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Romano Frea (1945)

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An artist who had no connection in the Netherlands was known by Will Hoogstraate from gallery d’Eendt , but according to my information had no exhibitions at this gallery, but……. just look at the similarities with Will Leewens . Here is a work by Will Leewens (on the right) from roughly the same period. (Frea on the left)

Artist who worked over 1500 km apart from each other and were progressing and developing their works into the same world of abstraction. I still find this fascinating to discover and see that artists , working apart from eachother and probably not knowing the other person, are developing their art into the same direction.

I recently added two scarce Frea publications to my inventory. Both are still available at www.ftn-books.com

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Paule Vézelay (1892-1984)

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Paule Vezelay was  recognized for her art in the last stage of her career and is not that knoewn an artist. Still the TATE organized a retrospective in 1983 . Not many publications have been published during her life, but some small publications are still to be found on the internet. One is availabel at http://www.ftn-books.com.

the following text comes from Wikipedia:

Vézelay was born Marjorie Watson-Williams in Bristol, a daughter of the pioneering ENT surgeon, Patrick Watson-Williams (1863-1938). Before the First World War she trained for a short period at the Slade School of Fine Art and then at the London School of Art. She first gained recognition as a figurative painter, had her first London show in 1921 and was invited to join the London Group in 1922. She moved to France in 1926 and changed her name to Paule Vézelay possibly to identify herself with the School of Paris. In 1928 she abandoned figurative painting and made her first abstract work (which is now lost) and from then on worked exclusively in an abstract mode. In 1929 she met André Masson whom she fell in love and lived with for four years. Working side by side, they both painted dreamlike surrealist works.[2] Vezelay became well respected in modernist Parisian art circles and was elected in the 1930s to membership of the French abstract movement, Abstraction-Création, which was largely established as a reaction to Surrealism.

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On the outbreak of the Second World War Vézelay moved back to London, but had difficulty in gaining recognition from the British art establishment, possibly because of her identification with Paris at a time when the London art world was beginning to acquire its own separate and different reputation. However, in 1952 she was invited by Andre Bloc, president of the Parisian constructivist abstract movement Groupe Espace, to form a London branch of that movement. After many difficulties and the refusal of some leading British abstract artists to join (including Victor Pasmore), she was successful in forming a small group of painters, sculptors and architects who held an exhibition in the Royal Festival Hall in 1955 which anticipated many elements of the much better known 1956 Whitechapel Gallery exhibition, This is Tomorrow. In the 1950s she made textile designs for Metz of Amsterdam and Heals of London. In many of her works, Vézelay’s abstract imagery, such as floating quasi-biomorphic shapes, was outside the main characteristics of the constructivist approach. She had a lifelong aim of creating works which were “pleasing and happy” – not terms generally associated with Constructivism. However, her view that ‘pure’ abstract art enhanced the environment, and her involvement with Groupe Espace in the 1950s which promoted the concept of a synthesis (or close collaboration) between architects and abstract painters and sculptors, place her at least in part within the Constructivist tradition. Her post-war textile designs for Heals also place her firmly within the 20th century Modern Movement.

The Tate gave Vézelay a retrospective exhibition in 1983 – a late recognition of the quality of her work and her significant place in art history as one of the first British artists to embark on a lifetime exploration and development of abstraction.

Paule Vézelay was also included in Pallant House Radical Women exhibition, focusing on the works of Jessica Dismorr and her contemporaries, in early 2020.

paule vezelay

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Scott Kilgour (1960)

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Why this blog on Scott Kilgour?  Two reasons….1st i have added a brilliant ” (red) PUTTI” from 1990 by this artist to my art inventory and 2nd because i think he deserves to be mentioned and i am not alone . The famous Henry Geldzahler wrote the following in 1990

Scott Kilgour’s personality is cool, at a slight distance, but never cruel or ironic. The world he experiences and transmits is idealized without being dewey-eyed. Born and educated in Glasgow, he has known enough of sharp adversity to last him a lifetime. Twenty-three years old when he moved to New York in 1983, Scott found his balance rather quickly, voraciously swallowing museums and art galleries, surveying the scene and seeking his point of entry, his own stance. His bouquet of favorites included several surprises, Hans Hoffman and Willem De Kooning among them, artists whose excellence he recognized without needing their particular esthetics in his own work.

