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galerie du Dragon (1955-1995)

 

I recently noticed that i have several publications by galerie du Dragon in my inventory

Founded in 1955 and always at the location of 19, rue du Dragon in Paris this galerie is together with galerie Denise Rene one of the grand old institutions in the Parisian art scene. For over 40 years they were representing modern artist like Matta and Carelman,

For those who can read french….. Here is a part from an article on the galerie du Dragon in which ll the famous names of the artists that have made a contribution to the gallerie’s fame are mentioned:

Grâce au soutien de nombreux artistes, le jeune poète Max Clarac-Sérou reprend le bail de la librairie et en fait une galerie d’art à partir de 1955, véritable foyer de découvertes et de contacts : la Galerie du Dragon. De jeunes poètes, comme Edouard Glissant, Alain Jouffroy ou Michel Butor y retrouvent des écrivains plus âgés, Henri Michaux ou Gherasim Luca. Ils y croisent des artistes, peintres ou plasticiens, comme Giacometti, Matta ou Victor Brauner. De solides amitiés voient le jour, dans la fréquentation du lieu, où Max Clarac-Sérou ou Cécilia Ayala organisent les expositions : sur l’art cubain contemporain, en 1961, ou sur le thème de Seul, et le corps, en 1966, réunissant pour l’occasion des œuvres de Balthus, Bellmer, César, Cremonini, Dali, Giacometti, Magritte et Matta..

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Jean-Gabriel Domergue (1889-1962)

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France has had its share of society painters and i f ever there was one who came after the flood of great names who build a career in making portraits of wealthy women,  it must have been Domergue. He started his career in 1911 after he had finished his art studies at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Onwards he specialized in makeing portraits of Parisian women. Some people even say that this is how the French Pin Up was invented. His technique is something between impressionism and the style of Matisse.

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His portraits are highly recognizable and the artistic appreciation and also the value of his works are starting to grow. This making him an artist for the future. The importance of Domergue is not only his figure studies , but also the works he has done as a fashion designer. The clothes he designed for Paul Poiret are considered as true classics. www.ftn-books.com has some nice vintage 60’s cataloges of the artist available.

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Jean Hélion (1904-1987)

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Try to find a good portrait of Jeran Helion and you will have a hard time finding one. There is one possible explanation and that is that Jean Hélion was a modest artist. I read a little on him and he lived for his art , developing his style into a recognizable style of his own. Helion is mostly known in France , but some of his paintings found a way acroos the French border and were presented in other museums too.

In 1921, Jean Hélion moved to Paris, working as an architect’s assistant and frequenting the Louvre. While visiting the museum, he encountered the works of Nicolas Poussin and determined to switch courses and become a painter. By the mid-1920s, Hélion had entered into a milieu of artists that included Otto Freundlich and Joaquín Torres-García. Quickly transitioning from Cubism to nonobjective abstraction, the artist adopted and implemented ideologies culled from artists such as Piet Mondrian and Max Ernst. In 1940, he joined the French resistance army, was subsequently captured, and lived as a prisoner of war for the next two years. Following his release, Hélion rejected pure abstraction in favor of more figurative elements, producing paintings which harkened back to Neoclassical compositions and the works of Fernand Léger. The artist died on October 27, 1987 in Paris, France. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Tate Gallery in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, among others.

www.ftn-books.com has some Helion publications available

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Eduard Steinberg (1937-2012)

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Eduard Steinberg is the first Steinberg i write a blog about. He is far lesser known than his brother in art Saul Steinberg, but for me personally he is the better artist. Where Saul Steiberg leans towards art & illustration, Eduard Steinberg is the abstract artist who “invents” and impresses me much more.

A creator of geometrical abstract paintings, Eduard Steinberg was born into the family of poet, translator, and artist A.A. Steinberg.
Shortly after his birth, his father was arrested by the Stalin regime and thrown into prison. Upon his release, the family settled in Tarusa and Eduard helped his parents in their pursuits, though he had no professional artistic education. He lived in Tarusa from 1957 to 1961, teaching himself to paint by making copies of still lives, portraits and landscape paintings of Tarusa.
Moving to Moscow in 1962, he actively participated in the nonconformist movement.
In the 1970s Steinberg began creating his own version of geometrical abstraction (meta-geometry), where a plastic construction is seen as a consequence of a spiritual impulse.

I did not see the exhibition he had at the Josef Albers Museum and think it is a pity, because exhibitions on Eduard Steinberg are rare occasions. Still www.ftn-books.com has the signed exhibition poster of this important Steinberg exhibition.

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Jacques CARELMAN (1929-2012)

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Take a little from Marcel Duchamp and mix this with a snuff of Panamarenko….the result CARELMAN

An artist i did never had heard of until a year ago when i bought a small collection of art books and posters and Carelman was present in this collection. Some early Sixties and Seventies publications where in it too and also an early french exhibition poster ( all available at www.ftn-books.com).

