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Francois Morellet (1926-2016)

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It was 7 years ago that the Peter Stuyvesant collection was sold by Sothebys Amsterdam. Within this collection there were some very important Morellet paintings. Large , complex and typical Morellet. As i learned later one of them was bought by Joop van Caldenborgh. The initiator and founder of the Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar. This painting was fantastic and showed for me why Morellet has become one of my favorite painters of all time.  The painting from the BAT collection was estimated between 20.000 and 30.000 euro, but had a hammer price of euro 432.750. Which is 14x the maximum estimated price.

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For us “mortals” this is completely out of reach, but still some great works by Morellet can be had at affordable prices , because Morellet contributed in many ways, to excellent publications in which original silkscreens or lithographs were included. One of these publications is available at www.ftn-books.com ( for availability inquire/ p.o.a.), together with many other rare Morellet publications from the 60’s and 70’s.

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After a short period of figurative/representational work, Morellet turned to abstraction in 1950 and he adopted a pictorial language of simple geometric forms: lines, squares and triangles assembled into two-dimensional compositions. In 1961, he was one of the founders of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV), with fellow artists Francisco Sobrino, Horatio Garcia-Rossi, Hugo DeMarco, Julio Le Parc, Jean-Pierre Yvaral (the son of Victor Vasarely) and Joël Stein, François Molnar and Vera Molnar (the last two left the group shortly after). Morellet began at this time to work with neon tube lighting.

From the 1960s on, Morellet worked in various materials (fabric, tape, neon, walls…) and in doing so investigated the use of the exhibition space in terms similar to artists of installation art and environmental art. He gained an international reputation, especially in Germany and France, and he was commissioned to create work for public and private collections in Switzerland, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and the U.S.A.

Morellet , french, but in his approach to art more cosmopolitan, because he must be influenced by the minimal artists that were starting to appear on the art scene during the 60’s and early 70’s. He experimented with lines, grids, and light and developed an art form recognizable as being Morellet. an important artist and for me personally one of the greatest from last century.

 

 

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Museum Voorlinden…first visit

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It took us two months to finally visit the recently opened museum Voorlinden. Why so long….because we agreed to visit this together with friends and have dinner afterwards. The visit was postponed because of other obligations a few weeks earlier, but finally yesterday 11/11 the visit was there. It was late in the afternoon and still quite busy. Both parkings were more than half filled with cars and people were walking the park. We were early and walked around the museum building and saw the plants and garden layout by Piet Oudolf and both of us imagined how this must look like when early summer has arrived. A colorful “painting” of plants which can be admired from within the building, because one of the qualities of the architecture is that the “outside” is brought into the building by huge windows which show the garden by Oudolf as a work of art on its own.

What about the collection and the special exhibition? The museum feels more like an experience than  a thoroughly prepared exhibition which teaches the visitor some aspects of art. Every museum room is such an experience. The Mueck and the Serra are excellent examples of this approach. You can compare yourself with the giant figures by Mueck and the Serra is one of the very best and impressive”mazes” he ever has made. It is like a smalle MATTER OF TIME ( see earlier post) Even the special exhibition with the works by Ellsworth Kelly feels like an experience. These works are extremely large and because of their sheer size you can only look at them thoroughly when you take your distance from them. Still it is almost unbelievable to see so many impressive and beautiful Kelly paintings in one exhibition and it will be a very long time before these will be brought together again.

It was a nice visit. The building is impressive and the architecture is almost as good as the Beyeler Museum in Basel. The Landscape is a highlight, the collection is worth visiting, The Kelly’s are a dream, but i am very curious about the future. This is at the moment one of the very best museums in the Netherlands, situated in arguably the best location and surroundings. Wim Pijbes the former director of the Rijksmuseum made the transfer to this museum, but resigned within 3 months. So this  makes me curious what the next exhibitions will be without the guidance of Pijbes. Joop van Caldenborgh , the initiator of the museum , has a very large modern art collection, but it would be nice to not only show the established names, but to show the “young” in Modern art in relation to this establishment.  I am hoping for exhibitions on Sol LeWitt and Anish Kapoor ( both in the Caldic collection), but also for lesser names like Ossip  and Broszat . This is a quality museum and one of the very best museums in Europe supported by the Caldic collection…one of the most important private collections in the world

Conclusion: A Must visit …and do not skip this one when you come to the Netherlands.

 

btw. Dinner we had afterwards was great;-)

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Ellsworth Kelly

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The opening exhibition at the Museum Voorlinden will be an Ellsworth Kelly exhibition. I read this morning, that there are some very special drawings of the MOMA on loan within the exhibition. An exchange granted because the Museum Voorlinden lent their best of their Broodthaers drawings to the MOMA.

The weather is extremely nice in the Netherlands the last couple of days . If the weather stays like this and if we have some time we certainly go to visit the museum and their gardens by Piet Oudolf in the coming weeks and look for ourselves at the Kelly exhibition. I know that i have met him once when he was in the Netherlands for the opening of the Spiritual in Art exhibition. He even signed a catalogue for me, but i cannot remember the person, except that this was a friendly man. Since, i only know his works from the catalogues within my inventory and the occasional painting on show in the permanent collections of the larger museums in Europe.

This will be a great occasion to finally see more of one of the best Modern Artists from the last century.

( to be continued )

wilfried

www.ftn-books.comwww.ftn-books.com

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Museum Voorlinden to be opened on the 11th of September, 2016

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If you ask me at this moment…what is your favorite museum in Europe? …i will answer the Beyeler Museum in Basel. Extremely nice permanent collection, the best special exhibitions in Europe. Nice shop and beautiful surroundings. Now on the 11th of September the Museum Voorlinden will be openend in Wassenaar. An initiative by Joop van Caldenborgh , one of the great private collectors in the world. After an exhibition in the Kunsthal he thought it was time for a museum to present his very extensive art collection.

He bought a neighboring piece of ground of 40ha and started to build a museum in which he could present his collection. Now the museum is ready to be opened by HRH King Willem Alexander and what it looks like from the reviews in NRC and Volkskrant ( 4 and 5 stars) it can be compared with the very best in the world. Museum building with special lightning . A little bit like the daylight showcases of the Gemeentemuseum, but now executed for the entire museum, which means northern light in the entire museum through 150k holes. A beautiful and large library 😉 and gardens by the best landscape architect in the world Piet Oudolf.

This package is there to compete with the very best museums in the world http://www.voorlinden.nl.

First exhibition will be devoted to the Caldic collection and a large part in this exhibition will be on Ellsworth Kelly. Wim Pijbes ( former director of the Rijksmuseum) will have the honor and task to present this “gem” of a museum among the other museums in the world. Perhaps it is a smaller museum, but management , surroundings and the Caldic collection could mean that beside the Beyeler and the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag there will be another favorite museum for me in the near future ….Museum Voorlinden …and this one much closer by than the Beyeler ( architecture by Renzo Piano).

wilfried

wvdelshout@ziggo.nl