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H.P Berlage and Henry van de Velde

2 architects joined forces in the beginning of the 20th century to realize the museum and hunting cabin for the family Kroller-Muller. In 1939 the museum building it self was finally finished , but more important, in the decades preceding the realisation of the museum. Mrs Kroller Muller had collected together with the aid of H.P. Bremmer a marvelous collection of contemporary art. Her choice in art was exquisite. Van Gogh, Signac, Seurat, Rijsselberghe, Redon and Marini ao were would prove to be key elements within the collection of the Kroller Muller. But for those who have visisted the museum and its surroundings there are other elements on the grounds which will be remembered. How about one of the best sculpture gardens in the world and the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus near ( designed by Berlage ) and ofcourse the beautiful and modernistic museum itslef designed by Henry van de Velde. www.ftn-books.com has a nice italian publication available which is dedicated to these designs.

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World Fairs from 1851-1992

 

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-23 om 13.59.45An important publication. published within the series of Grafisch Nederland and designed by Gracia Lebbink. A quintessential 150 years with some great inventions ( telephone, TV, Radio and Nylon) and a developing art scene which made the transition into constructivist and abstract art.  The book not only has a beautiful design by Gracia Lebbink , but it is great fun to look at the history of these World Fair’s. What struck me is that the architecture is truly innovative, but only a few buildings were kept. Of course the Eiffel tower is one of them and it has grown into a landmark for Paris and France, but when you look at some of the other great architecture realized, it is a pity that so few of the buildings remain.The book is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Charlotte Posenenske (1930-1985)

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The works of Charlotte Posenenske (Wiesbaden, 1930-Frankfurt am Main, 1985) consist of series in an unlimited edition. According to a number 0f rules, they can be made and repeated – also by others – and combined with each other. With her radical and ‘democratic’ ideas about material, production and authorship, Charlotte Posenenske influenced and shaped conceptual and minimalist art of the sixties.

Minimalist series

Charlotte Posenenske began as a painter, but she felt limited by the flat surface and soon moved on to creating spatial works. The forms of Series B (1967) are hung as reliefs on the wall, but also placed as objects in the spatial environment. This is followed in 1968 by Series D and Series DW, whose format and shape are reminiscent of ventilation shafts.

Participation

Although Charlotte Posenenske did not consider herself to be a political artist, she had a clear and strong vision of societal relations, which in her view had to be rational, concrete, accessible and democratic. With her work she wanted to set a standard for this: the materials which she used like cardboard and steel are cheap, the works are sold for a fixed low price and the assembly and installation of her modular systems can be done by ‘everyone’: buyers, exhibition makers, and even the public. Posenenske’s social engagement is also expressed through the installations she created in public spaces, such as airports, train stations, conference rooms and on the street.

Contemporary artists and Posenenske

Disappointed in the social scope of art, Charlotte Posenenske left the art world in 1968 to study sociology. Her work and views remain however points of reference for younger generations of artists. The text above comes from the Museum Kroller Muller site. This Museum has a retrospective exhibition on Posenenske until the 15th of September

www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications in which Posenenske made some contributins. Since there is a longtime connection between the Netherlands  and the artist it happens that some of the most important publications have been published in the Netherlands. Specially the former Art & Project has presented her works on several occasions.

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Lawrence Weiner (1942) + discount

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Lawrence Weiner and the Netherlands is a combination which now exists for almost 50 years. His connections with dutch directors and curators is legendary and he has made several special projects with them in dutch. Weiner is considered as a post minimal artist and one of the founders of Conceptual art and that is the reason why his works blend so well within the collections of the more important dutch museum. The van Abbemuseum, Stedelijk and Gemeentemuseum have all works by Weiner in their collections.

