Posted on Leave a comment

Claes Oldenburg (1929)

Schermafbeelding 2018-10-09 om 14.47.02

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. They are a couple and the reason i mention this is that without Coosje van Bruggen , Oldenburg would never have become the great artist he now is. van Bruggen has written all monographs on Oldenburg and is mentioned in every publication. van Bruggen was his second wife, but undoubtedly the one who had the greatest influence on him and his works. It was about 15 years ago that i for the first time encountered in real life some other work by Oldenburg than the screw from the Boymans van Beuningen collection.

We visited the Guggenheim in Bilbao and there they were ( nowadays the space is occupied by the MATTER OF TIME by Serra) Immense sculptures made out of polyester and painted in bright colors in a Gehry surroundings. The ensemble of both reminded me of a Disneyland setting, but these sculptures were so impressive that i, for the first time, realized the importance of Oldenburg as a sculptor. It is still a rare occasion that i encounter a large Oldenburg but since the Bilbao sculptures i am looking with different eyes to all Oldenburg sculptures including the very familiar SCREW at the Boymans van Beuningen museum. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Oldenburg publications available including the Crouwel designed Stedelijk Museum catalogue from 1977 and the Crouwel designed poster for this exhibition.

Posted on Leave a comment

Jim Dine (1935)

He is for certain one of the greatest Pop Art artists if ever there was one. One from the first generation of Pop Art artists who rose to fame in the early 60’s and who even had some great exhibitions in the years to follow at the Stedelijk Museum and the Boymans van Beuningen museum in the Netherlands in the 60’s and 70’s. Both museum have since some great paintings in their collections , (left Stedelijk / right Boymans van Beuningen)

but the Stedelijk Museum stands out for me , because beside multiple art works in their collection they published one of the first simple orange/red catalogues designed by Wim Crouwel. This one devoted specially to the drawings of Jim Dine and available at www.ftn-books.com and this is Wim Crouwel classic

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But of course there are other Jim DIne titles also available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Hans Hartung (1904-1989)

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-09 om 10.52.39

One of the exhibitions i thought to be one of the very best during the time i was working at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, was one curated by Franz Kaiser on the abstract artist Hans Hartung . Just one word describes the exhibition….impressive.

It showed that the art Hartung created was not just random, but a well thought over creation of abstract art in which a small sketch was turned into a large painting.

Here is the text on the exhibition:

Hans Hartung (b. Dresden, 1904) was regarded as one of the founding fathers of French Lyric Abstractionism, the European counterpart of American Abstract Expressionism: a term in which the word Expressionism refers to an extremely physical and spontaneous manner of painting. The members of the movement wanted, as it were, to work out their emotions on the canvas without any form of symbolism.

Hartung’s paintings displayed a plain ground covered with rough and apparently spontaneous brushwork, with all the paint spatters and brush marks that go with that way of painting. After his death, therefore, people were astounded when the study of unfinished pictures revealed that his paintings had not in fact been created in a wild and spontaneous way, but by carefully filling in predetermined outlines based in every detail, right down to the smallest flecks of paint, on sketches prepared in advance. This exhibition, which the Gemeentemuseum is holding to mark the hundredth anniversary of Hartung’s birth, reveals an artist who would better be described as a conceptual artist, were it not for the fact that conceptual art did not exist as a movement when he produced his works. In this first Dutch retrospective of Hans Hartung’s work, early drawings are presented next to the equivalent paintings, and early versions alongside later versions. The similarities in terms of motif are astonishing.

More about Hans Hartung: www.fondationhartungbergman.fr

There are some nice publications on Hartung available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on Leave a comment

Edgar Fernhout (1912-1974)

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-09 om 10.28.44

Edgar Fernhout comes from an interesting background. His grandfather was Jan Toorop and his mother Charley Toorop. This meant he was raised among artists and writers. An inspiring surroundings in which art took centre stage. He specially moved to Bergen after the divorce of his mother , where his grandfather has built the house/studio de VLERKEN specially for the family of his daughter to raise her children and create her own works of art. The interesting part of Fernhout for me personally was his transition from realism into abstract art. Fernhout being one of the first in the Netherland together with M0ndrian to discover abstract art as a genre.

the other aspect i like of his history is that when he received his first large museum presentation in the Netherlands at the van Abbemuseum , the catalogue with exhibition was designed by Wim Crouwel. This being one of the first publications he made for a large museum in the Netherlands. This catalogue is of course available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on Leave a comment

Carel Blazer (1911-1980)

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-07 om 14.44.51

A great dutch photographer who is known for his Fifties and Sixties photography , but also for his active part in the resistance during WWII.

Some interesting periods during the life of Blazer made him a true international photographer.

After been educated at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich, he soon after travelled Spain to photograph the Civil war. After that period he travelled Italy and visited Rome to photograph this city which photographs were published in a book by Contact. Later there were travels to Asia and Sicily. On both occasions series of photographs were taken and published.

Willem Sandberg took an interest in these photographs and presented a selection at an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum which catalogue is available at www.ftnbooks.com

There are many titles which have these breathtaking Blazer photographs in them, so beside the ones that i have in my shop please locate 50’s and 60’s books at bookmarkets and look into the colofon to discover if photographs by Blazer are included.

 
Posted on Leave a comment

Bob Bonies (1937)

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-02 om 10.10.41

For me the only true “Hard edge” artist in the Netherlands is Bob Bonies, however Michiel Morel refers to the art of Bob Bonies as a rearrangement of FORMS AND COLORS.

