on show.

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It was a symbiosis between cubism and surrealism and this combination made Gorky stand out from the other painters from his generation and for this combination he would become known after his suicide in 1948. There are some nice Gorky publications available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Domenico Gnoli (1933-1970)… is Italian Pop Art

Died at the age of 37 , too young to die and leaving so much to admire. From his own perspective Gnoli enlarged daily objects and transformed them into large paintings, a little bit like Konrad Klapheck does, but with a much more gentle approach to the subject. Focussing on the extreme details , like stitchings and tissues he makes highly recognizable paintings.

Gnoli was born in Italy but moved at a very young age to the US where he stayed and worked in New York for the better part of his life. Painting and as a Stage designer to make a living, he got his first exhibitions in New York. Gnoli was presented in a large exhibition in the Netherland at the Boijmans van Beuningen museum, but it is of late that his name keep surfacing as one of the more important and influential Italian artists from the sixties and it is this raised interest in his works that it makes harder and harder to find good publications on Gnoli. www.ftn-books.com has two books available.

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Markus Lüpertz ( 1941)… a dandy painter

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Another of the artists Rudi Fuchs presented at the Stedelijk Museum was Markus Lüpertz . Fuchs is one of his biggest fans and because of that Lupertz was presented in 3 large retropsectives in the Netherland in the last 3 decades. There were exhibitions at the Stedelijk, Gmeentemuseum and van Abbemuseum. Lupertz was and is considered by many curator a true master painter known for his expressively rendered paintings and sculptures, which often merge abstraction and representation. His career first gained traction in the early 1960s, and he was the head of the Düsseldorf Art Academy, one of Germany’s most acclaimed art schools, for 22 years. In his work, Lüpertz combines references to popular culture, biblical and mythological themes and protagonists, and his country’s history and culture, including the Nazi era. His series of paintings of military helmets and other wartime symbols caused controversy in the 1970s, initiating a fraught relationship between him and the viewing public. “You cannot understand the artist in his time, you can only love or hate him,” Lüpertz has said.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Markus Lüpertz publications available.

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Piet Zwart (1885-1977)…dutch design

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There is so much to be told about Piet Zwart, but a short blog on him can only indicate his importance to the world of design and typography. If ever there was a designer who’s influence is of worldwide importance, it is Piet Zwart. I wish my friend David took care of this blog, because he is far more knowledgable on Zwart than any other person i know of. About 40 years ago, shortly after Piet Zwart died, he received some major exhibitions in the Netherlands. Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Boijmans van Beuningen museum all had their Piet Zwart retrospectives  of which the one curated by Flip Bool for the Gemeentemuseum was probably the most important one. There was a long relationship between the Gemeentemuseum and Piet Zwart, which resulted in an extensive gift from the Zwart family and several exhibitions on Piet Zwart and his designs in the Gemeentemuseum of which some publications are still available at www.ftn-books.com. For all collectors of Zwart… i want to inform you that there are some very nice catalogues of Piet Zwart items still available at Bubb Kuyper in Haarlem. Bubb Kuyper held special Piet Zwart auctions during the last 3 years in which they auctioned many rare Piet Zwart items.

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One more things on Piet Zwart that you possibly did not know of. Because of the relationship with Piet Zwart , the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag placed a bench in its garden. design?….yes, Piet Zwart and to memorate his 80th Birthday , Willem Sandberg designed a special publication which is also available at ftn-books.

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PS.

I almost forgot. The street lightning in some of the older parts of Den Haag…yes , also Piet Zwart’s design.

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Picked a book from the shelf and it is…. MAN RAY

The book i picked is the book published by the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum and it reminded me of the exhibition we visited 2 years ago in which the sculptures by Brancusi were combined with the Man Ray’s the Boijmans had on loan and from their own collection. Impressive exhibition in which the Brancusi’s stole my heart. The setting and the sheer volume of the sculptures made this the best “outside Paris” exhibition on Brancusi i have ever seen. Man Ray and Brancusi both have been presented regularly in the Netherlands during the last 50 years, but there are only a few works in the collections of the Dutch museums. The Kroller Muller has bought one some 20 years ago. A “head”, but this was the last acquisition by a dutch museum .

So the fact that both were combined in the Boijmans van Beuningen museum was a sheer joy. I started with mentioning Man Ray, but ended with Brancusi ….and yes ,this is also how i feel about these artists in my personal ranking….first there is Brancusi and then there is Man Ray.

wilfried

www.ftn-books.com