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Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni (1967)

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I have never met the painter, but i have followed his career from the time he had his first exhibition at Steltman gallery / Amsterdam. It was a blend of realism and the fantastic what appealed to met at that time. Fassoni and Parkes were 2 other painters attached to the gallery who made paintings somewhat in the same way. Fantasy combined with a fabulous technique produced some of the nicest paintings in the early Eighties. Ferroni was one of the artists at the gallery, but what his paintings made special was the scenes he created within his paintings . Scenes that reminded me of the the chaotic scenes fellini created within his movies. Here is the text that comes from the Steltman site on Ferroni:

Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni was born in Rome in 1967.
When he started painting in his father’s studio as a child, he carried on the tradition of a family of artists that goes back many generations. By working in the studio of his father Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni he was educated in much the same way his ancestors were during the baroque tradition / period.

Giovanni later studied Literature as well and specialized in Art History at the University of Rome. Both are still a source of great inspiration in his paintings today. His paintings create a beautiful fantasy world that is inhabited by all kinds of mytho-logical, historical and contemporary creatures. While Tommasi’s style and choice of subjects is influenced by the style of his ancestors, contemporary icons intrigue him as well. The resulting synthesis of classical style and subjects and contemporary analytical perspective is sometimes slightly ironic but always fantastic and delirious.

 

www.ftn-books.com / ftn-art has a beautiful etching by Ferroni for sale. a UNIQUE ( edition of 1 ) which is handcolored by the artist / please inquire at wvdelshout@ziggo.nl

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Michael Parkes published by Gallery Steltman in 1988

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There was a time that the original art by Michael Parkes was still affordable. The mid Eighties changed that and Parkes became a highly commercial artist and for his show in 1988 at Steltman galleries, it was decided that together with the showing of the new paintings, a series of signed lithographs was to be published. But that was not the end , because beside the lithographs an excellent specially printed poster was published. On it the painting TUESDAY’s CHILD from 1988. This print has become one of the ost iconic ones published by Steltman, because it contained all the elements Parkes has become famous for. there is a Monkey, a juggler, a ballerina on a flaming rope and even the dramatic doves are included. Beside these elements, the composition of the painting is excellent. Making this one of my favorite Parkes prints of all time.

The print is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Erwin Olaf (1959)… new additions

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Over a year ago i devoted a blog to Joel Peter Witkin and Erwin Olaf and it has been too long since i wrote about Erwin Olaf, but this time it is worth writing about him because in recent months i was able to add some highly collectable Olaf publications to my inventory. Erwin Olaf publications are harder and harder to find and get more scarce every month, but sometimes you get lucky and you encounter a small collection. So in recent months i was able to add some great posters and rare publications. The Erwin Olaf poster for the Anjer Fonds was specially designed by Anthon Beeke and this makes it twice as special. The same is applicable to the Sipek book. Sipek a great artist, who’s works are photographed by Erwin Olaf… again two for the price of one. available at www.ftn-books.com

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Massimo Rao …a new addition

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Those of you following this blog, know that i admire the art of Massimo Rao  (1950-1996). Rao was during his life represented by Gallery Steltman and Steltman published in 1992 a special edition of their Massimo Rao publication. This book was published exactly the same as the non numbered edition, but with two large differences. First, there was a very special etching included and secondly the book was published with a beautiful bright red slipcase. The etching is a true masterpiece and when you look closely at the etching ( see the close up photograph) you see that Rao “paints” with an etching needle. This very nice copy will grace my personal library and will replace the Massimo Rao publication which i had and cherished until now. It is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Review Gemeentemuseum Den Haag visit 11/12/2017….. CHAOS!

I think i have a right to speak when i say that yesterdays visit at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag for me personally was “complete Chaos” . Yes, it was a busy Sunday afternoon and there must have been well over 1500 visitors that day, making it hard to find a quiet spot within in the museum. But beside that, the collections and all special exhibitions were filled with too many objects and what is even more important there was hardly any connection between the subjects of the exhibitions. First we re-visited the Heyboer exhibition which was during the last visit a real eye opener and with this second visit confirmed its importance, but after that….when you climb the stairs…. there is an Art Deco exhibition. An exhibition which has some great elements and objects but is so crowded with objects and far too many costumes that the important art is lost among all other items. For instance in the first room there is an extremely important Brancusi sculpture and one of the most beautiful Kees van Dongen paintings ( this was new to me) which are lost because there are too many objects in the room. It would have been so much better just to present the photograph with the Brancusi sculpture, the sculpture and the Salome painting by van Dongen and the room would have been perfect.

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Now room after room is filled with too many objects and it is the same with the Steltman special exhibition. Too little space and too many objects and more important, it clashes with the Ceramic exhibition of the Ceramics by Hans de Jong ( a nice selection but again no space enough). The 3 screens with Uta Eisenreich are lost in between the two exhibition parts on the 1st floor in the Projectenzaal are not fascinating enough to stay any longer period in the room than 1 minute or so. There is no cohesion between the presentations and it makes a visit tiring and not interesting enough. But ….there are 2 exceptions  . First there is the mentioned Heyboer exhibition which is a must see and a great chance to discover Heyboer as a painter and certainly one of the most fascinating exhibitions i have seen last year…… It is the Marthe Wery / works on paper exhibition in the Berlage room.

