Posted on

Ferdi ( Ferdina Jansen 1927-1969)

Ferdi was the wife of dutch Pop Art painter and sculptor Shinkichi Tajiri and was married to him until her tragic death in 1969. If i look at her work now, the first other artist i think about is Niki de Saint Phalle. I really do not know if they have known each other but it is possible when you look at the time frame, they possibly knew and inspired each other. Ferdi, educated by Ossip Zadkine, used large pieces of cloth and textiles to assemble her figures female form inspired figures for which she has become very well known in the Netherlands. Recently, I think it was 2012 , the Rijksmuseum acquired WOMB TOMB with the help of the heirs of her estate

Schermafbeelding 2018-05-23 om 11.06.30

Her husband Shinkichi Tajiri is nowadays a recognized and settled name and specially known for his large Pop Art sculptures. Ferdi is far less known. Her works appear sometimes at auction but that is it for this moment. It is time that some dutch museum shows new interest in her because her works fascinate and deserve to be known abroad too. The stedelijk Museum published a very nice catalogue with her works which was designed by Wim Crouwel and some 15 years ago another important book was published in which her works were shown together with toise from her husband. Both are available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on

Franz von Stuck (1863-1928)

Schermafbeelding 2018-05-20 om 13.48.28

If it was not for the van Gogh Museum, not many would have known of Franz von Stuck in the Netherlands, but because of an exhibition in 1995/1996 his works are now much better known over here. The impressive catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com.

From humble Miller’s son to prince of artists in Munich: the career of Franz von Stuck is the dream of every artist. After the young Stuck caused a stir with his first major painting, The GUARDIAN OF PARADISE he was suddenly the centre of attention in the art world.

In works such as Sphinx and SIN he reflected the Symbolist themes of the age, concentrating on the erotic and highly dramatic aspects. The flat decorative compositions and the focus on the essential, without superfluous detail, ensure that his art is still relevant today.

Schermafbeelding 2018-05-20 om 14.01.11

The book available at www.ftn-books shows exactly why von Stuck is important for todays art. The focus on the most important part in a composition is what nowadays artists do in abstract painting. This is the link between von Stuck and todays contemporary abstract expressionist art.

Posted on

Shunga …the Japanese erotic print

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-05-08 om 17.30.08

While studying the Bubb Kuyper catalogue it struck me that the genitals of both male and female are depicted far too large and are highly exaggerated. This made me wonder…is this wishful thinking of the japanese men in general or is it to draw attention to the print and the action within. I found an excellent article on Shunga…. The art of the erotic japanese prints by the British Museum and they have a clear point of view:

The genitals of both sexes are so exaggerated in shunga that it leaves literally nothing to the imagination. A wall text quotes Tachibana no Narisue, an artist in 1254: “The Old Masters… depict the size of ‘the thing’ far too large… If it were depicted the actual size there would be nothing of interest. For that reason don’t we say that art is fantasy?”.

Despite a similar preoccupation with the humorous side of sex, shunga has a far greater artistic pedigree than seaside postcards. Whereas Thomas Rowlandson is unusual in the British artistic tradition for producing erotic prints, shunga prints were an expected part of Japanese artists’ portfolios.

Schermafbeelding 2018-05-08 om 17.30.55

Once viewers get past the shock of seeing such explicit scenes, other details begin to emerge – particularly the beautifully rendered robes worn (or, more accurately, half-worn) by the couples. Full nudity appears to be rare, and the gorgeous colours and designs of traditional Japanese costume frame the prints with sensuous folds.

Early versions were hand painted on scrolls, some of which are highly exquisite and expensive. Twelve Erotic Scenes in Edo (circa 1790), by Hosoda Eishi, is particularly beautiful, with gold leaf and gilding used liberally as decoration on both sides of the scroll. 

By 1765, the perfection of full colour woodblock printing methods in Edo made shunga available for the masses, and it was during this period that the conventions of the genre became more firmly established. It was also during this period that the samurai elite began to censor shunga – but for its political, not erotic content. 

