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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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Another rare Constant Cobra title

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Bibliotheque d’Alexandrie Paris # CONSTANT # 1959, NM+++/Mint–

This is how it is described in the headline of the object in my internet store at www.ftn-books.com

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You will have a hard time in finding this title on the internet and if you find it, my guess it is it will be in less condition than the one i have on offer. This is an extremely rare title and an absolute ” must have” for all serious Constant (book) collectors. It is not that thick but its contents is highly important and one of the first special Constant publications that was published on Constant.

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Constant..NEW BABYLON by Wigley

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If there is one title which has become one of the most sought after ones i have in my inventory it is Constant’s New Babylon/ The Hyperarchitecture of desire.

The book originally published in 1998 for the Witte de With exhibition , was sold at the occasion of the restoration of the New Babylon models by Constant. It took almost 5 years, but after that restoration period, these very important and visionary models could be presented again in all their glory. With the exhibition the Gemeentemuseum sold the book by Mark Wigley and because of its price almost guilders 50,– we did not sell many copies and eventually the book was part of a sale in which the book was sold for less than euro 12,–

But after that “low”, the stature of the book changed. It was described as one of the best architecture books on the market and i received orders from all over the world because in architecture lessons and classes it was described as one of the key publications in the field of visionary architecture. At one time i even bought a box of these books and sold them within a few months. But things have changed. No longer you can find copies and whenever one is offered it is at auction where it fetches a high price ( plus costs ). Still one copy remains in my inventory at ww.ftn-books.com

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Constant (1920-2005)

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Another Cobra artist that i have met personally ( but only for a very brief conversation about his catalogues) was Constant ( Nieuwenhuijs ). From the 3 Cobra artist that i have met personally i liked him the best, because besides his Cobra period , he developed himself into a multi talented artist. His New Babylon constructions have proven to be a vision on the future and become more and more important in art history. Even his watercolors that he made at the end of his career are to be admired. Great technique and composition make these belonging to his best works from his career. Constant has always kept a special relation with the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and because of this special relation with the museum and his former director ( Hans Locher) the museum has the most important collection from all periods out of his career. Cobra, New Babylon , paintings and drawings all are present and will prove to be important in the coming centuries.

http://www.arttube.nl/videos/constant-new-babylon

Constant will probably be one of the most important dutch artists to remember and admire for his complete oeuvre.www.ftn-books.com has some nice classic and collectable publications on Constant ( Nieuwenhuijs).

and yes….www.ftn-books.com is one of the few booksellers who can offer you the famous Constant New Babylon book by Wigley

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Pinot Gallizio (1902-1964)

Schermafbeelding 2017-07-14 om 15.00.38The inventor of industrial painting? i am not sure, but here follows the text i found on Wikipedia on Gallizio after i sought information on him. He is rather obscure and rarely presented in collections , but in the 60’s the Stedelijk Museum held an exhibition and published an extremely nice catalogue on him. But this artist deserves better because for many he was a source of inspiration and a great influence. he was admired by Jorn, Constant and Debord.

Pinot-Gallizio was born in Alba, Piedmont, where he became an independent Left councilman and a chemist. In 1955, he met Asger Jorn, with whom he co-founded the Experimental Laboratory of the Imaginist Bauhaus in Alba, which was part of the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus, in opposition to the return to productivism by others in the Bauhaus school, in particular Max Bill. It was held in Pinot-Gallizio’s studio, a monastery from the seventeenth century, and was attended by such artists as Enrico Baj who experimented with nuclear painting techniques, Walter Olmo, who experimented with musical interventions, Ettore Sottsass, Elena Verrone, and Piero Simondo.

Pinot-Gallizio drew from his background as a chemist in developing new painting techniques. In 1956 he, along with Jorn, organized the First World Congress of Free Artists, at which a representative from the Lettrist International spoke, foreshadowing the foundation of the Situationist International in 1957 by members of both groups, including Pinot-Gallizio. At this conference the Italian artists withdrew from the Laboratory, and after the formation of the SI only Pinot-Gallizio and his son, Giors Melanotte, remained. He helped to make the SI known in the art world with an exhibition in Paris in 1959

www.ftn-books.com has the Stedelijk Museum publication available

 

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Corneille….A Cobra artist

First of all i do not very much like the works by Corneille, but of course there are always exceptions. I recognize Corneille as one of the great Cobra artist. Together with Appel and Constant these artists brought life into the (dutch) art world in the early days of the Cobra mouvement. But Corneille was one of the first to move away from Cobra and find his own path, paved with colorful women , birds, cats and landscapes. A kind of art he could sell to as many people as possible. He did find a way to make his art available to a larger public and earn through his art a living, not depending any longer on the stray collector who wanted his work for his collection. A brilliant business plan for mediocre art. Producing many lithographs in large editions and joining commercial companies to sell his art together with their products …..it could have been invented by a marketeer and it made Corneille art available for everybody and the person Corneille wealthy. This is the reason you can find ties, pens, vases and scarves all decorated with horrible scenes invented by Corneille, but……………

There is also a different kind of artist. The young Corneille. A searching artist who makes abstract paintings and lithographs….colorful, original and in many cases rare beauties in abstract art.

This kind of art can be found as a cover on a catalogue which i recently acquired for www.ftn-books.com

The cover is an original lithograph. The edition of this Galerie Mathias Fels catalogue from 1962 is only 800 copies of which not many will have survived. The condition of this catalogue with original lithograph is excellent and more important this is the true CORNEILLE, an artist in search of a personal style, which he found in this excellent Cobra composition from 1962.

 

wilfried