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Pop Art exhibitions in the Netherlands

A few years ago one of the most recent in a long line of Pop Art and Pop Art related exhibitions was being held at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. But since the mid Sixties numerous exhibitions have been held on Pop Art and Pop Art related artists. There were exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum, Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Groninger Museum, Nijmeegs Museum, Kunsthal and the Gemeentemuseum and every time they were a huge success. My guess is that because the art is recognizable and because Pop Art established itself as a true mouvement in Art History, it has become popular to the masses.

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Warhol, Lichtenstein and Wesselman are now household names and their works known by many. Perhaps it has even become to successful since images by these great artists are now part of Commercial activities and publicity campaigns which is a pity since these were not meant for being used this way. www.ftn-books.com has some nice duthc Pop Art publications available.

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Andre Derain (1880-1954)

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Derain is specially known for his Fauve paintings. Friends with Matisse and de Vlaminck he stood at the craddle of the post impressionist mouvement and became aone of the most well known Fauvist painters. Lesser known is that Andre Derain was also a gifted sculptor. He used in most cases wooden logs as his raw material and inspired by african masks and ethnic art he transformed them into his own kind of fauvist sculptures. I remembered this because at one time we visited an impressive Derain sculptures exhibition in DE KUNSTHAL in Rotterdam where a Derain sculpture exhibition was held. The catalogue , which is a more than excellent publication, is still available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Jean Bilquin (1938)

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I do not know what to say. Is Henk Visch the dutch equivalent of Jean Bilquin or is it the other way around? Certain is that both artists are inspired by the same objects and surroundings.

Another influence must have been the sculptures by Brancusi because a returning object is the portrait sculpture Brancusi has made in several versions.

But there is much more to discover in the works by Jean Bilquin. When you leaf through the catalogue which was published on the occasion of the Kunsthal exhibition ( 2008 ). You really feel that you are discovering an artist. An artist who is inspired by nature and people. Both subjects combining in a very personal kind of art on larger sized canvasses. This is the kind of work which always attracts me and which i want to discover further after i have visited the exhibition. The catalogue ( available at www.ftn-boooks.com) shows exactly why these works have a rare quality. The catalogue has several fold out pages which make the scale of these large paintings somewhat visible.

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Stang Gubbels …. a dutch designer

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It was at the time Wim van Krimpen was the director for the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag that i met Stang Gubbels. Stang had worked with van Krimpen before on some projects he did with the KUNSTHAL/ Rotterdam. His style and designs are truly original , highly recognizable and together with the designs by Irma Boom and Gracia Lebbink, belons to the best dutch designs produced during the last 2 decades in the Netherlands.

Stang has an excellent internet site which can be reached at www.stang.nl and for those looking for his scarce publications…..www.ftn-boooks.com has two nice STANG titles available.

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Robert Mapplethorpe in KUNSTHAL/ Rotterdam.

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An important exhibition in KUNSTHAL / Rotterdam. To be shown until the 27th of August there is a large Retrospective on Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the great photographers from last century who died sadly from HIV in 1989.

https://www.kunsthal.nl/nl/plan-je-bezoek/tentoonstellingen/robert-mapplethorpe/

Robert Mapplethorpe ( November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989) was an American photographer, known for his sensitive yet blunt treatment of controversial subject-matter in the large-scale, highly stylized black and white medium of photography. His work featured an array of subjects, including celebrity portraits, male and female nudes, self-portraits and still-life images of flowers. His most controversial work is that of the underground BDSM scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s of New York City. The homoeroticism of this work fueled a national debate over the public funding of controversial artwork.

This is the text which Wikipedia uses to describe Mapplethorpe in a nutshell, but what is less known is that Mapplethorpe exhibitions were held in the Netherlands at a very early stage of his career in galerie Jurka. His earliest exhibition over there was in 1979, well before his works were collected and appreciated by many.

1979

“Robert Mapplethorpe: 1970-75,” Robert Samuel Gallery, New York

Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas

“Contact,” Robert Miller Gallery, New York

Galerie Jurka, Amsterdam

“Trade Off,” International Center of Photography, New Y

1978

La Remise du Parc Gallery, Paris

“Film and Stills,” Robert Miller Gallery, New York

The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia

Langton Street Gallery, San Francisco, California

Simon Lowinsky Gallery, San Francisco, California

La Remise du Parc Gallery, Paris

Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California

1977

“Portraits,”Holly Solomon Gallery, New York

“Flowers,” Holly Solomon Gallery, New York

“Erotic Pictures,” The Kitchen, New York

1976

“Polaroids,”Light Gallery, New York

This exhibition means his photographs will come back to the Netherlands and one can see for himself what development and progression Mapplethorpe has made since his first exhibitions over here. And yes… the Jurka catalogue from 1980 is available at www.ftn-books.com