One of my earliest blogs (2016) was dedicated to Charlotte Mutsaers. I explained the importance of Mutsaers for dutch art in general. Mutsaers has started as a teacher in art and as as higy original painter. I Think her paintings from the early Eighties belong to the most important ones from that period. This conclusion is not lightly taken. Yesterday evening i leafed throught the catalogue which was published on the occasion of her exhibition at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in Den Haag and i was really impressed. Timeless, Poignant and colorful they impressed me once again. Some 25 yeasr ago, Mutsaers made a career swith and decided for a career in writing and since she has published some of the most important books in the dutch language. I like her books, but when i had to chose i always would chose one of her paintings instead of one of her books.
The most informative text on Marc Bijl i encountered on Wikipedia, but on a personal note, i agree with every element of this text. Marc Bijl stands for art on the borders of society in which gothic and punk are combined with Pop Culture…. I love it.
From 1992 until 1997 Marc Bijl studied at the Royal Academy of Art & Design in ‘s–Hertogenbosch. In 1996 he studied for a year at Glasgow School of Art. In his early work, Marc Bijl reacted to global themes and to popular fascination with symbols of political power, globalization of the economy, religion and nationalism. This resulted in interventions in public space, videos, sculptures and installations that underscored or undermined world views. Bijl endeavours to expose superficialities and myths via his work. Bijl switches in his work between political activity and street culture as he does between the media of image, text and music. He exposes the superficialities, icons and myths of popular culture in his work to stimulate the spectator to contemplate about moral and ethical issues. The symbol, the logo and the label are his potential targets and his artistic tools. He likes to upset, relocate and re-connote their superficial image and their mythmaking – always aiming at a critical analysis of the social conditions of the society. Bijl employs visual elements borrowed from punk and Gothic subcultures and from anarchism. His early works are representational, cartoon-like and often textual. His recent work is more abstract and minimalistic, exemplifying a shift in approach, by which he pares down different perspectives and methodologies to a new essence. The crux is no longer the ‘symbolism’ but what that symbolism represents and signifies. In these most recent works, Bijl makes clear references to modernist art-historical icons such as Mark Rothko, Mondriaan, De Stijl (Rietveld chair) and more subtle references to Jannis Kounellis and Joseph Beuys. Bijl adapts these classical works to his own corporate style. He seeks a more abstract formal language that is in many respects more ambiguous than his earlier vocabulary.
Bijl undermines systems but at the same time he is depended on these systems. Bijl’s work is often rebellious and tends to the illegality. His work is clearly rooted in street culture and possesses elements of graffiti, performance and installation art.
Without knowing . The VOORMOLEN company made an artist book which contains contributions by the very best artists from the Netherlands from the Sixties. Katshoek was an architectural project in the rebuilding of Rotterdam after WWII. New architectural design , enhanced with art from the very best of dutch artists.
Together with the project the Voormolen company made an artist book. with contributions by Boezem, Bonies, Dekkers, Dibbets, Eikelenboom, van Elk, Gribling, Koetsdier, Manders, n, Rous, Schuitema, Graatsma, Slothouber, Staakman, Struycken, Volten
the above publication is also in the collection of several dutch museums and now available at www.ftn-books.com
Katshoek office building
Heer Bokelweg became the connection between Schiekade and the Rotte Tracé, a wide road from the centre to the motorway to Utrecht. The Katshoek building was the first structure built on this new and wide city boulevard.
What a contrast between the large modern building faced in white Kirchheimer limestone and the Oude Noorden district behind it! The huge structure has been built on Heer Bokelweg in the Zomerhof District.
It was originally designed as a multi-tenant building for small industries that had previously been housed in temporary structures in the area. However, this plan was dropped on account of the drastic increase in construction costs since the plan was launched in 1959. The idea now is to house ten large offices in the building, among them probably, subject to approval by the city council, a number of municipal departments. In addition, the Voormolen contracting firm that built the structure hopes to move from its current address on Westersingel into the new building on Heer Bokelweg in early 1968.
Het Vrĳe Volk, 28 September 1967
The post-war Basis Plan for the centre of Rotterdam earmarked Heer Bokelweg as a main access route into the new city from the north-east; an entrance between ‘gateways’ like the Shell building and the Schieblok to the renewed Hofplein and Coolsingel. Heer Bokelweg later became the connection between Schiekade and the Rotte Tracé, a wide road from the centre to the motorway to Utrecht. The Katshoek building was the first structure built on this new and wide city boulevard. After completion of the building the widening was extended on the north side, including an unsophisticated gap punched in the Hofbogen viaduct. But the changing insights of the early 1990s are visible on the southern side in the narrowing of the street with the construction of the Scala apartment complex beside the RAC garage, which today houses the city archives.
