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Christie van der Haak (1950)

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One of the first artist from Den Haag that i met and still admire is Christie van der Haak. A few years ago , in 2015 she won deservedly the Ouborgprijs and since her name has become even more famous in the art world. Just take a look at her great site and judge for your self

http://www.christievanderhaak.nl

Discover why her art is appreciated by so many in the art world. The patterns she “invents” and the layers she uses to make her compositions look very classic like patterns from the old days, but put them in a different surroundings, they become great new works of art.

I remember that one of her first exhibitions was the one in the van Abbemuseum curated by Rudi Fuchs, where she presented Madonna paintings. Paintings with layer over layer . patterns overpainted the typical classic madonna .

haak madonna a

Later she presented her paintings in the Lakenhal and the Gemeentemuseum where the late Henk Overduin was an admirer and the one who initiated an exhibition with her.

www.ftn-books.com has the Ouborg and van Abbemuseum publications available

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Karl Gerstner and some typographic designs from the 60s

A Book market visit yesterday….. and some lucky finds. There is of course the very rare Karl Gerstner: Typographisches Memorandum which i found in very good condition. The copy will be available from today at www.ftn-books.com

I believe that this is the only copy currently on the market

Here are the pictures of this excellent and rare publication by Karl Gerstner.

The other books were perhaps less spectacular and not as rare as the Gerstner book, but it struck me that some great typographical designs were made by the end of sixties and in the early seventies and these are no exception. Please take a look at the photograph and see the covers by some lesser known designers like Philip Luidl, Wim Strijbosch, Hans Barvelink, Louis Emmerik and Siegfried Odermatt. Not the household names you encounter frequently in this blog and not as rare as the Gerstner publications i now have in stock, but great quality designers who made some outstanding covers/books.

design 60s

Until the end of the month there is a special discount on the Gerstner publications i have in stock. Use GERSTNER10 to receive a 10% discount on the Gerstner publications. Valid until the 31st of March.

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Tomas Rajlich (1940) in the Boijmans van Beuningen until the 27th of May.

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Last Sunday me and Linda visited the Tomas Rajlich exhibition in the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam. I had to see it , because i am a long time admirer of the works by Rajlich. Fundamental paintings almost like Minimal art , Rajlich stayed loyal to his monochrome paintings, with or without a grid with or without a very precise space of 5 cm. in between the lines just paint.  I admire his gold paintings with the pencil grids, but his grids can appear in very different ways. white lines, black lines, pencil or painted with the fingers or the entire hand. The ones in the Boijmans have a vertical grid which is applied with some sort of comb and like the smaller sketches/drawings in the adjacent room, glitter is applied on the surface which gives an extra dimension. Still the execution of the paintings is almost the same like some 30 years ago.

Look at the details of one of his gold paintings and the much more recent red painting. At the bottom of the painting it looks like paint is dripping from the canvas. as if all sites matter except the bottom. Rajlich is for my personally one of the most fascinating artist whom i have met and his art is timelesss. I am glad this show is organized with a great and impressive overview of some of his best recent paintings ( 2003) which he has lent on an extended loan to the Boijmans van Beuningen.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice and rare Tomas Rajlich publications available

Here is the text Boijmans published on its site:

Painting was declared dead in the early 1970s. Tomas Rajlich (1940) opposed this notion and revived painting by making the act of painting itself the subject of his canvases. In 1975 he was one of the most important exponents of Fundamental painting: a collective term for works in which idea and materials are inseparable. Rajlich still considers himself a Fundamental painter and has continued to develop as such to the present day.

The grids that were so characteristic of Rajlich’s early works seem to have disappeared from his recent monochrome canvases. The grid has become simply one of the elements, like the paint, glitter and linen that Rajlich uses to build up his extravagant paintings.

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Hubert de Givenchy (1927-2018)

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This morning i learned that one of the great fashion designers died.  At the time i was working at the Haags Gemeentemuseum, the curator Ietse Mey, organized an exhibition of the fashion by de Givenchy worn by Audrey Hepburn and to enhance the exhibition a film festival was organized at the Filmmuseum with fashion worn by Audrey Hepburn in the movies. At the occasion of the opening i saw both celebrities and it struck me, that even as mrs. Hepburn was already ill at that time, she looked radiant and beautiful. The show was a huge success and one of the first in a long line of fashion exhibitions which were held at the museum. The catalogue is of course completely sold out , but sometimes you will encounter a copy on the book markets. If you find one….do not hesitate to buy it, because it is rare. An edition of only 1000 copies means that it was sold out almost instantly and it was never reprinted.

