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Daan van Golden and Mick Jagger

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At first sight an unlikely combination for the dutch Pop Art artist Daan van Golden. Still…van Golden made an hommage to Mick Jagger in 1967. The silkscreen was printed in an edition of 10 copies and is now sought after as being one of the most iconic of his works. It is a large silkscreen measuring 123 x 106 cm. and this copy of the Stadscollectie Rotterdam was acquired at the famous dDelta gallery who was at that time the representing gallery of van Golden. The image of the silkscreen was used in 1988 for the cover of the book published on the occasion of the presentation of the Stadscollectie Rotterdam . This book is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.

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Stephen Prina a Post Conceptual artist (1954)

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Stephen Prina is an American artist whose work has been categorized as post-conceptualism. Prina is a professor at the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

He was born in 1954 in Galesburg, Illinois.

This is probably one of the shortest introductions i found on an artist on the internet. I like Prina’s art very much. Crates, monochrome paintings , ladders and the decoration of an entire space/ room are the elements that Piet Dirkx uses too. Both are from my generation and perhaps that is also one of the reasons i understand their art and like it so much. Where i have followed Dirkx for over 3 decades now, Prina is a discovery from the last 10 years. His exhibitions are true events but rare to be found in Europe. Still there was one held at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in 1992 and to accompany that exhibition an artist book was published . The only color used for all pages is a bright yellow. A scarce book and now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Wally Elenbaas (Continued)

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On the 8th of May 2018 i published a blog on the very impressive photography by Wally Elenbaas. These were photographs not lightly to be forgotten. Specially because Elenbaas was sentenced to prison for these beautiful photographs.

https://ftn-blog.com/?s=elenbaas

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Now it is time to shine some light on another aspect of this great dutch artist. Elenbaas was also a gifted designer and used his typography to create images and illustrations consisting of letters transforming these and their meaning into illustrations. Images tell a far better story than words so here are some illustrations….and….the LETTERBOEK is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

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Charly van Rest (1949)

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Born in Indonesia ( Jakarta) he practically lived his entire life in the Netherlands/ Rotterdam. Perhaps this is the reason why his main exhibitions were also held in this city. van Rest had exhibitions at the Museum Boymans van Beuningen ( catalogue available at http://www.ftn-books.com ) and the Witte de With space.

At first you have to grow accustomed to his art. The way he looks at reality is transformed into a personal kind of art. The source is almost always reality. Transformed, enhanced, enlarged, cut and thereafter transformed into his personal art.

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George Segal (1924-2000)

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Because of a recent find of the 1972 Boymans van Beuningen catalogue (available at http://www.ftn-books.com) i was reminded that i never published anything on George Segal. Segal is present in some of the most important dutch collections but after some exhibitions in the Seventies his works were rarely on show in the Netherlands.

There is an excellent biography on Segal to be found on the Art Story of which i publish the text here:

George Segal was born in New York City on November 26, 1924 to Jewish immigrants from Poland. His father, who had come to America in 1922, would lose all his brothers at the hands of the Nazis. Segal’s parents ran a kosher butcher shop in the Bronx, working long hours, and dreamt of a more prosperous life for their son.

While attending public school, Segal developed a passion for art. His art teacher nurtured his love of drawing, giving him art supplies and encouraging him to explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Segal’s high science and math scores earned him admission to Stuyvesant, one of the city’s top public high schools. His parents, who had moved to New Jersey to run a chicken farm, hoped he would become a doctor or a scientist. Much to their dismay, Segal remained focused on art, living with his aunt in Brooklyn while finishing high school and spending weekends working on the chicken farm.

After graduating from high school in 1941, Segal sporadically attended a number of art schools. Due to the outbreak of World War II, his parents needed a hand on the chicken farm, which interrupted his course of study. Nonetheless, he continued to pursue his ambition to be an artist, taking courses when he could at New York’s Cooper Union, Rutgers University in New Jersey (where he attended night courses), and the Pratt Institute of Design in New York. In 1949 he finally graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in art education from New York University. He would later return to Rutgers University to pursue a Master of Fine Arts which he received in 1963.

Early Training

In 1946, Segal married Helen Steinberg, a girl who lived on a neighboring farm and who he first met in his teens. They bought land across the road from his father and continued in the family business of chicken farming. His pursuit of a career in art was due in part to her unwavering support, and when the threat of bankruptcy loomed in 1957, Segal used his art education degree to get a teaching job at a New Jersey high school. There, he taught art until he was able to support himself and his family solely on his income as an artist.

