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Jean Cocteau (1889-1963)…author or painter?

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NO doubt in my mind. For me Jean Cocteau was a painter/photographer. Surely he was a multitalented artist, but in his drawings he shines. Personal, bold and typical Cocteau styled. These drawings are timeless and have at one time been published by Taschen in highly affordable, but beautiful executed publication.

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But beside this great introduction to his ( erotic) drawings there are many other publications worth collecting on this artist. www.ftn-books.com has some of them available, but it is well worth to search for these small but excellent publications on book markets and at garage sales. Cocteau was a great and original artist.

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Mel Ramos ( 1935 )

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Mel Ramos made hyperrealistic paintings , but if i had to decide what kind of artist he was , i would rather say he was first and foremost a Pop Art artist.

Ramos is best known for his paintings of superheroes and voluptuous female nudes emerging from cornstalks or Chiquita bananas, popping up from candy wrappers or lounging in martini glasses.

Ramos was among the first wave of Pop Art artists who gained recognition for their art. His art was hidden for a long time for us dutch. No publications were available and the nude paintings/illustrations we had in magazines over here were practically all done by Alberto Vargas, the famous Playboy illustrator, but none by Mel Ramos

Ramos received his first important recognition in the early 1960s; since 1959 he has participated in more than 120 group shows. Along with Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, he was one of the first artists to do paintings of images from comic books, and works of the three were exhibited together at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1963. Along with Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselman and Wayne Thiebaud, Ramos produced art works that celebrated aspects of popular culture as represented in mass media. His paintings have been shown in major exhibitions of Pop art in the U.S. and in Europe, and reproduced in books, catalogs, and periodicals throughout the world.

PS. i started to write this blog knowing for sure i had a great publication on Ramos in my stock, but unfortunately it was sold some years ago and it is not available any longer at www.ftn-books.com

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Walace Berman (1926-1976)

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You have to dig in a little deeper to appreciate the art of Wallace Berman. Wallace Berman a Collage artist who was of great influence to 60’s art in California.

He was an American visual and assemblage artist and  has been called the “father” of assemblage art.

I started to take an interest in Berman when i first acquired an impressive title on Berman at a huge discount at de Slegte bookstores in the Netherlands. They had stacks and stacks of these books , because the Berman ICA exhibition was not popular at all and many of the printed books were unsold. Published in 1992, it is now 25 years ago and has not lost its importance. This is an excellent book on Berman and shows the qualities of Berman as an Underground artist and the publisher of the ground breaking magazine Semina of which only 9 issues were published .

This excellent Berman book which was published with the Berman / ICA Amsterdam exhibition was printed by the best printer (Lecturis), has an excellent design and typography and is considered by me as one of the best exhibition publications in the Netherlands from the 90’s.

 

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Pan Andrea (continued)… a series of illustrations

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Perhaps not very well known is that Pat Andrea had a career as an illustrator before his paintings rose to fame . Interesting to know is that the strange atmosphere and surreal situations in his paintings have an origin and that origin is his many illustrations he has made during his life. In the Seventies a series of books by herman Pieter de Boer were published by Elsevier in which all illustrations were done by Pat Andrea.

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The series was quite popular but the quality of the illustrations was realized by many after Pat Andrea had received a retrospective abroad and people could see the link between the illustrations and his larger scaled works. The series is hard to find nowadays ( www.ftn-books.com has it available) and for those that understand and can read dutch the stories are all excellent and a little bit like Roald Dahl short stories, but for all remain the illustrations within each volume. Each book contains approximately 25 illustrations all exclusively done by Pat Andrea and all specially made to fit the story. I love these illustrations, because in many of them one can recognize later subjects for is beautiful paintings. These books deserve to be collected.

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Issey Miyake (1938) and Irving Penn

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The first time i encountered the name of Issei Miyake was when an exhibition in the Nederlands Kostuummuseum was organized by curator Ietse Mey. The pleated fabrics by Miyake impressed and on a later occasion at the Groninger Museum i became an admirer of his designs.

Miyake has not become a mainstream designer and his designs are to complex to be worn in daily life, but he is important and he developed under his own brand name “l’Eau d’Issey” a range of balms and aftershaves which have become highly successful and made him a wealthy man. One publication must be discussed in this blog, because it is one of the best fashion photo books ever and its printing is outstanding and probably the reason why this is such a beautiful book. The fashion designs “shine” and look to float on the white blank pages. The photography is by Irving Penn, who made this the ultimate Issey Miyake book. Highly recommended and available at www.ftn-books.com

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Anton Pieck ( 1895-1987), the ultimate dutch illustrator.

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Anton Pieck, perhaps the best known illustrator in the Netherlands was responsible for the artistic creations in the very first Efteling amusement park. The Fairy Ttale forest was executed after the designs and illustrations by Anton Pieck and he stayed partly responsible for all the extensions of the forest and the new attractions until the late Seventies. Pieck his career is one of many disciplines. He foremost was a book illustrator,  but later his illustrations were used in greeting and birthday cards. What people do not know is that he was also a gifted graphic artist and painter. Personally i do not think he was the best from his generation. I prefer the simplicity of Rie Cramer with her thick outlines, but i fully understand why Pieck is so popular. His scenes are scenes from a long forgotten world, but a world which is still associated with the country side i the Netherlands. There are still a few places which look like true Pieck villages like Doesburg/ Deventer, but his illustrations stand for a long forgotten world and scenes like in his illustrations are nowhere to be found anymore.

