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Erwin Olaf donates 500 “key” works to the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

This morning you could read in the Volkskrant that Erwin Olaf donated 500 of his key works to the Rijksmuseum. Why the Rijksmuseum….because the last 5 year a bond between these 2 major forces in the art world grew now resulting in the extremely generous and large gift of the 500 most important works from Erwin Olaf’s career.

At the same time as this gift was announced, it was announced that the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Fotomuseum will both open an Erwin Olaf exhibition in February 2019. Please check  both their sites in half a year when the details will be known for both these exhibitions. If you can not wait until February…… Check Erwin Olaf’s site and visit www.ftn-books.com for his publications.

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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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Alexander Calder (1898-1976)

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Born in the 19th century . Calder has become for me one of the pioneers in Modern Art. The public knows Calder by name for his mobiles, but for me Calder is the first artist who explored the extreme sizes in sculpture. Later, this was followed by Serra, but Calder must have been one of the very first to make sculptures bigger than a building. A few of these can be found in STORM KING, but these are not the only ones. These very large sculptures are scattered all over the world.

From Denmark to Brazil, the Calder statues are the highlights among other statues in sculpture parks all over the world. It is a pity there is only one large sized Calder in dutch collections. It is the “anteater” from the collection of the Rijksmuseum.

So do not miss them when you are abroad or there is a special exhibition on Calder because they are among the very best in Modern sculpture. I am fortunate to have some great classic Calder publications within the inventory of www.ftn-books.com