Rozenburg porcelain ( 1883-1916) ….dutch Art Nouveau

I consider the products by the Rozenburg porcelain factory from The Hague to be the best examples of Dutch Art nouveau ever. Of course many would consider the “Slaolie” poster by Jan Toorop to be the best example of Dutch Art Nouveau, but for me it is all bundled within the eggshell porcelain product by the Rozenburg factory. Hand painted with the most delicate patterns and illustrations these belong to the absolute top in Art Nouveau design, Take a look at these examples .

They are all of the utmost quality and show the best  in design and painting. In the early 80’s  the ultimate book on Rozenburg porcelain was published. Written and curated by Marjan Boot, who later would become head of the design department at the Stedelijk Museum AMsterdam. The reason whhy this book is still the best on the subject is because it contains a special chapter filled with stamps and autographs of the Rozenburg master painters. I am fortunate to have this title available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Betty Woodman (1930)

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If there is one ceramist who has had an international career and exhibited all over the world it must be Betty Woodman. On several occasions she exhibited her works in the Netherlands in Museums and Galleries and i remember her exhibition from 1996 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. With this exhibition an excellent catalogue was published, which is available at www.ftn-books.com

The reason why she had such an interesting and world wide career must be found in the accessibility of her art. Bright, primary colors and abundant shapes of her ceramics make her work stand out and are very appealing for many and because of this many museums and collectors around the globe added her works to their collections. Betty Woodman ceramics can be found in ao.:

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
  • Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Illy …. cups to collect

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About 20 years ago Illy, the Italian coffee producing company started with their Illy collection. A prestigious collection of (espresso) cups, produced in limited editions in which they invited contemporary artists to paint and decorate their Matteo Thun designed illy cup. Since , over 100 editions have appeared in their series of art designed cups. Great names in Modern art, Fashion and design contributed to the series. Koons, Rauschenberg, Penck, Thun, Pistoletto, Bourgeois, Fabre and many others have made their appearance in the series of espresso and cappuccino cups. For those who started their collection around 2000 some great names were there to be picked up and the editions from that period belong to the highlights in many Illy collection. www.ftn-books.com still has some nice series available with their original boxes and of course never used. The illy coffee can was in most cases removed, because it was well passed its expiration date , but the cups are timeless and will grace any collection.

 

Jan van der Vaart and the Wim Crouwel catalogue ( and of course Eva Besnyo).

 

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The picture by Eva Besnyo above, i encountered in a Museum Bulletin from 1999 in which Marjan Boot wrote an article on Potst and sculptures. Van der Vaart is a highly original ceramic artist who’s quality is the shapes he created his ceramics in. Forms and shapes which were never before used as a ceramic form, but van der Vaart invented them and made them into real ceramic objects.

The pictures tell a far better story than i can, but there are some remarks to be be made about this blog and the life and exhibitions by van der Vaart. First there is this great photograph of van der Vaart working which was made by Eva Besnyo and secondly one of the most beautiful catalogues Wim Crouwel ever designed was the van der Vaart catalogue from 1975.

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There are of course some other books available at www.ftn-books.com

, but this catalogue is very very impressive and in perfect condition.

Arja van den Berg (1947), master of the ordinary life.

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It is over 35 years now that i know Arja van den Berg and followed her progress in art. She stayed true to all subjects close to her. Kitchen, fruits, dogs, cats and the occasional portraits complete her oeuvre. Painting, graphics and ceramics make her work diversified as much as possible, but subjects are always found “close by” in her daily life and studio. The books and prints that www.ftn-books.com has available of her show this on every page. Somewhat romantic, very skill full and highly accessible works, make her art timeless.

 

 

 

 

Damien Hirst (1965)… “Treasures” in Venice

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Question….who is Damien Hirst…a serious artist or a vulpine charlatan. In my opinion he is both. When Hirst started his career, his approach to art was highly original, finding an art form in which he commented on society and the world around him. In the past 2 decades his art was a hype and he made a tremendous amount of money creating and selling art to please his admirers and collectors. This is the moment I gladly forget Damien Hirst as a serious artist, but now there is his new show, The first in almost 10 years.

