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Evert Thielen (1954)

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He is called the master of the multi pannelled painting and i do not doubt it, because his technique is phenomenal. I have followed the career of Thielen from the very first moment i first saw a painting of his he presented to my old school. They had, if i remember well, their 75th anniversary and he had made a painting of the school facade.  It looked like the real thing. great perspective, nice colors, but to me it looked very much like a clone of the best facade Carel Willink could do with textures and colors. But from that moment on his career took off  with exhibition in the Netherlands and abroad. In the process he developped a style of his own and was one of the few in the Netherlands that could paint a truly large canvas. In many cases devided over multiple panels. This is not my kind of art i would like to have in my collection, but one must admire his paintings for their realistic qualities they undoubtedly have.

 

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Thielen titles available

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Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947)

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A wish of mine was for a very long time to add a Bonnard painting to my collection, Knowing at the same time that it is an unrealistic and certainly impossible wish. I have been looking for Bonnard paintings in all major museums. found them and they always impress. They have some realistic elements, a lot of abstraction and truly magnific atmosphere. Bonnard catches the light as no other painter does. A brushstroke and technique which resembles the pointillist technique of painting and with this technique he created a style of his own. the result highly recognizable paintings which always fascinate.

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It took a very long time before finally his works were considered to be the very best from the century. There were two exhibitions in the late Nineties which contributed to this recognition ( Tate and Moma)

Wikipedia describes why his paintings are one of a kind:

Bonnard is known for his intense use of color, especially via areas built with small brush marks and close values. His often complex compositions—typically of sunlit interiors and gardens populated with friends and family members—are both narrative and autobiographical. Bonnard’s fondness for depicting intimate scenes of everyday life, has led to him being called an “Intimist“; his wife Marthe was an ever-present subject over the course of several decades She is seen seated at the kitchen table, with the remnants of a meal; or nude, as in a series of paintings where she reclines in the bathtub. He also painted several self-portraitslandscapes, street scenes, and many still lifes, which usually depicted flowers and fruit.

Bonnard did not paint from life but rather drew his subject—sometimes photographing it as well—and made notes on the colors. He then painted the canvas in his studio from his notes. “I have all my subjects to hand,” he said, “I go back and look at them. I take notes. Then I go home. And before I start painting I reflect, I dream.”

He worked on numerous canvases simultaneously, which he tacked onto the walls of his small studio. In this way he could more freely determine the shape of a painting; “It would bother me if my canvases were stretched onto a frame. I never know in advance what dimensions I am going to choose

www. ftn-books.com has some nice Bonnard titles available

 

 

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Andre de Dienes (1913-1985)

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Dienes began work as a professional photographer for the Communist newspaper L’Humanité, and was employed by the Associated Press until 1936, when the Parisian couturier Captain Molyneux noted his work and urged him to become a fashion photographer.

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In 1938 the editor of Esquire, Arnold Gingrich offered him work in New York City, and helped fund Dienes’ passage to the United States. Once in the United States Dienes worked for Vogue and Life magazines as well as Esquire.

When not working as a fashion photographer Dienes travelled the USA photographing Native American culture, including the Apache, Hopi, and Navajo reservations and their inhabitants. Dissatisfied with his life as a fashion photographer in New York, Dienes moved to California in 1944, where he began to specialize in nudes and landscapes.

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As well as Monroe, Dienes also photographed such notable actors as Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Ingrid Bergman, Ronald Reagan, Jane Russell, Anita Ekberg and Fred Astaire.

De Dienes married twice, and died of cancer on April 11, 1985, in Hollywood.

( the above text comes from Wikipedia)

One of the lesser known nude photography publications in which  de Dienes made several contributions is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Lucien Clergue (1934-2014)

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Here is a classic photographer who made his name with the Corrida, Picasso and the southern French nudes. There is a story on Clergue and myself. In the early Seventies there was a gallery in the Kazernestraat in Den Haag called Arta. In the gallery graphic art was sold to members at really affordable prices and i, as a young student, could afford me some graphic works by young artists who sold their works for as little as 20 guilders. A small sum to be paid for an original work of art by mainly dutch artist, but there were exceptions which were also on offer, some sets with multiple etchings and the occasional photograph…one of them an original photograph by Lucien Clergue. A nude in the sea, sand around her torso , no face…just a body….but such an impressive photograph i had to have it.