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What Scott did discover and make use of immediately on his arrival was George Ballanchine’s great neoclassical institution the New York City Ballet, at its peak in the early and middle eighties, its repertoire as broad and sharply characterized as any performing arts company in this century. It was there, several nights a week, that he refined his sense of composition and his daughtsmanship, that absolute balance of ground and line that is Scott’s benefaction. And it is to Picasso’s transcendental neo-classical harlequins and dancers of 1922 and 1923 that Scott Kilgour’s sense of wholeness and absolute balance refers to memorably, so movingly.

Henry Geldzahler
May 1990, Southampton

the RED PUTTI from 1990 is now for sale at http://www.ftnbooks.com

please inquire at : wilfriedvandenelshout@gmail.com

Other works by Kilgour are on offer at :

Scott Kilgour

and

http://www.michelemackfineart.com/kilgour.html

 

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Martin Gerwers (1963)

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I know the works by Martin Gerwers for some 10 years now. The first time i encountered them was at an exhibition at galerie de Rijk and since i have been following with great interest this German artist. His abstraction leans towards the de Stijl movement , but is so much more fragile and delicate. Thin lines and much “space” make his paintings more like minimal art paintings than DE STIJL. One thing they have in common. It is use of bright colors  for the compositions. Gerwers his works are now financially out of reach for me , but i still admire his works and hopefully one day i encounter a nice small painting at auction. If the price is right i do not hesitate and buy it for my personal collection.

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Martin Gerwers, emerged with monumental geometric abstract paintings. He has recently extended his dicipline with 3-dimensional painted objects. Made out of triangular forms from wood they take the shape of dynamic pyramids, which define the surrounding space. His work is in the tradition of Mondrian and the American colourfield painting. Gerwers’ paintings and objects evoke space through big contrasts in light and dark, thin lines and broad planes of color and subtle differences in tone.

Martin Gerwers is born in 1963 in Velen (DE). He lives and works in Düsseldorf. After the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studied with Jan Dibbets, he exhibited regularly at Konrad Fischer Galerie in Düsseldorf and Galerie Tschudi in Glarus in Switserland. Since 1999 he has been exhibiting at Slewe Gallery. His work has been collected by several private and public institutions such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

gerwers

 

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Paul Smulders (1962)

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The following text comes from the Paul Smulders site: https://www.paulsmulders.com

Paul Smulders (born in Breda in 1962) is a painter through and through. He has chosen the painting process as the theme of his work.
There is no preconceived plan. Instead, he lets his artist’s  materials lead him where they want to go. He employs various types of paints, inks and varnish, allowing them to interact in a sort of alchemy. The colours are left to mix freely resulting in something the painter himself initiated but which largely takes place in an unpredictable manner.

Of course even Smulders cannot avoid imposing order on his materials, but at the same time he gives them  as much space as possible, so they can be a deciding factor in the ultimate composition.

The main theme of his current series are motifs from the natural environment. Yet the paintings  do not wish to give the idea of being perfect reflections of nature. Painting is not merely a question of creating an image. It also involves bringing artistic materials – which in themselves have no meaning – to life. The paint and the gestures made in the act of painting represent the sensory element in the artistic process, whereas the eventual image is in fact a form of order and organisation.

Smulders’ work shows not only landscape motifs but also the vigour that is evident in nature. In fact, his paintings reveal the interaction between two sorts of nature: there is the natural effect of art that is as uninhibited as possible, and this competes on the canvas with the age-old design that characterises living nature. His work looks like a dynamic tissue of organic forms but it could also be regarded as abstract, a work that does not refer directly to nature at all.

You could say about Smulders’ paintings: “They are nature’s fabric, having the unity you would expect from nature”. The struggle between image and material, and between structure and chaos is palpable when you look at his work. He wants the image to become paint and paint to become the image. There is certainly a suggestion of figurative work in his paintings, but only beneath the surface. The figurative and the abstract are experienced simultaneously in the canvas.

On a personal note. I like his older work better, but Smulders is a great artist to admire and collect. http://www.ftn-books.com has some publications available.

smulders schoots

 

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Richard Mortensen (1910-1993)

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Richard Strange Mortensen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He studied between 1931 and 1932 at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen. Influenced by the works of Wassily Kandinsky, he developed an abstract art style. In Copenhagen, Mortensen was joint founder of the “Linien” school of abstract painters.

In 1937, he undertook a study trip to Paris, where he met pioneers of surrealism, such as Roger Vitrac, Gala Éluard, Michel Leiris, Antonin Artaud, Raymond Queneau and André Masson. During the Second World War, Mortensen’s works reflected the violence of Europe. After the death of his wife Sonja Hauberg, in 1947 moved to Paris remaining there until 1964. Together with Robert Jacobsen, Mortensen became connected to the Galerie Denise René in Paris, which became famous for concrete art. His later works are concrete works of art characterised by large, clear, bright colour surfaces. After his return to Denmark in 1964, he received a professorship at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen, which he held until 1980.

