Mid sixties ZERO became an important part within the exhibition and collection program of the Stedelijk Museum. a.0. Jan Schoonhoven being one of the artists being presented. Zero had become “main stream” and accepted and therefore it was time for a large overview of what was and had become ZERO/ NUL. Wim Crouwel was asked for the design of the 2 catalogues. One with text and one with images. Both are exceptional designs executed in a glossy silver , perfect measurements and simple but beautiful typography.
Yes ….34 years ago i was a rookie and just had walked into the museum world and there there was this exhibition which i could not understand. An exhibition on INFORMELE KUNST in Nederland en Belgie ( dutch language) in the Schamhart wing with at the entrance an extremely large painting by Jan Cremer. At the time it was painted he asked a price for it of 1 million guilders.
At that time a ridiculous amount of money for a work of art, but time passes and if i had known what i know on art now i would have started collecting these works which were within the exhibition. names? Schoonhoven, Leblanc, Cremer, Peeters, Armando, Verheyen, Gentils, Mortier. If only……….
A pity I did not start collecting these artists, because then the time was perfect to buy at reasonable prices. Prices started to rise from that year on and the end is not in sight. What remains is the excellent catalogue which is still available at www.ftn-books.com
Joost van den Toorn…an artist i literally stumbled upon when we visited Kasteel Het Nijenhuis. At the entrance there was at that time a small statue by van den Toorn a statue which i overlooked and did not see……..so i stumbled upon it and made half a fall. Now that i have received an invititation for the presentation at Galerie Jacoba Wijk i remembered what happened. Van den Toorn a recognizable artist who’s works have a lot of humor within them is an excellent excuse to visit the gallery in Groningen. The exhibition is until the 29th of January, but you can also find his publications in my store. www.ftn-books.com
First tine i ever heard of Alvar Aalto was when i bought a vase for my wife….design by Alvar Aalto. When i got further read on and got acquainted with the person Aalto i noticed that he was a tremendous architect and a great furniture designer . That is the time i started collecting the books on Aalto and in the last decades i built a great collection of books for myself. When you are such an avid collector it happens once in a while that encounter a book which you already have in your collection and these books were the first to appear in my own store at www.ftn-books.com
( look at the similarities between the shape of the vase and the buildings)
Through the years i visited, whenever in the neighbourhood, the architectural masterpieces by Aalto in Germany, but never had the chance to go to Finland where the main part of his buildings is to be found. Maybe in the future, but in the meantime i have my Aalto books.
So check my store when you are collecting Aalto or architectural books and maybe you can complete your collection with the ones on offer.
The best book from the last years on the fascinating world of Conceptual Art is by far the book IN & OUT of AMSTERDAM/ Travels in Conceptual Art 1960-1976. A book which i cherish , because this is a treasure trove of ideas and excellent publications which can still be found on the market(s). The book si published by MoMa where in 2009 the exhibition was held with the same name. In &Out of Amsterdam shows the most important and possibly the best works by the following artists:
Bas Jan Ader
Stanley Brouwn ( see blog)
Ger van Elk
Gilbert & George
Sol LeWitt ( see blog)
All excellent artist and all published within the series of Bulletins published by Art & Project.
These publications have certainly become highly collectable items, because during the time they were published and now ( some 40 years ) few have survived. So start collecting them now while they are still available. see www.ftn-books.com
If there is one iconic ZERO catalogue it is the very first ZERO catalogue published with the ZERO exhibition of 1963. SO here are the photographs which makes this very important catalogue available to all. catalogue for sale at www.ftn-books.com
Friso Kramer was one of the founding members of Total design but before that date he was one of the leading dutch designers together with Benno Wissing and Wim Crouwel. Known for his excellent but sober designs, he was the man behind the famous REVOLT Friso Kramer chair, which is still in production until this date. Still active as a designer , he recently designed a LED streetlamp for Lightwell. A lamp which will eventually replace all the Friso Kramer designed streetlamps which were placed in the sixties and seventies.
The main part of his career he was the leading designer and director for Ahrend ,a firm which produces office furniture
Two major exhibitions were held on Friso Kramer of which one catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com
Followers of this blog must know by now that i admire Marlene Dumas and whenever there is a chance i can buy her books, i will do so. I know by now, for certain that i have one of the largest inventories of her books available with many special and hard to find publications. Last week i published in my store a title which might be the very best title available on Marlene Dumas. It is the MEASURING YOUR OWN GRAVE book published by the MOCA and distributed by DAP. A large heavy book , excellent printing quality and one of the best overviews of over 30 years of her works. A highly recommended title available at www.ftn-books.com
It must have been 1988 and there was within one of the very first exhibitions Rudi Fuchs curated for the Gemeentemuseum in one of the small cabinets, a work by Jannis Kounellis.
Kounellis has always been a favorite artist of Fuchs, who organized in the van Abbemuseum and the Stedelijk Museum exhibitions with him.
The work…It consisted of a coat rack with a raincoat and looked in nothing like a piece of art. It was also my first encounter with a work by Kounellis who later was asked for a special exhibition with drawings and a specialpublication which was the very first publication to be designed by Gracia Lebbink. LA STANZA VEDE, was a real tribute to the drawings because it was published in a classic drawings portfolio and a very limited edition.
Back to the Coat rack. It was only a few days that the work was shown after the raincoat was stolen from the coat rack. A police investigation was done, but with no result. The fact that the raincoat was stolen makes me remember the work by Kounellis, but for me Kounellis is more the artist with the extreme wall pieces with coal elements, which are very impressive…..and of course the stolen raincoat 😉
But what struck me most were the similarities between a painting from another dutch painter …Willy Boers. A painting i know very well, title “Quintessens” and from a much earlier date. A painting which is one of the key works in dutch Modern Art and one which is depicted in the book. DOORBRAAK VAN DE MODERNE KUNST IN NEDERLAND
This Willy Boers painting was made in 1947 and finished in 1948. There are 11 years apart in both works. The Boers painting is strongly influenced by Miro and Picasso, but is it possible that Bram van Velde has seen the Willy Boers painting?
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20