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Two Carl Andre additions

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At the beginning of Minimalism, 3 names rose to fame almost instantly. Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd and Carl Andre. All had their one man shows at the Haags Gemeentemuseum, but i noticed that the appreciation of Andre was not as high as the appreciation of his comrades. 30 years after his last show at the Gemeentemuseum things have changed for the better for Carl Andre. There was a very large retrospective exhibition travelling the US, Germany, Spain and France and the catalogue which was published with this exhibition is by far the the most complete on Andre ever.

Perhaps it is not the best, since i value myself the 1988 by Fuchs and Gracia Lebbink to be the best of all Andre catalogues, but it is a worthy addition to any Minimal Art library and still at a very affordable price. The second addition is the ART & PROJECT Bulletin 85, which is one of the rarest of all Carl Andre publications. Both are now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Charlotte Posenenske (1930-1985)

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The works of Charlotte Posenenske (Wiesbaden, 1930-Frankfurt am Main, 1985) consist of series in an unlimited edition. According to a number 0f rules, they can be made and repeated – also by others – and combined with each other. With her radical and ‘democratic’ ideas about material, production and authorship, Charlotte Posenenske influenced and shaped conceptual and minimalist art of the sixties.

Minimalist series

Charlotte Posenenske began as a painter, but she felt limited by the flat surface and soon moved on to creating spatial works. The forms of Series B (1967) are hung as reliefs on the wall, but also placed as objects in the spatial environment. This is followed in 1968 by Series D and Series DW, whose format and shape are reminiscent of ventilation shafts.

Participation

Although Charlotte Posenenske did not consider herself to be a political artist, she had a clear and strong vision of societal relations, which in her view had to be rational, concrete, accessible and democratic. With her work she wanted to set a standard for this: the materials which she used like cardboard and steel are cheap, the works are sold for a fixed low price and the assembly and installation of her modular systems can be done by ‘everyone’: buyers, exhibition makers, and even the public. Posenenske’s social engagement is also expressed through the installations she created in public spaces, such as airports, train stations, conference rooms and on the street.

Contemporary artists and Posenenske

Disappointed in the social scope of art, Charlotte Posenenske left the art world in 1968 to study sociology. Her work and views remain however points of reference for younger generations of artists. The text above comes from the Museum Kroller Muller site. This Museum has a retrospective exhibition on Posenenske until the 15th of September

www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications in which Posenenske made some contributins. Since there is a longtime connection between the Netherlands  and the artist it happens that some of the most important publications have been published in the Netherlands. Specially the former Art & Project has presented her works on several occasions.

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Donald Judd – sculpture, Untitled object

 

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It must have been somewhere around 1985. After a trip to the US and whta must have been a visit to Donald Judd’s studio, Flip Book, curator of the Modern Art department of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag came back with the story of a purchase he had made of a Donald Judd sculpture. I heard that the price paid was around 60.000 guilders and personally i thought it unheard that a sculpture like this would have such an elevated price tag. I thought it much to expensive for a sculpture like this, but as time progresses. i became wiser and it became clear to me that Flip had made a wonderful and very important acquisition for the Gemeentemuseum. The sculpture has been since in the Beeldentuin of the Gemeentemuseum and is still as, or perhaps even more, impressive as it originally was.

I realized that the important purchases for the collections of the Gemeentemuseum were all done from the late Sixties until the first years of the Nineties. It started with Minimal art by LeWitt, Judd and Andre, continued with some Schoonhoven, Weiner in the Eighties and perhaps the last important acquisition is the carrousel by Bruce Nauman. Since very little important acquisitions have been made, with one exception. I think the Paul Thek object will prove to be important in the future.

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On all the mentioned artists, publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Sol LeWitt- Horizontal Brushstrokes

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It is a long history that Sol LeWitt has with Den Haag. In the early days of his career he became befriended with Enno Develing who in 1967 organized as cuartor a breathtaken and important first Mininal exhibition with Sol LeWitt. In later years Sol LeWitt made some tiles in a open multiple edition for the shop of the Gemeentemuseum and again a decade later he designed the staircase and a shopping bag for the Gemeentemuseum. At the end of his career he stayed loyal to Den Haag and had a very nice exhibition in 2002 with his brushstroke paintings and prints at the Livingstone gallery. This catalogue is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Kunstenaar en Fabriek / Judd & LeWitt

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In 1970 only 2 years after the first exhibition with Minimal Art at the Haags Gemeentemuseum ( Curated by Enno Develing) , there was an initiative by 3 aspiring admirers who wanted to present their choice of Contemporary Art with a focus on Minimal Art. Organized by the Kunsthistorisch Instituut in 1970  a location was found with the Nebato Fabriek in Bergeijk. The Nebato metal construction company executed some of the works by LeWitt and Judd and in the meantime the artists stayed nearby with Martin and Mia Visser. The Visser’s collected during 3 decades one of the most famous of dutch  Modern Art collections and  focussed in those early years on Minimal Art . From the early beginning of 1966 they started collecting LeWitt and Judd. Building this way a world famous collection of Minimal Art. It all comes together in this exhibition at the Nebato factory in 1970. Participating artists were: van Amen, Balth, van benthumn, Graatsma, Gribling, Grosvenor, Judd, LeWit, Morris, van Munster, Naumann, Slothouber and Staakman. This catalogue is rare and one of the most important Minimal Art collectibles there is. publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

There is a nice article to be found on the internet in which the relation between Visser the collector and the (minimal )artists is explained.

