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Ben Akkerman (1920-2010)

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I have always been an admirer of the works by Ben Akkerman. The first time i saw a painting by Akkerman was at the Centraal Museum and since i have been interested in his works. The paintings and drawings i could not afford so instead i started to collect Ben Akkerman publications. The result is that i have collected myself a small but important Akkerman library and the years made me find some duplicates which i now have put up for sale at www.ftn-books.com

Ben Akkerman was , the same as Jan Schoonhoven, an employee for the municipality of Enschede and he painted in the evening in his spare time. Called a ‘hardcore abstract ” painter i personally share his paintings among the Minimal paintings from that era. These are very delicate compositions that are pure minimal art.

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The Gemeentemuseum used the “diamond” by Ben Akkerman for almost 10 years in its letters and invitations, but now that the name has changed in the far less appealing name ” Kunstmuseum Den Haag” they left the beautiful yellow diamond shaped logo for one i do not like at all. To commemorate the diamond they collected 30 Ben Akkerman paintings and made a wonderful presentation  to honor Ben Akkerman and its “diamond”.

 

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Boris Mikhailov

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I can not make a better blog than the information which is given on the Saatchi site at:

http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/boris_mikhailov.htm

but what i know from a personal point of view  is that Mikhailove for me is arguably the best photographer from the last 3 decades. Raw and tender at the same time and a very personal point of view.

Here is the short Biography on Mikhailov :

Born in the former Soviet Union, Mikhailov lived and worked for several decades in his hometown of Kharkiv, Ukraine. He received an education as an engineer and started to teach himself photography. Today he is one of the most successful and well-known among the photographers who were already active in the Soviet era. His work combines conceptual art and social documentary photography.

Mikhailov had his first exhibition at the end of the 1960s. After the KGB found nude pictures of his wife he was laid off his job as an engineer and started to work full-time as a photographer. From 1968 to 1975 he shot several series documenting everyday scenes, the best known of them being the Red Series. In these photographs he mainly used the colour red, to picture people, groups and city-life. Red symbolized the October Revolution, political party and the social system of Soviet society. It is often said that within those works critical elements toward the existing political circumstances can be found.In Mikhailov’s Klebrigkeit (1982), he added explanatory notes, or diary-like text. In Case History, considered an important part of contemporary art, he examines the consequences of the breakdown of the Soviet Union for its people. He systematically took pictures of homeless people. It shows the situation of people who after the breakdown of the Soviet Union were not able to find their place in a secure social system. In a very direct way Mikhailov points out his critique against the “mask of beauty” of the emerging post-Soviet capitalistic way of life.

There were some classic Mikhailov books published during the last 20 years and some of them can be found at:

www.ftn-books.com