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FIUWAC News January 2008

Babeth Mondini vanLoo on Jack Smith. (Conversation 1jan 2008/KVLK 150)

Did she know Jack? YES:Jack Smith and Babeth Mondini vanLoo

“In 1974 I lived in New York. A young German artist / entrepreneur named Lutze introduced me to Jack Smith and we became friends. Jack introduced me to Piero Heliczer.
Jack Smith was well known for his life performances (with film, theatre and slides) that were mostly held at his studio in the Lower east side. He was, just like the Kuchar Brothers, an inspiration for Andy Warhol and the Factory. Jack said I reminded him of the Hollywood actress Claudette Colbert as Cleopatra and because he felt I had the face of a movie star he invited me to participate in a life performance to be held as part of Art Cologne ’74 where I was to perform with him. Jack was also in the piece himself with me and he portrayed somehow dressed like a kind of Pharaoh. It was a moving slide performance performed also life at the Botanical Gardens in Cologne.  The title of the performance was “Moses”…
The Art Cologne must have been some months after Beuys did his life coyote performance at the Rene Block gallery in New York.
In Germany we visited my artist friends in Düsseldorf. I remember inviting Jack to Sigmar Polke’s country house, in Willich, where Jack wanted to also cook a strange course for us with nettles and something else we didn’t feel like eating. Katharina Sieverding (Raum 20/Beuys Klasse) was also there. It was a memorable evening beyond the ordinary. Being with Jack was great fun but he also was “a piece of work”, if you know that expression; unpredictable, high and low.
At the time I had an old vibrant green Mercedes 190 with an open roof. During the trips Jack stood up in the car sticking his head through the open roof with his Texas hat on and waved his Pharaoh staff. All villages we past people gazed at us in amazement and later on also in Amsterdam where Jack stayed with me for a couple of weeks, we left quite an impression. When he left back on the plane to New York, he was so thrilled to take a huge amount of my strange collection of antiquities and stuffed real animals, which he later on used in his life performance pieces.
Our mutual performance was documented in about 10 to 12 photographs taken by Prof. Wilhelm Hein that are now in the collection of the Film Archives in New York because I gave them to Jonas Mekas (gifted filmmaker and Collector of Smith/Warhol/ avant garde cinema). They were shown as part of the travelling exhibition that took place in the US on the work of Jack in the 90’s.

Some of them are depicted in the book Flaming Creature, Jack Smith, His Amazing Times and Life, 1997.

IamsterdamJacobus Kloppenburg on his Amsterdam rooftop, photo Philip MechanicusAffair: Modern Art Who Cares
Jan 2nd: Happy New Year. Ignoring all strong international protest by modern art authorities that accumulated over the last 10 years, the City of Amsterdam announced (letter signed: Mr. E. Tichelaar, Stadsdeel Oud West) the intended destruction (vernietiging) of two containers with artworks by FIUWAC founding father Jacobus Kloppenburg. The containers contain a section of Kloppenburg’s sculpture Artchive for the Future.
In an urgent appeal to the Mayor and Town Council of Amsterdam, October 1997, Walter Hopps, Founding Director The Menil, Houston /Guggenheim NY, described Kloppenburg’s Artchive for the Future as a Megasculpture of significant value that can be regarded in the same light as Kurt Schwitters Merz Archive. Hans van der Grinten, Founding Director Museum Schloss Moyland wrote: “without doubt a work of great art historical importance”.
Ron Manheim, Moyland, wrote: “We hope and trust the Amsterdam Municipality will be assigned a worthy place in the annals of art history, also with regard to her conduct in the Kloppenburg case! This concerns a work of which people in the future will say that something eminently important has unfortunately been lost .. or .. they will honour the municipality of Amsterdam for saving a remarkable specimen of national and international cultural heritage from perdition”. All appeals, warnings, publications, exhibitions, including the latest F.I.U. protest at the 52 Biennale in Venice, fall on deaf ears.
A full report is given in the book: Jacobus Kloppenburg ARTCHIVE FOR THE FUTURE, by Patrick Healy /Waldo Bien, Wienand Verlag Köln, 2006.  PDF version can be downloaded at F.I.U. Amsterdam website
ART MUST GO ON: Jacobus Kloppenburg, 77 years of age, is in good spirit, healthy, studying Rudolf Steiner literature,  making beautiful artworks in his studio Lasserg, Germany, enjoying the Mosel landscape and designing a conference table for F.I.U. Bolognano in Italy. ARTVENTURE. He sends his warmest greetings and best wishes to all.



