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Niek Kemps (1952)

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Niek Kemps has been a part of the international art scene since the eighties. The artist wants to stimulate the spectator with his conceptual work, to process images in a different way; a statement about the attention span of modern day society and the accompanying image culture. Kemps’ work is like a laboratory, wherein he does both substantial as visual research to the social and cultural context, and how this relates to image, space, contemporary art and the concept of ‘museum’.

Sculpture becomes space, space becomes museum. A museological space can take diverse appearances: whether it’s static, collapsed, moving, hidden or even virtual. In his work, the artist questions, among other things, the more traditional configuration of the museum. From the need for a funded complexity, he analyses the different connotations, and this from a philosophical and visual stand point. In doing so, Kemps researches the impact of a full virtualization of the museological existence, wherein a virtual (read: fictional) museum merely displays digital work.

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Also in this imaginary constellation, the focus remains on the perception of context and space. An intertwining between fiction and reality is created. Virtual work is easily translated into a physical construction, a spaciousness, a sculpture, and vice versa. Kemps’ images never stand alone; they consistently show a sensitivity in relation to their surroundings, they interact so to speak with the space wherein they are located.

‘The narrow line between sight and seeing’, a work from 1986, is a speaking example of this. Until now, this illustrates the essence of his oeuvre. Originally it seems to be a sculpture. Yet the work is experienced as a space; a between area that questions all sorts of traditions and clichés. By continuously operating on this interface, the artist challenges the spectator to get out of their comfort zone, to explore the work, and to spend time with / in it. The artwork reveals itself only to the patient, attentive spectator. Every composition is formulated very precisely, like a poem. This form of complexity ensures that the work can never be apprehended at first glance. To fathom the different layers of meaning(s) takes time and effort. By defying fixed landmarks, meanings, perspective, and scale, every form of rational analysis is extracted or simply removed and it results in an astonishing artwork that invites to be lived and incites the spectator to reflect one self.

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Esther Tielemans (1976)

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Her first major exhibition was at the Stedelijk Museum, but her best publication by far is the one which was made for her exhibition at the Museum Bommel van Dam in 2011.

(available at www.ftn-books.com) Great publication, designed by Adriaan Mellegers and printed by one of the very best printers in the business, Lecturis. Tielemans works differ in size. From intimate small sculptures to a room filled with installed sculptures altering and reconstructing the room in a fascinating way.

Her work is now part of the exhibition Momentum at the Voorlinden Museum.
Our world is poised on the brink of a tipping point as well. We must make choices regarding climate and migration, issues that are impacting our lives more and more intensely.

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Momentum brings together more than thirty works that embody this tension. This selection from our collection unites new and established names working in a wide range of media. Together they offer insights into the personal and collective challenges of our time. With works from artists including Anish Kapoor, Rineke Dijkstra, Jacco Olivier, Esther Tielemans, Ryan Gander, Gabriel Rico and Mona Hatoum.

new scenes

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A “fun” article on Jeff Koons

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I understand completely that artist draw inspiration from other artists their works, but in the case of this “Fait d’hiver ” it is far too much a copy than an original work by Koons. I know of the spectacular Banality series sculpture from the Stedelijk Museum and i think it was a rightful choice to acquire this for a large sum., but i did not know the sculpture from the Centre Pompidou and its history. Here is the storuy which i found on “art-critique”

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A Paris court of appeals has upheld a 2018 ruling regarding a 2015 copyright infringement lawsuit brought on by photographer Franck Davidovici. With the Tuesday decision, the Centre Pompidou and artist Jeff Koons have been found guilty of copyright infringement and now jointly owe Davidovici €190,000 (£163,900).

The lawsuit hinges on a 1988 sculpture by Koons called Fait d’hiver depicts the bust of a woman lying on the ground as a pig, wearing a flowered collar with a barrel, and two penguins look on. The amusing sculpture was part of “Banality,” a series by Koons that debuted in 1988. The series raised eyebrows at the time but many of its works would go on to be featured in a 2014 retrospective of Koons’ works that kicked off at the Whitney in New York before traveling to the Centre Pompidou and then the Guggenheim Bilbao.

Meant to be commentary on the imagery of mass media, Fait d’hiver became the centre of the dispute after Davidovici saw Koons’ sculpture in a catalogue for the Centre Pompidou’s exhibition of the 2014 retrospective. The issue was that Davidovici found the sculpture to be incredibly similar to a photograph taken and published by the photographer in 1985.

