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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

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 .

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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. has the Ouborg and van Abbemuseum publications available



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Geer van Velde (1898-1977)

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Since the early eighties i admire Geer van Velde. When i first entered our offices at the Gemeentemuseum, there was original art on the wall . Chosen by employees of the Gemeentemuseum the painting on the wall of our offices was an original large painting by Geer van Velde.

Geer van Velde was Bram van Velde’s younger brother they differ 3 years in age but their art differs even far more. Both influenced by fellow artists also living in Paris, Geer became known for his paintings winning Prizes and being admitted into the Salon des Independants . He is considered to be a member of the Ecole de Paris. The works by Geer van Velde are highly recognizable being abstract but still showing some realism in them. The use of color??  subdued not the bright colors his brother is known for. They come from the same nest but their works could not be more different .

Where Geer was known  and admired is his early years, the case with Bram was totally different. It is now since 30 years that the works by Bram are more admired. They are “classic”  made in the 50’s , 60’s and 70’s, but study them closely and you will sense that they belong in the present. These are bold and highly sensitive paintings. Both these van Velde brothers have their qualities, but maybe, in the long run, i prefer Geer.

There are Geer van Velde publications available at






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Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)


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If ever i had to chose two great sculptors from France , for me personally it would be Camille Claudel and Aristide Maillol. Rodin is a great sculptor , but i find his sculptures/statues to classic. He is a craftsman but for me he lacks the personal touch that i encounter with Maillol and Claudel. I have been admiring daily for 25 years a great statue by Maillol which is in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and i found it never boring.

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This is the reason that i am always on the look out for publications on Maillol and finally i found another great one at our local bookmarket . It is the spectacular Paul Rosenberg catalogue for his sales exhibition of sculptures by Maillol from 1958. It is now available at together with excellent Sandberg designed catalogue from the 1962 exhibition which was held at the Stedelijk Museum.

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Monet’s “abstract” paintings

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Last week i mentioned an early Monet painting in the collection of the Haags Gemeentemuseum, the QUAI DU LOUVRE, but beside this painting they have a large sized painting BLAUWE REGEN which is almost like an abstract painting. Study it up close and there is nothing realistic in the subject nor in brushstrokes. It is pure and abstract, the same as the large Giverny paintings on show in the Orangerie ? PAris and the one in the Beyeler collection. They impress with their size , but for me there is more….they belnd with their surroundings ( Beyeler)

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and they show their enormous abstract strength when seen each one after each other in the Orangerie. The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is planning a large overview of paintings from Monet’s Giverny period at the end of 2019, but my guess is the “Blauwe Regen” will be one of the largest one on show, because the others are hard to put on transport and have them insured in an affordable way. So whenever you visit Paris or Basel, pay a visit to the Beyeler or Orangerie and be amazed by these extremely large Monet “abstract” paintings.

For more books on Monet please visit

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Günther Förg…. a “mystery” edition

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Günther Förg, together with Sol LeWitt, this artist is one of the most promising artists for the future.

With Abstract painting, Graphic art and photographs, Günther Förg has made  a name for himself in the world of Art.

Because he was discovered in the late eighties by some dutch curators a.o Flip Bool, directors ( Rudi Fuchs) and Wim van Krimpen as a gallery owner, he received at an early stage of his career some important exhibitions in the Netherlands. Among them there was a gallery presentation in the van Krimpen gallery in Amsterdam. At that time Wim van Krimpen had some nice young artists who were presented in his gallery. Among them Piet Dirkx ( yes… from the Piet Dirkx daily) and Günther Förg, who had a chance to present some lead paintings and large photographs at the gallery. With this exhibition, an extremely nice set of  4 color lithographs was published in a small edition of only 25 copies. I loved and love the works by Gunther Forg and i am fortunate to have bought 2 of these sets at the time they were published. One litho from the set is depicted on the cover of Gunther Forg/ The complete editions 1974-1988 and within the book the set is spread over 2 pages (64 and 65) and illustrated. So far the history of the set which was published in 1987 by galerie van Krimpen.

forg serie fa h

A leap in time brings us to ca. 2000 when i spoke Wim van Krimpen and told him we had met before at the time i bought the sets and he told me i was lucky , because about 15 sets were destroyed because his cellar at one time flooded and the sets could not be saved, leaving in total about 10 sets that were sold at the gallery and were among collectors.

