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Saul Steinberg (1914-1999)

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….and now for the other Steinberg…SAUL STEINBERG.

First i must say that writing a blog on Steinberg, can not do justice to the excellent site , which the Steinberg foundation has constructed on the life, times and art of Saul Steinberg. You can visit the site at : http://saulsteinbergfoundation.org

But some personal notes on the artist. Saul Steinberg is a very well known artist in Europe. He had his exhibitions at the Maeght galleries in the Sixties and Seventies and both the Stedelijk Museum and the Boymans van Beuningen museum in the Netherlands organized exhibitions on the artist. In the beginning i always had considered Steinberg to be an illustrator and not the artist he later became to me. Later i realized to look at his art in a way that his drawings were meant to be seen. A citation from his site makes this clear :

Saul Steinberg defined drawing as “a way of reasoning on paper,” and he remained committed to the act of drawing. Throughout his long career, he used drawing to think about the semantics of art, reconfiguring stylistic signs into a new language suited to the fabricated temper of modern life. Sometimes with affection, sometimes with irony, but always with virtuoso mastery, Saul Steinberg peeled back the carefully wrought masks of 20th-century civilization.

This is an artist to be discovered by a far larger audience. At this moment i think he is the lesser of both Steinberg’s  i recently wrote a blog on, but perhaps time will prove me wrong and i will think of his art just the way around in a few years. www.ftn-books.com has some nice and rare Saul Steinberg publications available.

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Jan Rothuizen ( 1968)

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Jan Rothuizen illustrations are a joy and last month on a Thursday morning i was triggered by one he did on the Sculpture garden of the Kroller Muller museum. The drawings overflow with detail, have a signature of their own and should be shared and known worldwide. He is unique in his drawings and the approach of his subjects. Just look at this drawing he made of the Kroller Muller museum ( Museum Kroller Muller catalogues are available at www.ftn-books.com )

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follow rothuyizen at his site or the Volkskrant site:

Home

https://www.volkskrant.nl/kijkverder/v/2019/jan-rothuizen/

 

 

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Fiep Westendorp (1916-2004)

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Well, this one is on the border of true art… the illustrations of Fiep Westendorp are highly original and recognizable and they even sell nowadays at art prices, but first and foremost these are great quality book illustrations ( mainly for the ones written by Annie M.G. Schmidt) . Fiep Westendorp is a well established name in the dutch illustrator scene and because many of our generation have read the novels by Annie M.G. they also know the illustrations by Westendorp. Pluk en de Pettefelte, Jip en Janneke and other could not exist without the images created by Fiep Westendorp and she is now collected not only in the Netherlands, but all over the world. Great fun illustrations which deserve a large audience. Some Westendorp titles are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Pan Andrea (continued)… a series of illustrations

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Perhaps not very well known is that Pat Andrea had a career as an illustrator before his paintings rose to fame . Interesting to know is that the strange atmosphere and surreal situations in his paintings have an origin and that origin is his many illustrations he has made during his life. In the Seventies a series of books by herman Pieter de Boer were published by Elsevier in which all illustrations were done by Pat Andrea.

andrea set a

andrea set b

The series was quite popular but the quality of the illustrations was realized by many after Pat Andrea had received a retrospective abroad and people could see the link between the illustrations and his larger scaled works. The series is hard to find nowadays ( www.ftn-books.com has it available) and for those that understand and can read dutch the stories are all excellent and a little bit like Roald Dahl short stories, but for all remain the illustrations within each volume. Each book contains approximately 25 illustrations all exclusively done by Pat Andrea and all specially made to fit the story. I love these illustrations, because in many of them one can recognize later subjects for is beautiful paintings. These books deserve to be collected.

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Marjolein Bastin (1943)

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This morning i had a discussion with my wife about the qualities of the illustrations by Marjolein Bastin. Is it art?….NO…are these among the best illustrations one  can find on nature and birds….YES. Bastin has become world famous over the years and her works are published all over the world and she even had a Museum presentation in Den Bosch, but this exhibition does not make it art. Specially her series of cards for Hallmark contributed largely to her fame.  Her craftsmanship is without a doubt of the highest quality and her subjects appeal to practically all, but because her works have a feminine touch they therefore mostly appeal to women. For me this is not art as i look at art, but i can respect the meaning of others on this subject. What i personally do like about Bastin’s works is her illustrations for children books. Her VERA series is great to read to young children and fascinating to look at and discover the little details in her drawings. Since i discovered that her works are admired and collected all over the world i started to build a large inventory of her classic publications in my store. So there are many Bastin titles available at

www.ftn-books.com. Please have a look and use for this weekend the discount code BASTIN10 to receive an immediate discount on all your purchases.

 

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Elsa Beskow ( 1874-1953)

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Is this serious art?….

No probably not, but since i have a great personal interest in book illustrations i want to share this with you. Elsa Beskow is one of the greatest illustrators the world has known in the last century. This scandinavian woman ( Norwegian father and Swedish mother ). Has made some of the greatest children’s books ever. Timeless stories with great illustrations and suitable for children of all ages ( 8-88 years as TinTin says). And since it is sometimes hard to find this series of Beskow books  . I want you to know that i managed to purchase a nice small library containing 7 of these classic Beskow titles. Enough…. here are the covers…and tomorrow i promise to blog on real art again.

www.ftn-books.com