In the first couple of years i always thought Ap was Ab, because i had known several people with the name Ab. Since Ap corrected me, it became Ap/ @p and since we have stayed in contact with each other…not only professionally , but also socially.
His career at the Haags Gemeentemuseum/Gemeentemuseum now spans a period of 40 years. 40 years in which Ap has become one of the “mastodons” of the museum and one of those few within the organization of the museum, who contributes, as a registrar, to every exhibition that takes place within the museum walls. I think Ap is one of those people that you like instantly… easygoing and open hearted and because of that we stayed in contact with each other, meeting occasionally and discussing the art and museum world. There is one occasion that i want to mention in this blog. A few years ago i held an auction on Catawiki, within the auction there was a small Stedelijk Museum book with a lithographed cover by Christa Ehrlich . I mentioned it on Facebook and got an answer from Ap in New York. He was there with the design of the cover from the collection of the Gemeentemuseum which was lend to the Moma(?). This can not be coincidence, but must have a meaning…. so let us try to find out what the meaning of this is in the years to come. Ap, not only a colleague but also a friend! Thanks for 40 years Gemeentemuseum and 36 years of friendship and keep practicing your logistic skills in the coming years with the present we just gave you 😉
A few months ago i published a blog on a very special Lohse poster published by the van Abbemuseum, but that was a blog on just a single item. Richard Paul Lohse deserves much more, because he is a very important artist. Not only for Switzerland but for Modern Art as a whole. Designer, painter and
I first encountered his work when i was working at the Gemeentemuseum and Rudi Fuchs bought a beautiful Lohse for its collection. It must have been right after his death and because of the connection with cubism and the DE STIJL collection it fitted in perfectly. The painting itself is a typical Lohse painting and because this aroused my interest in Lohse, i started collecting his books and publications. Since the collection has grown and contains at this moment some very specials items that are duplicates and are for sale at
Yesterday….9th of December, 2016…location studio of Floris Hovers in Raamsdonksveer.
Never met him before, but an instant liking for the person and works of Floris Hovers. when we met each other yesterday . The studio visit was a result of a purchase which we had seen at Art THE HAGUE. The result a beautiful and highly entertaining tableau of Circus wagons.
The tableau is featured in the recently published book “Hover’s Manual of Things “which is published in a limited and numbered edition of only 750 copies of which each has a different hand colored cover . Ours is yellow /green on a color of blue, but many others are available at www.florishovers.nl
Hovers was educated at the Eindhoven Design Academy, graduated in 2004 and has since been designing and developing furniture, toys and objects. The showroom in Raamsdonksveer gives a great overview of the products he has made during the last decade, but what makes the visit to his studio really special is the workspace behind the office/showroom. A space which has been in his family for generations and in which he creates his projects. His use of color is some kind of special, because in many cases he choses for the subdued colors instead of the bright ones, which results in a typical Hovers color scheme. He has an adult approach to his designs and products and of course the marketing of them, but an imaginative mind to please adults and children alike with his designs. A designer for ages from 8-88. The same approach like Herge who’s “Kuifje naar de Maan” poster is gracing his workspace.
Last but not least…i bought myself a CARtools set and have now played for half an hour with it. You can make numerous cars from it by using the 3 kinds of chassis included and combine them together with the multi colored blocks within the set. A little bit like the Bauhaus ship block set, but as a set i prefer this one. Only one product in my own inventory comes to mind when i see his products. It is the fabulous series of ADO wooden toys. They are as nice as the ones Floris makes.
The products featured in this blog : Hover’s manual of Things (euro 49,50) and CARtools are both available at www.florishovers.nl
Just a simple announcement today. At gallery Schoots + Van Duyse, Antwerp. There will be on the 18th of December the opening of the 3x Delft exhibition. All three artist (BOgart, Schoonhoven and Henderikse) have Delft in common. A fascinating exhibition because rarely these artists can be seen together in one venue. 18.12.2016 – 26.02.2017
For those of you who want to prepare themselves before going. Please take a look at www.ftn-books.com for publications on these artists.
Yesterday, i received an invitation for the opening on the 17th of december 2016 of a Tribute exhibition on Sol LeWitt. There is a long lasting relation between the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and Sol LeWitt, which collaboration first resulted in the very first European Minimal art exhibition in Europe and later the wall sculptures on the Schamhart wing some 20 years ago. In between exhibitions were held , including his drawings exhibition and of course he made several wall drawings on location.
Because of this relation, Sol Lewitt was invited in 1987 to design one of the plastic bags which was used in the shop of the Gemeentemuseum. Sol designed 2 bags, one in color and one in black on transparent polyethyleen. 2 excellent designs and both were executed and used for a couple of years in the shop. Now the black drawing is used for the invitation of the tribute exhibition. What people forget is that the typography is not done by Sol LeWitt , but it was “borrowed” from an earlier bag designed by Joost Swarte, who designed a plastic bag, including the typography, with the different collection parts in mind. This lettering was used for 100% by Sol for his own designs. So the main part is done by LeWitt but the typography was done by Joost Swarte in his very recognizable lettering. A beautiful bag was the result and only a few copies of this bag remain available for sale at www.ftn-books.com
Exhibition Sol LeWitt a Tribute opens on the 17th of december and runs until the 9th of april, 2017
If there is one dutch sixties photographer who deserves world recognition for his entire oeuvre it certainly is Ed van der Elsken. Over 40 years of work in photography and cinema gives a spectacular list of publications:
But there is one which is not on this list published by the official site of Ed van der Elsken. It is the exceptional publication made for the van Abbemuseum in 1961, designed by Wim Crouwel with contributions by Karel Appel ( who made a special inlay) , Schierbeek and Lucebert….photography… YES!, by Ed van der Elsken.
Like some of the others from the above publications this is available at www.ftn-books.com
Jean Tinguely ….one of my art heroes …. he had his first exhibitions in the Netherlands in the Stedelijk in the mid sixties and since, his works have been on show in many theme and group exhibitions, but never again in a large retrospective until now.
But now there is one in the Stedelijk Museum and this one is on show until the 5th of March 2017. What can i tell you about this one….it is a nice show, but…….it never has the impact one experiences when visiting the Tinguely Museum in Basel , because it lacks the space, grandeur, size and number of machines/works to show all aspects of his works. I really missed the extremely large mechanical works. I caught one on a video of his funeral
and beside the one in the collection of the Stedelijk there is only one other one, a wall covered with a very large one, but that is all.
Not that the exhibition is not worth visiting…it really is …. but i was not knocked of my feet. Still i had a chance to make some nice photographs of the (DYLABY documents/ in a blog next week) documents on show and was amazed to see the correspondence Tinguely and Nikki de Saint Phalle had with Edy de Wilde ( the former director of the Stedelijk). On an A4 text, drawings, and illustrations were combined into great works of art.
This is an exhibition to visit for the smaller items like the documents and remember to visit the Tinguely Museum in Basel to get the best overview of his mechanical works.
See the ones in the Stedelijk as an entree to a dinner in which the side dishes steal the show.
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.
For the readers of this blog…i have two of the above 1965 catalogues available at
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.
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.
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.
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20