The sturdy seven-floor concrete-frame building is designed as a multi-tenant building, but it differs considerably in both layout and architecture from Maaskant’s other multi-tenant buildings such as the Industriegebouw, Groothandelsgebouw and Verzamelgebouw Zuidplein. According to Maaskant expert Michelle Provoost, this is an atypical work for Maaskant. “Especially the facade, which is very flat. You don’t see that very often in Maaskant’s buildings. The facades of his buildings are usually very expressive.”
The exterior is indeed fairly flat, with sleek bands of fenestration in aluminium profiles and stone cladding. The interior and the columns along the lower volume on Almondestraat are finished in bush-hammered concrete, a technique used to leave the concrete surface rough. The use of luxury materials gives the building a strongly representative feel. The floors of the two halls of the main staircases and of the shopping gallery are finished in Jura stone. The walls of the halls and the ground-floor columns feature exposed concrete adorned with a relief, while the entrances to the staff lifts are finished in white anodized aluminium.
The angle on the front facade is elegantly highlighted by the stone bands that continue as a vertical series of balconies.
Clearing the way for cars
The widening of Heer Bokelweg cleared the way for cars, but the building facilitates cars in other ways too. A car park for 250 vehicles was built behind the building and was directly connected to the office volume. In addition, an Aral petrol station was built on the triangular site between Heer Bokelweg and Almondestraat. And so the number of petrol stations within a 100-metre radius came to three!
Art plays an important role in the building. The facade features an entrance relief by André Volten (1925-2002), one of the best-known abstract sculptors of the post-war period, whom Maaskant frequently worked with. The piece (Untitled, 1968) is a facade element with circular segments. The lines of the architecture are repeated in the work and distorted to form a new image. It was originally made of stainless steel and stone, but during renovation it was painted black along with the columns, ruining the effect. An art event was held in the entrance hall to mark the opening of the building in 1968.
Until 21 December, the ground floor of the new Katshoek office building in Rotterdam is the venue for an exhibition that is as unusual as it is striking. At the invitation of Voormolen, the contractors responsible for building Katshoek, sixteen artists were given an opportunity to express themselves creatively with all sorts of construction materials.
Het Parool, 14 December 1968
It was, according to organizer Bob Bonies, a remarkable project:
“After all those exhibitions, which always consisted of the finest possible arrangement of existing works, I wanted to try another approach. I proposed inviting a number of Dutch artists to create their contribution inside that wonderful space by using construction materials supplied by Voormolen. Including engines, blowers and the like. And with the help of skilled workmen from Voormolen. It was an expensive project, but I immediately received full cooperation.
I chose sixteen artists: the cool guys Dekkers, Manders, Koetsier, Struycken and myself, Boezem, Dibbets and Van Elk with their micro-emotive art, the kinetic artist Staakman, Eikelenboom with his utopian situations, Rous, who makes a sort of minimal art, André Volten, Paul Schuitema with his colour scheme and his alphabet and the Slothouber-Graatsma team from the Cubic Construction Centre. And Gribling with his space structures.”
Het Parool, 21 December 1968
The building housed the offices of Robeco, Procter & Gamble Benelux and a number of municipal departments. Owing to its out-of-the-way location, the building later fell out of favour. The current tenants are OMA and Havensteder.
Dutch-born Maria Huls has had education in the Netherlands but is now living since 1988 near Osnabrück. When I look at her work I do not see much of a dutch tradition in her sculptures. I find them more inspired by Minimal and Konkrete Kunst. This is the kind of art that inspires me and when I look at Huls her sculptures I find them very peaceful but full of tension because of the layered shapes and torsions.
Especially her Kleinskulpturen have these qualities. This another of those lesser-known artists that you discover while writing a regular blog. Maria C.P. Huls deserves a better presentation of her works.
C.A. Lion Cachet (1864-1945) is considered, together with G.W. Dijsselhof and Th. Nieuwenhuis, as pioneer of the Dutch Art Nouveau. He introduced a completely new visual language of forms, font styles and patterns. One of the things he introduced was the batik technique from Indonesia that he experimented with. His style was almost un-Dutch because of his preference for labour-intensive techniques and luxurious materials.
