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Atta Kim (1956)

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I am fascinated by the art of young Korean artists and this resulted a few years ago in a purchase of a large painting by Jungwook Kim which is still hanging left from my desk and is a constant pleasure to look at and admire. Another Korean artist is Atta Kim. A Korean photographer who’s photographs are almost in every case presented as a project.

THe only book i have by Atta Kim is ON AIR but this publication has every quality to become a classic in the world of photography books. His works have a dreamlike quality and fit perfectly in the art which come from South Korea these days. On “you tube” there is a short film on this book and you can have a very n ice impression of a Atta Kim publication when you watch this 3 minute video.

The ON AIR book is available www.ftn-books.com

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Assouline is a very special publisher

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In 1994, Prosper and Martine Assouline published their first book, La Colombe d’Or, on the history of their favorite hotel in the South of France, with photographs by Prosper and text by Martine. The publishing house began as a family company in the basement of the couple’s apartment in Paris and one year later, the firm opened its first office on rue Danielle Casanova in Paris. The company later opened more offices, first in New York, and then in Venice, Geneva, Istanbul, and London. The company’s first book series was the Memoire collection of books focusing on individuals and companies in fashion, jewelry, design, and art. Initial publications included books about AzzedineAlaïa, Chanel, Vionnet, and Dior. As of 1997, about half a million editions from the Memoire collection had been sold, with 27 titles on Paris in addition to others.

Assouline has partnered with fashion companies, including Poiret, Chanel, Pucci, Dior, Goyard, Coach, Andrée Putman, and Valentino to create special editions and trunks.Assouline titles have been published in multiple different languages. In 2001, Assouline published Lee Radziwill’s memoir, Happy Times, the first book of the Icons collection, which focuses on travel and style. Assouline also produces the “Impossible Collection” of books and the “Ultimate Collection”, a series of limited-edition hand-bound oversize volumes with hand-tipped illustrations.

In 2002 Assouline published the book Bright Young Things by Brooke de Ocampo.[17] Then in 2007, the company owners relocated to New York City, and that same year they began to partner with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In 2011 Prosper Assouline was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture for his work in publishing. In 2012, Assouline produced a waterproof book on the subject of the South Pole, as well as Gaia, a book of photos taken on the International Space Station by Guy Laliberté.

In 2015, Assouline launched a “Haute Couture” furnishings collection called “Assouline Interiors”. Assouline also produces accessories, bookbags, and bindery. They have also designed private libraries and lounges in New York City in buildings including 432 Park, The Caledonia, and The Shephard. In 2016, the French Institute Alliance Française awarded the Assoulines with the Art de Vivre award for their publications.

(this is the full text as found on Wikipedia)

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Assouline publications available

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Kenneth Noland (1924-2010)

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I love color field painting and what i think interesting about the works by Kenneth Noland is that he applied the color theories of Josef Albers to his own art.

Noland developed a signature style based on simplified abstract forms, including targets, chevrons, and stripes. Noland’s paintings are characterized by strikingly minimalist compositions of shape and color. In this regard, Noland’s art has influenced a wide range of contemporary abstractionists who continue to experiment with highly simplified forms and pure saturated color. The beginning of Minimalism is not far away in these works.

Noland applied Josef Albers’s theory of “the interaction of colors” to his own compositions, which explore the relationships between contrasting or complementary colors; painted in thin yet opaque layers, each tone reveals its particular characteristic weight, density, and transparency.

In the late 1960s, Noland’s approach to Color Field Painting grew even more reductive, but no less bold. Having run through multiple permutations of both the target and chevron format for the time being, Noland switched to using rectangular canvases and horizontal lines in a new series he called Stripes (1967-70). In his Targets and Chevrons, the artist tended to juxtapose color bands of equal width and to impose some form of axial symmetry on the canvas, leaving portions of unprimed canvas blank in contrast to the color. None of these features occur in Noland’s Stripes. Instead, Noland began playing with scale, color, and form on new levels. He reduced his compositions to a basic formula: parallel horizontal lines of varying widths and colors, running along the entire width of the canvas.

An interesting artist of whom not many publications are available in Europe, still there are some available at www.ftn-books.com

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Claude Monet and abstract art

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A few months ago i encountered on Blouin.com a very interesting article on the importance of the “abstract” waterlilies paintings by Claude Monet. Because of this importance i will post the complete article in this blog and please know that www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on Monet available.

