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Geer van Velde (1898-1977)

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Since the early eighties i admire Geer van Velde. When i first entered our offices at the Gemeentemuseum, there was original art on the wall . Chosen by employees of the Gemeentemuseum the painting on the wall of our offices was an original large painting by Geer van Velde.

Geer van Velde was Bram van Velde’s younger brother they differ 3 years in age but their art differs even far more. Both influenced by fellow artists also living in Paris, Geer became known for his paintings winning Prizes and being admitted into the Salon des Independants . He is considered to be a member of the Ecole de Paris. The works by Geer van Velde are highly recognizable being abstract but still showing some realism in them. The use of color??  subdued not the bright colors his brother is known for. They come from the same nest but their works could not be more different .

Where Geer was known  and admired is his early years, the case with Bram was totally different. It is now since 30 years that the works by Bram are more admired. They are “classic”  made in the 50’s , 60’s and 70’s, but study them closely and you will sense that they belong in the present. These are bold and highly sensitive paintings. Both these van Velde brothers have their qualities, but maybe, in the long run, i prefer Geer.

There are Geer van Velde publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Classic catalogues part 1 …..Picasso

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The second day for the extra focus on the classics within the inventory of www.ftn-books.com

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This time it is Picasso. Although i personally am not a great fan of Picasso, there are so many others that admire this Spanish artist and for them …take notice that this is the last day that the discount code is valid. Not only the many publicatons on Picasso are sold with a discount of 10%, but all publications and specials within the inventory go with a discount.

use : CLASSIC10 at your checkout and receive the discount.

 

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Willy Boers (1905-1978).. a dutch artist hero

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Willy Boers, Dutch art ” insiders ” will know the name and the works he stands for. But for those less familiar with the artist Willy Boers here is a short biography. Willy Boers developed his art from realistic scenes into abstract, even hard edge art over a period of some 40 years. He stood at the cradle of the first dutch modern abstract expressionist paintings. Probably influenced by Miro and Picasso he developed his art into something very typical and recognizable as a Willy Boers painting.

When i first read the catalogue EEN NIEUWE SYNTHESE ( available at www.ftn-books.com) , there were 2 artist which immediately caught my eye. There was of course Willem Hussem and ….Willy Boers.

Boers was far less familiar, because i already had seen some Hussem paintings at gallery Nouvelles Images, but it was not until 10 years ago that i finally had a chance to admire some paintings by Boers “live” . It was at the gallery of Henk Klasema who had bought the remainder of the Boers studio and was selling these Willy Boers paintings. Because he had all periods available i could discover his development into hard edge abstract art, but was mostly convinced of the art he made in the period between 1949 and 1955.

Now is finally the time that Willy Boers is being recognized for the great dutch artist he was . A true pioneer in dutch Modern Art and sometimes his works come now available at auction. Keep this in mind… Boers is still affordable, but it will not last 10 years before his art will be picked up by many more art dealers and collectors, making it far less affordable than these works are right now.

There are some nice Boers publications available at www.ftn-books.com including the which was made for his Stedelijk Museum exhibition.

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Picasso and Monet in the Gemeentemuseum

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About 30 years ago Rudi Fuchs became director of the Gemeentemuseum and one of the first things he notices was the limited amount of purchase power he had in building a new collection for the Gemeentemuseum. He wanted to expand the collection with some quintessential new works which showed the importance of the collection. At that time most of the dutch museum were all collecting the same dutch artists, because there were no funds to acquire works on the international market and thus build the same kind of collection in contemporary art. Fuchs developed an idea to sell 3 of the less important major works from the collection of the Gemeentemuseum.  Being 2 Picasso paintings and the early Monet /Quai du Louvre. All important , all very well known and probably priceless at auction. These highly important works would easily fetch over 50 million USD at that time and with the interest of that sum he would ten fold his budget for purchasing art. Politics thought different, because these works were not bought by the museum but bestowed to the museum.

This morning i remembered these paintings and realized that when they had been sold , they would have been lost for the Gemeentemuseum visitors, but even more important….with an interest rate of less than 1% , there would not have been sufficient funds to acquire anything important in todays art market. Conclusion for me that it is a good thing that they were not sold and can still be admired in the gorgeous Berlage building which houses the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

For those that are interested in the collection of the Haags Gemeentemuseum…please take a look at www.ftn-books.com

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Jean Lurçat et “La Creation du Monde” ( 1949)

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Jean Lurcat, is not forgotten by those who are interested in the art of the 40’s and 50’s from last century. A contemporary and ground breaking artist who’s works can be considered among the best that french art has produces in those decades.  When i have to describe his art it would be something in between a Picasso and Matisse style, but totally Lurcat and original. Sandberg recognized his importance and made an exhibition with his works in 1959 in the Stedelijk Museum.

