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Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)

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A wish of mine was for a very long time to add a Bonnard painting to my collection, Knowing at the same time that it is an unrealistic and certainly impossible wish. I have been looking for Bonnard paintings in all major museums. found them and they always impress. They have some realistic elements, a lot of abstraction and truly magnific atmosphere. Bonnard catches the light as no other painter does. A brushstroke and technique which resembles the pointillist technique of painting and with this technique he created a style of his own. the result highly recognizable paintings which always fascinate.

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It took a very long time before finally his works were considered to be the very best from the century. There were two exhibitions in the late Nineties which contributed to this recognition ( Tate and Moma)

Wikipedia describes why his paintings are one of a kind:

Bonnard is known for his intense use of color, especially via areas built with small brush marks and close values. His often complex compositions—typically of sunlit interiors and gardens populated with friends and family members—are both narrative and autobiographical. Bonnard’s fondness for depicting intimate scenes of everyday life, has led to him being called an “Intimist“; his wife Marthe was an ever-present subject over the course of several decades She is seen seated at the kitchen table, with the remnants of a meal; or nude, as in a series of paintings where she reclines in the bathtub. He also painted several self-portraitslandscapes, street scenes, and many still lifes, which usually depicted flowers and fruit.

Bonnard did not paint from life but rather drew his subject—sometimes photographing it as well—and made notes on the colors. He then painted the canvas in his studio from his notes. “I have all my subjects to hand,” he said, “I go back and look at them. I take notes. Then I go home. And before I start painting I reflect, I dream.”

He worked on numerous canvases simultaneously, which he tacked onto the walls of his small studio. In this way he could more freely determine the shape of a painting; “It would bother me if my canvases were stretched onto a frame. I never know in advance what dimensions I am going to choose

www. ftn-books.com has some nice Bonnard titles available

 

 

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Julian Schnabel (1951) …the photographer

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I knew the works by Julian Schnabel from the exhibition he had at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1982 ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com). An impressive exhibition of large Schnabel painting, but what i did not not know until some 15 years ago is that Schnabel is also a very gifted photographer. His portraits have a rare quality and make you feel really close to the subject. For instance the Rourke portrait is filled with action and the Lou Reed one makes you feel happy … Reed as a liberated spirit is a rarity.

Books on his photography are rare, i know there exists one title on his Polaroid photo’s, but that is the only title i know of. If you know of more titles let me know, since i am very interested on a personal level to add a book on his photography to my personal collection.

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Asger Jorn ( 1914-1973)

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I appreciate all the COBRA mouvement artists, but if i had to chose one…it would be Asger Jorn. His paintings have a mysterious quality and within their abstraction one can always recognize a realistic element. Wether its a face, a human figure, an animal they are there …hidden within the picture, brightly colored and sometimes outlined with black. Before COBRA, Jorn was painting realistic scenes, and was an assistant to Le Corbusier, but after he met Appel, Constant and Corneille, with whom he founded COBRA and travelled to France, his style became completely abstract and strongly influenced by child drawings. He discussed this frequently with Christian Dotremont , because they both were ill with tuberculoses and treated within the same hospital in Silkeborg. In this same city, nearby his birth town an Asger Jorn museum was founded and financed by Jorn. http://www.museumjorn.dk/da/

This museum has become one of the most important ones in Denmark.

Jorn is now a classic among modern art lovers and will become more important every decade to come. www.ftn-books.com has some great Asger Jorn titles available in its inventory.

 

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Suzy Embo and Louise Nevelson(1899-1988)

The next 3 days will be with short blogs on female artists that i admire very much. Today’s one is on Louise Nevelson who’s portrait by Suzy Embo is for sale at www.ftn-books.com.

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Next year , starting at 23rd of june 2017 a large retrospective on Embo’s photographs will be organized at the FOMU /FotoMuseum Antwerpen. The photograph i have for sale was a lucky find , because it was hidden in one of the great Nevelson catalogues i bought years ago. Excellent condition of the photograph and the strong image of Louise Nevelson makes this one of my favorite artists photographs i have ever seen.

Louise Nevelson is in European undervalued artist, who made assemblages from left over materials and who was not that well known some 30 years ago. She had her exhibitions and retrospectives, but only since a few decades her works appear at auctions and in group exhibitions by Abstract expressionists. Stil she had a loyal following of admirers in the Netherlands and Belgium. In Belgium she even had a solo exhibition in the Paleis voor Schone Kunsten in 197 and you can visit one of the large works at the Centre Pompidou museum in Metz, but for the most of us in Europe this artist was a mystery….(and still is). The case in the US was a total different one. She was recognized as one of the most important sculptors from the 20th century from the early 60’s and onwards.

Major museums began purchasing Nevelson’s wall sculptures in the late 1950s, and she was included in the landmark “Sixteen Americans” exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1959. In the following decades she earned commissions for large-scale sculptures from institutions such as Princeton University (Atmosphere and Environment X, 1969), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Transparent Horizon, 1975), and the Philadelphia Federal Courthouse (Bicentennial Dawn, 1976). In 1967 the first major retrospective of her work was presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. During the 1970s and ’80s Nevelson expanded the variety of materials used in her sculptures, incorporating objects made of aluminum, Plexiglas, and Lucite. Not until she was in her 60s did Nevelson win recognition as one of the foremost sculptors of the 20th century.

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Marthe Wery ( 1930-2005)

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A long time ago….in 1986….i met one of the friendliest artist I have ever encountered. Marthe Wery. She held her first exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum . Later , in 2011, there was a retrospective in the same museum, but with the 1986 one i first encountered a “minimal” artist, who i personally met and who’s work i really liked. It was not the easiest kind of work, but it was the first time i  was impressed by an installation of an artist who took an entire room in the museum and transformed it into a work of art. One was filled with standing blue panels and another one with red ones. We spoke each other about these works and she signed the catalogue i had bought . A deep green cover on one of the nicest catalogues i had sold during my time as a bookseller for the Gemeentemuseum. Fold out pages like the panels within the exhibition, excellent print quality.

Together with Walter Leblanc, Marthe Wery is one of my favorite Belgian artists. Belgium has produced so many great names in the last 5 decades. Cordier, Magritte, Delvaux, Bury, Verheyen, Peirre and personally i think you must add the name of Marthe Wery to that list. A highly original artist and a friendly lady who made very impressive art works.

 

catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com

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Mark Brusse… “the blue shed”

About 4 weeks ago there was an auction at Venduehuis in which the complete company collection of Imtech was sold. Among the lots were several works by Mark Brusse. There was this one painting called the BLUE SHED which was very impressive . Excellent and because of its simplicity spectacular. The outlines of a blue shed and in the background just one sombre color made it very powerful. Yesterday, i remembered the painting and decided to list the small collection of Mark Brusse titles i bought last year from a collector. Some rather obscure titles among them and because of these special titles, they should be of interest to other collectors.

Take a peek at them and go to www.ftn-books.com for more information.

wilfried