FIUWAC News December 2007

Walter Hopps and Lucas Johnson Photo Patricia Covo Johnson jpgLeft Virgil Grotfeldt studio Houston dec 07 photo Waldo Bien Right Virgil Grotfeldt, Richard Stout and Waldo BienNetwork: Waldo Bien was in Houston to celebrate the inauguration of Virgil Grotfeldt’s new studio Building, designed by architect (and Terrell James Husband) Cameron Amstrong, and to discuss FIUWAC issues with Virgil and Deborah Grotfeldt  /Terrell James / Richard Stout/ Meredith M. Jack / Wei Hong and Charles Stagg.  Also: representing FIU Amsterdam at the groundbreaking for the new and promising Art Faculty building at HBU, Houston Babtist University, by President Dr. Martin Sloan and Prof. Michael Collins.
Several Photos were taken at FIUWAC artist’s studios, to give an impression of the social creative sphere around artworks within the collection: a look into the artist’s kitchen. Also: meeting with Patricia Covo Johnson, widow of the Houston artist Lucas Johnson, 1940-2002. At a meeting with Waldo Bien and Virgil Grotfeldt, not long before he died, Lucas Johnson expressed his wish to contribute to FIUWAC. A new book was published by University of Texas Press, 2007: The Art and Life of Lucas Johnson, with a preface written by Walter Hopps: Reminiscences on the art of Lukas Johnson.
HBU groundbreaking dec 07 HoustonFrom Gus Kopriva handed us the catalogue to the exhibition Houston Contemporary Art at the Shanghai Art Museum 2006, including artworks by James Surles / Lucas Johnson / Mel Chin / Michael Collins / Nancy Reddin Kienholz / Richard Stout /Terrell James /Virgil Grotfeldt /WeiHong.

Virgil Grotfeldt Artscoop dec 07 photo Waldo BienResearch Report Düsseldorf: Waldo Bien / Jacobus Kloppenburg / Ingrid Hanemann and U We Claus paid a visited to photo- exhibitions and archives around Joseph Beuys and students at the Kunst Akademie Düsseldorf, 1961-72. Several FIUWAC artworks are directly derived from, or refer to this period. Visit to the Blinky Palermo exhibit at the Kunsthalle, meeting with Stephan von Wiese at Düsseldorf Kunst Palast, and with Dr.Bettina Paust, Director of the Joseph Beuys Archive at Moyland, concerning the FIU Research Project Raum 20. The Joseph Beuys Foundation, Basel, provided the initial Funding for this project.
Also: Meeting with Dr. Ron Manheim (FIUWAC advisory board) to discuss, among others, the restoration of a geometric artwork (1972) by Jacobus Kloppenburg in the Moyland Collection, possibly the only surviving work from this series.

Ron Manheim next to Kloppenburg artwork Museum Schloss Moyland December 2007 photo Waldo Bien

schloss_moylandNew FIUWAC Donation: FIUWAC 489/490 by U We Claus: FIUWAC 489 (blue/black) entitled:  Tor   FIUWAC 490 (black/w): Fafnir, each 24x30cm, and related to the Beuys Project 7000 Oaks.  U We Claus, at the time was the assistant of Carl Giskes, was also involved in the planting of the 7000 oaks at the Documenta VII in Kassel, 1982. They also produced the basalt columns for the Beuys work At The End of the 20th Century *. Following up Joseph Beuys personal instructions “to continue tree planting throughout the world” U we Claus, on the request of Hans and Franz Joseph van der Grinten, planted a row of oak trees and basalt columns at Museum Schloss Moyland. The photos show several trees and basalt stones en place, in the park around Castle Moyland.

U We Claus also contributed the article Laurus Nobilis, das Pflanzenwesen im Oevre von Joseph Beuys. (FIUWAC office is located at Lauriergracht, Laurel Canal) 
*Note: For a full report on U We Claus’ and Carl Walter Giskes’ involvement in Beuys’ projects, see the publication: Joseph Beuys; Das Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts/ The End of the 20th Century, Published: summer 2007, Doerner Institut / Bayrische Staatsgemäldesammlungen / Schirmer und Mosel.

Agenda: Following The FIU/FIUWAC presentation at the 100 Days Permanent FIU Conference, Biennale Venice, FIU Amsterdam received an invitation by Lucrezia De Domizio Durini to install a permanent F.I.U. Conference Room with FIU Toolkit in Bolognano, Italia, upcoming may, 2008. An investigation visit to Bolognano is scheduled for early February and will be recorded by Burkhard Roskoten,  in the framework of a new series: F.I.U. interviews.

