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The Triton Foundation/collection

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The Triton collection is considered to be one of the 2oo most prestigious private art collections in the world. The collection was build in a relatively short period of time but contains the most important names from the modern art world. The spectacular collection was collected by the couple Willem Cordia (1940-2011) and Marijke van der Laan. Cordia built his fortune with investing in the port of Rotterdam and oil.

The collection was transferred into a Foundation and together with the foundation, the Gemeentemuseum named a room after the Foundation. the “Triton kabinet” and in this room the most important works of art were being presented. The result a series of art books dedicated to the artists and art of the Triton foundation ( available at http://www.ftn-books.com)

The collection contains 250 important works of art. Paintings, drawings and sculptures by the most famous of all artists a.o Vincent van Gogh, Odilon Redon, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Amedeo Modigliani, Kees van Dongen, Raoul Dufy, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondriaan, Francis Picabia, Alberto Giacometti, Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Günther Uecker, Willem de Kooning, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella en Lucian Freud.

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Ernest Utermark (1967)

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A blog on an artist who deserves a larger platform of admirers in the Netherlands and beyond. I have known Ernest since he first entered the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, but to be honest i had forgotten about him since i stopped coming daily to the museum, but every time i entered the museum through the corridor i was reminded of him because of his” cut out birds” that prevented the birds flying against the glass windows.

Last december i visited Ap Gewald at the museum and i saw Ernest in the corner of my eye and we greeted each other. A few days later I started to rearrange some books and found this wonderful book by Ernest which i once bought at the museumshop. In this book you can find a “collectors alphabet” by Ernest Utermark.  I loved the book when i bought it and after nine years it is still a delight to leaf through. Is it available at www.ftn-books.com?…. i am sorry it is NOT but i can strongly recommend it and urge you to start looking for this delightful publication from 2010.

utermark a

 

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Ossip ( 1952 )….continued

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Readers of this blog know of my admiration for Ossip. It started when i first saw one of his small figures at the Artoteek and wanted to own it for my collection. Far too expensive it was, but when i left the Gemeentemuseum and started FTN books. The museum and my colleagues presented me with the same sculpture i had seen at the Artoteek. It sparked the interest in Ossip and his art and since i have visited numerous times his studio and made frequent purchases.

ossip prive

Ossip name was becoming more and more familiar among collectors and it meant that prices for his works were on the rise.

But in a period of over 15 years i have bought frequently and managed to collect some very nice works through galleries and auctions. It is time to contact him once again and see for myself what kind of works he is making this time, because every time i visit his studio he amazes me with the progress and inventions he makes with his figures and mobiles. Some very nice Ossip publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Paul Klee (1879-1940)

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“Über Bergeshohen” and “Im Bach’schen Still” are the 2 Paul Klee works that the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag ( Kunstmuseum Den Haag) has in its collection. I remember these works well since I have seen these without their protective glass frame when they were photographed.

These works made a great impression on me and grew my interest in Paul Klee. This was about 35 years ago and since i have bought and sold many Paul Klee publications, but besides the Gemeentemuseum publications there is one which is my absolute favourite….it is the PAUL KLEE 1879-1940 book which was published on the occasion of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum exhibition in New York in 1967. Great cover and a tremendous exhibition which has so many great Paul Klee works in it. Unfortunately the 2 from the Gemeentemuseum, but the rest belongs to the very best by Paul Klee and it is highly unlikely that there will ever be a greater and better Klee exhibition.

klee guggenheim

 

This and other Klee publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Brian Maguire (1951)

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This is an artist I really like since his painting is not only fast and contemporary, but he makes political statements with his painting that are important. This is possibly also the reason why his paintings are not found within the large museum collections. Only some daring museums that are not afraid to take a stand will add his works to their collection. But these works are important since, in. a an artistic way,  they confront you with the world around us that is easily and possibly conveniently forgotten.
Since the very beginning of his career in the 1970s, Brian Maguire has approached painting as an act of solidarity. He operates a truly engaged practice, compelled by the raw realities of humanity’s violence against itself, and the potential for justice.