I read his excellent article and it is unfortunate that it is only available in dutch, but for those who understand the language here is the link :

Bonies: Ordening van vorm en kleur (periode  1964 – 1968) (3)

As you can read in the article . Bonies stayed true to his art of rearranging , shifting and placing forms and colors in a new context and one of the earliest silkscreen that was published in a larger edition was the one he made for the Stedelijk Museum catalogue VORMEN VAN DE KLEUR

in which his contribution stands out together with the one Ellsworth Kelly made for the same publication. This Wim Crouwel designed publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

left Bonies and right Kelly

I have a lifetime admiration for Bob Bonies. He was one of the first artists i personally met at the Gemeentemuseum and a few years ago i bought a small collection of his publications from another bookdealer who had bought them from a Bonies collector and within one of the publications i found the birth card of his son Jiri. Even this card shows the quality of his works. The card is for sale too together with many other Bonies publications.

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Klee / Kupka and music

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-08-23 om 15.11.53

Two totally different painters with a complete different background. Both rose to fame in the Interbellum and booth were very much inspired by music and the rhythm of it.

In a time that exhibitions were developed around a theme. btw. the Spiritual in Art was such an exhibition, one of the most iconic exhibitions of the Eighties was presented in Germany. its name VOM KLANG DER BILDER. An exhibition in which the relation between music , sounds and rhythm and the influence they had on paintings was tried to be explained. It is for certain that music has been of influence to artists and both Klee and Kupka were the artist who made paintings in relation to music . Kupka is perhaps the artist who has been influenced by Music the most, but certainly Paul Klee has become known for his music inspired paintings and drawings.

Schermafbeelding 2018-08-23 om 15.16.08

Klee perceived a clear visual connection to the structural articulations found in music. Focusing on polyphony and counterpoint, Klee produced his watercolor Fugue in Red in 1921.

Schermafbeelding 2018-08-23 om 15.29.03

This early attempt to achieve a synthesis between music and art exposes a number of floating forms, either figurative or as abstract derivations. Overlapping shapes float over a two-dimensional surface, with the temporal aspect graphically represented by a gradual shift in color. Moving from the dark background to maximum transparency, the visualized counterpoint combines in a cosmic harmony that reaches towards a new sense of spirituality. Although essentially structural in approach, this painting embodies Klee’s believe in “harmony, autonomy, and universality in humankind.” As a musician and a painter, Klee essentially created a harmonious arrangement that echoes a universal order. www.ftn-books.com has on both artists several publications available.

Posted on Leave a comment

Martial Raysse (1936)

Schermafbeelding 2018-08-19 om 10.37.28

Martial Raysse, 82 years of age and still going strong, but his works have definitely changed. They have become Mythological inspired and stand far from the Pop Art he made in the sixties when his works and art became known together with other beginning artists.

In October 1960 he founded together with Yves Klein, Arman, Spoerri, Tinguely and Villegle de artist group NOUVEAUX REALISTES . They tried to approach reality in a new and avant garde way and were seen as the french equivalent of the Pop Art mouvement. Martial Raysse worked like Warhol with silkscreens contrasting colors and added Neon to his paintings, making them instantly recognizable and appealing.

Another aspect of his art was that his paintings were not flat, but had in many cases a 3D addition. A rope, box or the mentioned neon gives the painting literally several layers. His 60’s adn early Seventies are among the best Pop Art paintings produced  and fetch extremely high prices at auction. recently one of his paintings fetched a staggering 4 Million.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At a more affordable level the excellent Stedelijk Museum catalogue designed by Wim Crouwel is available at www.ftn-books.com . It has a special Raysse designed cover and even the use of colors ( out and inside ) is typical Raysse. Available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on Leave a comment

Dennis Oppenheim (1938-2011)

Schermafbeelding 2018-08-14 om 14.06.47

An artist i never heard of before , but since the exhibition of Alice Aycock in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag i know of him and his art and later of course i found out that there was an excellent exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 1974, which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

Why is that?…Oppenheim was married to Alice Aycock and many of the exhibition venues presented both these artist shortly after each other

And what about Dennis Oppenheim? For me Oppenheim stands for conceptual and performance art. His “earthworks” have become famous and on the cover of the stedelijk Museum catalogue one is depicted. BTW. the Stedelijk catalogue was designed by Wim Crouwel and he made it, because of the use of a beautiful impressive photograph of one of the earthworks, stand out from the rest.

If i compare both artist , I definitely have more interest in the large sculptures by Alice Aycock, but Oppenheim is important too and time will tell which of them will be the most important one…. my guess it will be the wife …Alice Aycock.

In 2011 Oppenheim died of pancreas cancer

Posted on Leave a comment

Jacques Monory (1924) and the color BLUE

Schermafbeelding 2018-07-30 om 09.17.02

Here is the first few lines of the text i found on Wikipedia. Berside i noticeed the high age of the artist i also noticed that the color Blue was present in his works during his entire career.

Jacques Monory, June 25, 1924 (age 94) Cachan, France Nationality French Education École nationale supérieure des arts appliqués et des métiers d’art Known for Painter, filmmaker Movement Narrative Figuration Spouse(s) Paule Monory Website www.jacquesmonory.com Jacques Monory (25 June 1924) is a French painter and filmmaker whose work, highly influenced by photography and cinema, is an allegory of the contemporary world with a focus on the violence of everyday reality. His canvases evoke a heavy atmosphere, pulling subject matter from modern civilization through the lens of his signature monochrome color blue.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you look at the catalogue which was published for his Stedelijk Museum exhibition in 1972, You will notice 2 things. First there is the excellent design by Wim Crouwel, but secondly the use of Blue for the cover and the photographic scene on the front. A lesser known catalogue , but certainly an excellent designed Crouwel one and available at www.ftn-books.com. Monory is still not very well known, but i am convinced of his importance and will look forward to more exhibitions of this fascinating artist.