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As hard as it may be to believe today, Claude Monet’s beloved Water Lilies series received little admiration during the artist’s lifetime. regarded as too neo-classical, or too decorative, or confusing and messy — perhaps the product of the artist’s failing eyesight — more than 200 of the monumental compositions leaned against the walls of Monet’s Giverny studio for some 30 years, unsold. After his death, 22 “Water Lilies” panels out of some 250 he had produced were installed in the Musee del’Orangerie in Paris, a gift the artist bequeathed to the French state. but they were largely ignored.

“When it opened, it stayed nearly empty,” said Cecile Debray, the chief curator of the l’Orangerie. “Everyone had forgotten these works of art. I remember one writer saying that it was a place where lovers went to hide.” It wasn’t until the 1950s, nearly 30 years after Monet’s death, that the works began to find a popular following. The Museum of Modern Art’s founding director, Alfred J. Barr Jr., bought three for the New York museum in 1955 — at an absurdly cheap price— and hung them as a panorama.

Art critics such as Clement Greenberg were arguing that Monet’s late works were the precursors to the American abstract art movement, positioning his Water Lilies in relation to Jackson Pollock‘s paintings, such as “Autumn Rhythm (number 30),” 1950. Seen that way, the works resonated with American Abstract expression and the concept of something called “Abstract Impressionism” was forged.

The Orangerie, now one of the key art attractions in Paris, is mounting an exhibition that focuses on the precise moment when these works entered into dialogue with American post-war art. “The Water Lilies. American Abstract painting and the Last Monet” runs until August 20.

With a selection of 20 major paintings by artists such as Jackson PollockMark RothkoBarnett NewmanHelen FrankenthalerMorris LouisJoan Mitchell and other key figures of American abstraction, the show juxtaposes Monet’s late works with the artists he influenced, either directly or indirectly.

“The question of influence is very delicate,” said Debray, curator of the exhibition. “Some of the artists have visited the Orangerie and Giverny, such as Barnett Newman and Ellsworth Kelly who were really influenced by Monet’s work. but some, like Pollock, were linked to Monet through Clement Greenberg, and not through themselves. It isn’t always just a simple question of influence, but how connections were made through art critics, the art market, and also museums.”

Monet embarked on the grand project of the Water Lilies series at the age of 73, and they consumed his attention for the last decades of his life from about 1914 to 1926, when he died. He intended some of them to be shown in series of three, alone in a single chamber, in what today we would call an installation, but others were standalone works.

At his home in Giverny, Monet built an enormous garden and tended to it with extreme care, expressly for the purpose of making these artworks and capturing water lilies and other scenes of nature in paint. “in French, you’d call it the aboutissement of his life’s work,” said Debray. “When you realize what you wanted to do your whole life.”

“These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession for me,” Monet wrote to a friend in 1909. “It is beyond my strength as an old man, and yet I want to render what I feel.”

In 1952, the Kunsthalle Zurich borrowed five Water Lilies paintings for a Monet retrospective, and the exhibition catalog lauded them as the precursors of Modern art. thereafter, they received more attention, and Barr’s purchase of the works led to the biggest wave of subsequent interest.

According to the MoMA’s book “Claude Monet’s Water Lilies,”  the connection between the late Monet paintings and the Abstract Art Movement was mostly an intellectual construct: “In the wake of World War II, the artists that would come to be known as thNewew York school developed a form of art that was radically different from their predecessors in Europe or the United states.

Works that claimed to be fatherless… made room for a putative precedent. Monet’s Water Lilies, as free from polemic as the Americans’ work was a clarion call, would come to take on a prominent role.”

By October 1957, the New York Times critic David Sylvester called Monet “the art world’s most newly resurrected deity, the painter whose standing has risen more than that of any other, as a result of post-war movements in taste,” which he called “obviously a by-product of action painting, abstract expressionism, and other activities.”

In 1958, when a fire at the MoMA destroyed the museum’s original Water Lilies paintings, Barr had to replace them immediately with others from the same series because they were such a popular draw to the museum, Debray said.

“There came a time when just to have a Water Lilies work from this series became very important to every museum of Modern art,” said Debray.

It makes sense that the museum would explore the complex history of the paintings that were designed for the Orangerie, and how American abstraction, in a way, brought about the appreciation of Monet’s late works. debray said, however, that the show doesn’t try to make simple-sum comparisons or settle into an easy narrative — there are many strands to this story.

For example, the show looks at how the monumentality of Monet’s Water Lilies was linked to Modern art  — which, following World War II, required larger and larger spaces to house it. While there are some Abstract works that clearly reflect a kind of homage or reference to Monet, others have a more theoretical or conceptual link.

