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Pierre Paulin (1927-2009)

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His designs are strongly rooted in the Sixties, but over 60 years of production by the dutch firm Artifort they have proven to be timeless.

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With comfort as his starting-point, Pierre Paulin became a freelance designer for Artifort from the 1960s. This relationship produced many iconic modernist chairs, including Ribbon, Butterfly, Mushroom, Tulip and Orange Slice. His influential designs are now also produced under licence by LaCividina – Dos à Dos. Design archive Paulin, Paulin, Paulin is run by Maia Paulin, Pierre’s wife and business partner. It offers a deep dive into his works beyond the most well-known pieces, to showcase a creator who was relentlessly producing fresh concepts even after he retired in 1994. Prolific, challenging and ground-breaking, Paulin passed away in June 2009. In November of that year, the French Government posthumously awarded him the distinction of ‘Royal Designer for Industry’.

wwww.ftn-books.com has some Paulin related publications available.

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Viktor & Rolf….a very special publication

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The Australian exhibition from 2016 was the fundament of the exhibition held at the Kunsthal to celebrate 25 years of fashion by Viktor & Rolf. Even the layout from this exhibition publication was used, but…….extended!

Beautiful and spectacular additions by the worlds best photographers and designers. Contributions by Anton Corbijn,, Cindy Sherman, Herb Ritts, Inez & Vinoodh, showing pieces worn by Madonna, Tilda Swinton and many others. I have seen many books on Fashion , but this is without a doubt one of the most spectecular ones and now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Natasja Kensmil (1973)

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Natasja Kensmil is one of those talents that emerged in the last 10 years and proved tobe highly important for modern art. Her art is personal and her style can not be compared to anyone else’s. If any….. i immediately though of Basquiat, but these paintings and drawings by Kensmil practically all tell a story or contain a message for the viewer. Her series of REGENTEN PORTRAITS  is a tribute to women who held a position in boards and committees who took care of the old and sick. It was not possible for women to hold a position within a company or government , but these woman made charity in these years possible and took care of the old and sick in society.Schermafbeelding 2021-08-16 om 14.07.56

Another multi panelled work is the “HUWELIJKS PORTRET VAN JOHANDE WITT AND WENDELA BICKER “. Natasja Kensmill forces us to look at our (not so nice) history and beside the importance of the art itself it makes us aware of the message too.

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The book i now have for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com is different. Personal, horror like drawings bound and published by Boekhandel Broekhuis in 2003. Edition of only 500 copies, this book already shows the attraction of Kensmil’s drawing. They attract and repel at the same time. This is the kind of art one must admire and i will be on thelook out for work by Kensmil for our collection.

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John Szarkowski (1925-2007)

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Perhaps Szarkowski was more know for being curator at MOMA then for being one of the greatest photographers from last century.  Here is part of the text the Guardian place shortly after he had passed away.

Szarkowski was a good photographer, a great critic and an extraordinary curator. One could argue that he was the single most important force in American post-war photography.

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Like all good critics and curators, Szarkowski was both visionary and catalyst. When he succeeded the esteemed photographer Edward Steichen as director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1962, he was just 36, and must have been acutely aware of the long shadow cast by his predecessor. Steichen had curated the monumental group exhibition, The Family of Man, at Moma in 1955, which he described as ‘the culmination of his career”. Featuring 503 images by 273 photographers, famous and unknown, it had aimed to show the universality of human experience: death, love, childhood. The show had drawn huge crowds to the gallery and then toured the world, attracting an estimated 9 million viewers.

It was, as Steichen had no doubt intended, a hard act to follow. “We were different people”, Szarkowski later said, “with different talents, characters, limitations, histories, problems and axes to grind. We held the same job at very different times, which means that it was not really the same job.”

More revealingly, Szarkowski also said that Steichen and his predecessor, Beaumont Newhall, “consciously or otherwise, felt more compelled than I to be advocates for photography, whereas I – largely because of their work – could assume a more analytic, less apostolic attitude.” That difference in approach would prove to be a crucial one, and it underpinned a new photographic aesthetic that continues to shape our view of the world to this day.

When Szarkowski took over at Moma, there was not a single commercial gallery exhibiting photography in New York and, despite Steichen and Newhall’s pioneering work, the form had still not been accepted by most curators or critics. Szarkowski changed all that. He was the right person in the right place at the right time: a forward thinker who was given control of a major art institution at a moment when his democratic vision chimed with the rapidly changing cultural tastes of the time.

Szarkowski insisted on the democracy of the image, whether it be a formally composed Ansel Adams landscape, a snatched shot that caught the frenetic cut-and-thrust of a modern city or a vernacular subject like a road sign or a parking lot. “A skillful photographer can photograph anything well,” he once insisted.

In his still-challenging book, The Photographer’s Eye (1964), Szarkowski included snapshots alongside images by great photographers, and argued – brilliantly – that photography differed from any other art form because its history had been “less a journey than a growth”. “Its movement has not been linear and consecutive but centrifugal,” he suggested. “Photography, and our understanding of it, has spread from a centre; it has, by infusion, penetrated our consciousness. Like an organism, photography was born whole. It is in our progressive discovery of it that its history lies.”

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www.ftn-books.com has the Szarkowski /Josef Albers Museum available

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10 great and iconic buildings, no. 1

This list is invented to make some quick and easy blogs for this month filled with festivities. I chose the buildings because i think they belong to the most important from all buildings realized in the last 100 years.

