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Ans Wortel (1929-1996)

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When i started to collect art ( editions) i must have been 16 years of age and one of the first lithographs i acquired was one by Ans Wortel. A feminist artist who found her inspiration nearby. A feminine, mother, child approach to her subjects made her work very accessible and understandable to many. This together with the strong graphic quality these works were very appealing and at that time i bought 2 lithographs for my starting collection.

These were sold a long time ago because i found the works after many years to become less interesting. This was now some 30 years ago, but lately i rediscovered her works, because when you look at them again after not seeing them in a very long time , you discover them to be timeless and well worth collecting. There were other things to discover about Ans Wortel because at her peak she had some important exhibitions and became very popular as an artist in the Netherlands resulting in multiple exhibitions, among them at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

In the 1970s, the paintings and prints of Ans Wortel (1929–1996) were hailed by critics and purchased by major museums. Her work, imbued with intensely feminine themes, was very much in demand. The artist became a well-known Netherlander, whose non-conformist lifestyle spoke to everyone’s imagination. In the village of Bergen, where she lived for 20 years, her villa Kranenburgh is now museum Kranenburgh.

Tough women

Where her fellow artists sought innovation in abstraction, Ans Wortel remained faithful to figuration, developing a distinctive visual language and palette. Her paintings feature tough and robust women, with large hands and eyes, surrounded by surreal landscapes.

Liberated

In 1968 the mayor of Bergen offered her villa Kranenburgh. Many were the parties in her building – more numerous were the stories about her eccentric lifestyle. Her free-spirited life is reflected in the countless drawings and paintings that filled Kranenburgh. When, after twenty years, she had to leave the villa, she protests vehemently, but in vain.

 

 

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Zoltin Peeter (1942)

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Born in Amsterdam but living for the most part of his life in Friesland near Hallum. His works reflect the presence of the rural country side nearby. Abstract forms tumbling in an empty space. Etchings with dark thin forms in an empty white space give me the feeling of ZERO art, but it certainly is not. They fascinate and deserve to be known much better. Peeter has had some exhibitions in the 70’s in prestigious museums like the Kroller Muller Museum. The first encounter with a small work by Zoltin Peeter was his multiple he made for his 1971 exhibition in the Lakenhal. The multiple is available at www.ftn-books.com and shows directly the directions he was taking with his works. decades later you can see where is ended for now. Abstract forms, sparce use of color and in many compositions a realistic form or subject appears. I love his work and his studio…..

His studio is something different. Housed in an old shed he creates his works in the vicinity of the Friesland landscape. I found some beautiful photo’s on Google and want to share these with you , because i find them very special and they give the best impression possible of the surroundings in which Zoltin Peeter creates.

Her are the items which are for sale at www.ftn-books.com and ftn art

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Jan Montyn… author/painter/etcher

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I never had seen a Montyn work until the early ~Seventies. At that timne i bought my first Jan Montyn etching. A blue bird, simplified on a typical Montyn background. It was a fairly large etching and i had it on the wall for over 10 years and then i changed it for a photograph of Lucien Clergue. It is in a drawer for 3 decades now, but i still like it . It is the same with all other Montyn etchings. They have something dreamlike  and combine realism with abstract parts and all have great technique. Some years after i bought this etching i read the autobiography of Jan Montyn in which he tells the story of his early life. Specially the days he spent in the Foreign Legion, was shipwrecked as a sailor for the Kriegsmarine and was sent to the Eastern Front near Koerlandand and particpated in the battles over there. A colorfull figure, who perhaps did not always make the right (political) choices in his life, but his art still stands out and deserves to be appreciated apart from these. An excelllent title , published on the occasion of 75th birthday in 1999 is available at www.ftn-books.com

montyn

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Harunobu ( 1724-1770) and Utamaro (1753-1806)

Both are Japanese print masters and there is only a time difference 30 years between these two great Japanese artists, but the difference between them is as large as  a classical painting by Sir Alma Tadema and a Modern painting by Soulages.

Where Harunobu’s craftmanship is rooted in the tradition of Japanese print making , i find Utamaro’s prints being far more inventive. His lines are clean and do remind me a little of the  outlines used by Herge and Joost Swarte. Classic scenes, actors and geisha’s and even shunga prints, all is mastered by this great Japanse artist. These prints were “In Vogue” by the impressionist artists and that is one of the reasons why so many of them can be found in Western Europe. Monet had them, van Gogh collected them and even made some paintings after them and the Rijksmuseum has thousands of them in their collection from which a selection is now and then on show. These shows are accompanied by some great bilangual catalogues of which the Harunobu and Utamaro ones are for sale at www.ftn.books.com

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Donald Judd…2 mint publications

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It looks like Donald Judd publications are getting more rare every month. Since his tragic death in 1994 no more “original” exhibition publications have been published. Of course there are some retrospective ones on the market, but the original ones during his lifetime are harder and harder to find. www.ftn-books.com is therefore proud to have 2 of these rare publications available in pristine condition. First there is the  van Abbemuseum catalogue from 1987. The book served as a catalogue for 4 venues of which the van Abbemuseum was the most impiortant one because the exhibition was curated by Rudi Fuchs. Secondly there is the Donald Judd / Prints and Works in ecitions published by Schellmann , which even is shrink wrapped. This is rare opportunity to acquire these rare and highly collectable Judd publications for your collection.

