Posted on Leave a comment

Piet Dirkx weekly

A cherished one…..this is one of a small homemade edition. Send as a Xmas gift.

dirkx roos.jpg

Posted on Leave a comment

Milan Kunc (1944)

Schermafbeelding 2019-07-02 om 14.32.14

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

James Brown (1951)

Schermafbeelding 2019-07-01 om 12.26.27

Of course James Brown deserves a blog. It is one of those artists who has become important for us Europeans since he has had exhibitions in the Netherlands ( Livingstone gallery ao) and Belgium in the last few decades in which we could see his paintings . Some of these catalogues are available at www.ftn-books.com. What follows now is the information you can find on Brown on Wikipedia.

Born in Los Angeles, California, he received at BFA from Immaculate Heart College, Hollywood. He then spent years in Paris, and attended the Ecole Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris, France. He rebelled against the classical training there, which he considered irrelevant, but stayed as he wanted to stay in Paris. Tours of Europe seeing renaissance and especially medieval painting of Italy influenced his work. During the 1980s, his paintings, mixing the modernist tradition of painterly application and adherence to the picture surface with clear influences from tribal art. In the early 1980s he began exhibiting in New York, and in this decade this work became a hit in the galleries and art press, sharing a look with the Bad Painting and young neo-expressionism of the East Village painters of the time. On 12 September 1987 he married Alexandra Condon, who was studying History of Art at NYU at the time. They had known each other for little more than ten years. Despite some time on the East and West coast of New York, he continued to live in Paris. With the fading of the East Village art scene he had increasingly shown in European galleries, where his work was now seen in the context of a post-war European modernism in the tradition of Jean Dubuffet. James and Alexandra had their first child, Degenhart Maria Grey Brown, on 24 September 1989 in New York. In 1991 their second boy, Cosmas And Damian Maria Todosantos Brown, was born on 6 June in Paris. On 16 April 1993, their daughter was born, Dagmar Maria Jane Brown, in New York. In 1995 he moved out to the valley of Oaxaca (Mexico) with his family, where they lived in a hacienda for nine years. During that time, James Brown continued exhibiting in Europe, the United States and Mexico. He and his wife collaborated with various artists, making rugs in a village in the mountains of Oaxaca. The rugs were made in the traditional Mexican fashion, weaved by hand on large wooden frames. Jamaes and Alexandra then decided to start making books with artists, so they started Cape Diem Press. Like the rugs, these books are printed in Oaxaca using old-fashioned and traditional methods. The books are printed in limited editions, and Carpe Diem Press continues to collaborate with artists. In 2004, they moved to the city of Mérida, in the Yucatán. Since then James Brown has been spending much time in Europe, exhibiting his work in France, Germany, Italy and Holland. He has been working mostly in Paris.

His work has taken on several styles over the years, but maintains a hand-made look combining concerns of the modernist tradition with motifs and spiritual interests from tribal art. Much of his work is a non-realistic but contains depictions or signs of recognizable faces or objects. More recently he has done more in an abstract mode. However, the line between representation and abstraction is often a difficult one in his work, such as his more recent “Firmament Series” – abstract canvases that can also be read as referring to constellations or stars, or groups of rocks. Besides paintings Brown has also produced sculptures and series of prints at various points in his career, and in the 1990s started to heavily utilize collage. Drawing and other unique works on paper have been important to his artistic development and production. In an Artforum review of a 25-year retrospective, Martha Schwendener noted “The works range from abstract gouaches to biomorphic and figurative watercolors to collages that update the synthetic Cubist experiments of Picasso and Braque.

Posted on Leave a comment

Anton Martineau (1926-2017)

Schermafbeelding 2019-06-24 om 16.33.31

One of the last painters in the Netherland who felt inspired and had strong feelings for the COBRA mouvement in the Netherlands. Her never joined Cobra, worked together with his friend and “partner in crime” Lucebert and had many one man exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad. Unfortunately his fame did not cross the borders, but his gallery ( Willy Schoots ) was loyal to him and represented him until the day he died.

