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Annie Newnham ….an artist book

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Thursday is bookmarket day and on this weekly visit i try to find some special items which will better my inventory.

Last visit i encountered this very nice artist book . The books contains 9 great original lino cuts and the artist was not known to me, but the quality of the design and lino cuts made me buy the book. I am impressed….a beautiful publication with an excellent design by Dennis Hall. Story is grate but the linocuts are the main attraction of this publication.

Newnham studied at the Royal Academie of Arts and has since build a reputation as an illustrator. Works are sold regularly at auction , but i could not find any results of this 46 page publication which contains 9 original lino cuts and was published in 1982 by the Inky Parrot Press in a numbered and signed edition of 225 copies. The atmosphere makes me think of the DIE BRÜCKE group of german artists whit dark blacks and atmospheric scenes. I only can highly recommend this publication to all collectors of artist books.

 

Here is a short biography on Newnham:

Annie Newnham sees the human body as every artist’s starting point – her own with oils, where she is well known. Catch it unawares, off guard. The awkward angle as much as the careful pose. These became mantras among her students after 20 years of adult teaching in Oxfordshire.

She spent an entire year at the Royal Academy Schools drawing from life. After being awarded the Alma Tadema prize and a Leverhulme, she went abroad, her sketchbook always handy, to meet other forms and contexts. Later her work moved into lino, which she has made a vibrant medium for illustration work.

A number of her life drawings, along with other sketches plus some lino prints, will be available to buy. The fixed display includes posters, artist’s proofs and worksheets, and illustrated books from publishers such as the Folio Society and Inky Parrot Press.

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Ad Arma (1954 )

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Ad Arma is known in real life as Ad Robert Meerman and represented by Willy Schoots gallery. A life long career in art has brought him some fame and exchibitions in the Netherlands , but it will be hard to find his works in public collections. Still he has a loyal following and  build a circle of collectors, who collect his works. Personally i have never visited an exhibition or gallery viewing, but what i saw in the book i now have for sale ( with original drawing) the works remind me of Kees Okx, Heyboer and his long rising sculptures of Giacometti. All these artist i like very much, so why didn’t i hear of Ad Arma only some years ago? I can not answer this question, but i am certain to visit his exhibition when it is organized at a place not too far away.

My work and life are completely fused. The work is my life. Themes in my work throughout time; The slipping of time, shared vulnerability, continuous change, time and timelessness, the arise and disappearance. The melancholy and beauty of consciousness.

I cannot explain what moves me. That on its own, already moves me.

 

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Carroll Dunham (1949)

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Perhaps Carroll Dunham is best known as the father of Lena Dunham, but one look at his works and you will think the same as I did when I first saw his work…..” this is a great artist”

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I love the comic aspects in his works in a way i also like the Al Copley paintings.

 

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He was Initially inspired by Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism, and Surrealism, at the very beginnings of his career, Carroll Dunham painted abstract geometric compositions on a wooden surface. His characteristic was the using of exotic veneers, such was elm, oak, rosewood or pin. Respecting the natural pattern of the surface, he was creating vibrant compositions. Spurred on by the revival of interest in Surrealism in the 1970s, Dunham began to make abstract, biomorphic paintings reminiscent of the work of Arshile Gorky and André Masson, executed with a comic twist enhanced by lurid colours and the suggestion of contemporary psychedelia. Recognizable cartoonish details from his early artistic beginnings turned into the larger formats of bodily shapes resembling lips or teeth recently became more figurative, displaying striking male and female caricatures placed in familiar, but at the same time fictional surroundings.

http://www.ftn-books.com has the catalogue raisonne of his prints available.

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Guido Strazza (1922)

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One of the grand old masters in Italian modern art is Guido Strazza. His works remind me of the ones Hans Harting made during the Sixties, but these are different….more spontaneous and they have a lighter touch. Perhaps this is because his graphic works has a kind of transparency which is rare. thin lines , scattered in a pattern. like a mikado game transformed into art.

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This rare quality was recognized by Willem Sandberg who held an exhibition with Strazza in 1961 at the Stedelijk Museum ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com)/

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In the Seventies and early Eighties Strazza was almost forgotten, but lately his works are in fashion again. These are abstract works that tend to Minimalism and perhaps that is the reason why Strazza is becoming more popular by the year. The result several publications and some major exhibitions with his works.

 

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Yoshitoshi, two sides of the same medal

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There are literally two sides of Yoshitoshi as an artist . There is the dreamlike artist with a poetic flute player and on the other side there is the violent artist who depicts horror scenes.

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What is present in both these prints from the same artists is the beautiful technique of his prints. Mouvement, use of color and composition are all of the highest quality. I personally prefer Yoshitoshi’s art above all other Japanese print makers. Of course Utamaro has depicted the most beautiful women and Hokusai’s landscapes are beyond compare, but with Yoshitoshi his prints it is something special for me. There is mouvement and action in these prints and put these prints one after the other, a story emerges, just like a modern graphic novel. The RIJKSMUSEUM has published a great series on Japanese Prints and http://www.ftn-books.com has recently acquired the Volume V in the series totslly dedicated to Yoahitoshi and his fellow artists from that age… THE AGE OF YOSHITOSHI is an absolute must for his admirers.

