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Claes Oldenburg recent additions from the 60’s and 70’s

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When at auction, i noticed a “lot” with early Oldenburg publications . Most from the sixties an all from renowned galleries like Sonnabend, Sidney Janis and the Margot Leavin gallery. His works do always mean something special to me , because of their scale they instantly impress and make you want to touch these beautiful works. Still the best way to make yourself familiar with these works is to study them out of a book, because of their extremely large size you must travel a lot to get a great overview of the most famous Oldenburg sculptures. It is easier to buy some classic Oldenburg books at www.ftn-books.com

and to make it easier ….use the code : Oldenburg for a 10% discount on all items listed on FTN books this week ( 12/11/18 – 12/18/18)

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Oliver Boberg ( 1965 )

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The first time i was confronted with the work by Oliver Boberg was when he had  a large Retrospective exhibition. This was in 2004 at the Fotomuseum and i was very much impressed. Specially the large scale photographs had a feel of desolation and now i have bought for FTN Art two of his greatest photographs at a much smaller scale but still these are originals and very well worth collecting. The book i had on Boberg was sold years and years ago, but this is even better for the true admirer. The photographs are both from a very small edition of 20, numbered and signed and in pristine condition. Framed in a quite expensive frame and come from a collector from the US.

Memorial by Oliver Boberg , 2002,  edition 20, number 14/20, C-Print and signed by Boberg.

Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. C print is 35 x 25 cm. , condition is MINT

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“Erdgeschoss” by Oliver Boberg , 2001, edition 20, number 13/20, C-Print and signed by Boberg.

Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. C print is 38 x 15 cm. , condition is MINT

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Please visit the FTN art section on this page for more information

Oliver Boberg was born in Herten, Germany, in 1965. He studied art history at the University of Würzburg, Germany, from 1985–86, before transferring to the Art Academy Nürnberg to study painting from 1986–93. Since 1997 Boberg has garnered attention for his photographs of what appear to be bleak, uninhabited architectural sites but are in fact models constructed by the artist in his studio. The sense of neglect that haunts these scenes contradicts the painstaking meticulousness applied to their fabrication. In Boberg’s work from the late nineties, the elegant formalism of his compositions contrasts with the subject matter—color-drained stairwells, roof decks, and building facades painted to dissemble age and dilapidation. Works such as Park (1998) and Playground (2000) offer barren sites of disrepair despite their sunny titles. Boberg created his first films for the series Night Sites (2002–03). In these films, the artist utilizes familiar Hollywood devices—fluorescent blue lighting that typically permeates suspenseful night scenes and eerie settings like an abandoned alley or fog-coated forest—to promise a drama that never unfolds. In 2003, with his Building Shell series, Boberg returned to his characteristic photography of elaborate models, this time recreating multistory edifices in the midst of the construction process. In 2004 the artist began to work for the first time with black-and-white photography for his Pagesseries. In Pages and Walls (2007), Boberg revisited his photographic investigation of highly constructed, formalist sites of inattention. Inattention gives way to tragic neglect in his series Slums, begun in 2008, which focuses on the derelict makeshift dwellings composed of serrated tin and other urban debris. For this series, the artist juxtaposed his photographs with computer-generated drawings.

Solo exhibitions of Boberg’s work have been organized by the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago (2001), Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne (2002), Kunstverein Hannover (2003), and Duolun Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai (2005). His work has also been included in major group exhibitions such as Experiment at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2000), Moving Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2003), and Artist’s Choice: Herzog & De Meuron, Perception Restrained at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2006). Boberg has been recognized with the Bayerischer Staatsförderpreis für junge Künstler, Fotografie (1997) and Förderpreis für bildende Kunst der Stadt Nürnberg (2005), among other awards. Boberg lives and works in Fürth, Germany.

 

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Bob Bonies (1937)

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For me the only true “Hard edge” artist in the Netherlands is Bob Bonies, however Michiel Morel refers to the art of Bob Bonies as a rearrangement of FORMS AND COLORS.

