A long time i thought Laurens was not that important for Modern Art, but since i have seen his exhibition at the Museum Beelden aan Zee ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com), I changed my ideas about his work. At first i thought him to be heavily inspired by Picasso, but in this show i discovered he really has a personal approach to art and a “signature” of his own.
left Picasso and right Laurens
He was a French sculptor best known for his Cubist collages, sculptures of nudes, and busts. The curving forms and simplified features of his oeuvre are reminiscent of ancient greek sculptures, though he also drew influence from his friendships with contemporary artists Georges Braque, Amedeo Modigiliani, Juan Gris, and Pablo Picasso. Born on February 18, 1885 in Paris, France, Laurens first worked as a stonemason before taking drawings classes and developing a strong interest in the works of Auguste Rodin. From 1914–1915 and extending until after the First World War, Laurens experimented with still lives and various new media, using wood and iron and eventually graduating to terracotta and bronze. He then went on to participate in the Venice Biennales of 1948 and 1950, and had a retrospective at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris in 1951.
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.
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.
Maeght editeur is one of the leading art publishers from the last 50 years. Beside the exhibitions they organized, they are also a very influential publisher in the art scene. One publication in particular stands out …and that is the DERRIERE LE MIROIR series….which was published from 1946-1982. Many great names were presented within this series and beside the many Miro publications, there were also volumes devoted to Picasso, Braque, Calder, Bazaine and many others. What makes this series so great is the original lithographs that are included in each volume. Beside the normal illustrations there were original lithographs in almost each volume. depending on the number of pages there were at least 2, but in many cases 8 to 10 originals to be found in each number and sometimes they were printed over 2 pages, which made the size 22 x 14.8 inches. really impressive and because they were not numbered nor signed they were published with a reasonable retail price, but they stayed affordable and when you calculate the price per original lithograph, they are right out “cheap”.
The series eventually stopped in the early eighties , but during the time of its publication the artist within the series got an opportunity to make a publication for “everyman” .
www.ftn-books.com still has a nice selection of this great and historic series. Among the titles available there are volumes containing works by Calder, Braque and Miro and i can only give the highest recommendation to these very nice books with great art within them.
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20