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I took a loan with my parents and bought it and since , it has been in my collection. Later i learned the photograph came from one of the most famous series Lucien Clergue has ever made on THE SEA, shot in the Camargue in France in 1972 and resulting in one of the most iconic nude photo series any photographer has made . The photograph has now become for sale at FTN art.  This is a classic Clergue photograph in a small edition , stamped ,signed and numbered by Lucien Clergue and in immaculate condition.

For more publications on Lucien Clergue, please visit www.ftn-books.com

 

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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Jan Sluyters (1911 and 1912)

Because i wrote yesterday a blog on Kirchner and studied for a short while the several paintings he executed between 1910 and 1920 and noticed some similarities between the paintings Jan Sluyters made in this period and the ones Kirchner made, I will now share these 2 paintings that i found .  They are executed only 1 year apart from eachother.

The approach by Sluyters to his models is almost the same . The portraits are from the hips up, breasts bare and both wearing a flowered scarf and because of the strong colors they are 100% fauvism. I like both artists, but if ever i had to chose between both , i would certainly chose for Kirchner. His approach to his subjects and his painting is far more modern than Sluyters ever did. But unfortunately i will never have a choice except the museum i shall visit next time to see a Kirchner or a Sluyters. The Sluyters is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum Twenthe and belonged to the former collection of Nic Jonk. The Kirchner is one of the highlights in the collection of the Museum Ludwig. So make your personal choice and visit one of these two and let me know which one you prefer.

Books on Sluyters and Kirchner are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Yves Klein (1928-1962)

Yesterday i learned from a dutch TV program (DWDD / De Wereld Draait Door) that there is a large Yves Klein retrospective in the BOZAR museum Brussels.

Yves Klein , touched many currents in Modern Art, even was one of the participants in ZERO, but eventually developed a style of his own using in many of his works the iconic BLUE color he developed. Was it zero, action painting or performance art? Today art lovers around the world can not answer these questions , but one can see for one self what fits most, because there is a great retrospective on his art in BOZAR/ Bruxelles until the 20th of August. His monochrome blue paintings are on show together with his action paintings of blue prints of female bodies. A great show and possibly a once in a lifetime chance to see many important Yves Klein works together.

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Nowadays Klein paintings fetch record prices at auctions all over the world, but in one of his first shows In Krefeld in 1961 nothing was sold. This was followed by an unsuccessful opening at Leo Castelli’s Gallery, New York, in which Klein failed to sell a single painting. He stayed with Rotraut Uecker at the Chelsea Hotel for the duration of the exhibition; and, while there, he wrote the “Chelsea Hotel Manifesto”, a proclamation of the “multiplicity of new possibilities.” In part, the manifesto declared:

At present, I am particularly excited by “bad taste.” I have the deep feeling that there exists in the very essence of bad taste a power capable of creating those things situated far beyond what is traditionally termed “The Work of Art.” I wish to play with human feeling, with its “morbidity” in a cold and ferocious manner. Only very recently I have become a sort of gravedigger of art (oddly enough, I am using the very terms of my enemies). Some of my latest works have been coffins and tombs. During the same time I succeeded in painting with fire, using particularly powerful and searing gas flames, some of them measuring three to four meters high. I use these to bathe the surface of the painting in such a way that it registered the spontaneous trace of fire.

To prepare your self for the exhibition, know that over the decades excellent books on Klein were published. There are some available at www.ftn-books.com

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Ren Hang (1987-2017)

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It is sad to learn that the Chinese photographer Ren Hang ended his life yesterday at the age of only 29 years.

A very promising young photographer, a talent like Araki and Ryan McGinley, who dared to be different in his approach to contemporary (nude) photography. As FOAM remembered in a short blog. Provoking and poetic at the same time and totally different from his Chinese colleagues. A talent which can be recognized immediately.