Maguire’s preoccupations draw him to the margins of the art world—alternative space, prisons, women’s shelters, and psychiatric institutions—making shows in traditional gallery and museum spaces something of a rarity. Maguire’s most recent paintings directly confront issues of migration, displacement and human dignity in the face of the current global unrest. They are some of his most nuanced and ambitious to date, which he has crafted with larger brushes and thinned-down acrylic on canvas. He works slowly, using photographic sources, searching for that point where illustration ceases and art begins. This growing contrast between the seductive painterly aesthetic and the subject matter only adds to the potential impact of these formidable canvases.In 2018 Maguire released his newest publication that displays a substantial new artist monograph surveying his career to date. Maguire has shown extensively in Europe and the US, also participating in shows in Korea, China and Japan.

Recent solo exhibitions include: War Changes It’s Address, United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA, (2020); Scenes of Absence, Rubin Center, Texas University, TX, USA, (2019); Escenarios de ausencia, Art Museum Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, (2019); War Changes Its Address: The Aleppo Paintings, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, (2018); Concerned, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2018) and the European Parliament, Brussels (2012). Recent group exhibitions include: Naked Truth, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, (2018); Demise, Cleveland University Art Gallery, Cleveland, OH, USA, (2018); The sea is the limit, York Art Gallery, York, UK, (2016); Conversations, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2014) and Ni Una Mas, Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA, (2010).

Maguire’s work is represented in the collections of Irish Museum of Modern Art; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; Museum of Fine Art Houston, Texas; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Netherlands; Alvar Alto Museum, Finland.

www.ftn-books.com has one Maguire title available

maguire

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Helena van der Kraan (1940-2020)

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A few days ago i learned that Helena van der Kraan had died at the age of 80.

I have encountered Helena a number of times at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag where she had become friends with many of its staff. At many occasions these friendships grew into series of portraits and i remember at one time she made photographs of all the staff to be published in a little book which was presented to Theo van Velzen at his leaving the museum. A very kind woman she was and she will be surely remembered for her great photographs she made during her entire career.


On June 14th, on her 80th birthday, former participant and photographer Helena van der Kraan passed away. Born in Prague in 1940, she came to the Netherlands shortly after the uprising in former Czechoslovakya in 1968, for a two year residency at what was then known as ‘ateliers ’63’. There she met sculptor Axel van der Kraan, with whom she collaborated for many years on large-scale, wooden sculptures, until Helena’s artistic practice focussed more and more on photography. She is known for her restrained and tender portraits of artist friends. Her work is represented in the collections of the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum and Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen. In Fotomuseum The Hague, her series of teddybear photographs is on view until November 1st, 2020.

https://www.fotomuseumdenhaag.nl/nl/tentoonstellingen/beer-teddy

 

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Eric de Nie ( 1944 )

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It must have been in 1979. Because at that time  i started to take an interest in more serious abstract art and one of the first galleries i visited was a local one. The ARTLINE gallery represented some nice artists. Among them Tomas Rajlich of whom i first saw some great paintings and an american artist….Larry Poons. I liked his vertical rectangular shaped canvasses. It was clear to me that part of the composition was by coincidence. From top to bottom he “painted  with acrylic. Great abstract expressionist art and i believe the ARtline gallery was later continued as Seasons galery . The Seasons gallery presented aroudn 2000 a series of paintings by Eric de Nie.

left Poons / right de Nie

The paintings/vertical drip paintings were in technique similar to the ones i had seen twenty years earlier, but with a much lighter touch and more precise. The video shows the process of painting. The result great paintings that stand on their own.

De Nie has a very personal method to compose his paintings. At first he chooses three to five, sometimes even six, colors of (diluted) paint that he drips on the canvas one by one. He arranges a pattern of stripes by an almost mathematical system, ‘out of an agreement with myself’ as he calls it. After using all of the colors the sharp lines get faded out with half-wet pencils in different sizes, causing the colors to blend and resulting in a richer pallet of colors. For the second and following layers the artist uses the same colors again, this time liberated from the earlier restriction of the system as De Nie reacts to the consequences of his previous actions in a more coincidental way. The process results in a universe of layers, that seduces the spectator to wander around in the painting endlessly.

