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Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)

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For me , he is one of the greatest from Last century. Lucio Fontana has had a long career in art and joined several groups, before he became part of the ZERO mouvement.

After ZERO he stayed true to his new found form of art in which monochrome paintings were slashed with a sharp Stanley knife or manipulated with his fingers,thus altering the surface with other materials and objects. Glass was one of his favorites to use. Fontana did not become very old, but in his art career of over 40 years he was one of the front runners in Modern Art. Willem Sandberg admired him very much and because of the importance of Zero and this admiration for Fontana, Fontana received his first Amsterdam monographic exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1967. Catalogue design by Wim Crouwel makes this the perfect combination for a great publication. Sandberg/Crouwel and Fontana combined in one publication is hard to beat. Since 1967 , Fontana featured in many group exhibitions on Zero and had solo exhibitions all over the world. Art collectors must pay huge sums of money to acquire a Fontana ( if ever there is one for sale/ there was one at Dorotheum and Sothebys last year, they made  specials on youtube  on these paintings)

and Museums that have one in their collection are lucky, because his paintings are nowadays “hors catagorie”. What can be had at reasonable prices? Of course some great publication at www.ftn-books.com and whenever you find a MUSEUMJOURNAAL with the special Fontana cover, do not hesitate and ….BUY IT!!!.

 

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Beauty and simplicity at de RIJK Fine art

Last week i was in the Stedelijk Museum  Amsterdam and was very much impressed by the Malevich and “white” rooms with Dekkers and Schoonhoven. White and nothing but white and it reminded me of the current exhibition at de Rijk Fine Art ( Noordeinde 95 /Den Haag).

Excellent, high quality, museum worthy paintings by ao Schoonhoven , Dekkers and Leblanc… in a totally different setting which was more a cosy living room ( including the dog ;-), than a gallery. The simplicity and in the same time complexity of the works, work very well in this setting. They do not need a museum presentation to show their true qualities. This exhibition lasts until the 26th of February so i advise you to take a look at the de Rijk gallery and see for yourself the qualities of this great and important gallery exhibition.

For publications on Schoonhoven, Dekkers and Malevich visit www.ftn-books.com

 

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ZERO….the second exhibition

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NUL zero Stedelijk Museum

Mid sixties ZERO became an important part within the exhibition and collection program of the Stedelijk Museum. a.0. Jan Schoonhoven being one of the artists being presented. Zero had become “main stream” and accepted and therefore it was time for a large overview of what was and had become ZERO/ NUL. Wim Crouwel was asked for the design of the 2 catalogues. One with text and one with images. Both are exceptional designs executed in a glossy silver , perfect measurements and simple but beautiful typography.

( set is available at www.ftn-books.com)

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Informele Kunst exhibition / 1983

Yes ….34 years ago i was a rookie and just had walked into the museum world and there there was this exhibition which i could not understand. An exhibition on INFORMELE KUNST in Nederland en Belgie ( dutch language) in the Schamhart wing with at the entrance an extremely large painting by Jan Cremer. At the time it was painted he asked a price for it of 1 million guilders.

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At that time a ridiculous amount of money for a work of art, but time passes and if i had known what i know on art now i would have started collecting these works which were within the exhibition. names? Schoonhoven, Leblanc, Cremer, Peeters, Armando, Verheyen, Gentils, Mortier. If only……….

A pity I did not start collecting these artists, because then the time was perfect to buy at reasonable prices. Prices started to rise from that year on and the end is not in sight. What remains is the excellent catalogue which is still available at www.ftn-books.com

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ZERO..the first Stedelijk Museum catalogue

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NUL Stedeljk Museum

If there is one iconic ZERO catalogue it is the very first ZERO catalogue published with the ZERO exhibition of 1963. SO here are the photographs which makes this very important catalogue available to all. catalogue for sale at www.ftn-books.com

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Nul Stedelijk Museum
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Nul Stedelijk Museum
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NUL SM

Next week the second ZERO/NUL exhibition set

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Günther Uecker

All you need is a hammer and a bucket of nails….this is what you first think when you see the early ZERO works by Günther Uecker.

Together with Mack and Piene he belongs to the German part of the Zero mouvement.

It is now 15 years that ZERO is collected the world all over, but before this period the works by Uecker could only be seen in some of the larger german Museums.

Now his early Zero works and editions have spread all over the world, all because Zero has become such an important art mouvement.

Outside Germany , Uecker works was first presented in the dutch NUL exhibition from  1962 in the Stedelijk Museum. Together with Mack and Piene he made the light salon, which is still one of the masterpieces of Zero art.

Personally i have a preference for the works by Piene…. Uecker is a great artist, but what troubles me is that Uecker has not progressed with his art… he is still making paintings and objects with nails, cashing the great idea he once had. So an early Uecker for a collection can be one of the highlights, but a later period Uecker is just adding a famous name to a collection. Still there are some nice publications on Uecker at www.ftn-books.com

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Walter Leblanc (1932-1986)

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It was only 10 years ago that i first heard about Walter Leblanc. There was a small exhibition in a local gallery and at that time the owners predicted me that there would be a great interest in the works by Leblanc…… and they were right!….Leblanc was one of the artists related to the ZERO mouvement, but with a very personal approach to ZERO/NUL. His works were much more poetic and simplistic….a bit more like the early works by the Minimalists. But these works were completely different than most zero/nul works. These were “crafted” paintings with meticulously executed patterns made with “Twisted strings” or torsions, resulting in a composition which in many cases is  closely related to Minimal Art. But Minimal art “avant la Lettre” because these works were made some 5 years before the first Minimal Art was made by Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre and Donald Judd. Walter Leblanc sadly died in a car crash in 1986 , but his works remain. The works are now brought together in a foundation and every once in a while an exhibition is organized. The last one being a Retrospective in Brussels in which sculptures, Torsions and Twisted string were all presented in a fantastic Retrospective on Leblanc.

If a new exhibition is programmed on this artist i will keep you informed through my blog but for now i can recommend some nice publications on www.ftn-books.com