Posted on Leave a comment

An important Tajiri/Crouwel book

Schermafbeelding 2019-11-29 om 09.05.04

It was in the earliest years of his career that Wim Crouwel was invited to design the catalogues of the van Abbemuseum and in these years several iconic publications were published that were designed by Crouwel. I have encountered over the years many of them and have a nice selection for sale at www.ftn-books.com, but until last month i never had seen the Tajiri catalogue from 1961. It was one of the earliest of Tajiri his catalogues for a major museum, but Wim Crouwel must have felt the same about the catalogue as Tajiri did. Both must have the iedea that is was important for them personally. The typography on the cover is outstanding and the photograph by Cas Oorthuys even enhances it. This is a thin 12 page catalogue with a special 4 page inlay ( with photographs of sculptures), but every page shows the quality of Wim Crouwel his design in combination with the works by Tajiri.

tajiri abbe a

 

Posted on Leave a comment

An Andy Warhol invitation card, 2005

This invitation card is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com and is the first from a number of very special items i acquired. Among them, invitations for Rainer, Beuys, Förg, Fulron, Long, Judd and some sketches by Westerik. Most dating from the time that Rudi Fuchs was director for the Haags Gemeentemuseum. This is an exception but from the same collection and one of the few Warhol invitations that is now on the market.

warhol inv cowboy c

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Piet Dirkx weekly

The First publication in which i had a contribution. Piet Dirkx was invited by the Haags Gemeentemuseum by the curators Flip Bool and  Gerrit Jan de Rook. A show held together with fellow artists Piet Dieleman, Nikolaus Urban and Jean-Pierre Zoetbrood

publication from 1986

dirkx keuze gm

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Otmar Alt ( 1940 )

Schermafbeelding 2019-11-26 om 15.07.55

Otmar Alt has become over the years a famous German artist. The reason is that his art is accessibel and in his piantings and prints he depicts a fantasy world which is abstract and populated with figurative creatures. His roots can be found in the colorful world oof Pop Art painting, but over the years he developed a recognizable style of his own. You can not help but admire the commercial quality of his art. A bit the dsame as Corneille in the Netherlands developed his art into a highly commercial form of art. Helped by big companies his art was distributed among many admirers in high editions ( ABN bank ao). In the case of Otmar Alt you can see that his art was distributed among many , because on several occasion he included some nice “signed in print” prints within the books that were published. Onme of these books including the print is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.

otmar alt b

Posted on Leave a comment

Nicolaas Wijnberg as a poster artist

Schermafbeelding 2019-11-12 om 16.16.37

At one time Pieter Brattinga, who knew every good poster artist in the Netherlands , was asked who were the best poster designers. His answer, Crouwel, Sandberg, Treumann and Bons, but the very best was Nicolaas Wijnberg. Because his father was the director of the famous Steendrukkerij de Jong he had seen their works for some decades  being printed on the presses of his father company.  Because he had seen them all, his opinion is important and when you look at the posters by Wijnberg you can see why these were liked so much. His posters are not the ones with the beautiful clean lay-out. Nor the ones which stand out because of the use of color. No……. the Wijnberg posters are special because each of them tells a small story. This is not the poster who draws your attention for an event. The Wijnberg posters reaches out to you with a part of the performance or event. This makes you curious and therefore you will remember it.

The book on the Nicolaas WIJNBERG posters is available at www.ftn-books.com

wijnberg affiches

Posted on Leave a comment

Babs Haenen (1948)

Schermafbeelding 2019-11-12 om 15.10.29.png

If you are looking for the most complicated ceramic art , then Babs Haenen her objects will be in the top three.

The first time i encountered work by Babs Haenen was when the Haags Gemeentemuseum has bought two vases for its collection. What struck me was that these vases had very delicate colors and were looking not like the ordinary ceramics from the collection. They looked like sculptured vases . Her method of building a vase is simple. Porcelain clay is coloured with pigments and afterwards rolled out into thin sheets. The choice of porcelain clay is dictated by the wish to be able to produce bright colours. The basis for a piece at work is made by cutting up the different coloured sheets and joining them together again in various patterns.
Round a plaster core is placed a thin piece of textile, which serves to prevent the clay from sticking to the core. The core is then inverted and the sheets of clay are draped around the textile.This is done from the bottom, so that at first the pot is shaped upside down.

