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Carel Kneulman (1915-2008)

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A few days ago I wrote a blog on Aat Veldhoen and illustrated it with a photograph of Jasper Grootveld selling Rotaprints by Veldhoen. In the photograph, the dutch will recognize the “classic” Philips logo on the wall of Atheneum bookstore and “HET LIEVERDJE” the iconic statue.

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The Provo movement gathered at this place and the statue is still a symbol of the roaring PROVO Sixties in Amsterdam. The statue was made by Carel Kneulman, one of the leading Amsterdam artists who made a name for himself with sculptures. Forget HET LEIVERDJE and look at his other works you can see a sculptor influenced by Moore and Brancusi and making far better sculptures than the one at the Spui square. It took until his 80th birthday until he received full recognition for his art. At that time he finally received a retrospective at the Stedelijk Museum, but a few years earlier a nice exhibition was being held at the Museum Fodor ( 1990) which exquisite catalogue is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Josef Felix Müller (1955)

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A typical Swiss artist who is rooted in the German and Swiss sculpture and graphic arts scenes. Looking at his graphic art you can go back decades and decades and see what kind of art he must have seen in his youth. These influences are evident and are translated into a kind of personal art I like very much.

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Bold, rough and poetic all combined at the same time. An interesting interview with Josef Felix Müller can be found with this link:

Click to access mueller_butter-milk-soap_1990.pdf

Of course http://www.ftn-books.com has some nice Josef Felix Müller publications available

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Riki Mijling (1954)

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Two reasons for writring a blog on Riki Mijling. First reason is i admire her works since i first saw them at the ART AMSTERDAM fair in 2005(?). I . am fond of Concrete and minimal art and in her art i find a twist that fascinates me. Yesterday at the local bookmarket i bought a small artist book by Riki Mijling. Published ia a very small signed and numbered edition of only 20 copies. The reason i noticed it was a ribbed card board cover which was etched by the artist rM ’00. So her innitals and signatue are appearing twice in this very limited edition which is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

Here follows the biography which can be found on the Riki Mijling site:

Dutch sculptor Riki Mijling (1954, Nijmegen, the Netherlands) works in a rich tradition of non-objective, post-minimalist sculpture. The twentieth century art genealogy shows a forceful line of abstract-geometry, with pioneers such as Kasimir Malevitjs, Vladimir Tatlin, Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. 

Developments in art since the mid-1960s show how artists expanded on this legacy, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In the United States artists like Carl Andre, Donald Judd and Robert Morris burst onto the scene, causing a landslide with their minimalist approaches, a radical simplification of forms and dissolving ‘meaning’ in the traditional sense. 

And in the Netherlands too, artists sought for new forms of expressiveness, for a formal and linguistic reduction, no-longer connected to representation and story-telling.  With her sculpture––and her works on paper too––Mijling expands on this rich tradition of essentialism, developing a characteristic and unique visual language. 

Mijling pairs a reductionist approach with a warm, ‘charged’ character of her sculptures in waxed steel, Cor-Ten steel, glass and stone. It distinguishes Mijling from so many contemporaries and admired forerunners, and raises the question whether the concept of ‘minimalism’ is, in Mijling’s case, still applicable.

​The non-referential, archetypical forms of Riki Mijling’s sculptures lead back to basic elements, to universal significance of timeless forms. Unmistakably ‘Mijling’ is a quest for an ideal line, for pure form and a new experience of space, of the balance between matter and non-matter. 

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Ruud Kuijer (1959)

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It takes some time to appreciate the sculptures by Ruud Kuijer, but as his scultures grew in their sizes i started to admire more and more his works. It must have been in the mid Eighties that we once met, shook hands and had a short conversation, but i never have met him since and i did not search for his works until a few years ago i saw pictures of his WATERWERKEN series.

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Impressive, complex, extremely large sized sculptures that reminded me in their size and presence of the Richard Serra THE MATTER OF TIME, which is also extremely large and can only be admired within or from a distance. The Waterwerken series can be found on the Ruud Kuijer site, but there is much more to the sculptures by Ruud Kuijer. You can find some nice publications at http://www.ftn-books.com in which his earlier sculptures can be found and admired including the recently Centraal Museum catalogue from1990.kuijer centaal

The sculptor Ruud Kuijer is known for his abstract sculptures made from ordinary materials such as wood, concrete, iron, rope and threaded rod. His Waterworks project, a line of seven large sculptures situated along the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal in Utrecht, has attracted a lot of attention. Kuijer’s work is involved in many contemporary sculpture exhibitions, private- and museum collections and projects worldwide.

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Cornelius Rogge (1932)

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The reason i started to read about Cornelius Rogge and his art is because some 12 years ago i encountered two publications by Rogge. The first and most important one was his TENTENPROJEKT (1976) and the second Battlefield (1997) . 21 years apart from each other but both of a rare quality. Here is what the Kroller Muller writes on his tent project:

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These six, mysterious, brown tents are no ordinary tents. Some have the shape of a truncated pyramid or cone. Others are reminiscent of a wigwam, a dolmen or a ziggurat; a pyramidal temple building with terraces. But what contributes most to their unusual appearance is that none of the tents has an entrance.

