The first thing that i thought when i saw the poster for the Jerry Zeniuk exhibition at the Josef Albers Museum was…..it looks like a large Piet Dirkx. Of course i know the works by Piet Dirkx very well and there are quite some similarities between them . They both prefer large sizes. Zeniuk even larger ones. And the use of color is almost the same.
on the left Jerry Zeniuk on the right Piet Dirkx
Zeniuk follows in the tradition of American art after 1950 with his largeformat works. The wall-filling aspect of his painting does not however seek to redefine real space; it retains its pictorial identity, which allows the painter as well as the viewer to be present in the painting. “To be present, mentally, emotionally, physically” – this was Zeniuk’s motivation as well as his challenge when creating a painting measuring four by eight meters, as he did in 2001 in Mainz, or five by five meters in Munich in 2013. These two works, which act like brackets in relation to the rest of Zeniuk’s oeuvre, are the focus of the current presentation. The oil paintings on canvas were created without the aid of a preliminary sketch. The choice and combination of colors, the movement involved in the application of paint, and the artist’s wealth of experience alone gave rise to these authentic “depictions.” Jerry Zeniuk (b. 1945 in Bardowick near Lüneburg) is one of the foremost representatives of so-called “elementary” or “essential” painting.
He was born in 1903 in Masmünster , Alsace. After graduating from high school in Baden-Baden (1921), he studied psychology , philosophy , medicine , languages and art studies at the universities in Heidelberg , Leipzig , Berlin and Würzburg from 1921 to 1925 . In 1925 he received his doctorate in Frankfurt in the subject of psychology  and was there at the Psychological Institute assistant to Max Wertheimer , the founder of Gestalt theory . From 1933 he studied in BerlinPainting by the Swiss painter and art teacher Johannes Itten , whose assistant he became in 1933. In 1936 Kleint emigrated to Luxembourg .
Between 1936 and 1942 he traveled from there to Walter Gropius in London and to Kandinsky and Picasso in Paris , later a second trip to Kandinsky followed. After the liberation of the Grand Duchy by Allied troops (1944) he was interned in the Luxembourg state prison “Im Grund” for four weeks.
In 1946 Kleint received an appointment at the State School for Art and Crafts in Saarbrücken, where he took over the master class for painting and at the same time set up a “basic teaching” based on the Itten preliminary course ( Bauhaus ), which he passed on to his assistant Oskar Holweck after a few years passed on. In 1953 he took over the chairmanship of the Saarland Artists Association. In 1954 he was appointed professor and four years later a visiting professorship at the Technical University of Aachen . In 1957, Kleint and like-minded people founded the artists’ association “ neue gruppe saar ”. In 1969 his main work “Bildlehre” appeared, which became decisive for later generations of students and in several languages, including insJapanese , has been translated.
Kleint’s oeuvre covers a broad spectrum and is stylistically diverse. Both constructive – concrete elements and informal tendencies can be found in the work . According to his own statement, his artistic goal was a “visual universality” to which he subordinated the finding of a personal style.
In 1994 Klein received a Retrospective exhibition at the Josef Albers Museum. He signed a few of the exhibition posters of which one is now available at www.ftn-books.com
The importance of Ama Kaag for dutch art is not that great. She deserves to be remembered for her sculptures and Photo journalism, but for me she stands for a “groupie” like admiration for Armando. A few months ago i bought a large colection of Armando signed and dedicated books all signed for Ama Kaag and it appeared that Ama Kaag travelled Europe and the Netehrlands to follow Armando and his eattended his exhibitions all over Europe. Armando signing these and commented that Ama Kaag was always present at the opening. This collection is now for sqale at www.ftn-books.com
Ad Arma is known in real life as Ad Robert Meerman and represented by Willy Schoots gallery. A life long career in art has brought him some fame and exchibitions in the Netherlands , but it will be hard to find his works in public collections. Still he has a loyal following and build a circle of collectors, who collect his works. Personally i have never visited an exhibition or gallery viewing, but what i saw in the book i now have for sale ( with original drawing) the works remind me of Kees Okx, Heyboer and his long rising sculptures of Giacometti. All these artist i like very much, so why didn’t i hear of Ad Arma only some years ago? I can not answer this question, but i am certain to visit his exhibition when it is organized at a place not too far away.
My work and life are completely fused. The work is my life. Themes in my work throughout time; The slipping of time, shared vulnerability, continuous change, time and timelessness, the arise and disappearance. The melancholy and beauty of consciousness.
