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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 www.ftn-books.com

 

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Piet Dirkx weekly ….1

“Drieluik” by Piet Dirkx was the first purchase i ever made of this artist. At that time i did not know Piet personally, but because of a conversation with Flip Bool , at that time curator at the Haags Gemeentemuseum, who recommended the artist Piet Dirkx i decided to visit the sales exhibition at the galerie  Venster. I had never heard of the artist before, read that he was at one time assistant to Sol LeWitt, but that was it…..it certainly would change, because since  i have been following his career for almost 35 years now.

I visited the recommended Piet Dirkx exhibition at Galerie ‘t Venster in Rotterdam on a Saturday morning and was very much impressed with his works. Colorful, Playful, nice compositions that were a symbiosis between monochrome painting, constructivist and minimal art. Piet Dirkx was an “eye opener” to dutch contemporary art and since i have made regular purchases of which most will be shown in this weekly. Here is the first. It was a bridge too far to purchase a ladder with panels but these 3 cigarboxes on a lath were the start of a very nice Piet Dirkx collection.

dirkx weekly triptiek

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Andre Derain (1880-1954)

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Derain is specially known for his Fauve paintings. Friends with Matisse and de Vlaminck he stood at the craddle of the post impressionist mouvement and became aone of the most well known Fauvist painters. Lesser known is that Andre Derain was also a gifted sculptor. He used in most cases wooden logs as his raw material and inspired by african masks and ethnic art he transformed them into his own kind of fauvist sculptures. I remembered this because at one time we visited an impressive Derain sculptures exhibition in DE KUNSTHAL in Rotterdam where a Derain sculpture exhibition was held. The catalogue , which is a more than excellent publication, is still available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Jean Bilquin (1938)

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I do not know what to say. Is Henk Visch the dutch equivalent of Jean Bilquin or is it the other way around? Certain is that both artists are inspired by the same objects and surroundings.

Another influence must have been the sculptures by Brancusi because a returning object is the portrait sculpture Brancusi has made in several versions.

But there is much more to discover in the works by Jean Bilquin. When you leaf through the catalogue which was published on the occasion of the Kunsthal exhibition ( 2008 ). You really feel that you are discovering an artist. An artist who is inspired by nature and people. Both subjects combining in a very personal kind of art on larger sized canvasses. This is the kind of work which always attracts me and which i want to discover further after i have visited the exhibition. The catalogue ( available at www.ftn-boooks.com) shows exactly why these works have a rare quality. The catalogue has several fold out pages which make the scale of these large paintings somewhat visible.

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Aart Klein (1909-2001) …typically dutch?

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No definitely not!….Klein is of the most important dutch photographers from the last century and recorded daily life in the Netherlands , but that does not mean that his photographs are typically dutch. Their subject is in many cases dutch, but their appeal is more international than one would imagine. I have sold Klein publications all over the world , including some to Japan. Aart Klein is for me one of the greats from the last century . His black and white photography has a graphic quality, which is rarely seen among his contemporaries.

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The Stedelijk Museum devoted a special exhibition to his photographs, but beside this special show he contributed to many other exhibitions with his quality photographs. Aart Klein publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Arie van Geest (1948)

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Without realizing i have collected a beautiful small collection with works by Arie van Geest. Born in Maasland he stayed in the region and had several studios in Rotterdam. The friendship with Pat Andrea shows in his early works which were a little surreal, but in the mid eighties he changed in the approach of his painting. His works became abstract with realistic elements and that is the time i met Arie and bought my first drawing. Together with Mariette Josephus Jitta, as the curator in charge, he made the Tableau Mourant exhibition in which 98 watercolors were shown. This series was later bought by the van Gogh Museum. For the exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum 2 editions were made. One “ordinary edition” designed by Paul Stoute and the other a linnen bound one, with a drawing/watercolor by van Geest.

