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Pablo Picasso and Guernica

 

schermafbeelding-2016-09-08-om-19-32-09Personally i am not a great fan of Picasso. I understand his importance for Modern Art, but somehow he never appealed to me very much. One exception . In 1937 Picasso painted GUERNICA. The first time i saw this extremely large painting was in 1977 when i visited New York with my father. It was breathtaking!

So much to see in this painting. I shows the city of Guernica while it was bombarded by the Condor legion of the Luftwaffe. Pure panic and chaos on every painted part of the painting. This is a painting you must see in reality, because the sheer size is breathtaking already. It was one memory i brought home with me.

About 12 years ago the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag had the studies for Guernica in a special show and even on these much smaller studies you can see the struggle of the painter and the power of the subject.

A few years ago we went to the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and saw this masterpiece again. The same experience…still breathtaking.

When you look at this painting you can see that it has influenced many painters. . For one, there is a dutch painter  ” Willy Boers” who borrowed the theme with the horse and made his own version of chaos and despair. The painting is called “La Quintessence” dated 1947/1948, 10 years after Guernicia was painted and is depicted in DOORBRAAK VAN DE MODERNE KUNST IN NEDERLAND. Can you spot the similarities too?

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wilfried

www.ftn-books.com

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Roland Topor…an original drawing

It was about 15 years ago that the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag produced some original Karel Appel lithographs and sold them through galerie Vogtschmidt in Amsterdam. All were sold but none were paid. So after a long time arguing about the payment we decided to go there ourselves and “rescue” what was left. A colleague of mine and i went to Amsterdam and chose some art from the stock of galerie Vogtschmidt and among these items was this Roland Topor drawing which i bought privately in an auction which i organized among the personnel of the Gemeentemuseum . This together with a series of prints was mine. At a fair price, but not as cheap as i hoped for , because others were bidding with me on these items. Now some 15 years later the purchase price is forgotten and what remains is the memory of the auction and the many nice items which were for sale at that time. I wish i had bid on the Henk Peeters set and the light drawing by Roland Topor but you can not have everything. and for the dutch….Martin Bril zei’ Je mist meer dan je meemaakt’

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In the Netherlands many of the (special) publications were published because Topor received a lot of attention by publishers and curators. Because of this, one can regularly find nice publications, but since Fluxus is getting popular every year now, it becomes more and more difficult to find the  nice ones

, but please take a look at my inventory at www.ftn-books.com and find the Topor books that i have at the moment.

wilfried

 

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Massimo Rao

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Just a simple title for a blog on a painter who had a very short career, but build a strong following of admirers. It was 2008 that  i visited New York and entered the CFM gallery and spoke the owner Neil Zukerman about our art collections. I learned that he had bought the very first Rao i had owned and had traded it in for the much larger IL MARINAIO CHE AVEVA ALL ‘UOVO E OLIO.

The one i originally had in my collection, was still one of the favorite paintings of Mr. Zukerman, but the encounter of this passionate collector and the story on this small Massimo Rao painting  i once owned, made the world look so very small. If he still has it….i do not know….., but in the meantime the painting in our collection is depicted in 3 Massimo Rao books and was on show at the Panorama Museum in 2004.

Since it has been quiet around Rao, no special exhibitions….. but a growing following and a special site on the painter who unfortunately died much too young ( 1950-1996), but left us so many great works of art.    http://www.massimorao.it/massimo-rao/

The books i have on Rao are growing more popular each year and it looks like most are exported to the US. So my guess is the important collectors are in the US and not in Europe.

Maybe it is an idea to organize a large retrospective in the US?

wilfried

www.ftn-books.com

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the Rietveld Schröderhuis

address :

Prins Hendriklaan 50, 3583 EP Utrecht, the Netherlands

Yes, you still can see and visit this iconic architectural masterpiece which was designed by Gerrit Rietveld at the time he was a “de Stijl” member. Together with Piet Mondriaan and Theo van Doesburg he was was one of the founders of the DE STIJL mouvement in the Netherlands.

Soon Theo van Doesburg dropped out of this mouvement because he found himself restricted by the horizontal and vertical lines the mouvement prescribed. He wanted to use the Diagonal line too, but Rietveld believed in these horizontal and vertical lines and used them together with the primary colors he loved so much and draw with them one of the most beautiful small buildings from the last century. When you visit Utrecht, visit the Schroderhuis too. BTW. the house got its name from the first inhabitant of the house. She commissioned Rietveld to build it for her. Truus Schröder-Schräder lived in it for her entire life.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice books on the Rietveld husi and a kit from which you can rebuild the house yourself in a much smaller scale.

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Helmut Newton….only in Taschen publications?