Our End of the year Season greetings to all. Peace to the world.

FIUWAC 489-2007 SmallFIUWAC 490-2007 Small



fiuwac 488 Alfons AltFIUWAC News Nov. 2007.

Alfons Alt Book CoverNew Donation:
From Michael Rutkowsky we received an untitled duo work by Alfons Alt.

Technique: Alto type on paper over wood, 1999.
Size: Two panels, 30x40cm each. Total size 60x40cm.
The work is an ‘au bord du mere’ registration: Topic is a bucket with seaweed and the Atlantic coastline.
Other FIUWAC artworks by Alfons Alt: FIUWAC Nr. 74/ 99/ 100/ 116/117/ 118/ 119/120/ 121/ 122/ 226/ 227/269 -276.

A new book on the work of Alfons Alt has been published Paris December this year.


Timothy Leary psychedelic_prayersFIUWAC Social Network
In reaction to the FIUWAC news from September 2007 we received a notice from Michael Bowen (see: FIUWAC 472) :
“Just a note. I saw the FIUWAC news on Jack Smith. Timothy Leary* brought Jack to my studio one evening in New York in 1963. Jack looked at my drawings and chose one for the cover of Leary’s psychedelic prayers, which he had just finished after returning from India. A bit of trivial art history. Never the less. Hope all is well for you. Lots of love. We are all going to need it soon. Michael Bowen.

* Timothy Francis Leary (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American writer, psychologist, modern pioneer and advocate of psychedelic drug research and use, and one of the first people whose remains have been sent into space. As a 1960s counterculture icon, he is most famous as a proponent of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of LSD. He coined and popularized the catch phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out."

Patrick Helay Reading the Markies van Water, by Hilarius Hofstede at the Biennale Venice 2007Triodos Fiuture 000050a-b Hilarius Hofstede - De Markies van WaterBiennale
The FIU Publication around the 100 days permanent FIU conference at the Venice Biennale 2007 will be published in may 2008 by F.I.U Italy / Lucrezia De Domizio Durini.
It includes a 28 pages report on F.I.U. Amsterdam activity and projects.


Jack Smith - The Beautiful BookFIUWA487-2007 Jack SmithC News Sept 2007.
New Donations: Jack Smith (1932-1989) vintage photograph, 12,5x12.5cm, 1962

From Piero Heliczer’s widow Klazien Bader, FIUWAC received a small block made up of four immortal vintage photographs rococo erotica stills pre-flaming creatures from around 1962 and originate Piero Heliczer’s archive in Normandy. (Triodos F.I.U.ture 153 is a drawing of Piero’s house by Mathijs Virgil Gomperts) (See Kloppenburg website) The photo’s were originally published in ‘Jack Smith The Beautiful Book’ in an edition of 200 with 19 hand-tipped black-and-white original contact prints, the only autonomous collection of Jack Smith's photographs to appear during his lifetime and produced mainly during the course of extended shooting sessions in Smith's Lower East Side apartment. They include Frank di Giovanni (a/k/a Francis Francine), Joel Markman, Rene Rivera (a/k/a Mario Montez), and Arnold Rockwood and date from winter of 1962, although a few are earlier, like the final "signature" photograph, a portrait of the artist on the steps beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, taken by filmmaker Ken Jacobs. Nearly half the photographs feature the artist Marian Zazeela, who provided the design for the book's silk-screened cover. Jack Smith and his associates assembled the books during the late spring and early summer of 1962, before shooting began on Flaming Creatures. Published and distributed by Piero Heliczer's  Dead Language Press. A facsimile of ‘The Beautifull Book’ was published by Granary Books NY in 2001 in collaboration with the Plaster Foundation.
Jack Smith is generally acclaimed as a founding father of American Performance Art and has been critically recognized as a master photographer, though his photographic works are rare and remain generally unknown. In film, his influence is evident in the work of Andy Warhol, Ken Jacobs, John Waters, George Kuchar, Scott and Beth B. In avant-garde theater and performance art, his hand touches Robert Wilson, Charles Ludlam, John Vaccaro, Cindy Sherman, and Richard Foreman.
Anthology Film Archives is screening Jack

Smith and Piero Heliczer films - a rare occasion - see

Piero HeliczerPiero Heliczer
by David Lewis/ SOURCE:

