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Klee / Kupka and music

 

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Two totally different painters with a complete different background. Both rose to fame in the Interbellum and booth were very much inspired by music and the rhythm of it.

In a time that exhibitions were developed around a theme. btw. the Spiritual in Art was such an exhibition, one of the most iconic exhibitions of the Eighties was presented in Germany. its name VOM KLANG DER BILDER. An exhibition in which the relation between music , sounds and rhythm and the influence they had on paintings was tried to be explained. It is for certain that music has been of influence to artists and both Klee and Kupka were the artist who made paintings in relation to music . Kupka is perhaps the artist who has been influenced by Music the most, but certainly Paul Klee has become known for his music inspired paintings and drawings.

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Klee perceived a clear visual connection to the structural articulations found in music. Focusing on polyphony and counterpoint, Klee produced his watercolor Fugue in Red in 1921.

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This early attempt to achieve a synthesis between music and art exposes a number of floating forms, either figurative or as abstract derivations. Overlapping shapes float over a two-dimensional surface, with the temporal aspect graphically represented by a gradual shift in color. Moving from the dark background to maximum transparency, the visualized counterpoint combines in a cosmic harmony that reaches towards a new sense of spirituality. Although essentially structural in approach, this painting embodies Klee’s believe in “harmony, autonomy, and universality in humankind.” As a musician and a painter, Klee essentially created a harmonious arrangement that echoes a universal order. www.ftn-books.com has on both artists several publications available.

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Martial Raysse (1936)

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Martial Raysse, 82 years of age and still going strong, but his works have definitely changed. They have become Mythological inspired and stand far from the Pop Art he made in the sixties when his works and art became known together with other beginning artists.

In October 1960 he founded together with Yves Klein, Arman, Spoerri, Tinguely and Villegle de artist group NOUVEAUX REALISTES . They tried to approach reality in a new and avant garde way and were seen as the french equivalent of the Pop Art mouvement. Martial Raysse worked like Warhol with silkscreens contrasting colors and added Neon to his paintings, making them instantly recognizable and appealing.

Another aspect of his art was that his paintings were not flat, but had in many cases a 3D addition. A rope, box or the mentioned neon gives the painting literally several layers. His 60’s adn early Seventies are among the best Pop Art paintings produced  and fetch extremely high prices at auction. recently one of his paintings fetched a staggering 4 Million.

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At a more affordable level the excellent Stedelijk Museum catalogue designed by Wim Crouwel is available at www.ftn-books.com . It has a special Raysse designed cover and even the use of colors ( out and inside ) is typical Raysse. Available at www.ftn-books.com

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Barbara Nanning (1957)..organic shapes in glass and ceramics.

Born in Den Haag, Barbara Nanning made herself an artist career in glass and ceramic objects. With one contant…. almost all her works look to be inspired by nature and organisms. Just take a look at this screenprint from Google and see for yourself what i mean. The objects look like corals, shells, plants and organs. These are heavily inspired by nature and the feeling i get from them differs. Some of them i wat to touch and caress and with others i feel unease. It is nice that these feelings are called on to you and it is a certwain quality of the art of Babara Nanning. The is one artist who gives me the same mixed feelings as Nanning does. Emil Schumacher has the same effect on me ( see the blog on Schumacher from a few years ago).

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There is an excellent book on Nanning for sale at www.,ftn-books.com

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Dennis Oppenheim (1938-2011)

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An artist i never heard of before , but since the exhibition of Alice Aycock in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag i know of him and his art and later of course i found out that there was an excellent exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 1974, which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

Why is that?…Oppenheim was married to Alice Aycock and many of the exhibition venues presented both these artist shortly after each other

And what about Dennis Oppenheim? For me Oppenheim stands for conceptual and performance art. His “earthworks” have become famous and on the cover of the stedelijk Museum catalogue one is depicted. BTW. the Stedelijk catalogue was designed by Wim Crouwel and he made it, because of the use of a beautiful impressive photograph of one of the earthworks, stand out from the rest.

