Co Westerik (1924)

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One of the last grand “old” masters of the dutch Art scene. Of course C ( Jacobus) Westerik has had his exhibitions abroad, but beside the Netherlands, germany and Belgium his name is not that well known. I met Westerik at the time he was making the portrait of Theo van Velzen. One of the former directors of the Haags Gemeentemuseum. The portrait was presented as a farewell present when van Velzen resigned to be hung in a gallery with portraits of other former directors. A small portrait which he managed to squeeze in and complete it in between 2 other paintings. His canvasses are not too big , but they are scarce because Westerik has a very small production yearly. I really do not know if he still is active as a painter, but at the time the van Velzen portrait was made , his production was 3 paintings a year. All were sold up front to collectors and museums. Among them Frits Becht (1930-2006) .He was the private collector with the largest Westerik collection .

He who was a personal friend for his entire life and followed his career through the years and bought many works. beside a painter Westerik was also known for his graphics in which he excelled. His production as a graphic artist was much much larger and there are almost a thousand different prints known by him. Westerik is a very important artist for dutch art and because i followed him over the years www.ftn-books.com has many publications on Westerik available.

A short documentary on Westerik can be found at this address: http://hollandsemeesters.info/posts/show/7738

Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)

Two occasions spring to mind. Both occasions i was highly impressed. First there was the special Alberto Giacometti exhibition at the Haags Gemeentemuseum in 1986. /Curated by Mariette Josephus Jitta.

A large and important exhibition which showed many of the iconic sculptures by Giacometti…including a walking man and walking stray dog.

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Alberto Giacometti catalogue

 

The second occasion was decades later when we visited the Beyeler Museum for the very first time. In the room with views into the garden the WALKING MAN was combined with one of the very large Monet paintings he painted in his studio at Giverny. It was so impressive that i will never forget this stunning combination. An outstanding display of classic “modern” art. Since , i have seen many more statues by Giacometti, but never again the combination was so beautiful as within the presentation at the Beyeler museum.

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Giacometti and Monet

Of course the Giacometti catalogue of the 1986 Gemeentemuseum exhibition is available at www.ftn-books.com