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Ed van der Elsken ( continued )

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A just reason to devote another blog to Ed van der Elsken. Van der Elsken is without a doubt one of our greatest photographers from last century, but what makes van der Elsken special for me personally is that his photographs are the scenes and events i remember from my youth. Artistically they are among the very best, but emotionally there is an extra quality for me personally. The exhibitions showing a selection of his best color photography is now on show at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam ( https://www.nederlandsfotomuseum.nl) and is very well worth visiting. In the cellar there is an extra asset to this exhibition….. a 15 minute slideshow which is among the very best and informative slide shows i have ever seen. The exhibition is on view until the 6th of October 2019.

www.ftn-books.com has some classic van der Elsken books available.

 

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Guillaume Bijl (1946)

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The first Guillaume Bijl installation/exhibition i visited was the Guillaume bIjl installation he had made for the Witte de With venue in Rotterdam. It was the opening exhibition in 1990 for which Bijl had made . It was Für Garderobe keine Haftung .

In light of the newly created exhibition space at Witte de With, Bijl’s show could be seen as a critique of the spectacular and inflationary nature of fine art production as well as an ironical poke at the profusion of exhibitions and exhibition spaces. Guillaume Bijl’s exhibition at Witte de With presented a survey of his installations and objects from the eighties, in the form of a shopping mall.

Guillaume Bijl (1946) has been testing the relationship between art and consumer society since 1979, when he made his Art Liquidation Project. This work took the form of a mock government commissioned report in which he concluded that, in light of the proven uselessness of art, all areas devoted to the arts should be made suitable for more practical purposes. Since then, Bijl has been transforming museums and art galleries into fitness centers, lamp shops, carpet stores, travel agencies, driving schools, and so on. His imitations of spaces not traditionally associated with the arts are caught up in a perplexing interplay between fiction and reality. Even more confusion is caused by Bijl’s imitations of art spaces, such as his fictive exhibition Four American Artists (1987), or his fictive commercial fair installed at the art fair of Lyon in 1986, which also included an art store selling his paintings.

Bijl ironically points out the connection between the display of goods in shop windows and showrooms and the exhibition of objects in museums and galleries. In his installations, consumer items and museum objects seem interchangeable. Bijl’s logic assumes the complete abolition of real differences in the commercial rhetoric of consumer society.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Guillaume Bijl publications available.

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Paul van der Eerden (1954)

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Perhaps it is because we are from the same generation, but i find the drawings and paintings by Paul van der Eerden highly attractive. Recently i acquired, beside the publications i already have in stock at www.ftn-books.com , two triptychs by Paul avnder Eerden. Both fromthe late Eighties /early nineties, one reminded me very much of the abstract US action painetrs ( this is SOld now) the other is like the best Tapies has done. devided over three frames there are 3 abstract composition froming the triptych. This one is still available.

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Paul van der Eerden is collected by dutch museum adn collectors and serves to have an audience outside the Netherlands too.

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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

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