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Karel Appel and the original litho covers

No….this is not a title for a classic Roald Dahl story, but this is reality. Some museums, but specially the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, had a policy to make affordable catalogues for their visitors to accompany their exhibitions in the 50’s and 60’s.

Designed by the best in the business ( Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel ) they had the task to produce these catalogues at a low price without being cheap looking. They experimented with low cost papers, small editions, number of pages between 24  and 48, most of the time stapled and a scarce use of color. Only one exception was made ….in some cases an original lithograph by the artist was used as a cover. This is why some of these beautiful catalogues are even more desirable…all because of the original lithograph.

Karel Appel was one of those artist who had his peak in the sixties and was able to demand the best possible catalogues with his exhibitions and Sandberg granted this. The Appel catalogues which were published in the late 50’s and early sixties are among the best from the catalogue series of the Stedelijk and should be present in every serious Karel Appel collection.

Just look at this foldout cover and be convinced yourself that this is special.

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For the readers of this blog…i have two of the above 1965 catalogues available at

www.ftn-books.com

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Willem Sandberg exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (until the 8th of January 2017)

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Last Sunday we visited the Stedelijk Museum for the Tinguely exhibition ( see blog in a few days) and the Willem Sandberg exhibition. Sandberg was not only the director for over 2 decades at the Stedelijk ( 1945-1963), but also took care of almost all the design and typography for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which was made during his years as a director. 5 rooms are filled with a multitude of publications. Mostly for the Stedelijk and some for the Israel museum in Tel Aviv.

What struck me most is that his designs are timeless and still belong to the very best designs that were made in last century. The 3rd room was filled with Stedelijk Museum publications and i was proud to find that 100% of the book publications shown in that room was available at www.ftn-books.com.

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This is an exhibition you have to visit when you are a Sandberg admirer and study the publications on show. Beautiful, in many cases handcrafted typography and designs and among the Sandberg designs the very best that were made. It was good to see that so many of these publications still are timeless and of the highest quality and never looked old fashioned. For me Willem Sandberg is still one of the very “greats” in design and typography from the 20th century.

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Mark Brusse a dutch artist and world famous in….France

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Mark Brusse has been living in Paris/France now for a very long time , but he originated from the Netherlands, where he started his career as an artist in the 60’s. He is described as a “poetic” artist and works with a multitude of materials. Painting, drawing, etching and making sculptures….. a multi talented artist who was far less appreciated in his home country than in France, where has has lived now for most of his life. This is the reason why many more publications in French can be found on this artist than there are in dutch. The strength of Brusse is his simplicity. Whith a few lines, a small drawing or some well chosen colors he draws your attention into the work and because this poetic simplicity he persuades you to like and admire it. In recent months i myself experienced on at least 2 occasions the strength of his works. The first time was at auction at the Venduehuis where the BLUE SHACK was sold.

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…. a powerful painting and one i would have loved to have for my collection and the second time was a week ago where some Brusse prints were sold at Bubb Kuyper. These i was lucky enough to buy at a reasonable price and at least 2 of them will be for sale shortly at www.ftn-books.com

….but if you can’t wait for more information look at www.ftn-books.com to find many more publications on Mark Brusse.

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Hannie Bal and Verve

Hannie Bal was married to Willem Schrofer. Schrofer was one of the founding members of VERVE and together with her husband they both were VERVE members during its existence. Both Hannie Bal and Schrofer were later recognized as highly influential in the Dutch art scene ( Schrofer taught at the Koninklijke Academie) and both were important for the  NIEUWE HAAGSE SCHOOL. A group of artists, all living in the The Hague area, and working close together in the 50’s and 60’s , meeting regularly in the Haagse Kunstkring and the Bodega DE POSTHOORN.

Hannie Bal was one of the few female artist in those days, but her work has nothing feminine. It was inspired by great artists like Cezanne and the later Neo Impressionists like Seurat and Signac

…..and she even had a very productive period at the end of the sixties/early seventies in which she made Constructivist paintings.

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Why this short story on Hannie Bal and Verve. Verve because there are some extremely nice early publications on Verve and its artists at www.ftn-books.com available and secondly. ….Today i started 2 auctions with work by Hannie Bal on Catawiki. Both starting at only euro 1,– which make these very nice works a possible win for all. Take a look at them and start bidding on this Black Friday weekend………

here are the links for the Hannie Bal auctions:

https://veiling.catawiki.nl/kavels/8902465-hannie-bal-schuin-vierkant

https://veiling.catawiki.nl/kavels/8932619-hannie-bal-station-met-trein-tuin

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Roger Raveel (1921-2013)

I am not the greatest fan of Roger Raveel, but occasionally i can appreciate his works. Specially the Beervelde project in the cellar corridors together with his friends from the Nieuwe Figuratie is a highlight. From his early days he has held exhibitions in the Netherlands and therefore a nice set of publications was published in the 60’s and 70’s by galerie Espace, who represented Raveel during these decades. Raveel is one of the great artists in Belgium, but beyond the Belgian borders his works are scarce. There are some in the Stedelijk Museum and van Abbemuseum, but those are the only ones i know of. Given the fact that he is not very well known outside Belgium and the Netherlands, i was surprised to find the number of publications i managed to collect over the years and which are now in my inventory. So if you are looking for Raveel publications please visit www.ftn-books.com

and complete your collection.

