Possibly the best known member of the NEW FIGURATION mouvement in the Netherlands is Lucassen. If i must describe his art, it is a mix between geometric colorfield and daily household objects like screens, plants and kitchenware, add some comics into it , stirr it and you have an early Lucassen painting .
Later he developed this style into a very authentic and recognizable personal style. Making abstract compositions with shapes, numbers and letters. These paintings are intuitive compositions combining , more or less at random elements from his direct surroundings, but these can not be recognized as such. The compositions, titles, execution are like small poems executed on canvas.
www.ftn-books.com, has a large selection of Lucassen titles including the catalogues he made for his galerie Espace exhibitions.
Another great artist who surfaced in the Sixties was Jasper Johns. Starting his career at the end of the Fifties , he soon became one of the best known and expensive artists from his generation. At one time one of his flag paintings was the first to fetch an incredible 10 Million dollars at auction, making it the most expensive painting by a living artist.
Now we are accustomed to these crazy prices collectors are paying for art, but at that time is was unbelievable that a living artist could fetch such a price. Because of his popularity Johns soon had an exhibitions in the Netherlands at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. A special print exhibition and this exhibition was for me personally the perfect one.
It was one of the first exhibitions i ever visited in the Stedelijk. I had an interest in graphic art and , young as i was, a rookie in the world of art, i had no idea of prices. I thought i could afford a small print. But no way, these were far too expensive for a young starting collector. What remains? … i still have the catalogue for sale at www.ftn-books.com and cherish it together with my personal copy. Book design was done by Wim Crouwel and it is available at www.ftn-books.com together with other Jasper Johns titles.
Here is one of my regrets as a collector. Nicolaas Wijnberg was one of the first artists i purchased a lithjograph of. At Arta a small lithograph was sold at a very low members price and i could buy it from my saved pocket money. Perhaps 40 years later, it must be about 10 years ago, a painting was offered at Bubb Kuyper. This painting “glowed” and looked at me. It was not signed , but definitely by Wijnberg and from the mid seventies /early eighties.
I loved this painting, made a written bid. ( I never buy at the live auction , to avoid that i am carried away and spent too much) and ….. i was successful . This beautiful painting was mine. I took it home and within 48 hours i was called by the auction house that they had a new “after sale” bid for the painting i just had bought and I could make a large profit on it. A collector had missed the auction and wanted to buy it with a premium for me as a buyer. I always had told myself that what i had bought for www.ftn-books.com was not for my personal collection….and i decided to sell it. Now years later , i am not so sure that i made the right decision. The painting still looks beautiful and impressive and i recently saw it published in the book on Wijnberg .
But as Martin Bril used to say . “You miss more than you experience”
I once read a story of a collector who had sold over half of his collection to finally buy his ideal “dream” painting. It was a painting by Philip Guston. I knew some of his works because i had some books in my inventory of www.ftn-books.com, including the Sandberg designed stedelijk
Stedelijk Museum catalogue, but could not understand why one wants to trade in half of a collection, collected over decades, for a Philip Guston.
I finally had a chance to see some of these painting a few years ago and i must say i was impressed by them. Personally i would not sell half of my collection, but these works have a strange appeal. A little like the Dubuffet paintings. They are ugly but bold and they represent another world. A world which can only exist in the artist mind.
Willy Boers, Dutch art ” insiders ” will know the name and the works he stands for. But for those less familiar with the artist Willy Boers here is a short biography. Willy Boers developed his art from realistic scenes into abstract, even hard edge art over a period of some 40 years. He stood at the cradle of the first dutch modern abstract expressionist paintings. Probably influenced by Miro and Picasso he developed his art into something very typical and recognizable as a Willy Boers painting.
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When i first read the catalogue EEN NIEUWE SYNTHESE ( available at www.ftn-books.com) , there were 2 artist which immediately caught my eye. There was of course Willem Hussem and ….Willy Boers.
Boers was far less familiar, because i already had seen some Hussem paintings at gallery Nouvelles Images, but it was not until 10 years ago that i finally had a chance to admire some paintings by Boers “live” . It was at the gallery of Henk Klasema who had bought the remainder of the Boers studio and was selling these Willy Boers paintings. Because he had all periods available i could discover his development into hard edge abstract art, but was mostly convinced of the art he made in the period between 1949 and 1955.
Now is finally the time that Willy Boers is being recognized for the great dutch artist he was . A true pioneer in dutch Modern Art and sometimes his works come now available at auction. Keep this in mind… Boers is still affordable, but it will not last 10 years before his art will be picked up by many more art dealers and collectors, making it far less affordable than these works are right now.
