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Fritz Wotruba (1907-1975)

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A truly visionary artist Fritz Wotruba was. He is almost forgotten, but deserves to be recognized as one of the great European artists who shaped modern art and combined this with great architectural designs. Wotruba is like a cubist sculptor, but his shapes consist of parts put together and seen from nearby it seems as they have no relation with each other. But from further away figures emerge.

His sculptures are magnificent, but when you once have seen his architecture you are completely sold .

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This is the discipline in which he excels and is a one of a kind artist. Fritz Wotruba has had several exhibitions in the Netherland in the 50’s and the 60’s, but is after these events almost forgotten. Instead in Austria he is still one of the greatest Modern Artists. Catalogues of these events are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Ans Hey (1932-2010)

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A typical career of a dutch artist. an artist who has had her share of admirers during her life but who never has reached true “stardom” in the dutch art scene.

This is changing rapidly. Since a few years her works are offered at auction. Affordable auctions which prove that her works are better than average since the auction results pass their estimates by a fair percentage. Ans Hey is foremost a sculptor who loved to work with stone. She sculpted and modelled and polished her stones sculptures until the result reached a level of perfection. Het inspiration was nature and the human body, making these sculptures understandable for practically all/ www.ftn-books.com has a nice etching by Ans Hey and of course the very best publication which was acquired recently at a local book market.

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Anish Kapoor (1954)

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It was about 3 months ago that we visited DE PONT in Tilburg. Our friends from the US wanted to visit the Bauhaus Textile exhibition and Linda and I decided to make the visit to DE PONT. An important museum and it struck us both that their collection is of the greatest quality. This is quite an accomplishment for such a small museum. So the Pont is worth visiting and what strikes you immediately at the entrance is a bend mirror like sculpture that reflects the sky. It is majestic in its  appearance and of course the reflection is alway different so the sculpture present itself in a different way constantly.

A visit to remember since this is an excellent museum with ao. this Anish Kapoor, who is one of the most influential sculptors of his generation. Perhaps most famous for public sculptures that are both adventures in form and feats of engineering, Kapoor manoeuvres between vastly different scales, across numerous series of work. Immense PVC skins, stretched or deflated; concave or convex mirrors whose reflections attract and swallow the viewer; recesses carved in stone and pigmented so as to disappear: these voids and protrusions summon up deep-felt metaphysical polarities of presence and absence, concealment and revelation. Forms turn themselves inside out, womb-like, and materials are not painted but impregnated with colour, as if to negate the idea of an outer surface, inviting the viewer to the inner reaches of the imagination. Kapoor’s geometric forms from the early 1980s, for example, rise up from the floor and appear to be made of pure pigment, while the viscous, blood-red wax sculptures from the last ten years – kinetic and self-generating – ravage their own surfaces and explode the quiet of the gallery environment. There are resonances with mythologies of the ancient world – Indian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman – and with modern times. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Kapoor titles available

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Gunda Förster (1967)

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For the next three blogs i have chosen lesser known artist, but i think they are still important. The first is Gunda Förster.

Gunda Forster and Francois Morellet were presented in one exhibition at the Bundestag in Germany. A just decission since both are very much related to eachother. Where Morellet presented his figurative  works ,Gunda Förster presented her Konkret ones.

The works of Gunda Förster define visibility as the elementary organization of space, light and time. Seeing is movement, which encounters the movement of the seen.
One walks along benighted streets, past darkened and brightly lit windows, rooms illuminated by the flickering of television screens, under lighted billboard advertisements and neon signs, between the headlights of moving automobiles. In the way the gaze turns from the stars, whose light has outlived their extinguishment, Gunda Förster’s works with light remove the plastic phenomenon from things occurring. The images of urban tranquillity, behind each window a life, drawn to and distracted by advertisement, on its way from one location to another, are wiped away with a gesture of minimalistic reduction. The pure form arising out of this regards itself as compatible with the artistic realm and designs it as one set aside for art – a cross-section of the producer’s and the observer’s experiences.
That Förster’s recent works with 35 mm. slides can be understood as a shift to narrative or representational image forms is as self-evident as taking the images transmitted via television for reality. The concepts interspersed into Variations of chance play into the futility of an observation intent on finding meaning.
Both the presentation, a projection time of one to two seconds per slide with fadeovers, and the quality of the images and concepts evade the presumptive reliability of the pairing of photography and text. The words come across as slogans which allow the bid to vanish into a surplus of possible connotations. The image fragments do not tack meanings onto the concepts (found language fragments), but rather strengthen their repellancy as typefaces depicting only potentially significant language sounds, which in turn reinforce the impression that the more or less blurred representationalism of the slides (for the most part people photographed from television screens) merely refers to the tautology of the visible and of light.
The continually shifting references between word and word, word and image, image and image render any compulsive production of meaning futile. The observer is left with the single insight: that his understanding fails on account of an incomprehensible compositional principle. Indeed, the impression of merely accidental and unstable word and image combinations could be described in a complex mathematical form as a sequence of variations – and, hence, as the visualization of a musical idea.

www.ftn-books.com has Forster pubications available

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Go to the Richard Long exhibition at DE PONT

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Last week we were in Tilburg to visit the Textielmuseum with the Bauhaus Textiles with our friends David and Monica from the US. Linda and I preferred to see the modern art at the DE PONT instead and we were treated to one of the best contemporary art exhibitions from the last years. In DE PONT there was a special exhibition by Richard Long, who took full use of all the spaces available. The cabinets were all filled with smaller Long works ( except for the Kapoor cabinets ) and the great hall served as the exhibition space for his stone circles, lines and crosses.

