A crazy month. Traveling to Madeira, Paris and twice to Vienna. First trip to Vienna to chose our new dog Dexter from a nest of eight in Vienna and second trip last weekend to pick him up. Traveling with us our son Lucas, who wanted to witness this pick up and see Vienna for the first time. Because it was the museum that impressed me the most during our visit 2 years ago, we took him to the Leopold to show him TOD UND LEBEN by Gustav Klimt.
This is the painting that has it all. All aspects of life caught within one framed painting. Measuring aprox. 2,5 x 2,5 meters it is large and impressive and one of the icons in modern art, but the Leopold has much much more. 4 floors with art filled by Klimt, Moser, Kokoschka and last but not least Egon Schiele. I have seen many Schiele paintings and drawings in my life. From an impressive Schiele contribution to the KLIMT/ SCHIELE / KLEE exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum to the special Schiele exhibtion in the Guggenheim in Bilbao, but was really impressed by the amount and quality of the Schiele’s on show in the Leopold Museum two years ago. This time it was totally different….from the four floors, 2 were closed and worse……. all the Schieles on Paper were in Facsimile. It is like going to a theater show, paying full entrance fee and see only half of it on television.
These were not the real works of art and a museum like the Leopold Museum should inform its visitors on forehand that these were reproductions of the real works of art. To make it even worse they charged the full entrance fee for the visit…..a true disappointment, but with a fond memory to the TOD UND LEBEN/1915 which is still there and one of the most impressive and fascinating paintings in the world.
First of all this great RIETVELD poster is sold to Japan and it was the only one available at this moment, but i wanted to make sure my readers know of its existence. This is such a powerful design by Jan Bons with the Z of the ZigZag chair by Rietveld. If ever there is a Stedelijk Museum poster to be reissued/reprinted again…i will vote for this one. For some other nice Stedelijk Museum posters visit www.ftn-books.com
One of the greatest book designers recently died. Karl Gerstner died on the 1st day of this New Year.
If there was one iconic Swiss book from the late Fifties it is probably Kalte Kunst?
Designed by Karl Gerstner, this book has become an example to many. Look at the early Wim Crouwel designs….influence Gerstner. Benno Wissing…influence Gerstner.
Karl Gerstner is a contemporary designer who’s work is strong and clean, but full of details. Typography and design melt together into a publication which is modern and classic. One of the first of these publications was Kalte Kunst? in which the most modern artist from the fifties were invited to make a contribution, which was placed within the publication. Special prints, silkscreens and litho’s were bound in Kalte Kunst?
“Kalte Kunst?” (1957, 2 editions, both 1000 copies) was Gerstner’s first authored book where he advocates for a specific form of rational, geometric and mathematical art with examples from Josef Albers, Max Bill, Camille Graeser, Richard P. Lohse, Gerard Ifert, Mary Vieira and Marcel Wyss.
National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo
Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.) in Gent
An impressive list and far from complete is this list of Museums that have a work or works by Hanne Darboven in their collection. Hanne Darboven was one of the most extreme Conceptual Artist from the last century. Making works with text, letters and numbers…always written and notated by hand in sequences reminding of the sequential works by the Minimal Art artists, by whom she was influenced ( LeWitt and Judd).
The calendar sequence has consistently formed the basis for the majority of her installations, and the ‘daily arithmetic’ consisting of checksums came to replace the year’s calendrical progression according to a complex and challenging mathematical logic. Always written out by hand, her paperwork thus comprised rows and rows of ascending and descending numbers, u-shapes, grids, line-notations and boxes. Employing this neutral language of numbers and using pen, pencil, the typewriter, and graph paper as materials, she began to make simple linear constructions of numbers that she called Konstruktionen.
Whenever you encounter a Darboven, the detail is of less importance. It is the pure extreme large scale that impresses , which is the same reason that so little of her works are on permanent display. When you encounter one of Darboven’s works…. Take your time and experience the space and the walls, covered with her works from top to bottom and never forget it anymore.
One of the best (free) places to visit in Paris is the studio of Constantin Brancusi. This Studio and all its contents was left to the state of France by Brancusi after his death on the condition that it should be kept complete and on show. First it was located in the Modern art Museum at the Avenue Wilson, but later it became part of the Centre Pompidou complex. A special building by Renzo Piano ( co architect of the Pompidou) was erected and in it the complete studio with all its magnificent art works by Brancusi was re created including all his tools and equipment what makes it the complete setting as it was and gives excellent insight in the proces of creation. 30 minutes is all you need for your visit, but the memory will last a lifetime and to keep this alive there are the books available at www.ftn-books.com
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20