There are some nice Boers publications available at www.ftn-books.com including the which was made for his Stedelijk Museum exhibition.
Over a year ago i devoted a blog to Joel Peter Witkin and Erwin Olaf and it has been too long since i wrote about Erwin Olaf, but this time it is worth writing about him because in recent months i was able to add some highly collectable Olaf publications to my inventory. Erwin Olaf publications are harder and harder to find and get more scarce every month, but sometimes you get lucky and you encounter a small collection. So in recent months i was able to add some great posters and rare publications. The Erwin Olaf poster for the Anjer Fonds was specially designed by Anthon Beeke and this makes it twice as special. The same is applicable to the Sipek book. Sipek a great artist, who’s works are photographed by Erwin Olaf… again two for the price of one. available at www.ftn-books.com
The Sikkens foundation chooses every year an artist for their prestigious Sikkens Award and in 1993 the honor was Donald Judd’s. He received the award for his entire oeuvre and delivered a lecture/speech on the subject and the importance of Piet Mondriaan on that occasion. The title “SOME ASPECTS OF COLOR IN GENERAL AND RED AND BLACK IN PARTICULAR”. For years i tried to find the little book which was published on that occasion and presented to the invited audience. A beautiful little book , cahier stitching, designed by Rutger Fuchs, with a typical Donald Judd cover and finally i have found one for www.ftn-books.com. The book is not the perfect copy i would have wished for. On a scale from 1 to 10 i would rate it as 7.5 ,but given the fact that only about 400 copies have been published this is the best copy which is on the market at this moment and possibly the only one for a long time to come available and for sale, because these are scarce and extremely hard to find.
So if you think the Judd publication is a “ghost” publication….it is not ! It is real!. Here is a short impression.
What have the Maeght foundation , Museum Boymans van Beuningen and the Stedelijk Museum in common? They all three organized exhibitions with Saul Steinberg. This is what i thought of before i started to look at information on the internet and found the foundation of Saul Steinberg / saulsteinbergfoundation.org. This site starts with giving an overview on his life , but soon you discover that this is one of the great sites on art on the internet totally dedicated to Saul Steinberg. Try it and if interested in the artist you soon will loose yourself completely and spent a long time on this site discovering why Saul Steinberg was important. Here is the short intro from the Steinberg foundation on the artist and please do not forget that www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications available.
Famed worldwide for giving graphic definition to the postwar age, Saul Steinberg (1914-1999) had one of the most remarkable careers in American art. While renowned for the covers and drawings that appeared in The New Yorker for nearly six decades, he was equally acclaimed for the drawings, paintings, prints, collages, and sculptures he exhibited internationally in galleries and museums.
Steinberg crafted a rich and ever-evolving idiom that found full expression through these parallel yet integrated careers. Such many-leveled art, however, resists conventional critical categories. “I don’t quite belong to the art, cartoon or magazine world, so the art world doesn’t quite know where to place me,” he said. 1 He was a modernist without portfolio, constantly crossing boundaries into uncharted visual territory. In subject matter and styles, he made no distinction between high and low art, which he freely conflated in an oeuvre that is stylistically diverse yet consistent in depth and visual imagination.
Yesterday il learned that one of the icons in the dutch gallery scene has died. Hans Sonnenberg founded Delta gallery in Rotterdam, which opened its doors on 8 January 1962 and it was the first gallery in Rotterdam that concentrated exclusively on contemporary art. The role that Hans Sonnenberg played as gallery owner and collector in the Rotterdam art world cannot be overestimated. He succeeded time and again in bringing international developments to the harbour city. In addition, he was aware of the importance of a platform for Rotterdam artists. Sonnenberg has run Delta for an uninterrupted period of fifty years. In his opinion, the gallery owner should ideally be closely connected with the gallery. “The gallery and the gallery owner are one. They call me Mister Delta, but Delta is Hans Sonnenberg”, says the gallery owner in a recent publication. www.ftn-books.com has some nice gallery Delta publications available.
It is now almost 2 years ago that i acquired a beautiful Korean painting at auction by Jungwook Kim for our collection, but beside the origins and original purchase place of the painting / Gallery Skape in Seoul and its original purchase price, it is impossible for me to find more information on the painting or the artist. My question is …who can help?
I need the following information.
A complete biography of Jungwook Kim
has anybody photographs of this artist and if so at work in the studio?
have there been museum or gallery presentations in Europe or US beside the Berlin and Istanbul ones?
Are there US or European museums that collect work by this artist
Any help and information is appreciated. Thank you….