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Blouin has done an excellent biography on de Givenchy. Here is the text of it and if you are looking for more de Givenchy, Hepburn, LVMH /Louis Vuitton publications check www.ftn-books.com

Tributes continue to come in to Hubert de Givenchy, the French couturier whose elegance defined the 1950s and 1960s and the style of Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and more. Givenchy died at the age of age 91 in his sleep on Saturday; his death was announced by his namesake fashion house. During his lifetime, he had received the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 1983, and a lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1995.

Givenchy was born in 1927 to a religious aristocratic family. He learned the couture “métier” from working for Jacques Fath, Robert Piguet, Lucien Lelong, and Elsa Schiaparelli, before founding his own namesake label. Givenchy would later establish his Parisian atelier across the street from Cristóbal Balenciaga, who was his dear friend and his longtime role model. He was also influenced by Madame Grès and Christian Dior, and inspired by artists. He notably created taffeta evening coats and robes du soir in homage to Joan Miró during the 1970s.

His first collection was presented in February 1952; it featured modern separates, providing more affordable and versatile options than the haute couture looks that were standard in the French fashion world in the middle of the 20th century. Nonetheless, Givenchy also made opulent and heavily embellished garments (with pearls, feathers, and ribbons), impeccable cocktail ensembles, and elegant accessories, notably sumptuous hats. He was known for dressing a wealthy, stylish clientele: Jacqueline Kennedy was a longtime client, as was Grace Kelly and the Duchess of Windsor.

The darling of the Givenchy fashion narrative, however, was Audrey Hepburn. They met when a mutual friend told the designer that Miss Hepburn was keen to be introduced, and Givenchy assumed the lady in question was Katherine Hepburn. Their friendship blossomed despite the misunderstanding, and Givenchy ended up making costumes for Audrey Hepburn’s then-upcoming film, ”Sabrina” (1954)—as well as “Funny Face” (1957), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), “Charade” (1963), and “How To Steal a Million” (1966). While Givenchy and Hepburn created many iconic sartorial moments on film, perhaps none rivaled the glamorous wardrobe of Holly Golightly, the onscreen heroine of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” who walked down Fifth Avenue wearing dark sunglasses, pearls, evening gloves, and a black Givenchy column dress. (In 2006, the dress was sold at a charity auction at Christie’s in London for six figures).

Givenchy was also associated with various successful perfumes: from the fruity and feminine L’Interdit (created in 1957 for Hepburn) to the heavily floral Amariage (created in 1991).

Givenchy sold his fashion house to the LVMH Group in 1988 and retired after his collection in July 1995. John Galliano succeeded him; less than two years later, he in turn was succeeded by Alexander McQueen, then Julien Macdonald. Riccardo Tisci held the reigns from 2005 until 2017, much to the original designer’s displeasure. Currently, Clare Waight Keller is the label’s Artistic Director.

In March 2016, the fashion house created an archival department to conserve and promote all garments and accessories dating from the original designer’s tenure, from 1952 to 1995. Just last year, the Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais in northern France celebrated Givenchy’s work and presented 80 beautiful looks and accessories that spanned his career.

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Geer van Velde (1898-1977)

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Since the early eighties i admire Geer van Velde. When i first entered our offices at the Gemeentemuseum, there was original art on the wall . Chosen by employees of the Gemeentemuseum the painting on the wall of our offices was an original large painting by Geer van Velde.

Geer van Velde was Bram van Velde’s younger brother they differ 3 years in age but their art differs even far more. Both influenced by fellow artists also living in Paris, Geer became known for his paintings winning Prizes and being admitted into the Salon des Independants . He is considered to be a member of the Ecole de Paris. The works by Geer van Velde are highly recognizable being abstract but still showing some realism in them. The use of color??  subdued not the bright colors his brother is known for. They come from the same nest but their works could not be more different .

Where Geer was known  and admired is his early years, the case with Bram was totally different. It is now since 30 years that the works by Bram are more admired. They are “classic”  made in the 50’s , 60’s and 70’s, but study them closely and you will sense that they belong in the present. These are bold and highly sensitive paintings. Both these van Velde brothers have their qualities, but maybe, in the long run, i prefer Geer.

There are Geer van Velde publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Classic catalogues part 1 …..Picasso

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The second day for the extra focus on the classics within the inventory of www.ftn-books.com

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This time it is Picasso. Although i personally am not a great fan of Picasso, there are so many others that admire this Spanish artist and for them …take notice that this is the last day that the discount code is valid. Not only the many publicatons on Picasso are sold with a discount of 10%, but all publications and specials within the inventory go with a discount.

use : CLASSIC10 at your checkout and receive the discount.

