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Mathias Fels (1922-2009)… galeriste extraordinaire

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One of the great gallery owners of our town was Mathias Fels. Her started the gallery in 1955 and the gallery has since become one of the leading galleries in the world. With the death of Mathias Fels the gallery stopped, but until that date they organized some very important exhibitions and with these exhibitions catalogues were published using special designs, papers and in many cases special covers . The covers in some cases being original lithographs. As one of the leading art scene figures, Fels has become an icon for many gallery owners and together with gallery Denise Rene in Paris he always had a keen eye to present new modern artists in his gallery.

www.ftn-books.com has some beautiful and important Fels publications available.

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You can find an excellent interview( in french)  with Fels at:

http://www.visuelimage.com/ch/fels/

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Jean Arp and Denise Rene 1959

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Those of you following this blog , know of my admiration for the gallery Denise Rene and in 1959 they presented one of my favorite artists…..Jean Arp.

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Jean Arp was at that not the name he is nowadays but his works were collected by some who thought his works were great. If ever there is an Arp for sale, it draws interest from all over the world , but at the time of this 1959 exhibition at Denise Rene there were so many great works for sale. Drawings, Paintings, sculptures, bronzes….all were presented and for sale. I can not offer an original Arp at www.ftn-books.com, but this great and rare catalogue comes for sale  at my site today.

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Geneviève Claisse (1935) and Herbin

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I always wondered why the works by Geneviève Claisse looked so familiar and were at the same time original and authentic. After reading some parts of her biography i found out that she is related to Auguste Herbin and that shows. Her use of form is somehow different from Herbin’s, because Geneviève Claisse is a fierce supporter of the rounded shapes where as Herbin uses Geometrical ones. At the same time the use of color and contrast is with both almost the same. Geneviève Claisse is represented by, galerie Denise Rene, one of the best galleries in the world, which also made some great catalogues which are available at www.ftn-books.com

A relative to Auguste Herbin, born in the same place, her painting vocation was born through reading the magazine Art d’aujourd’hui, tribune of geometrical abstraction.

Claisse is the great niece of abstract painter Auguste Herbin, a founder of the Parisian association of artists Abstraction-Création. Herbin saw Claisse’s work for the first time when she was eighteen years old, and encouraged her to continue painting. In Herbin’s mind, Claisse was “le successeur désigné par le destin et par l’hérédité” (“the successor appointed by destiny and heredity”). Like Herbin, Claisse’s work shows a devotion to the ideals of formal purity and the perfection of execution. At this young age she worked tirelessly, often working at night after a day in the studio, carefully painting abstract forms on bold, colorful canvases.

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Denise Rene new additions

 

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The followers of this blog know that i have a preference for some galeries. Among them there is of course Galerie de France, galerie Steltman and certainly galerie Denise Rene. From the last one i have acquired some nice additions to my inventory.

Catalogue by Francois Morellet – 1967

Catalogue by Victoir Vasarely – 1966

Catalogue by Le Parc – Couleur – 1959

The catalogues of this gallery always amaze me. They stand out from many of the other catalogues published in the sixties and they are well worth collecting, because in many cases the edition size is very small and almost always the design is top notch…. even in some cases an original work of art is included. ( ~VASARELY invitation).

The choice is far from complete, but there are some very nice examples of GALERIE DENISE RENE catalogues available at www.ftn-books.com

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SOTO and galerie Denise Rene

One of my favorite galleries of all time is the galerie Denise Rene in Paris and not only because the artists they represent are the ones i like most, but also because of their publications which in many cases contain something extra. Like this SOTO catalogue from 1970 which i acquired last week. The blue, silver and yellow squares within the catalogue are all executed in silkscreen prints and which combinations forms an abstract composition within the catalogue, which makes this catalogue some kind of an artist book and not an ordinary catalogue. This catalogue is now available at www.ftn-books.com. As for the other Denise Rene catalogues search for Denise Rene and find some other great catalogues by this famous gallery in Paris.

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Vasarely at Denise Rene, 1970

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The year….1970…..the exhibition MASTERS OF MODERN ART, location gallery Denise Rene…the invitation…..a special object designed by Victor Vasarely.

This is one of the most impressive invitations ever, because it was made in a limited edition and only a few will have remained during the past 47 years. The invitation is printed in an oblong format and consist on one side of the name of and the artists within the exhibition. The other side is printed with a Vasarely design on which a transparent, but printed design can be placed and moved over the original design. Resulting in an ever changing Vasarely composition. … a spectacular original Vasarely which is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jakob Bill….son of Max Bill

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The title sounds like a sequel to a popular horror movie, but it isn’t.

Somehow i have developed a liking for Swiss contemporary KONKRETE artists. Almost all are constructivists and Richard Paul Lohse and Jakob Bill are two of them. This time i will blog on Jakob Bill the son of the famous Max Bill and belonging to the group of Zurich Konkrete Kunst.

Outside Switzerland and Germany , Bill is not very well known, but when you visit the collections in Switzerland you encounter many works by Bill. The Zurich Museum/ Haus Konstruktiv organized some exhibitions with Bill, but his most important major exhibitions were all in Swiss Museums . Except for one…..Organized by one of the best galleries in the world. Galerie Denise Rene organized an exhibition in 1972. Denise Rene was the perfect gallery for an artist like Bill, they already represented great artist like Vasarely, Arp., Agam and Jesus Rafael Soto. Bill fits in perfectly. Perhaps this exhibition was a step forward for the popularity of the works by Jakob Bill, but still the artist is not very well known outside Switzerland and certainly deserves better.

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Victor Vasarely

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It must have been the early 70’s. There was an art dealer in the Hoogstraat in The Hague, who had in his window 2 silkscreen prints by Vasarely. I thought them wonderful, but lost interest in them because the edition size was 100 numbered /signed copies. At that moment i never had heard of art published in an edition. Nowadays it is common practice. Artists make a living out of these editions and people can purchase an affordable original piece of art. I should have bought them at that time, but time passes and one forgets about these. All of Vasarely’s works are practically forgotten in the 3 decades to follow, but now in the present days, Vasarely works are sought after and well worth collecting…even the one’s which are published in editions of over 100 copies.

Vasarely has become one of the leading artists from the Geometric Abstract art/ optical art movement and the interest in his works is well deserved. With a highly original point of view and approach to Modern Art he has made many beautiful and impressive works of art and you can encounter them in all the large museums of the world.

When you travel Budapest do not forget to visit the Vasarely museum on the outskirts of this town. ( half an hour by tram ). It is not a museum as we nowadays have grown used to, but the art by Vasarely within this “basic” Museum is fantastic and the best OP ART you will seen gathered within one place .

It even has in a showcase one of the Kriwin catalogues which is depicted below.

It is nice to know that the Vasarely catalogue published by the Stedelijk Museum has on the backside of the cover an original relief print in black and white. (above)

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