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Hugh Weiss (1927-2007)

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The first time i encountered some actual painting by Hugh Weiss, was at the timne the Venduhuis held an auction with works from the estate of Hans Sonnenberg, the former owner of the Delta Gallery in Rotterdam. Sonnenberg had a very personal way of collecting and was not affraid to present young artists like Haring and Basquiat in the Eighties and Schjolte and van Geest in the Eighties/Nineties. In the Sixties he liked a different kind of art and beside some POP ART he presenetd there was this American born artist who he liked very much…..Hugh Weiss

Hugh Weiss was born in Philidelphia in 1925, but practically lived his entire working life in Paris /France. Here he has made a name for himself and from France  a contact with Sonnenberg was established, The result exhibitions at galerie Delta of which one catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com. It is the 1965 catalogue

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The works intrigue, but not so musch as that at timne of the auction i wanted to add one to my collection. I focussed instead on the Arie van Geest paintings and i was successful. Now that i look at them again in the catalogue i think it is a pity that i did not bid, but wh knows perhaps in the future there is another chance.

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John Wesley (1928)

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John Wesley is considered to be a Pop Art artist, however, I am in doubt because many of his qualities are timeless and are much more graphic than the 100% pop art paintings. I knew Wesly from his retrospective at the Stedelijk Museum in 1993, but what I did not realise was that many of his works have an erotic contents. I did a Google search and found many examples of nudity that were presented in great graphic paintings and prints. I am not the only person who thinks about his works in such a way.

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John Wesley is a contemporary American painter. Characterized by his uniquely graphic, flattened Pop paintings, Wesley’s work addresses themes of sexuality and erotica through stylized and symmetrically composed images. Rendered in distinctive pink and blue pastel hues, Wesley repeats the same graphic symbolic images in tessellation-like patterns on his large canvases, and regularly employs leitmotifs like pornography and avian fowl—often to humorous effect—throughout his oeuvre. Though his paintings are reminiscent of his contemporary Tom Wesselmann, his personal associations were with peers Dan Flavin and Donald Judd, and he was inspired by both the Minimalist and Surrealist movements. That being said, “I didn’t go out and try to be a Surrealist,” Wesley explained of his ambiguous imagery. “It was just fun doing what I was doing.” Born on November 25, 1928 in Los Angeles, CA, he was a self-taught artist who worked for several years an illustrator for the avian industry. His work has been critically acclaimed throughout his career, and he has been the subject of several retrospectives, notably including at the PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York in 2000.

The following publications are available at http://www.ftn-books.com

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Keiichi Tanaami (1936)

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My first impression when i encountered this set of Tanaami posters was that these were original 60’s posters , but no….these are from ca. 2005 and strongly rooted in the Japanese culture of making prints and heavily inspired by Psychedelic Sixties posters

Born in 1936 in Tokyo, Japan, Keiichi Tanaami is an influential pop artist of postwar Japan. Tanaami took a keen interest in drawing at a very young age and often spent time in cartoonist Kazushi Hara’s studio. He studied at Musashino Art University, earning a Special Selection recognition with a major design and illustration group. Since the mid 1960s, he became increasingly interested in psychedelic culture, Acid Music, and Pop Art, in particular Andy Warhol’s work. In 1968, his award-winning antiwar poster “No More War” and his album artwork for the Monkees and Jefferson Airplane became a major impetus for the movement of psychedelic and pop art in Japan. In 1975, he became the first Art Director of Playboy (Japanese Edition), and in 1991 he started to teach at Kyoto University of Art and Design, where he is currently a chairperson of a Faculty of Information Design.
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There is a wonderful site on this artist which reads like a comic book and some outstanding graphic quality and yes i have 2 of his posters now available at http://www.ftn-books.com

for the site go here: https://mangadejapan.com/articles/detail/1356

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Daan van Golden and Mick Jagger

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At first sight an unlikely combination for the dutch Pop Art artist Daan van Golden. Still…van Golden made an hommage to Mick Jagger in 1967. The silkscreen was printed in an edition of 10 copies and is now sought after as being one of the most iconic of his works. It is a large silkscreen measuring 123 x 106 cm. and this copy of the Stadscollectie Rotterdam was acquired at the famous dDelta gallery who was at that time the representing gallery of van Golden. The image of the silkscreen was used in 1988 for the cover of the book published on the occasion of the presentation of the Stadscollectie Rotterdam . This book is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.

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Kitaj (1932-2007)

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Robert Brooks Kitaj was born in the US but his art is closely related to the British Pop Art. I am writing this blog because i recently acquired a german catalogue on his exhibition at the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf and i was impressed. Later i learned that Kitaj received a lot of criticism on his art as the press slaughtered his exhibition at the Tate gallery in 1994. Her is what i found on Wikipedia

