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Edward Burra (1905-1976)

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One of the nice side effects of being artbook dealer is that you still “discover” artists which were not known to you before you started with the inventory at www.ftn-books.

One of these artist is Britisch born Edward Burra. A painte who at first glance reminded me of Beckmann and Hopper, but studying the Lefevere catalogue which is available at www.ftn-books.com revealed a totally original artist.

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Burra was a British painter and printmaker best known for his large-scale watercolor paintings, as well as for his landscapes and still lifes. The artist depicted scenes of the seedy urban underbelly and African-American culture during the 1930s in Harlem, NY. Born on March 29, 1905 in London, United Kingdom, Burra studied at the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art under Randolph Schwabe and Raymond Coxon. He frequently collaborated with artist Paul Nash and was part of Nash’s Unit One, a British group of Modernist artists that included John Armstrong, Frances Mary Hodgkins, and Henry Moore. Burra was an avid traveler, but following the outbreak of World War II found himself unable to leave the country. During this period, the artist found success designing scenery and costumes for opera, ballet, and theater. The artist died on October 22, 1976 in Hastings, United Kingdom.Today, his works are included in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others and that is probably the reason why i never heard of him before, since his work is not to be discovered outside the UK.

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Henry Moore (1898-1986)

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There has always been a fascination for Henry Moore and his works by the dutch. Since the beginning of his career he has had exhibitions at all the major museums in the Netherlands, which resuklted in purchses by museums and privste collectors. One of the last collectors to add a major work by Moore was Joop Caldenborgh who added a very large bronze sculpture by the artist. It was one of the last sculptures he added to his collection before he build the Voorlinden museum.

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My guess is that eventually his majestic sculpture garden including the Moore and Sol LeWiit sculptures, will be integrated with the Museum Voorlinden.

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I love the large Henry Moore that is outside the Schamhart building at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and learned to truly love this one , because it was my outside view at the Gemeentemuseum when i had my office over there. Later i moved to the offices at the Museum of education and had the complete Berlage building as my view, but the office with the Henry Moore in front and a Rijsselberghe painting in our room was a great place to work.

Since there is a long history of Henry Moore exhibitions in the Netherlands , i have collected many important Henry Moore catalogues of which the Stedelijk Museum one stands out since this one is designed by Willem Sandberg.

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Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975)

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I have always thought that the large sculpture outside the Congresbouw / World forum( by Oud) in Den Haag was a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, but just a few years ago i discovered that i was mistaken and that the sculpture was by Pevsner.

My mistake and when you really look more closely there is a large difference between the art of these two artists. The Hepworth sculptures are much more related to the sculptures by her fellow student and contemporary artist Henry Moore and her later husband Ben Nicholson. There are quite a few sculptures of her in the Netherlands because in the sixties several exhibitions were held at which occasions her works were sold.  Some of the best Hepworth catalogues are available at www.ftn-books.com

The Tate gallery has an excellent introductory text on Hepworth which they published on the 2015 Hepworth exhibition. Here is part of tghis text, but you can find the complete introduction at

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/dame-barbara-hepworth-1274/who-is-barbara-hepworth

Who is she? 

Barbara Hepworth was a British sculptor, who was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1903. She was a leading figure in the international art scene throughout a career spanning five decades.

Who were her peers?

Hepworth studied at Leeds school of Art from 1920–1921 alongside fellow Yorkshire-born artist Henry Moore. Both students continued their studies in sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London. Both became leading practitioners of the avant-garde method of Direct Carving(working directly in to the chosen material) avoiding the more traditional process of making preparatory models and maquettes from which a craftsman would produce the finished work.

From 1924 Hepworth spent two years in Italy, and in 1925 married her first husband, the artist John Skeaping, in Florence; their marriage was to last until 1931. 

From 1932, she lived with the painter Ben Nicholson and, for a number of years, the two artists made work in close proximity to each other, developing a way of working that was almost like a collaboration. They spent periods of time travelling throughout Europe, and it was here that Hepworth met Georges Braque and Piet Mondrian, and visited the studios of PicassoConstantin Brancusi, and Jean Arp and Sophie Taueber-Arp. The experience was a hugely exciting one for Hepworth, for she not only found herself in the studios of some of Europe’s most influential artists, which helped her to approach her own career with renewed vigour and clarity, but also found there mutual respect. The School of Paris had a lasting effect on both Hepworth and Nicholson as they became key figures in an international network of abstract artists. 

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Karel Appel and the Congresgebouw Den Haag (1969)

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The Congresgebouw is an architectural icon in Den Haag. It was designed by Hans Oud and J.J.P. Oud and opened in 1969. In 1968 Karel Appel was commissioned a large painting on ceramic tiles and this painting is one of the lesser known Karel Appel paintings because not many people realize that they pass it while entering the Congresgebouw / World Forum ( the name what it is called nowadays).

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The extremely large tile painting consists of over 1200 separately painted tiles. These together, making it one of the largest Karel Appel paintings ever. If ever you come to Den Haag , this location is well worth a visit because not only there is the Gemeentemuseum nearby, but beside the tile painting by Appel there are sculptures, by Henry Moore, Auke de Vries and Pevsner in the vicinity.

For some nice Karel Appel publications please visit www.ftn-books.com