 

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Rudolf Mumprecht (1918)

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Why a blog on Mumprecht…. first reason is this artist is too long a forgotten artists. He rose to some fame in the 60’s while he was showing his works at gallery Berggruen/Paris, but was forgotten again . The second reason is that this artist reached the age of 100 years on the 1st of January 2018. It made me take up the Berggruen catalogue again and examine it carefully and noticed that this special catalogue is filled with 14(!) original “pochoirs” prints making it an outstanding and highly collectable artist catalogue. Mumprecht deserves better.

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His works are great and typical for the 50’s and 60’s and being one of the original Berggruen “stable” artists his works will probably also become much more expensive in the decades to come. The Berggruen catalogue is now available at www.ftn-books.com

 

 

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Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979) and the pochoir print.

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If ever there was one artist who raised the bar of the art of the small /pochoir print to tremendous proportions it is Sonia Delaunay. Delaunay had her peak during the Art-Deco period and it shows. Here is just a selection of Delaunay prints found on Google .

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Her use of colors, patterns is typical for Delaunay and her art has proven to be timeless and typical Avant Garde for the time she was most productive. The same as Mondrian, she used primary colors, but in a much more free way of making her  compositions. Where her husband Robert Delaunay was influenced by cubism and made colorful cubist interpretations of reality, Sonia stayed true to her abstract compositions with just one side step into the world of fashion for which she made colorful costume  and fashion designs.

For me the first pochoir print i ever saw was the cover of the Stedelijk Museum catalogue for the Sonia Delaunay exhibition in 1958. Willem Sandberg did the design of the catalogue, but what makes this catalogue so special is of course the original pochoir print by Sonia Delaunay on the cover.

delaunay cata a

This publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

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A very special M.C. ESCHER book by the Fung Ping Shan Museum from 1994.

 

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It was 5 years ago that i discovered an Escher title that i never had encountered before.

escher fung a

This can be explained easily, because the publications was initiated by the Fung Ping Shan museum, which is now not only a museum but also a University and Art gallery in Hong Kong. Publication by this museum are rare and it is even more exceptional to encounter one of their publications in Europe. This is one of the smaller museums in the world and i do not know how they managed to get an Escher exhibition, but i suspect it was bought from Cordon Art. Cordon Art is the sole owner of the reproduction rights of the works by M.C Escher and probably has still the largest collection of original works by the artist. It was 1994 that this book was published and what strikes me most is that the reproduction and print quality is the best that was possible in those days. The book outshines other Escher publications from that era and is possibly the best that was published on the artist in the nineties. Escher is always present in the inventory of www.ftn-books.com , but this one is rare and probably a one time offer .

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Robert Mangold ….SEVEN MAXIMS (1996)

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This is one of the highlights in my inventory. Not because it is expensive, but i think this is outright beautiful and has everything what a great art limited edition should be. Slipcase, loose sheets. prints spread over double pages , best possible print quality, very limited edition, signed and numbered. This is really superb and needs to be presented in this blog on SEVEN MAXIMS by Mangold.

You can find the publication over here:

https://ftnbooks.myshopify.com/admin/products/443439185

and to give an impression here are the pictures

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Anton Heyboer ( exhibition in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag) and Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Yesterday i participated in an auction in which around 15 lots by Anton Heyboer were offered. Some of them were sold but most of them were “unsold” /held up and prices stayed all below their estimates. During the auction the auctioneer urged her audience to go to the Anton Heyboer exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum and since after my lunch i had a spare half hour, i stopped at the museum and visited the Heyboer exhibition. The museum has a long history with Heyboer , because in his early years as a curator for the Museum , Hans Locher organized exhibitions on Heyboer and visited him frequently in his studio in Den Ilp, resulting in purchases and the start of a brilliant Heyboer collection. Later on Heyboer’s works became less and less important . This is the time when he started as a more commercial artist  and sold his works across the street in Den Ilp, in a gallery run by his 5th wife.

But yesterday when i visited the exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag ( Heyboer is on show until the 4th of February 2018) i was overwhelmed by the quality of its works from the sixties and seventies. I knew the etchings from the collection quite well, but the paintings were an eyeopener for me and i compared them immediately with the experience i had when i saw similar kind of paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat in the Beyeler Museum some years ago.

There are many similarities between these two artists and their paintings and when you realize that most of these were made 20 to 25 years before Basquiat made his works you can only admire the Heyboer’s even more. I like this Heyboer exhibition very much and for me it is one of the best the Gemeentemuseum organized in the last 5 years.

and of course there are some nice Heyboer publications available at www.ftn-books.com