Schermafbeelding 2019-11-12 om 15.11.12
When the piece has reached a given height, it is removed from the core. a short drying period and then built up further the right way up. At that point it has often not yet reached half its eventual height. Hence the form at the plaster care only determines the final form of the pot to a very minor extent.
Between the additions at new sheets of clay the piece is dried with a hairdryer, so that the form soon acquires a degree of certainty. In its further built-up a great freedom prevails in respect of designing by distorting and modelling.
After being thoroughly dried, the pieces are given a biscuit firing, then glazed and given repeated reduction firings in a gas kiln at a temperature of 1260 C.

The above text comes from the book which is now available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Erwin Olaf special 1:1 by Floris Vos

Schermafbeelding 2019-11-05 om 16.10.01

It has been some years ago that there was an exhibition by Erwin Olaf. The sets/ stage design was done by Floris Vos who recently died. Floris Vos was important to Erwin Olaf since the staging of his photographs is so important and a part which makes his photographs recognizable and stand out. Every detail counts and the result is a photograph which is truly remarkable. Of course the talent of Erwin Olaf is undoubtedly present in every photograph he takes, but the staging by Floris Vos will be missed in the future. I dare to say that the future Olaf photographs will be different and that is probably not a bad thing, because now Olaf must use a different set director, which means different photographs for sure and taking a new road into the staged photography he excels in.

set for “Grief”

Schermafbeelding 2019-11-05 om 16.10.25

 

www.ftn-books.com has the HET NIEUWE INSTITUUT folder/invitation for the exhibition from 2013 available for sale.

Posted on Leave a comment

Wim Crouwel (continued )

Schermafbeelding 2020-02-01 om 10.32.54

Early September 2019 i recommended the Mr Gridnik exhibition which would open shortly  after in the Stedelijk Museum. Just a few days before opening Mr.  Gridnik/ Wim Crouwel died  and he never witnessed his tribute at the Stedelijk. Since i have not found the time to go to this exhibition myself, but now that i finally have the opportunity and started planning my visit, i found out that all rooms are photographed and can be visited on line. It is a worthy tribute to one of the greatest designers from the last decade, but could have been much more complete. It focusses for 90% on the Stedelijk Museum publications, but it is still a very impressive sight to see so many great designs collected, but the real surprise is that i noticed that i have almost all of the books on show in my inventory. (www.ftn-books.com)

For those living too far away to visit the exhibition….here is the direct link to the rooms and showcases with Crouwel material:

https://www.stedelijk.nl/nl/crouwel-vitrines

and another excellent site with 19 photographs:

http://dutchdesigndaily.com/nl/nieuw/wim-crouwel-mr-gridnik/

 

Posted on Leave a comment

the Stuyvesant Foundation

Schermafbeelding 2019-11-01 om 11.41.35

I have a weakness for the Stuyvesant Foundatio. The foundation was founded by Alexander Orlow of Turmac company who had the brilliant idea to bring great art works among his factory workers by placing the art in the middle of the production. This meant that many large sized works were purchased over a period of 30 years. Zero, Cobra en abstract expressionism being the most important among these works.  For most of the collection they had one thing in common. Their size was large and larger, since the works had to be seen by the people who worked a fair distance from them.

The following article appeared in the Telegraph a few days before the first auction was being held. In total there were 3 auctions. Personally i thought the first was exceptional, the second very good and the third was filled with the leftovers. I was lucky to buy one of the best Gerard Verdijk paintings ever in the 2nd auction at AAG. My luck….it is too large for many, so no bids were placed after the initial price set by the auctioneer.

Schermafbeelding 2019-11-01 om 11.44.54

The cream of one of Europe’s most highly regarded corporate art collections is to be dispersed by Sotheby’s next week in spite of efforts by civil authorities and art experts to preserve it and turn it into a museum. Known as the Peter Stuyvesant collection, it originated in the late 1950’s when Alexander Orlow, managing director of Turmac Tobacco, which made the popular Peter Stuyvesant brand of cigarettes in its factory in Zevenaar, Holland, decided his workforce needed something to cheer them up. “However complicated the operations of a machine may look, it soon becomes monotonous to a factory worker,” he said.