The style changed dramatically and personally i prefer this “new” Arie van Geest above his more realistic style. He stayed loyal to this new found abstract style for almost 20 years and changed again to a more a realistic way of painting in 2002. All three periods are important, but when you look at the museums that bought Arie van Geest ( Gemeentemuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Boymans van Beuningen ) , They all made their acquisitions in the abstract period, except for the Athens Museum which made purchases from his most recent period. Arie van Geest was represented by Delta Gallery. He now has frequent shows with Livingstone gallery.  I have decided to sell part of my Arie van Geest works, so please have a look at FTN art and for the book related material visit www.ftn-books.com

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Wally Elenbaas (1912-2008) & Esther Hartog.

An artist couple that survived WWII but of whom Wally was put in prison, because of Nude photography which was still forbidden in the sixties. Wally spent 9 months in jail because of these beautiful photographs, taking all the blame and preventing that his wife would be punished too for making the same kind of photographs. Now in these modern times it is almost unthinkable that an artist would be put in prison, but in the early sixties it was done. Why took Wally all the blame on him?…… because he feared that esther would become insane since her family lost their lives in prison and concentration camps and by all means he wanted to prevent this to happen. A sad, but also beautiful love story which was the fundament of all their great photographs they made together and of each other.

It is now almost 10 years after Elenbaas died, but since his death a growing appreciation is there for the photography of both these artists which resulted in a beautiful impressive book published by nai010 which is also available at www.ftn-books.com

ellenbaas

 

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Stang Gubbels …. a dutch designer

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It was at the time Wim van Krimpen was the director for the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag that i met Stang Gubbels. Stang had worked with van Krimpen before on some projects he did with the KUNSTHAL/ Rotterdam. His style and designs are truly original , highly recognizable and together with the designs by Irma Boom and Gracia Lebbink, belons to the best dutch designs produced during the last 2 decades in the Netherlands.

Stang has an excellent internet site which can be reached at www.stang.nl and for those looking for his scarce publications…..www.ftn-boooks.com has two nice STANG titles available.

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Cas Oorthuys….continued

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6 months ago i published a blog on Cas Oorthuys, but since i discovered some more titles in which Oorthuys contributed to the photography. The most important one?  ROTTERDAM…Dynamische stad. 100% filled with great Oorthuys photography. Dated 1959. You can see a city , resurrecting after the WWII bombardment which removed the heart of this great city in the Netherlands. The photographs are all printed full page or spread over 2 pages . Size is almost folio like with 12 x 10.9 inches, linnen bound with gold /relief printing on the cover makes this one of the more important Photography books in my collection. It is availabel at www.ftn-books.com

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oorthuys rotterdam

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Tomas Rajlich (1940) in the Boijmans van Beuningen until the 27th of May.

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Last Sunday me and Linda visited the Tomas Rajlich exhibition in the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam. I had to see it , because i am a long time admirer of the works by Rajlich. Fundamental paintings almost like Minimal art , Rajlich stayed loyal to his monochrome paintings, with or without a grid with or without a very precise space of 5 cm. in between the lines just paint.  I admire his gold paintings with the pencil grids, but his grids can appear in very different ways. white lines, black lines, pencil or painted with the fingers or the entire hand. The ones in the Boijmans have a vertical grid which is applied with some sort of comb and like the smaller sketches/drawings in the adjacent room, glitter is applied on the surface which gives an extra dimension. Still the execution of the paintings is almost the same like some 30 years ago.

Look at the details of one of his gold paintings and the much more recent red painting. At the bottom of the painting it looks like paint is dripping from the canvas. as if all sites matter except the bottom. Rajlich is for my personally one of the most fascinating artist whom i have met and his art is timelesss. I am glad this show is organized with a great and impressive overview of some of his best recent paintings ( 2003) which he has lent on an extended loan to the Boijmans van Beuningen.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice and rare Tomas Rajlich publications available

Here is the text Boijmans published on its site:

Painting was declared dead in the early 1970s. Tomas Rajlich (1940) opposed this notion and revived painting by making the act of painting itself the subject of his canvases. In 1975 he was one of the most important exponents of Fundamental painting: a collective term for works in which idea and materials are inseparable. Rajlich still considers himself a Fundamental painter and has continued to develop as such to the present day.

The grids that were so characteristic of Rajlich’s early works seem to have disappeared from his recent monochrome canvases. The grid has become simply one of the elements, like the paint, glitter and linen that Rajlich uses to build up his extravagant paintings.