Posted on

Stang Gubbels …. a dutch designer

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-08 om 12.23.47

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.

Posted on

Cas Oorthuys….continued

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-02 om 14.20.30

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

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-02 om 14.19.21

oorthuys rotterdam

Posted on

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

Schermafbeelding 2018-03-12 om 13.41.21

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.

Posted on

Oval paintings …. rarely seen

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-28 om 10.02.16

The Oval shape is the less common shape among constructivist, but is was at one time used by some great names in art. Piet Mondriaan used it and also Roy Lichtenstein was a fan and used the shape in his Mirror paintings. Put them beside each other and you will notice similarities between the two. Not only the shape , but also how the space is filled with the composition. I noticed this because a few weeks ago i went to an auction viewing and found the drawings by Henk de Looper for auction. All oval shaped and they really fascinated me.

 

Here is some information on this forgotten artist who deserves better and is represented by gallery PHOEBUS in Rotterdam.

https://www.phoebus.nl/KUNSTENAAR/Henk.de.Looper

Posted on

Andre Volten (1925-2002)

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-19 om 14.44.57

Andre Volten is arguably the greatest sculptor form the second half of last century in the Netherlands. Educated in Amsterdam he soon became friends with contemporary artists like Ongenae. AAfter his arrival in Amsterdam he founded the LIGA NIEUWE BEELDEN and developed his art into a very personal form of abstract expressionism. Because he was at one time employed as a welder, steel and other metals were like wax in his hands and he could bend and transform them into the sculptures he wanted to make from the available materials. The result …. some magnificent large sculptures in public places. Sometimes they are hidden , but in many cases they are in the open. Just look at these 2 examples and find many more in classic publications on this artist at www.ftn-books.com. Among them iconic Wim Crouwel designed in brown and black cover . One of my personal favorites.

For more information on Volten please look at the www.andrevolten.nl site for information on the Volten foundation

Posted on

Kees van Bohemen (1928-1985)

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-30 om 14.19.05

Yesterday i mentioned the POSTHOORNGROEP and one of its members was Kees van Bohemen.

I remember that at one time, me and my parents visited a restaurant next door to the Haagse Kunstkring on the Denneweg in Den Haag and my mother told me that at the bar was a famous The Hague artist….Kees van Bohemen. I only knew his name from the paintings i had seen at the Gemeentemuseum, but possibly this was the first time i saw a true artist/painter in the “wild”. I remember he was drinking a beer and never left the bar during our meal. Many years later we met again in the Gemeentemuseum and at that occasion van Bohemen was offering his publications and some prints to be sold at the museumstore of the Gemeentemuseum. We took some of them in consignation and since i have been following his career. Making exhibitions at Pulchri, Kunstkring and Delta gallery it always struck me that his style was typical sixties and highly recognizable. Nowadays you encounter his works at the less prestigious auctions ( Venduehuis and AAG) but this does not mean they are not to be admired, they may not be in a price bracket of the Warhol’s and Basquiat’s, but that is not what art is about. The art of van Bohemen is admirable and deserves to be collected and shown in museums and fortunately many do admire his works. Here are the publications available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on

David Levinthal (1949) and Henk Tas ( 1948)

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-29 om 14.07.09

For me David Levinthal is the US equivalent of Henk Tas in the Netherlands. Age difference is only 1 year and both have developed their photography into a form of staged photography where both use little ( plastic) figurines to populate their photographs. Where Levinthal uses baseball , barbie and military figures, Tas uses animals and female figures in a setting strongly influenced by music. http://www.henktas.nl/home.php?kid=1

If you read the text on Wikipedia on Levinthal you realize that these photographs are not made in an easy way. Setting, staging and lightning all need to be perfect for a good photograph.Here is part of what Wikipedia says about Levinthal

His work is included in the permanent public collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art,[2] and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. He has had solo exhibitions in New York City, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon.

Levinthal has produced a diverse oeuvre, utilizing primarily large-format Polaroid photography. His works touch upon many aspects of American culture, from Barbie to baseball to X-rated dolls. He uses small toys and props with dramatic lighting to construct mini environments of subject matters varying from war scenes to voyeurism to racial and political references to American pop culture.

He creates miniature scenarios using shoeboxes, cardboard, and foam core to make miniature offices, hotel rooms, pool halls, foyers and narrow corridors. These shadowy and dark scenes expose the secrecy and intimacy of small spaces. Levinthal is particularly interested in exploring the different emotions that each scene produces, such as reactions to an office corridor in contrast to those to a hospital or a private bedroom. Indeed, there is an inherently voyeuristic aspect to these early works.

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-29 om 14.12.14

I love both artists and can offer a nice original by Henk Tas in a private sale. For the books on these artists visit www.ftn-books.com where there is the best book on Tas available and the highly collectable Smithsonian catalogue on Levinthal’s photographs.

 

Posted on

Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-14 om 13.27.26

Ossip Zadkine is perhaps one of the most famous artists in the Netherlands without people knowing him by name. Zadkine made the sculpture ” DE VERWOESTE STAD” which symbolizes the destruction of the heart of Rotterdam after the bombardment of it in the early stages of WWII ( 14 mei, 1940) .

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-14 om 13.27.57

The sculpture was revealed in 1953 and financed by DE BIJENKORF on the condition that it always must be on the same spot within the centre. The human figure has a hole where the heart should be making it the perfect image for a destroyed city centre.

