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Donald Judd at the van Abbemuseum

Rudi Fuchs was the admirer and curator who convinced Donald Judd to have a large retrospective at the van Abbemuseum. Judd had his entrance into the dutch Museum scene with Enno Develing who had organized, with all important minimal art artists, exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Sixties . Judd was one of them and since the popularity of Minimal Art in the Netherlands grew steadily. The van Abbemuseum made an exhibition with Judd in 1987, after which exhibitions another one with Judd, Fuchs and Jitta was held on the prints by Donald Judd at the Gemeentemuseum. It was one of the last exhibitions Rudi Fuchs curated for the van Abbemuseum before he switched to the Gemeentemuseum as a director and made this print exhibition. Fuchs was a great fan, because together with the print exhibition he ordered furniture, desks and even a complete parquet floor all done by Judd of which only the floor remains at the Escher Museum at the Paleis Lange Voorhout location. The rest “disappeared” , was damaged,  or was sold during the last 2 decades.

The blog is to point out that this is an important catalogue which is now available at www.ftn-books.com together with some other publications. As mentioned …Enno Develing wast the first European curator who presented the Minimal Art movement and his artists at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Here is the extremely important catalogue of this exhibition which i gladly make available for my readers. Click the MINIMAL ART link below and read the PDF version of this rare and very important catalogue.

MINIMAL ART

 

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Hans Haacke (1936)

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His career spans now a period of nearly 60 years and he has always been a frontrunner in the world of art. Perhaps yu can compare him with Damien Hirts, but do not forget that there is a difference of time between them of 3 decades. Haacke never reached the stature of a Damien Hirst, but when his works emerged and were introduced into the art scene… literally every large and important Modern Art museum in the world wanted a piece of the action. Haacke was “hot”. Moma , Tate and Museum Ludwig all started to collect Hans Haacke at a large scale.

In 1978 Haacke was asked for a one man show at the van Abbemuseum / Eindhoven ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com)  and with this show, the Netherlands started to know Hans Haacke as an artist. Nowadays his art is less prominent present in the collections of these large museums, but i am convinced this will change in the not so far away future, because i think Haacke is important for the art of Seventies and Eighties. A forerunner for the art made by the well respected British artist like Hirst and Tracey Emin. Haacke deserves a place among them. His contribution to art is a valuable one and deserves to be recognized as such.

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Christie van der Haak (1950)

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One of the first artist from Den Haag that i met and still admire is Christie van der Haak. A few years ago , in 2015 she won deservedly the Ouborgprijs and since her name has become even more famous in the art world. Just take a look at her great site and judge for your self

http://www.christievanderhaak.nl

Discover why her art is appreciated by so many in the art world. The patterns she “invents” and the layers she uses to make her compositions look very classic like patterns from the old days, but put them in a different surroundings, they become great new works of art.

I remember that one of her first exhibitions was the one in the van Abbemuseum curated by Rudi Fuchs, where she presented Madonna paintings. Paintings with layer over layer . patterns overpainted the typical classic madonna .

haak madonna a

Later she presented her paintings in the Lakenhal and the Gemeentemuseum where the late Henk Overduin was an admirer and the one who initiated an exhibition with her.

www.ftn-books.com has the Ouborg and van Abbemuseum publications available

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Picasso and Monet in the Gemeentemuseum

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About 30 years ago Rudi Fuchs became director of the Gemeentemuseum and one of the first things he notices was the limited amount of purchase power he had in building a new collection for the Gemeentemuseum. He wanted to expand the collection with some quintessential new works which showed the importance of the collection. At that time most of the dutch museum were all collecting the same dutch artists, because there were no funds to acquire works on the international market and thus build the same kind of collection in contemporary art. Fuchs developed an idea to sell 3 of the less important major works from the collection of the Gemeentemuseum.  Being 2 Picasso paintings and the early Monet /Quai du Louvre. All important , all very well known and probably priceless at auction. These highly important works would easily fetch over 50 million USD at that time and with the interest of that sum he would ten fold his budget for purchasing art. Politics thought different, because these works were not bought by the museum but bestowed to the museum.

