Jean Lurcat, is not forgotten by those who are interested in the art of the 40’s and 50’s from last century. A contemporary and ground breaking artist who’s works can be considered among the best that french art has produces in those decades. When i have to describe his art it would be something in between a Picasso and Matisse style, but totally Lurcat and original. Sandberg recognized his importance and made an exhibition with his works in 1959 in the Stedelijk Museum.
My interest was awakened last year , because i had the opportunity to buy possibly the most important book published with Lurcat lithographs. Published in an edition of only 99 copies, signed by the artist and numbered in print ( This is no. 20). The book LA CREATION DU MONDE, was published by Les Exemplaires with a story by Andre de Richaud and contains in total 56 original lithographs by Jean Lurcat. The book was printed by Mourlot/ Paris who was the leading printer for original lithographs in those days . Because of their qualities they were commissioned by the Galerie Maeght for their art publications too. The book is one of the highlights in my inventory and would grace many art book collection, but as always pictures tell a better story than words. Therefore i give you an impression of this magnificent publication which is now for sale together with the Sandberg designed catalogue at www.ftn-books.com
What is the resemblance between Ernst Beyeler and Heizn Berggruen? ….. both are grand masters of the Modern Art dealer world, both have become famous and both have started their own galleries and the result was that in the end they both had their own museum. Beyeler in Riehen and Berggruen in Berlin.
This blog tells something about the history of Heinz Berggruen, who started his art dealer career with buying some Paul Klee’s in a time that money was scarce and good quality art and appreciation of modern art even more problematic. Still he bought one of his first water colours by Paul Klee for $ 100,- of a jewish person who was in need of money. This way he started dealing and collecting art and continued to do so , even after he resigned from his Paris gallery in 1980, and continued building his own collection into one of the great collections of modern art in the world. The collection contained, Paul Klee, Braque, Klee, Matisse, Giacometti and a very large collection of over 80 Picasso paintings. All this great art made it invaluable. The result …he wanted the collection to stay together and sold his collection to the Berggruen Museum at a reduced price where his collection is now on show. Over 100 masterpieces still together at one place, the Berggruen Museum.
What made me look up the story of HeinZ Berggruen? About two years ago i had a chance to buy a small collection of Berggruen catalogues at auction and had the final bid. At home i was struck with these beautiful little books. In many cases there was original art in them or on the cover. The best for me is the Arp catalogue , but all these small gems together give a great impression of the quality Heinz Berggruen realized with his art publications of his favorite artists. These are all AAA publications.
If ever there is a photographer who is recognized as one of the greatest ever, it is Henri Cartier Bresson. Being a Magnum photographer you can see and discover many known and unknown photographs by Henri Cartier Bresson on this site:
What it also shows is the power of black and white photography. It is in many cases far more authentic and beautiful than color photography and Heni Cartier Bresson proves that he is one of the most original and talented . Beautiful compositions and catching the very best important moments to make the perfect photograph.
www.ftn-books.com has some nice books on Henri Cartier Bresson , including the excellent Sandberg designed catalogue for his Stedelijk Museum exhibition in 1963.
Another artist of whom i saw work for the first time in the Stedelijk Museum was Ernst Wilhelm Nay. The first impression you get it is a modern version of Matisse, but studying it in more detail you find differences and a style which is completely original. I found an excellent article on Nay in the ART DIRECTORY which i copied .
Ernst Wilhelm Nay studied under Karl Hofer at the Berlin Art Academy from 1925 until 1928. His first sources of inspiration resulted from his preoccupation with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Henri Matisse as well as Caspar David Friedrich and Nicolas Poussin. Nay’s still lifes, portraits and landscapes were widely acclaimed. In 1931 Ernst Wilhelm Nay received a nine-months’ study bursary to the Villa Massimo in Rome, where he began to paint in the abstract Surrealist manner. On the recommendation of the Lübeck museum director, C.G. Heise, Nay was given a work grant financed by Edvard Munch, which enabled Nay to spend time in Norway and on the Lofoten Islands in 1937. The “Fischer- und Lofotenbilder” represented a first pinnacle of achievement. That same year, however, two of his works were shown in the notorious exhibition of “Degenerate Art” and Ernst Wilhelm Nay was forbidden to exhibit any longer. Conscripted into the German armed forces in 1940, Nay went with the infantry to France, where a French sculptor placed his studio at Nay’s disposal. In the “Hekatebildern” (1945-48), featuring motifs from myth, legend and poetry, Nay worked through his war and postwar experiences. The “Fugale Bilder” (1949-51) proclaim new beginnings in a fiery palette and entwined forms. In 1950 the Kestner Gesellschaft Hannover mounted a first retrospective of Nay’s work. The following year the artist moved to Cologne, where, with the “Rhythmischen Bildern” he took the final step towards entirely non-representational painting. In them he began to use colour purely as figurative values. From 1955 Nay’s painted “Scheibenbilder”, in which round colour surfaces organize subtle modulations of space and colour. These are developed further in 1963-64 in what are known as the “Augenbilder”. A first one-man-show in America at the Kleeman Galleries, New York, in 1955, participation in the 1956 Venice Biennale and the Kassel “documenta” (1955, 1959 and 1964) are milestones marking Nay’s breakthrough on the international art scene. Ernst Wilhelm Nay was awarded important prizes and is represented by work in nearly all major exhibitions of German art in Germany and abroad.
