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Kriki / Christian Vallee (1965)

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Punk, Underground/Metro, music, resistance, grafiti, painting, street art.-

All these words are related to the artist Kriki who made a name for himself in the Paris art scene in the mid Eighties.

In 1984, in Paris, Kriki founds a group of painters called Nuklé-Art and the electro punk group Les Envahisseurs. With the street and the Underground as his art school, he is involved in the beginnings of what is now known as Street Art. Immersed in alternative culture, he is identified from the beginning as one of the emblematic figures amongst the young French painters of the nineteen eighties. Kriki clearly belongs to the generation whose sensibility expressed itself in Free Figurative Art, which he helps to renew. Still very young, he exhibits with Keith Haring, Futura 2000 and even with Basquiat and Wim Delvoye. At just 23 years old, he has his first solo exhibition at FIAC (Paris) which will then move on to the Gramercy Art Fair in New York; this will lead to taking part in the very first exhibitions of his work in now famous Paris galleries such as Jérôme de Noirmont and Kamel Mennour. Kriki at that time becomes well known for a style which becomes immediately identifiable on the international scene, making him into one of the major artists of his generation.

In 1985, Kriki invents Fuzz, a half-robot, half polymorphous fetish, appearing as a virus infecting the history of art, and of which the Museum of Modern Art in Paris will publish a specimen. Kriki manipulates the original images from which his paintings emerge, resisting our initial attempts at a reading in order to express themselves in a universal language. Today, Kriki is still an incarnation of punk culture in French contemporary art, leading Ernest Van Buyender, the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp to write: “Kriki is the only French artist whose originality and ambition can be seen as a bridge between Sub Culture and High Culture”. www.ftn-books.com has one rare Kriki publication available.kriki

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De voorstelling begint op straat!

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This has been one of the highlights from the past year. A book i did not know was published but a true treasure trove. The book dates back from 2001 and shows the history of 10 years of “Stage” posters. These are done by the very best of dutch (poster) designers. To name a few Anthon Beeke, Jan Bons, Joost Swarte, Lex Reitsma, Marten Jongema. A beautiful published book. BIS published these posters on a larger sized format. Giving these the best possible size in a still reasonably sized book . The book contains the very best of 10 years of posters starting in 1991 and ending in 2001. This book is now in my personal book case and i am glad to give this a place in my personal collection until it sells…..i love it!

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Sixties Magazine TWEN/TABOE with Ed van der Elsken

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If you want to know what the Sixties looked like for the youth in the Netherlands, there are 3 magazines you must study. First there is the TIQ magazine. It is now one of the hardest to find magazines in the world, since few numbers were published and because of its controversial contents not to many survived.,….. and then there is TWEN/ TABOE. This is the “progressive” dutch youth showing their interests and sharing this with one of the most important Sixties magazines worldwide. Of course this is my personal idea about this magazine, but it is not without reason that i think this is important. One of the most prominent “house” photographers for TWEN/TABOE was Ed van der Elsken and he literally almost filled the pages of the magazines all by himself with his iconic photographs. Leafing through the special book which was published on the Magazine TWEN, which name had to be changed in TABOE after the german Springer publishing company forced by summary proceedings to do so. TWEN/ TABOE history is short. At the end of 1961 and the beginning of 1961 only 4 magazines were published , but they have proven to be a true historic and cultural document.

The integral publications of these 4 magazines is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Black Friday at FTN books

Not just a 3 days discount but a total of 11 days, a one period discount of 10% on all your FTN books purchases. Valid from the early hours  of Friday the 22nd of November until midnight on the 1st of December 2019. Use the special Black Friday 10% discount code:

                                                               B2019F

 

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A spectacular Pop Up, 1992

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Pop & Artvertising was held at the Museum Bommel van Dam in 1992. The catalogue was designed as a true Pop Art collectible. You could hold the catalogue by a “space” in the cover and pages. Making the catalogue look like a paper bag. The exhibition showed the relation between Pop Art and advertising. Brown paper bag pages throughout except fo the middle . Open the middle and there is a brilliant Pop Up . The design of the catalogue is by Ruud van Soest and in my opinion this is certainly a highly collectable Pop Art catalogue.This catalogue is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Joost Swarte and Vienna Moderne

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Today was book market day and i went to the stalls at the local book market. I am always looking for the thin little books and this is one of the titles i found today. I went through a stack of books and there this book was. At first I thought it was a JOOST SWARTE  cover, but studying it more closely i noticed that this could not have been done by Swarte , since the book was published in 1979 and the drawing done by Rudolf Tropsch in 1901.

iI always have admired Joost Swarte for the way he set up his drawings and how he has done his research, but the drawings by Tropsch show that some 80 years earlier other artists had the same approach to their subjects. The book on Vienna Moderne is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Key Hiraga (1936-2000)

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Rooted in Pop Art and Hippie art, this symbiosis of these influences in the art of Key Hiraga created an original approach to subject and painting itself. These paintings are one of a kind and can be immediately recognized for being done by Hiraga.