 

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Giovanni Nicolai (continued)

Next June 2018 the former students of the Art Academy in Bari will have their yearly show. Among them is is Giovanni Nicolai to whom i devoted a blog about a year ago. You never know when you are going to visit the beautiful Bari region, but keep in mind that beside  great olive oil , food and some wines there is also some modern art to see.

Giovanni Nicolai will be among them with some exquisite paintings and drawings, which show his strength. Portraits of elegant gentleman, classic Italian profiles and great technique make these stand out from the others. A baroque artist in nowadays Italian art scene is rare and for those who like Italian art, these works are well worth to check out.

The second exhibition in which Giovanni will have  a presence is in the SO art gallery in Milano. If i have more information on both exhibitions i will let my readers know.

here is the first link to the exhibition:

IMPRINTING (EX ArcheoModernitas) Una Rivista una Mostra

 

http://www.exstudentiaccademiabellearti.com

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Peter Blake (1932) … a British Pop-Art artist

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Peter Blake is known by the dutch art lovers as one of the first Pop Art artist who had the opportunity to exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum, Together with this exhibition an excellent catalogue designed by Wim Crouwel was published , bu apart from that his work is becoming more and more important every year. The same with Paolozzi works , this Pop Art is original and authentic and where it was almost forgotten 30 years ago it is now considered among the best art from the 60’s.

Without knowing, many people have admired Peter Blake’s works and are familiar with it . This, because he was the painter and designer of the Beatles Sgt Pepper  album. He even made a second version for Liverpool being cultural capital of Europe in 2008.

In the original 1967 work, the Beatles form the centrepiece wearing colourful military-style outfits while their wax models also feature. However, in the 2012 piece, the faces of Ringo Starr and the late John Lennon and George Harrison have all been omitted.

And even Sir Paul McCartney has been relegated to the third row – one behind his daughters Stella, the fashion designer, and Mary, the photographer. Blake, known as the Godfather of Pop Art, has put his own face and images of his family where the Fab Four once stood.

Blake painted several album sleeves. He designed the sleeve for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with his wife Jann Haworth, the American-born artist whom he married in 1963 and divorced in 1979. The Sgt. Pepper’s sleeve has become an iconic work of pop art, much imitated and Blake’s best-known work. Producing the collage necessitated the construction of a set with cut-out photographs and objects, such as flowers, centred on a drum (sold in auction in 2008) with the title of the album. Blake has subsequently complained about the one-off fee he received for the design (£200[5][6]), with no subsequent royalties. Blake made sleeves for the Band Aid single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (1984), Paul Weller’s Stanley Road (1995) and the Ian Dury tribute album Brand New Boots and Panties (2001; Blake was Dury’s tutor at the Royal College of Art in the mid-60s). He designed the sleeves for Pentangle’s Sweet Child and The Who’s Face Dances (1981), which features portraits of the band by a number of artists.

There are some excellent publications on Blake available at www.ftn-books.com

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Ernst van Leyden (1892-1962) … a forgotten painter

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Undeservedly forgotten by most and rarely presented nowadays in exhibitions and gallery presentations. The story of van Leyden is that he fortunately had a loyal group of admirers and collectors, but after trying to give him back his popularity with an exhibition around 2008, it is again complete silence.

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Van Leyden was an extremely productive and versatile artist, hugely inspired by his numerous travels: his use of warm colors, striking compositions, and strong rendition – whether figurative or abstract – of people, animals, objects and landscapes made him a thoroughly appreciated artist within a circle of peers and friends to which Picasso, Salvador Dali and Willem de Kooning belonged as well.

It just took a look at a recently acquired catalogue on van Leyden from 1964 and it oozes with quality.  Rotella, Villegle and others using the art of collage must have been inspired by van Leyden. Who dares …who presents this great artist again and gives him the stage in Modern Art he deserves to have?

www.ftn-books.com has the Stedelijk Museum and galerie Anderson -Meyer catalogues available for sale.

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Villa Henny (1919) by Robert van ‘t Hoff

There is DE STIJL in the Netherlands , Arts, poetry and architecture were all executed along linear ways. Where Mondrian used the rectangle. Robert van ‘t Hoff exeuted his architectural along the same disciplines as the other artist of the DE STIJL group. It shows…. a little bit inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright this is one of the best dutch early architectural designs there is. The Rietveld Schroder Huis in Utrecht is more DE STIJL, but this one is far more beautiful. There are publications on DE STIJL and Rietveld available at www.ftn-books.com and since a few weeks there is the classic building cardboard kit by Piet Vollaard available too. Published by Uitgeverij 010 in the mid eighties this is a highly collectable item.