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galerie du Dragon (1955-1995)

 

I recently noticed that i have several publications by galerie du Dragon in my inventory

Founded in 1955 and always at the location of 19, rue du Dragon in Paris this galerie is together with galerie Denise Rene one of the grand old institutions in the Parisian art scene. For over 40 years they were representing modern artist like Matta and Carelman,

For those who can read french….. Here is a part from an article on the galerie du Dragon in which ll the famous names of the artists that have made a contribution to the gallerie’s fame are mentioned:

Grâce au soutien de nombreux artistes, le jeune poète Max Clarac-Sérou reprend le bail de la librairie et en fait une galerie d’art à partir de 1955, véritable foyer de découvertes et de contacts : la Galerie du Dragon. De jeunes poètes, comme Edouard Glissant, Alain Jouffroy ou Michel Butor y retrouvent des écrivains plus âgés, Henri Michaux ou Gherasim Luca. Ils y croisent des artistes, peintres ou plasticiens, comme Giacometti, Matta ou Victor Brauner. De solides amitiés voient le jour, dans la fréquentation du lieu, où Max Clarac-Sérou ou Cécilia Ayala organisent les expositions : sur l’art cubain contemporain, en 1961, ou sur le thème de Seul, et le corps, en 1966, réunissant pour l’occasion des œuvres de Balthus, Bellmer, César, Cremonini, Dali, Giacometti, Magritte et Matta..

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Max Ernst (1891-1976)

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Without any focus on Ernst i have maneged to collect many titles on this artist. The first time i noticed hsi name is when i was very much interested in the the Fantastic / HET FANTASTICHE in de Kunst ( book availabel at www.ftn-books.com

fantastisch guilbert

Max Ernst, in full Maximilian Maria Ernst, (born April 2, 1891, Brühl, Germany—died April 1, 1976, Paris, France), German painter and sculptor who was one of the leading advocates of irrationality in art and an originator of the Automatism movement of Surrealism. He became a naturalized citizen of both the United States (1948) and France (1958).

Here is the excellent entry from the Encyclopedea Britannica

Ernst’s early interests were psychiatry and philosophy, but he abandoned his studies at the University of Bonn for painting. After serving in the German army during World War I, Ernst was converted to Dada, a nihilistic art movement, and formed a group of Dada artists in Cologne. With the artist-poet Jean Arp, he edited journals and created a scandal by staging a Dada exhibit in a public restroom. More important, however, were his Dada collages and photomontages, such as Here Everything Is Still Floating (1920), a startlingly illogical composition made from cutout photographs of insects, fish, and anatomical drawings ingeniously arranged to suggest the multiple identity of the things depicted.

In 1922 Ernst moved to Paris, where two years later he became a founding member of the Surrealists, a group of artists and writers whose work grew out of fantasies evoked from the unconscious. To stimulate the flow of imagery from his unconscious mind, Ernst began in 1925 to use the techniques of frottage (pencil rubbings of such things as wood grain, fabric, or leaves) and decalcomania (the technique of transferring paint from one surface to another by pressing the two surfaces together). Contemplating the accidental patterns and textures resulting from these techniques, he allowed free association to suggest images he subsequently used in a series of drawings (Histoire naturelle, 1926) and in many paintings, such as The Great Forest (1927) and The Temptation of St. Anthony (1945). These vast swamplike landscapes stem ultimately from the tradition of nature mysticism of the German Romantics.

In 1929 Ernst returned to collage and created The Woman with 100 Heads, his first “collage novel”—a sequence of illustrations assembled from 19th- and 20th-century reading material and a format which he is credited with having invented. Soon afterward he created the collage novels A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil (1930) and A Week of Kindness (1934).

After 1934 Ernst’s activities centred increasingly on sculpture, using improvised techniques in this medium just as he had in painting. Oedipus II (1934), for example, was cast from a stack of precariously balanced wooden pails to form a belligerent-looking phallic image.