Piero Heliczer, F.I.U. Normandy, FrancePiero Heliczer was a key figure in the underground film movement in New York of the 1960s. Born in Italy, he initially broke into films after winning a talent contest at the age of four for the "most typical-looking Italian child." Heliczer played under the name of Pier Giorgio Heliczer in the two least-known commercial Italian films, typecast as the "cute fascist kid" during World War II. Tragically, when he was only seven years old, his father, a resistance fighter, was executed by Nazis allied with Mussolini. According to Heliczer's own account, he worked as an extra in Vittorio de Sica's masterwork Ladri di Biciclette (The Bicycle Thief, 1948), although this has yet to be verified. Heliczer's mother was not fond of Italian neorealism and its depiction of impoverished and dirty children, and decided to immigrate to the United States with her son sometime in the late '40s rather than attempt to further his career as a child actor. Heliczer graduated from high school in the top of his class and entered Harvard in 1955. He dropped out after two years and moved to Paris, where he established his imprint The Dead Language Press, mostly publishing his own literary works, but ultimately printing those of other authors, including Anselm Hollo, Gregory Corso, and The Beautiful Book of filmmaker Jack Smith. Heliczer's poetry was published with a fair amount of frequency in a variety of journals beside his own through about 1970.
Heliczer lived in London from 1960-1961 and, during that time, made his first film in collaboration with fledgling British filmmaker Jeff Keen (The Autumn Feast [1961]). Back in New York in 1962, Heliczer fell in with the crowd that was buzzing around Andy Warhol's Factory, appearing as an actor in Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures and in several of Warhol's films. Heliczer had obtained his own camera by 1964 and began to make films in standard 8 mm, the smallest and least expensive of home-movie gauges. Although he sometimes blew his films up to 16 mm, Heliczer was one of only a few underground filmmakers in New York at the time to work with so-called "regular 8" as his primary tool. His films are similar to Smith's in their inspired lunacy, primitive technical quality, heavy doses of anti-Catholic sentiment, and alternative sexuality. Heliczer's film Satisfaction so enraged one moviegoer at the Filmmaker's Cinematheque in 1965 that he knocked the projector over and attacked a couple of his fellow patrons.

Heliczer usually shot his films silent and added sound on tape; in fact, his "screen adaptation" of William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch in 1968 is "a film for tape recorder, no projector needed." But, in some instances, Heliczer used live musicians to provide a soundtrack to his films, and one ad hoc group playing behind the screen at a Heliczer installation entitled The Launching of the Dream Weapon in early 1965 changed its name later that year to the Velvet Underground. In November, Heliczer had the Velvet Underground perform on the set of his film Venus in Furs and this shooting was filmed by a CBS News crew for an episode of Walter Cronkite Presents entitled "The Making of an Underground Film," which was, in part, a profile of Piero Heliczer and turned out to be the only network television exposure for both the band and the filmmaker.
A significant turning point in the life of Heliczer was when he was awarded a considerable sum of money from the Italian government as reparation for the murder of his father. He gave much of the money away to friends, but he held on to enough to try and establish a filmmaker's cooperative in Paris along the lines of the one already operating in New York. He also bought a tumble-down property in nearby Preaux du Perche in Normandy. The cooperative idea was not a success, and, by the mid-'70s, Heliczer was living on a houseboat moored in an Amsterdam harbor. Vandals sank the boat, and this precipitated a long period of hoRichard Stout & Waldo Bienmelessness for the filmmaker, who ultimately wound up living on the streets of New York. By 1984, he had managed to make it back to Normandy and spent his remaining years running a small bookshop. In July 1993, the 56-year-old filmmaker was killed when his moped was crushed from behind by a truck. Heliczer made about 17 films which are now either lost or held in a variety of places, and no more than a third of them are in circulation. His publications are equally rare; for some pamphlets, there are no known extant copies. In 2001, poet Gerard Malagna was able to 486-2007 Richard Stoutassemble what was retrievable of Heliczer's literary works into a handsome volume entitled A Purchase in the White Botanica. Hopefully, a similar treatment of his films will not be far behind.

Richard Stout

We’re happy to announce an additional Donation from Richard Stout, Houston TX:
Untitled watercolour on semi transparent paper, worked on verso and recto, 19x16 cm, 2007.
Other FIUWAC artworks by Richard Stout: Nr. 226/318/319/320/321/322/379, hosted by Triodos Bank Brussels, Belgium.


