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Barbara Nanning (1957)..organic shapes in glass and ceramics.

Born in Den Haag, Barbara Nanning made herself an artist career in glass and ceramic objects. With one contant…. almost all her works look to be inspired by nature and organisms. Just take a look at this screenprint from Google and see for yourself what i mean. The objects look like corals, shells, plants and organs. These are heavily inspired by nature and the feeling i get from them differs. Some of them i wat to touch and caress and with others i feel unease. It is nice that these feelings are called on to you and it is a certwain quality of the art of Babara Nanning. The is one artist who gives me the same mixed feelings as Nanning does. Emil Schumacher has the same effect on me ( see the blog on Schumacher from a few years ago).

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There is an excellent book on Nanning for sale at www.,ftn-books.com

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Jan Sobecki /Tribeca at Heeze…an artist on his own

 

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The art world will probably not know about Jan Sobecki and his Tribeca Restaurant in Heeze, but the culinary world does certainly know Jan Sobecki. After starting his career at Chapeau and Boreas restaurants, he finally has a place of his own for 2 years now in Heeze. The former restaurant of Nico Boreas was turned into the TRIBECA restaurant run by Jan Sobecki and his wife Claudia. Why a blog on this restaurant and not a blog on art like always. Two reasons. The first is to commemorate that the day before yesterday it was Linda’s birthday and we visited Tribeca restaurant for lunch to celebrate and secondly, although there is no art in the TRIBECA restaurant on the walls, to show that there is a strong connection and influence of all kinds of art on the plates that Tribeca serves. The first thing we noticed were the similarities between the sculpture LA MUSE ENDORMIE by Brancusi and the little plate with butter which was served.

I had the very strong impression that this great chef is inspired by art. Not the taste of course ( which is by the way exquisite), but the plates look all like small pieces of art and go way beyond the regular way in making up a plate. another example is the “amuse” of mackerel which reminded me of a very small painting by Fiona Rae which is available at www.ftn-books.com.

I only know of one other chef in the Netherlands who still draws his inspiration from art and that is Jannis Brevet from the Inter Scaldes restaurant who matches his courses with the paintings he has hanging on the wall.

Of both, Sobecki is my favorite. Not just because i think the service at the table was far better and relaxed than at Inter Scaldes, but because he focusses on his beautiful and very impressive tasting menus and wine pairing in a way that i am convinced that in the long run he proves to be the better chef…..go there, admire and enjoy Sobecki’s  art on a plate and the “art” of Jan Sobecki will convince you that there is certainly (culinary) ART in his Tribeca restaurant.

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Gijs Bakker … a dutch design genius

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https://www.nowness.com/series/on-design/on-design-gijs-bakker

Most of us have some a little knowledge of the designs by Gijs Bakker, because Bakker designed many “objects to use ” for the HEMA company. An excellent example is his dishmop in bright and happy colors.

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This is just a small example of the many products Bakker designed and made with his designs a beautiful design product available to many at a reasonable price. Furniture, jewelry, books, posters and kitchenware all items that at one time were designed by Gijs bakker. 010 publishers published an excellent monography on Bakker. Title : OBJECTS TO USE ..This book is still available at www.ftn-books.com.

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Heringa / van Kalsbeek at DE FUNDATIE

The first time i saw these sculptures by Heringa / van Kalsbeek was at the time i was still working at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

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It was 1999 and i was impressed. These resin sculptures looked almost accidental. But they are far from it. These sculptures are created by guidance and when finished they have shape, form, volume and color thought out by the artists. Since 1999 they have had their installations shown in many venues. One of them was the DE FUNDATIE in 2006 which catalogue is now available at www.ftn-books.com.

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Heringa /van Kalsbeek are important contemporary artists and are included in the dutch series of portraits on dutch modern art ” HOLLANDSE MEESTERS”

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Memphis…no not the city in the US!

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This is a blog on Memphis as a design and art form. Memphis was born in 1982 in Italy in Milano and founded by ao Ettore Sottsass. They designed Postmodern furniture, fabrics, ceramics, glass, and metal objects from 1981 to 1988. and were of great influence to many designers started their careers in those days. The design ideas by Memphis spread all over the world and culminated possibly in one building ….the Groninger Museum. Memphis designs are known for us dutch by one gallery shop in Den Haag who presented all these artists and had many specials an limited editions from the Memphis group. The COPI shop in the Prinsenstraat / Den Haag does not exist any longer but ask any dutch collector interested in Memphis, they know the name for sure. Because of the blog i finally know the origin of the name and found it on Wikipedia and want to share this information with you:

On December 11, 1980, Ettore Sottsass organized a meeting with designers, and in 1981 formed a design collaborative named Memphis. The name was taken after the Bob Dylan song “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” which had been played repeatedly throughout the evening’s meeting. They drew inspiration from such movements as Art Deco and Pop Art, including styles such as the 1950s Kitsch and futuristic themes. available at www.ftn-books.com are the following Memphis publications.

 

 

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Piet Stockmans (1940)

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Stockmans worked for Koninklijke Mosa in Maastricht as an industrial designer for a great part of his artistic life, but since 1989 he is a free lance designer and became very well known for his extremely fragile ceramics and his cooperation with the great culinary chefs of Europe.

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If you look at the eyes of Stockmans you discover where he found his favorite color beside the white of his ceramics. He frequently uses the color of pale blue on the edge of his egg shell ceramics. windlights , coffee cups and small vases have in many cases a blue edge. The edge together with the use of the fragile material is the signature of Piet Stockmans. Nice to know is that his products are fully handmade, all unique because all are made and finished by hand and still affordable. A true ceramic artist on whom www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications available.

