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Piet Dirkx daily …40

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Piet Dirkx cigarbox 40

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Jan Fabre and BIC art

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Fabre’s fame began when he was making 100% blue drawings with a BIC ballpoint pen ( 1980). It was the early eighties , but before that he shook the art scene with making drawings with his own blood ( 1978) .Since he made stage designs for plays and dance, movies and many more drawings and objects and of course sculptures….extremely large sculptures. Jan Fabre is considered one of the greatest living artist in Europe.

A short introduction to one of the greatest Belgian artist from this time. For me Fabre and Panamarenko will be remembered as the great Belgian artist from the last part of the 20th century. Both imaginative in their own way and both highly original with an own signature.

There is a huge list of all his activities during the last 3 decades, but the best way to get an impression of Jan Fabre is to read what Wikipedia says about him and visit his site afterwards

site: www.janfabre.be

There is a large selection of Fabre titles available at www.ftn-books.com

Wikipedia text:

Fabre is famous for his Bic-art (ballpoint drawings). In 1990, he covered an entire building with ballpoint drawings.

He explores the relationships between drawing and sculpture. He also makes sculptures in bronze (among them The man who measures the clouds and Searching for Utopia) and with beetles.

His decoration of the ceiling of the Royal Palace in Brussels Heaven of Delight (made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases) is widely praised. In 2004 he erected Totem, a giant bug stuck on a 70-foot steel needle, on the Ladeuzeplein in Leuven.

In 2008, Jan Fabre’s The Angel of Metamorphosis exhibition was held at the Louvre Museum.

On 26 October 2012, several media reported how during a shoot in the Antwerp town hall for a forthcoming film on Fabre, living cats were thrown repeatedly several meters spinning into the air, after which they made a hard landing on the steps of the entrance hall. Animal welfare executive chairman Luc Bungeneers said he was having a meeting with his party chairman when he heard howling cats. “To my horror, we found cats were being assaulted in the name of art”, Bungeneers said. “It went on for several hours.” The filming was eventually aborted after protests from the crew’s own technicians. Later that day, Fabre claimed all cats were still in good health and it was a conspiracy of the political party NVA.[1][2][3][4] Mr. Fabre has received 20,000 emails slamming his act. He has also been attacked seven times by men carrying clubs whilst out jogging in the park and been forced to sleep in a different location every night. Antwerp’s deputy mayor for animal wellbeing and the animal rights organisation Global Action in the Interest of Animals also launched complaints about Mr Fabre’s controversial act.

On February 2016, Jan Fabre was appointed by the Greek Ministry of Culture as the Creative Director of the annual Athens – Epidaurus Festival.[5] He resigned less than two months later, on the 2nd of April 2016, after a huge controversy over his plan to turn Greece’s major arts festival into “a tribute to Belgium” and devote eight of the festival’s ten productions to those from his homeland.[6]

In September 2016 Fabre made an attempt to not break cyclist Eddy Merckx‘s 1972 hour record at the Tête d’Or Velodrome in Lyon. Fabre completed a total of 23 km in an hour, compared to Merckx’s record of over 49 km. The attempt was commentated on by Merckx, fellow cyclist Raymond Poulidor, and veteran cycling commentator Daniel Mangeas[7] and was performed as the opening of his “Stigmata” retrospective exhibition organised by the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon.[8] Fabre described the attempt as “how to remain a dwarf in the land of giants”.[9]

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Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985)

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The Finnish master of design and glas has had some great exhibitions in the Netherlands, but the most important one was the one in the Stedelijk Museum ( 1976). The Stedelijk Museum took a special interest in Wirkkala and acquired many beautiful works by him and from his wife Rut Bryk, who also had her exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum (1970) , even before her husband had his. Both their catalogues were designed by Wim Crouwel and both catalogues are collectors items now.

Wirkkala designed many great glas objects for Iitala which are still in production. I wish i had more publications on Wirkkala and his wife, but these are rare. The ones i have are both from the Stedelijk Museum. One is the monography and the other two are on a group exhibitions on Finnish glas and design.

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Piet Dirkx daily …038

dirkx-038

 

Piet Dirkx cigarbox 38

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Horta and the Belgium Museum for Comics

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In the Zandstraat 20/ The Belgium Museum for Comics, ( centre of Brussels ) in an art nouveau building there is the Brasserie Horta, named after the famous Belgian Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta. If you walk Brussels there are many Art Nouveau buildings to be found , but the one that is the most important is probably the one which houses the Victor Horta museum in Saint Gilles. If you want to visit it, please note that the opening hours are very limited and only small groups may enter the building. Once there ,you will find one of the most authentic and beautiful Art Nouveau buildings to be found in Brussels. The Tourist Office has some nice walks on which the most typical Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings are indicated and when you take this walk , beside the buildings , there are many wall drawings to be seen ( practically all related to Belgian comic art ). Stop at the mentioned Brasserie Horta at the Museum for Comics, have a coffee and visit its collection, containing many authentic TinTin/Herge items. https://www.stripmuseum.be/nl/home

and continue your walk to end at the Horta museum in Saint Gilles.