If i compare both artist , I definitely have more interest in the large sculptures by Alice Aycock, but Oppenheim is important too and time will tell which of them will be the most important one…. my guess it will be the wife …Alice Aycock.

In 2011 Oppenheim died of pancreas cancer

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David Tremlett at Coazzolo / Italy

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Last 10 days we spent in the beautiful Langhe e Roero area near Alba (Italy). There is not a great number of Modern Art to be found in the joining areas. There is of course Modern Art in Torino and Rivoli. But in and near Alba almost nothing. One exception. David Tremlett decorated a church at Coazzolo which is well worth visiting and Sol LeWitt decorated a chapel in the wine fields.

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Both are well worth a vist but none is that spectacular it is worth a detour still when in the neighborhood visit them because this is one of the most enchanting regions in Italy and well worth visiting even if there is hardly any modern art to be found. For some Tremlett publications visit www.ftn-books.com

tremlett cata a

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Edward Weston (1886-1956)

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This text comes from a wonderful and beautiful site devoted to Edward Weston and his works. Weston is one of the most important photography artist from last century and this site ( edward-weston.com) is a deserved and “classic” tribute to this great photographer.

Edward Henry Weston was born March 24, 1886, in Highland Park, Illinois.  He spent the majority of his childhood in Chicago where he attended Oakland Grammar School. He began photographing at the age of sixteen after receiving a Bull’s Eye #2 camera from his father. Weston’s first photographs captured the parks of Chicago and his aunt’s farm. In 1906, following the publication of his first photograph in Camera and Darkroom, Weston moved to California. After working briefly as a surveyor for San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, he began working as an itinerant photographer. He peddled his wares door to door photographing children, pets and funerals. Realizing the need for formal training, in 1908 Weston returned east and attended the Illinois College of Photography in Effingham, Illinois. He completed the 12-month course in six months and returned to California. In Los Angeles, he was employed as a retoucher at the George Steckel Portrait Studio. In 1909, Weston moved on to the Louis A. Mojoiner Portrait Studio as a photographer and demonstrated outstanding abilities with lighting and posing.) Weston married his first wife, Flora Chandler in 1909. He had four children with Flora; Edward Chandler (1910), Theodore Brett (1911), Laurence Neil (1916) and Cole (1919). In 1911, Weston opened his own portrait studio in Tropico, California. This would be his base of operation for the next two decades. Weston became successful working in soft-focus, pictorial style; winning many salons and professional awards. Weston gained an international reputation for his high key portraits and modern dance studies. Articles about his work were published in magazines such as American Photography, Photo Era and Photo Miniature. Weston also authored many articles himself for many of these publications. In 1912, Weston met photographer Margrethe Mather in his Tropico studio. Mather becomes his studio assistant and most frequent model for the next decade. Mather had a very strong influence on Weston. He would later call her, “the first important woman in my life.” Weston began keeping journals in 1915 that came to be known as his “Daybooks.” They would chronicle his life and photographic development into the 1930’s.

In 1922 Weston visited the ARMCO Steel Plant in Middletown, Ohio. The photographs taken here marked a turning point in Weston’s career. During this period, Weston renounced his Pictorialism style with a new emphasis on abstract form and sharper resolution of detail. The industrial photographs were true straight images: unpretentious, and true to reality. Weston later wrote, “The camera should be used for a recording of life, for rendering the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself, whether it be polished steel or palpitating flesh.” Weston also traveled to New York City this same year, where he met Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Charles Sheeler and Georgia O’Keefe.

In 1923 Weston moved to Mexico City where he opened a photographic studio with his apprentice and lover Tina Modotti. Many important portraits and nudes were taken during his time in Mexico. It was also here that famous artists; Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, and Jose Orozco hailed Weston as the master of 20th century art.

