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Joke Robaard (1953)

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An interesting artist. First time i encountered work was at a fashion centre and later i learned more on the artist. SHe is fascinating and there are not many publications on her. The best was published by VALIZ and is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com

The Dutch artist and photographer Joke Robaard originally trained in fashion, investigates the configuration of groups of people, for example in networks of friends, colleagues, companies and neighbours. She ‘directs’ individuals in certain positions and patterns in relation to one another, which are then photographed, and uses clothing to illustrate where the connections lie and how they are constantly shifting.

Her work is based on a huge collection of images and texts relating to people’s clothing behaviour patterns. Robaard does not categorise them as ‘fashion’, but wants to find out how clothing works. Her archive can be seen as a cartographic record of everyday clothing. Robaard moves simultaneously through the various zones of visual art, photography, video and fashion.
Moving through art, photography, video and fashion her beautifully designed book Folders, Suits, Pockets, Files, Stock includes texts by Gilles Deleuze, Roland Barthes, Robert Bresson, Jorinde Seijdel and the artist herself.

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Pierre Poiret ….King of Fashion

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The following text was originally published in the New York Times.
Poiret’s achievement is not as visible today as that of Coco Chanel, who built on some of his ideas and discarded others. His fashion house closed in 1929, and he spent his remaining years impoverished. But Poiret was for a while a revolutionary in revolutionary times and also a canny impresario. His radically streamlined, unstructured, often stridently colored clothes freed women from corsets while evoking exotic, non-Western cultures and a fierce disregard for social convention.

He introduced these corset-free garments in 1906, the year before Picasso committed his decidedly uninhibited (and unstaid) “Demoiselles d’Avignon” to canvas. But with his love of the exotic, his brilliant use of color and pattern, and his penchant for simplified, almost rudimentary form, Poiret most resembles Matisse.

Poiret functioned as a kind of one-man cultural scene. He collected art, gave lavish costume parties and made astute use of the press while laying the groundwork for fashion design as a modern art and a modern business. His clients included Sarah Bernhardt, Nancy Cunard, Isadora Duncan, Colette and Helena Rubinstein. Man Ray photographed Peggy Guggenheim in a Poiret gown and turban. Edward Steichen’s first fashion photographs were taken of models in Poiret’s atelier.

He was the first designer to understand the value of designing for well-known actresses both onstage and off. He was also the first to create his own line of perfume, named Rosine, for his eldest daughter, and the first to open an interior design store, Atelier Martine, named for his second daughter but inspired by the Weiner Werkstätte. His innovations included the chemise, harem pants and pantaloons and the popular lampshade skirt. When he visited the United States in 1913, he found himself called the king of fashion and discovered the underside of modern fashion success: His lampshade skirt was being copied far and wide.

Organized by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton, who are curator in charge and curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, “Poiret: King of Fashion” conveys quite a bit of his complex genius and his contradictory relationship with modernity. It displays 50 garments on mannequins (by Beyond Design) whose ovoid faces and cryptic features evoke Brancusi and Modigliani. The silk backdrops, which are the work of Jean-Hugues de Chatillon, a French set designer who served as the exhibition’s creative consultant, accent the show’s spaciousness with indelibly Parisian vistas of leafy parks, chic theaters and luxurious drawing rooms. All told you may have the sensation of drifting through a series of extraordinarily beautiful fashion illustrations, an art that Poiret cultivated to his advantage.

 

Poiret’s liberation of the female body was in part inspired by the gamine build and independent spirit of his wife and muse, Denise, whom he married in 1905. In other ways it was born of necessity. Although he was initiated into the couturier business between 1898 and 1903, working as a designer for Jacques Doucet and then the House of Worth, Poiret never trained in the exacting crafts of couture tailoring or dressmaking.

His design ideas began with the flat, rectangle of the fabric itself, as did the Japanese kimonos and North African caftans he admired. They then evolved through draping, not tailoring, into garments with a minimum of seams that pretty much hung from the shoulders.

Poiret drew from a broad range of sources. Early in the show there is a trio of nightgowns, based on the Classical Greek gown known as the chiton, that are precursors to the 1950s negligee and the early 21st-century socialite party dress. To one side of these are two white high-waisted dresses that hark back to the severe yet demure gowns of post-Revolution France, displayed with an Atelier Martine chair that has bubbly hand-painted fabric.

Nearby is evidence of Poiret’s attraction to a more ornate form of non-Western dress: a gauzy harem outfit studded with enormous beads of turquoise celluloid that Denise might have worn to their most famous fete, “The Thousand and Second Night” costume party on June 24, 1911.

But turn around and you will see a stark simplicity that may take you aback: a gown that resembles nothing so much as a 1960s abstract painting. Wrapped gracefully around a mannequin, it has no sleeves or collar to speak of, just four broad, alternating bands of stylishly darkened red and blue.

Poiret’s best clothes were abstract in a very real sense, with a kind of self-evident structure that is a precursor of Minimalism, as well as of clothing designs as different as those of Rei Kawakubo, Hussein Chalayan and Andrea Zittel. His basic form was a cylinder, with or without sleeves attached. It appeared in his work as early as 1905 in his Révérend Coat embellished with Chinese roundels. The first garment in the show, it is worn over a white, lacy, high-necked, pinch-waisted Edwardian gown, like those Poiret designed at the beginning of his career. The sartorial conflict accents the shock of the newness of his sense of form, structure and color.