Shunga presented a threat to Japan’s strict social hierarchies by depicting sexual congress between different social groups; some books may even have revealed secret court gossip. However, the authorities did not strictly enforce the ban, meaning that shunga flourished under the radar.

It might be easy to dismiss Shunga as a sensationalist exhibition, but the work displayed reveals a fascinating insight into a private world. It’s one both familiar and strange to us.

Sexual life is revealed as loving, passionate, comforting, rough, illicit – even violent at times. Despite existing in a fantasy world, shunga artists manage to reveal a great deal about our common humanity.

www.ftn-books.com has a book on the modern Shunga experience available.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Posted on

Robert Olaf Stoof (1945-1999)…and Real Free Press.

Schermafbeelding 2018-05-07 om 12.32.06

Why this blog on a publisher? It is just plain simple…. Stoof is one of the most influential European publishers who paved the way for the alternative comic scene of which for instance , Joost Swarte, was one.

Robert Olaf Stoop was born in Amsterdam and grew up with his grandmother in Indonesia. He grew up to be a full-blooded anarchist, putting provocational pamphlets in the newspapers of non-suspecting travellers when he was working at the AKO in Schiphol Airport. He made posters for Provo magazine, and got involved with comics during the 1960s. In 1966, he self-published his comic ‘De Lotgevallen van Roza’, which can be considered the first European underground comic.

stoop real e

He founded publishing house The Real Free Press in Amsterdam, “the lost connection for solid facts” which imported American underground comics and reprinted the work of long-forgotten geniuses such as George Herriman, Winsor McCay, Gustave Verbeck and George McManus. Stoop also published magazine De Real Free Press Illustratie, which featured many old and new comic artists, and ran from 1968 until 1974.

Olaf Stoop was one of the first to recognize the talent of Joost Swarte, and published his work in several forms, such as ‘De Papalagi’, which became famous world-wide, and Swarte’s first comic, ‘Modern Art’ (1980).

Stoop can be considered the founder of the Dutch alternative comics scene. An intriguing personality, he lived his whole life as an anarchist and a free mind. He died of a heart attack at the age of 52.

www.ftn-books.com has found of the Real Free Press papers with works by a.o Robert Crumb and has them for sale .

Posted on

Seven Deadly Sins (1969) and Gerd Arntz

In 1969 the Walburg press published a prestige publication containing . original prints by dutch artist on theme of ZEVEN HOOFDZONDEN / SEVEN DEADLY SINS . The edition only 375 copies were printed. Bound in a beautiful gold special paper cover. Among the artist there is Gerd Arntz who made a print on the ENVY theme.

zeven hoofdzonden h

There si no way i can describe this publication in a way to do it justice so i decided to publish all the print pages of the book. The book is available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Posted on

Allen Jones (1938) is British Pop Art

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-06 om 16.22.03

For me Allen Jones stands for his mannequin like sculptures. Possibly the best known is a woman kneeling on all fours with on her back a glas table surface. The sculpture acting like a salon table. This use of glass and mannequin sculptures is frequently done by Jones. He made several tables and even some chairs out of these mannequins.

This is possibly the most famous part from his oeuvre, but one must not forget his paintings. Highly original Pop Art paintings and well deserving their place among the best Pop Art in the world. Jones his images are influenced by Lindner but they also have some parts of the cheesecake poses of the ones Mel Ramos produced ( tomorrows blog).

www.ftn-books.com has some Jones items available

Posted on

Gerard Petrus Fieret / 2 drawings

Schermafbeelding 2018-04-01 om 13.41.09

It was years ago that i bought a poetry book by Gerard Pedtrus Fieret and found 2 drawings from 1982 by him within. The drawings are rapid sketches as he now and then made for friends. These 2 sketches were done for Jopie. I do not know who Jopie is , but in both is a woman depicted so i think Jopie was a female friend of Fieret. Both these drawings are now for sale at ftn art. In the near future i will publish some  “Bierviltjes”and letters i have in my collection. These drawings and letters were written to a friend of mine and are an important piece of Fieret history. But now the 2 drawings by Fieret.