After moving back to California in 1926, Weston began his work for which he is most deservedly famous: natural forms, close-ups, nudes, and landscapes. Between 1927 and 1930, Weston made a series of monumental close-ups of seashells, peppers, and halved cabbages, bringing out the rich textures of their sculpture-like forms. Weston moved to Carmel, California in 1929 and shot the first of many photographs of rocks and trees at Point Lobos, California. Weston became one of the founding members of Group f/64 in 1932 with Ansel Adams, Willard Van Dyke, Imogen Cunningham and Sonya Noskowiak. The group chose this optical term because they habitually set their lenses to that aperture to secure maximum image sharpness of both foreground and distance. 1936 marked the start of Weston’s series of nudes and sand dunes in Oceano, California, which are often considered some of his finest work. Weston became the first photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship for experimental work in 1936. Following the receipt of this fellowship Weston spent the next two years taking photographs in the West and Southwest United States with assistant and future wife Charis Wilson. Later, in 1941 using photographs of the East and South Weston provided illustrations for a new edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

Weston began experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in 1946 and in 1948 shot his last photograph of Point Lobos. In 1946 the Museum of Modern Art, New York featured a major retrospective of 300 prints of Weston’s work. Over the next 10 years of progressively incapacitating illness, Weston supervised the printing of his prints by his sons, Brett and Cole. His 50th Anniversary Portfolio was published in 1952 with photographs printed by Brett. An even larger printing project took place between1952 and 1955. Brett printed what was known as the Project Prints. A series of 8 -10 prints from 832 negatives considered Edward’s lifetime best. The Smithsonian Institution held
the show, “The World of Edward Weston” in 1956 paying tribute to his remarkable accomplishments in American photography. Edward Weston died on January 1, 1958 at his home, Wildcat Hill, in Carmel, California. Weston’s ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at Pebbly Beach at Point Lobos.

www.ftn-books.com has some titles with works by Weston available.

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Ivan Puni / Jean Pougny (1892-1956)

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I had never known this before, but now that i searched for Ivan Puni i found out that Jean Pougny and Puni are one and the same person. I knew that he stayed for most of his life in France and was succesful in France  and that must have been the reason that Puni became Pougny. the catalogue i have in my inventory is one of the best ones Willem Sandberg designed in the Fifties . It is a typical Sandberg designed catalogue and one of the first with tipped in color plates.

Puni received his formal training in Paris in 1910-11 at the Académie Julien and other schools, where he painted in a derivative fauvistestyle. Upon his return to Russia in 1912, he met, and exhibited with, members of the St Petersburg avant-garde, including Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin. He made a second trip to Paris in 1914, returning to St. Petersburg in 1915. At this point, he began painting in a Cubist style reminiscent of Juan Gris. In 1915, Puni, (Aleksandra Ekster, Liubov Popova, Ivan Kliun, Ksenia Boguslavskaya, Olga Rozanova, Nadezhda Udaltsova, Nina Genke and others) formed Supremus, a group of artists dedicated to the promulgation of Suprematism, the abstract art movement founded by Malevich. Malevich and Puni co-authored the Suprematist Manifesto, published in 1916, which proclaimed a new, abstract art for a new historical era. Puni also organized the exhibitions Tramway 5 and 0.10, both held in St Petersburg in 1915, in which Malevich, Tatlin, Popova and others participated, and to which Puni contributed constructions and paintings. In 1915-1916 Puni, together with other Suprematist artists, worked at Verbovka Village Folk Centre. In 1919, he taught at the Vitebsk Art School under Marc Chagall.

Puni and his wife, Kseniya Boguslavskaya, emigrated from Russia in 1919, first to Finland, then in 1920 to Berlin, where the first exhibition consisting entirely of his work was held at the Galerie der Sturm. While in Berlin, Puni also designed costumes and sets for theatrical productions. Puni and Boguslavskaya relocated to Paris in 1924, where his style changed once again to a variant of Impressionism. In France, he signed his work Jean Pougny in an effort to distance his new art practice from his previous one in Russia. In 1946, Puni/Pougny became a French citizen. He died in Paris in 1956.

www.ftn-books.com has Puni/Pougny titles available.

