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José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913)

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You can not write about Posada without thinking of Manuel Manilla, his artistic mentor. Both are extremely important for the development of Modern Art in Mexico. He has been a great influence to Diego Rivera. I am still searching for the reason why van Gennep published 2 very important monographic titles on Manilla and Posada. Is it interest or because of the worldwide reach of these publications that he thought these were interesting?….i really do not know.

Academics have estimated that during his long career, Posada produced 20,000 plus images for broadsheets, pamphlets and chapbooks. Posada was studied by key figures of Mexican muralism. Mural artists inspired by Posada, such as Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco catered to a Mexican elite that rejected foreign styles as part of their new-found bourgeois taste.

Posada is now a part of the Mexican art legacy and just a quick look into the book that is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com shows immediately why his art is timeless and a part of the Mexican folklore.

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Black Friday at FTN books

Not just a 3 days discount but a total of 11 days, a one period discount of 10% on all your FTN books purchases. Valid from the early hours  of Friday the 22nd of November until midnight on the 1st of December 2019. Use the special Black Friday 10% discount code:

                                                               B2019F

 

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Joost Swarte and Vienna Moderne

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Today was book market day and i went to the stalls at the local book market. I am always looking for the thin little books and this is one of the titles i found today. I went through a stack of books and there this book was. At first I thought it was a JOOST SWARTE  cover, but studying it more closely i noticed that this could not have been done by Swarte , since the book was published in 1979 and the drawing done by Rudolf Tropsch in 1901.

iI always have admired Joost Swarte for the way he set up his drawings and how he has done his research, but the drawings by Tropsch show that some 80 years earlier other artists had the same approach to their subjects. The book on Vienna Moderne is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jan Maaskant (1939)

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Jan Maaskant is a dutch sculptor who name rose in some way to fame when he was selected by Rudi Fuchs to contribute to the Documenta 7 in 1982. Influenced by Brancusi and Laurens his works to me feel more close to the Minimal Art of Sol LeWitt and Carl Andre. An excellent example of one of his Minimalistic sculptures can be found in the garden of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag near the Schamhart pavillion / Fotomuseum.

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Maaskant has a long history with the Gemeentemuseum and because Hans Locher ( former director) was an admirer like Rudi Fuchs was, a publication was initialized. Jan Maaskant received an unplanned publication. An important book, published in a small edition. The book sold badly , but is now one of the hardest to find Gemeentemuseum publications. The book is available at www.ftn-books.com

 

 

 

Maaskant is als beeldhouwer autodidact. Hij werd aanvankelijk beïnvloed door beeldhouwers als Henri LaurensConstantin Brâncuşi en Julio González, maar vanuit het gesloten, compacte beeldhouwwerk ging hij naar de compositie van de open vorm, samengesteld uit zelfstandige elementen, waarbij een grote rol is weggelegd voor maat, afstand, richting en indeling.

Maaskant werd in 1982 door hoofdcurator Rudi Fuchs geselecteerd voor deelname aan documenta 7, maar viel uiteindelijk af. In 1985 werd hij docent beeldhouwen aan de Christelijke Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Kampen (thans de ArtEZ Art & Design Zwolle). Het werk van Maaskant is minimalistisch en wordt gerekend tot de geometrischabstracte kunst. In zijn werk probeert Maaskant architectuur en beeldhouwkunst te verenigen. Hij creëert zowel ruimtelijke structuren als tweedimensionale wandreliëfs, die op enige afstand voor de wand worden geplaatst om de zwaarte van de structuur terug te dringen.

Het werk van Maaskant bevindt zich in de collectie van onder andere het Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, het Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in Den Haag, het Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven en het Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo.

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Fritz Wotruba (1907-1975)

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A truly visionary artist Fritz Wotruba was. He is almost forgotten, but deserves to be recognized as one of the great European artists who shaped modern art and combined this with great architectural designs. Wotruba is like a cubist sculptor, but his shapes consist of parts put together and seen from nearby it seems as they have no relation with each other. But from further away figures emerge.

His sculptures are magnificent, but when you once have seen his architecture you are completely sold .