Most important for the Color Field painters, perhaps, was the effect of Monet’s zooming into the surface of the water, removing all boundaries and borders and placing the viewer inside the subject itself. in an interview that the painter Ellsworth Kelly once gave to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he explained how his work was linked to the late works of Monet:

“Painting in the Renaissance and after was like a window, and your spacial view was always through the window,” he said. “With Monet, with Cezanne, they started messing up paint and started bringing attention to the surface of the painting and you had to go up to it and see how it was done and how they did it. I feel that, in my work, the space between the viewer and the painting is the area that I want to enliven.”

Among the works on display is a 1968 reductive pencil drawing on paper by Kelly of a single water lily, part of a series of plant drawings that the abstract artist worked on throughout his career. Another work is Kelly’s “Tableau Vert,” in which one can feel the ripples of Monet’s watery surfaces in the textured greens and blues of kelly’s palette.

Another element of the exhibition is an exploration of the term “Abstract Impressionism,” which was used by Elaine de Kooning, the artist, and art critic, to describe the early colorful painterly style of Philip Guston. Abstract impressionism was also employed as a catchall for two post-war American styles: the Action painting expressed by artists like Pollock and Willem de Kooning; and the Color Field painting practiced by Rothko and Noland.

Various artists throughout the post-war era looked into Monet’s watery gardens and didn’t see flowers and light and water and sky. they saw modernity or something like it.

And as for Monet? “ I think he was against abstraction because he was a man of the 19th century,” said Debray. “He knew that what he was doing was not fashionable and people were not at ease with his radicality. I think he did it because i think it was a necessity.”

http://www.blouinartinfo.com

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Jacques Monory (1924) and the color BLUE

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Here is the first few lines of the text i found on Wikipedia. Berside i noticeed the high age of the artist i also noticed that the color Blue was present in his works during his entire career.

Jacques Monory, June 25, 1924 (age 94) Cachan, France Nationality French Education École nationale supérieure des arts appliqués et des métiers d’art Known for Painter, filmmaker Movement Narrative Figuration Spouse(s) Paule Monory Website www.jacquesmonory.com Jacques Monory (25 June 1924) is a French painter and filmmaker whose work, highly influenced by photography and cinema, is an allegory of the contemporary world with a focus on the violence of everyday reality. His canvases evoke a heavy atmosphere, pulling subject matter from modern civilization through the lens of his signature monochrome color blue.

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If you look at the catalogue which was published for his Stedelijk Museum exhibition in 1972, You will notice 2 things. First there is the excellent design by Wim Crouwel, but secondly the use of Blue for the cover and the photographic scene on the front. A lesser known catalogue , but certainly an excellent designed Crouwel one and available at www.ftn-books.com. Monory is still not very well known, but i am convinced of his importance and will look forward to more exhibitions of this fascinating artist.

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Anthon Beeke (1940-2018)

First of all i have to apologize in publishing this blog without commemorating Anthon Beeke who died a few weeks ago and who’ s death i announced on the the 26th of September in a special blog on Beeke. Here is the blog which was prepared some months ago.

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One of the great and now world wide known names in dutch graphic design is Anthon Beeke. Born is 1940 he was of the flower power generation who took over Amsterdam in the late sixties. Free love, drugs and influences from all over the world shaped a generation of designers of which Beeke was one of . Without knowing who the designer is, you immediately recognize his work. Bright colors , details, shocking views or attributes draw you into his designs immediately.

But it is not always his intention to shock, there were occasions that his designs were just functional. For instance his Wanderlieder

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designed catalogue for the Stedelijk is only different in size but holds and reads just like a normal book.

Beeke is one of the great designers in the Netherlands and well worth collecting. www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles by Beeke available including the poster he made with Erwin Olaf for het Anjer Fonds.

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Willem Sandberg… Experimenta Typographica 1943 – 68.

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As you can read in the title , Willem Sandberg experimented with typography and designs.

During the occupation by the Germans he published experimental books with his own typography. Mostly a combination of very original and personal lay-out and torn out letters, making these publications unique. Unique because of their chosen size, material, printing ,their design and the very limited numbers in which they were produced.

Sandberg produced nineteen pamphlets between December 1943 and April 1945, making a couple of copies of each one, all done by hand. They consisted of twenty to sixty pages of drawings, collages, and texts, which were either written by Sandberg himself or quoted from Confucius, Proudhon, Stendhal, and other favorite writers on themes like love, death, education, architecture, and typography. As Sandberg had no money and materials were scarce in wartime, he improvised by using whatever he could find: scraps of wallpaper, cardboard packaging, tissue paper, and wrapping paper together with photographs, drawings, and symbols torn from magazines for his collages.