It struck me that his name has not become more famous since his art is orgina and authentic and was known well before the name of Panamarenko rose to fame in the late Seventies. (useful) Objects which are rebuild into another object , making them strange and not suitable for anything else than being a rebuild object. a Parody on the Manufrance catalogue from the sixties

Carelman is best known for this Catalog of fantastic things (Catalogue d’objets introuvables) It even has been translated into 19 languages, so Carelmans objdects are well known all ver the world , still his name is almost forgotten by all.

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Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015) and galerie Maeght

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Two iconic names in Modern Art have a long time history together. galerie MAeght must have been among the first to show works by Kelly. This contact resulted innumeral exhibitions at the the galerie Maeght. Paintings , lithographs , etchings, drawings…..every aspect of Kelly his art life have been presented at the Maeght galleries.

Ellsworth Kelly has been a widely influential force in the post-war art world. He first rose to critical acclaim in the 1950s with his bright, multi-paneled and largely monochromatic canvases. Maintaining a persistent focus on the dynamic relationships between shape, form and color, Kelly was one of the first artists to create irregularly shaped canvases. His subsequent layered reliefs, flat sculptures, and line drawings further challenged viewers’ conceptions of space. While not adhering to any one artistic movement, Kelly vitally influenced the development of MinimalismHard-edge paintingColor Field, and Pop Art. The Maeght galleries have contributed to his fame with many breathtaken exhibitions. The best is they still publish the exhibition posters which were published for these exhibitions and these posters/lithographed prints are availabble at www.ftn-books.com. Printed by Arte Paris make these the best available Kelly objects possible

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Karl Gerstner and Nouvelle Tendence, 1964

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Nouvelle Tendance is an international group of avant-garde artists founded in Paris. Under this title, five international exhibitions were organized with innovative art.

The artists in this movement experimented with lighting effects, kinetic art and Opart. In 1968 they brought one of the first exhibitions with computer art. From that moment, they published nine issues of their magazine Bit International, including two double issues.

Many of the members of Nouvelle Tendance were affiliated with local movements such as ZERO, Nul, Grav, Equipo 57 and others. In contrast to these local moves, Nouvelle Tendance had no statutes or regulations.

This in short what i found as a description of this mouvement. However there is more because in 1964 this mouvement was received an important exhibition at the Musee des Arts decoratifs, recognizing it as an important international art form. Karl Gerstner designed the poster for the exhibition and now i have this original poster for sale. The poster is in excellent almost MINT condition and i believe this to be the only copy currently to be on the market.

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Felix Labisse (1905-1982)

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Felix Labisse, is for me one of the great surrealist painters from last century and i have a life long admiration for the artist and his works.

It must have been around 1970 that i visited in the company of my parents Paris. I started to grow an interest in art and limited editions because i had a membership with ARTA . a small gallery with a subscription program to buy at membership prices graphic art. My entire collection at that moment well below 5 lithographs.

Paris it was and beside the scenic neighbourhoods , museums and tourist attractions we went to shop at “galerie Lafayette”. We took the escalator and on the top floor …there it was . a true ART gallery and the first piece on show was this lithograph in a signed edition.

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I was so impressed with the lithograph that i borrowed the money with my father to buy it and since it has been in my collection. I still love the beauty of the typical Labisse female figures. It is not on the wall anymore, but is still very much appreciated as a wonderful piece of art that i cherish for being a Labisse and for being one of the first pieces of art that i ever bought.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Labisse publications available

btw. The beautiful portrait of Labisse sitting is by Brassai

 

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Another rare Constant Cobra title

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Bibliotheque d’Alexandrie Paris # CONSTANT # 1959, NM+++/Mint–

This is how it is described in the headline of the object in my internet store at www.ftn-books.com

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You will have a hard time in finding this title on the internet and if you find it, my guess it is it will be in less condition than the one i have on offer. This is an extremely rare title and an absolute ” must have” for all serious Constant (book) collectors. It is not that thick but its contents is highly important and one of the first special Constant publications that was published on Constant.

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Just a walk in PARIS 2009…. and Fluxus

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It was about 9 years ago that me and my wife Linda visited Paris. Dropped our son together with my sister in law, nephew and niece at the gates of Disneyland Paris and went to the city.

I know Paris well and took Linda for the first time to some “arrondissements” she had never visited before. There was the 16th where i had lived for almost a year and the Rue de Seine , the Modern art district .

At one of the galleries a FLUXUS exhibition was being held with art by BEN and Saito. To make this exhibition known to the outside world an extremely nice FLUXUS poster was published. Because i had a hunch that these posters would become important i asked if i could take 4 of them with me. NO problem….. and now 9 years later there is only one of these rare posters left and available at www.ftn-books.com and in time they have proven that i was right about them. They have proven to be important and highly collectable.