His solution was to buy art – preferably big, colourful abstract paintings – and in 1960 commissioned 13 artists from different European countries to make works on the theme of “joie de vivre” to hang in the factory’s production halls. The experiment was so popular that in the following year he invited William Sandberg, formerly the director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, to expand the collection. Over the next 50 years, the collection grew under the supervision of a series of former Dutch museum directors.

However, in 2000, Turmac was swallowed up by the British American Tobacco Company (BAT), and the art collection renamed the BAT Artventure collection. But there was not to be much in the way of artistic venture in store. In June of 2006 it was announced that the Zevenaar factory would close with the loss of 570 jobs, so that European production could be concentrated in Germany and Poland. That left over 1,400 works in the art collection valued at some 23 million pounds looking for a new home.

Jan de Ruiter, the mayor of Zevenaar, supported by Martijn Sanders, chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the Stedelijk Museum, looked for a way to buy the collection and keep it locally, possibly as a wing of the museum. But “BAT did not really want to make a deal,” said de Ruiter. It went to Sotheby’s instead.

Sotheby’s has a good track record in handling corporate art collections. Back in 1989 it handled the disposal of the British Rail Pension Fund collection and the $93 million (£62.5 million) Reader’s Digest collection. Since then we’ve seen a series of high profile sales for IBM, the 7-Eleven photo collection, the HSBC collection of 19th century pictures, not to mention a certain £65 million sculpture by Giacometti from the German Commerzbank last month.

The company clearly sets some store by advising corporations on the acquisition and disposal of art, setting up a department just to deal with that in New York 20 years ago, and another in London last year. Saul Ingram, who runs the London department, says most companies sell to buy new work or channel profits into broader cultural activities. The Stuyesant/BAT collection is different because it was site specific, and without the factory and its workers, its purpose has gone.

Its value, though, is still substantial. The 163 works to be sold by Sotheby’s Amsterdam next week are estimated to fetch between £3.6 million and £4.6 million, with further sales planned in the future. Avant garde European groups from the 50s and 60s such as CoBrA, the abstract expressionist group based around Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, and Zero, the Dusseldorf based group who worked with experimental materials such as fire, nails and papier mache, are to the fore.

The Zero artists, Gunther Uecker and Jan Schoonhoven, who starred at Sotheby’s recent Lenz collection sale last month, are expected to do exceptionally well. A rarity is Lily ou Tony (1965), one of Nicki de St Phalle’s first Nana sculptures that celebrate womanhood. Though fragile, made of tissue and wire mesh, it carries a £180,000 to £270,000 estimate. The most significant example of British art is a 1958 Alan Davie painting that has been undervalued at £27,000 to £36,000.

In addition to the stylish brand name Stuyvesant gave to the world of smoking, it also achieved brand recognition in the art world, especially in Britain, where, during the sixties, the Stuyvesant Foundation sponsored the Whitechapel Gallery’s trendsetting The New Generation exhibition, which included David Hockney and Bridget Riley, and also the talent spotting Young Contemporaries, much of which was immortalised in the Tate Gallery’s Recent British Art show of 1967. The separate collection of British art that was formed by the Stuyvesant Foundation between 1964 and 1967 was eventually sold in the late 1980s and established what were then huge prices for Davie, Riley, and others of that generation. The last sale, held at Bonhams in 1989, was a complete sell out. Next week will see how well the Stuyvesant brand has survived.

http://www.ftn-books.com has nearly all  dutch publications on the Stuyvesant collection available.

Posted on Leave a comment

Irma Boom and the OUBORGPRIJS

Schermafbeelding 2019-10-17 om 13.48.43

Every year and sometimes every two years, The STROOM agency for contemporary art in Den Haag presents the Ouborgprijs to one of the artists from the DEN HAAG region who has become important for modern art in and outside the Netherlands. The prestigious price is presented together with a publication which is published in a very small edition of 400 to 500 copies of the title to the artist. In the years 1992 (Gerard Petrus Fieret ), 1993 ( Lotti van der Gaag) and 1994 ( Tomas Rajlich) this publication was designed by Irma Boom, making these books outstanding in every way and because of the extremely small edition size , highly collectable items. I do not have the Fieret book, have sold the Rajlich book recently to China, but found the Lotti van der Gaag book and have put it up for sale at www.ftn-books.com

gaag boom a.jpg