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Pierre Paulin (1927-2009)

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His designs are strongly rooted in the Sixties, but over 60 years of production by the dutch firm Artifort they have proven to be timeless.

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With comfort as his starting-point, Pierre Paulin became a freelance designer for Artifort from the 1960s. This relationship produced many iconic modernist chairs, including Ribbon, Butterfly, Mushroom, Tulip and Orange Slice. His influential designs are now also produced under licence by LaCividina – Dos à Dos. Design archive Paulin, Paulin, Paulin is run by Maia Paulin, Pierre’s wife and business partner. It offers a deep dive into his works beyond the most well-known pieces, to showcase a creator who was relentlessly producing fresh concepts even after he retired in 1994. Prolific, challenging and ground-breaking, Paulin passed away in June 2009. In November of that year, the French Government posthumously awarded him the distinction of ‘Royal Designer for Industry’.

wwww.ftn-books.com has some Paulin related publications available.

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H.P. Bremmer (1871-1956)

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The book i recently read on H.P. Bremmer shows the importance of this art consultant/artist. Not only he advised Mrs Kröller Muller , but he maintained one of the most important art networks during his life, which made it possible for him to advise mrs. Kroller Muller, the very best of art which at that time was and became available. His network made it possible to acquire works by van Gogh, Seurat, Signac, Toorop ….but also more modern artists like Matisse, Toorop and Severini. The result was one of the most stunning art collections in the world and the collection still stands out for its quality and location in Otterlo. . At random some names that made it possible for H.P. Bremmer to maintain his network untiul his death in 1956. : Hannema, Huszar, Lemmen, Israels, Modriaan, Sluijters, Redonm, Toorop, Mendes da Costa.

netwerk bremmer

For those who mastered the dutch language….the very interesting book on H.P. Bremmer is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Viktor & Rolf….a very special publication

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The Australian exhibition from 2016 was the fundament of the exhibition held at the Kunsthal to celebrate 25 years of fashion by Viktor & Rolf. Even the layout from this exhibition publication was used, but…….extended!

Beautiful and spectacular additions by the worlds best photographers and designers. Contributions by Anton Corbijn,, Cindy Sherman, Herb Ritts, Inez & Vinoodh, showing pieces worn by Madonna, Tilda Swinton and many others. I have seen many books on Fashion , but this is without a doubt one of the most spectecular ones and now available at www.ftn-books.com

viktor rolf c

 

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Natasja Kensmil (1973)

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Natasja Kensmil is one of those talents that emerged in the last 10 years and proved tobe highly important for modern art. Her art is personal and her style can not be compared to anyone else’s. If any….. i immediately though of Basquiat, but these paintings and drawings by Kensmil practically all tell a story or contain a message for the viewer. Her series of REGENTEN PORTRAITS  is a tribute to women who held a position in boards and committees who took care of the old and sick. It was not possible for women to hold a position within a company or government , but these woman made charity in these years possible and took care of the old and sick in society.Schermafbeelding 2021-08-16 om 14.07.56

Another multi panelled work is the “HUWELIJKS PORTRET VAN JOHANDE WITT AND WENDELA BICKER “. Natasja Kensmill forces us to look at our (not so nice) history and beside the importance of the art itself it makes us aware of the message too.

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The book i now have for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com is different. Personal, horror like drawings bound and published by Boekhandel Broekhuis in 2003. Edition of only 500 copies, this book already shows the attraction of Kensmil’s drawing. They attract and repel at the same time. This is the kind of art one must admire and i will be on thelook out for work by Kensmil for our collection.

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Phil Bloom (1947)

Phil Bloom for the HOEPLA TV program

The year 1967 and half of the dutch population spoke about the nude appearance of Phil Bloom on national Television. Phil Bloom lowered the newspaper and showed her nude upper body. It was a dutch first and raised a scandal. Later on one understood that this was not just nudity , but more a kind of Avant Garde kind of art initiated by Wim T. Schippers, who made 4 Hoepla programs of which the last one was withdawn by VPRO. You can see the actual appearance of Phil Bloom here:

https://archief.ntr.nl/jarenzestig/#/artikel/avant-garde-op-televisie

Since that appearance Phil Bloom wrote history and her name became  a household among my genaration, but Phil Bloom is still active as an artist, but now on the creating site. She makes and creates what is called Synthetic realism. Scenes in which realism is combined with a fairytale like surroundings. A colorful figure and one of those that wrote not only history but creates better world with her art.

http://www.ftn-books.com has a nice signed print by Phil Bloom available

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Frits van der Zander (1947)

Frits van der Zander

To be honest….i nveer had seen works by van der Zander before, but as soon as i discovered the catalogue Frits van der Zander/Schilder i thought his works to be inspiring. I remembered the first time i saw some paintings by Per Kirkeby and i felt the same emotions. They rfelect nature in some sort of way, bur are still almost abstract.

Since 1985, Frits van der Zander has been working on his sequence Genius Loci – ‘the spirit of the place’. The sequence is located at and limited by his home, a part of castle ‘Wynandshof op Gurtsenich’ in Houthem.

