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Stephen Gilbert ( 1910-2007)

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Stephen Gilbert (right, together with Constant)

Stephen Gilbert (15 January 1910 – 12 January 2007) was a painter and sculptor from Scotland. He was one of the few British artists fully to embrace the avant garde movement in Paris in the 1950s.

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At one time he even was considered to be one of the members of the COBRA mouvement, but now, some 60 years after COBRA most critics think Gilbert knew the Cobra artists but do not consider him to be one them. Still his paintings and drawings deserve to be appreciated. His almost child like works are close to Cobra, but some of his more abstract works are typical for the end of the Fifties.  It really depends upon the work. Some are great art and others are far from that qualification.  The galerie 1900-2000 tried to push his works into the art market in 1987 with a special Stephen Gilbert exhibition ( catalogue avaiable at http://www.ftn-books.com), but was not successfull. If you like his works, the works by Stephen Gilbert cab be found at smaller auction houses for still reasonable prices than the great CObra names fetch for thier art.

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Ama Kaag (1930-2019)

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The importance of Ama Kaag for dutch art is not that great. She deserves to be remembered for her sculptures and Photo journalism, but for me  she stands for a “groupie” like admiration for Armando. A few months ago i bought a large colection of Armando signed and dedicated books all signed for Ama Kaag and it appeared that Ama Kaag travelled Europe and the Netehrlands to follow Armando and his eattended his exhibitions all over Europe. Armando signing these and commented that Ama Kaag was always present at the opening. This collection is now for sqale at www.ftn-books.com

for the complete collection please visit my site.

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Bengt Lindström (1925-2008)

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Bengt Karl Erik Lindström was a Swedish artist. Lindström was one of Sweden’s best known contemporary artists with a characteristic style of distinct colors, often including contorted faces.

and this is where the item i now can offer comes in. It is the gallery poster for his 1970 Ariel exhibition. truly a contorted face and now available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Lindström was born in 1925 at Storsjö kapell, Härjedalen, Sweden. In 1944, he moved to Stockholm to study under the Swedish painter Isaac Grünewald. In 1948, he moved to Paris, where he studied under the French painters André Lhote and Fernand Léger. Lindström was influenced by the paintings of COBRA artist Karel Appel.

He remained in France at Savigny sur Orge for the rest of his artistic career. He had two children Mariana and Alexandre. Lindström died in 2008 in Sundsvall, Sweden.

Lindström is probably best known for his outdoor decorations, such as mural paintings and colorful sculptures. One of his most famous sculptures is the massive Y-sculpture at Midlanda Airport north of Sundsvall, Sweden.

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Stedelijk Museum Schiedam and COBRA

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Most art lovers abroad do not know that within a distance of 10km of the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, another great museum can be found. The museum itself much …much smaller…. but for its collection it deserves to be mentioned beside the Boymans. the STEDELIJK MUSEUM SCHIEDAM has had its collecting focus during the last 30 years on Cobra and The INFORMELEN and Zero art and build a collection which must be visited.

Situated in an old building in the center of Schiedam it is now being renovated to present its Cobra collection in the best way possible. So make a mental note when you are visiting Rotterdam. Take the tram to Schiedam and visit its collection when it opens again after the renovation. The following Stedelijk Museum Schiedam books are available at http://www.ftn-books.com

cobra schiedam

 

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Posters by Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel…part 1

Last month i was able to acquire a small collection of Stedelijk Museum posters by Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel and because of my large collection of Stedelijk Museum material and the historical importance of these publications, i have decided to devote some of the blogs to the relation between the posters and the catalogues published with the exhibitions listed on the poster.

To start…. this very nice Sandberg designed poster he made for the Hunziker /van der Gaag exhibition. January ? Feruary 1962.

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Both female artists and both belonging to the COBRA mouvement.

Books and poster are available at http://www.ftn-boooks.com

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Erik Ortvad (1917-2008)

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One of the founding cities of the COBRA movement is Copenhagen and one of the true Danish COBRA members was Erik Ortvad.

Ortvad was born on the 6th of June, 1917 in Copenhagen. He was a painter and a graphic artist, who was known to be an autodidact. He has been painting since 1935 from a very young age. In this period his paintings were influenced by the surrealistic and abstract style of Ejler Bille (1910-2004), Vilhelm Bjerke Petersen (1909-1957) and the artists group called Linien (The Line) (1934-1949). During 1941 and 1942 Ortvad was, just like many other Danish artists and contemporaries, in search of more spontaneity in the course of his creative process. He began to paint with a more spontaneous-abstract style, at which he would use small brushstrokes to purvey his canvases on numerous occasions with the colours grey, pink, yellow and blue.

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Ortvad joined the Danish pre-war experimental artists association Høst (1942-1949) in 1945 as the youngest member. Through Høst he came in contact with members of CoBrA (1948-1951), an international post-war avant-garde movement that believed that art must originate from artistic freedom, fantasy and spontaneity. Ortvad’s artworks were shown in 1948 at the Van Lier gallery in Amsterdam. His artworks were also shown in 1949 and 1951 at the renowned CoBrA exhibitions in Amsterdam and Liège. Ortvad decided a year after the abolishing of CoBrA to put his paintworks aside and focus on his desire to draw cartoons. He did this under the pseudonym ‘Enrico’. After the year 1960 he directed his focus on his spontaneous painting style once again. In contrast with his earlier works, his later works are defined by a powerful characterization existing of fiercely, saturated colours, strong lines and visible brush strokes.

