On the 8th of May 2018 i published a blog on the very impressive photography by Wally Elenbaas. These were photographs not lightly to be forgotten. Specially because Elenbaas was sentenced to prison for these beautiful photographs.
Now it is time to shine some light on another aspect of this great dutch artist. Elenbaas was also a gifted designer and used his typography to create images and illustrations consisting of letters transforming these and their meaning into illustrations. Images tell a far better story than words so here are some illustrations….and….the LETTERBOEK is available at http://www.ftn-books.com
The idea originated in 1924 when Jean Carlu was invited to design the label for the Mouton Rothschild 1924 it took another 21 years before the series really was launched, but since 1945, every label of the famous chateuau Mouton Rothschild was designed by a contemporary artist. They are entirely free, depending on their own ideas, to take their inspiratrion from the theme of the vine, from the pleasure of drinking, from the symbol of the ram or simple from a particular concept of Mouton. All artists to date have accepted these terms. Since 1974 the choice of painters approached by Mouton is done by the Baron and in later years by Philippine his daughter. The label design is an honor and the recognition of being one of the great names in Modern Art. among the artists are the absolute greatest names in Modern Art. Warhol, Picasso, Steinberg, Haring and Georg Baselitz for which presentation this catalogue was published in 1992. Their payment? ….it is said that there is no payment except they receive their weight in wine.
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.
Another French Art deco artist to write about is the less famous, but very much intriguing Louis Icart,
He was best known for his drawings of glamorous women—often erotic or mildly humorous in tone—as well as for his depictions of 1920s Paris life. He was born in Toulouse, France in 1888, and began drawing at a young age. In 1907, he moved to Paris and began studying painting, drawing, and printmaking. Influenced by Jean Antoine Watteau, François Boucher, and Jean Honoré Fragonard, he became a major figure of the Art Deco period, with his work surging in popularity in both the United States and Europe throughout the 1920s and 1930s. He also worked as a designer in fashion studios during a time when the industry was undergoing a major change, moving away from the conservatism of the 19th century towards a more progressive simplicity. He died on December 20, 1950, at his home in Paris, France.
Early September 2019 i recommended the Mr Gridnik exhibition which would open shortly after in the Stedelijk Museum. Just a few days before opening Mr. Gridnik/ Wim Crouwel died and he never witnessed his tribute at the Stedelijk. Since i have not found the time to go to this exhibition myself, but now that i finally have the opportunity and started planning my visit, i found out that all rooms are photographed and can be visited on line. It is a worthy tribute to one of the greatest designers from the last decade, but could have been much more complete. It focusses for 90% on the Stedelijk Museum publications, but it is still a very impressive sight to see so many great designs collected, but the real surprise is that i noticed that i have almost all of the books on show in my inventory. (www.ftn-books.com)
For those living too far away to visit the exhibition….here is the direct link to the rooms and showcases with Crouwel material:
This morning i read in our newspaper that the artist/photograph Ger Dekkers died on the 20th of January. Dekkers will always be known for his series of landscapes that he combined into an abstract almost constructivist composition. Dekkers was the artist who needed a landscape for his art. www,ftn-books.com has several books on Dekkers available.
This week several blogs on “Figuration Libre” . It is the french counterpart of the mouvement which was led by haring, Scharf and Basquiat in the US, b ut with a difference, because , in my opinion, The Europeans? French were influenced by comis art from the Sixties and Seventies. The US artist did not have this legacy but invented a kind of street art on their own. Artistically more important but in many cases less pleasing to the eye.
Figuration Libre (“Free Figuration”) is a French art movement which began in the 1980s. It is the French equivalent of Bad Painting and Neo-expressionism in America and Europe, Junge Wilde in Germany and Transvanguardia in Italy. Arists in the movement typically incorporate elements of comic book art and graffiti into their work. They use bright colors and exaggerated, caricature-like figures.
The group was formed in 1981 by Robert Combas, Remi Blanchard, François Boisrond and Hervé Di Rosa. The term ‘Figuration Libre’ was coined by Fluxus artist Ben Vautier. Other figures include Richard Di Rosa and Louis Jammes. Between 1982 and 1985, these artists exhibited alongside their American counterparts Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Kenny Scharf in New York City, London, Pittsburgh and Paris.
Figuration Libre (Free Figuration) can be translated as “Free Style”.
Of course there is a reason to devote these blogs to Figuration Libre. I have acquired a small collection of important books by these artists which is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com
Last April/May we visited the region around Castiglione Tinella again and this time the weather was better to make some very nice photographs of the David Tremlett painted church at Coazollo. The difference this time sunny with some beautiful clouds and i remembered to make this time a nice panorama shot. Here are the photographs of this visit.
I am always looking for special publications on art and artists and this one i found with a Prague antiquarian. It is a publication on Hans Erni. There are nowadays many of Erni publications , ( Erni has become the oldest artist i have ever written about), but at the time of this publication in 1947 , Erni was hardly known and with this Czech publication had one of his very first publications realized. It is in its kind spectacular because the art within is presented in a small portfolio with 16 offset prints. Published by Vladimir Zikes in 1947 t….. a very nice and highly collectable Erni item.
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( wikipedia ays about erni) Erni was commissioned by the Lucerne Museum Fine Arts to organize an exhibit about Pablo Picasso. The Spanish artist remained grateful for that opportunity to show his art in Switzerland. In 1936 Erni started to work with abstract art. From 1940 to 1945 he was a soldier in the Swiss army and was engaged as a camouflage painter because of his experience with large-size murals. In 1948, he was a competitor in the 1948 Summer Olympics’ painting competitions. Between 1950 and 1952 he participated to exhibitions in Latin America. However his participation in the Biennale of São Paulo was not authorized by Federal Councillor Philipp Etter. After a stay in Mauritania and Guinea he painted African topics. In 1960 he organized with Alfred Pauletto, Celestino Piatti, Hugo Wetli and Kurt Wirth an exhibition in Olten about graphic design and painting. He participated to the 1964 Documenta exhibition in Kassel, in the graphic design department.
On 15 September 1979 the Swiss Museum of Transport opened a large personal collection of Erni’s works. He realized a 30 meter long mural for the Museum. Erni was very interested in sport and received the United States Sports Academy award of sport artist of the year in 1989. In 1993 his works were exhibited at the Pence Gallery in San Francisco.
He celebrated his 100th birthday in 2009. His sister, Maria Strebi-Erni (January 14, 1907 – January 29, 2014), died at the age of 107. Erni died on March 21, 2015, aged 106.
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20