There are not many Polish artists who have made a name for themselves in the western art world. But since a few decades some Polish artists emerge in the established museums in western Europe and Malczewski is one of them. He was presented in a retropective exhibition at the Drents Museum in 2003 and for me it was the first time i heard of this Polish artis and saw some of his better works. He is considered to be a symbolist painter and he certainly is, but in my opnion he more is a realistic artist who paints and draws every day life and people from his surroundings but frames them in a symbolistic way.
There is hardly any symbolism in the foreground of his art and the people he depicts, but look at his paintings and you will discover that there is symbolism and symbolistic elements, everywhere and even at some moments complete symbolic scenes in the background. This is how good art has to be and this is certainly true for Malczewski’s art. To discover this Polish artist the Drents Museum catalogue is a perfect starting point.
Two aspects of her art life spring to mind. First and foremost a great Art Deco painter and one of the frist female artists being recognized by the greater public as a great artist and secondly …she depicted the “beau monde” in the Interbellum. The period between WWI and WWII.
Although she was born in Poloand she spent her working life in France and the United States. She is best known for her polished Art Deco portraits of aristocrats and the wealthy, and for her highly stylized paintings of nudes.
Born in Warsaw, Lempicka briefly moved to Saint Petersburg where she married a prominent Polish lawyer, then travelled to Paris. She studied painting with Maurice Denis and André Lhote. Her style was a blend of late, refined cubism and the neoclassical style, particularly inspired by the work of Jean-Dominique Ingres. She was an active participant in the artistic and social life of Paris between the Wars. In 1928 she became the mistress of Baron Raoul Kuffner, a wealthy art collector from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. After the death of his wife in 1933, the Baron married Lempicka in 1934, and thereafter she became known in the press as “The Baroness with a Brush”.
Following the outbreak of World War II in 1939, she and her husband moved to the United States and she painted celebrity portraits, as well as still lifes and, in the 1960s, some abstract paintings. Her work was out of fashion after World War II, but made a comeback in the late 1960s, with the rediscovery of Art Deco. She moved to Mexico in 1974, where she died in 1980. At her request, her ashes were scattered over the Popocatépetl volcano. www.ftn-books.com has one nice publication on Lempicka
The art world will probably not know about Jan Sobecki and his Tribeca Restaurant in Heeze, but the culinary world does certainly know Jan Sobecki. After starting his career at Chapeau and Boreas restaurants, he finally has a place of his own for 2 years now in Heeze. The former restaurant of Nico Boreas was turned into the TRIBECA restaurant run by Jan Sobecki and his wife Claudia. Why a blog on this restaurant and not a blog on art like always. Two reasons. The first is to commemorate that the day before yesterday it was Linda’s birthday and we visited Tribeca restaurant for lunch to celebrate and secondly, although there is no art in the TRIBECA restaurant on the walls, to show that there is a strong connection and influence of all kinds of art on the plates that Tribeca serves. The first thing we noticed were the similarities between the sculpture LA MUSE ENDORMIE by Brancusi and the little plate with butter which was served.
I had the very strong impression that this great chef is inspired by art. Not the taste of course ( which is by the way exquisite), but the plates look all like small pieces of art and go way beyond the regular way in making up a plate. another example is the “amuse” of mackerel which reminded me of a very small painting by Fiona Rae which is available at www.ftn-books.com.
I only know of one other chef in the Netherlands who still draws his inspiration from art and that is Jannis Brevet from the Inter Scaldes restaurant who matches his courses with the paintings he has hanging on the wall.
Of both, Sobecki is my favorite. Not just because i think the service at the table was far better and relaxed than at Inter Scaldes, but because he focusses on his beautiful and very impressive tasting menus and wine pairing in a way that i am convinced that in the long run he proves to be the better chef…..go there, admire and enjoy Sobecki’s art on a plate and the “art” of Jan Sobecki will convince you that there is certainly (culinary) ART in his Tribeca restaurant.
Yesterday, Polish born artist Mark Prent contacted me about the Stedelijk Museum catalogue i have for sale on his exhibition in 1978. A never had studied the catalogue in detail before. But is a “dark’ catalogue which reflects the work of Prent in an excellent way. His works are “dark”
Mark Prent works consist of life-moulded mixed media, polyester resin and fiberglass casts of human models in sometimes disturbing poses and juxpositions. Mark Prent has consistently maintained throughout the years, that his sculptures and installations do not carry intentional messages. Despite the powerfully grotesque imagery that he has employed, interpretation is left to the viewer. Prent developed his own unique technique of layering to give a heightened realism to his figures; thus giving rise to the label “Extended Realism”. When he later became concerned about the toxicity of polyester resin, he began to experiment with other materials, developing innovative techniques for recreating that trademark quality of virulent realism. This venture into new materials led him in many new directions in his own work and ultimately, to become a technical resource for other artists as well.