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Jacques Monory (1924) and the color BLUE

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Here is the first few lines of the text i found on Wikipedia. Berside i noticeed the high age of the artist i also noticed that the color Blue was present in his works during his entire career.

Jacques Monory, June 25, 1924 (age 94) Cachan, France Nationality French Education École nationale supérieure des arts appliqués et des métiers d’art Known for Painter, filmmaker Movement Narrative Figuration Spouse(s) Paule Monory Website www.jacquesmonory.com Jacques Monory (25 June 1924) is a French painter and filmmaker whose work, highly influenced by photography and cinema, is an allegory of the contemporary world with a focus on the violence of everyday reality. His canvases evoke a heavy atmosphere, pulling subject matter from modern civilization through the lens of his signature monochrome color blue.

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If you look at the catalogue which was published for his Stedelijk Museum exhibition in 1972, You will notice 2 things. First there is the excellent design by Wim Crouwel, but secondly the use of Blue for the cover and the photographic scene on the front. A lesser known catalogue , but certainly an excellent designed Crouwel one and available at www.ftn-books.com. Monory is still not very well known, but i am convinced of his importance and will look forward to more exhibitions of this fascinating artist.

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Ans Wortel (1929-1996)

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When i started to collect art ( editions) i must have been 16 years of age and one of the first lithographs i acquired was one by Ans Wortel. A feminist artist who found her inspiration nearby. A feminine, mother, child approach to her subjects made her work very accessible and understandable to many. This together with the strong graphic quality these works were very appealing and at that time i bought 2 lithographs for my starting collection.

These were sold a long time ago because i found the works after many years to become less interesting. This was now some 30 years ago, but lately i rediscovered her works, because when you look at them again after not seeing them in a very long time , you discover them to be timeless and well worth collecting. There were other things to discover about Ans Wortel because at her peak she had some important exhibitions and became very popular as an artist in the Netherlands resulting in multiple exhibitions, among them at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

In the 1970s, the paintings and prints of Ans Wortel (1929–1996) were hailed by critics and purchased by major museums. Her work, imbued with intensely feminine themes, was very much in demand. The artist became a well-known Netherlander, whose non-conformist lifestyle spoke to everyone’s imagination. In the village of Bergen, where she lived for 20 years, her villa Kranenburgh is now museum Kranenburgh.

Tough women

Where her fellow artists sought innovation in abstraction, Ans Wortel remained faithful to figuration, developing a distinctive visual language and palette. Her paintings feature tough and robust women, with large hands and eyes, surrounded by surreal landscapes.

Liberated

In 1968 the mayor of Bergen offered her villa Kranenburgh. Many were the parties in her building – more numerous were the stories about her eccentric lifestyle. Her free-spirited life is reflected in the countless drawings and paintings that filled Kranenburgh. When, after twenty years, she had to leave the villa, she protests vehemently, but in vain.

 

 

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Willem Sandberg… Experimenta Typographica 1943 – 68.

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As you can read in the title , Willem Sandberg experimented with typography and designs.

During the occupation by the Germans he published experimental books with his own typography. Mostly a combination of very original and personal lay-out and torn out letters, making these publications unique. Unique because of their chosen size, material, printing ,their design and the very limited numbers in which they were produced.

Sandberg produced nineteen pamphlets between December 1943 and April 1945, making a couple of copies of each one, all done by hand. They consisted of twenty to sixty pages of drawings, collages, and texts, which were either written by Sandberg himself or quoted from Confucius, Proudhon, Stendhal, and other favorite writers on themes like love, death, education, architecture, and typography. As Sandberg had no money and materials were scarce in wartime, he improvised by using whatever he could find: scraps of wallpaper, cardboard packaging, tissue paper, and wrapping paper together with photographs, drawings, and symbols torn from magazines for his collages.

The originals are very very rare and exceptionally hard to find. Luckily some of the dutch publishers decided to make some reprints and make them in this way available for other admirers. These reprints are getting more scarce every year now, but www.ftn-books.com still has some available.