The year is 2000 and Queen Beatrix is invited as a guest curator for the exhibition DE VOORSTELLING to be held in the Stedelijk Paleis op de Dam . The place where each year the Koninklijke Subsidie voor de Vrije Schilderkunst is presented . Her “right hand” is no less than Rudi Fuchs the director at the Stedelijk Museum who helps the Queen with her choices and presentation.
I am not a great fan of our Royals, but i always have had great respect for Queen Beatrix and her love for the arts and i am convinced that she is very knowledgable about art, art techniques and with that background could make some great choices for her collection. ( a.o. Eja Siepman van den Berg and Andre Volten ). This time it was for real and one could see her personal dutch favorites within the exhibition. To accompany the exhibition a more than nice catalogue was published which is available at www.ftn-books.com.
For me there are two personal reasons to love the works by Thomas Schütte. The first reason for me is his architectural art. Always trying to find a different approach to architecture makes his works interesting and in the same category as the architectural works by John Hejduk.
Secondly there is his publications. Meticulously designed books. Published by the best publishers, printed by the best printers and from start to finish typical Thomas Schütte productions. These books are among the best art books published in the last 50 years and i am proud to have some of them in my inventory of www.ftn-books.com
I did not know, but Marcel Duchamp’ s drawn moustache and beard on the Mona Lisa has a title;
The poster with the drawn moustache and beard was recently sold at auction and i noticed the typical and absurd title Duchamp had given it. You can pronounce it as Look but it can also be the abbreviation of the french words ” Elle a chaud au cul”…translation she is horny. Humor by Duchamp , who works are filled with this kind of “jokes”. Duchamps titles are available at www.ftn-books.com
I know the Haags Gemeentemuseum has no sculpture by Lynn Chadwick, but what i did not know is that there is a sculpture of a sitting couple on the Circusplein by Chadwick and when i read more about Chadwick i noticed that the gallery Nieuwenhuizen Segaar /had an exhibition in 1988 ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com) . So during a 40 year period there was a regular contact between the dutch art scene and Lynn Chadwick.
Chadwick was an English artist known for his innovative bronze and steel sculptures of abstracted and expressive figures and animals. Chadwick’s method is considered unique in his choice not to sketch his sculpture beforehand, preferring instead to improvise and weld metal without a specific plan in place. He was born on November 24, 1914 in the London suburb of Barnes and studied as an apprentice architect under Roger Thomas, who would encourage him towards sculpture. Chadwick’s earliest sculptures were fragile mobiles constructed with balsa wood, copper, and brass, not unlike those of Alexander Calder. In 1950, he had his first major exhibition of his mobiles at Gimpel Fils gallery, which led to significant critical attention. The artist was then chosen to represent Britain at the 1956 Venice Biennale and was awarded its International Sculpture Prize, becoming its then-youngest recipient. He debuted his first steel sculpture, Two Winged Figures, for an outdoor show in 1962, and his works from this period are noted from their combination of abstract detail and natural forms. He was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1964 and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 1993. He died on April 25, 2003 in Gloucestershire, England.
Those of you following this blog , know of my admiration for the gallery Denise Rene and in 1959 they presented one of my favorite artists…..Jean Arp.
Jean Arp was at that not the name he is nowadays but his works were collected by some who thought his works were great. If ever there is an Arp for sale, it draws interest from all over the world , but at the time of this 1959 exhibition at Denise Rene there were so many great works for sale. Drawings, Paintings, sculptures, bronzes….all were presented and for sale. I can not offer an original Arp at www.ftn-books.com, but this great and rare catalogue comes for sale at my site today.
Because of the Robert Mueller that is in the new at these days ai was reminded of the Robert Muller who made some wonderful drawings and sculptures in the sixies and presented those in an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1968 ( Crouwel designed catalogue).
Try to find some information on Robert Muller at these days and it is almost impossible to find anything except for the books i placed on the internet for sale at www.ftn-books.com. Perhaps Muller is almost forgotten or the other FBI ROBERT MUELLER pushes all information away, but not deservedly. This Robert Muller i admire has made some of the nicest most impressive little sculptures i know of in the sixties and is a typical sixties artist and deserves a place among the best sixties artists.
“Sometimes, though not always, old meanings invade the new forms and hold on with a tenacity that cannot be broken. At other times the forms are innocently open to any of the uses we might make of them.”
Joel Fisher is the master of making little works of art that mock with the abstract figuration. He was not that frequently invited to have an exhibition in the Netherlands , but i know of 2 occasions that there was one. The first in 1978 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com
and secondly a far more obscure exhibition in gallery Art Affairs in 1993. Both were rare occasions to see his works, but what i remember most is the pure simplicity of his drawings.
With a few lines he shows that he is almost perfect in his composition, which is a true quality. I like it very much when with so little effort such a nice result is created. These are not random lines, but carefully created compositions. It is the quality i like so much in an artist. and for me Fisher operates with his art in the same category as Miro and Ouborg.
It must have been in the mid nineties and because of my contact with Jan Jongepier, who worked for Drukkerij Lecturis, i was proposed to acquire some works for my personal collection. It were the works artists used for a partial payment of the printers services and were now for sale. One of them was a rectangular stone sculpture by Ulrich Ruckriem and ….i did not buy it. ( if i remember it well it looked something like this)
At that time i thought it to be too expensive for only 1.5 meters of stone and secondly and even more important ..where would i put it? Both were reasons not to buy the work and now 20 years later i am sorry that i did not buy it, because now i appreciate in full the simplicity , but also the strength of Ruckriems works. The only thing that is left is that the memory is still there and every time i pick up a book from www.ftn-books.com on Ruckriem i am reminded of the work i once could have bought.
I was trying to write a short blog on John Chamberlain, but of course i found something far better than any short story i could write myself. Here is the start of the site i found:
John Chamberlain is known internationally for his long career of making vividly colored and vibrantly dynamic sculptures using discarded automobile parts that he twisted and welded into monumental shapes. He used the early modernist techniques of collage and assemblage at a magnified scale and he emphasized the brilliant colors of automotive paint. Chamberlain’s sculptures appeared in New York at the same time as the paintings of the Abstract Expressionists; some were his mentors and they shared a similar critical reception.
You can find the complete history on Chamberlain over here:
For many people in the US , Willem de Kooning is an American painter , however ….for us dutch, de Kooning is a dutchman. Born in Rotterdam and educated at the Rotterdam evening academy and working for the METZ department store as an interior decorator until he decided to go to the US in 1926. He went as a stowaway and would become the abstract expressionist painter we admire. He met artists from and became part of the Abstract expressionist mouvement. Meeting with Pollock, Still, Rothko and Newman made him aware of his qualities as an abstract painter developing a style of his own and building an important oeuvre from there on. He never lost touch with his homecountry the Netherlands and this resulted in a large and very important collection of De Kooning paintings in the Stedelijk Museum. Edy de Wilde was the director who made this happen and it is the luck of the visitors of the Stedelijk that in one spot they can discover and admire so many excellent De Kooning paintings.
The picture by Eva Besnyo above, i encountered in a Museum Bulletin from 1999 in which Marjan Boot wrote an article on Potst and sculptures. Van der Vaart is a highly original ceramic artist who’s quality is the shapes he created his ceramics in. Forms and shapes which were never before used as a ceramic form, but van der Vaart invented them and made them into real ceramic objects.
The pictures tell a far better story than i can, but there are some remarks to be be made about this blog and the life and exhibitions by van der Vaart. First there is this great photograph of van der Vaart working which was made by Eva Besnyo and secondly one of the most beautiful catalogues Wim Crouwel ever designed was the van der Vaart catalogue from 1975.