Two iconic names in Modern Art have a long time history together. galerie MAeght must have been among the first to show works by Kelly. This contact resulted innumeral exhibitions at the the galerie Maeght. Paintings , lithographs , etchings, drawings…..every aspect of Kelly his art life have been presented at the Maeght galleries.
Ellsworth Kelly has been a widely influential force in the post-war art world. He first rose to critical acclaim in the 1950s with his bright, multi-paneled and largely monochromatic canvases. Maintaining a persistent focus on the dynamic relationships between shape, form and color, Kelly was one of the first artists to create irregularly shaped canvases. His subsequent layered reliefs, flat sculptures, and line drawings further challenged viewers’ conceptions of space. While not adhering to any one artistic movement, Kelly vitally influenced the development of Minimalism, Hard-edge painting, Color Field, and Pop Art. The Maeght galleries have contributed to his fame with many breathtaken exhibitions. The best is they still publish the exhibition posters which were published for these exhibitions and these posters/lithographed prints are availabble at www.ftn-books.com. Printed by Arte Paris make these the best available Kelly objects possible
As you can read in the article . Bonies stayed true to his art of rearranging , shifting and placing forms and colors in a new context and one of the earliest silkscreen that was published in a larger edition was the one he made for the Stedelijk Museum catalogue VORMEN VAN DE KLEUR
in which his contribution stands out together with the one Ellsworth Kelly made for the same publication. This Wim Crouwel designed publication is available at www.ftn-books.com
left Bonies and right Kelly
I have a lifetime admiration for Bob Bonies. He was one of the first artists i personally met at the Gemeentemuseum and a few years ago i bought a small collection of his publications from another bookdealer who had bought them from a Bonies collector and within one of the publications i found the birth card of his son Jiri. Even this card shows the quality of his works. The card is for sale too together with many other Bonies publications.
Jan Maarten Voskuil was my personal discovery during the auction of the Klein Breteler collection last month. Immediately that i saw his monochrome “paintings” i got excited. These paintings have a quality which reminded me of a combination of both Donald Judd and Ellsworth Kelly. Two artist i admire very much and both artists are among the most important ones from last century. That standing is not for Jan Maarten Voskuil yet, but look as his approach to his paintings and the way he prepares the works to reach the ultimate result with the finished work and conclude that it is a question of time that he will be presented as one of the great contemporary minimal painters. These works shine with their simplicity and are in the meantime complex to execute. In every work he uses only one color to make a monochrome work, but put some together and the result is a multi colored wall with Voskuil works.
It was my luck that i could purchase one of the works at the Breteler auction. It was the lot. 152 titled “Wat een toeval” from 2009.
Originally this was made for the LADE PROJEKT of gallery Phoebus and because of the height of the drawers, the dimensions of the work itself were limited, but it still has all the qualities the works of Voskuil contain. A mochrome white surface and assembled from 3 different parts combine into a fascinating painting
www.ftn-books.com has no books on Voskuil , but i know that there is one book titled “Getting to a point” which is well worth reading and to have in your collection of Minimal art books ISBN. 978-90-811487-3-3
It took us two months to finally visit the recently opened museum Voorlinden. Why so long….because we agreed to visit this together with friends and have dinner afterwards. The visit was postponed because of other obligations a few weeks earlier, but finally yesterday 11/11 the visit was there. It was late in the afternoon and still quite busy. Both parkings were more than half filled with cars and people were walking the park. We were early and walked around the museum building and saw the plants and garden layout by Piet Oudolf and both of us imagined how this must look like when early summer has arrived. A colorful “painting” of plants which can be admired from within the building, because one of the qualities of the architecture is that the “outside” is brought into the building by huge windows which show the garden by Oudolf as a work of art on its own.
What about the collection and the special exhibition? The museum feels more like an experience than a thoroughly prepared exhibition which teaches the visitor some aspects of art. Every museum room is such an experience. The Mueck and the Serra are excellent examples of this approach. You can compare yourself with the giant figures by Mueck and the Serra is one of the very best and impressive”mazes” he ever has made. It is like a smalle MATTER OF TIME ( see earlier post) Even the special exhibition with the works by Ellsworth Kelly feels like an experience. These works are extremely large and because of their sheer size you can only look at them thoroughly when you take your distance from them. Still it is almost unbelievable to see so many impressive and beautiful Kelly paintings in one exhibition and it will be a very long time before these will be brought together again.