Friday Food For Thought: Martin Visser – collector, designer, free spirit

 

 

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Robert Ryman (1930-2019)

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One of the greats in Abstract Modern Painting died at the age of 88 on the 8th of February 2019. White was his “color” and he painted on every material with his “white”. Impressed by the Rothko paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he was working as a museum guard, he started to paint himself and finding in the process the strength of “white” when used as the only color in his paintings. This approach made him famous within a period of 5 years. After these initial years he had had his first gallery exhibitions and soon after his his first major exhibition at the Guggenheim museum. Rymans paintings are highly recognizable abstract paintings and can be seen as the link between abstract expressionism and minimalism ( btw. Sol LeWitt also started his career as a museum guard). We are lucky to have al large collection of his paintings iin the Netherlands since the Stedelijk Museum started collecting his paintings from the very first years of his career. The result an impressive 11 paintings from all periods of his artistic life. Robert Ryman publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Minimal Art at the Haags Gemeentemuseum

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It was in the early Eighties that i learned of the Minimal Art collection and history of the Haags Gemeentemuseum.

Crucial for the collection was the interest of almost all modern art curators in Minimal Art. Starting with Enno Develing who introduced the key artists of the Minimal Art scene for the first time in a large exhibition in 1968. Among them Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre and of course Sol LeWitt. Many of them would receive solo prentations in the years to follow, but this first time was a breakthrough for Minimal Art. The catalogue is arare book nowadays and i am lucky to have a copy for sale at www.ftn-books.com

After this first exhibition many exhibitions would follow. Enno Develing, Flip Bool, Rudi Fuchs and Franz Kaiser all took an interest in Minimal Art and because of this interest , exhibitions with LeWitt, Andre and Judd were organized in the decades after this first  1968 Minimal Art exhibition. I doubt that none was as important as this very first one, because after this first one Minimal Art was established as an art form, but another aspect that makes this first ( Develing ) exhibition important is that the relationship between the Gemeentemuseum and these artist was not only an artistic one.  The museum and its curators became friends with practically all Minimal Art artists, resulting in an ever growing collection of Minimal Art.

There is a nice link to a tribute to Sol LeWitt to be found over here:

http://www.gem-online.nl/files/media/gem/2016/sol_lewitt._a_tribute/ebook_sollewitt_web.pdf

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David Tremlett at Coazzolo / Italy

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Last 10 days we spent in the beautiful Langhe e Roero area near Alba (Italy). There is not a great number of Modern Art to be found in the joining areas. There is of course Modern Art in Torino and Rivoli. But in and near Alba almost nothing. One exception. David Tremlett decorated a church at Coazzolo which is well worth visiting and Sol LeWitt decorated a chapel in the wine fields.

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Both are well worth a vist but none is that spectacular it is worth a detour still when in the neighborhood visit them because this is one of the most enchanting regions in Italy and well worth visiting even if there is hardly any modern art to be found. For some Tremlett publications visit www.ftn-books.com

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Haus Konstruktiv – Zurich- Suisse

Museum Haus Konstruktiv – the Foundation for Constructive and Concrete Art

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It was 2 months ago that i visited the museum HAUS KONSTRUKTIV. At first a little disappointed but the Graevenitz exhibition made the visit worthwhile . Personally i think it is importnat that such a small part of the modern art scene has an excellent platform in which special exhibitions can be held.

The Haus Konstruktiv is located in one of the most distinctive icons of Zurich’s industrial architecture, providing a space for concrete art.

The museum is dedicated to the exploration of concrete, constructive and conceptual art. The Museum Haus Konstruktiv focuses on making it part of a living dialog with international trends in contemporary art.

Over the five floors of the former Selnau electricity sub-station, visitors discover works of art in the context of their historical background through temporary exhibitions and collection presentations.  Also on permanent display are treasures from the museum’s own collection, the legendary “Rockefeller Dining Room” by the Swiss artist Fritz Glarner. Beside the special exhibitions the Haus Konstruktiv has an excellent exhibition program of which some publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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( to be continued )

 

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Wim Crouwel / Total Design- 20 jaar verzamelen / Stedelijk Museum, 1984

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Followers of this blog know of my special interest in the publications of the Stedelijk Museum. I have many titles avaialable and ftn-books.com is one of the first sources that is consulted when it comes to publications of and on the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Yet…. one learns every day, even when you have so many catalogues by the Stedelijk Museum available as i do. It has been years ago that i last saw this catalogue which was published by the Stedelijk in 1984 which gives the best and complete overview of their collecting in the period 1963-1984.

Why is this important? Personally i think that this is the period in which the SM made their best and most important purchases. How about important acquisitions like the ones by Kelly, Dubuffet, LeWitt, de Kooning , Mangold , Lichtenstein and Warhol. Just a few names that belong to the most famous ones, but among the hundreds of these acquisitions there is so much quality art acquired that only with these acquisitions one can fill an entire collection and become  with this collection one of the most important Modern Art Museums in the world. The book was compiled by Joosten and designed by Total Design/ Wim Crouwel, which makes it even more worthwhile collecting . It is now available at www.ftn-book.com

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