My personal thoughts about Anton Martineau….. Over the years i have seen many paintings by this painter and what struck me is either the painting is good and appealing or it is not that good and i would never want to add it to a collection. Still Martineau paintings have their qualities. See and judge for yourself the examples below.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Martineau publications available.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted on Leave a comment

Tim Ayres (1965)

Schermafbeelding 2019-06-24 om 11.54.04

A great artist with an even better designed catalogue by Rutger Fuchs. In the spirit of the art of Tim Ayres this Rutger Fuchs designed catalogue shows the best Ayres has produced. It was an exhibition at the galerie Markus Richter/ Berlin in 2000 and the first copy i encountered .Bright contrasting colors and lettering across front and back made this catalogue, from a design point of view, stand out for me and without any hesitation  i bought it. Leafing through it i found Ayres his art fascinating and since i have searched for this artist on the internet . This is a catalogue to admire and cherish. available at www.ftn-books.com 

ayres

Posted on Leave a comment

Wim Crouwel (1928-2019)

Schermafbeelding 2019-09-20 om 08.21.59

This morning i heard that one of the most influential designers from our time, Wim Crouwel, has died. The last years of his life he suffered Parkinson disease, but he was still going strong and must have looked forward to the retrospective of his works being opened later this  month at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. What better way to commemorate this great artist than to show a selection of the many items designed by him. www.ftn-books.com

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And to finish one of my personal favorites. Wim Crouwel will be an example for many designers in the decades to comewerkman crouwel aa.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Národní Galerie Praha / Trade Fair Palace

We went for a short visit to Prague last weekend and walked over 30 miles within 3 days to explore the city. One of our first destinations was the Narodni Muzeum at the Trade Fair Location. It is at least a little confusing, but spread over Prague there are about six Narodni museums on all kinds of subjects. This Trade Fair Palace was the one i had on my list for a long time and been wanting to visit for some decades now, but never had a chance to, because Prague was out of the way for us but this weekend we finally went and were not disappointed. At the time of its construction (completed in 1928), this was the largest building of its kind in the world and the first Functionalist building in Prague. Today it serves the needs of the National Gallery. Knowing its age you must admire its architecture….a true avant-garde building which is unique, but because of its functionality hard to admire. It looks old and worn but the light within the buildling is unique.

Schermafbeelding 2019-09-18 om 14.54.01

IMG_20190915_153439

It houses one of the best International collections i have ever seen and its historic value is beyond any doubt. One of the first rooms you enter consists of a mini exhibition which , organized elsewhere would draw hundreds of thousands of visitors. The quality of the paintings and sculptures is superb and deserves to be visited and admired by many more than the handful of visitors we encountered during our visit.

IMG_20190915_145652.jpg

The small room houses a Picasso, Matisse, Bonnard, Seurat, Monet, Renoir, Degas statue, Maillol and ( personally i am not a great van Gogh fan) a spectacular and beautiful van Gogh.

We were so surprised to find so many of these beautiful paintings and to discover some great Czech art. It was a very nice visit and made us even more like the collection, because we specially came to visit the Giacometti exhibition, but in it’s wake we were treated on some of the most beautiful and surprising art i have seen lately.

Of course www.ftn-books.com has on all these artists some nice publications.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Luigi Ontani (1943)

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-25 om 11.08.35

Like Cindy Sherman, Ontani makes his own image subject in his his works and therefore it is not by coincidence that the Groninger Museum has made n exhibition with Ontani some 20 years ago. Ontani has a natural place in the colection of this Museum, Italian art and a focus on photography are two pillars that made the collection of the Groninger Museum well known all over the world.

After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna Ontani began his artistic career in the 1970s when he became known for his tableau vivants: photographed and videotaped performances in which he presented himself in different ways: from Pinocchio to Dante, Saint Sebastian to Bacchus. These displays of “actionism” (different from Viennese Actionism, to which Hermann Nitsch is associated) verge on kitsch and raise personal narcissism to a higher level.

