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Josef Koudelka….not only a Magnum photographer.

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Czech nationality and now 78 years of age, spanning a photography career of over 55 years, multiple exhibitions all over the world, Koudelka has become one of the most important photographers in modern photograph. Street scenes and the Romani ( Gypsies from Romany) are subjects he has become famous for. Not only a Magnum photographer but also a photographer who found his subjects among people he cared about. They were not only his subjects. In the photographs you could see that he could come very close by and had become more of  a friend than the photographer who followed his subject.

I thought about Koudelka because i found a very interesting article about Koudelka in which is explained what the 10 most important lessons were Koudelka has taught a fellow photographer.

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2013/03/28/10-lessons-josef-koudelka-has-taught-me-about-street-photography/

this is what the author Eric Kim says about Koudelka and i totally agree with him.

“To me, Josef Koudelka is one of the most brilliant photographers out there and a true master of black and white. Not only does his work carry a strong sense of composition, form, and geometry but they also carry an emotional impact. His photos are raw, gritty, and show both the hope and melancholy of life”

If you are interested in modern photography you must look at these breathtaking and intriguing photographs and certainly you will agree with me that this is a true master of black and white photography.

wilfried

book below is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Museum Voorlinden to be opened on the 11th of September, 2016

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If you ask me at this moment…what is your favorite museum in Europe? …i will answer the Beyeler Museum in Basel. Extremely nice permanent collection, the best special exhibitions in Europe. Nice shop and beautiful surroundings. Now on the 11th of September the Museum Voorlinden will be openend in Wassenaar. An initiative by Joop van Caldenborgh , one of the great private collectors in the world. After an exhibition in the Kunsthal he thought it was time for a museum to present his very extensive art collection.

He bought a neighboring piece of ground of 40ha and started to build a museum in which he could present his collection. Now the museum is ready to be opened by HRH King Willem Alexander and what it looks like from the reviews in NRC and Volkskrant ( 4 and 5 stars) it can be compared with the very best in the world. Museum building with special lightning . A little bit like the daylight showcases of the Gemeentemuseum, but now executed for the entire museum, which means northern light in the entire museum through 150k holes. A beautiful and large library 😉 and gardens by the best landscape architect in the world Piet Oudolf.

This package is there to compete with the very best museums in the world http://www.voorlinden.nl.

First exhibition will be devoted to the Caldic collection and a large part in this exhibition will be on Ellsworth Kelly. Wim Pijbes ( former director of the Rijksmuseum) will have the honor and task to present this “gem” of a museum among the other museums in the world. Perhaps it is a smaller museum, but management , surroundings and the Caldic collection could mean that beside the Beyeler and the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag there will be another favorite museum for me in the near future ….Museum Voorlinden …and this one much closer by than the Beyeler ( architecture by Renzo Piano).

wilfried

wvdelshout@ziggo.nl

 

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Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita teached Maurits Cornelis Escher

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Did you know that Jessurun de Mesquita was the teacher of M.C. Escher?

Escher developed his woodcutting skills under the supervision of Jessurun de Mesquita. From both sides there was a great admiration and respect for the other and Escher wrote the text on the commemorative exhibition Jessurun de Mesquita and Mendes da Costa received right after WWII in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. An exhibition curated by another “star” from the forties an fifties, Willem Sandberg. Sandberg started right after WWII with this exhibition because he wanted to show the world the great loss of these 2 great jewish artists that did not survive the war. But lets focus on the works by Jessurun de Mesquita. Technically one of the very best at that time and with subjects that stood very nearby daily life and some surrealistic / Sensivistic drawings.

Many animals were depicted because the Artis Zoo was allways nearby and a much appreciated source for all his animal drawings and woodcuts.  Nature, art deco and the best possible technique in the art of the woodcut print resulted in almost all of the cases in the best dutch art prints from that time.

Some excellent publications at www.ftn-books.com and for those reading the blog and want to order the very special Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita by Wassenaar/van Es  from 1928. Use the code JESSURUNes and receive 10% discount on this title. Only 1 available and valid in september 2016.

This title from 1928 is the highlight in the book publications by Jessurun de Mesquita. It contains 2 original woodcuts on the inside and one original on the cover ( owl).

There is one other publication i can recommend and it is the monograph on Jessurun de Mesquita by the late Jonieke van Es, who wrote it and put one of the most complete catalogue Raisone’s together on any artist. This one for Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita is very special indeed.

And finally . for all readers of this blog….I have a nice set of Jessurun de Mesquita available 7 postcards for $15.00 including Worldwide shipping.

wilfried

www.ftn-books.com

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Irma Boom…the most original and best book designer in the world.

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.

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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.

http://www.slewe.nl/exhibitions/2016#irmaboomundercover.

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.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Irma Boom publications available

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Roland Topor…an original drawing

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’

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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.

wilfried

 

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Loustal….the crossover between comics and art.