I read his excellent article and it is unfortunate that it is only available in dutch, but for those who understand the language here is the link :

Bonies: Ordening van vorm en kleur (periode  1964 – 1968) (3)

As you can read in the article . Bonies stayed true to his art of rearranging , shifting and placing forms and colors in a new context and one of the earliest silkscreen that was published in a larger edition was the one he made for the Stedelijk Museum catalogue VORMEN VAN DE KLEUR

in which his contribution stands out together with the one Ellsworth Kelly made for the same publication. This Wim Crouwel designed publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

left Bonies and right Kelly

I have a lifetime admiration for Bob Bonies. He was one of the first artists i personally met at the Gemeentemuseum and a few years ago i bought a small collection of his publications from another bookdealer who had bought them from a Bonies collector and within one of the publications i found the birth card of his son Jiri. Even this card shows the quality of his works. The card is for sale too together with many other Bonies publications.

 

 

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Basel…the perfect museum city

 

We always travel the Alsace in the second half of the year between September and December, visit the Christmas markets and pick up some wine at our preferred wineries. If ever we have some spare time and only if there is a nice exhibition, we go to Basel city. You do not need a special “vignet” if you do not travel beyond the Basel / Bale city limits. Certainly do not lunch or drink a coffee in Basel because prices are far too high, but instead visit one of the 3 famous museums within the Basel city limits. First there is the Beyeler Museum ( By Renzo Piano), which is beside the Gemeentemuseum my favorite museum of all time, second there is the Kunstmuseum and third but not least there is the Tinguely Museum ( by Mario Botta). All worth visiting. Entrance fee of all three museums is steep too, but when you save on your coffee and lunch these three museums are well worth visiting. www.ftn-books.com has publications from all 3 museums available.

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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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Ewerdt Hilgemann (1938)

 

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For me Hilgemann was one of the first Zero artists i learned to appreciate, but there is so  much more to Hilgemann as an artist. Here is an excellent article i found on Hilgemann  at the Borzo site / www.borzo.com

Borzo still sells his works and perhaps now is right the time  for Hilgemann.

A child of about six in the war, Ewerdt Hilgemann searches through the rubble of the bombed ruins of his hometown Dortmund for shrapnel. He finds them interesting, exciting too, these sharp-edged metal splinters.

Forty years later, and now an artist, Hilgemann works in the marble quarries of Carrara (1975-1985). A truck transports a perfectly sawn one and a half metre cube of marble that he has carefully polished, to the top and then with a thunderous crash sends it toppling off the steep mountainside. And a marble sphere of a similar size, polished to a perfect sheen, has explosives inserted and is then blown up.

Both conceptual ‘performances’ are recorded on film. The artist creates perfect forms, which are then deformed using forces of nature: a sort of reverse creative process.

Thirty years later, in the summer of 2014, Hilgemann exhibits his Magnum Opus. In response to an invitation from the City of New York he places a series of implosion sculptures on Park Avenue. ‘Dancers’, ‘Triples, ’Flowers’ and ‘Cubes’, six metres high, gleaming in the sun, the deformed surfaces of these Titans of steel distort and reflect the overwhelming architecture of the buildings on each side of Park Avenue.

From his earliest days in a devastated Dortmund to the Park Avenue manifestation in New York, Hilgemann has been consistent in his fascination and his art. In his own words: “To deform a perfect shape without me hammering on it”.

From the start the cube and the square are his best-loved shapes. Hilgemann studies and comes to understand these solid forms. He learns it at the Saarbrucken Art Academy under his tutor Oskar Holweck. (In 1958 Holweck had joined the Zero movement, founded that year by Mack and Piene). Here the young art student Hilgemann learns to respect material and form in their most elementary states. Plasticity is achieved through the effect of light on the surface and the – mathematic – interventions performed thereon by the artist.

In 1970 Hilgemann and his wife Antoinette settle in Gorinchem and here a close friendship develops with Ad Dekkers, Marinus Boezem and herman de vries. In these days Gorinchem is apparently a hotbed for avant-garde art. Irritated – provoked even – by a conservative artistic climate in this small town on the River Merwede, these artists discover common ground for their minimalistic and conceptual ideas.

Their haven at the time is Riekje Swart’s legendary Amsterdam gallery. Hilgemann exhibits his white objects oriented according to mathematical studies here from 1966.