It took al very long time for me personally until I discovered Ortvad, but now that I have encountered his works I believe I like him better than most of his dutch fellow COBRA members. The below publication is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

cobra denmark

 

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One Week…Lefebre gallery …the final day

Last week I acquired a large collection of catalogues from the LEFEBRE GALLERY. The collection contains 63 different exhibition catalogues all fro the period that this famous gallery was open between 1960 and 1986. A great collection which I will share in the coming 7 days….today day 1

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from top to bottom /left to right:

L. Alechinsky cover card, 1985

Cobra 1960, 1960

Castel, 1966

Juan Martinez, 1980

Antonio Segui, 1981

Antonio Segui, 1983

Antonio Segui, 1972

Antonio Segui, 1975

Antonio Segui, 1979

The series i have available at www.ftn-books.com contains 62 different titles. These publications will be listed in the upcoming 4 weeks. If there is a publication you would like to buy, please sent an email to ftnbooksandart@gmail.com and i will quote you your best preview price.

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One Week….Lefebre gallery…day 6

Last week I acquired a large collection of catalogues from the LEFEBRE GALLERY. The collection contains 63 different exhibition catalogues all fro the period that this famous gallery was open between 1960 and 1986. A great collection which I will share in the coming 7 days….today day 1

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from top to bottom /left to right:

Cobra artists of the Lefebre gallery, 1983

Double Exposure, John Lefebre photographs, 1981

Juan Martinez, 1984

Georges Noel, 1962

Jan Voss, 1966

Jean Messagier, 1964

Jean Dewasne,  1972

Cobra Graphic, Jorn cover, 1965

This is the Lefebre gallery, 1969

The series i have available at www.ftn-books.com contains 62 different titles. These publications will be listed in the upcoming 4 weeks. If there is a publication you would like to buy, please sent an email to ftnbooksandart@gmail.com and i will quote you your best preview price.

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Wim de Haan (1913-1967)

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Wim de Haan was a self taught artist . He invented a kind of art which can not be compared with anything made in the Fifties and Sixties. If there is an influence i would say early Cobra and Miro, but the result was very WIM DE HAAN art. Sculptures paintings, drawings all are exceptional works of art  and i really admire his art. I think his paintings are one of a kind and very appealing. His sculptures are like viewinh boxes. Opening up and with a look into a fantasy world which is typically de Haan. One of the most recent exhibitions is an exhibition from almost 40 years ago and it is now time for another major exhibition on Wim de Haan to give him a platform he deserves after so long a time.

 

Wim de Haan was born as Willem Jacobus de Haan in Amsterdam on the 14th of June, 1913. He was active as a painter and as an assemblage artist. De Haan grew up in Haarlem. In 1937 he was sent to Indonesia by the company that he worked for, where he worked as a stevedore and insurer until 1942. In addition to that he was also an actor. He is fascinated by the eastern mentality and takes in a lot of this culture. In 1942 he becomes a Japanese prisoner of war and is forced to work on the Burma Railway. He barely survives this camp and returns in 1946 to the Netherlands. For several years he studies philosophy, psychology and social sciences, he briefly was the manager of an orphanage and he draws and writes poems. In 1951 he published “Freedom in captivity,” a thesis on group phenomena in Japanese prisoner of war camps. In 1953 he decided to fully devote himself to drawing and painting. As an artist he was self-taught. In the beginning his first paintings and drawings exhibited an elaboration of themes and motifs that initially display a strong evidence to pre-war surrealism, soon after his works went into an abstract expressionist direction, in which a clear distinction can be made in his drawings and paintings. His drawings are ruled by expressive line structures, which more or less allow insightful signs tob e recognized. With continuance he keeps researching the possibilities of pen, brush, ink and paper. His unbound utilization of lines are characterized by his drawing style. The lyrical abstract paintings that arise from this process are characterized by abstract signs and unclear confined colored spots. Later on he began to mix ash, sand and other materials in his paints. At that point his painting artistry ran parallel for some time to that of his Dutch friend Jaap Wagemaker (1906-1972). Both are members of the ‘Liga Nieuw Beelden’ (League New Images). Constantly looking for new opportunities, De Haan decides to take a different path in 1957. The two-dimensional plane is broken up by his use of cut-outs, protruding and recessive surfaces. There are all kinds of ‘objets trouvés’ (found objects) added. Finally in 1958, a first exhibition of his work was held at the Galerie ‘t Venster in Rotterdam. As from the 60’s De Haan exhibited on a regular basis in London, but also in Cambridge, Lyon and Frankfurt. At that time he also joined the group ‘Europa’ and the group Oekwa with which he exhibits in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. After 1962 he creates free-standing objects, in which -even more than in his earlier works- his interest in magic and mysticism is reflected. Wim de Haan dies in 1967 in Amsterdam. In that year a memorial exhibition is held in London at the Grosvenor Gallery and about a decade later a big retrospective exhibition of his works is opened in 1975 at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

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Dora Tuynman (1926-1979)

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On the “outskirts” of the COBRA group she operated like a true Cobra artist. In 1951 she left for Paris and joined the artist at the Rue Santeuil and became friends with Karel Appel and Corneille and somehow got influenced by everything COBRA that surrounded her . in 1997 the NRC wrote about het works that they were still fresh and vivid and compared to some works by her fellow artists never had lost their quality. When you leaf through the book that is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com, one notices that her work is far more abstract than the early COBRA works that were in many cases inspired by children.

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These works by Tuynman are more like the Klee drawings from the Twenties, but put on canvas. The publication was initiated by Mrs. E. Tuynman and published by DE DRIJVENDE DOBBER of Tom Mercuur. A keen publisher who has an eye for the undiscovered talent. The book is now available.

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