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This is the discipline in which he excels and is a one of a kind artist. Fritz Wotruba has had several exhibitions in the Netherland in the 50’s and the 60’s, but is after these events almost forgotten. Instead in Austria he is still one of the greatest Modern Artists. Catalogues of these events are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Paul Van Biervliet

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I bought the book , because it looked to me as a very nice publication on a Belgian artist, but surprisingly the paintings and drawings within the book i found fascinating enough to read the book. It appeared that van Biervliet his works have been on show at the Muhka and that one of his first exhibitions was at the gallery that was one of the very first to present the works by Luc Tuymans.  I can not explain why the artist attracted me with his art.

Some of the early paintings reminded me of the golden ones by Rajlich or maybe it was the resemblance i noticed with some of the drawings by Marcel van Eeden i do not know, but what i do know is that Van Biervliet is original in his art  and because of the architectural compositions his art in not too abstract, which can be one of the reasons for many to appreciate it. The book on Paul van Biervliet is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Milan Kunc (1944)

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Milan Kunc makes art on the cross roads of Memphis design meeting Picasso with a dash of childrens drawings and with a color palet that is endless. I managed to collect quite some titles by Kunc during the last two decades, because the Netherlands was fortunate to hold exhibitions at the galerie Swart , Groninger Museum ( 1984, large retrospective curated by Frans Haks), Stedelijk Museum and the Boymans van Beuningen museum. Many publications were the result , add to these the catalogues that were published with every gallery presentation in Europe and the result is a stack of publications , many artists would wish they had the same number of publications.

What strikes me every time i leaf through these books i find his work appealing, but in many cases i find it just too much absurd fantasies by the artist. Still this is, according to others, one of the qualities Kunc has. He exaggerates and creates scenes with many layers, but for me after some time they stop working and i am in need of a new ” surprising” composition. Milan Kunc is certainly a great artist, with many beautiful publications, but personally i prefer other artists. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Milan Kunc publications available.

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and now for something completely different…Rosanne Cash

Because i have missed her concert i have been listening yesterday almost the entire day to Rosanne Cash. Listing more Wim Crouwel’s Stedelijk Museum catalogues, TD special items on eBay and www.ftn-books.com. This is for all those that admire her and don’t be afraid this is just a “one day blog” side step from the usual art and books.

as many of you know, “The Only Thing Worth Fighting For” was featured on HBO’s “True Detective: Season 2” as sung by Lera Lynn … what you may not know is it was Written By T-Bone Burnett, Lera & Rosanne Cash

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Wim Crouwel (1928-2019)

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This morning i heard that one of the most influential designers from our time, Wim Crouwel, has died. The last years of his life he suffered Parkinson disease, but he was still going strong and must have looked forward to the retrospective of his works being opened later this  month at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. What better way to commemorate this great artist than to show a selection of the many items designed by him. www.ftn-books.com

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And to finish one of my personal favorites. Wim Crouwel will be an example for many designers in the decades to comewerkman crouwel aa.

 

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Národní Galerie Praha / Trade Fair Palace

We went for a short visit to Prague last weekend and walked over 30 miles within 3 days to explore the city. One of our first destinations was the Narodni Muzeum at the Trade Fair Location. It is at least a little confusing, but spread over Prague there are about six Narodni museums on all kinds of subjects. This Trade Fair Palace was the one i had on my list for a long time and been wanting to visit for some decades now, but never had a chance to, because Prague was out of the way for us but this weekend we finally went and were not disappointed. At the time of its construction (completed in 1928), this was the largest building of its kind in the world and the first Functionalist building in Prague. Today it serves the needs of the National Gallery. Knowing its age you must admire its architecture….a true avant-garde building which is unique, but because of its functionality hard to admire. It looks old and worn but the light within the buildling is unique.

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It houses one of the best International collections i have ever seen and its historic value is beyond any doubt. One of the first rooms you enter consists of a mini exhibition which , organized elsewhere would draw hundreds of thousands of visitors. The quality of the paintings and sculptures is superb and deserves to be visited and admired by many more than the handful of visitors we encountered during our visit.

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The small room houses a Picasso, Matisse, Bonnard, Seurat, Monet, Renoir, Degas statue, Maillol and ( personally i am not a great van Gogh fan) a spectacular and beautiful van Gogh.

We were so surprised to find so many of these beautiful paintings and to discover some great Czech art. It was a very nice visit and made us even more like the collection, because we specially came to visit the Giacometti exhibition, but in it’s wake we were treated on some of the most beautiful and surprising art i have seen lately.

Of course www.ftn-books.com has on all these artists some nice publications.