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Will Alsop (1947-2018)

 

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Here is the text that can be found on the pages of the agency of the late  Will Alsop. It is one of the architects from outside the Netherlands who designed several projects over the decades in the Netherlands. This is how i learned to appreciate the projects by Alsop.

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The late Prof. Will Alsop OBE RA was a prominent architect, artist and educator who established aLL Design in 2011. He was awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize for Peckham Library, London and the first RIBA Worldwide Award for The Sharp Centre for Design (OCADU), Toronto, amongst numerous other prestigious accolades for a multitude of projects. His work encompassed all sectors of architecture including urban and landscape design and planning. His studio practice incorporated fine art painting, writing and modelmaking.

Will’s core values were innovation, expression and originality with an emphasis on enjoyment. He worked on a vast array of projects and in all scales; from a bandstand in London to the French Government HQ in Marseille ‘Le Grand Bleu’ via masterplanning, urban design, landscape architecture, interior and product design. He hosted numerous international workshops and lectures.

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His interaction with and involvement of people both within and outside the arts led to design that challenges architectural norms. His practice, aLL Design, was founded principally to ‘make life better’ – the philosophy extends from the design of individual buildings to embrace broader principles of urbanism and city development and uses painting, writing, consultation and workshops to further understanding of design.

Will sat on the architectural advisory boards for Wandsworth and Kensington & Chelsea Councils. He was Professor of TU Vienna and Professor of Architecture at Canterbury School of Architecture, UCA.

His involvement with the Royal Academy of Arts included inclusive education programmes and his model of ‘Heliport Heights’ won the Turkish Ceramics Grand Award for Architecture in the RA Summer Exhibition, 2016 for the ‘most outstanding work of architecture.’ The judges were Ece Ceylan Baba; Kate Goodwin; Vicky Richardson and Ian Ritchie.

Will specialised in large-scale masterplans and regeneration projects for boroughs and districts in Almere, Rotterdam, Groningen, Berlin, Manchester, London, Middlesbrough, and Barnsley, for which he won the 2003 Architects’ Journal Award for Architecture. Latterly he designed part of the regeneration of Kew Gate district for the London Borough of Hounslow; developing schemes for Vauxhall’s regeneration and worked internationally in China, Canada and Europe.

Prior to his death in May 2018, Will was also designing a bandstand for a London Park and working with a Gloucestershire farmer to create an urban farm in South East London. Many of Alsop’s designs, such as the Glenwood Power Plant in Yonkers, New York; OCADU, Toronto, Gao Yang International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai and the HQ of the French government in Marseilles have become icons for their cities, encouraging and increasing tourism and establishing Will as a visionary in the field of architecture.

www.ftn-books.com has some publications on Alsop available at this moment

alsop

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Mirjam Hagoort (1961)

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I have in my FTN-books collection an CBK Rotterdam catalogue on Mirjam Hagoort, published in the early Nineties it shows the works by Hagoort as a young artist . Big almost geometrical paintings with words and sayings, a bit like Ed Ruscha, but while preparing this blog on Hagoort i noticed a change in her work. Nowadays her drawings are much like Marcel van Eeden his daily drawings. They have the same look and feel.

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The paintings however are different. Here she shines with a kind of abstraction that make her early paintings from the Nineties such appealing works of art. With the recent paintings she combines abstraction and architecture into great works of art.

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galerie Neuendorf and Hans Neuendorf

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Galerie Neuendorf is one of those iconic galeries that was active in the Eighties and early Nineties selling the very best works by the very best artists.

It nowadays is a private fine art dealership and advisory service based in New York, London, and Berlin, offering expertise on modern and contemporary art and specializing in sourcing the highest quality artworks for clients.
Founded as a gallery by Hans Neuendorf in 1964; Neuendorf represented, and was instrumental in the development and present artistic legacy of renowned artists including Georg Baselitz, Lucio Fontana, David Hockney, Francis Picabia, Cy Twombly, and others.
Since closing the gallery in 1995, Neuendorf has continued to work with a select group of clients to build and manage their collections. With over 70 years combined experience in the art market, we offer our clients a direct, personal, and discreet option to buying and selling artworks, but this is all “old school”….he probably will be remembered as the founder of Artnet.

