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Donald Judd at the van Abbemuseum

Rudi Fuchs was the admirer and curator who convinced Donald Judd to have a large retrospective at the van Abbemuseum. Judd had his entrance into the dutch Museum scene with Enno Develing who had organized, with all important minimal art artists, exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Sixties . Judd was one of them and since the popularity of Minimal Art in the Netherlands grew steadily. The van Abbemuseum made an exhibition with Judd in 1987, after which exhibitions another one with Judd, Fuchs and Jitta was held on the prints by Donald Judd at the Gemeentemuseum. It was one of the last exhibitions Rudi Fuchs curated for the van Abbemuseum before he switched to the Gemeentemuseum as a director and made this print exhibition. Fuchs was a great fan, because together with the print exhibition he ordered furniture, desks and even a complete parquet floor all done by Judd of which only the floor remains at the Escher Museum at the Paleis Lange Voorhout location. The rest “disappeared” , was damaged,  or was sold during the last 2 decades.

The blog is to point out that this is an important catalogue which is now available at www.ftn-books.com together with some other publications. As mentioned …Enno Develing wast the first European curator who presented the Minimal Art movement and his artists at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Here is the extremely important catalogue of this exhibition which i gladly make available for my readers. Click the MINIMAL ART link below and read the PDF version of this rare and very important catalogue.

MINIMAL ART

 

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Jan Maarten Voskuil (1964) ….Wat een toeval (2009)

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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.

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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.

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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

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A special Donald Judd publication, 1993

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The Sikkens foundation chooses every year an artist for their prestigious Sikkens Award and in 1993 the honor was Donald Judd’s. He received the award for his entire oeuvre and delivered a lecture/speech on the subject and the importance of Piet Mondriaan on that occasion.  The title “SOME ASPECTS OF COLOR IN GENERAL AND RED AND BLACK IN PARTICULAR”. For years i tried to find the little book which was published on that occasion and presented to the invited audience. A beautiful little book , cahier stitching, designed by Rutger Fuchs, with a typical Donald Judd cover and finally i have found one for www.ftn-books.com. The book is not the perfect copy i would have wished for. On a scale from 1 to 10 i would rate it as 7.5 ,but given the fact that only about 400 copies have been published this is the best copy which is on the market at this moment and possibly the only one for a long time to come available and for sale, because these are scarce and extremely hard to find.

So if you think the Judd publication is  a “ghost” publication….it is not ! It is real!. Here is a short impression.

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Minimal Art / 1968 curated by Enno Develing … a pdf file

This is a special blog on Minimal art . This time i am offering my readers a real treat.

As you might know the Gemeentemuseum published in the late nineties a cd rom containing the PDF files of possibly the 3 most important and sought after Minimal Art exhibition catalogues which were held in Europe in the late sixties. A European first…..All three were curated by Enno Develing and all three were accompanied by a simple but important catalogue. All these catalogues ( LeWitt, Minimal Art,  Carl Andre) sold out completely and because of the demand and art historical importance we decided to buy some antiquarian 2nd hand copies, strip them from their backbones and scan them as PDF files for future use and disclosure to students and publish them in a very limited number on cd rom.

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At that time i bought the CD rom. The CD rom player on my Mac disappeared, but i kept the files on my hard drive including the Carl Andre, LeWitt and Minimal Art catalogues in pdf format . You can view the Minimal Art catalogue here:  MINIMAL ART

For the complete CD ROM or separate files of the other catalogue please visit www.ftn-books.com

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Robert Ryman (1930)

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People who follow this blog know of my admiration for Minimal Art and for me Minimal Art includes the work by Robert Ryman. I hesitated to start with this sentence because many believe Robert Ryman is not a Minimal painter but more of a painter who makes monochrome works of art. Still ,when searching on Google for Ryman he is by many categorized as “Minimal”.

Often allied with Minimalist, Conceptual Art, and Monochrome Painting, Robert Ryman has painted works in which theme and medium are one. A majority of his paintings feature only white or off-white paint on square canvases, varying in scale and texture and draw the eye toward the nature of the brush strokes and the depth of paint. To further heighten the effect of subtle variations in technique, Ryman manipulates how each work is hung on the wall, playing with the frames themselves as well as with each painting’s distance from the wall. For example, the eleven-panel Vector (1975/1997) comprises 11 wood units of the same size painted in white and hung equidistant from one another, the empty spaces on the walls between the panels echoing the nuanced texture and forms of the panels themselves. A great painter and one of the last from his generation of Minimal artists. www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on Ryman available.

 

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Carl Andre (1935)

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Carl Andre (born September 16, 1935) is an American minimalist artist recognized for his ordered linear format and grid format sculptures. His sculptures range from large public artworks (such as Stone Field Sculpture, 1977 in Hartford, CT and Lament for the Children, 1976 in Long Island City, NY) to more intimate tile patterns arranged on the floor of an exhibition space (such as 144 Lead Square, 1969 or Twenty-fifth Steel Cardinal, 1974). In 1988, Andre was tried and acquitted in the death of his wife, artist Ana Mendieta.