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The result….impressive. Here are the pics i took from the space. I gladly share these with you since these pictures do not justice to the real experience.

The ” look and feel” of the space is so impressive, that you must see this yourself and to prepare your visit you can chose one of the nice Richard Long publications www.ftn-books.com has for sale. This is not meant as a spoiler. Just hurry up and go there as long as the Richard Long exhibition is there.

 

 

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Hildo Krop (1884-1970)

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Hildo Krop is truly the one and only city sculptor of the city of AMsterdam. When you see an ornament at a building or a statue on a square there is a fair chance that it was done by Hildo Krop. Krop was active in the period that Amsteram had its biggest growth .

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It was in preparation of the Olympic games of 1928 and many new buildings and parks were built in those days and if one wanted to make them more beautiful with a sclpture or statue, Hildo Krop was the artist of choice for many new projects in those days.

This was recognized by the Stedelijk Museum who devoted an exhibition to Krop in 1964 and had Wim Crouwel design the catalogue with the exhibition. Since that year there has been a growth of interest in Hildo Krop as an artist which resulted in a Museum devoted to Hildo Krop….location Amsterdam and on the internet at : http://hildokrop.nl

The Wim Crouwel publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Fabio de Sanctis (1931)

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Fabio De Sanctis was born on Rome on 7-2-1931. He studied in Rome. After the war De Sanctis came into contact with the word of the visual arts, making friends with various artists who worked in the capital.
At eighteen he enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture in Rome, and part of his interests were absorbed by the university and the problems of his chosen discipline. During this period he executed tempera drawings, a few oils, and some ceramic sculptures.



He was graduated in 1957 and opened an architectural office,participating in competitions and designing buildings for private and public clients.
As he followed the execution of his designs, he developed a knowledge of the materials and techniques involved in the realization of his ideas.
His relations with artists sometimes led to joint efforts in the making of buildings and interiors

A fascinating artist because his surrealist art was of a kind rarekly seen. There are not many surrealist painters who use sclupture to express them selves. One exception I know of some Dali sculptures, but most them make paintings. There are not that many publications on the artist, but there is one i have in my inventory and it presents itself as one of de Sanctis sculptures. …. a true artis book and available at www.ftn-books.com

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Henry Moore (1898-1986)

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There has always been a fascination for Henry Moore and his works by the dutch. Since the beginning of his career he has had exhibitions at all the major museums in the Netherlands, which resuklted in purchses by museums and privste collectors. One of the last collectors to add a major work by Moore was Joop Caldenborgh who added a very large bronze sculpture by the artist. It was one of the last sculptures he added to his collection before he build the Voorlinden museum.

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My guess is that eventually his majestic sculpture garden including the Moore and Sol LeWiit sculptures, will be integrated with the Museum Voorlinden.

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I love the large Henry Moore that is outside the Schamhart building at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and learned to truly love this one , because it was my outside view at the Gemeentemuseum when i had my office over there. Later i moved to the offices at the Museum of education and had the complete Berlage building as my view, but the office with the Henry Moore in front and a Rijsselberghe painting in our room was a great place to work.

Since there is a long history of Henry Moore exhibitions in the Netherlands , i have collected many important Henry Moore catalogues of which the Stedelijk Museum one stands out since this one is designed by Willem Sandberg.

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Piet Dirkx weekly…. ZANNETTI

With this ZANNETTI name i found two items. The first was cheese flakes with the name of the producer Zannetti. The second is a brand name for exclusive watches. Bot have no resemblance at all with the art work Piet Dirkx presented with the name ” ZANNETTI”. it is a multi colored small beam with an egg hanging underneath it. . Long and lean , i found it very appealing when i bought it and since, it always has found a place in our homes. Here is ZANNETTI from 1994/1995

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the “Billy Rose sculpture garden” at the Israel Museum

I have never visted Jerusalem, but because of a recent acquisition for my inventory i want to share the experience of an actual visitor to the garden who truly enjoyed it. The catalogue of the sculpture garden is available at www.ftn-books.com

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It was a sunny Sunday morning, and I was strolling through a peaceful garden. This was the Billy Rose Art Garden, in the grounds of Jerusalem’s Israel Museum. The Museum has some impressive exhibits, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and extensive collections of art and archaeology. But the Scrolls would have to wait for another time: I was here for the sculpture.

Walking Through the Billy Rose Art Garden

I had the garden almost to myself. The sounds of birdsong and distant church bells competed for my attention. The paths were lined with fragrant plants. And there were sculptures everywhere, in perfect harmony with their surroundings.

Completed in 1965, the Billy Rose Art Garden was the work of Isamu Noguchi, an American sculptor. He followed the principles of Zen design, using a variety of different materials such as concrete, gravel and water, and featuring mostly native plants. The garden is set on a steep hillside, so that panoramic views of the city are incorporated into the landscape.

Sculptures Old and New

Some of the sculptures are by well known artists. As you enter the garden you are greeted by a statue of Adam by Auguste Rodin. Later on, a sculpture by Henry Moore poses against the city skyline. But others are more modern, often by contemporary Israeli sculptors. There is a giant stainless steel apple core, and the appropriately named “Turning the World Upside Down”, which reflects and inverts its surroundings.

The modern sculptures have not always been admired by everyone. It is said that Billy Rose, the American showman who founded and gave his name to the garden, commented that they should be “melted down for bullets”! Modern visitors might well disagree. For myself, I enjoyed the juxtaposition of old and new, and the pleasure of turning every corner to find something different.