Having followed his education in the US and exhibitions in Amsterdam , Berlin and Montreal his works are known all over the world, but because of their “Dark” nature never have become popular.
In 2005 Prent began a new series of video-taped performance pieces in collaboration with videographer/son Jesse Real Prent. In this series, Prent’s own body becomes a living, interacting component of his nightmarish scenarios. He continues to produce new sculptures in his Vermont studio. www.ftn-books.com has the Stedelijk Museum Mark Prent catalogue available.
Jaap Nanninga was born in Winschoten in the north of the Netherlands but after travels to Germany and Poland he settled in Den Haag in 1936, where he stayed and worked his entire life. meber of the famous Posthoorn group het met his friends artist for drinks and dinners at the POSTHOORN cafe at the Voorhout in Den Haag ( and yes…it is still there and serves the finest “Bitterballen” in Den Haag. He received his artist eductaion from Werkman and Wiegers and stayed for a short moment with Geer van Velde in Paris. These 3 artists made Nanninga the artist which we know nowadays. Abstract compositions rooted in the Fifties . a little Cobra mixed with abstract expresionism. Many dutch museum have some great Nanninga’s, but one museum i would like to mention specially is the FIGURA painting in the van Abbemuseum collection. Powerful and typically Fifties abstraction.
While leafing through my documents, I noticed some very nice and interesting publications from and on Polish art and typography. These are a combination of Russian and western art and typography, making them stand out and being typical for Poland. It is the same with Japanese typography.
A style of typography of its own , but with influences from western typography and design. But back to Poland. This very unique way of design was recognized by Willem Sandberg, who organized an exhibition on Polish posters. Whenever i visit a book) market i always pick them up , because of their appearance and some are worth collecting and selling. Take a look at www.ftn-books.com
If there is one photographer who has become famous in the last 2 decades it is Rineke Dijkstra. She started as a freelance photographer for magazines like Avenue and Quote, but became famous with her series if you men and women on the beaches of the US, Poland, Belgium and Croatia. This series has become iconic in the world of photography and the star of Rineke Dijkstra has risen ever since. The series shows in artificial light young adolescent boys and girls on the shore. These photographs have are typical Dijkstra “signature” and can be recognized immediately. The strength in these photographs of young people and also the series of bullfighters and soldiers, is that they show the emotion of the portrayed. Large sized in many cases make these not the standard photograph for at home, but you can seen many of her works depicted in the books on Dijkstra of which some are available at www.ftn-books.com
Another great artist who i forgot to mention in my blog on Topor is Roman Cieslewicz. Cieslewicz was a long time friend of Topor , lived in Paris too and rose to fame in the sixties with his graphic design for Vogue and Elle and the posters he designed for several other events.
For the dutch his work was presented for the first time in the Stedelijk Museum in 1973 . An excellent catalogue designed by Wim Crouwel was published on that occasion. The exhibition showed the strength of this artist, because the main part of the exhibition consisted of poster designs he had made in the previous 20 years.
Cieslewicz is one of those rare artist, who in his life was far less appreciated than in these days. Graphic art students from all over the world have inquired about his books in the last few years, which shows to me his star is on the rise and soon the books on Cieslewicz will become rare collectable items.
I first heard about Topor when i was living in Paris for almost a year. It was one of these artists who was known for his illustrations and not for his Fluxus works. Later on… my idea about his works was reversed and i primarily saw him as a Fluxus artist. There were several times when i could buy his works at auction, but in only one i was successful . The remainder of the Vogtschmidt gallery was auctioned to compensate with gallery Vogtschmidt for the Karel Appels she had sold and not paid for. In the auction i bid a fair amount for a little drawing of an angel and this is still in my collection. Because it is not on the wall i decided to sell it and this made me remember Topor.
There is one Fluxus book you have to be on the look out for… SOUVENIR… a book with crossed out words so nothing can be read. Published by the Harmonie in 1975. Topor was the only person in the world who knows which text he had written and crossed out.
Arnon Grunberg made a nice biography ( incl. cd) on Roland Topor which is also for sale so please take a look at the Topor items i currently have available at www.ftn-books.com
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