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a great Corneille cover for Ariel (1970)

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It Must have been in the mid Eighties that i lost all interest in Corneille as an artist. He repeated himself frequently and his art was commercialized by some dutch companies who made the once great art by Corneille mainstream.

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But only a decade before his art had matured . From his Cobra beginnings in the Fifties he developed his art into a personal, recognizable, colorful kind of art where his scenes were crowded with woman and birds. In those days he made several special publications on the occasion of his exhibitions and on 2 of these occasions at the galerie Ariel in Paris special books were published in a limited edition of 750 numbered copies. My guess is that less than a few hundred of these copies have survived , making these even more collectable than his lihographs from those days. One of the Ariel publications from 1970 is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com. This one is numbered 67 and contains 2 large lithographs, making this a true collectable Corneille item.

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Otmar Alt ( 1940 )

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Otmar Alt has become over the years a famous German artist. The reason is that his art is accessibel and in his piantings and prints he depicts a fantasy world which is abstract and populated with figurative creatures. His roots can be found in the colorful world oof Pop Art painting, but over the years he developed a recognizable style of his own. You can not help but admire the commercial quality of his art. A bit the dsame as Corneille in the Netherlands developed his art into a highly commercial form of art. Helped by big companies his art was distributed among many admirers in high editions ( ABN bank ao). In the case of Otmar Alt you can see that his art was distributed among many , because on several occasion he included some nice “signed in print” prints within the books that were published. Onme of these books including the print is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.

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Hans Erni (1909-2015) …a 1947 publication

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I am always looking for special publications on art and artists and this one i found with a Prague antiquarian. It is a publication on Hans Erni. There are nowadays many of Erni publications , ( Erni has become the oldest artist i have ever written about), but at the time of this publication in 1947 , Erni was hardly known and with this Czech publication had one of his very first publications realized. It is in its kind spectacular because the art within is presented in a small portfolio with 16 offset prints. Published by Vladimir Zikes in 1947 t….. a very nice and highly collectable Erni item.

( wikipedia ays about erni) Erni was commissioned by the Lucerne Museum Fine Arts to organize an exhibit about Pablo Picasso. The Spanish artist remained grateful for that opportunity to show his art in Switzerland. In 1936 Erni started to work with abstract art. From 1940 to 1945 he was a soldier in the Swiss army and was engaged as a camouflage painter because of his experience with large-size murals. In 1948, he was a competitor in the 1948 Summer Olympics’ painting competitions.[5] Between 1950 and 1952 he participated to exhibitions in Latin America. However his participation in the Biennale of São Paulo was not authorized by Federal Councillor Philipp Etter. After a stay in Mauritania and Guinea he painted African topics. In 1960 he organized with Alfred Pauletto, Celestino Piatti, Hugo Wetli and Kurt Wirth an exhibition in Olten about graphic design and painting. He participated to the 1964 Documenta exhibition in Kassel, in the graphic design department.

On 15 September 1979 the Swiss Museum of Transport opened a large personal collection of Erni’s works. He realized a 30 meter long mural for the Museum. Erni was very interested in sport and received the United States Sports Academy award of sport artist of the year in 1989. In 1993 his works were exhibited at the Pence Gallery in San Francisco.

He celebrated his 100th birthday in 2009. His sister, Maria Strebi-Erni (January 14, 1907 – January 29, 2014), died at the age of 107.[6] Erni died on March 21, 2015, aged 106.

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José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913)

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You can not write about Posada without thinking of Manuel Manilla, his artistic mentor. Both are extremely important for the development of Modern Art in Mexico. He has been a great influence to Diego Rivera. I am still searching for the reason why van Gennep published 2 very important monographic titles on Manilla and Posada. Is it interest or because of the worldwide reach of these publications that he thought these were interesting?….i really do not know.

Academics have estimated that during his long career, Posada produced 20,000 plus images for broadsheets, pamphlets and chapbooks. Posada was studied by key figures of Mexican muralism. Mural artists inspired by Posada, such as Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco catered to a Mexican elite that rejected foreign styles as part of their new-found bourgeois taste.

Posada is now a part of the Mexican art legacy and just a quick look into the book that is now for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com shows immediately why his art is timeless and a part of the Mexican folklore.

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Jozef Cantré (1890-1957)

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Jozef Cantré is well known in the Netherlands, He is originally from Belgium and lived for the main part of his life in Belgium, but by the end of WWI he fled to the Netherlands and stayed with some fellow artists in Blaricum. It is at that time that some dutch collectors took an interest in his works and acquired paintings, drawings, sculptures and woodblock prints. For me personally i think i like his woodblock prints the most of all. They have a rare graphic quality . http://www.ftn-books.com has some of his woodblock prints for sale ( for more information mail to wvdelshout@ziggo.nl).

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Cantre had a very productive artistic life and together with his brother  Jan Frans Cantre, Joris Minne, van Straten and Frans Masereel he was part of the great “five”. These artists were among the very best woodblock artists from their generation and inspired each other. Personally i admire Frans Masereel the most. His woodblock prints are like comics that make up a story, but Jozef Cantre is a very close second.