Posted on Leave a comment

Stephen Prina a Post Conceptual artist (1954)

Schermafbeelding 2020-01-24 om 15.45.38

Stephen Prina is an American artist whose work has been categorized as post-conceptualism. Prina is a professor at the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

He was born in 1954 in Galesburg, Illinois.

This is probably one of the shortest introductions i found on an artist on the internet. I like Prina’s art very much. Crates, monochrome paintings , ladders and the decoration of an entire space/ room are the elements that Piet Dirkx uses too. Both are from my generation and perhaps that is also one of the reasons i understand their art and like it so much. Where i have followed Dirkx for over 3 decades now, Prina is a discovery from the last 10 years. His exhibitions are true events but rare to be found in Europe. Still there was one held at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in 1992 and to accompany that exhibition an artist book was published . The only color used for all pages is a bright yellow. A scarce book and now available at www.ftn-books.com

prina a

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

New Business Card FTN books & Art

visitekaartje ftn

Some recent changes made it necessary to translate these changes into a new business card. The most important one being two new email addresses. One personal one and the other for the FTN books & Art contacts. So here is all the new business information to contact me and keep track of my activities, the daily blog and additions to my inventory.

Wilfried van den Elshout / FTN books

Veursestraatweg 106c

2265CG Leidschendam,  the Netherlands

www.ftn-books.com

www.ftn-blog.com

new email : wilfriedvandenelshout@gmail.com

new email : ftnbooksandart@gmail.com

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Charly van Rest (1949)

Schermafbeelding 2020-01-03 om 15.03.37

Born in Indonesia ( Jakarta) he practically lived his entire life in the Netherlands/ Rotterdam. Perhaps this is the reason why his main exhibitions were also held in this city. van Rest had exhibitions at the Museum Boymans van Beuningen ( catalogue available at http://www.ftn-books.com ) and the Witte de With space.

At first you have to grow accustomed to his art. The way he looks at reality is transformed into a personal kind of art. The source is almost always reality. Transformed, enhanced, enlarged, cut and thereafter transformed into his personal art.

van rest.jpg

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Eugene Dodeigne (1923-2015)

Schermafbeelding 2020-01-02 om 16.41.32

Perhaps it is because later in his life he moved to France and people forgot about Eugene Dodeigne , but in the late Fifties and early Sixties he was one of the most promissing young sculptures in the Netherlands . Nowadays, when you search for Dodeigne you hardly will have a result. Some drawings are offered at Art Zaanstad and the occasional auction, but his strong point is his sculptures. Almost abstract with a hint of realism make these intriguing sculptures by an artist who deserves to be better known. In recent years there were exhibitions in the Dordrecht Museum and with Kunsthandel de Boer , but the best exhibition was held at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in 1964 ( all these catalogues are available)

Some Dodeigne publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on Leave a comment

George Segal (1924-2000)

Schermafbeelding 2020-01-02 om 16.36.09

Because of a recent find of the 1972 Boymans van Beuningen catalogue (available at http://www.ftn-books.com) i was reminded that i never published anything on George Segal. Segal is present in some of the most important dutch collections but after some exhibitions in the Seventies his works were rarely on show in the Netherlands.

There is an excellent biography on Segal to be found on the Art Story of which i publish the text here:

George Segal was born in New York City on November 26, 1924 to Jewish immigrants from Poland. His father, who had come to America in 1922, would lose all his brothers at the hands of the Nazis. Segal’s parents ran a kosher butcher shop in the Bronx, working long hours, and dreamt of a more prosperous life for their son.

While attending public school, Segal developed a passion for art. His art teacher nurtured his love of drawing, giving him art supplies and encouraging him to explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Segal’s high science and math scores earned him admission to Stuyvesant, one of the city’s top public high schools. His parents, who had moved to New Jersey to run a chicken farm, hoped he would become a doctor or a scientist. Much to their dismay, Segal remained focused on art, living with his aunt in Brooklyn while finishing high school and spending weekends working on the chicken farm.

After graduating from high school in 1941, Segal sporadically attended a number of art schools. Due to the outbreak of World War II, his parents needed a hand on the chicken farm, which interrupted his course of study. Nonetheless, he continued to pursue his ambition to be an artist, taking courses when he could at New York’s Cooper Union, Rutgers University in New Jersey (where he attended night courses), and the Pratt Institute of Design in New York. In 1949 he finally graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in art education from New York University. He would later return to Rutgers University to pursue a Master of Fine Arts which he received in 1963.

