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Barrie Cooke (1931-2014)

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For me Barrie Cooke stands for the excellent taste Rudi Fuchs has in art and the beautiful designed catalogue Gracia Lebbink made for the Cooke exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in 1992. I can not remember if Cooke was present at the opening, but i still remember the first impression his paintings made on me when i first saw them in the exhibition rooms in the Gemeentemuseun. These paintings were personal and overwhelming and reminded me of the ones Francis Bacon made.

left Cooke and right Bacon

At that time Fuchs had become very interested in Irish art and presented Cooke shortly after he had had an exhibition with works by Jack B. Yeats

An artists’ artist, he won enormous respect from his peers over several generations for his utter commitment and the integrity of his vision. He was a passionate fisherman and the natural world was always at the heart of his work. His figure paintings and portraits are also exceptional.

His paintings are cherished for their dynamic, immediate, visceral connection with their subject matter. Early training at Skowhegan in the US and at Oskar Kokoschka’s School of Vision in Salzburg helped to shape the urgent vitality of his pictorial approach – a vitality reflected in the artist’s personality.

Having grown up in Bermuda and studied in the US, he went to England in 1954 to revisit his roots but found little to engage him. So he took a ferry to Ireland and, he said, felt at home even as he walked down the gangplank.

Irish life
He settled in rural Co Clare where he and his first wife, Harriet Cooke, lived in some poverty. Later he moved to Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, with ceramic artist Sonja Landweer, who introduced him to Rudolf Steiner’s ideas on natural processes. His next move was to a remote house overlooking Lough Arrow in Co Sligo.

The Barrie Cooke Gemeentemuseum catalogue designed by Gracia Lebbink is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Donald Judd…2 mint publications

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It looks like Donald Judd publications are getting more rare every month. Since his tragic death in 1994 no more “original” exhibition publications have been published. Of course there are some retrospective ones on the market, but the original ones during his lifetime are harder and harder to find. www.ftn-books.com is therefore proud to have 2 of these rare publications available in pristine condition. First there is the  van Abbemuseum catalogue from 1987. The book served as a catalogue for 4 venues of which the van Abbemuseum was the most impiortant one because the exhibition was curated by Rudi Fuchs. Secondly there is the Donald Judd / Prints and Works in ecitions published by Schellmann , which even is shrink wrapped. This is rare opportunity to acquire these rare and highly collectable Judd publications for your collection.

 

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peaceful uneasy feeling…Emil Schuhmacher (1912-1999)

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At the time Rudi Fuchs was director of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, he organized an exhibition with works by Emil Schumacher in the just finished “Polak” zalen of the Gemeentemuseum. These rooms are on the ground floor and you have to pass these when you enter the museum by its back entrance where the personel enters the museum. It is just some 45 meters, but every time i passed these paintings by Schumacher i got an uneasy feeling. Perfect abstract paintings but because of the layers of paint these paintings almost were “organic” in their appearance and this organic quality made me uneasy everytime i passed them. What else can be said about them?… these paintings were impressive but i never would one for myself , because this feeling i got from them was to unpleasant to ever want one. A work of art not has not to be beautiful, nor being pleasing in its appearnce, but the way Schumacher paintings evoked feelings with me is the reason i never will want one for my collection. Still these abstract paintings have a great abstract quality and in some cases even a peaceful one.

There are some Schumacher titles available at www.ftn-books.com

the above titles are available at www.ftn-books.com