A second retrospective was staged at the Tate Gallery in 1994. Critical reviews in London were almost universally negative. British press savagely attacked the Tate exhibit, calling Kitaj a pretentious poseur who engaged in name dropping. Kitaj took the criticism very personally, declaring that “anti-intellectualism, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism” had fueled the vitriol. Despite the bad reviews, the exhibition moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and afterwards to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1995. His second wife, Sandra Fisher died from hyperacute haemorrhagic leuco-encephalitis in 1994, shortly after his exhibition at the Tate Gallery had ended. He blamed the British press for her death, stating that “they were aiming for me, but they got her instead.” David Hockney concurred and said that he too believed the London art critics had killed Sandra Fisher.[14] Kitaj returned to the US in 1997 and settled in Los Angeles, near his first son. “When my Wife died”, he wrote to Edward Chaney, “London died for me and I returned home to California to live among sons and grandsons – It was a very good move and now I begin my 3rd and (last?) ACT! hands across The Sea.” Three years later he wrote: “I grow older every day and rather like my hermit life.” The “Tate War” and Sandra’s death became a central themes for his later works: he often depicted himself and his deceased wife as angels. In Los Angeles No. 22 (Painting-Drawing) the beautiful young (and naked) girl records the shadow of her aged lover (on whose lap she sits) in a pose directly taken from the Scots Grand Tourist David Allan’s Origin of Painting. The latter was included by Ernst Gombrich in his 1995 National Gallery exhibition (and catalogue) on Shadows so that Kitaj would have seen it two years before he left England for ever. 

Personally i think the critics are wrong. Kitaj deserves his place among the great European Pop Art artists and the future exhibitions that will include his works will probably prove me right. Some Kitaj catalogues are availableat http://www.ftn-books.com

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A spectacular Pop Up, 1992

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Pop & Artvertising was held at the Museum Bommel van Dam in 1992. The catalogue was designed as a true Pop Art collectible. You could hold the catalogue by a “space” in the cover and pages. Making the catalogue look like a paper bag. The exhibition showed the relation between Pop Art and advertising. Brown paper bag pages throughout except fo the middle . Open the middle and there is a brilliant Pop Up . The design of the catalogue is by Ruud van Soest and in my opinion this is certainly a highly collectable Pop Art catalogue.This catalogue is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Key Hiraga (1936-2000)

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Rooted in Pop Art and Hippie art, this symbiosis of these influences in the art of Key Hiraga created an original approach to subject and painting itself. These paintings are one of a kind and can be immediately recognized for being done by Hiraga.

As with many of the artists from the final years of the Sixties and early Seventies these works are almost forgotten, but now and then they surface again. For instance there is a dutch artist belonging to the same category…. Jakob Zekveld. Color schemes are almost the same but compositions are totally different.  here is one by Zekveld.

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Although i have never seen his works in agllery nor museum, i am a fan , because his works are original and filled with symbolism and never bore. the following publication on Hiraga is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jim Dine (1935)

He is for certain one of the greatest Pop Art artists if ever there was one. One from the first generation of Pop Art artists who rose to fame in the early 60’s and who even had some great exhibitions in the years to follow at the Stedelijk Museum and the Boymans van Beuningen museum in the Netherlands in the 60’s and 70’s. Both museum have since some great paintings in their collections , (left Stedelijk / right Boymans van Beuningen)

but the Stedelijk Museum stands out for me , because beside multiple art works in their collection they published one of the first simple orange/red catalogues designed by Wim Crouwel. This one devoted specially to the drawings of Jim Dine and available at www.ftn-books.com and this is Wim Crouwel classic

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But of course there are other Jim DIne titles also available at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

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Frank Stella and his 1970 exhibitions

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Frank Stella became a celebrity in the early Seventies in Europe , where exhibitions were being organized all over Europe. Among them, his exhibitions in Zurich and Amsterdam where on both occasion were his V series exhibited. The difference?…. in Zurich these works were for sale and in Amsterdam they only were on show, but what makes thgis exhibition fro me more special is that with the exhibition a wonderful Wim Crouwel designed catalogue was published .

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The catalogue was published with a relief cover and this made it a true artist book as for an invitation…. they decide to use the shape of the 1960 Newstead Abbey painting to make the event even more special. In contrast the Zurich exhibition at the galerie Renee Ziegler had only an invitation with a special silkscreened V series pattern on the card ( but this is also very beautiful;-) 1970 was an important year for Frank Stella and www.ftn-books.com is lucky to have all three discussed items now in its inventory.

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Konrad Klapheck (1935)

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It is still not clear to me if i should call the art by Konrad Klapheck the german equivalent of Pop Art or German realism. …Just tell me what you think yourself?

Fact is that his art is highly recognizable and emerged in an era where ordinary items like typewriters and teakettles were blown up, abstracted and enhanced and painted on canvas. The art of Konrad Klapheck could be described as a typical “east german” kind of art the use of green and brown are very present in his paintings, but where this comes from is not clear, because he was born , raised and even studied in Dusseldorf. But his use of these specific colors makes this not the happy kind of Pop Art like the Pop Art of the Americans or the French, but a restrained kind of Pop Art. His subsequent paintings, often large in scale, are precise and seemingly realistic depictions of technical equipment, machinery and everyday objects, but strangely alienated; they are “monumental, amusingly absurd and sexually suggestive”.

Klapheck’s subjects through the years have included (in order of introduction) typewriters, sewing machines, water taps and showers, telephones, irons, shoes, keys, saws, car tires, bicycle bells and clocks. Influenced by Duchamp, Man Ray, and Max Ernst, Klapheck’s “ironic treatment of everyday mechanics” prefigures Pop art in its magnification of the trivial. www.ftn-books.com has some Klapheck titles available