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Henk Tas and his staged photography

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A dutch master in the art of staged photography is Henk Tas. Inspired by many great classic ( Pop & Rock) songs, he places objects from (his) childhood around him in a special setting and instantly it is recognizable as “HENK TAS”. Definitely a personal signature.

The photograph is taken and then , compared with the original setting, enlarged to enormous proportions. It makes you feel like an intruder in the staged scene, participating in it and encountering the figurines which populate it.

In 2001 the Henk Tas publication “Why me Lord” is chosen for the competition ” BEST VERZORGDE BOEKEN 2001″ and is one of the contenders for Best.

The book called ” WHY me LORD ” is still available at www.ftn-books.com.

This is what the jury said about the book and his staged photography:

Best Dutch Book Design 2001

Henk Tas, photographer and grabber at life’s banquet, belongs to that select band of cultural indefatigables. His work has never been completely in vogue, for reasons difficult to fathom, but never completely out of it either. It was relevant during the days of both staged photography and postmodernism, and went down well in New Age circles too.
The theme of Henk Tas’s work is pop music, with the occasional foray into rock’n’roll and blues. Henk Tas is the Rotterdam cowboy. He is second to none in taking plastic figures, artificial flowers and other generally unsightly accessories and infusing them with life. He is, besides, a great colourist. The staged photographs are exuberant in their hues, their synthetic extras embodying the passion of the professional artiste along with the fame and the impermanence immutably bound up with that passion. A great many photographs by Henk Tas and a text apiece by Els Barents, Roel Bentz van den Berg, Ute Eskildsen and Greil Marcus have been brought together by the book’s designer, Rick Vermeulen.

www address: www.henktas.nl

 

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Günther Uecker

All you need is a hammer and a bucket of nails….this is what you first think when you see the early ZERO works by Günther Uecker.

Together with Mack and Piene he belongs to the German part of the Zero mouvement.

It is now 15 years that ZERO is collected the world all over, but before this period the works by Uecker could only be seen in some of the larger german Museums.

Now his early Zero works and editions have spread all over the world, all because Zero has become such an important art mouvement.

Outside Germany , Uecker works was first presented in the dutch NUL exhibition from  1962 in the Stedelijk Museum. Together with Mack and Piene he made the light salon, which is still one of the masterpieces of Zero art.

Personally i have a preference for the works by Piene…. Uecker is a great artist, but what troubles me is that Uecker has not progressed with his art… he is still making paintings and objects with nails, cashing the great idea he once had. So an early Uecker for a collection can be one of the highlights, but a later period Uecker is just adding a famous name to a collection. Still there are some nice publications on Uecker at www.ftn-books.com

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Armando, Riki Mijling + Eja Siepman van den Berg in Projectruimte Hoofdstraat 17

Another and exciting small exhibition to be opened in Projectruimte Hoofdstraat 17 has just been announced . 3 artists will be presented in conjunction which each other. The homebase of Eja Siepman van den Berg gives room to 2 other artists. This time Riki Mijling and Armando will be the guests. Mijling is the least known of these three, but works are present in the most important and prestigious collections, Caldic, DSM , Zadelhoff and the British museum among them. Armando needs no introduction and is known for his participation in the NUL  and Informelen mouvements. Personally i think his Berlin years are his strongest period with the beautiful and impressive Fahnen and Tree paintings. And last there are the sculptures by Eja Siepman van den Berg. Each time i visit the Projectruimte Hoofdstraat 17  i notice how excellent they blend with the works by the other artists. An exhibition to visit in the coming months.

Opening on the 27th of November 2016 and closing on Sunday 26th of February 2017.

address:

Projectruimte Hoofdstraat 17

Hoofdstraat 17

9244Cl  Beetsterzwaag

info@projectruimte-hoofdstraat17.com

There are some nice publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Museum Voorlinden…first visit

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It took us two months to finally visit the recently opened museum Voorlinden. Why so long….because we agreed to visit this together with friends and have dinner afterwards. The visit was postponed because of other obligations a few weeks earlier, but finally yesterday 11/11 the visit was there. It was late in the afternoon and still quite busy. Both parkings were more than half filled with cars and people were walking the park. We were early and walked around the museum building and saw the plants and garden layout by Piet Oudolf and both of us imagined how this must look like when early summer has arrived. A colorful “painting” of plants which can be admired from within the building, because one of the qualities of the architecture is that the “outside” is brought into the building by huge windows which show the garden by Oudolf as a work of art on its own.