Since the revealing of this statue  Ossip Zadkine received on several occasions exhibitions of his works in the large museums in the Netherlands , but for many his claim to fame here is this ” DE VERWOESTE STAD”

There are some nice publications on Zadkine available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on

The ultimate Christmas Tree by Paul McCarthy

For those of you that are interested in the news start reading the Guardian , a truly excellent newspaper and one that has a great perspective on modern art. Because i was looking for a special Christmas Tree i found this one by Paul McCarthy on the place Vendome /Paris .

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-17 om 14.51.22

An inflatable work of art resembling a large green tree. His work is not unfamiliar with us dutch , because in Rotterdam there is statue of a Gnome holding a giant butt plug and it is somewhat similar to the one presented in Paris. The difference is of course the figure holding the plug which is only present in the permanent statue presented in Rotterdam.

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-17 om 14.44.42

Because Christmas is near and you probably have some spare time please bookmark this page:

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/oct/20/paul-mccarthy-paris-tree-sculpture-butt-plug-controversy

and start reading the great article on Paul McCarthy in the Guardian.

Merry Christmas

 

Posted on

Naum Gabo (1890-1977)….and the Bijenkorf / Rotterdam

Schermafbeelding 2017-10-10 om 13.41.49

De Bijenkorf building in Rotterdam is one of the iconic buildings in this city. After the bombardment which destructed its complete city centre in WWII, the city rebuild its centre with help of contractors and world famous architects. Among them Marcel Breuer who designed the Bijenkorf building and had a sculpture by Naum Gabo placed before the building. The sculpture has become possibly even more famous than the building by Breuer and was recently cleaned and restored and now has back its original splendor.

Schermafbeelding 2017-10-10 om 13.52.25

 

Here is a short biography which can be found at the Tate site

Naum Gabo 1890-1977.Constructive sculptor and painter. Born in Briansk in Russia, named Naum Pevsner; younger brother of the sculptor Antoine Pevsner. Entered Munich University in 1910, studying first medicine, then the natural sciences; also attended art history lectures by Wölfflin. Transferred in 1912 to an engineering school in Munich. Met Kandinsky and in 1913-14 joined his brother Antoine (then a painter) in Paris. After the outbreak of war moved first to Copenhagen, then Oslo; began to make constructions in 1915 under the name Naum Gabo. 1917-22 in Moscow with Pevsner, Tatlin, Kandinsky and Malevich; wrote and issued jointly with Pevsner in 1920 a Realistic Manifesto proclaiming the tenets of pure Constructivism. Lived 1922-32 in Berlin in contact with the artists of the de Stijl group and the Bauhaus. First one-man exhibition with Pevsner at the Galerie Percier, Paris, 1924. With Pevsner, designed the set and costumes for Diaghilev’s ballet La Chatte 1926. 1932-5 in Paris, a member of Abstraction-Creation; 1935-46 in England, first in London, then from 1939 at Carbis Bay in Cornwall. Edited Circle jointly with J.L. Martin and Ben Nicholson in 1937. Moved in 1946 to the USA and settled in 1953 at Middlebury, Connecticut; became a US citizen in 1952. Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at Harvard University 1953-4. From 1950 onwards carried out several large sculpture commissions, including a sculpture for the Bijenkorf store in Rotterdam 1955-7. Created Hon. KBE 1971. Died at Waterbury, Connecticut.

www.ftn-books.com has some Naum Gabo titles available.

 

Posted on

Otto Egberts… SCHAAMSTREKEN vol. 4

Schermafbeelding 2017-10-28 om 14.14.14

Here is the fourth and final volume within the series Schaamstreken by Otto Egberts. And again totally different. Shadows of animal figures are combined with geometrical compositions making it completely different from the other volumes. Beautifully executed small paintings on Danish and German maps this time. Because of the thick paper used for these maps these paintings feel like real paintings , bound again in goat leather. This series has been a joy to photograph and in my opinion one of the best artist books series by a contemporary artist. Let me know what you think about it.

measures : 39,5 x 10,9 cm.

contains : 28 pages plus goat leather cover

contains : 11 “paintingss” on old geographical maps spread over 2 pages and 2 paintings on  a singular page

signed and dated, 2000 by Otto Egberts at the end page in pencil.

schaam 4 a.JPG

schaam 4 b.JPG

schaam 4 c.JPG

schaam 4 d.JPG

schaam 4 e.JPG

schaam 4 f.JPG

schaam 4 g.JPG

schaam 4 h.JPG

schaam 4 i.JPG

schaam 4 j.JPG

schaam 4 k.JPG

schaam 4 l.JPG

schaam 4 n.JPG

schaam 4 m.JPG

schaam 4 o.JPG

schaam 4 p.JPG

schaam 4 q.JPG

Posted on

Otto Egberts .. SCHAAMSTREKEN vol. 2

Schermafbeelding 2017-10-28 om 14.13.39

Here is the second volume within the series Schaamstreken by Otto Egberts. At first glance this looks the least spectacular, but study it closely and you see that each page is worked over. Erased inks, sandpapered surfaces, folds and stamped “vervallen” (dilapidated). These were original maps too and i found some names which make it look like these come from the German Dutch Wadden region.

measures : 39,5 x 10,9 cm.

contains : 38 pages plus goat leather cover

contains : 32 “drawings” on old geographical maps

signed and dated, 2000 by Otto Egberts at the end page in pencil

schaam 2 a

schaam 2 b

schaam 2 z

schaam 2 c

schaam 2 d

schaam 2 e

schaam 2 f

schaam 2 g

schaam 2 h

schaam 2 i

schaam 2 j

schaam 2 k

schaam 2 l

schaam 2 m

schaam 2 n

schaam 2 o

schaam 2 p

schaam 2 q

schaam 2 r

schaam 2 s

schaam 2 t