At the outbreak of World War II, Ernst moved to the United States, where he joined his third wife, the collector and gallery owner Peggy Guggenheim (divorced 1943), and his son, the American painter Jimmy Ernst. While living on Long Island, New York, and after 1946 in Sedona, Arizona (with his fourth wife, the American painter Dorothea Tanning), he concentrated on such sculptures as The King Playing with the Queen (1944), which shows African influence. After his return to France in 1953, his work became less experimental: he spent much time perfecting his modeling technique in traditional sculptural materials.

In the meantime i have collected many Max Ernst titles at www.ftn-books.com

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Yves Tanguy (1900-1955)

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Look at the portrait and you think Tanguy is a punk from the Seventies, but he is far from ….

He is rooted in the surreal mouvement of the mid Twenties from last century and met with artists like Dali, Miro and de Chirico and found himself in the middle of a surrealistic art mouvement. His paintings are typical for surrealism, but because of the landscape qualities  and the typical Tanguy surreal elements they more look like abstract forms in a landscape than other typical surreal paintings that always have a realistic element in them.

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For me Tanguy’s art goes beyond surrealism and is more an abstract kind of art than surreal. In the Netherlands there was a painter who had the same qualities. Pieter Ouborg started as a surreal painter but later he developed an art language of his own. Turning surreal elements into abstract elements. This is the same what i think Tanguy does. Turning forms in to abstract elements and composing them in the landscape of the painting.  www.ftn-books.com has Tanguy titles available

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Nat Finkelstein (1933-2009)..The Warhol/Factory photographer

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His claim to fame was that Nat Finkelstein was the house photographer of the FACTORY. The complex which housed the studios of Andy Warhol.

(The Factory was Andy Warhol’s New York City studio, which had three different locations between 1962 and 1984. The original Factory was on the fifth floor at 231 East 47th Street, in Midtown Manhattan. The rent was one hundred dollars per year.[1] Warhol left in 1967 when the building was scheduled to be torn down to make way for an apartment building. He then relocated his studio to the sixth floor of the Decker Building at 33 Union Square West near the corner of East 16th Street, where he was shot in 1968 by Valerie Solanas. The Factory was revamped and remained there until 1973. It moved to 860 Broadway at the north end of Union Square. Although this space was much larger, not much filmmaking took place there. In 1984 Warhol moved his remaining ventures, no longer including filming, to 22 East 33rd Street, a conventional office building)

In September 1962 Finkelstein was commissioned by Pageant magazine to do an article on the emerging Pop Art movement. The article was titled “What happens at a Happening?” it covered a Claes Oldenburg “happening” in Greenwich Village and was a break that would define his future. Two years later, while attending a party at the Factory, Finkelstein met Warhol, who had seen his photographs of Oldenburg’s “happening” in Pageant. Finkelstein offered his services as a photographer to the artist, and for the next three years he was a constant presence at the Factory. His iconic images of the include subjects such as the Velvet Underground performing live, Marcel Duchamp, Bob Dylan, Edie Sedgwick, Salvador Dalí, and Allen Ginsberg.

There are some nice Finkelstein and Warhol publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Giorgio di Chirico (1888-1978)… surrealist?

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Di Chirico was the founder the scuola metafisica art movement, which profoundly influenced the surrealists. But was he a surrealist or more a classic baroque painter  who by chance composed his compositions in surreal surroundings and there fore looked like a surreal painter. Any way he was considered by many surrealists to be an example for them and for sure one can see influences of di Chirico in the early paintings by Dali. Empty land and cityscapes with an occasional figure in them.

Di Chiricos pictures are different and most famous for the eerie mood and strange artificiality of the cityscapes he painted in the 1910s. Their great achievement lies in the fact that he treats the scenes not as conventional cityscapes – as perspectives on places full of movement and everyday incident – but rather as the kinds of haunted streets we might encounter in dreams. They are backdrops for pregnant symbols or even, at times, for collections of objects that resemble still lifes. De Chirico’s innovative approach to these pictures – an approach rather like that of a theatrical set designer – has encouraged critics to describe them as “dream writings.” They are, in other words, disordered collections of symbols. And this points to their difference from the so-called “dream images” of later Surrealists such as Salvador Dalí, which appear to want to capture the contents of a dream with a camera. www.ftn-books.com

