A few weeks ago Arthur Spronken died, Famous in the South of the Netherlands with his horse sculptures. He has become each decade of more importance for the dutch sculpture scene. His statues are widely spread in public spaces in Limburg and because of their size in most cases outside.
What do i think of Spronken as a sculptor and his sculptures. To me they look like classic sculptures , influenced by the “classic” Chinese Tang hors ceramic horses. Their legs in most cases missing , leaving a muscular torso of the horse and in most cases there is “action and mouvement ” in the torso.
A little like the technique the futurists used to use within their paintings, suggesting a mouvement. After his initial fame in Limburg, his sculptures spread over the Netherlands. Making sculptures in public places in towns like Amsterdam, Haarlem and Zwolle. I respect his craftsmanship but his sculptures never fascinated me enough to buy a small one for my collection,. They come up for auction regularly and their prices are still on the verge of affordable. His sculptures are nice to look at and they draw your attention immediately when you encounter them, but for me the do not intrigue long enough to collect them.
Arthur Spronken has had some important exhibitions in the Netherlands. Among them Beelden Aan Zee and the Frans Hals Museum and www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles on the sculptor Arthur Spronken. What i personally like about Spronken is the catalogue which was made for the van Bohemen/Spronken Stedelijk Museum exhibition in 1968. A designed catalogue by Wim Crouwel.
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.
Same decade, same museum, same curator and same designer for the catalogue. A week ago i wrote about Arne Jacobsen, but in the sixties another Jacobsen was given an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum too. Robert Jacobsen had a solo exhibition in 1960 and his friend Willem Sandberg designed the catalogue for it. This time his approach was different because within the catalogue a special compartment was made in which an exhibition poster could be folded and sold together with the catalogue. This meant that most of the catalogues which are sold nowadays, lack the poster because in most cases it is or was sold separately. Both items are Willem Sandberg designs , so both are very much worth collecting. Beside the great design by Sandberg Robert Jacobsen is of course a magnificent artist too and after his Sixties exhibition in the Stedelijk i know of only one location in Europe, the Louisiana Museum, in which his works were presented. Most of his exhibitions took place in museums and galleries the US.
The print beside the portrait of Jacobsen is available at www.ftn-books.com as are the book titles on this page.
The next 3 days will be with short blogs on female artists that i admire very much. Today’s one is on Louise Nevelson who’s portrait by Suzy Embo is for sale at www.ftn-books.com.
Next year , starting at 23rd of june 2017 a large retrospective on Embo’s photographs will be organized at the FOMU /FotoMuseum Antwerpen. The photograph i have for sale was a lucky find , because it was hidden in one of the great Nevelson catalogues i bought years ago. Excellent condition of the photograph and the strong image of Louise Nevelson makes this one of my favorite artists photographs i have ever seen.
Louise Nevelson is in European undervalued artist, who made assemblages from left over materials and who was not that well known some 30 years ago. She had her exhibitions and retrospectives, but only since a few decades her works appear at auctions and in group exhibitions by Abstract expressionists. Stil she had a loyal following of admirers in the Netherlands and Belgium. In Belgium she even had a solo exhibition in the Paleis voor Schone Kunsten in 197 and you can visit one of the large works at the Centre Pompidou museum in Metz, but for the most of us in Europe this artist was a mystery….(and still is). The case in the US was a total different one. She was recognized as one of the most important sculptors from the 20th century from the early 60’s and onwards.
Major museums began purchasing Nevelson’s wall sculptures in the late 1950s, and she was included in the landmark “Sixteen Americans” exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1959. In the following decades she earned commissions for large-scale sculptures from institutions such as Princeton University (Atmosphere and Environment X, 1969), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Transparent Horizon, 1975), and the Philadelphia Federal Courthouse (Bicentennial Dawn, 1976). In 1967 the first major retrospective of her work was presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. During the 1970s and ’80s Nevelson expanded the variety of materials used in her sculptures, incorporating objects made of aluminum, Plexiglas, and Lucite. Not until she was in her 60s did Nevelson win recognition as one of the foremost sculptors of the 20th century.
Last Tuesday we visited once again the studio of Eja Siepman van den Berg. In the gallery we visited an excellent and beautiful exhibition by Aubertin, Schad and the sculptures of Eja and to complete it …..a fantastic surprise lunch. We were joined by Roland Janssen and discussed the possibilities of presenting some of the statues on our site which will soon be live. Yes ,within a few weeks www.ftn-art.com will be “live”. Including a selection of the sculptures by Eja Siepman van den Berg. To get some impression of the sculptures that will be presented and which are for sale we made a pre selection of 3 sculptures. Any purchase of these sculptures will be accompanied by me personally and i will escort you to the studio of Eja Siepman van den Berg to meet the artist and show you the other works by Eja Siepman van den Berg. For all inquiries please contact me at : firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form below.
Artist: Eja Siepman van den Berg
title: Kinderkopje ( Lucas)
year : 2003
material : marble ( white)
size : approx. 11 x 12 x 16 cm.
artist: Eja Siepman van den Berg
title : Standing Girl
year : 1998
material : bronze
size : approx. 114 cm x 25 x 30 cm.
price : p.o.a.
artist : Eja Siepman van den Berg
title : Man
material : bronze
size : approx. 138 x 30 x 30 cm.
price : p.o.a.
for more information please fill in the form below
A few month ago i contacted Eja Siepman van den Berg and inquired after a small statue she had made in an edition. The first contact resulted in an invitation to come and visit her in her studio in Beetsterzwaag, but because of circumstances it was impossible for us to make an appointment to visit.
Time passes and circumstances change so we finally had a chance to take some days off and decided to go to Friesland and yes …there is also the studio of Eja. We contacted each other again and found a time to visit on the 10th of august. I really looked forward to visit this fascinating artist because i never visited a real sculptors studio.
The morning of the 10th it was raining again and we run towards the entrance where we were met by Eja Siepman van den Berg. Turned to the left and walked right into the studio gallery where there was a special exhibition by a Chinese artist Xinjian Lu ( blog in a few days ), together with the statues by Eja. The abstraction of the large paintings by Xinjiang with the bronzes by Eja worked extremely well. Each showed its qualities together with the works by the other and nowhere a work dominated . I took some pictures which show just what i mean. This was a perfect setting for both artists.
After showing us the gallery and the works which were on show we soon chose our favorites and it appeared that the more abstraction was within the sculpture the more we admired it. Not that the full body sculptures were not appealing, but we thought that the sculptures with the focus on a specific body part were more abstract and had more strength
The next room, where we drank coffee, was the artist studio. Decorated with a magnificent photograph by Eja on the wall together with a work by JCJ van der Heijden.
I never knew she was a gifted photographer as well , but she explained that she made photographs during the time she had a shoulder injury and it was almost impossible for her to sculpt. The Large JCJ van der Heijden was the remainder of an exhibition which was one time held in the gallery. An extremely organized studio, with a special spot with mirrors to make the sculptures. The one that she was busy with was modelled after a photograph and in most cases Eja uses photographs to model after. Eja explained that the editions of the sculptures is protected by french law in which is stated that the maximum number of sculptures which is allowed to be made from one cast is eight. Above this number one speaks of an edition which of course can be limited too.
It takes an extremely lot of work before the final result can be shown in the gallery or museum and one can only admire the patience any sculptor must have before the final result can be shown. Sculptors must be a different kind of artist breed and one can only have the greatest respect for the path they have chosen to show their art to us…. their public.