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Herman Bieling (1887-1964)

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Born in Germany, but living near Rotterdam for almost his entire life, Bieling has somehow not become the great and well known artist he was expected to become. His art is a very personal kind of art. With influences of cubists and realism he composes paintings that are only part abstract , but for the most part one can recognize the scene.

left Bieling and right Boers

I have always been fascinated by Bieling, not that i want to own a Bieling for my collection , but more in a way that i think that Bieling stands for typical Forties art in the Netherlands in the past century. He is a kind of link between the “old” realistic” way of painting and the emerging art of abstraction. In the same way i am fascinated by Willy Boers, who is a far better artist and of who i think he was important in developing abstract art in the Netherlands. has on both mentioned artists books available.


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Matisse and Sandberg

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 .

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 for some nice publications.


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Bridget Riley


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Yesterday we visited the exhibition of Bridget Riley in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. ( the exhibition is till open until the 15th of October 2016).

A fascinating show on the Curved paintings she made from the early sixties until 2014. Paintings which are extremely detailed painted and very well thought out. The sketches and colored cardboard models show the way in which Riley makes these projects from idea into a large canvas. Walking through the exhibition ( yes passing these paintings) shows the effect these patterns have on your eyes. Waves and curves begin to dance before your eyes and show that a still painting can have the effect of movement in your perception. Fascinating to discover this Optical illusion and certainly very effective Op Art . Riley stayed true to this way of painting and did not produce many of these paintings over the years. These paintings take a long time to paint, but when they are ready they are  all masterpieces.

Her first solo exhibion she had at the Gallery One in London in 1964, after that she was invited for the Biennale in Venice and het break through exhibition ” The Responsive Eye” in the Museum of Modern Art in 1965.

Her works can be found in Modern Art Museums all over the world, but the Tate modern has the largest collection of them.

Look at the pictures i took at the exhibition and get an impression how she meticulously prepares each new painting. has some nice early Riley titles available including the leperello which was published on the occasion she received the Sikkensprijs in 1992.