Nat Finkelstein (1933-2009)..The Warhol/Factory photographer

Schermafbeelding 2017-10-19 om 15.58.16

His claim to fame was that Nat Finkelstein was the house photographer of the FACTORY. The complex which housed the studios of Andy Warhol.

(The Factory was Andy Warhol’s New York City studio, which had three different locations between 1962 and 1984. The original Factory was on the fifth floor at 231 East 47th Street, in Midtown Manhattan. The rent was one hundred dollars per year.[1] Warhol left in 1967 when the building was scheduled to be torn down to make way for an apartment building. He then relocated his studio to the sixth floor of the Decker Building at 33 Union Square West near the corner of East 16th Street, where he was shot in 1968 by Valerie Solanas. The Factory was revamped and remained there until 1973. It moved to 860 Broadway at the north end of Union Square. Although this space was much larger, not much filmmaking took place there. In 1984 Warhol moved his remaining ventures, no longer including filming, to 22 East 33rd Street, a conventional office building)

In September 1962 Finkelstein was commissioned by Pageant magazine to do an article on the emerging Pop Art movement. The article was titled “What happens at a Happening?” it covered a Claes Oldenburg “happening” in Greenwich Village and was a break that would define his future. Two years later, while attending a party at the Factory, Finkelstein met Warhol, who had seen his photographs of Oldenburg’s “happening” in Pageant. Finkelstein offered his services as a photographer to the artist, and for the next three years he was a constant presence at the Factory. His iconic images of the include subjects such as the Velvet Underground performing live, Marcel Duchamp, Bob Dylan, Edie Sedgwick, Salvador Dalí, and Allen Ginsberg.

There are some nice Finkelstein and Warhol publications available at www.ftn-books.com

Domenico Gnoli (1933-1970)… is Italian Pop Art

Died at the age of 37 , too young to die and leaving so much to admire. From his own perspective Gnoli enlarged daily objects and transformed them into large paintings, a little bit like Konrad Klapheck does, but with a much more gentle approach to the subject. Focussing on the extreme details , like stitchings and tissues he makes highly recognizable paintings.

Gnoli was born in Italy but moved at a very young age to the US where he stayed and worked in New York for the better part of his life. Painting and as a Stage designer to make a living, he got his first exhibitions in New York. Gnoli was presented in a large exhibition in the Netherland at the Boijmans van Beuningen museum, but it is of late that his name keep surfacing as one of the more important and influential Italian artists from the sixties and it is this raised interest in his works that it makes harder and harder to find good publications on Gnoli. http://www.ftn-books.com has two books available.

Jackson Pollock ( 1912-1956 )…the ultimate abstract expressionist.

Schermafbeelding 2017-08-18 om 13.14.02

It was 1977. …..the first time i visited the US and went to New York together with my father we visited the museum of Modern Art. In which i saw for the very first time a large Jackson Pollock drip painting. It was an amazing experience and i remember standing in that room …in awe and amazement of such a large , beautiful, impressive, overwhelming abstract painting. The size of it, the spontaneous dripping and the extreme detail when you went close up to it, opened a door to abstract Modern Art for me. Since i have seen many Pollock paintings, but none was so perfect as the very first one i encountered in the Moma. the ONE, number 31, 1950 painting

There are some nice action movies with Pollock painting to be found on Youtube and this is possibly the one that shows best the creating of a Pollock painting.

and i am proud to have both Pollock catalogues that were produced for the Pollock exhibitions in the Stedelijk Museum at www.ftn-books.

Willem De Kooning(1904-1997) is a dutchman

Schermafbeelding 2017-08-13 om 09.23.55.png

For many people in the US , Willem de Kooning is an American painter , however ….for us dutch, de Kooning is a dutchman. Born in Rotterdam and educated at the Rotterdam evening academy and working for the METZ department store as an interior decorator until he decided to go to the US in 1926. He went as a stowaway and would become the abstract expressionist painter we admire. He met artists from and became part of the Abstract expressionist mouvement. Meeting with Pollock, Still, Rothko and Newman made him aware of his qualities as an abstract painter developing a style of his own and building an important oeuvre from there on. He never lost touch with his homecountry the Netherlands and this resulted in a large and very important collection of De Kooning paintings in the Stedelijk Museum. Edy de Wilde was the director who made this happen and it is the luck of the visitors of the Stedelijk that in one spot they can discover and admire so many excellent De Kooning paintings.

and for some nice publications on De Kooning visit www.ftn-books.com

Tate Modern….SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER

 

This morning the Volkskrant mentioned and reviewed another Tate Modern exhibition in which afro-american artists have the leading role. I did not visit this exhibition , but it will be on my list should i visit London in the coming months. The exhibition will be open until the 22nd of October and shows the importance of afro-american artists in the sixties and seventies. None of them have become the household names in Modern Art as we know now and perhaps the only artist who reached “star” status by the end of the eighties was Jean-Michel Basquiat, but he originally was born in Brooklyn and part Haitian, not Afro American.  Then i realized that my inventory has very few books on or by Afro American artist. Is it because their art is less appealing? I do not think so, The Dawoud Bey and Kara Walker books i have, show great art, but i think the true reason is that Afro American artists did not get a good platform to show their art in the best possible way. Fewer Museum and gallery exhibitions have been organized  with them than with non afro-american artists and that is the reason this exhibition is important and possibly paves the way for artists from other cultures and countries which are lesser known. The mentioned artists Bey and Walker are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Lee Bontecou and Will Leewens

It was for over 3 months in my mind that i had to visit the Lee Bontecou exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, but because of a full schedule i had to wait until the last day of the exhibition, which was yesterday. I already bought the catalogue , but did not look into it, so all works on exhibit were new to me and i must say that more than half was very impressive. There was a large Sandbox filled with little objects, the wall with sketches and some wall sculptures and “mobiles” which were very impressive, but part was sketches and other little objects which were far less fascinating, some even boring.

What struck me was that artists all over the world must influence each other. Here is an example of a work by Will Leewens and the one by Bontecou. Colors, size and even some of the 3d objects look the same. Both are finished in the early sixties and although i doubt that they have known each other . I ams sure bot were influenced in some way by others and excecuted their works in a similar way.

 

The exhibition is history now, but what remains is a great catalogue which is still available at the Gemeentemuseum shop and of course for older publications on Bontecou and Leewens you can visit www.ftn-books.com

David Salle (1952)

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-24 om 10.05.52

David Salle…..still one of te great names in Modern Art and still very famous in the US, but his works tend to be forgotten a little bit in Europe after he had had many important shows here in the eighties and nineties. Painter, graphic artist, cinema director and photographer Salle is a multi disciplined artist who was one of the first living artist who reached star status in the art world after his works were soled for over a million dollar at auction. Personally i do not think any painting is worth so much money, because i  think art is to be consumed and admired and not bought or sold as an investment. An artist who’s works are bought after he/she died is an exception. The works have proven themselves and it is important for museum to show the works of an artist in relation to other works of art, but….for living artists like Salle, Hirst and Koons ART has become a way of making money ( and a lot if it). The idea behind the work is less important than the interest t should create with buyers and investors. So my advice …buy what you personally think is worth to look at, admire and collect it and if it is more expensive … pay a little more for it because you will enjoy the work every day you look at it.

Books on Salle are available at www.ftn-books.com