FIUWAC NEWS, June 28, 2007

Exhibition Jason McCoy Gallery, NY, June 28 - August 17, 2007

Waldo Bien, Constantin Brancusi, Stephanie Buhmann, Robert Cannon, Claudia Carr, Barbara Chase-Ribaud, Bernard Childs, Liz di Giorgio, Stephen Greene, Virgil Grotfeldt, Karen Gunderson, Hans Hofmann, Eric Holzman, Rachel Hovnanian, Zhang Huan, Frederick Kiesler, Li-lan, Bo Joseph, Lin Ju, Scott Kelly, Kevin King, Martin Kline, Jacobus Kloppenburg, Sally Larmon, Ruth Marten, Walter Matia, Dodo Jin Ming, Wangechi Mutu, Martin Mullin, Masayuki Nagare, Yoshimoto Nara, Victoria Neel, Joan Nelson, Minoru Niizuma,Isamu Noguchi, Freya Payne, Jackson Pollock, Blaise Reutersward, Adria Sartore, Peter Schlesinger, George Segal, Mike Sell, Joan Semmel, Erica Shires, Paul Shore, Brent Steen, Annelies Strba, Frank Vaders, Nicholas Zann, and others.

This exhibition explores various directions within Realism in different media. Ranging from traditional portraiture to radical depictions of the nude; from abstracted landscapes to the creation of atmospheres; and from works impacted by illustration and digital technology, Options within Realism aims to deconstruct the limitations often associated with this term. In fact, Realism can by no means be viewed as a contained category, yet it is easily and widely applied as such. It is a generalized expression, a label often misunderstood as being strictly bound to "reality" or as being determined to evoke a mere realistic likeness. While in the aftermath of Pop Art, Realism had fallen out of vogue, in recent years - partially due to the success of the Leipzig School - it has been re-embraced as the new radical. Regardless of momentary fashions, the Realist vocabulary has never vanished from many artists' oeuvres and continues to be a favored form of expression.
Our salon style installation celebrates the colorful facets one can find in Realism. It searches for options and unpredictable nuances, which apply a fresh and innovative outlook to this vocabulary.


FIUWAC NEWS, June-Sept. 2007

Biennale Venice
Following the invitation by Lucrezia De Domizio Durini , FIU/FIUWAC participates in the 100 days of permanent conference at the Biennale Venezia
Kassel 1977-Venice 2007, Homage
to Harald Szeemann.

Video reports on FIUWAC / F.I.U. / F.I.U.Loan to Triodos Bank / F.I.U Toolkit for Board and Conference Tables / Social Sculpture Basics / Film Art by Babeth (Joseph Beuys: Das Kapital a.o.) and Carl Giskes’ Tierra Fino sustainable building material production.
On 3/4/5 July: F.I.U. Amsterdam lectures STEERING THE FUTURE at the Arsenale/ Spazio Thetis.
Vertical Vision - Digital Printing, Weesp NL, generously sponsored the needed display material.



An additional F.I.U.Amsterdam website:, is opened and will unveil the period that Joseph Beuys was Professor at the Düsseldorf Academy.
This F.I.U. Raum 20 Interdisciplinary Research Project will give important information about the donations to FIUWAC from Michael Rutkowsky, Martin Schönenborn, Felix Droese, Lothar Baumgarten, Katharina Sieverding, Johannes Stüttgen, Waldo Bien, Babeth Mondini vanLoo, U We Claus, Carl Giskes etc.

Raum 20 Photo


FIUWAC NEWS, Friday the 6th of April 2007

FIUWAC Board meeting
Waldo Bien, Patrick Healy, Babeth Mondini vanLoo, Jacobus Kloppenburg, Alfons Alt, Hilarius Hofstede, Eliane Gomperts, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Ullrich, Dr Ron Manheim, Mr. Dolf Rueb.

General discussion on outstanding FIUWAC issues, the need for further FIUWAC Hosts and Partners for the collection, a FIUWAC catalogue publication, and the invitation (handed to us by U We Claus) to participate in the upcoming Venice Biennale.
The FIUWAC Board/Advisory Board decided to accept the invitation from Lucrezia De Domizio Durini to come to the Biennale in Venice to participate in:

THE LIVING SCULPTURE. Kassel 1977-Venezia 2007



FIUWAC Board in discussion 2007


FIUWAC NEWS, April 2007

New Works
We are happy to announce donations to FIUWAC by U We Claus and Johannes Stüttgen.