In 1973 the four artist friends – and their partners! – take the initiative for a much discussed and now legendary symposium, whereby the town wants to be a centre for “examining the position of the visual arts in our society”. Fifteen European artists stay together in Gorinchem for six weeks. These include now famous artists such as Kenneth Martin, Morellet, Panamarenko, Pohl, Prantl and Winiarski. Exceptional works of art, lectures and performances fill the town. For Hilgemann ‘Gorinchem’ is an extraordinarily significant period in which his art reaches full maturity and he also establishes his international orientation.

Hilgemann produces his first sculpture created through implosion in 1984 for the exhibition “Beelden aan de Linge” by collector Piet Cleveringa from the neighbouring town of Acquoy. He moves to Amsterdam the same year and from that moment on this visual language of imploded constructions will always typify the art of the ‘air-smith’ Ewerdt Hilgemann.

m has some Hilgemann publications available.

 

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Anthon Beeke (1940-2018)

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This morning i learned that one of the greatest of all dutch graphic designers, Anton Beeke, died in an Amsterdam hospital, yesterday on the 25th of September. Born in 1940 he soon became part of Fluxus and Provo and was one of the famous names in the AMSTERDAM art world in the sixties. He even became later a contributing partner of Total Design, the agency which was founded by Wim Crouwel ao. I mention this because where Total design was one of the first agencies to apply the computer in designing, Beeke stayed true to his own method, the typical way of composing an image with “camera, scissors and glue”.

His images are strong and stood out and drew immediate attention to the subject. One of his best known designs was the alphabet composed with nude woman.

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It was a meant and searched for reaction on the New Alphabet by Crouwel. There are several Beeke publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Alice Aycock (1946)

1983, Just 3 years after i started my career at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, the museum made an exhibition with Alice Aycock. Within the Schamhart buidling the complete floor was covered with large kinetic sculptures by Aycock and at that time i could not appreciate them at all. Now 35 year later i wished i had the same knowledge at that time that i have know, because recently i leafed through the catalogue and it struck met that these works were not only great in dimensions, but even after 35 years fascinating. Where Tinguely made his kinetic sculptures in the Sixties. Aycock made them in much more modern and industrialized/high tech versions in the Eighties and after. Alice Aycock has received international fame with her sculptures.

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What remains to me is a wonderful catalogue ( available at www.ftn-books.com) and the memory of meeting a great artist and beautiful woman back in 1983.

To give an impression of her more recent works here is a video on her 2010 presentation:

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Giacomo Manzu (1908-1991)

My first impression was that Manzu is the illegitimate brother of Monsieur Hulot ( Jacques Tati). On the left there is Manzu and on the right Monsieur Hulot… there is certainly a resemblance.

But nothing of this, Giacomo Manzu  ( Giacomo Manzoni) is a typical Fifties Italian sculptor. A sculptor who had his conflicts with the fascist government but spent the Forties and early Fifties at teaching positions all over Italy . His latest being one in Brera and Torino ,after which he moved to Salzburg where he married his wife who was modeling for him.

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His works are in the most prestigious museum and private collections. Although he was an atheist,] he was a personal friend of Pope John XXIII and had important liturgical commissions for the Vatican. In the United States, architect Minoru Yamasaki commissioned him the Passo di Danza (dance step) sculpture at the One Woodward Avenue building in Detroit. He also carved the Nymph and Faun at Wayne State University’s McGreagor Memorial Sculpture Garden. www.ftn-books.com has some rare Manzu publications available.

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Gijs Bakker … a dutch design genius

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https://www.nowness.com/series/on-design/on-design-gijs-bakker

Most of us have some a little knowledge of the designs by Gijs Bakker, because Bakker designed many “objects to use ” for the HEMA company. An excellent example is his dishmop in bright and happy colors.

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This is just a small example of the many products Bakker designed and made with his designs a beautiful design product available to many at a reasonable price. Furniture, jewelry, books, posters and kitchenware all items that at one time were designed by Gijs bakker. 010 publishers published an excellent monography on Bakker. Title : OBJECTS TO USE ..This book is still available at www.ftn-books.com.