For me personally Boltanski stands for “remembering” and expressing this in gloomy art. The dark side is always present in his art and publications. Now Boltanski is dead and he leaves us with some of the greatest art from the last 50 years.
Christian Boltanski was born in 1944 in Paris and died in 2021 in Paris. In the 1960s he began to develop a “personal ethnology” marked, among others, by the influence of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Harald Szeemann. At the same time, drawing on museology, Boltanski exhibited inventories of items of anonymous owners. It is often the case in Boltanski’s work that objects (photos, pieces of clothing, bells, flowers…) give voice to absent subjects and are an invitation to the viewer to meditate and contemplate.
Since his first exhibition at LeRanelagh cinema in 1968 Boltanski’s work has been shown in numerous countries. Recent solo shows have been at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2019); Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo, Japan (2019); The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan and the National Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2019); The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2018); The Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China (2018); the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017); Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Italy (2017); The Museum of Contemporary Art of Monterrey, Mexico (2016); Instituto Valenciano Arte Moderno (IVAM), Spain (2016); Mac’s Grand Hornu, Belgium (2015); and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile (2014).
Boltanski was recognized with several awards over his lifetime, including the Praemium Imperiale Award (2006) and the Kaiser Ring Award (2001). He participated in Documenta (1977 and 1972) and numerous Venice Biennales (2011, 1995, 1993, 1980, and 1975).
Here is an artist i recently discovered. HIs work has the abstract qualities of the best artists from the Fifties and here and there you will find Comic like characters in his drawings and paintings.
Presumably because of the different environments in which Alva lived—Galicia, Berlin, Paris, the Middle East, and eventually London—he was familiar with a wide range of artistic influences and moved easily between different styles. His works include an illustrated and decorated version of the first chapter of Genesis, a series of studies of the Prophets in lithograph, and oil paintings on several subjects from Jewish life in Eastern Europe. Some of his paintings, like the one displayed here, are Symbolist. Characteristic of his style is the use of distinctive brush strokes and an aerial perspective.
Solomon Siegfried Allweiss was born in Berlin in 1901 but grew up until age 10 in Galicia, where he received a strict Jewish education. He studied music in Berlin before switching to art and adopting the pseudonym Alva in 1925. He traveled extensively in the Middle East and spent five years studying art and painting in Paris before he emigrated in 1938 to England, where he spent the remainder of his life. Alva was an occasional contributor of illustrations to Yiddish books published in London, most notably the cover for Y.A. Liski’s volume of proletarian stories, Produktivizatsie (Productivisation), published by Naroditski in 1937.
In January 2017 i wrote a blog on Bernard Buffet and the different publications i had collected over the years. My personal favorit….TOXIQUE …with a text by Françoise Sagan and published by Souvenir in the english version in 1965. This is such a strong story and impressively illustrated by Buffet. Dramatic drawings for a dramatic subject of morphine addiction. Both versions are scarce. The 1964 french version even more than the 1965 english version, but whenever i find one i can not help buying it. This is a publication worth collecting and should be in the collection of any art book collector. These are scarce but i have found two copies for my inventory in the last 3 years and both are for sale , because i already have one for my personal collection.
I love his art. It always reminds me of the best dutch abstract artists from the 60’s and i would not be surprised of Willem Hussem was influenced by Poliakoff’s art
Serge Poliakoff was born in Moscow in 1906, the thirteenth of fourteen children. (Some sources claim that he was born in 1900, which in fact fits in better with his later history – 1906 would have him leaving home and earning his living as a musician at the age of 12.) His father, a Kyrgyz, supplied the army with horses that he bred himself and also owned a racing stable. His mother was heavily involved with the church, and its religious icons fascinated him. He enrolled at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, but fled Russia in 1918. He arrived in Constantinople in 1920, living off the profits from his talent as a guitarist.
He went on to pass through Sofia, Belgrade, Vienna, and Berlin before settling in Paris in 1923, all the while continuing to play in Russian cabarets. In 1929 he enrolled at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. His paintings remained purely academic until he discovered, during his stay in London from 1935 to 1937, the abstract art and luminous colours of the Egyptian sarcophagi. It was a little afterwards that he met Wassily Kandinsky, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, and Otto Freundlich.
With these influences, Poliakoff quickly came to be considered as one of the most powerful painters of his generation. In 1947, he was trained by Jean Deyrolle in Gordes (Vaucluse region in France) amongst peers such as Gérard Schneider, Giloli, Victor Vasarely, and Jean Dewasne. By the beginning of the 1950s, he was still staying at the Old Dovecote hotel near Saint-Germain-des-Prés, which was also home to Louis Nallard and Maria Menton, and continuing to earn a reliable income by playing the balalaika.. A contract enabled him to quickly gain better financial stability.
In 1962 a room was given over to his paintings by the Venice Biennial, and Poliakoff became a French citizen in the same year. His works are now displayed in a large number of museums in Europe and New York. Poliakoff also worked with ceramics at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres. He influenced the paintings of Arman.