Davidovici’s black and white photograph was created for the French brand Naf Naf and included a woman, wearing a jacket with fur accents, lying on the ground. A pig, wearing a collar with a barrel gazes at the woman with the words “FAIT D’HIVER” in the top left corner of the two-page spread.

While Koons made a few alterations, like the addition of two penguins and swapping the fur jacket for a mesh top, the sculpture does seem to mimic the photo taken by Davidovici just a few years earlier.

Davidovici first sued Koons and the Parisian museum in 2015 and in 2018, a judge ruled that the artist and museum violated copyright laws and owed Davidovici €135,000. However, the artist and museum appealed the ruling which has now been upheld and their monetary penalty was increased by €55,000. Additionally, if the museum or Koons continue to exhibit Fait d’hiver online, they will be fined €600 per day. Meanwhile, the publishers of the 2014 catalogue that accompanied the retrospective now owes Davidovici €14,000 as well.

In 2007, an artist’s proof of Koons’ Fait d’hiver sold at Christie’s for just under $4.3 million (£3 million).

Koons is no stranger for being taken to court for plagiarism. In 2019, a Paris court upheld a 2017 ruling that found the artist, and again the Centre Pompidou, guilty of copyright infringement. That case concerned Koons’ sculpture from the same series called Naked and a photograph titled Enfants by French photographer Jean-François Bauret. While the sculpture was not shown in the 2014 retrospective, images of it were used to advertise the show. The artist and museum were ordered to pay €20,000 to Bauret’s family. Koons also paid the family an addition €4,000 for use of the image.

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Joachim Bandau (1936)

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This German sculptor is from the generation of LeWitt, Andre and Judd, but outside Germany his minimal works are not that well now. Thanks to the gallery PHOEBUS in Rotterdam, he was introduced to the Dutch collectors and a large retrospectibve in 1990 established his name in the low countries.

I love his works…sober, playful and strict at the same time. At auction i almost was lucky enought to acquire a work by Bandau, but a better bid won the item. Perhaps in the future who knows, because i will be following his career, exhibitions and the works at auction.

http://www.ftn-books.com has several bandau items available

bandau skulpturen

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Huub ( and Adelheid) Kortekaas (1935)

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Perhaps their most important work is the realisation of a sculpture garden devoted to the Five religions of the world.

Tuinen

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The garden is filled with symbolism and numbers which have a relation with the religions they are presenting in their garden. It is impressive, but Kortekaas is familiar with scaping his surroundings and making his sculptures part of the landscape. I just added an early 1967 catalogue to my inventory and it shows the strength and power of his sculptures which are placed and arranged in a dutch landscape.

When you have a chance to visit tis garden….do not hesitate to devote half an hour of your time to this peaceful place, because it is kind of magical.

The above publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Mark Manders (1968)

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Just to illustrate the work by Mark Manders here follows a text he wrote in 1994.

The Absence of Mark Manders

Under a table you have the possibility to test your own absence. The realization that life is taking its course, even without you, is an intense human experience; it shows the finiteness of personality. Mark Manders has inhabited his self-portrait since 1986. This building can expand or shrink at any moment. In this building all words created by mankind are on hand. The building arises, like words, out of interaction with life and things.

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The thoughts that surround him in his building are, materialized or not, always important and never gratuitous. ‘When years ago I went for a walk, I would walk through streets where sometimes a clothespeg would be lying, or, when I entered a place, there would be a table with, for instance, a telephone and an empty vase, briefly I would find myself in a world that I hadn’t determined myself. I decided to build a building next to that world, or rather, in that world. A building which was dominated by a changing arrest, where and through which I would be confronted continuously with my choice, the choice of Mark Manders.’ Mark Manders considers the world surrounding his building as an evolved organism that has been constructed from so-called semi-truths. These fall as some loose atom-truths in a kind of ‘encyclopaedia basement’, a space of about four by five metres, around which he constructs his building. Herewith, Mark Manders places his self-portrait as a building actually between two world views: the world as constructed from atom-like semi-truths and the one in which these truths are accepted as facts. Often, we are not afraid in our materialized projection, the world itself has been confided to us. I remember how we determined our first priority roads and that diviners (reading the future in liver) indicated the place of the city. Walking through my building, I get confronted everywhere with deep arrest, it is terrific, the things over here surmount my momentaneous thinking and are familiar to me, I never get bored.