When Hans Neuendorf created his online art company in 1989, he had little inkling that providing transparent art-market data would transform what was then a boutique art business into, 30 years later, a global industry that regularly transacts in $100 million sales. But that is exactly what has happened.

neuendorf

www.ftn-books.com has some of the Neuendorf catalogues availabel. The best one is the 1992 book, which included the list of available works and their prices. It shows exactly what Neunedorf predicts for the future. Prices of great art will rise in the decades to come

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Museum DE PONT / Tilburg

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I think that museum DE PONT in Tilburg is one of the museums that impresses me most. In the almost 30 years of its existence it has build a solid reputation in organizing breathtaking and ground breaking exhibitions and in the meantime expanded their collection of contemporary art in a very personal way. The building, not the most architectural beautiful museum in the world, is fantastic to present the modern art and each time i visit de PONT it impresses me. The man responsibel for this great achievement is Hendrik Driessen.

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While i was searching for minimal art in the Netherlands i discovered that many of the contemporary minimal artists in the Netherland had their first museum presentation at the DE PONT. Besides the exhibitions, their publication program is well worth following. Beautiful designed catalogues and posters are published making this one of the most desirable and satisfying museum packages/ visits for me.

www.ftn-books.com has many of the legendary de PONT publications available.

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Project KATSHOEK

Without knowing . The VOORMOLEN company made an artist book which contains contributions by the very best artists from the Netherlands from the Sixties. Katshoek was an architectural project in the rebuilding of Rotterdam after WWII. New architectural design , enhanced with art from the very best of dutch artists.

Together with the project the Voormolen company made an artist book. with contributions by Boezem, Bonies, Dekkers, Dibbets, Eikelenboom, van Elk, Gribling, Koetsdier, Manders, n, Rous, Schuitema, Graatsma, Slothouber, Staakman, Struycken, Volten

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the above publication is also in the collection of several dutch museums and now available at www.ftn-books.com

Katshoek office building

Heer Bokelweg became the connection between Schiekade and the Rotte Tracé, a wide road from the centre to the motorway to Utrecht. The Katshoek building was the first structure built on this new and wide city boulevard.

Katshoek multi-tenant building on Heer Bokelweg.

Katshoek multi-tenant building on Heer Bokelweg.

Foto Kramer/Rotterdam City Archives

What a contrast between the large modern building faced in white Kirchheimer limestone and the Oude Noorden district behind it! The huge structure has been built on Heer Bokelweg in the Zomerhof District.

It was originally designed as a multi-tenant building for small industries that had previously been housed in temporary structures in the area. However, this plan was dropped on account of the drastic increase in construction costs since the plan was launched in 1959. The idea now is to house ten large offices in the building, among them probably, subject to approval by the city council, a number of municipal departments. In addition, the Voormolen contracting firm that built the structure hopes to move from its current address on Westersingel into the new building on Heer Bokelweg in early 1968.

Het Vrije Volk, 28 September 1967

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Flashy perspective drawing of Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Bouw, 1966

The post-war Basis Plan for the centre of Rotterdam earmarked Heer Bokelweg as a main access route into the new city from the north-east; an entrance between ‘gateways’ like the Shell building and the Schieblok to the renewed Hofplein and Coolsingel. Heer Bokelweg later became the connection between Schiekade and the Rotte Tracé, a wide road from the centre to the motorway to Utrecht. The Katshoek building was the first structure built on this new and wide city boulevard. After completion of the building the widening was extended on the north side, including an unsophisticated gap punched in the Hofbogen viaduct. But the changing insights of the early 1990s are visible on the southern side in the narrowing of the street with the construction of the Scala apartment complex beside the RAC garage, which today houses the city archives.

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Model of Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Stedenbouw, 1968

Multi-tenant building

The sturdy seven-floor concrete-frame building is designed as a multi-tenant building, but it differs considerably in both layout and architecture from Maaskant’s other multi-tenant buildings such as the Industriegebouw, Groothandelsgebouw and Verzamelgebouw Zuidplein. According to Maaskant expert Michelle Provoost, this is an atypical work for Maaskant. “Especially the facade, which is very flat. You don’t see that very often in Maaskant’s buildings. The facades of his buildings are usually very expressive.”