So here is no. 1. Falling Water house, by Frank Lloyd Wright

We have never visited this one, but hope that at some time we will. Whenever there is a chance to visit and enter a great building we do not hesitate and enter…. In the past there were the Empire state, Eifel tower, Musee Louis Vuitton, Atomium, the Glasshouse in Retiro Park Madrid and so many more, but this one is probably the highest on the wish list. Together with the Rothko chapel it would be the ultimate US destination for us.

Waterfall house by FLW

The house is build over the waterfall and combines the best in japanese landscape architecture together with the modernism of FLW. Build as a vacation home for the Kaufmann family, the building quality was far less than perfect. It was necessary to restore it in order to preserve it. But restoration has completed some decades ago and now the house is a museum and can be visited .

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Frank Lloyd Wright publications available.

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A Willem Sandberg Xmas card

I found this picture at the Herb Lubalin center who has this in its collection. A very nice and typical Willem Sandberg card to wish you a Merry Christmas in 1958.

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an old wish, but a new one from me….. a Merry Christmas 2021

 

Many Sandberg and Lubalin items are available at www.ftn-books.com

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10 great and iconic buildings, no. 4

This list is invented to make some quick and easy blogs for this month filled with festivities. I chose the buildings because i think they belong to the most important from all buildings realized in the last 100 years.

So here is no. 4. the Guggenheim Museum, New York by Frank Lloyd Wright

The second museum on the list and also one of my personal favorites.

Certainly Iconic. Next to Central Park /Fifth Avenue near 88th street.

the Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright

My personal story on the Guggenheim. ….I visited New York 3 times and never visited the Guggenheim. All 3 times the museum was closed , one time renovation and 2 times changing the exhibitions and therefore i never had a chance to see it from the inside and walk the spiral galleries. Still i admire the buidlinge and from my books i know they have one of the greatest art collections in the world.

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

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Nicholas Nixon (1947)

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I specially went to Bottrop to see the Nixon series on the Brown sisters in 2004 and i was not disappointed ( poster available at www.ftn-books.com).

Nicholas Nixon takes intimate, black-and-white photographs of children, the elderly and infirm, and his own family (as well as cityscapes). Best known for his series “The Brown Sisters”, Nixon began taking portraits of his wife, Bebe, and her three sisters in 1975, and has continued to photograph them annually since.

 

left  the Brown Sisters in 1980 , right the Sisters in 2019

Influenced by the photography of Walker Evans, Edward Weston, and Alfred Stieglitz, among others, Nixon works with a large-format camera; “For me the print is what matters most. Generally the biggest possible negative has the most clarity, presence, and believability,” he has said. Nixon’s images, which include close-up self-portraits of the artist’s bearded face, manifest the humanistic potential of photography, offering moments of tenderness between individuals, and meticulously capturing the minute details of his subjects.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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Martijn Sandberg (1967)

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Just a simple blog on a great artist and his ideas . I admire Martijn Sandberg for his art. Every few month i look at his site and find some new works that fascinate me . Just take a dive into Martijn’s ideas and visit the link below. An internet related project by Martijn Sandberg. An art work he exclusively made available on the internet

http://www.msandberg.nl/noimageavailable/

Martijn Sandberg ‘Image Messages’The work of Amsterdam based visual artist Martijn Sandberg (1967) constantly explores border areas, such as the tension between text and image, illegible into legible, the private and the public domain. ”I make Image Messages, image is message is image.” The image hides the message.
In the cut paintings, such as ‘Sorry No Image Yet’ and ‘Im Westen Nichts Neues’, there is a subtle play between the language of the image and the significance of the image, and this gives rise to questions. Here, even the lack of image seems to be elevated to an image by the artist.


The direct relationship between the image, the material bearing the image and the environment is also expressed in his site-specific works in public space and architecture. As in the ‘De Oude Weg Naar De Nieuwe Tijd’ artwork, integrated as a brick relief in the walls of the gates and the pavement of the Spaarndammerhart building, Amsterdam. Or in the sculpture ‘I Will Survive’ located at the border of a burial ground in Hardenberg, The Netherlands.

BTW. For those interested in the editions by Martijn Sandberg please visit his shop at :

http://www.msandberg.nl/shop.php?shop=yes

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Tobias Pils (1971)

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I entered the Josef Albers Museum 3 months ago, crossed the treshold and there it was ….on the left at 20 meters, large and totally in black and white…..one of the most impressive paintings i had seen in years. This is how i learned about Tobias Pils. I dit not know of the artist before, but his works have an abstract and graphic quality i had not seen before.

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Working within a palette of blacks and whites and the range of grays that can be made from them, he creates mixed media paintings full of abstract and representational elements. These elements are often arranged so that they flow from one to the next seemingly of their own accord, obeying the dictates of a painterly logic that generates meaning through the accumulation of many small moments. As such, Pils’s works are endlessly captivating as arrangements of textures, flows, and material invention—in a sense, as symphonic, non-objective compositions, even when their mythological content and primal imagery tempt narrative readings. This syncretic approach reflects a mind that revels in contradictions, even as it seeks to suture together contrasting passages with a subtle and virtuosic array of mark-making strategies that are alternately bold, incisive, impressionistic, and completely open to the innate properties of paint medium and support. Pils works at a variety of scales and in different contexts, responding to the urgency of his own intuition and the external constraints of architectural and institutional settings with equal fluency. In each of these forums, he locates the places where the vast and the intimate meet, both in the physical world and the human psyche alike. The Tobias Pils poster for his Josef Albers MUseum exhibition is available at www.ftn-books.com

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