It was a long time ago that i first found a toy by Paya, the spanish TinToy factory whose tin toys are now collected all over the world. Unfortunately it was not a “first” edition but a reedition of one of their most famous toys “The General Omnibus”. It was the first i found and since i have been searching for these wonderful toys. They are made of tin , but within these limitations, almost every subject was possible. Cars, planes, motorbikes, racing cars, busses, street sweepers…..and all made by Paya. Nostalgic feelings could not have been the origin of this fascination, because these were originally made well before the time i was born, but there is something different that appeals. The colors and the subjects and of course the fact that moving winding mechanisms are used within these tin toys make these similar to moving sculptures. like to ones made by Jean Tinguely. Pull away the tin plates from the toy and then there is a raw simple winding mechanism which can be wound and which is frequently used in modern art to move the subjects (for example in the moving sculptures from the sixties). Springs and winding mechanisms, the same as in the Paya toys, are used to, make parts and even complete sculptures, move. In any case PAYA is well worth collecting and if by any chance you are traveling the region of Alicante in Spain…visit la Casa Modernista in Novelda. On the top floor you will find a very large collection of TinToys of which many are made by Paya.
It was about 15 years ago that the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag produced some original Karel Appel lithographs and sold them through galerie Vogtschmidt in Amsterdam. All were sold but none were paid. So after a long time arguing about the payment we decided to go there ourselves and “rescue” what was left. A colleague of mine and i went to Amsterdam and chose some art from the stock of galerie Vogtschmidt and among these items was this Roland Topor drawing which i bought privately in an auction which i organized among the personnel of the Gemeentemuseum . This together with a series of prints was mine. At a fair price, but not as cheap as i hoped for , because others were bidding with me on these items. Now some 15 years later the purchase price is forgotten and what remains is the memory of the auction and the many nice items which were for sale at that time. I wish i had bid on the Henk Peeters set and the light drawing by Roland Topor but you can not have everything. and for the dutch….Martin Bril zei’ Je mist meer dan je meemaakt’
In the Netherlands many of the (special) publications were published because Topor received a lot of attention by publishers and curators. Because of this, one can regularly find nice publications, but since Fluxus is getting popular every year now, it becomes more and more difficult to find the nice ones
, but please take a look at my inventory at www.ftn-books.com and find the Topor books that i have at the moment.
A few years ago we went to the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop. An excellent museum with a small museum shop. Small but with a very interesting inventory. The shop sells catalogues and prints from over 20 years of Josef Albers Museum exhibitions and some of them are rare and collectable. Beside the books they have a publishing program of A0 posters for each of the exhibitions they organize. Inside these editions they have the artist sign about 10 copies and sell these separately at a higher price plus……….they publish their own special editions.
On my first visit i bought a very nice silkscreened poster by Jesus Rafael Soto, signed and one of the 3 available. Half a year ago we went again for a visit and i had hopes for 2 more of these beauties , but too late…they had sold out. However i was lucky, because the special edition of the Soto print , signed and numbered by Soto was still available. Unfortunately at a much higher price than anticipated, but still too good to be true, so i bought it. It now is for sale at www.ftn-books.com (inquire for more pictures).
The Soto is one of those prints that will be in high demand in the next 10 years, but beside this Soto, there are many more extremely nice posters published by the Josef Albers Museum. If you live outside Germany they can not/ will not sell you because they only sell within Germany, but there is a selection of these posters/prints available in my shop , because i chose some for my stock. Search for Quadrat / Bottrop or Josef Albers Museum and you will find about 35 of them for sale……and the signed SOTO sccreenprint.
Possibly you know Klaas Gubbels of his sculptures, lithographs, paintings etc. on teapots and chairs, but it is a rare occasion that you encounter a Gubbels out of the ordinary. A few years ago i encountered a 3D table with 4 wooden apples on it. The table ( used as pied de stalle) and the apples were all made of wooden pieces and glued together . On the Pied de stalle the signature of Klaas Gubbels. A handmade Gubbels was mine! A true find because this was something very special and at the same time typical for Gubbels. My guess is it was made in the mid eighties and was rarely exhibited because it came straight out of a private collection. So this is to share this special Gubbels with you and of course there are some nice Gubbels publications at www.ftn-books.com if you want to learn more on Klaas Gubbels.
Just a simple title for a blog on a painter who had a very short career, but build a strong following of admirers. It was 2008 that i visited New York and entered the CFM gallery and spoke the owner Neil Zukerman about our art collections. I learned that he had bought the very first Rao i had owned and had traded it in for the much larger IL MARINAIO CHE AVEVA ALL ‘UOVO E OLIO.
The one i originally had in my collection, was still one of the favorite paintings of Mr. Zukerman, but the encounter of this passionate collector and the story on this small Massimo Rao painting i once owned, made the world look so very small. If he still has it….i do not know….., but in the meantime the painting in our collection is depicted in 3 Massimo Rao books and was on show at the Panorama Museum in 2004.
Since it has been quiet around Rao, no special exhibitions….. but a growing following and a special site on the painter who unfortunately died much too young ( 1950-1996), but left us so many great works of art. http://www.massimorao.it/massimo-rao/
The books i have on Rao are growing more popular each year and it looks like most are exported to the US. So my guess is the important collectors are in the US and not in Europe.
Maybe it is an idea to organize a large retrospective in the US?