The exterior is indeed fairly flat, with sleek bands of fenestration in aluminium profiles and stone cladding. The interior and the columns along the lower volume on Almondestraat are finished in bush-hammered concrete, a technique used to leave the concrete surface rough. The use of luxury materials gives the building a strongly representative feel. The floors of the two halls of the main staircases and of the shopping gallery are finished in Jura stone. The walls of the halls and the ground-floor columns feature exposed concrete adorned with a relief, while the entrances to the staff lifts are finished in white anodized aluminium.

The angle on the front facade is elegantly highlighted by the stone bands that continue as a vertical series of balconies.

Clearing the way for cars

The widening of Heer Bokelweg cleared the way for cars, but the building facilitates cars in other ways too. A car park for 250 vehicles was built behind the building and was directly connected to the office volume. In addition, an Aral petrol station was built on the triangular site between Heer Bokelweg and Almondestraat. And so the number of petrol stations within a 100-metre radius came to three!

Artwork

Art plays an important role in the building. The facade features an entrance relief by André Volten (1925-2002), one of the best-known abstract sculptors of the post-war period, whom Maaskant frequently worked with. The piece (Untitled, 1968) is a facade element with circular segments. The lines of the architecture are repeated in the work and distorted to form a new image. It was originally made of stainless steel and stone, but during renovation it was painted black along with the columns, ruining the effect. An art event was held in the entrance hall to mark the opening of the building in 1968.

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Advertisement for NV Aannemingsmij. v/h H & P. Voormolen, proud builder and owner of the Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Stedenbouw, 1968

Until 21 December, the ground floor of the new Katshoek office building in Rotterdam is the venue for an exhibition that is as unusual as it is striking. At the invitation of Voormolen, the contractors responsible for building Katshoek, sixteen artists were given an opportunity to express themselves creatively with all sorts of construction materials.

Het Parool, 14 December 1968

It was, according to organizer Bob Bonies, a remarkable project:

“After all those exhibitions, which always consisted of the finest possible arrangement of existing works, I wanted to try another approach. I proposed inviting a number of Dutch artists to create their contribution inside that wonderful space by using construction materials supplied by Voormolen. Including engines, blowers and the like. And with the help of skilled workmen from Voormolen. It was an expensive project, but I immediately received full cooperation.

I chose sixteen artists: the cool guys Dekkers, Manders, Koetsier, Struycken and myself, Boezem, Dibbets and Van Elk with their micro-emotive art, the kinetic artist Staakman, Eikelenboom with his utopian situations, Rous, who makes a sort of minimal art, André Volten, Paul Schuitema with his colour scheme and his alphabet and the Slothouber-Graatsma team from the Cubic Construction Centre. And Gribling with his space structures.”

Het Parool, 21 December 1968

Today

The building housed the offices of Robeco, Procter & Gamble Benelux and a number of municipal departments. Owing to its out-of-the-way location, the building later fell out of favour. The current tenants are OMA and Havensteder.

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Chris Ware (1967)

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Last week i have withdrawn all my Chris Ware items ( except for a Beau Hunks cd) from http://www.ftn-books.com.

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Not because of any controversial text or offending drawing , but because i had  so many beautiful publications collected over the years that it was time to start my own Chris Ware collection(again). My first encounter with Ware his drawings was at the galerie Lambiek in Amsterdam . At that occasion Ware was presented together with Henk Kuijpers. Of course no funds to buy, but from that moment i admired and started collecting Ware his publications. Some 15 years ago i decided to sell all, but now i have changed my mind and will start collecting again. Chris Ware is truly one of the greatest of them all.

 

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Niek Kemps (1952)

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Niek Kemps has been a part of the international art scene since the eighties. The artist wants to stimulate the spectator with his conceptual work, to process images in a different way; a statement about the attention span of modern day society and the accompanying image culture. Kemps’ work is like a laboratory, wherein he does both substantial as visual research to the social and cultural context, and how this relates to image, space, contemporary art and the concept of ‘museum’.