 

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Erotic Art . Kronhausen collection ao

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First springday in the Netherlands and a very nice 18 degrees celsius made me clean our terrace with the high pressure cleaner….away wth the green algae and a four hour job. It is like meditation….always the same movement from left to right and my mind thought about the blog i had to make today. What is the subject which always attracts the most readers…yes it still i sex. so i decided to devote the blog to erotic art. All great artist from the middle ages until today always have at one time made their own interpretation of the female body and the act of intercourse. Picasso, Dali, Bellmer, Ernst, Mapplethorpe, Wesselman, Rodin and Ramos…just to name a few. From the mid sixties there were even some collectors who collected erotic art. The most famous ones were the Kronhausens. Their collection travelled the world and made erotic art  more acceptable. Nowadays one is not surprised nor shocked when seeing a highly erotic subject from an artist , but in those days these exhibitions were a first. www.ftn-books.com has some nice books on this subject and other publication throughout the years  prove that the subject is still a very popular one.

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Dennis Hopper (1932-2010)

hopper inv a

First time i saw Dennis Hopper in a movie was in Easy Rider. Together with Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson he made this movie stand out from the rest in those days. A first class road movie which has become a cult classic since. I saw this movie in the Leidseplein Movie theatre in Amsterdam and the fact that i still can remember the theater in which i saw this movie, makes this one stand out for me . It makes a part of my cultural youth together with the Dali exhibition in the Boymans van Beuningen and the movies MORE and IF. I forgot about Hopper, but as soon as i saw his maniac appearance in BLUE VELVET, i was impressed again and started to read about him and saw his Photographs for the first time and noticed that he was a a painter / sculptor too. This man is a multi talented person in which his photographs stand out for me and are even more interesting than his acting. Highly personal photographs, a unique way of seeing things and the reason why an exhibition of his photographs was brought to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com).

hopper keen a

 

In 2010 , to early, advanced prostate cancer was diagnosed and soon after he died at the age of 78 and left us some great movies and art works which can be admired up to the length of days.

A great interview ( 45 min) on his career can be found on Youtube .

 

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Miguel Berrocal ( 1933-2006)

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Berrocal and Dali

100% Spanish and an artist who was in the middle of all in the sixties /seventies. The first time i encountered work by Miguel Berrocal must have been somewhere in 1970. One of the furniture design shops ( Studio 40) had  a little statue with the interlocking pieces which fitted together perfectly and acted like a multi pieces puzzle. I was impressed, but never associated this with art. It more was a gimmick to me. Later i saw the artistic qualities of Berrocal and now for me Berrocal is one of the sculptors who deserves to be recognized as one of the great sculptors from Spain.

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If it was this statue i do not remember….., but these small statues consisting of several pieces were Berrocal’s trademark. People admired him in those days, but one decade later practically all had forgotten him. I always admired these little, beautiful pieces of art, but never had a chance to acquire one for our collection. However what i did find and added to the inventory of www.ftn-books.com were several rare and highly collectable publications including a Jan van Toorn designed poster. These books are as much collectable as his statues , because the edition size is small and because of the exceptional way these are published they are well worth collecting.

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Salvador Dali – ” Fille de Quinze ans “

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I have been a long time admirer of Salvador Dali and from the 70’s on ( The Boymans van Beuningen exhibition ) i have been visiting museums with Dali’s in their collections. The Boymans in the Netherland has the largest collection of Dali’s in the Netherlands, but everywhere in the world works can be found. In my youth i had one desire…owning an original Dali. It did not happen until i purchased an etching by the artist and together with an original lithograph, these are still the only works i was able to collect from Dali. The good thing is … i still like them and both are hanging on my walls. The etching FILLE DE QUINZE ANS comes from a series of etchings and was published in an edition of only 150 / signed copies. The paintings by Dali can only be purchased by a few people in the world , but the graphic works are still reasonably cheap to buy, so pick them up whenever you have a chance, but be careful…. there are many counterfeits on the market!

There are some nice books on Dali in my shop at www.ftn-books.com