The year 1988…the exhibition…the first major Günther Förg exhibition organized by the Haags Gemeentemuseum and curated by Rudi Fuchs. On show large lead paintings with constructivist patterns on them and emphasized by Günther Förg his photography of blown up architecture and portraits. Impressive exhibition and one of the first Fuchs curated for the Gemeentemuseum. In Amsterdam a little earlier in time, Wim van Krimpen, who became director himself of the Gemeentemuseum, organized a Günther Förg show and published with this show a beautiful set of lithographs in a very small edition of 25 ( 1987). Large sized sheets of quality paper printed with 4 typical Günther Förg works. I bought the set and had it on the wall for over 10 years, removed it from the wall and forgot about it until….Wim van Krimpen became the director of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and i told him we had met before on the occasion of me buying this set in his gallery. He said i was lucky to have the complete set. I asked him why. He told me he stocked what was left after the show in his basement to “save them for a rainy day”, but unfortunately he had a leakage in his basement and all were damaged and destroyed. I asked him how many series there were left within the edition and he told me that more than half was destroyed. This would mean that only 10 copies of each print have survived.
A great loss, but still there are some to be found if you keep searching for them 😉
Of course , the title of this blog is my way of thinking about Irma Boom, who first made a career with SDU publishers before she started her own office in 1991. But without a doubt she is one of the greatest living graphical designers of the world.
One of the first who had complete faith in the abilities and quality of Irma Boom was Paul Fentener van Vlissingen who commissioned the SVH jubilee publication of over 2000 pages ….. a classic in book design, finished in 1996 and done in the very special Irma Boom way with no limitations in the execution and with a complete rethinking of the classic book design.
A true DUTCH DESIGN classic which was the starting point of the Irma Boom designs as we know them. Other clients followed . Vitra , Chanel and Ferrari among them, but…..not only the larger companies and brand names wanted to use the design qualities of Irma Boom. There were smaller ones like dutch museums and the Siewe gallery , who presented a solo exhibition of her earlier this year with which they published a special Irma Boom limited edition.
and beside this special exhibition they commissioned some of their gallery publication to mrs Boom. My personal favorite Irma Boom publication is a small book on Tomas Rajlich which was published some 15 year ago and which has all the subtleties of a great book design. Now is the time to start collecting Irma Boom publications…wait another couple of years and none are there to be found. Irma Boom her designs and publications are collected by practically all of the large dutch museums and of course the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
An exhibition with these intriguing paintings by Bridget Riley is now held at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Large size canvasses with hypnotizing waves of color patterns. Riley is one of those artists you learn to appreciate when you see more of her works over a longer period of time. Started in the early sixties . Influenced by Vasarely she soon became one of the most important members of the op-art mouvement and had her first major overseas exhibition in the MOMA in New York in 1965. She was one of the artist of the RESPONSIVE EYE exhibition. Since, she developed her very recognizable style and moved more and more away from the typical op-art paintings and developed the Bridget Riley style as we know it now. The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag has a history with Riley. A few year ago they held a very nice exhibition for which they published a leperello which is still available at www.ftn-books.com
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 http://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
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