What about the collection and the special exhibition? The museum feels more like an experience than  a thoroughly prepared exhibition which teaches the visitor some aspects of art. Every museum room is such an experience. The Mueck and the Serra are excellent examples of this approach. You can compare yourself with the giant figures by Mueck and the Serra is one of the very best and impressive”mazes” he ever has made. It is like a smalle MATTER OF TIME ( see earlier post) Even the special exhibition with the works by Ellsworth Kelly feels like an experience. These works are extremely large and because of their sheer size you can only look at them thoroughly when you take your distance from them. Still it is almost unbelievable to see so many impressive and beautiful Kelly paintings in one exhibition and it will be a very long time before these will be brought together again.

It was a nice visit. The building is impressive and the architecture is almost as good as the Beyeler Museum in Basel. The Landscape is a highlight, the collection is worth visiting, The Kelly’s are a dream, but i am very curious about the future. This is at the moment one of the very best museums in the Netherlands, situated in arguably the best location and surroundings. Wim Pijbes the former director of the Rijksmuseum made the transfer to this museum, but resigned within 3 months. So this  makes me curious what the next exhibitions will be without the guidance of Pijbes. Joop van Caldenborgh , the initiator of the museum , has a very large modern art collection, but it would be nice to not only show the established names, but to show the “young” in Modern art in relation to this establishment.  I am hoping for exhibitions on Sol LeWitt and Anish Kapoor ( both in the Caldic collection), but also for lesser names like Ossip  and Broszat . This is a quality museum and one of the very best museums in Europe supported by the Caldic collection…one of the most important private collections in the world

Conclusion: A Must visit …and do not skip this one when you come to the Netherlands.

 

btw. Dinner we had afterwards was great;-)

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Walter Leblanc (1932-1986)

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It was only 10 years ago that i first heard about Walter Leblanc. There was a small exhibition in a local gallery and at that time the owners predicted me that there would be a great interest in the works by Leblanc…… and they were right!….Leblanc was one of the artists related to the ZERO mouvement, but with a very personal approach to ZERO/NUL. His works were much more poetic and simplistic….a bit more like the early works by the Minimalists. But these works were completely different than most zero/nul works. These were “crafted” paintings with meticulously executed patterns made with “Twisted strings” or torsions, resulting in a composition which in many cases is  closely related to Minimal Art. But Minimal art “avant la Lettre” because these works were made some 5 years before the first Minimal Art was made by Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre and Donald Judd. Walter Leblanc sadly died in a car crash in 1986 , but his works remain. The works are now brought together in a foundation and every once in a while an exhibition is organized. The last one being a Retrospective in Brussels in which sculptures, Torsions and Twisted string were all presented in a fantastic Retrospective on Leblanc.

If a new exhibition is programmed on this artist i will keep you informed through my blog but for now i can recommend some nice publications on www.ftn-books.com

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A recent visit to the studio of Eja Siepman van den Berg

Last Tuesday we visited once again the studio of Eja Siepman van den Berg. In the gallery we visited an excellent and beautiful exhibition by Aubertin, Schad and the sculptures of Eja and to complete it …..a fantastic surprise lunch. We were joined by Roland Janssen and discussed the possibilities of presenting some of the statues on our site which will soon be live. Yes ,within a few weeks www.ftn-art.com will be “live”. Including a selection of the sculptures by Eja Siepman van den Berg. To get some impression of the sculptures that will be presented and which are for sale we made a pre selection of 3 sculptures. Any purchase of these sculptures will be accompanied by me personally and i will escort you to the studio of Eja Siepman van den Berg to meet the artist and show you the other works by Eja Siepman van den Berg. For all inquiries please contact me at : wvdelshout@ziggo.nl or fill in the form below.

wilfried

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Artist: Eja Siepman van den Berg

title: Kinderkopje ( Lucas)

year : 2003

material : marble ( white)

size : approx. 11 x 12 x 16 cm.

price: p.o.a.

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artist: Eja Siepman van den Berg

title : Standing Girl

year : 1998

material : bronze

size : approx. 114 cm x 25 x 30 cm.

price : p.o.a.

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artist : Eja Siepman van den Berg

title : Man

year: 1991

material : bronze

size : approx. 138 x 30 x 30 cm.

price : p.o.a.

for more information please fill in the form below

 

A youtube item on Eja Siepman van den Berg is to be found on this location : https://youtu.be/w_ZIGea1AVU

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Gustav Mahler and Willem Mengelberg

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Mahler pioneer Willem Mengelberg

Willem Mengelberg, conductor of  the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, was grasped by Mahler’s music when he attended  the first performance of his Third Symphony in Krefeld (G) in 1902. Right from that moment, he vigorously took on promoting Mahler’s music, claiming Mahler to be  “the Beethoven of his time”.  In his persistent efforts to introduce Mahler’s music, Mengelberg gradually acquired an outstanding position  both  in The Netherlands and  in Europe,  in this respect  leaving behind  other contemporary conductors.

