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Sam Francis (1923-1994)

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Sam Francis is a subject for a blog a long time overdue. Since i have been admiring the works by Sam Francis for many years now and of course there is a special connection with the Netherlands, because he has had many solo exhibitions in this country for over 30 years and not at the less important museums and galleries but at the very best ones. First there is of course the exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum with the beautiful Wim Crouwel designed catalogue. secondly there are the gallery exhibitions at gallery Delaive and third there is the Museum van der Togt/Cobra Museum exhibition. All of these exhibitions were accompagnied by beautiful large catalogues and available at www.ftn-books.com

My first interest in Sam Francis was raised in the early Nineties when i collected Swatch watches. Together with my brother in law we searched for the earliest of these watches and bought, collected and resiold them and one of these watches was a Christmas special by Sam Francis. We had multiple copies of this rare watch and the last one was sold some 5 years ago. Still whenever i hear the name Sam Francis i am reminded of this swatch collection. But from that time on i noticed that there is more to Sam Francis than just his Swatch watch. Just read this short biography which can be found on the Sam Francis site too:

Sam Francis (1923 – 1994) occupies a prominent position in post-war American painting. Although associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement and Clement Greenberg’s Post-Painterly Abstraction, unlike many American painters of he time he had direct and prolonged exposure to French painting and to Japanese art which had an individual impact on his work.

On leaving the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1944 owing to illness Francis took up painting as a hobby. He decided to make this a serious undertaking studying under David Park in 1947 and completed his BA and MA at the University of California. He was greatly influenced by Abstract Expressionism particularly the works of Clyfford Still and Jackson Pollock. In his use of space on the canvas to allow free circulation of strong colour and the sensitivity to light Francis developed his own style by the time his studies had ended.

Francis moved to Paris in 1950 where he met Jean-Paul Riopelle who was to remain an important influence, and study of Monet’s Waterlilies had a profound impact on his work. From a very muted palette of greys and whites he returned to the qualities of light and colour producing such works as Big Red 1953. He continues to develop the use of white space and increased the dimensions of his paintings for greater emphasis. During his period in Europe he executed a number of monumental mural paintings.

Francis returned to California in 1962 and was then influenced by the West Coast School’s preoccupation with mysticism and Eastern philosophy. Blue had become a more dominant feature of his work since 1959 inspired by personal suffering and the great joy of becoming a father for the first time in 1961. This led to combinations of hard colour and more disciplined structures with centrally placed rectangles during the 1970s. Eventually these more rigid structures gave way to looser configurations sometimes of snake-like forms with web-like patterns. Blue, sometimes brilliant, remained an important part of many later works.

The above publications and other Sam Francis publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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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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Attersee (1940)

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Christian Ludwig Attersee is a contemporary Austrian artist. Working in an interdisciplinary practice that combines music, speech, photography, and video, the primary tenet of Attersee’s art is painting. His Neo-Expressionist canvases are rendered with vibrant color, blending abstract form and space with representational images related to the human figure, music, literature, and sexuality. Describing his efforts as an attempt to create a new artistic medium, his work often contains fantastical object inventions. Born on August 28, 1940 in Bratislava, Austria, he is considered one of the foremost contemporary artists of his home country, and represented Austria at the Venice Biennial in 1984. He has been the subject of over 500 solo exhibitions throughout Europe and the United states, and is the recipient of the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art.

This is how Artnet describes Attersee however there is more to the art of Christian Ludwig Attersee, because both the Groninger Museum and Stedelijk Museum have art by Attersee in their collections and the Stedelijk Museum devoted a special exhibition to the artist. An exhibition initiated by Rudi Fuchs who is a longtime admirer of the artist. Together with Brus and Nitsch , Attersee i becoming increasingly more important by the year.

www.ftn-books.com has some Attersee publications available.

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Bouke Ylstra (1933)

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In some ways Bouke Ylstrat reminds me of Jan Roëde. An artists who uses bright colors in combination with child like scenes, but Ylstra works differ enough to stand on their own. Where Roede populates many of his paintings with children, Ylstra depicts adults in their world and creates a world of their own. Combining human elements with abstract surfaces, filling them with symbolism and creating in this way a world of its own. Ylstra is not that know. Even in the Netherlands his work is rare to find, but when you look at his biography you will find that his works has been included in practically all of the large museums in the Netherlands.

