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Aat Veldhoen (1934-2018)

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Art collecting is full of surprises. I started collecting books and art some 50 years ago and in this time I encountered some amazing works of art. I bought only a few and “forgot” to buy many, but I always had an open mind for great techniques. Aat Veldhoen was such an artist. He was arguably the first dutch artist who made his art available for the common people. Selling rotaprints by Jasper Grootveld these “erotic” prints were not appreciated and thought to be pornographic.

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These erotic prints can be considered the same as the Japanese Shunga prints, but with less colour and possible more realistic. Still the technique is stupendous. Lifelike figures making love, not hiding themselves and enjoying each other. Veldhoen became famous for these prints and drawings and during his life eventually was admired for them. Now culminating in a great solo exhibition at Museum Kranenburgh ( https://www.kranenburgh.nl/english/exhibitions-and-activities/aat-veldhoen-art-of-life). Unfortunately coles at this moment because of the Covid-19 virus, but hopefully open again later in June. Seeing these great drawings I have a feeling to compare these with Lucian Freud his works. the human figure in all its glory, not hiding anything.

Why this blog on Veldhoen now. …….Yesterday I met with a client who wanted very much to by the Jan Cremer i had in my collection for over 30 years. We made a deal and I sold him the Cremer. Today he came to fetch it and brought a beautiful drawing by Veldhoen of his former wife KABUL. I was very much impressed with this drawing and I could buy it from the Cremer buyer. So now this drawing is mine and I am still impressed by it. There are not many drawings by Veldhoen. A great many of them were destroyed and cut, but this remains and was in its former private collection for over 30 years. It was bought directly from Veldhoen and his a fitting ” Heijdenrijk” frame which enhance s the drawing. A classic ‘nude pose” of by Kabul makes this a typical Aat Veldhoen drawing.

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Aat Veldhoen (1934 – 2018) lived for and surrounded himself with his art. He worked in his teeming house and studio on Amsterdam’s Wittenburgergracht. The creative urge that underscored his versatile oeuvre, including drawings, etchings, paintings, photos, ceramics and sculptures, remained unwavering to the end.

Desire, love, sex, illness, old age, death

After studying drawing, Veldhoen set about documenting desire, love, sex, illness, old age and death, all with uncompromising zeal and compassion. This exhibition includes work Veldhoen made after suffering a partial paralysis at the age of 69, as well as Polaroids from the Rijksmuseum collection which have never been shown before.

Veldhoen’s exceptional and enduring curiosity for everything human resulted in an intimate, lifelong study of those around him. We see this in Veldhoen’s countless portraits of himself and his family, friends and artists.

Life and art

The works in Aat Veldhoen – Art of Life show remarkable connections with the work of those he knew and encountered. His life and art were inextricably intertwined. The result is a personal and tender view of human existence. Since Veldhoen often portrayed himself, the viewer is no longer the only voyeur.

for more information on the drawing please inquire at ftnbooksandart@gmail.com

 

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Ans Wortel (1929-1996)

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When i started to collect art ( editions) i must have been 16 years of age and one of the first lithographs i acquired was one by Ans Wortel. A feminist artist who found her inspiration nearby. A feminine, mother, child approach to her subjects made her work very accessible and understandable to many. This together with the strong graphic quality these works were very appealing and at that time i bought 2 lithographs for my starting collection.

These were sold a long time ago because i found the works after many years to become less interesting. This was now some 30 years ago, but lately i rediscovered her works, because when you look at them again after not seeing them in a very long time , you discover them to be timeless and well worth collecting. There were other things to discover about Ans Wortel because at her peak she had some important exhibitions and became very popular as an artist in the Netherlands resulting in multiple exhibitions, among them at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

In the 1970s, the paintings and prints of Ans Wortel (1929–1996) were hailed by critics and purchased by major museums. Her work, imbued with intensely feminine themes, was very much in demand. The artist became a well-known Netherlander, whose non-conformist lifestyle spoke to everyone’s imagination. In the village of Bergen, where she lived for 20 years, her villa Kranenburgh is now museum Kranenburgh.

Tough women

Where her fellow artists sought innovation in abstraction, Ans Wortel remained faithful to figuration, developing a distinctive visual language and palette. Her paintings feature tough and robust women, with large hands and eyes, surrounded by surreal landscapes.

Liberated

In 1968 the mayor of Bergen offered her villa Kranenburgh. Many were the parties in her building – more numerous were the stories about her eccentric lifestyle. Her free-spirited life is reflected in the countless drawings and paintings that filled Kranenburgh. When, after twenty years, she had to leave the villa, she protests vehemently, but in vain.