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Erwin Olaf donates 500 “key” works to the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

This morning you could read in the Volkskrant that Erwin Olaf donated 500 of his key works to the Rijksmuseum. Why the Rijksmuseum….because the last 5 year a bond between these 2 major forces in the art world grew now resulting in the extremely generous and large gift of the 500 most important works from Erwin Olaf’s career.

At the same time as this gift was announced, it was announced that the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Fotomuseum will both open an Erwin Olaf exhibition in February 2019. Please check  both their sites in half a year when the details will be known for both these exhibitions. If you can not wait until February…… Check Erwin Olaf’s site and visit for his publications.

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Hyperrealism Sculpture at the KUNSTHAL Rotterdam

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The day we visited the Rajlich exhibition some months ago we also went to the Kunsthal. A totally different museum than the Boijmans van Beuningen. The exhibitions in there need to have a great appeal to many and that must be the reason that this hyper realistic sculptures were exhibited over there. Far too many people crowded the exhibition space to have a good look at the sculptures. For me this was not a group of visitors that wanted to see some great art, but far more they wanted to be amazed by the technique and craftsmanship…. because these were really hyperrealistic sculptures. Personally i did not like it very much, with some exceptions.

The baby by Mueck was fascinating and the sculpture by Allen Jones / girl in the Chiquita banana was a first for me, but for me personally the most amazing one was by a dutch sculptor Margriet van Breevoort.

Every detail in the self portrait of het body was perfect. Not near perfect, but really 100% perfect and one could not tell the difference between reality and the sculpture. Is it art?…i do not think so, but fascinating it is. has some publications on hyperrealistic sculpture available.


here is the text the Kunsthal has published:

Following the success of the 2017 exhibition ‘Hyperrealism. 50 years of painting’, the Kunsthal Rotterdam crosses over to the third dimension with the exhibition ‘Hyperrealism Sculpture’. This exhibition will show a unique selection of three-dimensional works by all important hyperrealist sculptors of the past 50 years. From the early American pioneers, including George Segal, Duane Hanson and John DeAndrea, to the rise of the international movement, represented by Juan Muñoz (Spain), Maurizio Cattelan (Italy), Berlinde de Bruyckere (Belgium) and Ron Mueck, Sam Jinks and Patricia Piccinini (Australia).

With 35 artworks by 28 artists, the Kunsthal will present – for the first time in the Netherlands – an overview of the worldwide developments in hyperrealist sculpture over the past fifty years. In the 1960s and 1970s a number of sculptors, each from their own perspective, became interested in a type of figurative art based on representations of the human figure that were as vivid and lifelike as possible. Standing face to face with these works provokes a reaction from the visitors, raising questions about the extent to which human beings can be manipulated and about identity in general. How do we see ourselves and others? – An interesting topic in the light of the current selfie culture on social media.


In five different themes, the exhibition will show how our perspective on the human body is subject to constant change. ‘Doppelgangers’ zooms in on artists such as Duane Hanson and John DeAndrea who, in the 1960s, set the trend by making life-sized sculptures. To make the sculptures even more lifelike, they used extremely laborious, complex procedures and innovative materials to meticulously replicate the structure of the human skin, and combined the works with objects from reality. Also shown are the hyperrealist nudes of the American artist Paul McCarthy and works by the French artist Daniel Firman, who, by contrast, fully dresses his figures and systematically conceals their facial features and limbs.


From the 1990s a number of artists, including Ron Mueck, Marc Sijan and Sam Jinks, started to drastically enlarge or reduce the dimension of their figures. Ron Mueck uses this method to focus on the transitional stages of life, such as birth, old age and death. By depicting the human body in an alienating way, he makes these themes even more profound.
A spectacular example of this is the five meter long work ‘A Girl’ from 2006 (from the collection of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art), representing a new-born baby.


The theme ‘deformations’ zooms in on artists such as Evan Penny and Patricia Piccinini who observe the body from distorted perspectives,  Tony Matelli who, with his floating figure, seems to completely discard the laws of nature, and Berlinde de Bruyckere who explores themes like death and human existence with her sculptures of contorted bodies.


The theme ‘body parts’ shows the works of artists who, since the 1990s, have focused their attention on specific parts of the body. Maurizio Cattelan’s disconnected arms and Robert Gober’s apparently cleanly severed lower part of a hairy leg projecting from the wall, as well as the life-sized heads by John Davies and the almost surrealist human parts by Peter Land, all convey disturbing messages, occasionally with a touch of humour.

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Herb Lubalin (1918-1981)… a 1965 series at FTN-books.

