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Piet van der Hem (1885-1961)

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It must have been some 20 years ago that i encountered at auction a beautiful and impressive painting of a night scene. At first i thought it to be a painting by Jan Sluyters, but when i read the description it appeared to be by Piet van der Hem. A painter of who i thought that he only made (ugly) portraits and illustrations. But this night scene was very very impressive. I forgot about van der Hem because i lost interest in all portraits by all painters. a few months ago i visited the bookmarket….and there it was again …a catalogue on van der Hem and on the cover the painting i had admired so much 2 decades earlier. I bought the catalogue and found out that the works by van der Hem can be divided into 2 parts. His early paintings in which his nightlife paintings show his best qualities and the later portraits which i do not like that much. Van der Hem is an excellent painter, but just focus on his early works which are tremendous and equal to Jan Sluyters or Isaac Israel ones.

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the Piet van de Hem catalogue by Stichting Kunst aan de Dijk is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Rob Scholte (1958)

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For me the first confrontation with Scholte’s art was at the gallery ‘t Venster where he had a show on the floor below where Piet Dirks was having his first Rotterdam gallery exhibition. I was shown around by mrs van Gennep who told me that Scholte was a rising star in the art world. Rob Scholte is one of the great dutch contemporary artists. He was on the rise when there was an assassination attempt on him. His car was blown up and in the vent he lost both his legs. This story is known by almost everyone in the Netherland. People who know something of the art scene in the Eighties know that Scholte, Klashorst and Ploeg were the names that rose to fame and of these three Rob Scholte was picked up by important german galleries. Since the bomb explosion it took Scholte a very long time to come back as an artist, but finally he managed to make a come back and have his art in the spot light again, although it never became as important as before his assassination attempt. But his name was important enough to be invited for a “Kruidvat” project. Schermafbeelding 2018-07-17 om 14.10.46

The shops of Kruidvat had the idea to make important art and artists financially accessible to their customers and Scholte was invited to participate. Scholte made silkscreens on canvas of collages of lucifer boxes. Which were sold out immediately after they were published and presented in the Kruidvat stores. www.ftn-books.com has managed to acquire 2 of these highly collectable art works of which the last one is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Ana Juan (1961)

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A combination of illustration and serious art is the art by Ana Juan. I stumbled upon her works some 20 years ago when within the same series as

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Joost Swarte’s Articulado was published, a beautiful book by Ana Juan was published.

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The book also with a thin wood cover impressed me so much that from that date on i followed her progression in art.

A second copy of the book is now available at www.ftn-books.com and you can see for yourself why i was so impressed , because the internet site at :

http://anajuan.net/ana-juan-mainmenu/

is well worth visiting. Here is the information Wikipedia has on her

After graduating in fine arts from Universidad Politécnica in Valencia (1982), she moved to Madrid at the height of the movida madrileña and in the early 1980s she collaborated with magazines such as La Luna and Madriz (where “for the first seven months of the magazine’s life, [she] was the only regular female artist” and for which “she authored seventeen comic book works” and illustrated many scripts for other artists).

In 1991 she temporarily moved to Paris and exhibited in Geneva and New York; in 1994 she received a fellowship by the Japanese publishing house Kodansha and lived in Japan for three months.

Back in Madrid, in 1995 she started contributing to The New Yorker, for which she has designed more than 20 covers over the years,[3] among which “Solidarité”, after the Charlie Hébdo shooting in Paris.

In 1998 and 1999 she was awarded the Gold Medal (category: Illustration) by the Society of Newspaper Design and on September 24, 2010 she was awarded the “Premio Nacional de Ilustración” by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

She currently creates her own books (texts and illustrations), exhibits her work all over the world (Spain, Mexico, Japan, Italy…) and contributes to many Spanish and international magazines. She has also illustrated many Isabel Allende’s book covers for Plaza e Janés (Penguin Random House), among which Retrato en Sepia, Eva Luna, El cuaderno de Maya, Of Love and Shadows, and is one of the very few artists who was allowed by the author himself to illustrate a book by Stephen King, namely The Man in the Black Suit (El hombre del traje negro, Nórdica Libros, 2017).