It was a nice visit. The building is impressive and the architecture is almost as good as the Beyeler Museum in Basel. The Landscape is a highlight, the collection is worth visiting, The Kelly’s are a dream, but i am very curious about the future. This is at the moment one of the very best museums in the Netherlands, situated in arguably the best location and surroundings. Wim Pijbes the former director of the Rijksmuseum made the transfer to this museum, but resigned within 3 months. So this makes me curious what the next exhibitions will be without the guidance of Pijbes. Joop van Caldenborgh , the initiator of the museum , has a very large modern art collection, but it would be nice to not only show the established names, but to show the “young” in Modern art in relation to this establishment. I am hoping for exhibitions on Sol LeWitt and Anish Kapoor ( both in the Caldic collection), but also for lesser names like Ossip and Broszat . This is a quality museum and one of the very best museums in Europe supported by the Caldic collection…one of the most important private collections in the world
Conclusion: A Must visit …and do not skip this one when you come to the Netherlands.
The opening exhibition at the Museum Voorlinden will be an Ellsworth Kelly exhibition. I read this morning, that there are some very special drawings of the MOMA on loan within the exhibition. An exchange granted because the Museum Voorlinden lent their best of their Broodthaers drawings to the MOMA.
The weather is extremely nice in the Netherlands the last couple of days . If the weather stays like this and if we have some time we certainly go to visit the museum and their gardens by Piet Oudolf in the coming weeks and look for ourselves at the Kelly exhibition. I know that i have met him once when he was in the Netherlands for the opening of the Spiritual in Art exhibition. He even signed a catalogue for me, but i cannot remember the person, except that this was a friendly man. Since, i only know his works from the catalogues within my inventory and the occasional painting on show in the permanent collections of the larger museums in Europe.
This will be a great occasion to finally see more of one of the best Modern Artists from the last century.
If you ask me at this moment…what is your favorite museum in Europe? …i will answer the Beyeler Museum in Basel. Extremely nice permanent collection, the best special exhibitions in Europe. Nice shop and beautiful surroundings. Now on the 11th of September the Museum Voorlinden will be openend in Wassenaar. An initiative by Joop van Caldenborgh , one of the great private collectors in the world. After an exhibition in the Kunsthal he thought it was time for a museum to present his very extensive art collection.
He bought a neighboring piece of ground of 40ha and started to build a museum in which he could present his collection. Now the museum is ready to be opened by HRH King Willem Alexander and what it looks like from the reviews in NRC and Volkskrant ( 4 and 5 stars) it can be compared with the very best in the world. Museum building with special lightning . A little bit like the daylight showcases of the Gemeentemuseum, but now executed for the entire museum, which means northern light in the entire museum through 150k holes. A beautiful and large library 😉 and gardens by the best landscape architect in the world Piet Oudolf.
First exhibition will be devoted to the Caldic collection and a large part in this exhibition will be on Ellsworth Kelly. Wim Pijbes ( former director of the Rijksmuseum) will have the honor and task to present this “gem” of a museum among the other museums in the world. Perhaps it is a smaller museum, but management , surroundings and the Caldic collection could mean that beside the Beyeler and the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag there will be another favorite museum for me in the near future ….Museum Voorlinden …and this one much closer by than the Beyeler ( architecture by Renzo Piano).
One of the most spectacular publications in the history of the Stedelijk Museum was the VORMEN VAN DE KLEUR catalogue. A cassette containing biographies on all the participating artists ( a.o. Donald Judd ) and 4 original silkscreens . The silkscreens were published in an edition of only 2200 copies and all had the same basic colors (red, white and blue ).
Ellsworth Kelly, William Turnbull, Bob Bonies and K.G. Pfahler were invited to make a contribution for these silkscreens. 4 square large silkscreens were included in this publication. A challenge too for Wim Crouwel who designed a cardboard container/sleeve in which the loose pages on the participating artists were presented and on top of them the 4 original silkscreens.
Crouwel chose a larger size ( 10.2 x 10.2 inches ) than usual for he thought this to be an important publications too……and it was . It is one of the many highlights in the publication history of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and will be a quintessential catalogue to have if you are a serious collector of Stedelijk Museum material or Wim Crouwel publications, but compared to the other beautiful and collectable SM publications this is in my personal top 5.
Only for FTN-books blog readers there is now a discount of $ 50.00 on this item to be had if you order and use the discount code: CrouwKel (there is only 1 copy available)
Catalogue design by Wim Crouwel, NM+ condition for the sleeve ( see picture), all sheets and silkscreens are in MINT- condition. Book measures 10.6 x 10.6 inches, silkscreens measure 10.2 x 10.2 inches. VORMEN VAN DE KLEUR/NEW SHAPES OF COLOUR. With 4 silkscreens in blue and red by Ellsworth Kelly, Bob Bonies, Georg-Karl Pfahler and William Turnbull. Amst., SM, 1966. Orig. wrappers. Illustr. b/w. 27 sheets. – Trends in abstract art of the past 10 years: Josef Albers, Donald Judd, Frank Stella, Vasarely, Max Bill, Peter Struycken a.o. – Silkscreens printed in 2200 copies. – In slipcase/sleeve
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20