From the early eighties on i a am an admirer of the french comic book artist…. Jacques de Loustal, better known as Loustal. He invented a comic book art form which is based on illustrations in which a complete scene/story is drawn within one drawing and with these illustrations he tells a complete story and challenges your imagination. Now his books are published all over the world. In the Netherlands they are mainly published by Oog & Blik, but in his early days his books and prints were almost all published in his native country France. One of the books that really stands out is WHAT HE EXPECTED OF HER. an adult view on marriage and relations. A highly recommended title of this fascinating artist. Available at www.ftn-books.com
Yesterday i wrote a blog on the Rietveld Schroderhuis in Utrecht. One of the persons who was inspired by this architectural masterpiece ( and DE STIJL in general) was Ko Verzuu, who had at that time his own program to help his patients with activities during the day. He made wooden toys and in this series of wooden toys he developed a wooden bank inspired by the Rietveld building he admired so much. A square 3d wooden hollow block divided with a horizontal yellow rectangular piece. Bottom was screwed on so you could open and empty the bank. Simple and effective and one of those items which is worth collecting and admiring. The ADO manufacturers/SWZ made a special reedition of this blue/yellow bank in 1999 and used it as a promotional item to show their customers the quality of their work. Nowadays it is a collectible and still available at www.ftn-books.com
Prins Hendriklaan 50, 3583 EP Utrecht, the Netherlands
Yes, you still can see and visit this iconic architectural masterpiece which was designed by Gerrit Rietveld at the time he was a “de Stijl” member. Together with Piet Mondriaan and Theo van Doesburg he was was one of the founders of the DE STIJL mouvement in the Netherlands.
Soon Theo van Doesburg dropped out of this mouvement because he found himself restricted by the horizontal and vertical lines the mouvement prescribed. He wanted to use the Diagonal line too, but Rietveld believed in these horizontal and vertical lines and used them together with the primary colors he loved so much and draw with them one of the most beautiful small buildings from the last century. When you visit Utrecht, visit the Schroderhuis too. BTW. the house got its name from the first inhabitant of the house. She commissioned Rietveld to build it for her. Truus Schröder-Schräder lived in it for her entire life.
www.ftn-books.com has some nice books on the Rietveld husi and a kit from which you can rebuild the house yourself in a much smaller scale.
A few month ago i contacted Eja Siepman van den Berg and inquired after a small statue she had made in an edition. The first contact resulted in an invitation to come and visit her in her studio in Beetsterzwaag, but because of circumstances it was impossible for us to make an appointment to visit.
Time passes and circumstances change so we finally had a chance to take some days off and decided to go to Friesland and yes …there is also the studio of Eja. We contacted each other again and found a time to visit on the 10th of august. I really looked forward to visit this fascinating artist because i never visited a real sculptors studio.
The morning of the 10th it was raining again and we run towards the entrance where we were met by Eja Siepman van den Berg. Turned to the left and walked right into the studio gallery where there was a special exhibition by a Chinese artist Xinjian Lu ( blog in a few days ), together with the statues by Eja. The abstraction of the large paintings by Xinjiang with the bronzes by Eja worked extremely well. Each showed its qualities together with the works by the other and nowhere a work dominated . I took some pictures which show just what i mean. This was a perfect setting for both artists.
After showing us the gallery and the works which were on show we soon chose our favorites and it appeared that the more abstraction was within the sculpture the more we admired it. Not that the full body sculptures were not appealing, but we thought that the sculptures with the focus on a specific body part were more abstract and had more strength
The next room, where we drank coffee, was the artist studio. Decorated with a magnificent photograph by Eja on the wall together with a work by JCJ van der Heijden.
I never knew she was a gifted photographer as well , but she explained that she made photographs during the time she had a shoulder injury and it was almost impossible for her to sculpt. The Large JCJ van der Heijden was the remainder of an exhibition which was one time held in the gallery. An extremely organized studio, with a special spot with mirrors to make the sculptures. The one that she was busy with was modelled after a photograph and in most cases Eja uses photographs to model after. Eja explained that the editions of the sculptures is protected by french law in which is stated that the maximum number of sculptures which is allowed to be made from one cast is eight. Above this number one speaks of an edition which of course can be limited too.
It takes an extremely lot of work before the final result can be shown in the gallery or museum and one can only admire the patience any sculptor must have before the final result can be shown. Sculptors must be a different kind of artist breed and one can only have the greatest respect for the path they have chosen to show their art to us…. their public.
The story is known to every book collector. Some 10 years ago Benedikt Taschen had the idea to publish the largest and heaviest book on Helmut Newton ever published. Asked Philippe Starck to design a stand for the book , set the edition size……. and sold all books over some years. Now and then these books surface and draw lots of interest. Antiquarian booksellers are trying to sell these for USD. 10.000 or even more. Taschen produced 3 years ago a much smaller reedition of the book for euro 99.00 with the same photographs within this title, but because of the much better price they could sell it again and i predict that the same title will be presented in a few years within a bargain edition ( printed in China ;-)). What makes this so special…..i really do not know . I consider Taschen as one of the best art publishers in the world , but with such large editions they are hardly interesting for the serious collector. I love the photography of Helmut Newton, but would only use the Taschen books to get an excellent overview of his works. If you are a book collector it is better to focus on the gallery and museum publications from which the Repertinum/ Salzburg one is maybe the best from the last decade.
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