Friso Kramer was one of the founding members of Total design but before that date he was one of the leading dutch designers together with Benno Wissing and Wim Crouwel. Known for his excellent but sober designs, he was the man behind the famous REVOLT Friso Kramer chair, which is still in production until this date. Still active as a designer , he recently designed a LED streetlamp for Lightwell. A lamp which will eventually replace all the Friso Kramer designed streetlamps which were placed in the sixties and seventies.
The main part of his career he was the leading designer and director for Ahrend ,a firm which produces office furniture
Two major exhibitions were held on Friso Kramer of which one catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com
Followers of this blog must know by now that i admire Marlene Dumas and whenever there is a chance i can buy her books, i will do so. I know by now, for certain that i have one of the largest inventories of her books available with many special and hard to find publications. Last week i published in my store a title which might be the very best title available on Marlene Dumas. It is the MEASURING YOUR OWN GRAVE book published by the MOCA and distributed by DAP. A large heavy book , excellent printing quality and one of the best overviews of over 30 years of her works. A highly recommended title available at www.ftn-books.com
It must have been 1988 and there was within one of the very first exhibitions Rudi Fuchs curated for the Gemeentemuseum in one of the small cabinets, a work by Jannis Kounellis.
Kounellis has always been a favorite artist of Fuchs, who organized in the van Abbemuseum and the Stedelijk Museum exhibitions with him.
The work…It consisted of a coat rack with a raincoat and looked in nothing like a piece of art. It was also my first encounter with a work by Kounellis who later was asked for a special exhibition with drawings and a specialpublication which was the very first publication to be designed by Gracia Lebbink. LA STANZA VEDE, was a real tribute to the drawings because it was published in a classic drawings portfolio and a very limited edition.
Back to the Coat rack. It was only a few days that the work was shown after the raincoat was stolen from the coat rack. A police investigation was done, but with no result. The fact that the raincoat was stolen makes me remember the work by Kounellis, but for me Kounellis is more the artist with the extreme wall pieces with coal elements, which are very impressive…..and of course the stolen raincoat 😉
But what struck me most were the similarities between a painting from another dutch painter …Willy Boers. A painting i know very well, title “Quintessens” and from a much earlier date. A painting which is one of the key works in dutch Modern Art and one which is depicted in the book. DOORBRAAK VAN DE MODERNE KUNST IN NEDERLAND
This Willy Boers painting was made in 1947 and finished in 1948. There are 11 years apart in both works. The Boers painting is strongly influenced by Miro and Picasso, but is it possible that Bram van Velde has seen the Willy Boers painting?
The follow up on the blog of yesterday is a logic one , since today a new exhibition on Ossip, yes…. he is the son of Jan Snoeck, will open at Gallery Ramakers. I really admire Ossip now for a period of almost 25 years and have been following his artistic career during these years. Saw his exhibitions in museums, art galleries and visited his studio numerous times and have seen his works developing from 2D into static 3D and now into kinetic 3D works. This latest show at gallery Ramakers will show his most recent ones.
The show will run from the 8th of January until the 5th of February.
When you are in the neighbourhood of Galerie Ramakers, Toussainkade 51 in Den Haag do not hesitate to enter the gallery …..and visit OSSIP. www.galerieramakers.nl
Later this year I will write a blog on the studio of Ossip….. a micro universe of strange and highly original art.
Only one publication on Ossip available at www.ftn-art.com , but ….it is an important one. Designed by Gracia Lebbink and in a very small edition of only 1000 copies.
It is not always the great artists that appeal to you…In many cases lesser known ones take you by surprise, because of color and composition. Maurice Estève is one of them. Well known in France but hardly known outside of France. During his artistic life he had exhibitions in Many French galeries and even was presented on the Venice Biennale of 1954, but that is about all i can find of foreign exhibitions of this French artist
Starting as an assistant to Robert Delaunay he soon moved away from realism and started to paint in a lyrical abstract way, making his works stand out from his contemporaries. Bonnard, Matisse, Leger and Cezanne were his great examples, but in the end after searching for over 3 decades his lyrical abstract way of painting had become the true Maurice Estève style and he was appreciated for that…..at least in France.
search on Pinterest for Esteve and fortunately there are many examples to be found. An excellent way to meet this artist and see for your self what a great “oeuvre” this artist has.
and do not forget to have a look at the publications currently available at www.ftn-books.com
Because of a sale today, i was reminded of the very nice Antonio Calderara catalogue published by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1977. The catalogue was designed by Wim Crouwel and what this one makes really special are the 3 original silkscreen prints within this publication. Thin, only 16 pages but with 3 striking silkscreens i consider this as one of the very best seventies Stedelijk Museum publications. Published with Sm catalogue number 616 the catalogue stands out from the others published in the same period. One of the silkscreens is used as cover ( orange /red) and 2 are within ( yellow and sky blue). The very little text and the beautiful impressive photograph of Calderara complete this exquisite publication. This one and others on Antonio Calderara are available at www.ftn-books.com
Why Bernard Buffet in this blog. …an hour ago i was reflecting on my early youth and i remembered we had a reproduction of a Clown by Bernard Buffet hanging on the wall.
In the early sixties, Buffet was one of the most famous young artists who was appreciated by the great public. A recognizable style and what is more important…. No abstraction what so ever. A stylized reproduction of reality in portraits, landscapes and still lives and made available for a large audience through reproductions .
This resulted in an overkill of Buffet’s on the market and meant his work was not in fashion for at least 3o years, but now this is changing. Large retrospectives are being held and one now realizes that his works are part of the evolution in Modern Art. One of his very best 60’s artist publications is TOXIQUE , By Francoise Sagan
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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and available at www.ftn-books.com, but looking through the inventory and reading some of his older catalogues you must admire the very personal style of Bernard Buffet and understand why he is now considered as one of the great artists from the 20th century.
Henri Michaux had two talents. For me, above all , he was a painter, but others would say he was a poet/writer. Michaux was good with language and because of that it was easy for him to derive from his letters, signs and bend them into a completely different language of art and make an abstract composition with them.
If i had not known a little more about Michaux and of his background as a writer i easily would have categorized him among the ZERO artists. (on the left there is a drawing by Michaux and on the right there is a drawing by Jan Schoonhoven.)
But his “signs” are not made randomly. Some of his most intriguing ones are done under the influence of LSD and Mescaline with which he experimented. Two separate methods in creating great art by 2 artists, resulting in almost the same composition, some 10 years apart from each other ( 1963 and 1974), but both highly intriguing.
The end of this year is near and almost 300 blogs have been published since I started blogging on WordPress. www.ftn-blog.com grew in an excellent way and i am looking forward to keep you informed on my inventory and exploits in art.
And what better way to end this year with a PERFECT publication by Pierre Alechinsky. In the sixties Alechinsky used original lithographs as cover for his exhibition publications and one of these is the no. 391 he made for the Stedelijk Museum in 1966 for his graphic exhibition. Photographs by Suzy Embo ( see earlier blog this month) and designed by Wim Crouwel. (available at www.ftn-books.com)
Arguably this is one of the top 5 publications the Stedelijk Museum made in the sixties, but for me this is perfection. Simple clean Crouwel design. the photographs are all excellent and the lithograph printed by Bramsen & Georges makes this one really stand out.
A perfect catalogue to end this year and start the New Year.
My best wishes to all my readers and followers for the New Year 2017.
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