Time and again, Mengelberg tried to persuade Mahler to conduct his own works in Amsterdam. This materialized   in 1903, 1904, 1906 and 1909. During these visits, the composer was staying with the  Mengelbergs at their home. However, because of his numerous engagements elsewhere, Mahler was often compelled to decline Mengelberg’s  invitations for conducting.

Mengelberg’s commitment to promote Mahler’s music should not be underestimated. At the time, a substantial part of the public would leave the concert hall to demonstrate their disapproval of Mahler’s music, which was, on top of that, often ridiculed by the critics. Mengelberg  was convinced  of Mahler’s genius, which inspired him to persist in his dogged endeavours, taking for granted  that this implied  rowing against the stream . Only after years of sustained perseverance, a ‘Mahler community’ came into existence in The Netherlands, which formed the basis of the unprecedented success of the ‘Mahler Feest’ in 1920, drawing worldwide attention. In the 1920’s,  Mengelberg,  who had  by then also become conductor of the New York Phiharmonic, repeated his efforts to promote Mahler’s music to the American  public.

Mengelberg was one of the most important Mahler pioneers who deserves a special place of honour in our remembrance.  His tireless efforts to make  Mahler’s music better known to a greater public contributed  greatly to the international Mahler culture of this era.

The Willem Mengelberg’s archives in the Netherlands Music Institute contain, amongst other things, his conducting scores, which are characterized by his colourful  annotations that clearly indicate  his conductors interpretation of  the work concerned.  In addition, many of these scores also contain instructions and  remarks of Mahler himself: tangible and visible evidence of the close ties between Mengelberg and Mahler.

the above text is from willemmengelberg.nl

Why this blog on Mengelberg? It was about 20 years ago that well before the “craze” of huge and impressive publications ( Newton, Araki) that this tremendous large publication was published on the occasion of the Mengelberg Festival 1995. It is indeed a huge publication. Weight being well over 5 kg and published in a cardbox blue linnen covered container with a text plublication and in a different volume the musical score by Mengelberg with his annotations . This is the perfect facsimile.

Best of all: designed by one of my heroes ….Wim Crouwel. This is such a publication that will be in demand for a very long time and very hard to find. Now i have two copies available from a remainder stock and both in “new” condition at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Panamarenko

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In the beginning i did not take the work by Panamarenko serious, however times and perspectives change. It took some years ( 20 years) but now  i consider Panamarenko as one of the greatest living modern artist. Panamarenko stayed true to his inventions, flying machines, submarines and all other vehicles and objects he invented, but what makes Panamarenko for me special is the way he designs them and executes the “real thing”

His sketches and drawings show detail and from the drawing itself one gets the immediate impression that it will work if it is executed properly. The way he invents makes one think about the possibilities of many items. He not only is an inventor but a truly original artist.

A future world made by Panamarenko could well be not too far away. Panamarenko is here now, but will be present with his machines in the future too. This is an artist who does not looks behind him, but Panamarenko designs the future for us.

soon we will be wearing, flying and driving, machines with the logo’s “copyright by” or “designed by”…PANAMARENKO.

For more publications on Panamarenko visit www.ftn-books.com

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Hussein Chalayan

In the 90’s several exhibitions were held in the Gemeentemuseum with some fashion items by Issey Miyake, but after these exhibitions there was a period without any real fashion talents. Exhibitions were held with new aspiring fashion designers but none had the original quality of Miyake until………there was Hussein Chalayan, but this time in a different location..the Groninger Museum.

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For me, suddenly he was there and the Groninger Museum made a wonderful exhibition with his designs. I do not follow fashion very much, but for me Chalayan combined fashion with Modern Art and sculpture and the setting in the Groninger Museum ( Mendini architecture) made it very special. According to Vogue he now makes HIGH TECH dresses. His approach to fashion has stayed the same. Explore the boundaries of fashion, ,wearability is of less importance, but originality is what he is looking for ….and finds.

The article on Chalayan in Vogue can be found here:

http://www.vogue.com/13431267/met-gala-chalayan-erika-wall-morgane-dubled/

Publications on this fascinating fashion designer are rare but www.ftn-books.com has some nice ones.

 

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Maria by Lee Friedlander

It was 10 years ago that i encountered a remainder stock of books published by the Smithsonian museum. Among them…. one title that immediately caught my interest, because its photographs were by Lee Friedlander. For me personally this is one of the very best photographers from last century and this title particularly was all about his wife MARIA. At the time of publication i did not know of any exhibitions on Friedlander, but i was so happy to have found this little stack of Maria books and the number of them ( over 20 copies), that the first ones i sold way to cheap. Over the years i sold many of them to different locations in the world.

What remains now are only 4 copies of which the last 3 are still for sale. One i will keep for my photo book collection and as a souvenir of the stack of Friedlanders i found, bought and sold.

A future classic and a highly collectable photo book. This book is available at www.ftn-books.com