Sandberg as a curator admired Matisse as an artist and Sandberg as an artist must have been inspired by Matisse, when he made his famous paper cuttings because of his illness. Matisse himself called it “painting with scissors”. Could this have been the inspiration for Sandberg to use modelled torn papers for his book designs? Because these torn pieces of paper together with the lay-outs made the Sandberg publications highly personal and iconic. There is of course a difference, but the period in which these works of art existed is the same so it is not unlikely that his paper torn pieces were inspired by Matisse. The designs by Sandberg are now in, what are considered, classic publications and now used worldwide as examples of great design .
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Printed on paper, they easily survived 50 years or longer, however it is totally different with the Matisse cut-outs. These have to be restored now to conserve them for future generations and i know of two projects which have taken place in the last 10 years. There is of course the large cut out composition LA PERRUCHE ET LA SIRENE 1952/53 from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam collection which was totally restored and made future proof for the decades to come and there was a project in the Beyeler in which one could follow the progress of the restoration /conservation of a large canvas titled ACANTHES, 1953.
Both works are on show again in all their splendor and show exactly why Matisse is possibly the greatest artist from last century. Great art in great museums and for those that want to read on both artists…visit www.ftn-books.com for some nice publications.
And there we were at the Fondation Louis Vuitton for the Chtchoukine collection…..
Linda, David , Monica and myself were looking forward to visit this exhibition. What could we expect? Great Picasso’s, the best Matisse paintings, iconic Monet’s. and all in one exhibition …to see this must be a fantastic experience. Some of them i had seen before, like the Gauguin’s in the Beyeler and some even 100 times or more ,because these were in the Gemeentemuseum exhibition in 1996″ FROM MONET TO MATISSE”.
The bowl with gold fish by Matisse is such a painting, but it were the lesser known paintings that impressed me most. There was this magnificent small Rousseau in which one could see the early days of industrialization. Airplane and balloon prominently present in the painting. Furthermore there was this Maurice Denis with the subdued pastel colors. Looking like the dejeuner sur l’Herbe but in the Denis way and a beautiful, very impressive Picasso of 3 Nude Women. But the best was at the end . The part where you could see Chtchoukine had a very good eye for the modern, because the Rodtchenko’s and Malevitch’s were the works in which you could see the transition into Modern Art.
Here above are my favorites from this exhibition and of course there are many books to be found on these painters in the inventory of www.ftn-books.com
On the location of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, there is a basement and within that basement is one of the best kept art secrets of Paris. Open for the public, no ticket needed,……just walk down the stairs and see one of most breath taking paintings by Matisse ever.
The 3 works form together one large mural/painting in which elements of the Dance are depicted. Size approx. 25 x 5 meters.
No crowds, because people forget to visit this space with the Palais de Chaillot, but it is very well worth visiting and i can predict you will be in the neighbourhood, because when you visit Paris and want to have the best view on the Eiffel tower, you will stand opposite it at the Palais de Chaillot, walk another 200 meters to the left and you are standing before the LA DANCE, at least as impressive as the Eiffel tower you came for.
It is not always the great artists that appeal to you…In many cases lesser known ones take you by surprise, because of color and composition. Maurice Estève is one of them. Well known in France but hardly known outside of France. During his artistic life he had exhibitions in Many French galeries and even was presented on the Venice Biennale of 1954, but that is about all i can find of foreign exhibitions of this French artist
Starting as an assistant to Robert Delaunay he soon moved away from realism and started to paint in a lyrical abstract way, making his works stand out from his contemporaries. Bonnard, Matisse, Leger and Cezanne were his great examples, but in the end after searching for over 3 decades his lyrical abstract way of painting had become the true Maurice Estève style and he was appreciated for that…..at least in France.
search on Pinterest for Esteve and fortunately there are many examples to be found. An excellent way to meet this artist and see for your self what a great “oeuvre” this artist has.
and do not forget to have a look at the publications currently available at www.ftn-books.com