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Daniel Buren

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For this day’s blog i thought of something more colorful. This to compensate for the rather sombre previous ones and i immediately thought about Daniel Buren, who has done some tremendous beautiful projects with light and color. The latest i have seen of him was 1,5 years ago in Strasbourg where he altered the ceiling with colored panes of glas. I have put together some examples of his projects below, so you can see yourself the impact it has on the space.

One of his projects was during the seventies in the Stedelijk Museum, on which occasion a catalogue was published titles “HIER”.

Is this minimal art?…..possibly, but it is highly recognizable and what is more ….the effect on the space where the colored stripes are applied is extremely large.So i agree with what Wikipedia says about him that he is more a conceptual artist. Many of his art can be seen in public places in France , but the largest collection of Buren’s work is still in French museums like the Centre Georges Pompidou.

Some very nice items by Buren are available at www.ftn-books.com

and yes….the one on the left are expresso cups by illy

 

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Maeght edition…Derriere le Miroir

Starting in 1946 ( December) and ending in 1982 with number 250. This publication was published by Maeght on an almost regular basis of 5 publications each year. Many great artists have made contributions to this famous magazine and what is best, these contributions were in almost all cases original works of art.

Original lithographs were publiohed on one or 2 pages  in each publications and in most of the sases there were more than 2 lithographs included. Thre is even a famous publications on Miro with over 20 originals within.

What made it affordable is the edition size which were far more than regular art editions by Maeght, but because these lithographs were not signed they were “original’ cheap works of art. ~Many great artists like Chagall, Chillida, Giacometti and Miro made special editions within the series.

My personal favorit…Wifredo Lam

 

This series is collectable and affordable and whenever you see a copy in which you are interested make sure that it is complete, because many of the editions did not survive as complete copies because these were torn down and sold separately.

Look for some nice ones

at www.ftn-books.com and search for “Derriere”

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Poster by Richard Paul Lohse

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Just a single item to blog about this day. Not an ordinary one , but a very special poster. The original silkscreen print was used as the exhibition poster for the Richard Paul Lohse exhibition in the van Abbemuseum in 1971.

One of the secrets of the  dutch publications which were published in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s is that in some cases  a special printing method ( lino/silkscreen/woodblock) was used for the publicity and exhibition publications….result a true piece of art. This Lohse poster is such a special production. A very large screenprint , printed by Hoffman and a special design by Richard Paul Lohse makes this a highly collectable Lohse item. A large screenprint with an impressive composition by Lohse. It is not a cheap poster, but once framed it shows its true quality and will impress all. A special item and a true piece of art of which i think it is probably the only one available on the market at this moment.

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There are only 7 R.P. Lohse’s in dutch collections but these are excellent ones ( see above).

The poster on offer can be compared to these beautiful paintings because it is from the same period.

available at www.ftn-books.com

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Mark Tobey (1890-1967)

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There was a time when i had not heard of Tobey, but since i saw some large works by him in both the Beyeler, Stedelijk Museum….. i am a fan.

It started with the catalogue i acquired 20 years ago. Bought the catalogue because of the Wim Crouwel design ,but was immediately attracted by the works within….They were Tobey’s .

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Tobey is most notable for his creation of so-called “white writing” – an overlay of white or light-colored calligraphic symbols on an abstract field which is often itself composed of thousands of small and interwoven brush strokes. This method, in turn, gave rise to the type of “all-over” painting style made most famous by Jackson Pollock, another American painter to whom Tobey is often compared.

Tobey is working on different sizes but for me his large works are the most impressive. The last 16 years of his live he spend in Basel, which is of course the reason why so many of his works stayed  there. Throughout the years he travelled all over the world.

He was an incessant traveler, visiting Mexico, Europe, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, China and Japan and spread his works this way in an organic way, but the main part of his oeuvre stayed in Switzerland, in Basel where le lived for 16 years.

Here are some locations where his works are part of the collection: Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Tate Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. There have been at least four posthumous individual exhibitions of Tobey’s work: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA, 1984; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany, 1989; Galerie Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland, 1990; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

The publications below are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Henk Tas and his staged photography

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A dutch master in the art of staged photography is Henk Tas. Inspired by many great classic ( Pop & Rock) songs, he places objects from (his) childhood around him in a special setting and instantly it is recognizable as “HENK TAS”. Definitely a personal signature.

The photograph is taken and then , compared with the original setting, enlarged to enormous proportions. It makes you feel like an intruder in the staged scene, participating in it and encountering the figurines which populate it.

In 2001 the Henk Tas publication “Why me Lord” is chosen for the competition ” BEST VERZORGDE BOEKEN 2001″ and is one of the contenders for Best.

The book called ” WHY me LORD ” is still available at www.ftn-books.com.

This is what the jury said about the book and his staged photography:

Best Dutch Book Design 2001

Henk Tas, photographer and grabber at life’s banquet, belongs to that select band of cultural indefatigables. His work has never been completely in vogue, for reasons difficult to fathom, but never completely out of it either. It was relevant during the days of both staged photography and postmodernism, and went down well in New Age circles too.
The theme of Henk Tas’s work is pop music, with the occasional foray into rock’n’roll and blues. Henk Tas is the Rotterdam cowboy. He is second to none in taking plastic figures, artificial flowers and other generally unsightly accessories and infusing them with life. He is, besides, a great colourist. The staged photographs are exuberant in their hues, their synthetic extras embodying the passion of the professional artiste along with the fame and the impermanence immutably bound up with that passion. A great many photographs by Henk Tas and a text apiece by Els Barents, Roel Bentz van den Berg, Ute Eskildsen and Greil Marcus have been brought together by the book’s designer, Rick Vermeulen.

www address: www.henktas.nl