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Oval paintings …. rarely seen

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The Oval shape is the less common shape among constructivist, but is was at one time used by some great names in art. Piet Mondriaan used it and also Roy Lichtenstein was a fan and used the shape in his Mirror paintings. Put them beside each other and you will notice similarities between the two. Not only the shape , but also how the space is filled with the composition. I noticed this because a few weeks ago i went to an auction viewing and found the drawings by Henk de Looper for auction. All oval shaped and they really fascinated me.


Here is some information on this forgotten artist who deserves better and is represented by gallery PHOEBUS in Rotterdam.

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Juul Kraijer ( 1970 )… depicted unease

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It was about 20 year ago i first saw work by Juul Kraijer. Kraijer was presented with a small exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum and  as soon as i saw her works i was convinced of the quality of her art. Many years later, i Think it was the UNSEEN fair 2014 i encountered her photographs and had the same feeling about them.

They created an unease within me, but at the same time they were fascinating. I discovered for this blog that Kraijer has a very loyal and active following on Pinterest, but maybe the best way to discover her works is by visiting her site on which she gives a.o. an extensive text on her Hydra series of drawings. The HYDRA book is available at



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Raymond Pettibon…. Brush Life (2002)

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In 2002 Raymond Pettibon made the opening exhibition for the GEM museum. The exhibition was curated by Roel Arkesteijn. Pettibon worked day and night to include over 600 drawings and designs, but he finished in time to make it a memorable exhibition. After the opening he had time to make and finish 3 comic books, which were printed ( copied ) and stapled “in house” by Chantal Sieuw. These 3 titles are since their publication date highly sought after and collectable Pettibon books , because the edition was only 100 copies for each title these are rare editions to any art collection.

The edition is numbered xx/100

The Brush Life blog is the third and final in the series on Pettibon’s GEM publications and because of its autobiographical character it is by far the most important one and has become rare and expensive. For more information please contact me . POA.

Artist / Author : Raymond Pettibon

Title : Brush Life

publisher : GEM, 2002

Number of pages : 28

Text language : English

Measurements: 8.7 x 5.6 inches

Condition: MINT

Highly recommended and collectable publication published on the occasion of the 2002 Pettibon opening exhibition of the GEM museum. Edition of only 100 copies. all numbered in red ink.


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Saul Steinberg (1914-1999)

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What have the Maeght foundation , Museum Boymans van Beuningen and the Stedelijk Museum in common? They all three organized exhibitions with Saul Steinberg. This is what i thought of before i started to look at information on the internet and found the foundation of Saul Steinberg  / This site starts with giving an overview on his life , but soon you discover that this is one of the great sites on art on the internet totally dedicated to Saul Steinberg. Try it and if interested in the artist you soon will loose yourself completely and spent a long time on this site discovering why Saul Steinberg was important. Here is the short intro from the Steinberg foundation on the artist and please do not forget that has some nice publications available.

Famed worldwide for giving graphic definition to the postwar age, Saul Steinberg (1914-1999) had one of the most remarkable careers in American art. While renowned for the covers and drawings that appeared in The New Yorker for nearly six decades, he was equally acclaimed for the drawings, paintings, prints, collages, and sculptures he exhibited internationally in galleries and museums.

Steinberg crafted a rich and ever-evolving idiom that found full expression through these parallel yet integrated careers. Such many-leveled art, however, resists conventional critical categories. “I don’t quite belong to the art, cartoon or magazine world, so the art world doesn’t quite know where to place me,” he said. 1 He was a modernist without portfolio, constantly crossing boundaries into uncharted visual territory. In subject matter and styles, he made no distinction between high and low art, which he freely conflated in an oeuvre that is stylistically diverse yet consistent in depth and visual imagination.


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Joel Fisher (1947)

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Quote from a Joel Fisher catalogue :

“Sometimes, though not always, old meanings invade the new forms and hold on with a tenacity that cannot be broken. At other times the forms are innocently open to any of the uses we might make of them.”

Joel Fisher is the master of making little works of art that mock with the abstract figuration. He was not that frequently invited to have an exhibition in the Netherlands , but i know of 2 occasions that there was one. The first in 1978 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which catalogue is available at


and secondly a far more obscure exhibition in gallery Art Affairs in 1993. Both were rare occasions to see his works, but what i remember most is the pure simplicity of his drawings.