FIUWAC 485-2007 U We Claus & Johannes Stüttgen (small)


FIUWAC NEWS, March 2007

New Works
We are happy to announce a donation to FIUWAC by the Brazilian artist Fernanda Trevellin de Almeida who has been a student of Laurent Dejente (FIUWAC): Two mysterious Amazon photographs, selected during a visit to her studio in Lille, FR. (FIUWAC 479/480)

FIUWAC 479-2006 (small)FIUWAC 480-2006 Fernanda Trevellin de Almeida (small)


FIUWAC NEWS, February 2007

New FIUWAC Gallery Online
To enable us to also show the social sphere around FIUWAC artworks, the FIUWAC Gallery had to be renewed. Carl Giskes,, again offers his help and generously provided FIU Amsterdam with the needed software.


FIUWAC NEWS, 16th of January 2007


With the Champaign toast for a happy new year came the desire for a total restyle of the FIUWAC Website. Our main goal was to improve speed and usability and upgrade the aesthetics to a “2007 proof” level. We believe we succeeded!

Daniël de Leeuw, FIUWAC Webmaster



FIUWAC NEWS, Summer 2006:


The FIUWAC board is happy to announce the latest donation to the collection by David Lebe, born in NY 1958.
Jacobus Kloppenburg, Virgil Grotfeldt and Waldo Bien have known the work of Lebe since 1987, when they first met during the Bien/Kloppenburg exhibition at the Larry Becker gallery, Philadelphia USA.
After the founding of FIUWAC, October 1999, they considered it important to have work from David Lebe in the collection, especially some of the plant drawings and pinhole works.

Over the years the contact had been disrupted, people had moved to unknown destinations, and so on. Bien donated a David Lebe work from his own collection to the FIUWAC, the light drawing ‘Parrot Tulips’ (sad tulips), from 1987, to ensure Lebe’s presence from the beginning on. Kloppenburg also wanted to donate a Lebe work to the FIUWAC but unfortunately this light drawing happened to be locked up in containers at Amsterdam Harbour and access was impossible. (, 1997)

At the beginning of the new millennium contact was happily restored and a donation to FIUWAC discussed. In 2003 the book on Virgil Grotfeldt was sent to America to give David an idea what this was all about and what we had in mind (FIUWAC web presentations still had to be realised)
In January 2006 the Kloppenburg Artchive for the Future book was published and Mathijs Gomperts/Bien was sent to personally deliver it at David Lebe’s home address, upstate N.Y. That’s how social sculpture in progress works. Happy hours. Mathijs Gomperts (one of the children who produced the founding stone for the FIUWAC, 1999) is a student now. He was requested by the FIUWAC board to write a report on seeing art/ fruit falling from the tree he helped to plant. Report follows in update.

The 4th of July we received a photo by e-mail, showing Mathijs and Lea Mueller (and a friend) during their visit. The photos also gave a view of David and Jack’s paradise garden in full summer bloom.
Just minutes later the postman rang the doorbell and this donation was delivered, including the following letter and description by the artist:











Homage to Marcel Duchamp, Philadelphia, 1987, Photo: David Lebe/Man Ray
From left: Jerome Goodman, Virgil Grotfeldt, David Lebe, Waldo Bien, Rrose Sélavy and Jacobus Kloppenburg

David Lebe using viewfinder to decide where to setup the four pinhole camera, 1974
Photo: Susan Weichmen






David Lebe and Jack Potter, 2003
Jack Potter’s inspired landscapes can be found: Swarthmore College Bulletin, March 2006




FIUWAC Board Meeting Eliane Gomperts and Waldo Bien

FIUWAC NEWS, January 8th 2006:

FIUWAC Board Meeting:

FIUWAC board meeting, January 8 2006. Waldo Bien, Patrick Healy, Babeth VanLoo, Jacobus Kloppenburg, Alfons Alt, Photo’s: Sebastiaan Bien.

Babeth had cooked a wonderful lunch for us. In spirit we consulted Walter Hopps, who died last year. The day before, the 7th, there had been a meeting with Luk Darras, the now retired Belgian ambassador/Fiuwac advisory board member, and his wife Barbara, at our FIU office. We had not seen each other for quit a while and there was lots to tell. And on Friday the 13th of January (close too full moon) a FIUWAC board visit by Waldo and Jacobus to Ferdiand Ullrich, Kunsthalle Recklinghausen.

FIU/FIUWAC matters where discussed in an social ambience of friendship, common ideals and universal perspective.