TREASURES FROM THE WRECK OF THE UNBELIEVABLE

in Venice in the Palazzo Grassi / http://www.palazzograssi.it and i must say, it fascinates. Perhaps it is a little overdone and because of the scale too much, but this world he creates is totally artificial but includes the icons Hirst loves so much and fascinates from beginning to end.  Disney figures combined with Kate Moss can de recognized in many objects, making this the Pop Art show of 2017.

A world created by Hirst as  if it is real discovery , but totally artificial and in no way to be kept together as one art object, because i am convinced that after the show in Venice all object will be sold to collectors for very serious money. For a much smaller amount you can find some Damien Hirst publications at www.ftn-books.com 😉

 

Total Design (1963-2000)

This text was taken from the site ” MEMORY OF THE NETHERLANDS ” and gives an excellent idea what TD was.

The corporation Associatie voor Total Design NV, Total Design for short, was established in 1963. Until then, practically all major design commissions from Dutch clients had been contracted out to foreign agencies. There were no large design agencies in the Netherlands at the time. Total Design was established with a view to filling this unsatisfactory gap.

Total Design’s board of management in 1963; from left to right: Friso Kramer, Dick Schwarz, Benno Wissing, Ben Bos, Paul Schwarz and Wim Crouwel (photography: Jan Versnel)

The founders were Wim Crouwel (graphic design), Friso Kramer (industrial design), Benno Wissing (graphic and spatial design) and Paul and Dick Schwarz (organization and finance). Before long, Ben Bos, an experienced copywriter and designer, joined the team.

This mixed group had such wide ranging experience that it was able to execute complex ‘total’ commissions from a variety of clients in industry, trade and transport, and the government and cultural sectors.

Years of success
The 1960s were the most successful period for Total Design: its staff size increased enormously and the agency managed to hold on to various clients for a long time. Some of them, like Randstad and the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, ( of which many books are available at www.ftn-books.com) were extremely loyal to Total Design.

In those years, other important clients were Schiphol airport, De Bijenkorf, Steenkolen Handelsvereeniging (SHV), including its oil division PAM, Stichting Kunst en Handel (Arts And Business Foundation) and the Peter Stuyvesant Collection of paintings; a major commission dating back to that period was the design of the Dutch pavilion for the 1970 Osaka World’s Fair.

Poster ‘Holland Nestival Finale’ for the Holland Festival, 1978 (design by Anthon Beeke, Total Design)

Changes
In the 1970s, Total Design underwent great changes. The agency received mainly graphic commissions and created many house styles.

The composition of the staff changed as well. Some important designers from the very beginning decided to leave the agency. Friso Kramer had left already in 1967; in 1972, Benno Wissing, Anne Stienstra, Hartmut Kowalke and the Schwarz brothers followed. Wim Crouwel, Ben Bos and Hans Wierda became the managers.

The agency’s intricate and obscure management structure was replaced by semi-independent design teams. As a result, a new generation of designers, trained by the agency itself, got a chance to prove themselves.

A period of less cohesive views on design and style dawned. Designers like Jurriaan Schrofer, Anthon Beeke, Paul Mijksenaar and Andrew Fallon introduced a lively and fresh approach to design commissions. Loek van der Sande was taken on as office manager. Work for the Dutch Post Office PTT, the Amsterdam city transport company, the Holland Festival, the Globe Theatre as well as for other clients began in the 1970s.

Total Design experienced many further changes in the 1980s and 1990s. Jelle van der Toorn Vrijthoff joined the management team in 1982. He championed young talent and in particular new techniques. Sometimes his views were diametrically opposed to those of the old guard. Wim Crouwel left Total Design in 1985, Ben Bos followed in 1990. They were the last two designers who had been involved with Total Design from the very beginning.

New orientation
Much had changed, also in the field of design. Total Design no longer had the renown of the early years. Many more design agencies had sprung up in the Netherlands through the years.

In 1988, Hans Brandt began to develop the design agency into a strategic communication agency. In de 1990s, Total Designed shifted from being a classic design agency to becoming an organization that put the emphasis on identity development, corporate branding and reputation management. In 2000, the name Total Design was changed into Total Identity.

An excellent story in the history of Total Design, but to see the true meaning of the TD office you have to experience and see their designs. Beside the Stedelijk Museum publications there are some special Total Design books available at www.ftn-books.com