Posted on

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

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.

Posted on

Classic catalogues part 1 …..Picasso

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-29 om 13.40.55

The second day for the extra focus on the classics within the inventory of

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-29 om 13.40.38

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.


Posted on

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 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.

Posted on

Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985) an Iittala visionary.

Like Andries Copier in Netherlands, you probably have seen and perhaps are even using the designs by Tapio Wirkkala. Born in Finland his designs are certainly influenced by Scandinavia design. They are without any unnecessary details , clean and clear. Most of them have been published by Iittala and among them there are such iconic designs like the Thule and Tapio glass series .

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-16 om 13.43.44

But he also had his free projects in which he developed beautiful ceramics. Wirkkala had a solo exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1976 for which Wim Crouwel designed the exquisite catalogue. The catalogue itself has become rare since there have been a worldwide recognition of Wirkkala as a truly original designer and artist, but has this catalogue available together with other catalogues on Finnish designs and art.

Posted on

A new look and feel for the daily FTN blog and FTN art.


These pages with the daily blogs on “books and art” needed some changes. I had to give the “Piet Dirkx daily” a more prominent spot, the place it deserves and made a new and better focus on FTN art . I found a better template and layout and because of that the items which are for sale are far more easy to access. A search option for blog and art is now included in a much better place.

The new blog site will be changed and adjusted in the coming weeks. I have to find out what works best and how to make it better, but for the moment ….enjoy!

PS. I am sorry if i published some test versions and you were wrongly notified for the new blogs published.

Posted on

Picasso and Monet in the Gemeentemuseum

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-12 om 10.34.44

About 30 years ago Rudi Fuchs became director of the Gemeentemuseum and one of the first things he notices was the limited amount of purchase power he had in building a new collection for the Gemeentemuseum. He wanted to expand the collection with some quintessential new works which showed the importance of the collection. At that time most of the dutch museum were all collecting the same dutch artists, because there were no funds to acquire works on the international market and thus build the same kind of collection in contemporary art. Fuchs developed an idea to sell 3 of the less important major works from the collection of the Gemeentemuseum.  Being 2 Picasso paintings and the early Monet /Quai du Louvre. All important , all very well known and probably priceless at auction. These highly important works would easily fetch over 50 million USD at that time and with the interest of that sum he would ten fold his budget for purchasing art. Politics thought different, because these works were not bought by the museum but bestowed to the museum.

This morning i remembered these paintings and realized that when they had been sold , they would have been lost for the Gemeentemuseum visitors, but even more important….with an interest rate of less than 1% , there would not have been sufficient funds to acquire anything important in todays art market. Conclusion for me that it is a good thing that they were not sold and can still be admired in the gorgeous Berlage building which houses the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

For those that are interested in the collection of the Haags Gemeentemuseum…please take a look at

Posted on

Ian Hamilton Finlay and Little Sparta

finlay portrait

“Little Sparta” is the art filled garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay. IHF for some, because of his poems, a controversial artist, but for others a deserved nominee for the Turner price and invited for the Documenta 8, was a Scottish born artist who was evacuated to the Orkney Islands at the beginning of WWII but later joined the British army in in 1942. Since 1963 he publishes his own poetry and limited editions with the the Wild Hawthorne Press.

finlay even b

A publishing company owned by IHF himself. The little Sparta garden is filled with his poetry carved into stone , but beside these objects the garden itself is a true haven of tranquility and when of the classic works in the LAND ART scene.

Schermafbeelding 2017-12-01 om 12.19.30 has some nice publications by and on Ian Hamilton Finlay.

Posted on

van Gogh drawing discovered…big news?

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-19 om 11.52.41

Yesterday it was announded and confirmed that a newly discovered van Gogh drawing from the Fentener van Vlissingen collection is an authentic van Gogh. In such a case i really wonder if the drawing is considered important because as the vanGogh museum says …it is a missing link…or is it beautiful and valuable. Valuable it certainly is now with its authentication, but beautiful?   i do not think so…. it is a study and beside the depicted windmills i do not find it appealing at all. For instance compare the studies of Jongkind, his contemporary artist which all shine in these little formats.  A new van Gogh discovered is nice, but the way it now is presented as one of the art discoveries of this decade is undeserved. Here is the article from the van Gogh Museum on this sketch and for really great books on Van Gogh please visit

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-19 om 11.41.42

AMSTERDAM — The Van Gogh Museum here on Tuesday announced the discovery of a previously unknown drawing by Vincent van Gogh, which the museum said was completed about a month after the Dutch post-Impressionist artist arrived in Paris in 1886. The museum’s researchers studied the style and history of “The Hill of Montmartre with Stone Quarry,” dated March 1886, and found documents they said confirm that it is a lost van Gogh.

“It’s a big day today,” said Teio Meedendorp, a senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum who studied the subject, style, technique, materials and provenance of the drawing, and found the relevant documentary evidence to support the attribution.

The museum owns the largest collection of van Gogh’s works anywhere in the world, including more than half of the artist’s drawn oeuvre — approximately 500 drawings as well as his sketchbooks.

“It’s a nice robust drawing by Vincent and he captured the hill of Montmartre very well,” Mr. Meedendorp said.

Mr. Meedendorp said that the drawing is particularly interesting because it is more in keeping with van Gogh’s earlier style than his later work when he lived in Paris. He added that the drawing shows that van Gogh’s work evolved during his crucial years in the French capital from a formal style that he learned at the art academy in Antwerp just before arriving in Paris, and became increasingly experimental.

“It’s a kind of stylistic missing link between his Belgium and Paris time,” said Fred Leeman, an independent van Gogh expert and curator of exhibitions by the artist, who is a consultant to the Van Vlissingen Foundation, which currently owns the drawing.

