With his sculptures, usually carved out of one massive block of wood, Stephan Balkenhol was among the first artists of his generation to reintroduce the figure to contemporary sculpture. With a hammer and chisel, the artist gouges his figures out of the tree trunk. He takes no effort to hide the shavings and traces of the tools visible in the wood with its knots, grain and cracks. Rather this is part of the work – an inheritance that was perhaps passed on by his minimalist teacher Ulrich Rückriem. In most aspects, however, Balkenhol did not follow the Minimalist and Conceptual trends he was exposed to as a young sculptor. Inspired by the social and political changes of the 80’ s, the artist felt it was necessary to reinvent the figure “to resume an interrupted tradition”.
I have been following his vcareer for over 20 years now and to me Balkenhol is always a surprise. His technicque of woodsculpting it at his very best at this moment asnd his sculptures grow bigger and bigger and keep getting more important by the years. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Balkenhol titles available.
The first time i encountered the name of Vroegindeweij was at the time i started to take an interest in the students who visited the”Ateliers 63″ academy. Leo Vroegindewij was a student at Ateliers 63 in the years 1976-1978 and finshed his studies around the time i started my publishing years at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. It is also the years i took an interest in the Art & Project gallery which was one of the f
irst to show the works by Leo Vroegindeweij. I like his sculkptures however they are not very suited for the living room and really need space and only galleries and museum s can presdent them in a proper way and for me that is the reason i never considered buying a work by Vroegindeweij. They need “room to move” and it is hard to realize such space in a family home. Still, his works must be admired and whenever a small one comes to the market i promissed myself to reconsider buying one.
This an artist for the future and at this time still affordable and a great investment.
Reinhoud D’haese’s works were primarily surrealist outputs depicting small-scale figures performing various activities; Le Contramaitre is just one of the many quirky figures created and exhibited.
Initially, his preferred material was copper, but he eventually went on to explore and create with a variety of other materials throughout his career, namely pewter and glass. D’haese met Pierre Alechinsky in the early 50’s and subsequently displayed a lot of his works . Both had an iconic exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which catalogue is still one of my personal favorites.
What makes the works special for me and it is the reason i think his art will be of great artistic and financial valu in the future is that Reinhoud walks the road between surrealism and abstraction, making his art related to Alechinsky but also to Andre Breton.
His saculptures are unique creatures and put together are part of the typical Reinhold world.
It has been a few month now that i have the book CARL ANDRE/ HOLLIS FRAMPTON, 12 Dialogues 1962-1963 in my inventory. Of course i have seen the works by Andre on many occasions, but rarely seen his early works and this book is focussed on his earliest works. It shows the logs of wood, sculptures with metal , but not the ordered ones for which he would become famous in the early Seventies. These sculptures feel like a thorough research into material and presentation. By the end of 1961 a little work shows how logs are arranged and combined into the earliest and purest form of his sculptures.
Now i have read this excellent title id decide to put it oup for sale, but i will remember it for showing me what the earliest works by Carl Andre look like, The Book is now available at www.ftn-books.com
Derain is specially known for his Fauve paintings. Friends with Matisse and de Vlaminck he stood at the craddle of the post impressionist mouvement and became aone of the most well known Fauvist painters. Lesser known is that Andre Derain was also a gifted sculptor. He used in most cases wooden logs as his raw material and inspired by african masks and ethnic art he transformed them into his own kind of fauvist sculptures. I remembered this because at one time we visited an impressive Derain sculptures exhibition in DE KUNSTHAL in Rotterdam where a Derain sculpture exhibition was held. The catalogue , which is a more than excellent publication, is still available at www.ftn-books.com
The first time i saw these sculptures by Heringa / van Kalsbeek was at the time i was still working at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.
It was 1999 and i was impressed. These resin sculptures looked almost accidental. But they are far from it. These sculptures are created by guidance and when finished they have shape, form, volume and color thought out by the artists. Since 1999 they have had their installations shown in many venues. One of them was the DE FUNDATIE in 2006 which catalogue is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.
Heringa /van Kalsbeek are important contemporary artists and are included in the dutch series of portraits on dutch modern art ” HOLLANDSE MEESTERS”
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 http://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.
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20