Throughout his long career Ontani has expressed his creativity and poetics through the use of many different techniques: from his “oggetti pleonastici” (1965–1969), made in plaster, to the “stanza delle similitudini,” made with objects cut in corrugated fiberboard. He has often anticipated the use of techniques subsequently adopted by other artists: his first Super 8 films were made between 1969 and 1972. With his work “Ange Infidele” (1968) Ontani begins to experiment with photography. From the beginning his photography has been characterized by some particular elements: the subject is always the artist himself, who uses his own body and face to personify historic, mythological, literary and popular themes; the chosen formats are usually miniature and gigantography, and each work is considered unique. From the late 1960s on are “Teofania” (1969), “San Sebastiano nel bosco di Calvenzano, d’apres Guido Reni” Tentazione,” “Meditazione, d’apres de la Tour,” “Bacchino” (1970), “Tell il Giovane,” “Raffaello,” “Dante,” ” Pinocchio” (1972), “Lapsus Lupus,” the diptych “EvAdamo” (1973), “Leda e il Cigno” (1974), “I grilli e i tappeti volanti” that will be followed by other “d’apres,” and the first Indian cycle “En route vers l’Inde, d’apres Pierre Lotti.” His first artistic photography has a historic importance because it anticipates a phenomenon that will be widespread and popular from the 1980s.

While working on his photographs Ontani began to make his first tableaux vivants. From 1969 to 1989 the artist made around 30 of these exhibitions, again foreshadowing the so-called interactive installations, which are based on the mixture of various technologies. With this same attitude he has created works in papier-mâché, glass, wood (he has made numerous masks, especially on Bali, with Pule wood) and, more rarely, in bronze, marble, and fabric. He has also made notorious works in ceramic, thanks to the cooperation with Bottega Gatti of Faenza, Venera Finocchiaro in Rome, and the Terraviva laboratory of Vietri: some of them are his “pineal” masks, the “Ermestetiche,” and the last great works such as “GaneshaMusa” and “NapoleonCentaurOntano.”

Ontani has not used all these different techniques as ends in themselves but as occasions to experiment new possibilities and formulate new variations of the themes and subjects that interest him the most: his own “transhistoric” travel through myth, the mask, the symbol and iconographic representation. He has exhibited his works in some of the most important museums and galleries of the world, from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to the Pompidou Centre, the Museo Reina Sofía to the Frankfurter Kunstverein. He has also participated in several editions of the Venice, Sydney, and Lyon biennales. Recently he has had four important retrospectives at the MoMA (2001), the SMAK in Ghent (2003–2004), the MAMbo in Bologna (2008), and the Accademia di San Luca, also called the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, in Rome (2017). The retrospective in Rome marks his receiving the Premio Presidente della Repubblica award in 2015.

Part from thnis blog comes from the WIKIPEDIA page on Ontani

www.ftn-books.com has the most important Ontani publication on stock.

Posted on Leave a comment

Alan Charlton ( continued )

Schermafbeelding 2019-05-31 om 16.44.21

This was a great find … among the bulletins published by Art & Project in the Seventies were 2 by Alan Charlton bulletins and both had a special drawing inside. These drawings I want to share with you. The Bulletins are numbered 81 and 101 and were published in 1974 and 1977 and are available at www.ftn-books.com

charlton bulletin 81

charlton bulletin 81 b

charlton bulletin 101 a

charlton bulletin 101 b

Posted on Leave a comment

Bernard Buffet/ TOXIQUE and GIFT

Just a short blog on the 2 editions i now have in my inventory. There is a time difference of 2 years between them, but both are equally important. The first is the beautiful and impressive Toxique from 1964. A bold and important publication since it is one of the first books that makes in text and art the addiction to palphium /morphine visible. The art is among the best i know and the book reads like a graphic novel. The best is that the german edition from 1966 leaves the pages intact and only includes in the text the translation of the original french text by Sagan. Both can be recommended, but the purist will ofcourse chose the original french edition from 1964.Both editions are available at www.ftn-books.com