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Cor van Dijk (1952)

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I recently acquired a drawing by Cor van Dijk from 1993. I am very happy with my purchase, since i consider Cor van Dijk as one of the true dutch minimal artists.

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I have encountered many sculptures by van Dijk at gallery exhibitions and auctions, but never had the funds to buy  a larger work. This was a chance i had to take and bought the drawing.  A graphie filled in shape of two rectangles intertwined and very much a drawing which is typically van Dijk. The drawing is now available at www.ftn-books.com

To explain the attractions of van Dijk i found this text on his site. It gives a rather accurate description of the way Cor van Dijk constructs his sculptures, which is also applicable on his drawings

The steel sculptures of Cor van Dijk (Pernis, 1952) are characterised by clear lines and geometric shapes. From first stages of their design, the material used for these works – steel – and their realisation are inextricably linked. To create his work, the artist uses separate sheets of solid steel, which he joins together with extreme precision. Van Dijk bases the dimensions of his sculptures on the standard gauge of the sheet metal. As a result, the mill scale found on the rolled steel is left intact in the finished works.

Viewing Van Dijk’s sculptures, one’s eyes constantly move across their surface and one’s attention keeps shifting from areas of open space to sections that take up space. The seams between the different segments play a key role in the works, since they lend a sense of scale to the mass of steel and define its different volumes. The artist strives to show interior space – its layout, possible compartments, the spaces between the segments and the massive quality of the steel itself. The different dimensions all interact with one another. Ultimately, this is also what gives the sculptures their specific presence: the precise handling of volumes and the perfect connection of individual sections in space.
Each newly-realised concept is intended to bring even greater clarity to the context of the preceding work – while also pointing ahead, suggesting new concepts that are still waiting to be developed.

Viewed head-on, Van Dijk’s sculptures seem quite unambiguous. But when you observe them from a variety of angles, this clear-cut quality makes way for a new complexity that takes more time to fathom. The seams created by the careful positioning of the individual metal sheets form a two- and three-dimensional drawing – both across the sculpture’s surface and within it.

Over time, the artist’s explorations and realised projects have yielded a unique generative system in which each evolution, each addition and each realisation charts its own course, fulfils its objectives and ensures that the whole ‘makes sense’ – for the moment, at least.

A sculpture’s realisation is the final stage of a long process. The artist needs to wait until the entire design process has been rounded off and the concept is fully developed. The different dimensions all need to be determined with millimetre accuracy. In this method of working, any further interference during or after the sculpture’s production is out of the question. This puts considerable pressure on Van Dijk’s work process – which he sees as a good thing, incidentally.

Van Dijk’s most recent sculptures comprise a single segment. The location of the open space and its dimensions determine the scale of the work as a whole. The result is an object in which mass (matter) and open space interact more intensively than ever before. In technical terms, the steel used for the sculptures shows no traces of machining or processing. Thanks to their mass, the open space and the interaction of these two elements, these tranquil objects seem to speak directly to the viewer.

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Eugene Brands (1913-2002)…there are forgeries on the market.

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In 1946 he participated in the exhibition JONGE SCHILDERS in the Stedelijk Museum and joined the experimental group of young painters in the Netherlands which would later become the COBRA mouvement. From there on he developed a very recognizable style with light bright colors, using many shades of red and yellow. Almost every large museum in the Netherlands has works by Brands in their collections and paintings and drawings are frequently offered for sale at auction or on auction sites. But beware !….. at one time i was visiting a viewing day ( many many years ago) by Sothebys on their Nes location when Brands walked in with the Amsterdam director of Sotheby’s. At that time there were about 10 works by Brands for sale. Brands walked around, glasses and furcoat still on (inside a heated room) , made a quick tour in the viewing hall, pointed out  and marked at least 5 works that were forgeries, since that occasion and knowing that there are many fake Brands paintings, i stayed away from them. Of course you can buy them at the gallery Nouvelles Images and Galerie de Rijk. It will be a safe buy, because all works sold by them are genuine, guaranteed and mostly registered pieces from the Brands studio, but from other sources …..BEWARE. Eugene Brands publications are available at http://www.ftn-books.com

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Walasse Ting ( 1929-2010)

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The first time i saw the work by Walasse Ting, was at gallery Nouvelles Images in the mid eighties and i was blown away with the large standing ladies with parrots. Extreme sized acrylic paintings on paper. with and impressive signature stamp by Ting. This was totally new for me and since, i have been following Walasse Ting. About 5 years later a publishing firm in Amsterdam ( Art Unlimited) began to publish on a very large scale the works by Ting. They were published as postcards, calendars, posters and limited editions. This meant there was no longer any exclusivity any more and the images began to loose their appeal to me. Still the craftsmanship of Ting stayed intact, but because of the sheer number of publications there was no attraction any more. Now it is 25 years later and i wished i had been following Ting a little closer , because what i have learned during this years is that there is another Walasse Ting too. An expressionist painter who has been highly important for modern art and made many collectable and beautiful paintings before his time as a “commercial” artist. Still his chineese ladies are very pleasing on the eye and a little more bold….. the ladies from the “red mouth” series are attractive pin ups treated the Walasse Ting way.

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But as a whole Ting is a true modern artist who deserves to be recognized for his entire oeuvre and not only for his Ladies/parrots paintings.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications by Ting