Three famous names in the dutch and Belgian art scene, but never named in relation to each other except for this one occasion in 1956. In March/April of this year these 3 artists were presented in an exhibition at the “galerie Colette Allendy” in Paris. Lotti van der Gaag and Kees van Bohemen knew each other from Den Haag , but Bram Bogart had left Delft/Den Haag years before and was at that time working and living in Paris. In 1960 he would return to Brussels , but in 1956 they met and were exhibiting at this little known Parisian galerie. I want to share this rare item i have on this exhibition and which is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com. It is a leporello like folder with 6 small pages and portraits of the artists. This is a truly scarce item and for collectors a one time only offering.
Born Rumanian, but living for most of his life in France. From the early Fifties on, France had a very lively comic art scene. This surely has been an influence since his cartoon-like drawings were strongly rooted in this kind of art in France BD / Bandes Dessinees) became increasingly popular and so did the art by André François. This was picked up by Willem Sandberg who curated an exhibition on André François in 1966. Catalogue design by Wim Crouwl makes this one of my personal favourite catalogues from the Sixties. the article below was published in the Guardian some years ago…..and of course www.ftn-books.com has the 1966 Stedelijk Museum catalogue available.
André François born André Farkas in 1915 was an illustrator known for his satirical cartoons and comics. He was born in Romania and but eventually moved to Paris. He was a left-wing Jewish and during WWII he hid away from the Germans, and after the war moved to Grisy-les-Plâtres where he eventually passed away in 2005 after a long successful career.
Francois took his early inspiration from the Art Deco movement and the renowned illustrator A.M. Cassandre. When he moved to Paris he actually studied under Cassandre for some time.
He worked in many satirical publications in France and also in American publications like the New Yorker, Vogue, Holiday and Sports Illustrated. Beyond magazines he also worked in the realm of children’s book illustration, adult content illustration and within the advertising industry (as many illustrators of the time did). In advertising he often created visual puns usually. This usually involved turning inanimate objects into human forms as well as the opposite.
He became known in Paris for the sense of humour in his work, which he primarily completed in crude black and white ink drawings, with the occasional injection of vibrant colour. He became well-known and sought after by art directors in America after he published several anthologies of his cartoon work titled “The Penguin André François”, “The Tattooed Sailor and Other Cartoons From France” and “The Half-Naked Knight”. His obituary published in the New York Times describes his style perfectly: “François’ crude but sensual black-and-white brush drawings and starkly colored paintings, employing surreal and ironic juxtapositions, introduced serious whimsy to conservative commercial art. He also injected a comedic eroticism that broke various taboos.”
At the age of 86, his house underwent a terrible house fire and he lost almost all of his work. His friends report that he wanted to create a completely new set of work to replace that which was lost. In 2005 he died from heart and kidney failure.
What drew me to François’ work is the looseness and simplicity. It reminds me of another contemporary illustrator who I love named Manddy Wyckens. It also reminds me of the illustrations done by Jean-Jacques Sempé for the children’s comic Petit Nicolas. What I love about François’ work is that he doesn’t just create cute, or beautiful images, he is always saying something. While he aims to convey a message, he also doesn’t give the audience all of the puzzle pieces. Sometimes it takes a little longer to understand what the illustration means but when you understand it, it’s all the more rewarding.
I think part of the reason I’m attracted to his work is that I can relate to it as I feel that I am always trying to say something with my work, but often the results are crude drawings and paintings.
The looseness and simplicity is also something I love about his work. Being able to communicate a message with a style that seems effortless is commendable. Looseness and simplicity is something I would love to learn how to use in my own work so I will be sure to look to André François for future inspiration.
Hergé is Georges Prsoper Remi and deserves a well earned place among the greatest of artists from the last century. His Kuifje/Tintin albums have been translated in over 40 languages and have sold hundreds of millions all over the world. It is still a true delight to read once in a while these great adventure stories and after reading these i realize that the amount of detail which is drawn on every page of the story is tremendous,
making these not only great stories but also travel journals in which everyday life from a certain decade in an exotic country was depicted. Since i admire Hergé very much and i think together with Franquin and Swarte this is the best comic art can present i have collected a number of albums and Hergé collectibles of which some are available at www.ftn-books.com. The latest addition is an official bag by ther Moulinsart Museum.
This is arguably one of the best Willem Sandberg publications of all time. An impressive cover, the use of multiple kinds of paper, the best art works from the Paris Modern Art Museum and an unbeatable price, because these are still available, but become more rare every year. I managed to collect 4 copies of this excellent 1952 catalogue of which 2 are now for sale at a special price of USD 35.00.
Please inquire at email@example.com for a direct sale at this price.
One of the nicest things of writing a daily blog is that you keep discovering “unknown” artist. One of these artists is Jean Villeri. I found a signed book on the bookmarket ( now for sale at http://www.ftn-boks.com) . An artist who lived through some very important periods, post impressionism was one of them and from his earliest beginning he started as a post impressionist painter. He met and was influenced by Bonnard, he later became an abstract painter/sculptor. The result …in the end his works were presented and collected by french museums and his art was sold at galleries in France. He has had some some exhibitions outside France, but his main public were the french gallery public. The book/catalogue that is now for sale is for his 1963 Galerie Blumenthal exhibition and shows in an excellent way his strength as an artist.
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20