This is how the text on Wikipedia starts on this great artist. Together with Sol LeWitt and Donald Judd he is recognized as being one of the artists who started the Minimal Art mouvement. Specially in the late sixties these three names were presented in group exhibitions on Minimal Art. In 1968 the Haags Gemeentemuseum was the first museum in Europe to hold an exhibition on Minimal Art, curated by Enno Develing who later became one of the authorities on Minimal Art and was a long life friend of Sol LeWitt after the exhibition was held.

Just a small story on some of the great art which was sold through the shop of the Gemeentemuseum. In 1986 the museum held its 50 years birthday celebration and together with this event some special art works were produced by famous artists….among them Carl Andre…he made some unique small copper plate pieces together with a drawing. If i remember correctly there were 8 of them. All sold instantly…..and i did NOT buy one…what a pitty ;-(

The most crucial event in his career is the death of his wife Ana Mendieta

In 1979 Andre first met Ana Mendieta through a mutual friendship with artists Leon Golub and Nancy Spero at AIR Gallery in New York City. Andre and Mendieta eventually married in 1985, but the relationship ended in tragedy. Mendieta fell to her death from Andre’s 34th story apartment window in 1985 after an argument with Andre. There were no eyewitnesses. A doorman in the street below had heard a woman screaming “No, no, no, no,” before Mendieta’s body landed on the roof of a building below. Andre had what appeared to be fresh scratches on his nose and forearm, and his story to the police differed from his recorded statements to the 911 operator an hour or so earlier. The police arrested him. Andre was charged with second degree murder. He elected to be tried before a judge with no jury. In 1988 Andre was acquitted of all charges related to Mendieta’s death

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The works by Andre are still very much visible in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum and the last addition of ‘WEIR”  was done by Rudi Fuchs in 1988/1989 after the Carl Andre exhibition of 1987. The catalogue and other Carl Andre books are available at www.ftn-books.com

The 1968 Minimal Art / Enno Develing catalogue was published in PDF as a reprint and because i still have this available in my personal collection i can offer all purchasers of a Carl Andre item a copy of this in PDF file. Please let me know with your order that you want the PDF file sent by email.

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Francois Morellet (1926-2016)

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It was 7 years ago that the Peter Stuyvesant collection was sold by Sothebys Amsterdam. Within this collection there were some very important Morellet paintings. Large , complex and typical Morellet. As i learned later one of them was bought by Joop van Caldenborgh. The initiator and founder of the Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar. This painting was fantastic and showed for me why Morellet has become one of my favorite painters of all time.  The painting from the BAT collection was estimated between 20.000 and 30.000 euro, but had a hammer price of euro 432.750. Which is 14x the maximum estimated price.

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For us “mortals” this is completely out of reach, but still some great works by Morellet can be had at affordable prices , because Morellet contributed in many ways, to excellent publications in which original silkscreens or lithographs were included. One of these publications is available at www.ftn-books.com ( for availability inquire/ p.o.a.), together with many other rare Morellet publications from the 60’s and 70’s.

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After a short period of figurative/representational work, Morellet turned to abstraction in 1950 and he adopted a pictorial language of simple geometric forms: lines, squares and triangles assembled into two-dimensional compositions. In 1961, he was one of the founders of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV), with fellow artists Francisco Sobrino, Horatio Garcia-Rossi, Hugo DeMarco, Julio Le Parc, Jean-Pierre Yvaral (the son of Victor Vasarely) and Joël Stein, François Molnar and Vera Molnar (the last two left the group shortly after). Morellet began at this time to work with neon tube lighting.

From the 1960s on, Morellet worked in various materials (fabric, tape, neon, walls…) and in doing so investigated the use of the exhibition space in terms similar to artists of installation art and environmental art. He gained an international reputation, especially in Germany and France, and he was commissioned to create work for public and private collections in Switzerland, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and the U.S.A.

Morellet , french, but in his approach to art more cosmopolitan, because he must be influenced by the minimal artists that were starting to appear on the art scene during the 60’s and early 70’s. He experimented with lines, grids, and light and developed an art form recognizable as being Morellet. an important artist and for me personally one of the greatest from last century.

 

 

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Daniel Buren

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For this day’s blog i thought of something more colorful. This to compensate for the rather sombre previous ones and i immediately thought about Daniel Buren, who has done some tremendous beautiful projects with light and color. The latest i have seen of him was 1,5 years ago in Strasbourg where he altered the ceiling with colored panes of glas. I have put together some examples of his projects below, so you can see yourself the impact it has on the space.

One of his projects was during the seventies in the Stedelijk Museum, on which occasion a catalogue was published titles “HIER”.

Is this minimal art?…..possibly, but it is highly recognizable and what is more ….the effect on the space where the colored stripes are applied is extremely large.So i agree with what Wikipedia says about him that he is more a conceptual artist. Many of his art can be seen in public places in France , but the largest collection of Buren’s work is still in French museums like the Centre Georges Pompidou.

Some very nice items by Buren are available at www.ftn-books.com

and yes….the one on the left are expresso cups by illy