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Meret Oppenheim (1913-1985)

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Back to back …yesterday’s blog on Dennis Oppenheim…and this one on Meret Oppenheim.

There is absolutely no family relation between these two and Meret Oppenheim has proven her importance over the years. At least there is a generation gap of two generations between these 2 artists. She became friends with Arp, Breton, Duchamp and Man Ray. The last made an important and very well known photo series of her in Paris in which she figured.

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At this time in Paris she was called and considered the MUSE of the surrealists. This series made her an instant success, but this success suffocated her too and she decided to return to Basel and start her own artist career.

She had her studio’s in Basel and Bern and for the last city she left after her death one third of collection to the Bern museum.

Perhaps her most well know work is LE DEJEUNER EN FOURRURE. A large work which was criticized by many, but what now has become one of the icons in Modern Art.

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www.ftn-books.com has some Meret Oppenheim titles available

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Francis Picabia is “PAPA DADA”

It took a long time for me to finally appreciate the works by Picabia. Once known as “Papa Dada,” Francis Picabia was one of the principle figures of the Dadamovement both in Paris and New York. A friend and associate of Marcel Duchamp, he became known for a rich variety of work ranging from strange, comic-erotic images of machine parts to text-based paintings that foreshadow aspects of Conceptual art. Even after Dada had been supplanted by other styles, the French painter and writer went on to explore a diverse and almost incoherent mix of styles. He shifted easily between abstraction and figuration at a time when artists clung steadfastly to one approach, and his gleeful disregard for the conventions of modern art encouraged some remarkable innovations even later in his career, from the layered Transparency series of the 1920s to the kitsch, erotic nudes of the early 1940s. Picabia remains revered by contemporary painters as one of the century’s most intriguing and inscrutable artists.

on the excellent site THE ART STORY i found this text on the ideas of Picabia

In the 1910s, Picabia shared the interests of a number of artists who emerged in the wake of Cubism, and who were inspired less by the movement’s preoccupation with problems of representation than by the way the style could evoke qualities of the modern, urban, and mechanistic world. Initially, these interests informed his abstract painting, but his attraction to machines would also shape his early Dada work, in particular his Mechanomorphs – images of invented machines and machine parts that were intended as parodies of portraiture. For Picabia, humans were nothing but machines, ruled not by their rational minds, but by a range of compulsive hungers.
Picabia was central to the Dada movement when it began to emerge in Paris in the early 1920s, and his work quickly abandoned many of the technical concerns that had animated his previous work. He began to use text in his pictures and collages and to create more explicitly scandalous images attacking conventional notions of morality, religion, and law. While the work was animated by the Dada movement’s rage against the European culture that had led to the carnage of World War I, Picabia’s attacks often have the sprightly, coarse comedy of the court jester. They reflect an artist with no respect for any conventions, not even art, since art was just another facet of the wider culture he rejected.
Figurative imagery was central to Picabia’s work from the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s, when he was inspired by Spanish subjects, Romanesque and Renaissance sources, images of monsters, and, later, nudes found in soft porn magazines. Initially he united many of these disparate motifs in the Transparency pictures, complexly layering them and piling them on top of each other to provoke confusion and strange associations. Some critics have described the Transparencies as occult visions, or Surrealist dream images, and although Picabia rejected any association with the Surrealists, he steadfastly refused to explain their content. Picabia always handled these motifs with the same playful and anarchic spirit that had animated his Dada work.
Picabia learned early on that abstraction could be used to evoke not only qualities of machines, but also to evoke mystery and eroticism. This ensured that abstract painting would be one of the mainstays of his career. He returned to it even in his last years, during which he attributed his inspiration to the obscure recesses of his mind, as he had always done.
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www.ftn-books.com has some excellent publications on Picabia including the very special Ronny van de Velde publication PICABIA ( price upon request)
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de Angst … Juni 1983

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If ever there was an obscure magazine in the Netherlands it was de Angst. Only a few volumes were published and the one depicted in this blog is one of them. It is from June 1983, was published in an edition size of only 100 copies. Printed/stencilled contents, hand bound signed in the plate by the authors Edzard Diderik, Martin Bril, Dirk van Weelden and Rob Scholte, who also made the original etching which was used as cover.

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The etchinh was colored by hand and the design was later used for one of his editions and a painting with the same name. In the magazine contributions a.o. by members of the ( Amsterdam) punk/avant garde scene which were finding their way into the multiple disciplines of Contemporary Art. There are contributions by Scholte, Maarten Ploeg and Peter Klashorst, who all made a serious art career. This rare magazine is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Joost Swarte …artists portfolio Beuys/ Panamarenko/Schwitters and Duchamp (1994)

 

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Four famous names in modern art and selected by Joost Swarte to feature in his portfolio from 1994. One of the first complete Swarte designs. The chosen materials/papers/printing and lay-out all thought out and done by Joost Swarte. Published by het Raadsel and therefore guaranteed to have the best printing possible , because het Raadsel choose the best printers for their projects and because of the success from last months integral publication of the 4 volumes SCHAAMSTREKEN by Otto Egberts i decided to do the same with this beautiful and highly collectable portfolio which is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Artist/ Author:  Joost Swarte

Title : Duchamp, Beuys, Panamarenko, Schwitters portfolio

Publisher: het Raadsel, 1994

Number of pages:  4 prints all signed and numbered from an edition 150 in special portfolio

Text / Language: No Language

Measurements: 44 x30 cm

Condition: mint

 

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Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) ….L.H.O.O.Q.

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I did not know, but Marcel Duchamp’ s drawn moustache and beard on the Mona Lisa has a title;

L.H.O.O.Q.

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The poster with the drawn moustache and beard was recently sold at auction and i noticed the typical and absurd title Duchamp had given it. You can pronounce it as Look but it can also be the abbreviation of the french words  ” Elle a chaud au cul”…translation she is horny. Humor by Duchamp , who works are filled with this kind of “jokes”. Duchamps titles are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Ed Ruscha (1937)

 

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Influenced by Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns and H.C. Westermann, Ruscha developed an art form for himself.  Ruscha achieved recognition for paintings incorporating words and phrases and for his many photographic books, all influenced by the deadpan irreverence of the Pop Art movement. His textual, flat paintings have been linked with both the Pop Art movement and the beat generation, but for me Edward Ruscha is foremost a Pop Art artist. Possibly this is because one of my favorite Stedelijk Museum catalogues from the Seventies is this 1976 Ruscha catalogue which was designed by Wim Crouwel and filled with typical Pop Art related Ruscha paintings.

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Text and image blend into each other , catching your attention with a word or a phrase. Ruscha stayed true to this kind of painting and has since become one of the great names in the world of art. Checking my inventory i found that i have many interesting publications available at www.ftn-books.com. An excellent opportunity to find out why Ruscha is important in the world of contemporary art.

Here is an interesting video on Ed Ruscha by the Tate