Early Training

In 1946, Segal married Helen Steinberg, a girl who lived on a neighboring farm and who he first met in his teens. They bought land across the road from his father and continued in the family business of chicken farming. His pursuit of a career in art was due in part to her unwavering support, and when the threat of bankruptcy loomed in 1957, Segal used his art education degree to get a teaching job at a New Jersey high school. There, he taught art until he was able to support himself and his family solely on his income as an artist.

Throughout his early years of struggle, Segal never wavered from his pursuit of making art and showed an early interest in painting. He and his fellow New York artist friends couldn’t help but be influenced by the large-scale, color-filled paintings of the Abstract Expressionist movement that was sweeping through the New York art scene. Despite this, Segal and others in his circle were not inspired to create such works, choosing rather to create works depicting images from the real world. Many derived their inspiration from elements of popular culture and consumer images as seen in the world of advertisements, the media, and comic books; while Segal focused more on the human figure performing acts of daily life such as waiting at a station or talking on the telephone. During the 1950s Segal began to receive attention for his paintings and in 1956 he had his first solo show at the Hansa Gallery, an artist cooperative, in New York.

Mature Period

In 1961, while teaching an art class for adults, Segal discovered the substance that would become his primary medium. The husband of one of his students worked for Johnson & Johnson and asked Segal to test a new plaster bandage material and write a text about how the material could be used in art projects for children. Segal experimented with plaster, bandages, and water, manipulating and drying it into the shapes of various objects. To his excitement, Segal realized this included making casts of parts of his own body after letting the material set for only a few minutes. Inspired, Segal took the plaster casts of various parts of his body and recreated them into the form of a seated figure, incorporating objects including a table and chair to complete the work. The work, Man Sitting at a Table (1961), became the first of his plaster sculptures.

While Segal created these sculptures throughout the rest of his career, he continually experimented with different ways they could be made and refined. Moving from casts of his own body, he also used other people including his wife, friends, and eventually his daughter Rena as his models. Segal also explored the effect of adding color by painting the white plaster casts various colors and also painted some sculptures black, such as Woman Sitting on a Bed (1993) which allowed him to focus on the impact of light in a new way. Segal explored the effect of casting his sculptures in bronze and then painting the works white and also made works using only body fragments rather than depictions of the full human figure.

These plaster sculptures, which primarily depicted scenes from everyday life such as figures sitting at a diner and waiting in a station, helped to make Segal one of the leading artists of the Pop art movement. While often the subjects were engaged in some of the less exciting albeit often necessary functions of daily life, Segal also drew inspiration from popular culture. The beloved American pastime of going to the movies was referenced in his sculpture Cinema (1963) – a life-sized plaster cast figure in the act of changing a movie title on the cinema’s marquee. Hollywood factored again in his sculpture The Movie Poster (1967) which featured a plaster cast man staring at a black and white photograph of iconic film star Marilyn Monroe.

In addition to his sculptural works, Segal continued to work in a variety of other media including paint, pencil, pen and ink, and pastels. The works created included numerous themes such as close-up studies of body parts, still lifes, and portraits.

His ability to so vividly capture human figures made him a good choice to create outdoor public sculptures. This type of sculpture was becoming increasingly popular in the United States and Segal contributed works such as his sculpture The Restaurant (1976), which was placed at the Federal Office Building in Buffalo, New York. Also, he was offered the commission to create pieces commemorating important world events such as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and tributes to American leaders including United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Throughout his career, Segal saw exhibitions and retrospectives of his work travel through the United States and other parts of the world including an exhibition that began in Switzerland in 1971 and subsequently toured Europe; a traveling retrospective at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1978; a retrospective of his work in Japan in 1982; and a 1997 retrospective at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Late Period

Segal showed a renewed interest in photography later in his life. He used the photographs of people and city scenes in both New Jersey and New York as basis for some of his later sculptures and as the starting point for drawings. One of his final series, Nightscapes, began with photographs the artist took of the night lights on the US 1 highway. After returning to his studio, Segal enlarged a photograph onto plywood, painted the scene, and after cutting out holes in the plywood, placed real light bulbs where the lights were in the photograph, creating a three-dimensional recreation of his photographic captures of the highway at night. Segal remained active as an artist until his death on June 9, 2000 in South Brunswick, New Jersey.