The originals are very very rare and exceptionally hard to find. Luckily some of the dutch publishers decided to make some reprints and make them in this way available for other admirers. These reprints are getting more scarce every year now, but www.ftn-books.com still has some available.

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Joris Geurts (1958)

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Just a little younger than myself, but this is an artist who grows on you. I had the opportunity to follow his works for a long time now. In the early stages of his career at gallery Art & Project and later on at Slewe gallery ( from 1995).

In the beginning his compositions did not attract me at all, but from the mid Nineties on his works develop into something very special. He creates with his composition a universe and builds it with lines, squares, oval shapes and circles making them highly recognizable and personal paintings.

Slewe gallery represents Joris Geurts now for over 2 decades and in this time they commissioned Irma Boom to make a Geurts catalogue which has become one of my favorite Irma Boom catalogues of all time.

The catalogue is a typical Boom designed book , but it is not the catalogue which draws your attention, but the paintings depicted within. This period was a highly productive period for Joris Geurts and FTN-art is lucky to have acquired 2 paintings by Geurts from these important years ( POA). The Irma Boom designed catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Here is the text from  the Slewe gallery pages

Joris Geurts, born in 1958 in Oss (NL), makes abstract paintings, drawings and prints.They are assiociatively built up, but transparantly layered and traceble. Small squares and dots float on deep blues and greens, giving associations with the kosmos or landscape.

After his study at the AKI in Enschede, Geurts started his career at Art & Project Gallery in Amsterdam in the early eighties. Since 1995 he showed regularly at Slewe Gallery. In 2001 he had a show at Noordbrabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch, on which occasion a catalog had been published Purple Blue and Lemon Yellow, giving an overview of his work, with texts by Bert Jansen and Henk van Woerden. In addition to his painting practice he also works as a composer of music. His works have been collected by several important public collections, such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede and the corporate art collections of the AKZO Nobel, ABN AMRO, KPN, Bouwfonds and AEGON.

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Constant..NEW BABYLON by Wigley

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If there is one title which has become one of the most sought after ones i have in my inventory it is Constant’s New Babylon/ The Hyperarchitecture of desire.

The book originally published in 1998 for the Witte de With exhibition , was sold at the occasion of the restoration of the New Babylon models by Constant. It took almost 5 years, but after that restoration period, these very important and visionary models could be presented again in all their glory. With the exhibition the Gemeentemuseum sold the book by Mark Wigley and because of its price almost guilders 50,– we did not sell many copies and eventually the book was part of a sale in which the book was sold for less than euro 12,–

But after that “low”, the stature of the book changed. It was described as one of the best architecture books on the market and i received orders from all over the world because in architecture lessons and classes it was described as one of the key publications in the field of visionary architecture. At one time i even bought a box of these books and sold them within a few months. But things have changed. No longer you can find copies and whenever one is offered it is at auction where it fetches a high price ( plus costs ). Still one copy remains in my inventory at ww.ftn-books.com

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Ronald de Bloeme (1971)

 

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It took me a very long to finally acquire a Ronald de Bloeme painting for our collection , but finally we found one and added it on the 2nd of October 2018. It is one from the series “Oil On Postal bags” and comes from the former Hans Sonnenberg collection.

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This collection was split up and auctioned some months ago and this work found in the end its way to our collection. It is an impressive painting and shows exactly why de Bloeme becomes more and more important in modern art. The series of postal bag paintings was partially painted at the time he was in residence at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien where he made several of these large paintings. Postal bags stitched to each other and with their original postal prints still on them, de Bloeme made a composition on them in which points, arrows, dots, numbers and stripes are attached to each other, making a composition in which you can see that the subject is COMMUNICATION in all its appearances and the essence of this series of paintings. The feel of the canvas is totally different than expected.  You expect a coarse surface, but this is not the case. The surface feels like nylon and it looks and feels more like a sail or a tent canvas.

The painting that we now hold in our collection has all these symbols included. Planes, dots, postal bags from czechoslovakia, Turkey and India symbolize the routing of the planes and the dots could stand for all the places that are reached in these countries. Of course this is my personal interpretation, but it is for certain a very impressive and important painting.

The painting is depicted in the Ronald de Bloeme Bethanien catalogue on page 33 and it is available at www.ftn-books.com