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But Weiner is much more than a conceptual artist. He is a book designer and poet at the same time  and these little sketches with words can be blown up into facades and objects with words. One of the most memorable to me was the facade at the Ljubljana Modern Art museum with a Weiner object on one of the outside museum walls. Impredssive, recognizable. So to celebrate the longtime history that Lawrence Weiner has with the Netherlands there is a discount this week of 10%  on all items at www.ftn-books.com . use the discountcode : LawrenceWeiner10 and receive a 10% discount on all items including some marvelous Lawrence Weiner publications.

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Gunda Förster (1967)

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For the next three blogs i have chosen lesser known artist, but i think they are still important. The first is Gunda Förster.

Gunda Forster and Francois Morellet were presented in one exhibition at the Bundestag in Germany. A just decission since both are very much related to eachother. Where Morellet presented his figurative  works ,Gunda Förster presented her Konkret ones.

The works of Gunda Förster define visibility as the elementary organization of space, light and time. Seeing is movement, which encounters the movement of the seen.
One walks along benighted streets, past darkened and brightly lit windows, rooms illuminated by the flickering of television screens, under lighted billboard advertisements and neon signs, between the headlights of moving automobiles. In the way the gaze turns from the stars, whose light has outlived their extinguishment, Gunda Förster’s works with light remove the plastic phenomenon from things occurring. The images of urban tranquillity, behind each window a life, drawn to and distracted by advertisement, on its way from one location to another, are wiped away with a gesture of minimalistic reduction. The pure form arising out of this regards itself as compatible with the artistic realm and designs it as one set aside for art – a cross-section of the producer’s and the observer’s experiences.
That Förster’s recent works with 35 mm. slides can be understood as a shift to narrative or representational image forms is as self-evident as taking the images transmitted via television for reality. The concepts interspersed into Variations of chance play into the futility of an observation intent on finding meaning.
Both the presentation, a projection time of one to two seconds per slide with fadeovers, and the quality of the images and concepts evade the presumptive reliability of the pairing of photography and text. The words come across as slogans which allow the bid to vanish into a surplus of possible connotations. The image fragments do not tack meanings onto the concepts (found language fragments), but rather strengthen their repellancy as typefaces depicting only potentially significant language sounds, which in turn reinforce the impression that the more or less blurred representationalism of the slides (for the most part people photographed from television screens) merely refers to the tautology of the visible and of light.
The continually shifting references between word and word, word and image, image and image render any compulsive production of meaning futile. The observer is left with the single insight: that his understanding fails on account of an incomprehensible compositional principle. Indeed, the impression of merely accidental and unstable word and image combinations could be described in a complex mathematical form as a sequence of variations – and, hence, as the visualization of a musical idea.

www.ftn-books.com has Forster pubications available

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Haagse Stijl

What is meant with HAAGSE STIJL? This question was answered with a beautifull exhibitionat the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in 2004. The book which was published on that occasion was compiled and written by Timo de Rijk and ahs become the ultimate book on the subject. ( available at www.ftn-books.com)

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Haagse Stijl is the period that a typical ART DECO style in Den Haag was developed. There were several furniture producers at that time in Den Haag and Pander was one of them. They made everything from consoles to bookcases and from desks to wast paper baskets.

During the years between the two world wars a luxurious and modern style of design emerged that was termed the ‘Hague School’. The style featured architectural forms, with the straight-sided, Cubist shapes of the furniture directly echoing those of contemporary buildings. Important influences included Berlage’s idealism, traditional arts and crafts, the interiors of Frank Lloyd Wright and the avant-garde ideas of De Stijl. The result was a modern, commercial style of design. Art Deco in The Hague – Interior design in The Hague during the interwar years occupies eleven rooms and shows some of the finest furniture and interiors of this period in The Hague

These golden years of DE HAAGSE STIJL was only a short period , because WWII made an end to most of the producing furniture makings in Den Haag and surroundings, but followthe auction houses closely and you certainly will find objects and furniture from this time slot….a tip the VENDUEHUIS has opened a special location from which their online auctions are directed. This is the spot to find DE HAAGSE STIJL.