 

prepare your visit with the nice little book which i have available at www.ftn-books.com

horta

 

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Piet Dirkx daily …37

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Piet Dirkx cigarbox 37

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Ian Wilson sector 30 and section 43

At the time i first laid my hands on a publication by Ian Wilson published in the section series . I really thought …..absolutely crazy….however when you read what the van Abbemuseum writes on the publications of Ian Wilson, you see the logic and when you see the logic you notice that every publication is a work of art by itself. I really do not know how many of these “Section” books were published, but for sure i know of 3 i had in my collection ( 2  i still have). There was the art &project publication. ( only 4 pages, but highly collectable) and the section 30 by the van Abbemuseum and the one i made for the Gemeentemuseum in the time Rudi Fuchs was director of the museum. The section 43 was published in an edition of 500 copies. Only 10 or so were sold and the main part of the edition was destroyed at the time the depots of the museum  had to relocate because of the renovation in 1996. So my guess is only about 50 have survived what makes this one of the scarcest Ian Wilson publications. Please look at them at www.ftn-books.com

This is what the van Abbemuseum writes about Ian Wilson:

At first, Wilsons artistic explorations took place entirely in the monochrome. He was absorbed by questions relating to perception and painting. This is aptly illustrated by the nameless object of fibreglass and white pigment (1967) recently purchased by the Van Abbemuseum. In it, he created a slight convex curvature atop a circular surface. When hung on the wall at eye level, this ‘disc’ is so subtle that it does not cast any shadows. The fibreglass object presents the perceptive viewer with an ambiguous scene – sometimes it simulates a cavity in the wall, only to pop out of it again a moment later. His last physical objects, ‘Circle on the Floor’ and ‘Circle on the Wall’, were created in early 1968. Almost completely stripped of any material substance, these works are circles consisting only of outlines drawn in chalk and pencil, respectively. Using Wilsons meticulous instructions, the circles can be reproduced for use in any exhibition.

After some time, Wilson realised that it was no longer necessary to create an object in order to realise a concept. Wilson: ‘I found that I could think or say the circle just as well, that I didn’t need to draw it in order to convey the idea I was exploring.’ The movement towards dematerialisation was a widespread tendency among artists in the 1960s. Language predominated as the means of achieving this, and artists employed it in various ways to stimulate a mental process inside the ‘viewer’ of the work.

Wilson exploits the fact that language can be used to conjure up an image or explain a concept. Forming a mental image of a ‘cube’ requires a simple thought process – the concept of ‘infinity’, on the other hand, represents a higher level of linguistic abstraction. In his text entitled ‘Conceptual Art’ (1984), he says: ‘Language is the most formless means of expression. Its capacity to describe concepts without physical or visual references carries us into an advanced state of abstraction.’ In 2002 he explained that ‘by means of language you can grasp the non-visual world.’ By letting go of material objects and continuing his artistic exploration in the realm of the spoken word, he was able to make the transition from visual abstraction to non-visual abstraction.

Initially, Wilsons verbal work was of an informal nature, taking place on the street, at random exhibition openings or in people’s homes. It was in this manner that he presented his work ‘Time’: the word in its spoken form. A deeper discussion on the subject of ‘time’ also emerged. In 1969, Wilson shifted his field of exploration to the medium itself – ‘oral communication as art form’ – and in 1970 was invited to present ‘Oral Communication’ in Europe.

Over the course of the 1970s, his discussions took on a more formal character, and his interests shifted towards ‘The Known and Unknown’, based on Plato’s ‘The Parmenides’. In contrast to a ‘performance’, during a discussion the audience can actively take part in realising the concept of ‘oral communication’. Wilson does not want the discussion to be recorded either on film or audio. He is interested in the concentrated moment in which ideas emerge and are formulated in language. What remains after the discussion is a subjective and unstable thought in the minds of those present. Wilson summarises the core of these discussions in a book series entitled ‘section’.

From 1970 onwards, his discussions were announced using cards, which served as invitations informing the addressee of where Wilson would be and when. Purchases of works were confirmed by a certificate containing a printed and signed declaration by the artist, stating that a discussion had taken place on that date. Wilson had specific ideas concerning the formulation and layout of both the invitation cards and the certificates. These purchase certificates and invitations cards were the only material remnants of the discussion.

In 1986, Wilson stopped holding discussions and concentrated on printed language. From the late 1980s onward, unique series of his artists’ books began to appear, such as ‘The Set of 25 Sections: 90-114, with Absolute Knowledge’ shown here, from 1993. Partially due to renewed interest in Wilson’s spoken works, he started group discussions again in 1999, which to date have focused on the subject of ‘The Absolute’.

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Alessandro Mendini

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Because of a recent sale , i was reminded that there are so many important designs made by this master of ALCHIMIA. The design group that made the most remarkable designs in the eighties. Beside these designs he made for Alchimia, he also was a gifted architect and book designer. A multi talented artist who made some of the most iconic designs and in the Netherland was partly responsible for the architecture of the Groninger Museum. The Groninger Museum got his new building in 1994. At that time it was one of the most spectacular Museum buildings in the world.

This was possibly the building that paved the way for many more avant garde museum buildings. For instance the Gehry building which was made for the Guggenheim museum was opened in 1997, 3 year after the opening of the Groninger Museum. Since, the Groninger Museum always has had a special interest in design and their own publications have for the greatest part been of the highest possible quality. In many of them Swip Stolk had a role and they always show the influence of Alessandro Mendini .

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

Including the famous Mendini Sketchbook published by the Groninger Museum