Sculpture becomes space, space becomes museum. A museological space can take diverse appearances: whether it’s static, collapsed, moving, hidden or even virtual. In his work, the artist questions, among other things, the more traditional configuration of the museum. From the need for a funded complexity, he analyses the different connotations, and this from a philosophical and visual stand point. In doing so, Kemps researches the impact of a full virtualization of the museological existence, wherein a virtual (read: fictional) museum merely displays digital work.

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Also in this imaginary constellation, the focus remains on the perception of context and space. An intertwining between fiction and reality is created. Virtual work is easily translated into a physical construction, a spaciousness, a sculpture, and vice versa. Kemps’ images never stand alone; they consistently show a sensitivity in relation to their surroundings, they interact so to speak with the space wherein they are located.

‘The narrow line between sight and seeing’, a work from 1986, is a speaking example of this. Until now, this illustrates the essence of his oeuvre. Originally it seems to be a sculpture. Yet the work is experienced as a space; a between area that questions all sorts of traditions and clichés. By continuously operating on this interface, the artist challenges the spectator to get out of their comfort zone, to explore the work, and to spend time with / in it. The artwork reveals itself only to the patient, attentive spectator. Every composition is formulated very precisely, like a poem. This form of complexity ensures that the work can never be apprehended at first glance. To fathom the different layers of meaning(s) takes time and effort. By defying fixed landmarks, meanings, perspective, and scale, every form of rational analysis is extracted or simply removed and it results in an astonishing artwork that invites to be lived and incites the spectator to reflect one self.

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The road to minimalism according to Carl Andre

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It has been a few month now that i have the book CARL ANDRE/ HOLLIS FRAMPTON, 12 Dialogues 1962-1963 in my inventory. Of course i have seen the works by Andre on many occasions, but rarely seen his early works and this book is focussed on his earliest works. It shows the logs of wood, sculptures with metal , but not the ordered ones for which he would become famous in the early Seventies. These sculptures feel like a thorough research into material and presentation. By the end of 1961 a little work shows how logs are arranged and combined into the earliest and purest form of his sculptures.

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Now i have read this excellent title id decide to put it oup for sale, but i will remember it for showing me what the earliest works by Carl Andre look like, The Book is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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van Gogh and Ruscha by David B.

It was a few days ago that David B. published on Facebook some photographs he had taken. Without knowing  where these were taken I immediately ralized that these could have been made some 50 even 120 years ago.

I refer to the Hollywood sign paintings by Ed Ruscha and the landscapes around Arles by Vincent van Gogh.

Without knowing, we have learned to look at objects, landscapes and forms like we are our own artists and  these observations must have influenced us in the way we look at the world around us and take and create our own art with the many pictures we nowadays can take with camera’s and phones. It even proves that art is important for those who have an open mind towards it. Learning from the art and artists they have encountered in museums and galeries, to create their own interprations of the world around them.

http://www.ftn-books.com has some very nice Ruscha and van Gogh titles available.

 

 

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Esther Tielemans (1976)

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Her first major exhibition was at the Stedelijk Museum, but her best publication by far is the one which was made for her exhibition at the Museum Bommel van Dam in 2011.

(available at www.ftn-books.com) Great publication, designed by Adriaan Mellegers and printed by one of the very best printers in the business, Lecturis. Tielemans works differ in size. From intimate small sculptures to a room filled with installed sculptures altering and reconstructing the room in a fascinating way.

Her work is now part of the exhibition Momentum at the Voorlinden Museum.
Our world is poised on the brink of a tipping point as well. We must make choices regarding climate and migration, issues that are impacting our lives more and more intensely.

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Momentum brings together more than thirty works that embody this tension. This selection from our collection unites new and established names working in a wide range of media. Together they offer insights into the personal and collective challenges of our time. With works from artists including Anish Kapoor, Rineke Dijkstra, Jacco Olivier, Esther Tielemans, Ryan Gander, Gabriel Rico and Mona Hatoum.

new scenes