Lion Cachet worked as a teacher before he developed himself as a decorative artist in 1890. He decorated a large variety of objects, among them books, jewellery, furniture and posters. Besides this he worked on Gesamtkunstwerken. An example of this was the commission from Stoomvaart–Maatschappij Nederland (‘Netherlands Steamship Company’) to design the interiors of the passenger ships. Additionally, he was co-founder of Wendingen, an art magazine in the Netherlands that advocated the Amsterdamse School style.
http://www.ftn-books.com has a beautful publication on Lion Cachet, Nieuwenhuis and Dijsselhof now available . Sublime in every aspect. printing design and an edition size of only 500 copies
Barend Blankert excels in realism with a twist. In some cases his works remind me of Teun Hocks ( tomorrows blog) , but most of the time one feels an “unease” in the scene. Wether the object/person is curled up on the floor, on the edge of a bed or crouching at a table. You feel a pity for the person in the painting. Blankert does not hesitate to refer to other painters in his paintings. There is this great example of the two boys in the Seurat painting BAIGNEURS A ASNIERES (in the National gallery collection). The two boys in the Blankert painting are exact copies of the ones in the Seurat painting, but where the painting by Seurat is crowded by others. The two boys are alone in an empty room, making the scene a sad one.
Still his works are worthwhile to look at and timeless. Barend Blankert is represented by galerie Mokum. The Blankert monograph is available at www.ftn-books.com
The first impression was Jakob Gasteiger, but certainly this is not the case….. there is much more to the work of Anita Groener. The swirls and lines look like Gasteiger but there is much more depth in her paintings. She uses small dots and lines to accentuate the lines making these much stronger than expected. Born in the Netherlands she now lives in Dublin/Ireland and making a name for herself in Ireland. Here is the info on her i found on her artist site.: http://www.anitagroener.com
Asking what it is to be human today, Anita Groener explores the substance of trauma and loss rooted in this question. She makes work for what needs language, experimenting with both figurative and abstract geographies. The artist focuses on specific current events, their archetypal and psychological resonances, tracing urgent connections between people driven from their homes through armed, economic or political conflict and her own life and family. The deliberately modest means of Groener’s installations and line drawings—twigs, cut paper, straight pins, gouache, twine—speak to the fragility of life and society that refugee crises expose. Her art implicates herself and us, asking questions about the ethics of witnessing and aesthetic response.
Anita Groener was born in The Netherlands and is based in Dublin, Ireland. In 2005, she was elected a member of Aosdána, the prestigious official association of Ireland’s preeminent cultural producers. Until 2014 she was a professor at the Dublin Institute of Technology where she was also the Head of Fine Art from 2004 to 2006.
Rooted in Pop Art and Hippie art, this symbiosis of these influences in the art of Key Hiraga created an original approach to subject and painting itself. These paintings are one of a kind and can be immediately recognized for being done by Hiraga.
As with many of the artists from the final years of the Sixties and early Seventies these works are almost forgotten, but now and then they surface again. For instance there is a dutch artist belonging to the same category…. Jakob Zekveld. Color schemes are almost the same but compositions are totally different. here is one by Zekveld.
Although i have never seen his works in agllery nor museum, i am a fan , because his works are original and filled with symbolism and never bore. the following publication on Hiraga is available at www.ftn-books.com
On the site of the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Dirk de Herder is described as the poet among dutch photographers from his age. His photographs have a dreamlike poetic quality ( see the portrait above). De Herder considered himself as a master of light. His classic black & white photographs have been popular ever since 1946, when his first book about Amsterdam was published (now a classic at photobook auctions by itself). His images of the old centre of Amsterdam and later, in the same style, Stockholm and Paris were influenced by Brassaï, with whom he corresponded, exchanged books and prints. As a photographer he was also acquinted with COBRA, whose members he regulary photographed (and published in another book). For VARA television, a Dutch broadcasting company, he photographed many celebrities for the television programguides. But his hart was always with his free work. He made many more books, ‘Never travel without a Suitcase full of Dreams’ (80 photographs, for his 80th birthday) and ‘Flashback’ (about his life), were among the last.
Floris Arntzenius is one of those painters who can be called a dutch impressionist. His touch is not as sunny as the French impressionists, but more subdued and influenced by weather and seasons in the Netherlands, making his paintings less bright and cheerfull. Still his depicting of daily life and townscapes makes his work of a rare quality. His painting can be compared with that of Jan Toorop, but where Toorop changed his style for several times during his life, Arntzenius stayed true to classic dutch impressionist scenes.
left Arntzenius / right Toorop
The Gemeentmuseum Den Haag has some very nice Arntzenius paintings in its collection and has published several catalogues over the years of which some are available at www.ftn-books.com
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20