This morning i remembered these paintings and realized that when they had been sold , they would have been lost for the Gemeentemuseum visitors, but even more important….with an interest rate of less than 1% , there would not have been sufficient funds to acquire anything important in todays art market. Conclusion for me that it is a good thing that they were not sold and can still be admired in the gorgeous Berlage building which houses the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

For those that are interested in the collection of the Haags Gemeentemuseum…please take a look at www.ftn-books.com

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An exhibition curated by Queen Beatrix in 2000

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The year is 2000 and Queen Beatrix is invited as a guest curator for the exhibition DE VOORSTELLING to be held in the Stedelijk Paleis op de Dam . The place where each year the Koninklijke Subsidie voor de Vrije Schilderkunst is presented . Her “right hand” is no less than Rudi Fuchs the director at the Stedelijk Museum who helps the Queen with her choices and presentation.

I am not a great fan of our Royals, but i always have had great respect for Queen Beatrix and her love for the arts and i am convinced that she is very knowledgable about art, art techniques and with that background could make some  great choices for her collection. ( a.o. Eja Siepman van den Berg and Andre Volten ). This time it was for real and one could see her personal dutch favorites  within the exhibition. To accompany the exhibition a more than nice catalogue was published which is available at www.ftn-books.com.

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the attraction of Robert Zandvliet (1970)

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I can not add more than the short documentary the fantastic HOLLANDSE MEESTERS series made on this artist. Unfortunately it is in dutch, but the images tell more than a 1000 words.

books available at www.ftn-books.com on Robert Zandvliet

 

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Donald Judd…2 mint publications

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It looks like Donald Judd publications are getting more rare every month. Since his tragic death in 1994 no more “original” exhibition publications have been published. Of course there are some retrospective ones on the market, but the original ones during his lifetime are harder and harder to find. www.ftn-books.com is therefore proud to have 2 of these rare publications available in pristine condition. First there is the  van Abbemuseum catalogue from 1987. The book served as a catalogue for 4 venues of which the van Abbemuseum was the most impiortant one because the exhibition was curated by Rudi Fuchs. Secondly there is the Donald Judd / Prints and Works in ecitions published by Schellmann , which even is shrink wrapped. This is rare opportunity to acquire these rare and highly collectable Judd publications for your collection.

 

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Eugène Leroy (1910-2000)

Eugène Leroy is a too long forgotten French Abstract painter who has a unique style of his own. Born in 1910 he witnessed the coming of age of abstract painting and developed a form of abstract painting which is seen among painters in later decades. I do not know if the dutch Marc Mulders is influenced by Eugène Leroy, but when you compare both their paintings you can see similarities in the use of the paint and colors. Grey, brown and spots of brighter colors are typical for both in their early works.

Leroy was presented with a solo exhibition in the van Abbemuseum in 1988 and it was probably the last exhibition Rudi Fuchs curated for the van Abbemuseum before he became director at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Personally i think Leroy his paintings are a little bit too much, but undoubtedly he will become more and more appreciated and known outside France. His style is unique and his paintings are true classics from France from the last century. www.ftn-books.com has some catalogues available.

 

 

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Alan Charlton (1948)… monochromes in grey

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For me Alan Charlton stands for British Minimalism. Characterized by the color Grey, he makes constructivist shaped monochrome paintings. This is in short how you can describe the works  by Alan Charlton. There were not many occasions that i have seen his works in Museums, but i remember at least to have seen three times his works. First at the van Abbemuseum, secondly at the Stedelijk Museum and thirdly at the Tate Modern. On all three occasions i thought these works were magnificent. I saw these works quite some time apart from each other, over a period of over 15 years they were viewed, but I always was impressed with the monochrome grey’s, each slightly different from each other making these a true color scale of grey’s.

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They blend into their space and because of their monotony and regular shapes they become a part of the room they are exhibited in. It takes some time to appreciate them , but once you do , there are few more exciting paintings and therefore better artists than Alan Charlton, who makes these wonders in grey.

Alan Charlton titles are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Hubert Kiecol (1950)

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Without Rudi Fuchs , i would never have known who Hubert Kiecol was. Never met him and his art was not that interesting at first glance, but now 25 years later  i appreciate Kiecol. I appreciate Kiecol for the multiples he has made and the playful scenes he creates with his objects. They remind me of one of my other favorite artists …Piet Dirkx, who uses the same “language” in his paintings. I decided to devote this blog to Kiecol after i discovered yesterday ( once again) that probably without knowing, artists develop the same kind of works. See the resemblance between Thomas Schutte and Hubert Kiecol.

and Kiecol and Piet Dirkx. Maybe this is a little bit more far fetched , but in my opinion there are similarities between these two works.

If you know of other similarities between artist works  let me know .

There are Kiecol publication available at www.ftn-books.com