Since his death in 2013 Günther Förg works are in high demand at auctions and with art dealers and i believe this demand will not end for a long long time. Günther Förg’s art is original and exquisite and this set which is now on offer is one of the best he ever has published . Look at the FTN art page for additional information.

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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

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Gino Severini (1883-1966)

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Yesterday we spoke of Benno Wissing and today the subject is Gino Severini. The artists exhibition for who Wissing made an outstanding catalogue. The Gino Severini catalogue from 1963. A true classic in dutch design.

In 1963 Gino Severini was not that well known in the Netherlands, but the appreciation for modern art was becoming more clear with every exhibition being held in the Stedelijk Museum during the 50’s and 60’s. The Boymans museum presented this artist after they had acquired a clowns painting by the artist as was the same with the Gemeentemuseum who had TWEE HANSWORSTEN in their collection.

But these paintings are not typical for the artist because Severini is known for his futuristic and cubist paintings.

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So the exhibition was an excellent chance to show the diversity of this italian “dandy” artist who was a personal friend of Theo van Doesburg.

Severini paintings are rarely offered for sale and when they come on the block, they are getting more expensive with each auction. But beside their money value they are important in the development of modern art and the exhibition in the Boymans in 1963 was one of the first that showed his importance for Modern Art as we know it.

The Boymans Severini catalogue is available at

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Benno Wissing (1923-2008)

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In the dutch museum and art scene there are some classical partnerships regarding the design of museumpublications. There are Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel who bot worked in different decades for the Stedelijk Museum. There is again Wim Crouwel and Walter Nikkels who worked for the van Abbemuseum. There are Donald Janssen and Gracia Lebbink who had their designs published by the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and there is Benno Wissing ( one of the founders of Total Designs) who worked almost exclusively for the Boymans Van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam during 3 decades.

Bernard (Benno) Wissing was a Dutch designer, painter, graphic artist and architect. He trained as a painter at the Art Academy in Rotterdam.

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He began his career in 1949 as a designer for the Museum Boijmans in Rotterdam under VP Ebbinge Wubbe. He designed catalogs and posters and established exhibitions. He was one of the founders of Total Design which he worked from 1964 to 1972.

Benno Wissing is for me one of the greatest names in dutch design, but still stands in the shadow of Crouwel and Sandberg. Undeservedly, because his designs are true ” classics”. Just search for Wissing at and find some excellent examples of his truly great designs.

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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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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 on Robert Zandvliet


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Kees van Bohemen (1928-1985)

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Yesterday i mentioned the POSTHOORNGROEP and one of its members was Kees van Bohemen.

I remember that at one time, me and my parents visited a restaurant next door to the Haagse Kunstkring on the Denneweg in Den Haag and my mother told me that at the bar was a famous The Hague artist….Kees van Bohemen. I only knew his name from the paintings i had seen at the Gemeentemuseum, but possibly this was the first time i saw a true artist/painter in the “wild”. I remember he was drinking a beer and never left the bar during our meal. Many years later we met again in the Gemeentemuseum and at that occasion van Bohemen was offering his publications and some prints to be sold at the museumstore of the Gemeentemuseum. We took some of them in consignation and since i have been following his career. Making exhibitions at Pulchri, Kunstkring and Delta gallery it always struck me that his style was typical sixties and highly recognizable. Nowadays you encounter his works at the less prestigious auctions ( Venduehuis and AAG) but this does not mean they are not to be admired, they may not be in a price bracket of the Warhol’s and Basquiat’s, but that is not what art is about. The art of van Bohemen is admirable and deserves to be collected and shown in museums and fortunately many do admire his works. Here are the publications available at

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Karel Appel and the Congresgebouw Den Haag (1969)

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The Congresgebouw is an architectural icon in Den Haag. It was designed by Hans Oud and J.J.P. Oud and opened in 1969. In 1968 Karel Appel was commissioned a large painting on ceramic tiles and this painting is one of the lesser known Karel Appel paintings because not many people realize that they pass it while entering the Congresgebouw / World Forum ( the name what it is called nowadays).

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The extremely large tile painting consists of over 1200 separately painted tiles. These together, making it one of the largest Karel Appel paintings ever. If ever you come to Den Haag , this location is well worth a visit because not only there is the Gemeentemuseum nearby, but beside the tile painting by Appel there are sculptures, by Henry Moore, Auke de Vries and Pevsner in the vicinity.

For some nice Karel Appel publications please visit