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

 

wilfried

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the Rietveld Schröderhuis

address :

Prins Hendriklaan 50, 3583 EP Utrecht, the Netherlands

Yes, you still can see and visit this iconic architectural masterpiece which was designed by Gerrit Rietveld at the time he was a “de Stijl” member. Together with Piet Mondriaan and Theo van Doesburg he was was one of the founders of the DE STIJL mouvement in the Netherlands.

Soon Theo van Doesburg dropped out of this mouvement because he found himself restricted by the horizontal and vertical lines the mouvement prescribed. He wanted to use the Diagonal line too, but Rietveld believed in these horizontal and vertical lines and used them together with the primary colors he loved so much and draw with them one of the most beautiful small buildings from the last century. When you visit Utrecht, visit the Schroderhuis too. BTW. the house got its name from the first inhabitant of the house. She commissioned Rietveld to build it for her. Truus Schröder-Schräder lived in it for her entire life.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice books on the Rietveld husi and a kit from which you can rebuild the house yourself in a much smaller scale.

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Edward Kienholz and the Beanery

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At the time the Stedelijk Museum reopened again after its long time restoration, I noticed the return of one of my favorites within its collection…..the Beanery. The Beanery is a one on one replica of the local bar Kienholz visited frequently and stands out for me, because of its originality.  It is almost like a surrealist environment in which heads are replaced with clocks.

Kienholz makes environments which you can enter and experience and this Beanery from 1965 is one of his best. Because of the regular wear and tear over the years it had to be restored. There is a nice video on You Tube which gives information on the restauration and shows the importance of this Kienholz work. Lately Kienholz made another project in the Netherlands called HOERENGRACHT of which the catalogue is also available at www.ftn-books.com

 

This is the text the Stedelijk Museum published on the Beanery:

ABOUT THE BEANERY

Edward Kienholz (1927–1994) made The Beanery in 1965, basing it on his local bar, The Original Beanery on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. It took Kienholz six months to consolidate and replicate the bar’s content in an artwork. Everything in the installation is life size: from the figures –  inspired by Kienholz’s friends and acquaintances – to the bar, bottles of beer and spirits, ash trays, cash register, telephone book, and jukebox. Even the photos on the wall duplicate those of The Original Beanery.

Remarkably, Kienholz gave each person in his bar a clock for a face, a reference to his fascination with time. Only the barman, modeled after Barney, the bar-owner at that time, has a face. Smelling and sounding like an actual bar, the installation is an evocative sensory experience that visitors are allowed to enter. The typical bar smell is characteristic for the way Kienholz work. The artist made a special recipe: the smell has to be assembled from beer, rancid fat, urine, mothballs and cigarette ash. The scent paste has been made multiple times by the restoration team of the Stedelijk Museum (the urine has been replaced by ammoniac). By coating the work with a synthetic resin the artist instills a sense of mortality and transience, which is amplified by the brown color of the interior, with its evocations of age and decay.

The Beanery is also something of a time capsule. The sign warning “faggots stay out” clearly conveys the intolerant attitudes of American society at the time, while the headlines of the 1964 newspaper in a newspaper dispenser at the door indicate that the United States is on the brink of war with Vietnam. Kienholz came up with the idea of creating his own version of the Beanery in 1958 but commenced work on August 28, 1964, upon reading the headline Children Kill Children in Vietnam Riots while visiting the real bar. The harsh contrast between the “real time” represented by the newspaper headline and the “surreal time” of the bar’s customers impelled Kienholz to start work on the tableau.

wilfried

www.ftn-books.com

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Helmut Newton….only in Taschen publications?

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The story is known to every book collector. Some 10 years ago Benedikt Taschen had the idea to publish the largest and heaviest book on Helmut Newton ever published. Asked Philippe Starck to design a stand for the book , set the edition size……. and sold all books over some years. Now and then these books surface and draw lots of interest. Antiquarian booksellers are trying to sell these for USD. 10.000 or even more. Taschen produced 3 years ago a much smaller reedition of the book for euro 99.00 with the same photographs within this title, but because of the much better price they could sell it again and i predict that the same title will be presented in a few years within a bargain edition ( printed in China ;-)). What makes this so special…..i really do not know . I consider Taschen as one of the best art publishers in the world , but with such large editions they are hardly interesting for the serious collector. I love the photography of Helmut Newton, but would only use the Taschen books to get an excellent overview of his works. If you are a book collector it is better to focus on the gallery and museum publications from which the Repertinum/ Salzburg one is maybe the best from the last decade.

wilfried

 

www.ftn-books.com

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the ultimate Auke de Vries book

A week ago i found in a small bookstore a remainder of this excellent book on the works by Auke de Vries. A book i must share with you, because it not only is the largest, but also by far the best publication on Auke de Vries. In over 400 pages you will see the best of over 5 decades of this artist.

For all Auke de Vries fans, this is not to be missed and i have only 2 copies available at:

www.ftn-books.com

wilfried