The artist developed this method in the last fifteen years. Growing unto more refinement at first to subsequently (partly) throw that overboard by wiping the lines away, the style of De Nie evolved over the years. Nevertheless his paintings show a very characteristic manner. The motives of vibrant lines are hard to see through and make you wonder if they are either randomly arranged or organized according to an ingenious pattern. A mystery that is caused by the combination of the tightness of the systematic starting point, the dynamic appearance of the partly faded stripes and the more reactive way of painting in the later phase.

A major inspiration to De Nie is music, especially experimental jazz and composed contemporary music. In the past some of the titles of his work referred to pieces of music by his favorite composers, such as Giacinto Scelsi, Morton Feldman and György Ligeti. Also in performances, in which he painted while listening to music, the reference is clear. In this kind of music De Nie ‘hears a feeling’ that suits his way of painting. The aspect of increasing and fading is strongly present in his recent paintings, as the concentration of lines expands or the colors are more bright at one point and less dense or intense in the next area. Opposite to the work he made before 2005, which showed a more all-over way of painting with less accents, his latest work shows more range in rhythm and emphasis, providing an experience of space and time to the spectator. De Nie himself likes to certify his work as lyrical: ‘By that I mean the reminding of a lyrical feeling by looking at my work. My paintings are pieces of music in color.’

http://www.ftn-books.com has some Eric de Nie titles available.

de nie geel

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Ulrich Rückriem (continued)

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A few years ago i wrote a blog on the work of art i was able to buy , but did not. The story is as follows. At that time the Gemeentemuseum was printing its publications with the very best printers in the Netherlands. Among them was of course Lecturis and my contact with Lecturis was the late Jan Jongepier. Jan , knowing my interest in art , offered me at one time a series of original works of art. All were for sale through Lecturis. Lecturis had at one time accepted works of art as (partial) payment for the publications they were printing for the artists. These publications were made outside the official editions for the dutch museums or accepted as part of the financing of the editions. They build a nice collection this way, but did not know what to do with it, hence the offer, which was made to me. In retrospect i can tell that these prices were outright cheap, but at that time i could not finance any of the works offered.

Still i always remember Jan and his art collection from Lecturis. Specially now that i have added the Rückriem catalogue which must have been the origin of the Ruckriem work in the Lecturis collection. It is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com

ruckriem abbe

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NUL/Zero and Al Held exhibition

This can not be coincidence…. On the left there is the NUL exhibition catalogue for the Peeters, Armando, Schoonhoven exhibition and on the right there is the Al Held catalogue from 1966 , designed by Wim Crouwel for the Held exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The white fond and the strong circle part on the back must have impressed Crouwel, since he used almost exactly the same layout as the ZERO/NUL catalogue which was published 2 years earlier for the Haags Gemeentemuseum exhibition.

http://www.ftn-books.com has both catalogues available and of course the special stitched multiple by Henk Peeters which was published shortly before his death.

echt peeters aa

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Ah Xian (1960)

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I am not the greatest fan of Chinese art, althought i have learned to appreciate some of the artists and their works. One of the last to admire was the artist Ah Xian whose works were exhibited in the “stijl zalen” of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. They blended like they were meant to have been made for this location. Specially the “GOUDLEER” and Chinese rooms were a feast to the eye. Now i have acquired the exhibition catalogue for this exhibition. It is the one that sold out almost instantly. available at www.ftn-books.com

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Chinese artist Ah Xian lives and works in Sydney where for nearly two decades he has explored aspects of the human form using ancient Chinese craft methods including porcelain, lacquer, jase, bronze, and even concrete. The artist often uses busts of his own family members including his wife, brother, and father onto which he imprints traditional designs with a vivid cobalt blue glaze. via Colossal.

ah xian