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My interest was awakened last year , because i had the opportunity to buy possibly the most important book published with Lurcat lithographs. Published in an edition of only 99 copies, signed by the artist and numbered in print ( This is no. 20). The book LA CREATION DU MONDE, was published by Les Exemplaires with a story by Andre de Richaud and contains in total 56 original lithographs by Jean Lurcat. The book was printed by Mourlot/ Paris who was the leading printer for original lithographs in those days . Because of their qualities they were commissioned by the Galerie Maeght for their art publications too. The book is one of the highlights in my inventory and would grace many art book collection, but as always pictures tell a better story than words. Therefore i give you an impression of this magnificent publication which is now for sale together with the Sandberg designed catalogue at www.ftn-books.com

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Heinz Berggruen (1914-2007)… AAA publications

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What is the resemblance between Ernst Beyeler and Heizn Berggruen? ….. both are grand masters of the Modern Art dealer world, both have become famous and both have started their own galleries and the result was that in the end they both had their own museum. Beyeler in Riehen and Berggruen in Berlin.

This blog tells something about the history of Heinz Berggruen, who started his art dealer career with buying some Paul Klee’s in a time that money was scarce and good quality art and appreciation of modern art even more problematic. Still he bought one of his first water colours by Paul Klee for $ 100,- of a jewish person who was in need of money. This way he started dealing and collecting art and continued to do so , even after he resigned from his Paris gallery in 1980, and continued building his own collection into one of the great collections of modern art in the world. The collection contained, Paul Klee, Braque, Klee, Matisse, Giacometti and a very large collection of over 80 Picasso paintings. All this great art made it invaluable. The result …he wanted  the collection to stay together and sold his collection to the Berggruen Museum at a reduced price where his collection is now on show. Over 100 masterpieces still together at one place, the Berggruen Museum.

http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/museum-berggruen/home.html.

What made me look up the story of HeinZ Berggruen?  About two years ago i had a chance to buy a small collection of Berggruen catalogues at auction and had the final bid. At home i was struck with these beautiful little books. In many cases there was original art in them or on the cover. The best for me is the Arp catalogue , but all these small gems together give a great impression of the quality Heinz Berggruen realized with his art publications of his favorite artists. These are all AAA publications.

The ones in the picture are for sale at www.ftn-books.com

berggruen set

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Arshile Gorky (1904-1948)

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Friend of famous surrealists like Breton, Tanguy and Matta, but above all finding his own way in painting . Influenced by Picasso, Cezanne and later Miro, Gorky received several exhibitions in the Netherlands. The dutch public was spoiled by the exhibitions in the Stedelijk and Boijmans and this was something different. It wasn’t abstraction as they encountered it in the fifties and sixties, but it also was not surrealism as the Boijmans had had on show.

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It was a symbiosis between cubism and surrealism and this combination made Gorky stand out from the other painters from his generation and for this combination he would become known after his suicide in 1948. There are some nice Gorky publications available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Antonio Saura (1930-1998)

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When you mix Jackson Pollock with Jean Dubuffet with a topping of a little bit Picasso you get Antonio Saura. Abstraction at his best, because within the composition one always can recognize something realistic. A face , a body , some houses they are all there if you find the rest to study these great paintings. This is not simple, easy art, but it needs to be savored in a slow way. Because the fist impression is chaos, one tends to walk away from it, but just give it a minute or two and the paintings opens up to you.

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La grande foule, 1963, oil on canvas, 220 x 515 cm

It is a pity that there are so few of these fascinating Saura paintings in the Netherlands, but once you have a chance to visit the modern art museums in Spain they are easy to spot and to enjoy. www.ftn-books.com is fortunate to have a nice selection of books on Saura including the Stedelijk Museum catalogue by Wim Crouwel.

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Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973)

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The importance of Lipchitz can not be underestimated, because he was was probably the first who worked out cubism in 3D. His cubist sculptures are highly recognizable and because the artist has a strong following in the Netherlands, where he had in the late 50’s some Stedelijk MUseum presentations curated by Willem Sandberg, his works can be found in most of the large museums in the Netherlands. Paris is where he studied and found soul mates .

It was there, in the artistic communities of Montmartre and Montparnasse, that he joined a group of artists that included Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso as well as where his friend, Amedeo Modigliani, painted Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz.

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Living in this environment, Lipchitz soon began to create Cubist sculpture. In 1912 he exhibited at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salon d’Automne with his first solo show held at Léonce Rosenberg‘s Galerie L’Effort Moderne in Paris in 1920. With artistic innovation at its height, in the 1920s he experimented with abstract forms he called transparent sculptures. Later he developed a more dynamic style, which he applied with telling effect to bronze compositions of figures and animals.

For more publications on cubism and Lipschitz please visit www. ftn-books.com

 

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Erotic Art . Kronhausen collection ao

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First springday in the Netherlands and a very nice 18 degrees celsius made me clean our terrace with the high pressure cleaner….away wth the green algae and a four hour job. It is like meditation….always the same movement from left to right and my mind thought about the blog i had to make today. What is the subject which always attracts the most readers…yes it still i sex. so i decided to devote the blog to erotic art. All great artist from the middle ages until today always have at one time made their own interpretation of the female body and the act of intercourse. Picasso, Dali, Bellmer, Ernst, Mapplethorpe, Wesselman, Rodin and Ramos…just to name a few. From the mid sixties there were even some collectors who collected erotic art. The most famous ones were the Kronhausens. Their collection travelled the world and made erotic art  more acceptable. Nowadays one is not surprised nor shocked when seeing a highly erotic subject from an artist , but in those days these exhibitions were a first. www.ftn-books.com has some nice books on this subject and other publication throughout the years  prove that the subject is still a very popular one.