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1933 Geboren in Den Haag. Groeit op in Rotterdam.
1950 -1954 Academie voor Beeldende kunsten in Rotterdam.
1955 Ontmoet Marie José Nicolaí met wie hij trouwt. Ze gaan in Dordrecht wonen en krijgen drie kinderen.
1959 Maakt zijn eerste monumentale werk, een zeventig meter lang mozaïek in Leeuwarden.
1960 -1964 Docent “Vrij schilderen”aan de Academie voor Industriële Vormgeving in Eindhoven.
1964 -1967 Docent “Grafische technieken”aan de Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Rotterdam.
1967 -1972 Afdelingsdocent “Gebonden kunsten” aan de Academie van BK in Rotterdam.
1979 -1981 Adviseur “Beeldende kunst”van de Rijksbouwmeester Ministerie VROM.
1983 -1990 
Docent “Vrij schilderen”aan de afdeling “Monumentaal” van de Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.

1993.  Eerste expositie Galerie Duo Duo / Rotterdam
Galerie Sapet / Mirmande Frankrijk
1994. Galerie Witt /Dordrecht
Zomerexpositie Duo Duo / Rotterdam
1995. Galerie Duo Duo / Rotterdam
Opdracht: ontwerp vloerintarsia school Rotterdam
1996. Galerie Witt / Dordrecht – Institut Néerlandais / Parijs Groepstentoonstelling
1997. Galerie Duo Duo / Rotterdam
1998. Galerie Witt /Dordrecht. Zomerexpo Duo Duo
Houten beeld bij experimentele bouw Almere
1999. Duo Duo / Rotterdam
2000. Galerie Witt / Dordrecht
2001. Galerie Duo Duo / Rotterdam – Opdracht ontwerp i.s.m Cor Kraat beelden voor het Raadhuis te Veenendaal
2002. Galerie Dom Arte / Rucphen Galerie Witt / Dordrecht
Opdracht beeld Rijkspolitie te Dordrecht
2003.  Galerie Witt / Dordrecht
Opdracht Beeldengroep Westelijk Handelsterrein Rotterdam
2004.  Galerie Duo Duo / Rotterdam
2005.  Galerie Sapet / Mirmande frankrijk
Galerie Les Sagnes / st.Michel de Chabrianoux Frankrijk
Galerie Witt / Dordrecht
2006.  Galerie Duo Duo / Dordrecht
Opdracht 4 beeldengroepen voor scholengemeenschap
ROC te Leeuwarden
2009. Bouke Ylstra is op 17 Augustus 2009 in zijn woonplaats Dordrecht overleden.
    

www.ftn-books.com has a nice Ylstra publication including an original drawing for sale.

 

 

ystra eva b

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Antonio Saura (1930-1998)

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Followers of this blog know that i have an admiration for Saura to whom i devoted a blog on the 17th of August 2017. Now i want you to know that i have added an important early pub;lication to my inventory. It is is the 1964 Pierre Matisse gallery publication which is according to my information the first publication that has some colored ( tipped in) illustrations in it. An excellent designed catalogue and certainly one that must be interesting for the Saura admirer.

saura matisse 1964

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Joel Fisher (1947)

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Try to find a good biography on Joel Fisher and you will have a hard time finding one. The best i can come up with a a list of exhibitions:

Exhibitions

1997
Stefan Stux Gallery New York, NY
1996
Stefan Stux Gallery New York, NY
1990
Farideh Cadot New York, NY & Paris, FRANCE
1989
4 Americans–Aspects of Current Sculpture, The Brooklyn Museum Brooklyn, NY
1988
Gallery Shimada Yamaguchi, JAPAN
1987
Structure to Resemblance: Eight Sculptors, Albright-Knox Gallery Buffalo, NY
1984
An International Survey of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1984
Kuntsmuseum Luzern Luzern, SWITZERLAND
1978
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
1975
Stadtisches Museum Monchengladbach
1973
Seven, Penthouse Gallery, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1972
Documenta V, Kassel, Germany
1971
Victoria and Albert Museum London, ENGLAND

 

Study these and you will notice 2 important things. First these are all class A venues and this shows the importance that Joel Fisher was and still is. His art is not accessible at all, which makes his art not well kmnown among art lovers. The ” trigger” for me , was that it was one of the first classic Stedelijk Musuem publications that i bought for my collection. (Available at www.ftn-books.com), another aspect is that Joel Fisher designs his own catalogues . Small books that look like true artist books and have their style , design and size in common, Beautiful little books that are worth collecting.

