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
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.
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.
His first exhibtion was held in 1966 at galerie 20 and since Walter Nobbe has had a loyal following of admirers. He was a master in drawing and painting the male figure and since his early days as an artist he belonged to the ABN group. Together with Pat Andrea and Peter Blokhuis he formed this group of young painters who were considered as the “creme de la Creme’ of dutch new realistic painters. Nobbe deserves a reappreciation of his art.
It has beside a high level of Craftmanship some great artistic components that make these work stand out from other from this era. Nobbe has had a loyal following. Specially in Den Haag and surroundings his works are well known. Pulchri and Gemeentmuseum have had his works frequently on show during exhibitions. Still, ask about Nobbe outside the region and his name becomes less familiar and that is a pity.
www.ftn-books.com has some nice Nobbe publications including a limited signed edition
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.
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.
A strange but still highly collectable book is the book by Ornela Vorpsi, an Albanian writer/photographer who’s work i first encountered through a publication which is available at WWW.FTN-BOOKS.COM. An excellent and beautiful publicatioin by SCALO publishers who have a nose for new talented photographers. Photographs which are mysterious and erotic at the same time. Recommended and as said …..collectable.
I have had questions in the past….what is your personal interest in books?…. and…..you must have a very nice collection after so many years of being a bookseller. These questions and remarks can be answered simply. I have a large inventory of about 10.000 books that are for sale including some very nice and hard to find titles, but every book in my personal bookcase has a small story attached to it. There are books of exhibitions being held at the Gemeentemuseum while i was a publisher/bookseller at that museum and some were given to me by artists i collect.
About half of the books in my personal bookcase are very small publications related to the artists in our art collection and the remainder is about the artists i like very much and admire. I can say that none of them is very valuable, but for me these books are valuable and important, because they belong to the publication history of the artists i admire. Curious?….just “zoom in” on the picture and discover that of many of these titles i have multiple copies available at www.ftn-books.com. So make this your personal interactive blog and find/discover the titles at www.ftn-books.com
Klaus Fussmann is not very well known outside Germany, but still important enough to devote a blog to this painter. My interest in Fussmann grew when i bought a signed copy of a 30 years old book. It is interesting to see that his style developed into a much more abstract approach to his subjects. If i must compare his works it might me with the later works of the dutch painter Contant. Both found a more realistic style in their paintings with lots of abstract elements. I think Fussmann’s fame stay in Germany only and not cross the border, but for those interested in this fascinating painter, know that www.ftn-books.com has some nice (signed) publications available.
Gerard Petrus Fieret Foto en Copyright volume 1 is arguably the most important recent photography publication from the last 20 years in the Netherlands, but there is also Volume 2 from 2010, of which i now have some copies in stock. It is an even beautiful and nice publication as the volume 1 is. The volume 1 is sold out even with the atiquarian booksellers and it is a rare book to find, but now i have the Volume 2 available and still at a reasonable price. So buy your copy when there still is a chance to add it to your collection of photography books.
Without any focus on Ernst i have maneged to collect many titles on this artist. The first time i noticed hsi name is when i was very much interested in the the Fantastic / HET FANTASTICHE in de Kunst ( book availabel at www.ftn-books.com
Max Ernst, in full Maximilian Maria Ernst, (born April 2, 1891, Brühl, Germany—died April 1, 1976, Paris, France), German painter and sculptor who was one of the leading advocates of irrationality in art and an originator of the Automatism movement of Surrealism. He became a naturalized citizen of both the United States (1948) and France (1958).
Here is the excellent entry from the Encyclopedea Britannica
Ernst’s early interests were psychiatry and philosophy, but he abandoned his studies at the University of Bonn for painting. After serving in the German army during World War I, Ernst was converted to Dada, a nihilistic art movement, and formed a group of Dada artists in Cologne. With the artist-poet Jean Arp, he edited journals and created a scandal by staging a Dada exhibit in a public restroom. More important, however, were his Dada collages and photomontages, such as Here Everything Is Still Floating (1920), a startlingly illogical composition made from cutout photographs of insects, fish, and anatomical drawings ingeniously arranged to suggest the multiple identity of the things depicted.
In 1922 Ernst moved to Paris, where two years later he became a founding member of the Surrealists, a group of artists and writers whose work grew out of fantasies evoked from the unconscious. To stimulate the flow of imagery from his unconscious mind, Ernst began in 1925 to use the techniques of frottage (pencil rubbings of such things as wood grain, fabric, or leaves) and decalcomania (the technique of transferring paint from one surface to another by pressing the two surfaces together). Contemplating the accidental patterns and textures resulting from these techniques, he allowed free association to suggest images he subsequently used in a series of drawings (Histoire naturelle, 1926) and in many paintings, such as The Great Forest (1927) and The Temptation of St. Anthony (1945). These vast swamplike landscapes stem ultimately from the tradition of nature mysticism of the German Romantics.
In 1929 Ernst returned to collage and created The Woman with 100 Heads, his first “collage novel”—a sequence of illustrations assembled from 19th- and 20th-century reading material and a format which he is credited with having invented. Soon afterward he created the collage novels A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil (1930) and A Week of Kindness (1934).
After 1934 Ernst’s activities centred increasingly on sculpture, using improvised techniques in this medium just as he had in painting. Oedipus II (1934), for example, was cast from a stack of precariously balanced wooden pails to form a belligerent-looking phallic image.
At the outbreak of World War II, Ernst moved to the United States, where he joined his third wife, the collector and gallery owner Peggy Guggenheim (divorced 1943), and his son, the American painter Jimmy Ernst. While living on Long Island, New York, and after 1946 in Sedona, Arizona (with his fourth wife, the American painter Dorothea Tanning), he concentrated on such sculptures as The King Playing with the Queen (1944), which shows African influence. After his return to France in 1953, his work became less experimental: he spent much time perfecting his modeling technique in traditional sculptural materials.
In the meantime i have collected many Max Ernst titles at www.ftn-books.com
Is another colorful figure from the early days of NEUE WILDE painting. She was famous for her female figures in her paintings. Bold, proud woman that always looked very much like herself. In many cases she used self portraits in her paintings.
Now for a personal opinion….. At the time i first saw an Elvira BAch painting i was very much impressed . Colorful , proud woman, large size . all the elements i like in a painting, but where Rainer Fetting ( Yesterday’s blog) aroused my interest agin in the Neu Wilde, Elvira BAch i find much much less interesting after 35 years. I can not predict what this will mean for the future for the value of her art, but for me Elvira Bach is not so high anymore on my wish list.
There are some catalogues on Elvira BAch available at www.ftn-books.com