Secret

What lies in the darkness of these tents? What secrets do they hold? Cornelius Rogge offers no concrete solutions or answers to these questions. With the inherently mundane object of the tent, he calls attention to the mysterious, the inexplicable. ‘Every culture always has mysteries that are inaccessible to people. And that mystery has disappeared in modern culture. Perhaps today’s art has the task of bringing back mystery’.

Vanitas symbol

Over the years, the tents deteriorate and perish under the influence of the wind and weather. Rogge is also aware of this aspect of decay and impermanence. ‘Despite its concrete materialization, the subject of “the tent” is an image of decay, a vanitas symbol’, according to the artist.

These outdoor sculptures are among the largest sculptures collected in the Netherlands and because of their size you can not encounter time as much as i would like to see them, but here is a short film on Rogge in which you can see him at work in his studio.

Here are some titles available at http://www.ftn-books.com

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José Vermeersch (1922-1997)

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One of the only sculptors from Belgium who has made a name for himself during the second half of last century. Of course for me the best during those years is Walter Leblanc, but although his work is completely different the sculptures by Vermeersch rate for me personally almost as high as the ones by Leblanc and he certainly is one of the best from Belgium of the lastFifty years. The title of the book that is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com is BEELDBOUWER and reflects the way Vermeersch “builds” his sculptures, which are constructed from different kinds of ceramic parts.

The individual parts are controlled and shaped until they enter the oven at 1200 Celsius. After that the fire shapes the surface and makes the “skin” of the ceramics dustier, sandy more experimental. With some sculpturen “props” are added like hair, sticks and beads., but always the shape and structure in the end is a typical Vermeersch sculpture.

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Josephine Rutten (1950)

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I did not know Josephine Rutten, but found a very nice and excellent designed publication on her, which was published in 1995 by de Jong/ van Mourik . An edition of only 500 copies of which not many must have found their way to collectors and bookstores, because this is the first i encountered in 15 years. Rutten has found a language of her own and if there is one artist her works remind me of, it is Dubuffet. The use of colors and in some of them vague human shapes in her paintings made me think of this artist. Still the “art language” of Rutten is one of her own and i can truly recommend this nice publication on this artist.

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

rutten

 

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Ah Xian (1960)

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I am not the greatest fan of Chinese art, althought i have learned to appreciate some of the artists and their works. One of the last to admire was the artist Ah Xian whose works were exhibited in the “stijl zalen” of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. They blended like they were meant to have been made for this location. Specially the “GOUDLEER” and Chinese rooms were a feast to the eye. Now i have acquired the exhibition catalogue for this exhibition. It is the one that sold out almost instantly. available at www.ftn-books.com

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Chinese artist Ah Xian lives and works in Sydney where for nearly two decades he has explored aspects of the human form using ancient Chinese craft methods including porcelain, lacquer, jase, bronze, and even concrete. The artist often uses busts of his own family members including his wife, brother, and father onto which he imprints traditional designs with a vivid cobalt blue glaze. via Colossal.

ah xian

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New Business Card FTN books & Art

visitekaartje ftn

Some recent changes made it necessary to translate these changes into a new business card. The most important one being two new email addresses. One personal one and the other for the FTN books & Art contacts. So here is all the new business information to contact me and keep track of my activities, the daily blog and additions to my inventory.

Wilfried van den Elshout / FTN books

Veursestraatweg 106c

2265CG Leidschendam,  the Netherlands

www.ftn-books.com

www.ftn-blog.com

new email : wilfriedvandenelshout@gmail.com

new email : ftnbooksandart@gmail.com

 

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Paul Wunderlich (1927-2010)

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Paul Wunderlich can be considered as a second generation surreal painter/sculptor. First there was the generation of magritte and Dali who were recognized as being important. This generation was followed by artists who stayed true to Surrealism for their entire artist careers. Labisse, Fuchs, Tanguy and ….Paul Wunderlich . The artist for who the human figure was the start of many art work. He specially was fond of the male figure, which he used on many occasions in his art, but that was not the first art work by Wunderlich i encountered. I know exactly what and where it was. Somewhere in the early Seventies a newspaper article was published and in the article the NIKE sculpture by Wunderlich was mentioned. I learned who sold it and hoped to acquire it for my staring collection, because its edition size was large ( 1000 copies). It was not to be….visiting the gallery Steltman who exhibited and sold the sculpture i learned that the price was 1100 guilders. A price far too steep for me…so i dit not buy it. A few years later my parents decided to buy it together with another Wunderlich sculpture which is now still in my collection.

My sister has the NIKE statue. Both statues/sculptures still grace our living rooms. Wunderlich is perhaps not the most fashionable artist to have in your collection, but i can guarantee you that his works will grow on you.

http://www.ftn-books.com has some nice Wunderlich publications available .