I cannot explain what moves me. That on its own, already moves me.
A few months ago i wrote a short ” IN MEMORIAM” on the occasion of Helena van der Kraan’s passing away on her birthday at the age of 80 years,Bbut what i did not mention was that there was a very nice retropective on her ” Bears ” series at the Fotomuseum Den Haag, only one problem……Covid 19 made it for us almost possible to visit, but now that the museums can be visited again, we went to the Fotomuseum, Gem and Kunstmuseum to get an artistic “update” including the Bear series retrospective by Helena van der Kraan.
Personally i love her almost classic way of photography, Linda was less charmed, but both we agreed that the combination of GEM and Fotomuseum ( also a Wegman exhibition) was time very well spend. Another reason to write this short blog is that i found a signed copy of the 1986 book published by van Beveren/Haags Gemeentemuseum and perhaps this shows best why i think that Helena will be remembered as one of our great photographers. Every photo is “classic” and timeless and where the photographs of her compatriot Saudek are getting more and more dated, the photographs of Helena grow on you and ripen and gain in quality by the year.
The exhibition shoudl have been closed on the 21tgh of UAgust , but because programs are continued at many of the museums the Helena van der Kraan Bear series is still to be viewed at the Fotomuseum. I do not know how long it still will be there, but i urge you to go when you have a chance.
There was a time that Den Haag had multiple important art galeries, but it now looks like practically all have disappeared. I do not why , but many have stopped their business. One of them must have been Roger Verstraten , since it was about 8 years ago that I encountered at the local book market a box containing all kinds of small publications on Gerard Verdijk. Being a collector of his works I bought the box and many have since become part of my personal library, but one publication was present with multiple copies in the box and 2 of these were signed by Gerard. I did not discover this until recently I leafed through them and noticed that, besides my own personal copy, another one was signed and dedicated to Roger Verstraten. The little book ” VERGETEN DAT JE HET VERGAT ” was published on the occasion of the Artoteek exhibition in 2000.
The second signed copy of this book, which was published in an edition of only 750 copies, is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com
One of the nicest things of writing a daily blog is that you keep discovering “unknown” artist. One of these artists is Jean Villeri. I found a signed book on the bookmarket ( now for sale at http://www.ftn-boks.com) . An artist who lived through some very important periods, post impressionism was one of them and from his earliest beginning he started as a post impressionist painter. He met and was influenced by Bonnard, he later became an abstract painter/sculptor. The result …in the end his works were presented and collected by french museums and his art was sold at galleries in France. He has had some some exhibitions outside France, but his main public were the french gallery public. The book/catalogue that is now for sale is for his 1963 Galerie Blumenthal exhibition and shows in an excellent way his strength as an artist.
It was a few months ago that i was fortunate to buy a small collection of ARMANDO books. Only 25 cm’s of books, but among the 16 books , 6 were signed by the master himself. Since his death , Armando paintings, drawings and etchings have become highly collectable items and the books are no exception. Publications that are in most cases of a very high quality and the ARMANDO signature makes them even more wanted and collectable. ww.ftn-books.com has them now for sale, so please take a look at them at my site and search for the many Armando items i have for sale.
Otmar Alt has become over the years a famous German artist. The reason is that his art is accessibel and in his piantings and prints he depicts a fantasy world which is abstract and populated with figurative creatures. His roots can be found in the colorful world oof Pop Art painting, but over the years he developed a recognizable style of his own. You can not help but admire the commercial quality of his art. A bit the dsame as Corneille in the Netherlands developed his art into a highly commercial form of art. Helped by big companies his art was distributed among many admirers in high editions ( ABN bank ao). In the case of Otmar Alt you can see that his art was distributed among many , because on several occasion he included some nice “signed in print” prints within the books that were published. Onme of these books including the print is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.
Klaus Fussmann is not very well known outside Germany, but still important enough to devote a blog to this painter. My interest in Fussmann grew when i bought a signed copy of a 30 years old book. It is interesting to see that his style developed into a much more abstract approach to his subjects. If i must compare his works it might me with the later works of the dutch painter Contant. Both found a more realistic style in their paintings with lots of abstract elements. I think Fussmann’s fame stay in Germany only and not cross the border, but for those interested in this fascinating painter, know that www.ftn-books.com has some nice (signed) publications available.
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