Posted on

Janusz Haka (1951)

Schermafbeelding 2018-03-27 om 14.32.15

I first heard of Janusz Haka when i received an invitation in 1980 by the Jurka gallery in Amsterdam. They held an exhibition with the polish artist Janusz Haka. Since the list of his exhibitions is a very very long one and because of his subjects his art was appreciated in many places all over the world. I would say that his art has influences of Walasse Ting and Leroy Neiman, but Haka is as original as the ones just mentioned. His style is recognizable and his paintings have in most cases an erotic element but never offend. His paintings are appreciated by both men and women and because of the many colorful elements these are joyful accessible paintings. FTN art is now selling one of these majestic large oils on paper. It is the one which was modelled after “l’origine du monde” by Manet.

Schermafbeelding 2018-03-27 om 12.24.37

 

A beautiful original oil painting , signed and dated 1980 in pencil and a great early Janusz Haka to collect.

Posted on

Nobuyoshi Araki (1940)

Schermafbeelding 2018-03-07 om 09.43.01

Araki has published over 400 books. He is known primarily for his photography that blends eroticism and bondage in a fine art context. But where he first was a rather obscure photographer who dared to photograph his subjects in “forbidden” poses and where his publications were originally sold under the counter. His photography has become mainstream, partly due to his dutch representatives of Reflex gallery and certainly by Benedikt TAschen who published several titles on Araki , including to super large sized ARAKI special publication in 2002.

Nobuyoshi Araki is known best for his intimate, snapshot- style images sensual flowers and of women often tied up with ropes (a kinky japanese art called Kinbaku). ( some of them availabel at Reflex galery / Amsterdam).The magnitude of  Araki’s work is difficult to wrap your head around. Araki is an artist who reacts strongly to his emotions and uses photography to experience them more intensely. His work is at once shocking and mysteriously tender with a burst of power. But one thing strikes me about most of his photographs (besides the obvious nudity) is the relationship between him and the one he captures, the intimacy, the trust and the surrender. Araki is Helmut Newton on drugs but more amplified. He is not afraid of his emotions nor of showing them to the world. He is truly an exceptionally deep and emotional artist. In 1970 he created his famous Xeroxed Photo Albums, which he produced in limited editions and sent to friends, art critics and even people he selected randomly from his local telephone book.  Araki has published over 400 books of his work. Including ARAKI, a super large publication, $4000.00 book of beauty.

Schermafbeelding 2018-03-07 om 09.35.07

About this publication said “this book reveals everything about me. it’s been a 60-year contract. Photography is love and death- that’ll be my epitaph” – Araki

But you do not have to spent as much as 4k USD. There are excellent Araki publications for far less money available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on

Carlo Mollino (1905-1973) …multi disciplined artist

Schermafbeelding 2018-03-04 om 10.30.09

Architect, Photographer, furniture designer and engineer. All these disciplines were combined in one person…the genius Carlo Mollino.

Educated at the Politecnico di Torino he soon became one of the leading architects in that city. Linda and I will be visiting Torino later this year and we certainly will see some of these timeless Mollino buildings.

 

but for me Mollino stands for design and photography, because in both he excels. His engineering skills are undoubtedly there and so are his architectural accomplishments, but with his photography and design he is truly avant-garde. Look at his photographs and you know exactly where Araki and Saudek took their inspiration from and his furniture…. it has the “free” style of the later Memphis group but was much more stylish. (BTW this desk is still in production).

Mollino was a true genius who’s works are better known each year, because his name is not only known in Italy anymore. Because of some very important publications, exhibitions and books, his fame spreads all over the world. A unique artist and personality and one of the great multi disciplined artist from last century.

I found a very good blog on him at this address: https://buildllc.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/the-work-of-carlo-mollino/

and for some Mollino publications please visit www.ftn-books.com