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Michelangelo Pistoletto (1933)

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I know his work and recognize it by his reflecting surfaces and mirror like qualities , but Pistoletto is much more than an artist who uses a “Gimmick”. Now , 85 years of age he has proven to be one of the most influential Italian artists from the last century and his works have spread all over the world . (I even have illy collection cups by Pistoletto in my collection ;-).

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Why is he, i think, so important?…. Probably this is because he stayed true to his art and has developed it into a very personal and recognizable form which is now appreciated by many. Pistoletto had had his exhibitions in the Netherlands in the van Abbemuseum and Stedelijk Museum and has built steadily an appreciative audience because of these exhibitions in the Netherlands since his earliest one at the van Abbemuseum in 1986. Arte Povera is Pistoletto ….and within his works he brings together Fluxus and conceptual art. The admiration of Bacon started his art career, but since he has walked his own path of “REFLECTION”.

Here are some of the books www.ftn-books.com has on Pistoletto in collection

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Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000)

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The first time i encountered Hundertwasser his work was in an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the first thought was…..he copies Klimt!

At that time i did not not know much about him, but when you read more and see more of his works you begin to realize that Hundertwasser is as original as Klimt was.

The difference is some 70 years between these 2 artists, but the background, influences and education are all well rooted in the city of Vienna from the beginning of the 20th century. This explains the similarities which one can find in many cases between the works by Klimt and Hundertwasser.

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If ever you visit Wien , the Hundertwasser Haus is an absolute must. There are so many aspects about the house and its architecture , that it is impossible to describe it in this blog. However there is a great article on the architecture on the house on the site of the Hundertwasser House;

http://www.hundertwasser-haus.info/en/blog/2011/07/19/the-house-should-not-be-measured-by-normal-standards/

and yes… for the enthousiast collector, ww.ftn-books.com has some nice publications in its inventory including the Wim Crouwel designed Stedelijk Museum one

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Wilhelm Wagenfeld (1900-1900)

If only one object from the Bauhaus has reached an iconic standing in world design it is the Bauhaus lamp by Wilhelm Wagenfeld. It is still produced in its original dimension and materials and is one of the design classics from last century. It was such a success in interior design in the last 3 decades that many copies were produced and sold.

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The only original one is done by Tecnolumen, but for much less you can buy an excellent copy. But beside the lamp Wagenfeld designed many more items. teapots, cutlery, candle sticks, door knobs but all with one specific design element. The design had to be “clean”. No curls and no ornaments…just functional design. Wagenfeld was  a true master of this clean design and influence with his designs many of the 20th century designers, including some dutch designers like Kho Liang Ie and Martin Visser , who’s designs were simple and functional .

the Bauhaus Lamp is probably the most iconic piece of lighting to come out of the Bauhaus, William Wagenfeld’s lamp, constructed of precisely cut glass and metal, is among the first objects to emerge under the Bauhaus’ technology-focused regime.

This a description as it is found on the internet, but i would like to add something else…William Wagenfeld is probably the first designer who respected the material and functionality of an object and taught this to his students. It is not the lamp that is iconic, but for me it is the designer, who is the grand master and who designed/invented the iconic Bauhaus lamp. www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on Wagenfeld ( also one by Sandberg).

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Bert Frijns (1953)

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If ever there is one “glass” artist who deservees to be called original in his approach to the medium of glass, it is Bert Frijns. The first time i saw some of his glass vases presented in the Haags Gemeentemuseum in the inner garden, they were soon filled with rain water, make them appear even more fragile. But the water did not harm them, no it enhanced the capture of light, making the glass vase like a solid sculpture. The form , also highly original and it stayed one of the trademark forms of Frijns. Frijns had multiple museum and gallery exhibitions in the Netherlands, but the first one which i saw by this artist stayed with me forever.

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Great works of art and with the exhibition one of the first Gracia Lebbink designed exhibition catalogues for the Gemeentemuseum which is finally available through www.ftn-books.com. The short biography comes from www.acquestarte.com

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Born in 1953 in Ubach Worms, The Netherlands. From 1973 until 1980 he studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and, after graduation, he attended specialist courses at the Department of sculpture and glass.
Since 1991, Bert Frijns lives with his family on a farm on an island of Zeeland, the southwestern province of the Netherlands. Surrounded by the North Sea and living in contact with nature, the artist is daily inspired by the landscape of the area.

Glass, water, light and movement are the main ingredients of the works of Bert Frijns. With minimalist simplicity and a strong sense of poetry, the artist has worked with these elements for almost three decades. The interaction of sculpture, light and space surrounding are common features in all his works.
Frijns also adopts an extremely complex and specific method of working the glass. Although his finished works seem simple, they are actually the result of a lengthy and difficult technic. His works are distinguished by their sheer beauty, stripped of frills or decorations. Since the glass sculptures are also filled with water, it creates an additional visual element.To date, Frijns has exhibited his works in many  museums and galleries around the world: in the Netherlands, Germany, United States, Indonesia, Japan, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, England, Israel and Australia.

Some of his creations are part of collections of some well-known museums: the Museum Jan van der Togt, the Jewish Historical Museum, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem, the Frans Hals Museum, the Haags Gemeentemuseum, the Landesmuseum in Kassel, the Ernsting Stiftung and the Jewish Historical Museum in New York.