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Shizuko Yoshikawa | 吉川 静子 | (1934)

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Shizuko Yoshikawa is one of the artists that knows how to build a bridge between architecture and Modern Art. Swiss citizen but Jpanese born Yoshikawa was largely influenced by the ideas of design department of the Hochschule fur Gestaltung in Ulm.

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One of the people who recognized that was the owner of gallery Artline in the Netherlands who held an exhibition in 1986 on Yoshikawa, presenting her color reliefs for the first time in the Netherlands. I wish i had seen her work at that time, Because my knowledge on art has grown over the years. If i now had a chance in aquiring a Yoshikawa work i really would consider to add it to my collection. It is the kind of art that grows on you and is appreciated more and ore over the years. Rooted in the sixties it has a little from everything a bit minimal art, a dash of Zero and perhaps a drop of Kinetic art makes a Yoshikawa work one of a kind.

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What is in a name? KUNSTMUSEUM DEN HAAG.

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Is this the Iconic architectural masterpiece by H.P. Berlage ….Haags Gemeentemuseum?

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or is this the home of the largest Mondrian collection in the world….Gemeentemuseum Den Haag?

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Or is this the Kunstmuseum Den Haag, because the other names  are not known enough among the visiting public.

Yes,Gemeentemuseum Den Haag stands for quality of its collections and is worldwide known for its epic Mondrian collection and Yes …to change the name of this museum  is the latest idea by the current director of the Gemeentemuseum Benno Tempel who thinks that the other names are too complicated or not known enough in the art world and in this way it will be clear to everybody what the name stands for.

I personally have a different opinion. The name has changed far too many times during the last 4 decades and i am convinced that the name Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is now known among art lovers all over the world. With changing the name it is more likely that the visitors from outside Europe will think this is “new” perhaps even a german museum , since many museums in the German speaking countries are called ” KUNSTMUSEUM” (Bonn, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Solothurn Winterthur and Basel , Bern inSwitzerland). I think it is a pitty that every new director wants to make a change. Not every change is for the better and this change was not necessary at all. KUNSTMUSEUM is not very original and it does not make clear enough the high qualities of its collection.

The improvement Benno Tempel has in mind with this new name is non existent.

Many of the KUNSTMUSEUM DEN HAAG classic publications, published with its original names. Haags Gemeentemuseum and Gemeentemuseum Den Haag are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Anton Pieck …de NEDERLANDEN

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Readers who know something about dutch illustrators most know the name Anton Pieck.

Pieck became famous by designing the Fairy Tale park of the original DE EFTELING amusement park. for which he designed the caracters and secenery. Beside de Efteling he is very well known in the Netherlands for his Romantic Dickensian illustrations of which many aere/are used as Christmas cards. But there is also a more serious “romantic” artist in Anton Pieck and this shows best in his books he illustrated on Amsterdam and specially the book DE NEDERLANDEN. It is the more romantic , but still original part of the Netherlands he shows in his drawings etchinsg and paintings. The book de NEDERLANDEN is available at www.ftn-books.com and personalluy i think this title belongs to the best of the books illustrated by Anton Pieck.

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My personal bookcase

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I have had questions in the past….what is your personal interest in books?…. and…..you must have a very nice collection after so many years of being a bookseller. These questions and remarks can be answered simply. I have a large inventory of about 10.000 books that are for sale including some very nice and hard to find titles, but every book in my personal bookcase has a small story attached to it. There are books of exhibitions being held at the Gemeentemuseum while i was a publisher/bookseller at that museum and some were given to me by artists i collect.

About half of the books in my personal bookcase are very small publications related to the artists in our art collection and the remainder is about the artists i like very much and admire. I can say that none of them is very valuable, but for me these books are valuable and important, because they belong to the publication history of the artists i admire. Curious?….just “zoom in” on the picture and discover that of many of these titles i have multiple copies available at www.ftn-books.com. So make this your personal interactive blog and find/discover the titles at www.ftn-books.com