Throughout his early years of struggle, Segal never wavered from his pursuit of making art and showed an early interest in painting. He and his fellow New York artist friends couldn’t help but be influenced by the large-scale, color-filled paintings of the Abstract Expressionist movement that was sweeping through the New York art scene. Despite this, Segal and others in his circle were not inspired to create such works, choosing rather to create works depicting images from the real world. Many derived their inspiration from elements of popular culture and consumer images as seen in the world of advertisements, the media, and comic books; while Segal focused more on the human figure performing acts of daily life such as waiting at a station or talking on the telephone. During the 1950s Segal began to receive attention for his paintings and in 1956 he had his first solo show at the Hansa Gallery, an artist cooperative, in New York.

Mature Period

In 1961, while teaching an art class for adults, Segal discovered the substance that would become his primary medium. The husband of one of his students worked for Johnson & Johnson and asked Segal to test a new plaster bandage material and write a text about how the material could be used in art projects for children. Segal experimented with plaster, bandages, and water, manipulating and drying it into the shapes of various objects. To his excitement, Segal realized this included making casts of parts of his own body after letting the material set for only a few minutes. Inspired, Segal took the plaster casts of various parts of his body and recreated them into the form of a seated figure, incorporating objects including a table and chair to complete the work. The work, Man Sitting at a Table (1961), became the first of his plaster sculptures.

While Segal created these sculptures throughout the rest of his career, he continually experimented with different ways they could be made and refined. Moving from casts of his own body, he also used other people including his wife, friends, and eventually his daughter Rena as his models. Segal also explored the effect of adding color by painting the white plaster casts various colors and also painted some sculptures black, such as Woman Sitting on a Bed (1993) which allowed him to focus on the impact of light in a new way. Segal explored the effect of casting his sculptures in bronze and then painting the works white and also made works using only body fragments rather than depictions of the full human figure.

These plaster sculptures, which primarily depicted scenes from everyday life such as figures sitting at a diner and waiting in a station, helped to make Segal one of the leading artists of the Pop art movement. While often the subjects were engaged in some of the less exciting albeit often necessary functions of daily life, Segal also drew inspiration from popular culture. The beloved American pastime of going to the movies was referenced in his sculpture Cinema (1963) – a life-sized plaster cast figure in the act of changing a movie title on the cinema’s marquee. Hollywood factored again in his sculpture The Movie Poster (1967) which featured a plaster cast man staring at a black and white photograph of iconic film star Marilyn Monroe.

In addition to his sculptural works, Segal continued to work in a variety of other media including paint, pencil, pen and ink, and pastels. The works created included numerous themes such as close-up studies of body parts, still lifes, and portraits.

His ability to so vividly capture human figures made him a good choice to create outdoor public sculptures. This type of sculpture was becoming increasingly popular in the United States and Segal contributed works such as his sculpture The Restaurant (1976), which was placed at the Federal Office Building in Buffalo, New York. Also, he was offered the commission to create pieces commemorating important world events such as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and tributes to American leaders including United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Throughout his career, Segal saw exhibitions and retrospectives of his work travel through the United States and other parts of the world including an exhibition that began in Switzerland in 1971 and subsequently toured Europe; a traveling retrospective at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1978; a retrospective of his work in Japan in 1982; and a 1997 retrospective at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Late Period

Segal showed a renewed interest in photography later in his life. He used the photographs of people and city scenes in both New Jersey and New York as basis for some of his later sculptures and as the starting point for drawings. One of his final series, Nightscapes, began with photographs the artist took of the night lights on the US 1 highway. After returning to his studio, Segal enlarged a photograph onto plywood, painted the scene, and after cutting out holes in the plywood, placed real light bulbs where the lights were in the photograph, creating a three-dimensional recreation of his photographic captures of the highway at night. Segal remained active as an artist until his death on June 9, 2000 in South Brunswick, New Jersey.

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Dolf Henkes (1903-1989)

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Without knowing i have collected a number of important Dolf Henkes titles and what struck me is that the interest in his works is something which is still here and constant over the past six decades . Henkes was an artist creating on the crossroads of realism and abstraction and this shows in his paintings.

Born and raised in Rotterdam, moving to Paris and staying at Curacao for a while all these places shaped the art Dolf Henkes was creating. His painting touch is vivid and light and the city of Rotterdam valued the art of Henkes and presented him with a beautiful retrospective exhibition in 1988 to memorate his 85th birthday. Shortly after he died, but his name is still very much alive and used for the Henkes art price , which is each year presented to a young aspiring artist from Rotterdam. The Museum Boymans van Beuningen ( now closed for renovation) has a large collection of important Dolf Henkes paintings. http://www.ftn-books.com has some nice Dolf Henkes publications available.

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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.

http://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 http://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 http://www.ftn-books.com