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Hans Aarsman (1951)

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I am always amazed at the details Hans Aarsman discovers in a photograph. Little things i look over or do not think important. Hans Aarsman discovers them and explains them. Hans Aarsman started as a photojournalist for Trouw newspaper, but found his true calling in looking at photographs by others and writing about the details he finds in a photograph. He is like an archeologist with photographs and a joy to read.

Hans Aarsman shows and discusses an importantn photograph each friday in de Volkskrant newspaper and was invited to search for and find interesting photographs in the archives of the Tropenmuseum Amsterdam and he came up with a series of bridges which he tells about in a beautiful publication of the Tropenmuseum and which is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Key Hiraga (1936-2000)

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Rooted in Pop Art and Hippie art, this symbiosis of these influences in the art of Key Hiraga created an original approach to subject and painting itself. These paintings are one of a kind and can be immediately recognized for being done by Hiraga.

As with many of the artists from the final years of the Sixties and early Seventies these works are almost forgotten, but now and then they surface again. For instance there is a dutch artist belonging to the same category…. Jakob Zekveld. Color schemes are almost the same but compositions are totally different.  here is one by Zekveld.

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Although i have never seen his works in agllery nor museum, i am a fan , because his works are original and filled with symbolism and never bore. the following publication on Hiraga is available at www.ftn-books.com

hiraga

 

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Kamagurka / Luc Zeebroek (1956)

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Multi talented, performer, painter, cartoon maker and overall absudist genius is Luc Zeebroek better known as Kamagurka. It is one of those artist who’s works many of us have encountered at some time. He publishes his cartoons regularly and his drawings and paintings are presented frequently at galleries and art fairs. He even had his own Stedelijk Museum exhibition in 2002 which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com.

To characterize his work is impossible but there is always some humor in the work itself, but his style is something between graffiti and the paintings by Lucebert.

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kamagurka

 

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Wim Crouwel (1928-2019)

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This morning i heard that one of the most influential designers from our time, Wim Crouwel, has died. The last years of his life he suffered Parkinson disease, but he was still going strong and must have looked forward to the retrospective of his works being opened later this  month at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. What better way to commemorate this great artist than to show a selection of the many items designed by him. www.ftn-books.com

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And to finish one of my personal favorites. Wim Crouwel will be an example for many designers in the decades to comewerkman crouwel aa.

 

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Ger van Elk (1941-2014) and the Art & Project Bulletins

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Ger van Elk was one of the gallery artists from Art & Project and made 7 Bulletins for the gallery. ( all 7 are available at www.ftn-books.com)

over a period of 15 years he published within the series the following numbers Bulletin 19, 55, 65, 74, 100, 132 and 139

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Each different in its approach of the medium and all very much worth collecting. Her are some examples of the Bulletins.

 

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Jochem Hendricks (1959)

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The Jochem Hendricks book that www.ftn-books.com has for sale is something special. Some reasons. First it feels and looks like an artist book, secondly it is in pristine condition and third….it contains the 33 raisor sharp LOGOS and WOLRD IMAGES Hendricks designed in 1985. The exhibition with these designs was held in 1992 in Frankfurt and curated by Jean-Christophe Ammann, making this an important exhibition. I personally did not visit this one , but seeing and leafing the book i wish i had.

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Will Ferwerda (1942-2019)

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Just recently, onthe 12th of March Will ferwerda died at the age of 77. Known for his free expressionism and activist for his entire life he was one of the most colorful artists in the dutch art scene. He was locally a well known artist and many in Gorkum and Dordrecht had at some time met him.( A bit the same as Gerard Fieret in den Haag), but his art deserves so much better. It has some mysticism in it i can not explain, but when you look at he limited editions by Ferwerda ( available at www.ftn-books.com) , these images intrigue and show that Ferwerda was not an amateur , but a true and original artist.

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Outsider Art of atelier de Herenplaats

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By chance i found a publication by atelier de Herenplaats. An artist studio for the mentally deficient and i was really surprised to find some great art within this publiucation. This Art Brut/Outsider Art is matured and must be considered as true art. The spontanious compositions delight and i have read on the site of de Herenplaats that many of their artist have had their ( international) presentations in galeries and museums.

de Herenplaats site can be found on this address: www.herenplaats.nl

and www.ftn-books.com has the Herenplaats publication now for sale in its shop.

visjes

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Erwin Olaf exhibition….

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The Erwin Olaf exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum/ Fotomuseum are now closed for some months and what remains i sthe memory of a highly successful exhibitions with evn for me had some new elements in it which i did not have seen before. I had seen the cabinet with the peeping holes, but the Video wall with some 20 nude people who  crouched and erecetd themselves was impressing. The catalogue however did not do justice to the exhibition. Too large, too expensive and the lesser known moving images from the video walls were missing. Still a great exhibition to remember and for those collectors interested i secured some of the materials that were published to promote the exhibition .

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These are available at www.ftn-books.com together with some other nice Erwin Olaf publications

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Michael Kirkham (1971)

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Michael Kirkham is one of the younger British artists that implressed me immediately when i saw his first paintings at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

Often highly regarded for their uncompromising nature, Michael Kirkham’s paintings give a delicate insight into the dark corners of human existence. Painted mostly from the mind, mixing fantasy and reality, Kirkham depicts his subjects in uncomfortable or awkward positions, (half) undressed, engaging in acts of sexual nature, being in love, daydreaming, or showing their genitals. While doing so, the characters in Kirkham’s paintings often appear distant, as if disconnected or sunken into the emptiness of their subconsciousness. In addition to the apathetic character of his subjects, most of Kirkham’s paintings appear covered in an apt layer of misery and ambiguity.

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As much as these scenes of the despicable bring about a sense of discomfort or voyeurism to the spectator, they are equally intriguing and touching as they display a deep sense of empathy for all aspects of the human condition. This is Kirkham’s power: rather than depicting scenes that exist only in Kirkham’s own artistic universe, his works show those parts of life that, no matter our attempts to disregard or overlook them, are a core part of contemporary life. They show us the alienated or estranged individuals who are no match for the complexities of the world they themselves have helped to build.

It is in this commentary on the contemporary that any sense of melancholy, irony, or even voyeurism so often related to the Kirkham’s paintings disappears. The power and beauty of his work are inseparable from the discomfort it brings about when it confronts the viewer with the bleakness of humanity. Therefore, any form of sadness, irony, voyeurism, or discomfort felt in Kirkham’s paintings can only be a sign of confrontation, recognition or even emotion of the spectator, pointing out to us what essentially makes us human throughout the complexities of today.

Michael Kirkham (Blackpool, UK, 1971) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He completed his education at the Glasgow School of Art and De Ateliers, Amsterdam. His work has been exhibited, among many other locations, at Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (NL), Centraal Museum, Utrecht (NL), and Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (DE), and is part of collections such as the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (NL), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL), Centraal Museum, Utrecht (NL), Sammlung Ritter Sport, Stuttgart (DE), Collection Olbricht (DE), Sollection SØR Rusche, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam (NL), and of private collections in The Netherlands, Germany and the United States, among others.

ftn-art has the limited edition of THE STORY OF THE GLOVE. a controversial “comic” in prints available. Please inquire.