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A blog on Herb Lubalin, because has the rare opportunity to have for sale SIX original 1965 posters by Herb Lubalin.


herb lubalin genesis by Baker signet d

Herb Lubalin was a celebrated twentieth century American graphic designer. He is recognized for his collaboration with Ralph Ginzburg on three of Ginzburg’s magazines. The magazines showcased his artistic skills as he brought out the creative visual beauty of these publications. ITC Avant Garde typeface is one of his creations and it is mostly known for being a revision of art-deco.

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On March 17, 1918, Herbert F. Lubalin was born in New York, United States. At the age of seventeen, he was enrolled in a privately funded college located in the East Village, Cooper Union. An array of possibilities offered by the field of typography as a communicative implement fascinated him. Lubalin learned about the fundamentals of typography and was awestruck by the impact a typeface can have if traded with another and how it affects the whole text’s interpretation. Upon receiving his graduation degree in 1939, he had a rough time searching a suitable job. He was able to get a job at a display firm, though he got sacked after requesting a two dollar raise on his weekly salary.

Soon after, Lubalin found work at Reiss Advertising and eventually he was landed a job at Sudler & Hennessey. At S & H he became a practitioner of a wide range of skills. In fact, it was he who attracted talent from multidiscipline, such as design, typography and photography, to the firm. While working there he made associates with George Lois, John Pistilli and Art Kane. He stayed with Sudler & Hennessey for two long decades before he decided to establish his own design firm, Herb Lubalin, Inc in 1964. With the foundation of his private studio he enjoyed the liberty of taking on a variety of art projects. He excelled in a number of projects including poster designing, magazine designing and packaging and identity solutions. Lubalin’s talent was best manifested when he designed Ralph Ginzburg’s succession of magazines; Eros, Fact and Avant Garde.

Ginzburg first launched Eros which was dedicated to beauty and emerging sense of sexuality in the burgeoning counterculture. It had a large format, similar to a regular book rather than a quarterly magazine, with no advertisement. Lubalin’s editorial design for the magazine is considered one of the brilliant of its kind. However, following an obscenity case filed by the US Postal Service against the magazine it immediately folded. In response to the treatment Eros received, Ginzburg and Lubalin launched a second magazine, Fact. The managing editor of Fact Warren Boroson defined it as having spiced up issues instead of sugar-coated pieces like in Reader’s Digest. Lubalin applied an elegant design to the magazine with minimalist palette, based on dynamic serifed typography and exquisite illustrations. Notwithstanding the fact that the magazine received great reviews, it followed the lead of its predecessor and folded. It was a consequence of their publication of an article on the Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, titled “The Unconscious of a Conservative: A special Issue on the Mind of Barry Goldwater” . Goldwater sued the magazine repeatedly and put it out of business eventually.

However, Lubalin and Ginzburg stayed undeterred by demise of one magazine as they released another one by the name Avant Garde. Lubalin created ITC Avant Garde typeface for the magazine. During the last ten years of his life, Herb Lubalin supervised various projects. His most distinguished works include his typographic journal U&lc and the foundation of International Typographic Corporation.

www.ftn-books has also one of the most important Avant Garde magazines for sale.

picasso erotic

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Jan Cremer (1940)

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I only met him once. It was at the time we had a meeting and discussed an exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum . We all sat down at the Library and together with all the staff involved we discussed the event. Across the room there were Jan Cremer and Babette. I remember that Babette had a clear vision of what had to be done to make the exhibition a success, but this was of course not the only time Jan Cremer and the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag had plans. There has always been a connection between Jan Cremer and Den Haag. The first is that he studied at the academy, buying his paint on the Hoefkade and exchanging his paintings for tubes of paint.

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One of these paintings is for sale at FTN art and secondly because he was one of the youngest, possibly the youngest artist that belonged to the Posthoorngroep and exhibited at the location of the Posthoorn. Others like Hussem and Nanninga were more important at that time , but the young Cremer soon found his place among them . His “barbaric” art was young and new and he had a good nose for publicitiy. His 1 million Gulden painting was discussed in practically all the newspapers in the early sixties, never found a buyer, but made his name as one of the young promessing artists. Later his name would be on everybody’s lips because of the controversial book  “Ik Jan Cremer” , which was an artistic and commercial success.

But never forget that Cremer is in the first place a painter, which he still proves everyday at 77. He still is the young man he once was, but with one difference …his painting has matured. www.ftn-books has some titles available on Jan Cremer.


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Classic catalogues part 1 …..Matisse

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Today starts a 2 days period to focus on the classic publications from my inventory. Matisse is an important artist and deserves to be highlighted because of this importance. Since the 1940’s many publications have been published on Matisse and great designers like Sandberg and Wissing all made catalogues for exhibitions on this artist in the Netherlands. For 2 days these catalogues are available with a discount of 10% and because has so many more classic publications this 10% is applicable on the entire inventory, but……. this lasts only 2 days!

discount code:  CLASSIC10