A few weeks ago i posted a photograph of some books i bought for my inventory. Among them a book on Robert Mapplethorpe which was published on the occasion of his 2016 traveling exhibition. I have the german version in front of me and after studying , reading and admiring the very large and thick publication in the last few weeks, there is only one conclusion to be made.
THIS IS BY FAR THE VERY BEST PUBLICATION ON ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE EVER
This needs some explaining.It is not only a very large publication, which is beautifully printed and designed, but the book shows all the subjects for which Mapplethorpe has become famous, but not only that ..more important it includes studies , studio settings and much more so it gives an almost complete impression of Mapplethorpe as a person, photographer, friend and artist.
I do not know what to say. Is Henk Visch the dutch equivalent of Jean Bilquin or is it the other way around? Certain is that both artists are inspired by the same objects and surroundings.
Another influence must have been the sculptures by Brancusi because a returning object is the portrait sculpture Brancusi has made in several versions.
But there is much more to discover in the works by Jean Bilquin. When you leaf through the catalogue which was published on the occasion of the Kunsthal exhibition ( 2008 ). You really feel that you are discovering an artist. An artist who is inspired by nature and people. Both subjects combining in a very personal kind of art on larger sized canvasses. This is the kind of work which always attracts me and which i want to discover further after i have visited the exhibition. The catalogue ( available at www.ftn-boooks.com) shows exactly why these works have a rare quality. The catalogue has several fold out pages which make the scale of these large paintings somewhat visible.
One of the nicest and arguably best published catalogues i discovered recently is the catalogue which was published on the occasion of the KLEE-MELOTTI exhibition at the Musea d’Arte in the city of Lugano ( Suisse) in 2013. Personally i think the Suisse excel in their exhibitions and their catalogues which are published with these exhibitions. Take Zurich, Bern, Basel and Lugano. All cities house tremendous beautiful museums and each of them has its specialities.
This Klee-Melotti Catalogue fascinates in 383 pages and shows the relations between both artists. I did not know Melotti that well because i rarely encounter publications on him, but as soon as i laid my eyes on his works he became an instant favorite. His rows of staged sculptures look to have no connection at all, but look closely and they become one sculpture….
i really love an artist who works in this way. For me Piet Dirkx has the same qualities. Dirkx combines objects and colors and present them as one sculpture.
Bibliotheque d’Alexandrie Paris # CONSTANT # 1959, NM+++/Mint–
This is how it is described in the headline of the object in my internet store at www.ftn-books.com
You will have a hard time in finding this title on the internet and if you find it, my guess it is it will be in less condition than the one i have on offer. This is an extremely rare title and an absolute ” must have” for all serious Constant (book) collectors. It is not that thick but its contents is highly important and one of the first special Constant publications that was published on Constant.
Here it is…another rarely encountered Bettina Rheims title. It is LES ESPIONNES.
Published by one of the best photography publishers Gina Kehayoff, it stayed a rather obscure title and was rarely reviewed nor it was ordered by the regular Bookstores. My guess is the editions stayed under 1000 copies of which a few hundred were sold. What becomes of such an edition.? Not sold through the regular sales channels, only a handful loyal collectors who ordered it and certainly no interest by companies to have an imprint with their name on the cover. The reason…it is clear to me ..the subjects are transgenders who posed and were photographed by Bettina Rheims during the process of their transition. This has become one of the most important titles by Bettina Rheims and i was lucky to buy me a small stack of these important photography documents. The book is available through www.ftn-books.com and is still in mint sealed condition.