 

 

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“Fugare” (1960)

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First there was VERVE, later Fugare and finally de Nieuwe Haagse School.

Nowadays dutch art lovers know exactly what is meant by DE NIEUWE HAAGSE SCHOOL. it is a group of artist who lived and worked in Den Haag and met regularly in Pulchris Studio, de Posthoorn and de Haagse Kunstkring. But before this there was FUGARE. this FUGARE society was founded by George Lampe on the 26th of January 1960

The result? an artist mouvement with particpating artist that met regularly and inspired each other and held their exhibitions at the best venues in those days. Exhibitions were held at the Haags Gemeentemuseum, Stedelijk Museum, van Abbemuseum and Pulchri Studio. There was  a place for all in Fugare. Jan van Heel painted figures and Willem Hussem abstract paintings and everything in between was appreciated as long as you were an active member who visited the meetings. Fugare is impiortant for dutch abstract painting and some nice Fugare publications are availabel at www.ftn-books.com

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Marinus Boezem (1934)

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Marinus Boezem (1934) belongs, together with Jan Dibbets and Ger van Elk, among the most important representatives of the Conceptual Art and Arte Povera movement in The Netherlands. In the 1960s, Boezem discovered that he could use elusive elements such as air, weather, wind and light as visual materials and made a name with radical, immaterial works that were far ahead of their time. Boezem was one of the initiators of the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Op Losse Schroeven: Situaties en Cryptostructuren’ (1969) at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and took part in the equally influential exhibition ‘When Attitudes Become Form’ at the Kunsthalle Bern in the same year.

In 1969 he created one of his most famous works of art, ‘Signing the Sky Above The Port of Amsterdam With an Aeroplane, 1969’: exactly as stated in its title, an aircraft’s condensation trails were used to spell out Boezem’s surname in the sky, the ephemeral wording disappearing almost as soon as it was created. In 1971 he made an artwork for television that was broadcast under the auspices of Gerry Shum’s legendary Fernseh Gallery. Furthermore, Boezem created numerous works in public space and land art. The Green Cathedral is a beautiful example: 174 Italian poplar trees are planted to reproduce the floor plan and measurements of the Cathedral at Reims, in a flat polder near Almere, the Netherlands.

In an oeuvre spanning more than sixty years, Marinus Boezem has created a body of work that stands quite independently in contemporary art. His works are part of many important museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Gemeentemuseum Den Haag; Museum Kröller-Muller, Otterloo; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; and many more public art collections.

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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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Saul Steinberg (1914-1999)

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….and now for the other Steinberg…SAUL STEINBERG.

First i must say that writing a blog on Steinberg, can not do justice to the excellent site , which the Steinberg foundation has constructed on the life, times and art of Saul Steinberg. You can visit the site at : http://saulsteinbergfoundation.org

But some personal notes on the artist. Saul Steinberg is a very well known artist in Europe. He had his exhibitions at the Maeght galleries in the Sixties and Seventies and both the Stedelijk Museum and the Boymans van Beuningen museum in the Netherlands organized exhibitions on the artist. In the beginning i always had considered Steinberg to be an illustrator and not the artist he later became to me. Later i realized to look at his art in a way that his drawings were meant to be seen. A citation from his site makes this clear :

Saul Steinberg defined drawing as “a way of reasoning on paper,” and he remained committed to the act of drawing. Throughout his long career, he used drawing to think about the semantics of art, reconfiguring stylistic signs into a new language suited to the fabricated temper of modern life. Sometimes with affection, sometimes with irony, but always with virtuoso mastery, Saul Steinberg peeled back the carefully wrought masks of 20th-century civilization.

This is an artist to be discovered by a far larger audience. At this moment i think he is the lesser of both Steinberg’s  i recently wrote a blog on, but perhaps time will prove me wrong and i will think of his art just the way around in a few years. www.ftn-books.com has some nice and rare Saul Steinberg publications available.