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Hans Böhler (1884-1961)

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As a confidant of Klimt and Schiele and later Secession member, the painter Hans Böhler was closely involved the Austrian avant-garde art of the first half of the 20th century. In his lifetime his oeuvre was presented in several exhibitions. Numerous retrospectives after his death additionally testified to Böhler’s art historical weight – nowadays his works are highly popular amongst experienced collectors, but where he was presented as a new find for collectors by the Marlborough gallery in the mid Sixties, his name is now established and his circle of admirers is growing rapidly. His “nudes” are spectacular and so are his costume pieces which are a combination of the Austrian avant garde and impressionism. A painter to be followed by the serious collector.

there are a few Bohler publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Anton Josef Trčka (1893-1940)

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Because of the Weston blog from yesterday, a book title reminded me of Anton Josef Trčka. Another photography pioneer who’s work is closely related to the Vienna art movement from around 1900. Klimt and Schiele were personal friends and the friendship resulted in some great photographs. Photographs that show that the poses Schiele takes in his drawings and paintings are deliberate poses.

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These are highly important photographs and these make Trcka at least as relevant for modern photography as Weston and Newton were a few decades later. The title below is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Walter Gramatte (1897-1927) a German expressionist rediscovered.

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Totally original…that is what i think of Walter Gramatte. His style is as recognizable as some of his contemporaries. Schiele, Klimt and and Klee are recognized within a split second and Gramatte is one of these artist who’s works are recognized as soon as you encounter and see them.

Since two decades there has been a new a renewed appreciation for his works, but publications on Gramatte are still rarities. Nevertheless http://www.ftn-books.com has a few titles in its inventory.

Walter Gramatté was born in 1897 in Berlin and died in 1929 in Hamburg.

Gramatté had a very short (15 years) career but a very productive one – paintings, drawings and prints with subjects of figures, portraits, still life’s, landscapes and book illustrations.

He fought in the First World War and was disillusioned as a result.  Like many artists of his generation his works depicted the individual and existential states of being. (Gramatté book, Kirchner museum). He was married to the Russian composer Sonia Fridman-Gramatté.

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Egon Schiele …The Self portraits

 

Yesterdays blog inspired me to write a blog on the self portraits of Egon Schiele. Schiele himself was his most reliable model and in the short period he made his art he always made studies of himself and really stroke a pose.  Studies of his head and studies of full length figures all show the different poses he took. In many of these studies/portraits his head or body is distorted in some way making the pose exceptional and really typical for Egon Schiele. Some of these selfportraits are available through www.ftn-books.com. I bought these at the time there was a “Schiele Klimt Klee” exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and these prints were made according to the highest standards by the printshop of the Gemeentemuseum. Best of all …their size is 1 on 1 with the original drawing which makes the print almost perfect.

 

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Sidi El Karchi (1975) …Intriguing Portraits

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If there is one portraits painter in the Netherlands it must be Sidi El Karchi. His portraits can be recognized immediately. A little like the portraits by Rosemin Hendriks are also highly recognizable, But dthe difference is that where Hendriks uses the outline of a portrait to emphasize details, El Karchi uses colors, many many colors, but these colors have such an impact that they become part of the portrait and emphasize parts in the portrait, . Hair, glasses a puppy all draw your attention because of their colors. I really like his portraits and am looking for one for our collection. I must be patient. The artist is still young and it probably will take another decade before his works will show up at auction. For the moment i can look into the 2 books that i have on El Karchi and which are available at www.ftn-books.com

PS.. i see some resemblance in these portraits of these artists is Sidi El Karchi perhaps a Schiele admirer?

 

 

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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)

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If i could chose only one painting from the collections of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag….. It would be a hard choice between Egon Schiele’s / Edith or the Czardas Tänzerinnen by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. If i would go for the reseller value i surely would be stupid not to chose for the Schiele,

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but for sheer painting pleasure, strength of the composition and outright beauty it must be the Czardas Tänzerinnen Kirchner.