Also see photo’s of the Artchive for the Future Exhibitions opening by clicking here



Luk Daras speaking at Opening Exhibition


FIUWAC Board Meeting Babeth Mondini vanLoo


FIUWAC Board Meeting Patrick Healy


FIUWAC Board Meeting Lunch


Luk Daras speaking at Opening Exhibition


Waldo Bien, Jacobus Kloppenburg and Ferdinand Ullrich


__________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________

FIUWAC NEWS, Tuesday 20th September 2005

FIUWAC 472-2005 , artwork of the month:

From the American artist Michael Bowen we received the following donation:

Beuys Andy Hopps 20 Barney’s Beanery dream, mixed media on board in handcrafted frame, 47x52cm. We thank Michael Bowen for his meaningful contribution to our ideal; welcome to the FIUWAC. At the centre of the work a button is installed with the text “walter hopps will be here in 20 minutes” The button is a classic and is mentioned in the 24 pages article on Walter Hopps that apeared in the New Yorker, July 29.1991, describing the birth of the legendary Ferus Galery, founded by W. Hopps and Edward Kienholz, L.A. 1962, exhibiting Pollock, de Kooning, Gorkey, Rothko, Motherwell, Newman, Cornell, J.Johns, E. Kelly, Lichtenstein, K. Price, Frank Stella, Clifford Still a. o., some of them for the first time. Bowen was one of the young artist friends who helped to paint the gallery’s premises. The N.Yorker article mentions on page 46; “In 1962, Tom Leavitt hired Hopps as the Pasadena Museum’s first full time curator. The budget was still too low to allow any other staff and Leavitt agreed to let Hopps supplement his meagre salary by continuing to teach the extension course at U.C.L.A. Hopps cut his ties with the Ferus Galery, but he remained in close touch with the Ferus artists. Nicholas Wilder, who had established a gallery on La Cienega (Los Angeles) that vied with the Ferus in showing new art, used to call up Hopps in those days and urge him to come over for lunch or a drink, so that he could look at the work of some new talent, and Hopps, too busy with what he was doing at the museum, used to put him off by saying he would be there in 20 minutes. He rarely got there at all, and it was Wilder who dreamed up the button that said “ Walter Hopps will be here in 20 minutes”, the button that later was recreated by Hopps’s staff at the Corcoran (to state their complaints about his frequent absence from the office).

We asked Michael Bowen the provenance of the button he used in this artwork and here follows his answer:

