Monday, 31 May 2010

Otto Völckers

Otto Völckers

German Archict and author (1888-1957)

Just lucky I stumbled upon this "Sanddorn in Vase" Holzschnitt. Having been living on a North-Sea island the warm orange colored dunes in the fall are such a feast. The same warm orange of Physalis or Chinese Lantern plant.
The picture showed up in a German collection of all sorts of paintings displayed on the Internet in something called "Flickr".

After emailing begging for a scan or xeroxcopy it turned out I'm now the new keeper of this lovely little (11 x 12 cm.) woodblock print and its counterpart. Thank you Herr Raymond Löhr, the friendly elderly German gentlemen offering to part from them, knowing they would again be loved for many ears.


"Liebitzer Leuchter"

A "Leuchter" is a candlestick, but what about "Liebitzer"? I found two small villages "Gross and Klein Liebitz", situated some 50 km south east of Berlin, in the Liebitzer Berge. So maybe a very typical locally styled 4 piece candleholder with a very specific name ? The little green dish very simple but effectively cut, as he did suggesting the light around the 4 candletips: very clever !

Otto Völckers must have had some hidden talent other then designing Modern buildings. He belonged to the "das Neue Bauen" movement combining Historical and the Jugenstil elements into a new form of archticture. In the Netherlands this movement is known as "De Stijl", later called "de Nieuwe Zakelijkheid".

some books published by Otto Völckers

Even in this 1951 Japanese (?) bulletin his book on the use of glas in structural building was advertised.

Both prints sadly show some heavy brown staining. I must make inquiries if this can be washed out before reframing and rematting them. Together.

Sanddorn, Duindoorn, Havtorn, Sea buckhorn, Seaberry

(Hippophae Rhamnoides)

Sea- and elderberry together so very typical for older dune valleys. Seaberry a hosting plant for many species of Lepidoptera (Moths, night flying butterflies, the very sour berries extremely rich in Vitamin C and when fermenting in fall I 've seen birds feeding very drunk and hungover. I wonder why they do that.

Seaberry + a symbiotic bacteria (Frankia) bringing nitrogen into the sandy soils thus creating new chances for succeeding shrubs, bushes and plants. After 10-15 years they disapear from the spot. The berries sprouting only when this special bacteria is around.

Orange + Bleu + Form

To my humble easthetic feelings nothing beats a composition using these 2 complementary colors combined with the classic and eternal shape of the Ginger jar
But I am not the first to now and notice.

Flowers + Ginger pot (or is it a jar ?)

seems an almost exclusive Dutch affair. Im I right or am I wrong ?

Color, from Pedro de Lemos' : the art teacher 1931

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Macaws, Aras, Cockatoos and other Parrots

part I: Cockatoos

I like investigating things. Since working on an a Martin Erich Philipp's color woodblock printings index, because there is no such thing ever published nor is there a book covering his woodblock art, I want to own one of his Parrot prints one day. The index, although not yet complete, wil be uploaded soon.

In the meantime I will have to do with my probaly German Parrot "handdruck", 25 x 40 cm. I restored some minor pinholes and a small tear about 1 cm. The colors somewhat bleeched, although not much color was needed to print it since the paper's color is part of the design. Dating around the 1920's ?
Sofar I have not been able to decipher or puzzle out the monogram (AM, AE, AF, AW ?) and signature making something ending ....ermann, (A. Ukermann, Wasserman perhaps ?) This print and the Philipp parrots started this investigation into Parrot prints.

Kaketoe/Kakatoe, Kakadu, Cockatoo
The Dutch Etymological dictionary:--1622, derived from Malayan "Kakaktua" meaning "a pair of pincers". Or maybe: Malayan: "Kakak"/bird, "Kaka"/sister, "Tua"/older: Older Sister ?
The Cacatuidae family comprising 21 species of birds within the order of Parrots or Psittaformes. Cockatoos are exclusively Australasian parrots: Australia and "neighbouring" Islands. Old World parrots.

Searching for Cockatoo prints, amazingly I noticed that most of them were exclusively of Dutch and German origin. Pure white-feathered birds giving a nice contrast for lithographers, etching and drawing Artists.
In America Jessie Arms-Botke (1883 - 1971) had more then a fascination for white feathered birds. Although not a printer but a painter she really must be included here because of her wonderfull Cockatoo and many other exotic and paradisaical bird and flowerpaintings.

Also I found out that you can probably fill a book on the subject of Women with Parrot paintings. Parrots and beautifull reclining and nude odalisks from the 1600's onto Manet have intriqued generations of painters although I can think of no symbolic explanation other then the exotic.
L: Jan Schonk (1889 - 1976) Dutch grafic artist
R: Jesserun de Mesquita (1868 - 1944 murdered by the Nazi's in Auschwitz)

1) signed L. Hoogkamer (unknown), 2) (NOID), 3) signed J. Rykhoek (unknown)
Adriaan Johannes van't Hoff
Dutch grafic artist (1893 - 1939)
Although not woodblock- or linoprints I decided his amazing Cockatoos cannot be left out.

Gerhard Winkelman
German/dutch ? linocutprintmaker active ca. 1930's
"Handdruck Linolschnitt" ca. 1930
Norbertine von Bresslern-Roth
German painter and woodblock printmaker
(1891 - 1978)

"Kakadus", linolschnitt (linocut)

Fritz Lang
German wood and linocut printer (1877 - 1961)

Ohara Koson (Shoson)
Japanese printmaker (1977 - 1945)

These 3 sets of prints dating 1926 - 1930
Hodo Nishimura
Japanese prinbtmakeraround 1930 (after Hoson ?)
Dutch drawings

L: Dirk Homberg (dutch 1885-1952)
R: Leo Glans (dutch 1911-1980) Rose kaketoes in ARTIS (Amsterdam ZOO 1930)

I never believe nor claim this rainy-day piece to be a complete oversight of all Cockatoo woodblock-prints, lithographs, etchings and drawings. I suggest our centuries old colonial history (Indonesia) made these birds somewhat more familair to Dutch artists then others. But that's only a suggestion.
Please read it as an invitation to comment and to send me anything that will make it better and/or more complete.
PS: A follow up on "other" coloured parrot prints", Macaws - Ara's (New World parrots) is in preparation and will be forthcoming soon. But since the weather is clearing up, no exact time nor date can be given.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Käte Hoch

Käthe Hoch (1873-1933)


Why is it that so many artists I admire have left so little traces (footsteps) on the planet. When I saw my first Käthe Hoch I was thrilled and I won it on Ebay, I just had to have it. To win is not the phrase, I simply outbid the rest ofcourse.

Searching the Internet I was lucky to stumble upon another some time after. The first came to me from Germany and the other one I found in a New York based internet-shop. The seller happy to make a deal.

nr. 2

I can't find anything on her life or other works other then this Italian auction announcement of an oil on canvas signed and dated 1927: "Stilleben mit Stiefeln". Still life with boots. Which is not exactly my cup of tea.

All other information on Käte Hoch would be very welcomed.

Jac de Beer

Jac de Beer

Japanese Lanterns in vase
"eigen handdruk, houtsnede, 27/50" signed l.r.

"Kaacher plassen handdruk" signed l.r.

Although his woodblock prints regularly show up in auctions and carbootsales this Dutch artist is an enigma. I have never found a single word on his art or his life. I collected the first 5 here presented sofar.

Orchids in Art Deco pot , signed l.r.

Nasturtiums in glas vase, signed l.r.

Vliegenzwam (agaric) , signed l.r.

Oosterpoort, Delft (Netherlands)