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Minimal Art at the Haags Gemeentemuseum

minimal gm a

 

It was in the early Eighties that i learned of the Minimal Art collection and history of the Haags Gemeentemuseum.

Crucial for the collection was the interest of almost all modern art curators in Minimal Art. Starting with Enno Develing who introduced the key artists of the Minimal Art scene for the first time in a large exhibition in 1968. Among them Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre and of course Sol LeWitt. Many of them would receive solo prentations in the years to follow, but this first time was a breakthrough for Minimal Art. The catalogue is arare book nowadays and i am lucky to have a copy for sale at www.ftn-books.com

After this first exhibition many exhibitions would follow. Enno Develing, Flip Bool, Rudi Fuchs and Franz Kaiser all took an interest in Minimal Art and because of this interest , exhibitions with LeWitt, Andre and Judd were organized in the decades after this first  1968 Minimal Art exhibition. I doubt that none was as important as this very first one, because after this first one Minimal Art was established as an art form, but another aspect that makes this first ( Develing ) exhibition important is that the relationship between the Gemeentemuseum and these artist was not only an artistic one.  The museum and its curators became friends with practically all Minimal Art artists, resulting in an ever growing collection of Minimal Art.

There is a nice link to a tribute to Sol LeWitt to be found over here:

http://www.gem-online.nl/files/media/gem/2016/sol_lewitt._a_tribute/ebook_sollewitt_web.pdf

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Tineke Griffioen retires on 12/1/2018

tineke sepia

Finally, after 43 years of being one of the most loyal and dependent employees of the Gemeentemuseum  Den Haag, Tineke Griffioen decided to retire from her jobs at the museum. From Prentenkabinet to DTP she made not only a career within the museum, but was also very much involved into the well being of her colleagues. The museum will miss this very friendly and dependent employee who had an expertise in prints and drawings. The set depicted in this blog comes from a Siep van den Berg sketch book he made in France in 1990 and shows that the following pages from the book were not accidentally filled in, but that each drawing developed into a very nice Constructivist composition. This very set was presented to Tineke for being the colleague that she has always been to me….Thank you and have a great retirement!

tineke berg

PS. Other sets are available at www.ftn-books.com , Please inquire

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Jan Toorop ( 1858-1928)… a 19th century dutch master

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If there is one artist who brought impressionism into dutch art, it must be Jan Toorop. Roughly you can divide his artistic career into 4 phases. The first being his impressionist period ( a memberof Les XX), the second his neo impressionist period, the third being his symbolistic period and the last period is his realistic period in which he was converted completely into a Roman Catholic artist. Toorop is interesting because of his first 3 periods. Being born in Indonesia he has a different approach to his subjects and experiments with techniques and colors and uses a color scheme completely different from his dutch contemporaries. They focussed on skies and landscapes , whereas Toorop focussed on people and their surroundings. There are some great examples to be found in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag of his very early period where he painted with a palette knife and broad brushes. His very atmospheric scenes in London, a city where he lived for a couple of years and where he painted some great paintings. The “Trio Fleuri” is one of the most appealing painting from his London years, together with the Waterloo Bridge painting and both can be seen in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

and for those interested in Modern Art. A great painting by Toorop that symbolizes the dawn and rise of Modern Art in this world.

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There are some nice publications on Toorop available at www.ftn-books.com