Hi Waldo,
The button. This button IS the original button made for I think, Walters arrival at Warhol's first one-man show, which took place at the ferus gallery. The button is not any button made by the Corcoran. I got this button from my friend John Kelly Reed who lived for 12 years at Walters Pasadena house. Whatever exhibit this first button was made for that is where he got it.
The entire story of how I came to get the button as well as many other things, some ephemera, some beautiful original paintings by John Reed is a story art history needs to know.
I give you now a very brief synopsis.
I have to start by telling you about myself and John Reed or it will be impossible to understand the
Although I have always made my living as an artist since I was a 16-year-old drop out from Beverly Hills I never liked the commercial tricks I found around Ferus Gallery and the Now gallery, Ed Kienholz first gallery just I think before he met Walter Hopps. By tricks and commercialization, I mean simply that Kienholz, Rushia, and Billy Al Bengston, all older by 10 or 15 years than me were determined to make a success in the art world. Obviously, they did that. My own interests have always been in painting, and using all media to do so. I met Kienholz the first week I left home in Beverly Hills. I lived with him in a falling down place on Santa Monica blvd. near Barney's Beanery, the local art hang out. In this way, I became friends with the people around Ferus. In fact as a kid, I hammered and nailed Ferus into existence. I had a friend. John Kelley Reed. I introduced John to Kienholz, the Ferus, and Wallace Berman, Herms and the other artists and writers. John became close to all of them. I was close to everyone, especially John Altoon, but metaphysically far distant from that group. Reed for example helped me helping with Ferus but also pasted and glued the Semina magazine Wallace Berman created. This was in the late 1950s early 1960s. Now lets shoot forward in time to 1995 96. I was living in San Francisco. One day I got a call from a friend at the Oakland museum for California art informing me that my works had been chosen and were already shipped from a collection in Norway to the Whitney in New York for their yearlong traveling exhibit. Beat culture and the new America 1945 to 1955. I had done nothing to get into this exhibit. In fact, I was doing what I always do even now. That is. Create art and practice and study metaphysical reality or reality from the metaphysical point of view. I and the people around me or the people who I am around. In other words, our small group was filled with a dilemma. If I got active in this Whitney exhibit, we all realized that it would eat our time from our Meta psi work. Therefore, we talked it over, voted, and decided to give it some energy for 5 years. We are well over that limit now. Moreover, it has eaten away at our psi work. In the last, part of the Whitney showing, with Kienholz, Pollack, Jim Dine, Berman Ginsberg, me and others the exhibit opened its last 3 months at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. When that happened my friend Arthur Monroe, also in the exhibition and I felt that so many people who created an amazing world change were left out of the Whitney show that we decided to create another large exhibit in San Francisco for as many of those people as possible. We obtained the buildings and then began the process of gathering the left out artists. One of these artists was John Kelley Reed who had come up to San Francisco and lived there over 20 years before he and berman and the other l.a. people had returned to l.a. I left la in 19 57 and only occasionally visited Kienholz and others. So, John Reed had become missing. He was the first artist friend of my life. Now he was on my list of people to find for the tandem San Francisco showing in 1996. No one who I called in l.a. knew what had happened to him. The last anyone knew he was in Pasadena. That‚s it. So one evening a film producer in Pasadena named Todd mills was having a party for me at his big mansion. I found myself talking to a zillionaire friend of Todd's, a proto bohemian I guess one could say. I mentioned john's name. he said I know him. Well that started the Pasadena hunt for john reed. When I told Todd about this he had a friend come with a camera and westarted looking. We soon found that he had lived at Walters house 12 years before but for some reason unknown then had left. We then heard he was living under a bush by the Pasadena public library. We began searching thru homeless shelters and interviewing people who had known him. This entire 4 day hunt was filmed. Finally we found an old actor with one tooth who knew him only as little john. The actor told us that little john was dying and that the police had begun persecuting him for sleeping under his bush. We redoubled our efforts. We drove back to the library. And there we found john. He was sleeping on the grass in the sun. I woke him. He then began a conversation we had last broken off over 20 years before. The cameras were rolling. Naturally, we gave him immediate help. Found and offered him a place to live. I gave him a thousand dollars I had in my pocket. We got him to a dr, all of the things he could need we were ready to provide. Nevertheless, john knew he was dieing. I of course told him abut the exhibit,. He then told me to go to Walters Pasadena house and get what he had hidden there and keep it, exhibit it, do whatever I wished with it. The cameras were rolling. He refused to go to the house.
Therefore, we went to the house. There we met Walters's caretaker. He was a cruel man who hated John. I think Walter must have visited that house he had created for artists to live in very very rarely. The cruel caretaker talked on and on about how stupid, foolish, idiotic and so on John was. We asked if we could retrieve john's things which john had hidden deep under the house in a small crawl space. Only my pregnant wife isa was small enough to get under the house. She soon emerged with a large roll of paintings. Also a black attaché case. As we left the cruel caretaker laughed about johns plight and told us of his own art. Which consisted of making paintings and then burning them all as the exhibit. We were glad to leave. The cameras were rolling. We saw john the next day. He was happy he was going to be included in the san Francisco show and he promised us he would follow the doctors recommendations, live in the studio we got him, etc. Isabella and I had to leave for Las Vegas. A long drive across the broiling desert to another artist's house. My best friend photographer Roberto Ayala. He also was dying. We stayed with Roberto for a week. We tried successfully to get Roberto's works organized with his wife. Then we headed back to San Francisco still not having opened the suitcase. We had opened the roll of paintings and several were in the Tandem exhibit in San Francisco. That show was called re beat. In San Francisco we finally opened the attaché case. I have it here in Sweden. Inside were many early berman verifaxes. Incredible pieces. And of course, the button. Now you have the button. As I told Patrick, I would like to sell the bermans. He mentioned he might know someone. This will help us get started in Europe. In the meantime, we are happy to be out of America for good. John reed is just a tiny example of how the human spirit as crushed under the heel of the monsters who have taken America. They will take the world into hell if people do not understand what has happened there. John Reed never saw his works on view in San Francisco. But he knew it was going to happen. Two weeks after we arrived back in San Francisco we located a sister of Johns in the state of Missouri. She was overjoyed to hear about John. We got him on a plane to her and he died with his family A week after returning to his home. Best Waldo Michael Bowen .

For more information about Michael Bowen please visit his website at



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Dennis Hopper (left) and Michael Bowen, SanFancisco

Walter Hopps at Ferus Gallery 1959

Walter Hopps at Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles 1959

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Kienholz Hopps Hopps Hopps

Edward Kienholz:
Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps, 1959, Detail