The last time a new van Gogh drawing was discovered was in 2012. A year later, a new van Gogh painting, “Sunset at Montmajour” (1888), was also found. But these findings are relatively rare. Since the publication of the complete catalog of van Gogh’s works in 1970, another nine drawings and seven paintings have been added, Mr. Meedendorp said.

When it came to the Van Gogh Museum for research in 2012, the drawing was owned by an American private collector whose Dutch relatives had purchased the work from a gallery in the Netherlands in 1917, Mr. Meedendorp explained. But the museum did not publicize the finding at the time, at the request of the previous owner.

Aside from Mr. Leeman, no other experts outside the museum have yet seen the drawing.

Research by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the world’s leading expertise center on the artist, found that “The Hill of Montmartre with Stone Quarry” came into the hands of van Gogh’s sister-in-law, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, a meticulous keeper of van Gogh’s materials, who numbered it “123” in her inventory.

Mr. Meedendorf said that when he took the drawing out of its frame, he found the telltale number, “123,” written on the back.  

The discovery of “The Hill of Montmartre with Stone Quarry” led the Van Gogh Museum to reconsider another drawing that it had in its collection, which had been part of the original donation from the van Gogh family heirs. That drawing, titled “The Hill of Montmartre,” also completed in 1886, is drawn from a very similar perspective of the Parisian hilltop.

This drawing was originally thought to be by van Gogh, but in 2001, it was questioned because it was so dissimilar to work from his Paris period, and then discredited.

“Now that you have a set of two, it’s clear that it was a style he maintained during the first part of his time in Paris,” said Mr. Leeman.

By comparing these two drawings side-by-side, researchers realized that the works were incredibly similar, and both were attributed to van Gogh.

“It’s the same materials, the same paper, it’s quite clear that these were both done by the same hand at almost the same time,” said Mr. Meedendorp.

“One thing led to another,” he added. “If this was a van Gogh drawing then the other one had to be one as well.”

Posted on

Bernd and Hilla Becher- Furnaces

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-23 om 13.44.58

It must have been about 15 years ago that my father asked me if i had an idea for a Christmas present and because i knew of a book i could order with a 40% discount i told him that i wanted a special publication by Bernd and Hilla Becher / Hochofen. Published by Schirmer Mosel in 2002 in an edition of only 100 copies containing a beautiful original photograph of a row of Furnaces.

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-23 om 13.45.42

These industrial scenes are typical for the Bechers and because of these scenes of Industrial complexes and lonely rural buildings. their photography is highly recognizable. The photograph i own is one of the most cherished works i have in my collection. It is not the value which makes it special , but the idea that it was one of the last gifts my father gave me. Since i have been collecting Becher items and one of the best i found was a poster , published by the Josef Albers Museum in 2010 and available at

becher cata a

Posted on

start FTN art with Siep van den Berg

Today is another milestone for me as a bookdealer in art books, because today i started on these pages ………FTN art

There will be irregular additions to this page, but all works depicted on these pages are for sale and guaranteed originals. The first original is a drawing/collage by Siep van den Berg who made this in 1979.

tekening/collage uit een serie constructivistische tekening/ Collage in blauw die Siep van den Berg heeft gemaakt op 16 augustus 1979 in Andelaroche ( Fr.) De tekening is eerst opgezet in balpen waarna er blauwe vlakken zijn bijgeplaatst ( of omgekeerd).
De tekening is gedateerd 16 9 79. Met notitie “Heleen Jarig Geweest” en signatuur in zwarte inkt …SvdB.

Kunstenaar : Siep van den Berg
titel: Heleen Jarig Geweest
techniek ; balpen en collage in blauw
afmetingen ; 27,7 x 20 cm.
gesigneerd : SvdB in zwarte inkt
gedateerd : 16 9 79
conditie : MINT-

price : euro 150,–

shipping Netherlands : euro 8,60

worldwide shipping costs: 11,95

berg heleen a


Posted on

Karel Appel and the Congresgebouw Den Haag (1969)

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-14 om 14.16.30

The Congresgebouw is an architectural icon in Den Haag. It was designed by Hans Oud and J.J.P. Oud and opened in 1969. In 1968 Karel Appel was commissioned a large painting on ceramic tiles and this painting is one of the lesser known Karel Appel paintings because not many people realize that they pass it while entering the Congresgebouw / World Forum ( the name what it is called nowadays).

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-14 om 14.15.55

The extremely large tile painting consists of over 1200 separately painted tiles. These together, making it one of the largest Karel Appel paintings ever. If ever you come to Den Haag , this location is well worth a visit because not only there is the Gemeentemuseum nearby, but beside the tile painting by Appel there are sculptures, by Henry Moore, Auke de Vries and Pevsner in the vicinity.

For some nice Karel Appel publications please visit

Posted on

Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-14 om 13.27.26

Ossip Zadkine is perhaps one of the most famous artists in the Netherlands without people knowing him by name. Zadkine made the sculpture ” DE VERWOESTE STAD” which symbolizes the destruction of the heart of Rotterdam after the bombardment of it in the early stages of WWII ( 14 mei, 1940) .

Schermafbeelding 2017-11-14 om 13.27.57

The sculpture was revealed in 1953 and financed by DE BIJENKORF on the condition that it always must be on the same spot within the centre. The human figure has a hole where the heart should be making it the perfect image for a destroyed city centre.

Since the revealing of this statue  Ossip Zadkine received on several occasions exhibitions of his works in the large museums in the Netherlands , but for many his claim to fame here is this ” DE VERWOESTE STAD”

There are some nice publications on Zadkine available at