Posted on Leave a comment

Ben Sleeuwenhoek (1951)

Schermafbeelding 2019-11-04 om 16.23.59

A painter from my generation, who i have followed now for a long time. I never have been in the opportunity to buy  a painting for our collection, but maybe…..one day the time will come and i will succeed to buy one at auction. What i like about the paintings by Ben Sleeuwenhoek is the “humor” he inserts into his abstract paintings. Drops, stones, lamps, swings …every everyday object can have its place and function in a painting and what is more ….. the color scheme he uses is very pleasing to the eye and modern, so it blends in a perfect way with may interiors.

Ben Sleeuwenhoek has regular exhibitions at the large dutch Museums and has works present in the Zeeuws Museum and Museum Boymans van Beuningen

www.ftn-books.com has some Ben Sleeuwenhoek publications available

sleeuwenhoek a.jpg

sleeuwenhoek b

Posted on Leave a comment

Wim Crouwel (continued )

Schermafbeelding 2020-02-01 om 10.32.54

Early September 2019 i recommended the Mr Gridnik exhibition which would open shortly  after in the Stedelijk Museum. Just a few days before opening Mr.  Gridnik/ Wim Crouwel died  and he never witnessed his tribute at the Stedelijk. Since i have not found the time to go to this exhibition myself, but now that i finally have the opportunity and started planning my visit, i found out that all rooms are photographed and can be visited on line. It is a worthy tribute to one of the greatest designers from the last decade, but could have been much more complete. It focusses for 90% on the Stedelijk Museum publications, but it is still a very impressive sight to see so many great designs collected, but the real surprise is that i noticed that i have almost all of the books on show in my inventory. (www.ftn-books.com)

For those living too far away to visit the exhibition….here is the direct link to the rooms and showcases with Crouwel material:

https://www.stedelijk.nl/nl/crouwel-vitrines

and another excellent site with 19 photographs:

http://dutchdesigndaily.com/nl/nieuw/wim-crouwel-mr-gridnik/

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Ernst Barlach (1870-1938)

Schermafbeelding 2019-06-22 om 14.35.12

Barlach died just before the outbreak of WWII.  Kathe Kollwitz was about the same age and both were heavily influenced by the events of WWI. This war made an impression on both artists and many of their statues and sculptures  reminders of this war.

Wood was the material with which Barlach preferred to work and it has taken a very long time that his works received the appreciation they rightfully deserved to get. In the Netherlands only one exhibition was held. It was held at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in 1961. Personally i did not take notice of this exhibition until last week when i found the catalogue.  I discovered it at the local Bookmarket and thought it had a beautiful design….yes designed by Benno Wissing and the design of the catalogue emphasized the qualities of barlach’s sculptures. The catalogue is nowavailable at www.ftn-books.com and for those visiting the Hamburg region, There are 2 Barlach museums in the region. One in Wedel and one in Ratzeburg.

Posted on Leave a comment

Frank Mandersloot (1960)

Schermafbeelding 2019-05-31 om 17.01.51

Frank Mandersloot is still one of the great sculptors in the Netherlands . Piules of furniture, draperies seemingly random placed, but always making curious and interacting with the space in which it is placed.

Educated in Den Bosch he nowadays is a valued teacher at the Rietveld Academy. For me the Frank Mandersloot catalogue is one of the best the Museum Boymans van Beuningen has published in the Nineties. Designed by 8vo from London it is a highlight among their publications. The catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on Leave a comment

Fritz Wotruba (1907-1975)

Schermafbeelding 2019-07-22 om 11.59.45

A truly visionary artist Fritz Wotruba was. He is almost forgotten, but deserves to be recognized as one of the great European artists who shaped modern art and combined this with great architectural designs. Wotruba is like a cubist sculptor, but his shapes consist of parts put together and seen from nearby it seems as they have no relation with each other. But from further away figures emerge.

His sculptures are magnificent, but when you once have seen his architecture you are completely sold .

Schermafbeelding 2019-07-22 om 12.04.52

This is the discipline in which he excels and is a one of a kind artist. Fritz Wotruba has had several exhibitions in the Netherland in the 50’s and the 60’s, but is after these events almost forgotten. Instead in Austria he is still one of the greatest Modern Artists. Catalogues of these events are available at www.ftn-books.com