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The story is known to every book collector. Some 10 years ago Benedikt Taschen had the idea to publish the largest and heaviest book on Helmut Newton ever published. Asked Philippe Starck to design a stand for the book , set the edition size……. and sold all books over some years. Now and then these books surface and draw lots of interest. Antiquarian booksellers are trying to sell these for USD. 10.000 or even more. Taschen produced 3 years ago a much smaller reedition of the book for euro 99.00 with the same photographs within this title, but because of the much better price they could sell it again and i predict that the same title will be presented in a few years within a bargain edition ( printed in China ;-)). What makes this so special…..i really do not know . I consider Taschen as one of the best art publishers in the world , but with such large editions they are hardly interesting for the serious collector. I love the photography of Helmut Newton, but would only use the Taschen books to get an excellent overview of his works. If you are a book collector it is better to focus on the gallery and museum publications from which the Repertinum/ Salzburg one is maybe the best from the last decade.

wilfried

 

www.ftn-books.com

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M.C. Escher….not only prints

Maurits Cornelis Escher was one of the most gifted pupils of Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita (1868-1944). His teacher died at the end of WWII in a Nazi concentration camp and was commemorated by Escher in a text which was published in a catalogue on the art of Jessurun de Mesquita and Mendes da Costa  ( 1863-1939) who had an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam right after the war to honor them both.

This is believed to be the first printed text by Escher. The catalogue with this text is still available at www.ftn-books.com

and is one of the first to be published by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam after WWII. Since, Escher has had many other publications with text and of course prints , but the text on his former teacher is special and touching. The design of the book is done by Willem Sandberg himself and all these ingredients put together in one publication makes it very special indeed. I very much like the works by Jessurun de Mesquita and admire the artist he was. His woodcuts are fabulous and when you admire the Escher prints, do not forget that perhaps his teacher Jessurun de Mesquita was even a greater artist, but unfortunately has not become as famous as his pupil. ( later this month a blog on Jessurun de Mesquita with a special offer).

wilfried

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Cocteau and Man Ray = BARBETTE

In the mid twenties Jean Cocteau commissioned Man Ray to take the photographs of his famous Barbette performance. A performance in which he personated the beautiful and famous Barbette and this would become one of the first “public” personifications of a woman by a man. Cocteau is a highly original artist and when i searched on the internet for he Barbette book, which i have in the collection of www.ftn-books.com,  i encountered this excellent article

The Surreal Sex of Beauty: Jean Cocteau and Man Ray’s “Le Numéro Barbette”

by Chase Dimock

This explains the importance of the performance and gives an insight in both the persons of Cocteau and Man Ray.

 

de Woelrat published an excellent little book on this performance by Jean Cocteau available at:

 

wilfried

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Giulio Paolini and Rudi Fuchs

The catalogue i write about is the Giulio Paolini  catalogue made for the Musee des Beaux Arts Nantes from 1987. This is not such a well know catalogue but because of its provenance i chose this one. Paolini is a well known “Arte Povera”artist and  this fame has brought him all over the world with his art. One of his admirers is Rudi Fuchs who organized exhibitions with Paolini in the van Abbemuseum and the Stedelijk Museum and because of this, he always received complimentary copies whenever there was another exhibition with Paolini. One of these catalogues i have for sale is signed by Rudi Fuchs, meaning that this must have belonged to his personal library. It is a rather obscure publication, but very nicely published with an impressive cover with the name of Giulio Paolini underneath an arch. Exhibition was organized by Henry-Claude Cousseau, but the importance of this catalogue and proof of its quality is that is was within the library of Rudi Fuchs. Signature in blue ink on the first inner page.

catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com

 

wilfried

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Agnes Martin and Thomas Ammann

Agnes Martin has become one of the greats in Modern Art from the last Fifty years. In 1977 the Stedelijk Museum published an excellent catalogue in which the quality of painting was obvious. Beautiful and impressive design by Wim Crouwel and one that is in worldwide demand because of its design and subject. Since then many catalogues were published on Martin but 2 stand out. The first is the one which was published for the Agnes Martin exhibition in the Josef Albers Museum / Quadrat Bottrop. The catalogue was published in such an excellent way that i had to have one myself for my own collection. The poster is even more special because it is an original silkscreen print in such delicate colour scheme that it reflects in the best way the quality of the work by Agnes Martin. The final book i would like to tell about is the Thomas Ammann  Fine Art catalogue they published in 2008. Large sized book with excellent printing and impressive paintings by Martin. Buy these three titles at www.ftn-books.com and  do not forget to take a look at the impressive poster made for the Quadrat exhibition when i will list this later this month at www.ftn-books.com.