This has resulted in several exhibitions: the sequence Genius Loci I till IV, among others at Galerie Wolfs, Maastricht (from 1989), at Museum Van Bommel Van Dam, Venlo 1998 and at Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporaine, Luik 1998 and also in de Oude kerk, Amsterdam in 1998. In 1994 the book ‘Frits van der Zander / Painter’ with text by Ben van Melick was published (isbn 90 802641 1 3).

The van der Zander book is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Bernard Buffet ( continued)

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Readers will notice this second blog on Bernard Buffet. Buffet was a well known painter in the late Fifties and Early Sixties, but became out of fashion by the end of that decade. But lately there is a new interest in this painter and i can explain why. HIs gallery , galerie Garnier stayed with him during his career and never lost faith and secondly…..his way of painting in series was a way of producing a large number of paintings and i must say not all are of interest and have enough quality to convince, but there is one quality they have in common. These paintings have a style of their own. The Buffet style is there and it really is a style Buffet developed by himself. This makes these paintings stand out and the truly great ones are paintings one must admire. Perhaps Buffet is not the artist who has rose to absolute fame lije Picasso or Pollock. But his art is still there and with this art Buffet is a name which deserves a place in art history. www.ftn-books.com has added some galerie Garnier exhibtion catalogues and has collected a nice series of exhibition catalogues by Garnier which are still available.

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John Szarkowski (1925-2007)

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Perhaps Szarkowski was more know for being curator at MOMA then for being one of the greatest photographers from last century.  Here is part of the text the Guardian place shortly after he had passed away.

Szarkowski was a good photographer, a great critic and an extraordinary curator. One could argue that he was the single most important force in American post-war photography.

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Like all good critics and curators, Szarkowski was both visionary and catalyst. When he succeeded the esteemed photographer Edward Steichen as director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1962, he was just 36, and must have been acutely aware of the long shadow cast by his predecessor. Steichen had curated the monumental group exhibition, The Family of Man, at Moma in 1955, which he described as ‘the culmination of his career”. Featuring 503 images by 273 photographers, famous and unknown, it had aimed to show the universality of human experience: death, love, childhood. The show had drawn huge crowds to the gallery and then toured the world, attracting an estimated 9 million viewers.

It was, as Steichen had no doubt intended, a hard act to follow. “We were different people”, Szarkowski later said, “with different talents, characters, limitations, histories, problems and axes to grind. We held the same job at very different times, which means that it was not really the same job.”

More revealingly, Szarkowski also said that Steichen and his predecessor, Beaumont Newhall, “consciously or otherwise, felt more compelled than I to be advocates for photography, whereas I – largely because of their work – could assume a more analytic, less apostolic attitude.” That difference in approach would prove to be a crucial one, and it underpinned a new photographic aesthetic that continues to shape our view of the world to this day.

When Szarkowski took over at Moma, there was not a single commercial gallery exhibiting photography in New York and, despite Steichen and Newhall’s pioneering work, the form had still not been accepted by most curators or critics. Szarkowski changed all that. He was the right person in the right place at the right time: a forward thinker who was given control of a major art institution at a moment when his democratic vision chimed with the rapidly changing cultural tastes of the time.

Szarkowski insisted on the democracy of the image, whether it be a formally composed Ansel Adams landscape, a snatched shot that caught the frenetic cut-and-thrust of a modern city or a vernacular subject like a road sign or a parking lot. “A skillful photographer can photograph anything well,” he once insisted.

In his still-challenging book, The Photographer’s Eye (1964), Szarkowski included snapshots alongside images by great photographers, and argued – brilliantly – that photography differed from any other art form because its history had been “less a journey than a growth”. “Its movement has not been linear and consecutive but centrifugal,” he suggested. “Photography, and our understanding of it, has spread from a centre; it has, by infusion, penetrated our consciousness. Like an organism, photography was born whole. It is in our progressive discovery of it that its history lies.”

szarkowski a

www.ftn-books.com has the Szarkowski /Josef Albers Museum available

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A Willem Sandberg Xmas card

I found this picture at the Herb Lubalin center who has this in its collection. A very nice and typical Willem Sandberg card to wish you a Merry Christmas in 1958.

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an old wish, but a new one from me….. a Merry Christmas 2021

 

Many Sandberg and Lubalin items are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Nicholas Nixon (1947)

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I specially went to Bottrop to see the Nixon series on the Brown sisters in 2004 and i was not disappointed ( poster available at www.ftn-books.com).

Nicholas Nixon takes intimate, black-and-white photographs of children, the elderly and infirm, and his own family (as well as cityscapes). Best known for his series “The Brown Sisters”, Nixon began taking portraits of his wife, Bebe, and her three sisters in 1975, and has continued to photograph them annually since.

 

left  the Brown Sisters in 1980 , right the Sisters in 2019

Influenced by the photography of Walker Evans, Edward Weston, and Alfred Stieglitz, among others, Nixon works with a large-format camera; “For me the print is what matters most. Generally the biggest possible negative has the most clarity, presence, and believability,” he has said. Nixon’s images, which include close-up self-portraits of the artist’s bearded face, manifest the humanistic potential of photography, offering moments of tenderness between individuals, and meticulously capturing the minute details of his subjects.

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