Skip to content

Cultural Concubine Blog

Neither here nor there…

Tag Archives: franka

In his Parisian studio...

Last week I went to the Calder exhibition in gemeente museum in The Hague.
I had been in love with his mobiles ever since I saw one in a Franka comic when I was small. (more on my love of comics and an actual picture of Franka with a mobile here.)

The first time I saw one for real was at a temporary exhibition at the Kröller-Müller Museum. And since then there was no way back. The mobiles look so naive and simple in their primary colours floating in space.

Faces always look better in motion...

After I researched his work some more I found that some art snobs find his work infantile and commercial. But anyone who has seen his hands at work, knows that he is an artist in movement. The simple multi-morphic forms shift and shape as you circle them. His drawings and his simple string figures are so alive and dynamic. It was when I saw his string portraits last week that I fell in love again. Just a simple single thread bent and twirled shapes a face better than many an oil painting…

At the exhibit his work was juxtaposed against Mondrian, the artist of rhythm. The combination was quite incredible.

Poetry in simplicity...

“Calder visited Mondrian’s studio in 1930 and later described how the experience transformed his understanding of abstract art.  He wrote, “This one visit gave me a shock that started things.  Though I had often heard the word ‘modern’ before, I did not consciously know or feel the term ‘abstract.’ So now at thirty-two, I wanted to paint and work in the abstract.” (1) Shortly thereafter, Calder was invited to join the international Abstraction-Création group that included Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Jean Arp, and many other artists working with geometric abstract forms.” from his Bio.

It is a pity that a blog like this can hardly capture the true art in his motions.

So please enjoy Calder in his later years, playing with his Circus:

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Franka in London...

Do you know the feeling of archive aphasia after you move?

The exact thing you are looking for is always in another box. And after a while you find that half the boxes actually contain things you really didnt need in the new place you moved to…

When moving from Holland to the UK I stored all my private things in a crate.
Most of the contents of this crate I don’t really miss in London life, but one of them I miss daily…

My Franka Comic collection.

Books, art or cartoons?

It is something that is probably hard to explain to other than European comic enthusiasts…
European comics are different in several ways.

1. These comics are not the same as that moralistically silly American super hero nonsense. They are closer to graphic novels, while also including some of the fun of cartoons.

2. These comics are not only for children (Manara certainly isn’t… PG18). NB: This doesnt mean that I like blue comics, but I mean that the really good ones usually show more facets of life than simple story telling.
Compare TinTin and his political context and historically correct backdrops and cars…

Futuristic Moebius

There are too many to refer to:  Schuiten& Peeters, Jodorowsky, Moebius etc etc.
My favourite will always be Franka. (wikipedia, Franka site)

Kuijpers' poster for Lambiek...

Henk Kuijpers, the artist of Franka is really a hero in making an exciting mixture of challenging storylines and plots, one of the best drawing styles I have ever seen, impressive historical and cultural context and off course a brilliant leading lady.

When living in Amsterdam, there was nothing more wonderful than spending a rainy weekend afternoon at ‘Lambiek’ getting lost in the old bookcases or latest publications. This was so ingrained in Amsterdam culture that I find it hard to imagine elsewhere…

Over the years I grew up with Franka, starting out as a prim and sligtly shy girl into a dazzling woman of the world.

Regretfully these books still don’t come in English, so please check the links mostly to admire the artistic work and dynamic in the drawings.

Corto Maltese, a French Historically correct classic.

Britain with all its culture and wit, strangely enough does not match the  level the sophictication of ‘La Bande Dessinee’ in NL and Belgo-Franco culture. (or may be I just missed it)
It takes a special kind of imagination and visual art to really take this art to its full quality of expression.

(forgive me I could talk about this for hours…)

Grown up...

I remember walking into an alternative book shop, presenting a small pile of home produced comics in Eastern Berlin a few years ago. These had a different flavour to the Belgo-Franco work, but still all had the same amount of raw inventivity and visual charm…

So I know there are many of them out there, and I look forward to finding a quirky comic shop in the US to supply me with a regular fix of visual imagination…

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,