As with many of the artists from the final years of the Sixties and early Seventies these works are almost forgotten, but now and then they surface again. For instance there is a dutch artist belonging to the same category…. Jakob Zekveld. Color schemes are almost the same but compositions are totally different.  here is one by Zekveld.

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Although i have never seen his works in agllery nor museum, i am a fan , because his works are original and filled with symbolism and never bore. the following publication on Hiraga is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Milan Kunc (1944)

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Milan Kunc makes art on the cross roads of Memphis design meeting Picasso with a dash of childrens drawings and with a color palet that is endless. I managed to collect quite some titles by Kunc during the last two decades, because the Netherlands was fortunate to hold exhibitions at the galerie Swart , Groninger Museum ( 1984, large retrospective curated by Frans Haks), Stedelijk Museum and the Boymans van Beuningen museum. Many publications were the result , add to these the catalogues that were published with every gallery presentation in Europe and the result is a stack of publications , many artists would wish they had the same number of publications.

What strikes me every time i leaf through these books i find his work appealing, but in many cases i find it just too much absurd fantasies by the artist. Still this is, according to others, one of the qualities Kunc has. He exaggerates and creates scenes with many layers, but for me after some time they stop working and i am in need of a new ” surprising” composition. Milan Kunc is certainly a great artist, with many beautiful publications, but personally i prefer other artists. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Milan Kunc publications available.

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Michael Kirkham (1971)

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Michael Kirkham is one of the younger British artists that implressed me immediately when i saw his first paintings at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

Often highly regarded for their uncompromising nature, Michael Kirkham’s paintings give a delicate insight into the dark corners of human existence. Painted mostly from the mind, mixing fantasy and reality, Kirkham depicts his subjects in uncomfortable or awkward positions, (half) undressed, engaging in acts of sexual nature, being in love, daydreaming, or showing their genitals. While doing so, the characters in Kirkham’s paintings often appear distant, as if disconnected or sunken into the emptiness of their subconsciousness. In addition to the apathetic character of his subjects, most of Kirkham’s paintings appear covered in an apt layer of misery and ambiguity.

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As much as these scenes of the despicable bring about a sense of discomfort or voyeurism to the spectator, they are equally intriguing and touching as they display a deep sense of empathy for all aspects of the human condition. This is Kirkham’s power: rather than depicting scenes that exist only in Kirkham’s own artistic universe, his works show those parts of life that, no matter our attempts to disregard or overlook them, are a core part of contemporary life. They show us the alienated or estranged individuals who are no match for the complexities of the world they themselves have helped to build.

It is in this commentary on the contemporary that any sense of melancholy, irony, or even voyeurism so often related to the Kirkham’s paintings disappears. The power and beauty of his work are inseparable from the discomfort it brings about when it confronts the viewer with the bleakness of humanity. Therefore, any form of sadness, irony, voyeurism, or discomfort felt in Kirkham’s paintings can only be a sign of confrontation, recognition or even emotion of the spectator, pointing out to us what essentially makes us human throughout the complexities of today.

Michael Kirkham (Blackpool, UK, 1971) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He completed his education at the Glasgow School of Art and De Ateliers, Amsterdam. His work has been exhibited, among many other locations, at Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (NL), Centraal Museum, Utrecht (NL), and Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (DE), and is part of collections such as the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (NL), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL), Centraal Museum, Utrecht (NL), Sammlung Ritter Sport, Stuttgart (DE), Collection Olbricht (DE), Sollection SØR Rusche, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam (NL), and of private collections in The Netherlands, Germany and the United States, among others.

ftn-art has the limited edition of THE STORY OF THE GLOVE. a controversial “comic” in prints available. Please inquire.

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Lawrence Weiner (1942) + discount

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Lawrence Weiner and the Netherlands is a combination which now exists for almost 50 years. His connections with dutch directors and curators is legendary and he has made several special projects with them in dutch. Weiner is considered as a post minimal artist and one of the founders of Conceptual art and that is the reason why his works blend so well within the collections of the more important dutch museum. The van Abbemuseum, Stedelijk and Gemeentemuseum have all works by Weiner in their collections.

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But Weiner is much more than a conceptual artist. He is a book designer and poet at the same time  and these little sketches with words can be blown up into facades and objects with words. One of the most memorable to me was the facade at the Ljubljana Modern Art museum with a Weiner object on one of the outside museum walls. Impredssive, recognizable. So to celebrate the longtime history that Lawrence Weiner has with the Netherlands there is a discount this week of 10%  on all items at www.ftn-books.com . use the discountcode : LawrenceWeiner10 and receive a 10% discount on all items including some marvelous Lawrence Weiner publications.

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