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Last updated: 1/25/2017
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Bram Van Velde (Dutch, 1895-1981): Original Prints III

Bram van Velde / VanVelde2 / VanVelde3

Pierre Alechinsky / Karel Appel / Corneille / Henry Heerup / Asger Jorn / Bengt Lindstrom / Lucebert
Carl-Henning Pederson / Antonio Saura
Derriere le Miroir was a deluxe art review published by Galerie Maeght in Paris from 1947 to 2002. Many of the numbers of this series contained original lithographs. The pages were not bound, but folded and inserted into a stiff paper cover to allow purchasers to remove the original lithographs and display them on their walls, hopefully getting them used to living with original art rather than photographic reproductions, hopefully inspiringin them as their finances permitted, to purchase signed and numbered lithographs, then original drawings or gouaches, then paintings or sculptures. Bram van Velde was a member of the gallery from 1947-1954 and again from 1975 until his death in 1981. During that period, he produced 8 origainal lithographs that were published in Derriere le Miroir as well as in limited signed and numbered editions. We show 5 of them below. We also include the signed and numbered impressions where they are different from those from Derriere le Miroir. The great virtue of the unsigned pieces, of course, is that they are signaificantly more affordable for those who are on limited budgets.

General Bibliography:
Samuel Beckett et al, ] Bram Van Velde (NY: Grove Press, 1960); Guy le Prat, Bram van Velde, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre de peinture (Pars, Turin, NY: Harry N. Abrams, 1961; 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); Georgina Oliver, Bram van Velde (Copenhagen: Borgen, 1983); Jacques Putnam and Charles Juliet, Bram van Velde (Paris: Maeght Editeur, 1975: this is a wonderful, highly-illustrated picture book with extensive text and many illustrations and bibliography); 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: Bram van Velde made 413 prints—almost all of them lithograph—of which 10 were made between 1923 and 1955 and the rest between 1959 and his death in 1981. It would seem that for an artist who painted remarkably slowly, prints offered him a new way to work out his ideas and to present himself to the world. As a Robert C. Morgan wrote in his review of van Velde's 1983 show at the Lefebre Gallery in NY City, "Van Velde's lithographs . . .  hold forth in a way that is more sinewy, cerebral and incongruous than the major Abstract Expressionists. Indeed, it is these qualities, along with his lack of stylistic pretension and his clear indifference to notions of formal cohesion, that are in large part responsible for the 'underground' nature of his reputation. Whereas de Kooning, for all his obvious fluidity, generally relies on the gradual attenuation of bold gesture to achieve formal resolution, van Velde has no comparable apparatus. Works like Le Bonheur de Matisse (1981) [unfortunately reproduced upside down on p. 177, but available to be seen correctly here] show the startling degree to which each of van Velde's gestures remains independent of the others. What's more, of course, is that in lithography each of the colors requires a separate plate, and the final composition is the product of their repeated layering. In van Velde's case, the medium thus adds to the consciously indeterminate appearance of the shapes, which collide and intertwine in weird configurations, never quite matching one another. They neither float in the manner of Gorky's shapes, nor ever entirely hold their ground. The surface shifts continuously, confounding our conceptions both of form and of composition" (Art in America, September 1983, pp. 175-76).

There is a 3-volume catalogue raisonné of Bram van Velde's lithographs edited by 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). There is also a very much more affordable one-volume selection which prints 55 of the color lithographs in color, unlike the three-volume catalogue raisonné, where almost all of them are reproduced in black and white. See Charles Juliet and Georges Duthuit, Bram van Velde Lithographies (Paris: Maeght Editeur, 1993),
Equilibre (BVV 157). Original 7-color lithograph, 1975. 90 signed and numbered impressions on Arches paper (of which our is n. 29/90) 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 (of which ours is n. 23/90) 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.

To purchase, call us at 1-800-809-3343 (1-508-529-2511 in Upton MA & vicinity) or send an email to spaightwood@gmail.com.
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