For those seeking the atmosphere and possibly some nice merchandise. Visit the official Anton Pieck Museum in Hattem.

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Because of his popularity www.ftn-books.com has always a nice selection of Pieck publications available.

There is more !

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Classic catalogues part 1 …..Picasso

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The second day for the extra focus on the classics within the inventory of www.ftn-books.com

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This time it is Picasso. Although i personally am not a great fan of Picasso, there are so many others that admire this Spanish artist and for them …take notice that this is the last day that the discount code is valid. Not only the many publicatons on Picasso are sold with a discount of 10%, but all publications and specials within the inventory go with a discount.

use : CLASSIC10 at your checkout and receive the discount.

 

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Peter Blake (1932) … a British Pop-Art artist

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Peter Blake is known by the dutch art lovers as one of the first Pop Art artist who had the opportunity to exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum, Together with this exhibition an excellent catalogue designed by Wim Crouwel was published , bu apart from that his work is becoming more and more important every year. The same with Paolozzi works , this Pop Art is original and authentic and where it was almost forgotten 30 years ago it is now considered among the best art from the 60’s.

Without knowing, many people have admired Peter Blake’s works and are familiar with it . This, because he was the painter and designer of the Beatles Sgt Pepper  album. He even made a second version for Liverpool being cultural capital of Europe in 2008.

In the original 1967 work, the Beatles form the centrepiece wearing colourful military-style outfits while their wax models also feature. However, in the 2012 piece, the faces of Ringo Starr and the late John Lennon and George Harrison have all been omitted.

And even Sir Paul McCartney has been relegated to the third row – one behind his daughters Stella, the fashion designer, and Mary, the photographer. Blake, known as the Godfather of Pop Art, has put his own face and images of his family where the Fab Four once stood.

Blake painted several album sleeves. He designed the sleeve for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with his wife Jann Haworth, the American-born artist whom he married in 1963 and divorced in 1979. The Sgt. Pepper’s sleeve has become an iconic work of pop art, much imitated and Blake’s best-known work. Producing the collage necessitated the construction of a set with cut-out photographs and objects, such as flowers, centred on a drum (sold in auction in 2008) with the title of the album. Blake has subsequently complained about the one-off fee he received for the design (£200[5][6]), with no subsequent royalties. Blake made sleeves for the Band Aid single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (1984), Paul Weller’s Stanley Road (1995) and the Ian Dury tribute album Brand New Boots and Panties (2001; Blake was Dury’s tutor at the Royal College of Art in the mid-60s). He designed the sleeves for Pentangle’s Sweet Child and The Who’s Face Dances (1981), which features portraits of the band by a number of artists.

There are some excellent publications on Blake available at www.ftn-books.com

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Proost Prikkels 251 / Ontwerpers GKf

For those working in the printing business, these Proost Prikkels are possible known publications. for the others ….most people do not know them. Proost Prikkels are the publicity prestigious prints by Proost & Brandt paper. There are over 400 of these publications. They appeared irregularly ( between 1936 and the mid eighties), but were always of the highest quality and in most cases related to paper, design and typography. www.ftn-books.com has acquired over 100 numbers of these prestigious publications. Most of them were published between 1960 and 1980. Please mail me the numbers you are looking for and perhaps i have it available among the numbers i acquired. Here are some examples of these Proost Prikkels. the no. 251 is a jubilee publication ( no. 250 was skipped) and contains notecards of 79 dutch designers.

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Peter Geni (1908-1969)

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A lesser known name, but when i noticed an item at auction at one of the last auction viewings i visited recently , it struck me how timeless and impressive his abstract works are. Peter Geni only had one major exhibition a the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

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in 1970, right after he had died, but the small catalogue by Wim Crouwel shows the same qualities as the portfolio i encountered for aution. Unfortunately the price was too high to acquire it, but the SM catalogue is still available at www.ftn-books.com

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A new look and feel for the daily FTN blog and FTN art.

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These pages with the daily blogs on “books and art” needed some changes. I had to give the “Piet Dirkx daily” a more prominent spot, the place it deserves and made a new and better focus on FTN art . I found a better template and layout and because of that the items which are for sale are far more easy to access. A search option for blog and art is now included in a much better place.

The new blog site will be changed and adjusted in the coming weeks. I have to find out what works best and how to make it better, but for the moment ….enjoy!

PS. I am sorry if i published some test versions and you were wrongly notified for the new blogs published.

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Massimo Rao …a new addition

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Those of you following this blog, know that i admire the art of Massimo Rao  (1950-1996). Rao was during his life represented by Gallery Steltman and Steltman published in 1992 a special edition of their Massimo Rao publication. This book was published exactly the same as the non numbered edition, but with two large differences. First, there was a very special etching included and secondly the book was published with a beautiful bright red slipcase. The etching is a true masterpiece and when you look closely at the etching ( see the close up photograph) you see that Rao “paints” with an etching needle. This very nice copy will grace my personal library and will replace the Massimo Rao publication which i had and cherished until now. It is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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