His best known and most audacious designs are a series of full-length columnar opera coats that begin in 1911 and culminate in the 1919 Paris Evening Coat, merely a swath of uncut fabric with a single seam. In a wonderful bit of exhibition magic this Möbius-like feat is demonstrated in a brief digital animation projected on a scrim that then turns transparent, revealing the actual coat behind it.

But even without digital aids you can see how his garments are built, step by step. A day coat began as a black satin jacket based on a Chinese robe. To this he added four strips of cream-colored wool jacquard striped horizontally with thin lines of brown for two cuffs, a simple folded-over collar and a slightly gathered skirt that reaches almost to the floor.

The contrast of fabrics joined in this single form is elegantly harsh, like a combination of Hudson Bay blanket and black tie. A similar contrast is drawn more closely in a jumperlike dress made of gold-lamé twill.

Poiret followed modernity only so far. By the mid 1920s Chanel was designing convenient, understated clothes for women enjoying an increased sense of physical and social freedom in the wake of World War I. But Poiret ignored the shorter skirts and trimmer lines and continued enveloping women in luxurious garments that began to look cumbersome.

the following books on Poiret are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Ørnulf Ranheimsæter (1909-2007)

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Ørnulf Ranheimsæter was a Norwegian illustrator, graphical artist and essayist.

He was born in Skien, and educated at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry, where he also later worked as instructor and eventually professor. He is known for his many book designs, and received the Bokkunstprisen award in 1967 and 1987. He was awarded the Fritt Ord Honorary Award in 1998.

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Why this rather obscure , lesser know Norwegian artist?.

The best reason is he illustrated DEN HELIGE NATTEN by Hjalmar Gullberg.  A short story on the Holy Night ( containing 4 original prints). The most appropriate story for today. ( the book is available at www.ftn-books.com)

Merry Christmas!

wilfried

 

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Pretty Dutch / 2007

I have seen thousands of art book covers during this last year and here is the one that I think struck me most. It is a publication by the Princessehof from 2007 in which their collection is presented in the very best way possible. Photography of the collection by Erik and Petra Hesmerg and then there is this cover……..

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Photography by Fritz Kok and catalogue design by Ben Lambers

printed by Die Keure

an excellent threesome making a great publication now available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Giorgio Armani (1934)

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I have a soft spot for fashion catalogues. It is not that I am a “fashionado” but the way these seasonal publications by the greatest of fashion designers are published I admire. They search for the best photographers, stylists, designers and really spent serious money on a publication that is in most cases given away for free. Chanel is arguably my personal favourite. They published in the Lagerfeld years really great catalogues and the combination Claudia Schiffer / Karl Lagerfeld is hard to beat by others.

Still, a great effort was done during the last 30 years by “Giorgio Armani” being in the fashion business since 1975 , they currently have over 300 stores spread all over the world ( except Africa). This means their appeal has to be truly international and with the seasonal catalogues, they presented in a universal way their fashion to their public. Besides some very nice Chanel catalogues, FTN books has also some great and classic Giorgio Armani catalogues available.

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the 500 first Stedelijk Museum publications…A very important list

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Last Thursday i encountered finally one of the list I was hoping to find for a long time. The list is made in the beginning of the Eighties when interest rose in acquiring and collecting the Stedelijk Museum publications. Since the start in the Mid ’30s from last century, over 1100 publications have been published by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and this list contains the numbers and titles of the first 500 numbered publications. Willem Sandberg, Piet Zwart and Wim Crouwel, 3 of the greatest of Dutch designers all can be found on this list and i noticed of the 500 titles on it I have over 400 currently available at http://www.ftn-books.com

Beside the one on the list, there are of course many others published by the Stedelijk Museum FTN books has available. Take a look, save and share this very important document. the list is in PDF format and can be downloaded with the link below:

sm lijst 1 tm 500

 

 

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New Business Card FTN books & Art

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Some recent changes made it necessary to translate these changes into a new business card. The most important one being two new email addresses. One personal one and the other for the FTN books & Art contacts. So here is all the new business information to contact me and keep track of my activities, the daily blog and additions to my inventory.

Wilfried van den Elshout / FTN books

Veursestraatweg 106c

2265CG Leidschendam,  the Netherlands

www.ftn-books.com

www.ftn-blog.com

new email : wilfriedvandenelshout@gmail.com

new email : ftnbooksandart@gmail.com

 

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Albert Van Der Weide ( 1949 )

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A good way to start the New Year.

ALLE MACHT AAN DE KUNST

A happy and healthy 2020

 The art item ” ALLE MACHT AAN DE KUNST ” ( all power to art ) is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

weide macht

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A classic Christmas Card by Bill Hurtz, ca. 1940

This year a classic Christmas Card for all blog readers. It is a card by one of Walt Disney’s 1940 studio employees…Bill Hurtz. he made a true Disney “classic” with this card.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS,

wilfried

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Cornelie Tollens (1964)

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Just a little younger than Erwin Olaf, but seeing both photographers photo’s you can conclude that they are from the same generation and inspired each other. Tollens is an Erwin Olaf 2.0? ……

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far from that, because this is an artist with a keen eye on her surroundings and placing objects in such a way that they become something else and have a different meaning . It is the absurd combinations that make her photographs in the book WEIRD NATURE stand out from the others. ( book available at www.ftn-books.com).

But one look at her site ( http://www.cornelietollens.com) shows that her other discipline in which she excels….. the photography of dutch actors and artists….is another specialty. She has had almost every younger artist in front of her camera and for those familiar with dutch cultural life this is a great way to look at the most famous of dutch actors and artists.

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