Mark Manders, 1994

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Mark Manders publications available

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Maria C.P. Huls (1950)

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Dutch-born Maria Huls has had education in the Netherlands but is now living since 1988 near Osnabrück. When I look at her work I do not see much of a dutch tradition in her sculptures. I find them more inspired by Minimal and Konkrete Kunst. This is the kind of art that inspires me and when I look at Huls her sculptures I find them very peaceful but full of tension because of the layered shapes and torsions.

Especially her Kleinskulpturen have these qualities. This another of those lesser-known artists that you discover while writing a regular blog. Maria C.P. Huls deserves a better presentation of her works.

huls

 

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Sjoerd Buisman (continued)

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A few years ago I wrote a blog on Sjoerd Buisman and explained that I admire his works since I met him at the Gemeentemuseum where he did a project with willow branches on the sides of the ponds of the Gemeentemuseum, but I could not find photographs of the project!

Now I can correct this omission since I bought 2 books on Buisman. One on his sculptures and other works from 1967-1992 and the other on his GROEIWERKEN in which I found the photographs I had been looking for for a very long time.

buisman dd

Both Sjoerd Buisman titles are now available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Berlinde de Bruyckere (1964)

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For me Berlinde de Bruyckere stands for “poetic discomfort”.

The first time I encountered a work by de Bruyckere was the very fragile “donkey” Sculpture which is in the Caldenborgh collection. In the middle of the woods from his estate, the sculpture can be found on a semi-open space between wood and leaves. Made from lead and highly detailed this shows that the lead is soft, fragile and shows the vulnerability of the composition and the materials.

The second time was when a sculpture by de Bruyckere was presented in a showcase together with the walls hung with magnificent Bacon paintings in one of the rooms of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. It was a rare occasion that these two great artists were combined and I rarely have seen a more impressive and beautiful presentation of both these great artists.

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She makes three-dimensional sculptures, installations and aquarelles. Her older work has a minimalist character. Steel, stone and glass were her materials of choice. Gradually she leaves abstract motifs to seek recourse in recognisable forms and things, introducing the blanket, malleable lead and straw as materials.

More recently, she has extended her personal iconography with striking sculptures of (stuffed) horses and giant (once-) cuddly animals. The beauty of the materials she uses always has something of the fatal in it. The blankets in her sculptures protect and suffocate, the lead roses seduce and poison, the carpet of begonias bear witness to bloom and decay. She intentionally uses familiar forms to inspire thinking in viewers, to provide them with memories. Her preference lies with materials and forms that mirror ambiguity, something characteristic of the human experience. Beneath the delicate and sometimes deceptively endearing skin of her work is a yawning abyss. Death, fear and loneliness are recurrent themes, though never disconnected from life, love and beauty. Despite the great formal diversity of her works, there is a common thread running throughout her oeuvre in terms of choice of materials, techniques and the repeating of symbols and motifs.

Aside from her three-dimensional works, the artist has also always put her ideas on paper. These works (drawings and aquarelles, or aquarelle and gouache combined on old paper or cardboard) are often preparatory material for the sculptures but are autonomous works in themselves. Berlinde De Bruyckere does not impose ‘the’ interpretation of her works. She consciously leaves the door open for diverse understandings.

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www.ftn-books.com has now the book available which was published on the occasion of the 55th Biennale di Venezia. Text by J.M. Coetzee and of course the photographs on the installation by de Bruycker

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Maddy Arkesteyn (1966-2012)

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A promising career was ended much too soon because of a deadly disease which ended her life in 2012. But Maddy Arkesteyn has left us some impressive works in public collections and an excellent catalogue which was published by Centrum Beeldendende Kunst in 1994. This catalogue shows that Arkesteyn needed space for her works. These are not intimate little paintings but large installations in which she uses all materials that are nearby or at hand. Educated in Maastricht at the Academie Voor Beeldende Kunst and finishing her educations at the Ateliers ’63 in 1989-1991.

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After de Boterhal an an exhibition in Ateliers Ville de Marseille. Only local exhibitions as theone in Dordrecht at Pictura.

Possibly the final interview she gave can be found at this address:

Interview July 2012

In this interview she tells what drives her to make the art she does.

www.ftn-books.com has the CBK title available.