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Over many years, Wéry was inspired by paper to create a variety of unique forms of artistic expression, in which the visual experience is always paramount. She used Indian ink to inscribe serene straight lines on handmade paper, the various types and sizes of which contribute to the expressive power of the work. It may be smooth, formal and rational in appearance or, on the contrary, lumpy, tactile and sensually appealing. Wéry used folds in the paper to accentuate or interrupt the drawn lines or, in other works, soaked the paper in acrylic paint and carefully controlled the resulting colour gradient. She frequently created works on two, three or even more panels, installing them in such a way as to create a rhythmic harmony with the surrounding architectural space.

Around 1980, the lines gave way to letters or text. Wéry took texts by people like French artist Henri Matisse or American author Gertrude Stein as the points of departure for what she called her écritures. She also produced aquatints featuring compositions in which coloured geometrical planes interact with the white of the paper. When she began to stack drawings, placing them in bundles on a shelf, hanging them on the wall or standing them on the floor, they functioned as three-dimensional works. (Wery text by Gemeentemuseum Den Haag)

www.ftn-books.com has the very important Marthe Wery catalogue from 1986 available.

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Bořek Šípek (1949-2016)

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Architect, designer and glass artist. Bořek Šípek sipek was  one of the leading artist in the eighties and influenced many young artist . Named the father of Neo Baroque and  together with the designers of Memphis Bořek Šípek he first became famous for his glass designs. He was presented in the Netherlands by galerie Steltman and it was at one of the first exhibitions held in the gallery that i met the artist. The interior furniture in the Steltman gallery , (Spuistraat location), was specially commissioned by Steltman and some of those were produced in a very small limited editions. This  was the start of the exhibitions by Steltman resulting in many more exhibitions and over 200 signed and numbered editions. On more than one occasion Sipek worked together with Erwin Olaf who at that time started to make a name as a photographer and this friendship resulted in some remarkable books.

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Some of the books on Sipek are available at www.ftn-books.com. For some very special Sipek/signed items contact me, because  i have some glass works and the very special Kronos set for sale.

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Giovanni Nicolai (1984)

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Down under in Italy, in the region of Bari works a young artist by the name of Giovanni Nicolai. I did not know him, never met him, but we recently contacted each other about a purchase. He mailed me that he was a fan of Massimo Rao and because of this fascination was inspired by him which resulted in very personal and somehow typical italian classical portraits. He sent me some examples and i was very much convinced that these works deserve to be known outside Italy too. Therefore this blog with some examples of his works. It is Modern art with some abstraction but also a very classical touch within them.

The small faces  of the portraits resemble a little bit the lean figures by Alberto Giacometti, but the atmosphere breathes Massimo Rao.

Not the surrealist setting of Massimo Rao, but recognizable poetic portraits. Very nice to look at and subtil in their execution. If you want more information on Giovanni Nicolai do not hesitate to contact me and i will gladly supply you with his email address. The publications on Massimo Rao are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Massimo Rao

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Just a simple title for a blog on a painter who had a very short career, but build a strong following of admirers. It was 2008 that  i visited New York and entered the CFM gallery and spoke the owner Neil Zukerman about our art collections. I learned that he had bought the very first Rao i had owned and had traded it in for the much larger IL MARINAIO CHE AVEVA ALL ‘UOVO E OLIO.

The one i originally had in my collection, was still one of the favorite paintings of Mr. Zukerman, but the encounter of this passionate collector and the story on this small Massimo Rao painting  i once owned, made the world look so very small. If he still has it….i do not know….., but in the meantime the painting in our collection is depicted in 3 Massimo Rao books and was on show at the Panorama Museum in 2004.

Since it has been quiet around Rao, no special exhibitions….. but a growing following and a special site on the painter who unfortunately died much too young ( 1950-1996), but left us so many great works of art.    http://www.massimorao.it/massimo-rao/

The books i have on Rao are growing more popular each year and it looks like most are exported to the US. So my guess is the important collectors are in the US and not in Europe.

Maybe it is an idea to organize a large retrospective in the US?

wilfried

www.ftn-books.com

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Bruno Bruni (1935)

Bruno Bruni has become one of the grand old masters in the art of lithography, but beside this discipline he is also a gifted painter and sculptor.

But for this moment i will focus on his lithographs . His lithographs  at gallery Steltman Amsterdam were the first i had seen with such detail and yet also an abstraction. The bed in relation with the nude girl figure in front of it made it almost surreal and this is what attracted me in these works.

After this first encounter i have seen many more works by Bruni and he stayed true to his romantic figures, flowers, raincoats and of course his bronze sculptures with undressing woman, but personally i think his best works are the lithographs with these beds , ruffled sheets and a human figure on or in front of it.

Bruno Bruni , now 81 years old, is still working but the best works are from the mid seventies until 2000. This is the “GOLDEN AGE” of Bruni.

www.ftn-books.com can present some of his best lithographs and of course a small selection of books.

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