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Mortensen was awarded the Edvard Munch Prize (1946), the Kandinsky prize (1950), the Prince Eugen Medal (1967) and the Thorvaldsen Medal (1968). In 1945, he married author and poet Sonja Hauberg (1918–1947). They were the parents of literary researcher and professor Finn Hauberg Mortensen (1946–2013). Richard Mortensen died at Ejby in Lejre Municipality

The works by Mortensen were presented in the last two decades of his life at gallery Willy Schooots, bu unfortunately the gallery in Eindhoven and the foloow up in Antwerpen closed recently. However ….somne of the catalogues are available at www.ftn-books.com

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galerie Willy Schoots

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Galerie Willy Schoots was one of the iconic galeries that started in the Nineties with some great exhibitions. Later the gallery was continued in Antwerp  as Galerie Schoots – Van Duyse. But trying to find the internet pages of the gallery i found out that the gallery is now closed. A pitty since another great gallery whichg has dutch roots has now closed its doors . Just a few dozen of galeries for Modern Art continue their work to present dutch and international art to a dutch audience. I predict that in another decade most of these will have closed and ond only “an “online” art market will exist. Still there is lots of these galeries to collect. I have recently added some catalogues and invitations of the galerie Willy Schoots to my inventory at www.ftn-books.com

These are now for sale today the invitations and tomorrow the catalogues which are added.

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Lou Loeber(1894-1983)

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It has taken over 3 decades for Lou Loeber to be fully appreciated by art collectors and curators, but now, almost 40 years after her death, she is considered as one of the driving forces of modern art after WWII  in the Netherlands. Het art is rooted in constructivism and cubistic style, with a dash of DE STIJL and Sturm. But most important her art can be recognized as being from Louber and has qualities which make her art stand out from other artists who were active in that same period.

It is time now for a retropective exhibition in teh Netherlands, which will show all the qualities of Louber as an artist, not because she was one of the first female artist who rose to fame, but because of the qualities and value of her art.

http://www.ftn-books.com has some nice Louber publications available.

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Chris de Bueger (1948)

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Try to find information and a portrait of Chris de Bueger and you will have a difficult time ahead. Because of a publication i bought some years ago ( piece of oil painting on the cover) i started to search fo the artist. No portraits , no text, just some abstract paintings and  apiec of canvas ( painting) on the cover of the blue book.

There is only way to find the maker of this book and paintings and that is study the pages and photographs. Paintings are nice abstract paintings and certainly worth viewing and possibly even collecting. and yes…..on one of the photographs there was the signature of the maker. First i read de Buger, but thanks to Google i found that it had te be Chris de Bueger and now the book is availabe at www.ftn-book.com.

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Burgoyne Diller (1906-1965)

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A pioneer of American modernism, Burgoyne Diller devoted his career to the exploration of geometric abstraction in paintings, drawings, collages, and sculptures.

For Diller, abstraction was the ideal realm of harmony, stability and order in which every form and spatial interval could be controlled and measured. His style began with forms of modernism, including cubism, Kandinsky’s abstraction, constructivism, and other European models.He simplified his palette to the bold colors and black and white of neoplasticism and reduced his visual vocabulary to squares and rectangles.” “Diller developed a highly personal language based on three major compositional themes. These themes, which he labeled “First,” “Second,” and “Third,” explored the picture plane in relation to forms in movement and forms in constant opposition. By 1934 Diller had likely become the earliest American exponent of Mondrian’s type of geometrical abstraction. In the early 1940s, he began creating wall-mounted wood constructions, and during the 1950s and 1960s his sculptures developed into the large-scale, free-standing, formica works for which he is well known.”

The Sullivan Goss Art Gallery notes the following about Diller’s style: “Composed predominantly of squares and rectangles and accented with primary colors against a solid white background, Diller’s mature abstract paintings are the result of his explorations of pure color and form. Diller’s austere work recalls the stinging isolation of the lives of all Americans of the Depression era, and possibly his own. However, the well-planned geometric nature of his paintings reveals his desire for a reconstructed world prevailing over the seemingly hopeless situation in the United States during the Depression

Above is the excellent text on Diller and his style of painting found on Wikipedia

http://www.ftn-books.com has some excellent and scarce Diller publications available