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Last updated: 1/25/2017
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Womanshow 2006 / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
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Bram Van Velde (Dutch, 1895-1981): Original Prints

Bram van Velde I / BvV 2 / BvV 3 (DLM)

Pierre Alechinsky / Karel Appel / Corneille / Henry Heerup / Asger Jorn / Bengt Lindstrom / Lucebert
Carl-Henning Pederson / Antonio Saura
Bram van Velde spent most of his artistic life in Paris, to which he moved in 1925 and which he left in 1965, when he settled in Switzerland for the remainder of his life. Van Velde served as a conduit, bringing expressionist abstraction to Paris, mixing it with existentialism, and passing it on to the COBRA group in turn. When the Pompidou put on a group retrospective of the 1950s in Europe and America, one entered the exhibit by passing through a room of paintings by Bram van Velde. In his History of Modern Art, H. H. Arnason called Van Velde "one of the most isolated and powerful of Art Informel painters" and suggests that he also serves to link American Abstract painting (and particularly his countryman Willem de Kooning) to the COBRA painters. Van Velde has been the subject of studies by painters such as Pierre Alechinsky (see "Words for Bram" in his Paintings and Writings, 103-107 and in his etching, Ligne B V V), but the best well known commentary upon him is by his friend, Samuel Beckett, who wrote in 1949 that Bram van Velde is "the first to submit wholly to the incoercible absence of relation, in the absence of terms or, if you like, in the presence of unavailable terms, the first to admit that to be an artist is to fail, as no other dare fail, that failure is his world and to shrink from it desertion, art and craft, good housekeeping, living. I know that all that is required now, in order to bring this horrible matter to an acceptable conclusion, is to make of this submission, this admission, this fidelity to failure, a new occasion, a new term of relation, and of the act which unable to act, obliged to act, he makes, an expressive act, even if only of itself, of its impossibility, of its obligation." For Beckett, Bram van Velde embodies the spirit expressed at the end of Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot, when tired of waiting, one of Beckett's tramps asserts, "I can't go on," but, having no alternatives, concludes immediately, "I'll go on." Van Velde, who embodied for the artists of the 1950s this heroic stance towards life, became for them the model of what it would take for art to survive in the post-War world.

General Bibliography:
Samuel Beckett et al, ] Bram Van Velde (NY: Grove Press, 1960); André de Bouchet, Bram van Velde (St. Paul-de-Vence: Fondation Maeght, 1973), Centre Georges Pompidou, Bram van Velde (Paris SPADEM/Eds Center Pompidou, 1989); Charles Juliet, Rencontres avec Bram van Velde (Paris: Fata Morgana, 1980); Charles Juliet, Conversations with Samuel Beckett and Bram van Velde , trans. Janey Tucker, Morgaine Reinl, Aude Jeanson, Tracy Cooke, & Axel Nesme, Champaign IL, Dalkey Archive Edition, 2005); Jean-Hubert Martin, ed. Bram van Velde (Paris: Éditions du Centre Pompidou, 1989); Franz Meyer, Bram van Velde (Zurich: Maeght Zurich, 1976); Musée National d'Art Moderne, Bram van Velde (Paris: Musée National d'Art Moderne, 1971); Yves Peyré, Bram van Velde (Paris: Daniel Lelong Editeur, 1984: Repères 15); Bram Van Velde, Bram van Velde: Archives de l'art contemporain (Paris: Musée d'art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1970); Bram Van Velde, Bram van Velde: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings (NY: Abrams, 1961); Bram Van Velde et al. Bram van Velde (Paris: Beaux Arts, 1989).

Prints: Charles Juliet & Georges Duthuit, Bram van Velde Lithographies (Paris: Maeght Editeur, 1993); Bram Van Velde, Les lithographies, 1923-1973 (Paris: Yves Riviere editeur, 1973) Bram Van Velde, Les lithographies II, 1974-1978 (Genève: Musée d'art et d'histoire, 1979); Bram Van Velde, Les lithographies III, 1979-1981 (Genève: Musée d'art et d'histoire, 1984)
Equilibre (BVV 157). Original 7-color lithograph, 1975. 90 signed and numbered impressions on Arches paper plus an edition of c. 1500 with a centerfold as published in the deluxe art review Derrière le Miroir. Image size: 388x564mm. Price: $3750.
Equilibre (BVV 157). Original color lithograph, 1975. 90 signed and numbered impressions on Arches paper plus an edition of c. 1500 with a centerfold as published in the deluxe art review Derrière le Miroir. Note that the two images are not identical; the image from DLM appears less subtle, probably because it was printed with fewer colors. Image size: 370x560mm. Price: $500.
Vif (BVV 208). Original 5-color lithograph, 1975. 90 signed and numbered impressions, of which ours is n. 17/90. Illustrated Bram van Velde Lithographies, p. 52. Image size: 320x296mm. Mat size: 24x20. Price: $2000.

There was also an unsigned impression published on the front cover of the deluxe art review Derrière le Miroir which seeems to be nearly identical in size and color. Image size: 320x290mm. Mat size: 20x16. Price: $350.
Paysage (BvV 209). Original 8-color lithograph, 1975. 90 signed and numbered impressions plus c. 1500 unsigned impressions in an edition of c. 1500 with a centerfold as published in the deluxe art review Derrière le Miroir. published in the deluxe art review, Derrière le Miroir, of which this is one. Illustrated Bram van Velde Lithographies, p. 54. Image size: 380x560mm. Price: $500.
Souvenir Duthuit (BvV 210). Original 5-color lithograph, 1975. 90 signed and numbered impressions plus c. 1500 unsigned impressions published in the deluxe art review, Derrière le Miroir. Illustrated Bram van Velde Lithographies, p. 54. Image size: 465x660mm. Price: $3750.
Souvenir Duthuit (BvV 210). Original color lithograph, 1975. 90 signed and numbered impressions plus c. 1500 unsigned impressions with a centerfold as published in the deluxe art review Derrière le Miroir, where the image was inverted, the margins were trimmed to fit to the loose folio, and a text is printed on the verso. Image size: 380x556mm. Price: $500.
Le Sauvé (BvV 354). Original 5-color lithograph, 1980. 100 signed and numbered impressions (of which ours is n. 18/100) plus c. 1500 unsigned impressions with a centerfold as published in the deluxe art review Derrière le Miroir, where the margins were trimmed to fit to the loose folio, and a text is printed on the verso (see immediately below). Illustrated Bram van Velde Lithographies, p. 81. Image size: 406x586mm. Price: $3500.
Le Sauvé (BvV 354). Original 5-color lithograph, 1980. 100 signed "BvV" and numbered impressions plus c. 1500 unsigned impressions in an edition of c. 1500 with a centerfold as published in the deluxe art review Derrière le Miroir published in the deluxe art review, Derrière le Miroir, of which this is one, with the margins were trimmed to fit to the loose folio, and a text is printed on the verso. Image size: 380x556mm. Price: $500.
Victiore du blanc (BvV 355). Original 5-color lithograph, 1980. 100 impressions signed "BvV" and numbered plus c. 1500 unsigned impressions with a centerfold as published in the deluxe art review Derrière le Miroir, of which this is one, with the margins were trimmed to fit to the loose folio, and a text is printed on the verso. Image size: 380x556mm. Price: $500.

Spaightwood Galleries, Inc.

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