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A large painting and the first time you see it and study it, it does not look that special , but this one grows on you. You discover small details and every time you enter the room in the museum , where this painting is shown, it lights up his surroundings. For me this is one of the great paintings from the 20th century and one of the true portals to Modern Art as we know it in our time.

For more Kirchner publications please take a look at the inventory of www.ftn-books.com

Both paintings belong to the collection of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stadhouderslaan 41 , 2517 HV . Den Haag.

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Koloman Moser (1868-1895)

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Because the Leopold Museum as a whole was a disappointment (see yesterdays blog), I focused on the other art inside the museum. I had seen all the paintings by Schiele and Klimt before, but were less familiar with the beautiful Munch and excellent series of Koloman Moser paintings which were exhibited. Especially the series by Moser were impressive and showed the transition into the more Modern art of the century to come. Next to the paintings there were some excellent examples of the Wiener Werkstatte exhibition and the combination of these 2 made the visit, except for the disappointing display of Schiele art, still worthwhile.

Born in Vienna, he studied at the Wiener Akademie and the Kunstgewerbeschule, where he also taught from 1899.

His designs in architecture, furniture, jewellery, graphics, and tapestries helped characterise the work of this era. Moser drew upon the clean lines and repetitive motifs of classical Greek and Roman art and architecture in reaction to the Baroque decadence of his turn-of-the-century Viennese surroundings.

In 1901/1902, he published a portfolio titled Die Quelle (“The Source”) of elegant graphic designs for such things as tapestries, fabrics, and wallpaper.

In 1903, Moser and his colleague Josef Hoffmann founded Wiener Werkstätte, whose studios and artisans produced a number of aesthetically and functionally designed household goods, including glassware, flatware, silverware, rugs and textiles. In 1904, he created the Apse mosaic and glass windows for the Kirche am Steinhof in Vienna.

In 1905, together with the Klimt group, he separated from the Vienna Secession. The same year, he married Editha (Ditha) Mautner von Markhof, the daughter to one of Austria’s great industry fortunes.

In 1907 Moser, due to internal conflicts and as his plans for reorganising the Werkstätte (to cope with financial problems) weren’t realised, withdrew from the Wiener Werkstätte.

Koloman was one of the designers for Austria’s leading art journal Ver Sacrum. This art journal paid great attention to design and was designed mainly by Moser, Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann. His design for the cover of one edition of the art journal was later plagiarized by well known street artist and designer, Shepard Fairey.

Books on Moser and the Winer Werkstatte are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Leopold Museum ..Vienna

A crazy month. Traveling to Madeira, Paris and twice to Vienna. First trip to Vienna to chose our new dog Dexter from a nest of eight in Vienna and second trip last weekend to pick him up. Traveling with us our son Lucas, who wanted to witness this pick up and see Vienna for the first time. Because it was the museum that impressed me the most during our visit 2 years ago, we took him to the Leopold to show him TOD UND LEBEN by Gustav Klimt.

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This is the painting that has it all. All aspects of life caught within one framed painting. Measuring aprox. 2,5 x 2,5 meters it is large and impressive and one of the icons in modern art, but the Leopold has much much more. 4 floors with art filled by Klimt, Moser, Kokoschka and last but not least Egon Schiele. I have seen many Schiele paintings and drawings in my life. From an impressive Schiele contribution to the KLIMT/ SCHIELE / KLEE exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum to the special Schiele exhibtion in the Guggenheim in Bilbao, but was really impressed by the amount and quality of the Schiele’s on show in the Leopold Museum two years ago. This time it was totally different….from the four floors, 2 were closed and worse……. all the Schieles on Paper were in Facsimile. It is like going to a theater show, paying full entrance fee and see only half of it on television.

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These were not the real works of art and a museum like the Leopold Museum should inform its visitors on forehand that these were reproductions of the real works of art. To make it even worse they charged the full entrance fee for the visit…..a true disappointment, but with a fond memory to the TOD UND LEBEN/1915 which is still there and one of the most impressive and fascinating paintings in the world.