The exhibition in the FOAM museum in Amsterdam is well worth visiting and lasts until the 12th of March

https://www.foam.org/nl/museum/programma/ren-hang

and to get a great overview of his works, please visit chose the year and click on the photograph for some highly original and great photographs by Ren Hang.

http://renhang.orghttp://renhang.org

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Boris Mikhailov

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I can not make a better blog than the information which is given on the Saatchi site at:

http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/boris_mikhailov.htm

but what i know from a personal point of view  is that Mikhailove for me is arguably the best photographer from the last 3 decades. Raw and tender at the same time and a very personal point of view.

Here is the short Biography on Mikhailov :

Born in the former Soviet Union, Mikhailov lived and worked for several decades in his hometown of Kharkiv, Ukraine. He received an education as an engineer and started to teach himself photography. Today he is one of the most successful and well-known among the photographers who were already active in the Soviet era. His work combines conceptual art and social documentary photography.

Mikhailov had his first exhibition at the end of the 1960s. After the KGB found nude pictures of his wife he was laid off his job as an engineer and started to work full-time as a photographer. From 1968 to 1975 he shot several series documenting everyday scenes, the best known of them being the Red Series. In these photographs he mainly used the colour red, to picture people, groups and city-life. Red symbolized the October Revolution, political party and the social system of Soviet society. It is often said that within those works critical elements toward the existing political circumstances can be found.In Mikhailov’s Klebrigkeit (1982), he added explanatory notes, or diary-like text. In Case History, considered an important part of contemporary art, he examines the consequences of the breakdown of the Soviet Union for its people. He systematically took pictures of homeless people. It shows the situation of people who after the breakdown of the Soviet Union were not able to find their place in a secure social system. In a very direct way Mikhailov points out his critique against the “mask of beauty” of the emerging post-Soviet capitalistic way of life.

There were some classic Mikhailov books published during the last 20 years and some of them can be found at:

www.ftn-books.com

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George Grosz ….the artist reporter in the “Interbellum”

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The period between the two World Wars in the 20th century is called the Interbellum. George Grosz lived and worked in those years and reported in print and drawings the daily and night life of the people surrounding him. Brothels, whores, artists, friends….. everybody worth as a subject was drawn or painted by him. These works show daily life on the fringes of society. Rough, sensual and sometimes even ugly, but always fascinating.

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Gallery van Voorst van Beest presented a nice selection of these drawings 2 decades ago and published a beautiful catalogue with it. ( see pictures ), but beside this one there are many more Grosz books to be found at www.ftn-books.com

 

wilfried

 

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Lucien Clergue….a photograph

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A few days ago i wrote about ARTA . A small gallery in Den Haag in which they sold editions by graphic artists. Immediately i remembered the Lucien Clergue photo i bought with them. At one time they had a small number of photographs from an edition by Lucien Clergue…. a naked woman … in the Mediterranean sea. A very beautiful body which attracted me, not only because it was one of the first nude photographs that was offered to me , but also because of its quality. At that time i even had no idea that photographs were printed in editions too, but looking at the back of the photo and seeing the stamp, signature and edition number i realized that this was the reason it was so affordable. It was one of the great purchases as a collector, because now these photographs are worth 200 times as much and are collected by photography collectors all over the world.

Lucien Clergue (1934-2014) proved to be one of the greats in photography from the last century and this sereis of naked women in the sea are among his best. . I still cherish this photo and even remember that i picked the perfect copy for my collection. There is no place for it anymore to hang it on the wall , so now and then i think about the selling it and maybe in the future i decide to do so.

SInce i am a full time antiquarian bookseller i regularly encounter Lucien Clergue publications and put them up for sale at www.ftn-books.com and on each such occasion i remember this beauty in the sea by Lucien Clergue.

There is a great selection of photographs still available at www.anneclergue.com, but the one  i have in mycollection i did not encounter anywhere on the web.So this is to share it with you .

wilfried