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Menno Bauer (1949)

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Here is the text that can be found on the Menno Bauer web site. It explains the works and methods Bauer uses.

Menno Bauer is interested in the movements of dancers. “In my paintings”, says Bauer, ‘I set everything in motion. I want the figures in the painting to dance. I want to show that everything is alive and infused with tension. In fact, I am also dusting off images that already exist. He is not only inspired by Van Maanen’s ballets, but also by famous historic paintings. They too contain scenes into which Bauer breathes new life. His reasoning is simple. In a painting, everything is still, motionless, because it is all painted. Nonetheless, you can in stil the suggestion of motion. The challenge is to make that illusion convincing.
It should be said that Menno Bauer does not work in a realistic style. Against a background of broad planes of colour- an agressive red versus a friendly green -, his figures, loosely contoured in black, dance, walk and fall, imprisoned in a world of their own. Here, just as in a filmclip of Johan Cruyff slowly flying past, its utterly unclear just what these people are doing or where they are.
In Menno Bauer’s eyes, the figures inhabiting the sometimes renowned paintings that he uses as his starting points are the theatrical performers acting out their roles. The undefined space in wich they find themselves is hence their stage, a place that can be altered into all manner of environments by way of changing the decors. The actors that Bauer employs in his paintings are professionals in the art of overstatement. Cheer or drama are applied in thick layers, out to persuade their audience. Moreover, what these characters are acting out is not real. Bauer finds excitement in making use of this exaggeration, these emphatic, acted-out gestures, in order to approach the illusion of real gesture or movement.

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There is one Bauer publication available at www.ftn-books.com

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Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)… fauvism

Born in Rotterdam, but French in all his veins , there is still a discussion going on if he is a dutch or a french painter. For me he is 100% french. Practically all his subjects and his registration in paint or drawing of daily life is done in France and influenced in every way possible by French society. He was famous for his portraits of society men and woman ( possibly his most famous portrait is of Brigitte Bardot), but his strength for me is when he watched and depicted french daily life.

For instance the painting which he made on the Moulin de la Galette ( 1904-1905) is one of the very best paintings of the end of the early 20th century and a breakthrough in Modern art and for van Dongen himself, finding eventually a style which in bright unnatural colors ( like green and pink, reality was depicted). Fauvism was born in the work by van Dongen.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles on this great artist

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Matisse…..La Dance (1933)

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Matisse

On the location of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, there is a basement and within that basement is one of the best kept art secrets of Paris. Open for the public, no ticket needed,……just walk down the stairs and see one of most breath taking paintings by Matisse ever.

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Matisse La Dance

The 3 works form together one large mural/painting in which elements of the Dance are depicted. Size approx. 25 x 5 meters.

No crowds, because people forget to visit this space with the Palais de Chaillot, but it is very well worth visiting and i can predict you will be in the neighbourhood, because when you visit Paris and want to have the best view on the Eiffel tower, you will stand opposite it at the Palais de Chaillot, walk another 200 meters to the left and you are standing before the LA DANCE, at least as impressive as the Eiffel tower you came for.

title: La danse

year : 1933

adresse: Palais de Chaillot, 1 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, Paris

+: Installé dans le Palais de Chaillot en 1977

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Jan Fabre and BIC art

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Fabre’s fame began when he was making 100% blue drawings with a BIC ballpoint pen ( 1980). It was the early eighties , but before that he shook the art scene with making drawings with his own blood ( 1978) .Since he made stage designs for plays and dance, movies and many more drawings and objects and of course sculptures….extremely large sculptures. Jan Fabre is considered one of the greatest living artist in Europe.

A short introduction to one of the greatest Belgian artist from this time. For me Fabre and Panamarenko will be remembered as the great Belgian artist from the last part of the 20th century. Both imaginative in their own way and both highly original with an own signature.

There is a huge list of all his activities during the last 3 decades, but the best way to get an impression of Jan Fabre is to read what Wikipedia says about him and visit his site afterwards

site: www.janfabre.be

There is a large selection of Fabre titles available at www.ftn-books.com

Wikipedia text:

Fabre is famous for his Bic-art (ballpoint drawings). In 1990, he covered an entire building with ballpoint drawings.

He explores the relationships between drawing and sculpture. He also makes sculptures in bronze (among them The man who measures the clouds and Searching for Utopia) and with beetles.

His decoration of the ceiling of the Royal Palace in Brussels Heaven of Delight (made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases) is widely praised. In 2004 he erected Totem, a giant bug stuck on a 70-foot steel needle, on the Ladeuzeplein in Leuven.

In 2008, Jan Fabre’s The Angel of Metamorphosis exhibition was held at the Louvre Museum.

On 26 October 2012, several media reported how during a shoot in the Antwerp town hall for a forthcoming film on Fabre, living cats were thrown repeatedly several meters spinning into the air, after which they made a hard landing on the steps of the entrance hall. Animal welfare executive chairman Luc Bungeneers said he was having a meeting with his party chairman when he heard howling cats. “To my horror, we found cats were being assaulted in the name of art”, Bungeneers said. “It went on for several hours.” The filming was eventually aborted after protests from the crew’s own technicians. Later that day, Fabre claimed all cats were still in good health and it was a conspiracy of the political party NVA.[1][2][3][4] Mr. Fabre has received 20,000 emails slamming his act. He has also been attacked seven times by men carrying clubs whilst out jogging in the park and been forced to sleep in a different location every night. Antwerp’s deputy mayor for animal wellbeing and the animal rights organisation Global Action in the Interest of Animals also launched complaints about Mr Fabre’s controversial act.

On February 2016, Jan Fabre was appointed by the Greek Ministry of Culture as the Creative Director of the annual Athens – Epidaurus Festival.[5] He resigned less than two months later, on the 2nd of April 2016, after a huge controversy over his plan to turn Greece’s major arts festival into “a tribute to Belgium” and devote eight of the festival’s ten productions to those from his homeland.[6]

In September 2016 Fabre made an attempt to not break cyclist Eddy Merckx‘s 1972 hour record at the Tête d’Or Velodrome in Lyon. Fabre completed a total of 23 km in an hour, compared to Merckx’s record of over 49 km. The attempt was commentated on by Merckx, fellow cyclist Raymond Poulidor, and veteran cycling commentator Daniel Mangeas[7] and was performed as the opening of his “Stigmata” retrospective exhibition organised by the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon.[8] Fabre described the attempt as “how to remain a dwarf in the land of giants”.[9]