With a few lines he shows that he is almost perfect in his composition, which is a true quality. I like it very much when with so little effort such a nice result is created. These are not random lines, but carefully created compositions. It is the quality i like so much in an artist. and for me Fisher operates with his art in the same category as Miro and Ouborg.

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John Lennon (1940-1980).. a multi talented artist

John Lennon, composer, rock artist, activist, actor and the reason for this blog “artist”.  It was until 10 years ago when  i acquired a book on the artist John Lennon that i realized that beside all his qualities he also was an excellent drawing artist. Possibly the influence of his second wife Yoko Ono,

he developed a complete style of his own and made some excellent drawings, portraits and sketches from daily life. His erotic draewing are made in a time that there was liberation and they must have contributed to a more open view towards sex. An excellent book on his drawings is availabel at together with some excellent biographical publications.

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Henri Michaux ( 1899-1984)


Henri Michaux had two talents. For me, above all , he was a painter, but others would say he was a poet/writer. Michaux was good with language and because of that it was easy for him to derive from his letters, signs and bend them into a completely different language of art and make an abstract composition with them.

If i had not known a little more about Michaux and of his background as a writer i easily would have categorized him among the ZERO artists. (on the left there is a drawing by Michaux and on the right there is a drawing by Jan Schoonhoven.)

But his “signs” are not made randomly. Some of his most intriguing ones are done under the influence of LSD and Mescaline with which he experimented. Two separate methods in creating great art by 2 artists, resulting in almost the same composition, some 10 years apart from each other ( 1963 and 1974), but both highly intriguing.

The books are all available at

blog is published on

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Jules Pascin and Montparnasse

First of all there are not many titles available on Jules Pascin at, or any other site, because only a few titles were published over the years,  but that does not mean i do not like the works by this artist, who lived part of his life in Paris and belonged to the Montparnasse artist circle.

Jules Pascin, or the “Prince of Montparnasse, was a Bulgarian artist known for his paintings and drawings. He later became an American citizen. His most frequent subject was women, depicted in casual poses, usually nude or partly dressed.

Pascin was educated in Vienna and Munich. He traveled for a time in the United States, spending most of his time in the South. He is best known as a Parisian painter, who is associated with the artistic circles of Montparnasse and was one of the emigres of the School of Paris. Having struggled with depression and alcoholism, he committed suicide at the age of 45.

His works range from highly realistic, raw portraits to society portraits for the nouveau riche and  in between many beautiful women.

Highly  recognizable, erotic and typically Pascin


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George Grosz ….the artist reporter in the “Interbellum”


The period between the two World Wars in the 20th century is called the Interbellum. George Grosz lived and worked in those years and reported in print and drawings the daily and night life of the people surrounding him. Brothels, whores, artists, friends….. everybody worth as a subject was drawn or painted by him. These works show daily life on the fringes of society. Rough, sensual and sometimes even ugly, but always fascinating.


Gallery van Voorst van Beest presented a nice selection of these drawings 2 decades ago and published a beautiful catalogue with it. ( see pictures ), but beside this one there are many more Grosz books to be found at




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Joost Swarte….RRRRRRR

Joost Swarte is one of those rare multi talented artists which have become now world famous and have a very loyal following. Swarte started in the very early seventies with a magazine named # TANTE LENY ” and was almost immediately recognized as one of the true talents in this comic magazine. During these first few years he was very much influenced by Herge, but within this style ( Klare lijn) he developed his very own signature.

What makes Swarte drawings and projects so special?…… From a mile distance you can see that it is a Swarte drawing,….. subject, style, design,  Swarte signature, use of perspective and detail are very much Swarte’s own and are combined into one original work of art. Because he masters so many disciplines his projects are not only limited to books and posters, but during the last decades he even progressed to design and architecture.

One of the first projects in which he has everything in hand was the RRRRRRR 1 & 2 projects in which he depicted a population of “human” cats in different settings.

Joost Swarte has drawn the specially executed prints, designed the special container, supervised the printing and ….. perfection…..put a little feather within the container of the bird which was eaten by the cats. A superb publication resulted and is nowadays sought and collected by many.

has still one of these in stock so please visit my site and find this and more items by Joost Swarte.