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Alberto Vargas (1896-1982)

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I consider Alberto Vargas ( born in Peru) as the most original and technically accomplished pin-up artist ever. Of course, France has known some great pin-up artist like Aslan was one of them, The US brought us Elvgren and the more modern Olivia de Barardinis, but for me personally Alberto Vargas is the very best. His style is recognizable, his models are exquisite and his art has always a personal note.

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He started making Pin Up drawings in the early 20’s and kept producing new Pin-Ups  until his early Eighties. Many of them appeared in Playboy magazine and the 60’s Playboy magazines contained each month a new Vargas drawing. The magazines edition rose to an enormous 7 million each month but now has fallen to 800.000.

7 million readers ( viewers) each month meant his name as a gifted (pin-up) artist spread rapidly and original drawings fetched high prices at auction. Prices have fallen a little since these GOLDEN VARGAS DAYS, but a good drawing still fetches  usd. 20K+

Artistically Vargas is for sure not the most important and ground breaking artist, but his drawings have a great appeal and are technically brilliant pieces of art.

www.ftn-books.com has some Vargas titles available

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Piet Klaasse ( 1918 – 2001 )

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My first encounter with work by Piet Klaasse was the time i bought a book on music, illustrated by Piet Klaasse. It certainly was not my kind of art i was interested in, but later i saw the quality of his illustrations. Specially his drawings and paintings of horses are of a rare quality. I compared his work with Rien Poortvliet’s but where Poortvliet tells a story with his illustrations, Klaasse doesn’t. HIs works stand as individual works of art and each tell  a story of their own and are much more mature than those by Poortvliet. I will never buy a Klaasse for my collection but i know of people very much interested in his works. For those …know that www.ftn-books.com has the famous PIET KLAASSE TEKENT PAARDEN in its inventory.

 

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de Angst … Juni 1983

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If ever there was an obscure magazine in the Netherlands it was de Angst. Only a few volumes were published and the one depicted in this blog is one of them. It is from June 1983, was published in an edition size of only 100 copies. Printed/stencilled contents, hand bound signed in the plate by the authors Edzard Diderik, Martin Bril, Dirk van Weelden and Rob Scholte, who also made the original etching which was used as cover.

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The etchinh was colored by hand and the design was later used for one of his editions and a painting with the same name. In the magazine contributions a.o. by members of the ( Amsterdam) punk/avant garde scene which were finding their way into the multiple disciplines of Contemporary Art. There are contributions by Scholte, Maarten Ploeg and Peter Klashorst, who all made a serious art career. This rare magazine is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Wim Crouwel and the Stuyvesant Foundation, 1971

1971 is the year the Stuyvesant Stichting existed 10 years and invited Wim Crouwel for their yearly publication. They had done so on other occasions and Crouwel was their preferred designer. The design in 1971, silver fond, blind printing on the cover and a small font above the middle line.

What strikes me is that in its simplicity and looking much alike the Zero exhibition catalogues form the late Sixties he had done for the Stedelijk Museum. Crouwel found a way to make it special and typically a Wim Crouwel design. The size is familiar. the lay out of the pages too, but the cover is different. He uses a small font for the STUYVESANT STICHTING in a very delicate light blue color on a silver printed fond. This was not the easiest of prints jobs , because beside the silver fond a blind printed title in the cover had to be made. The printer Lecturis did a perfect job with this exclusive publication. It has taken me 15 years to finally find a copy of this highly collectable Wim Crouwel designed book, but now it is for sale at www.ftn-books.com. I now hope it will not take me another 15 years to find the next copy.


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Robert Olaf Stoof (1945-1999)…and Real Free Press.

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Why this blog on a publisher? It is just plain simple…. Stoof is one of the most influential European publishers who paved the way for the alternative comic scene of which for instance , Joost Swarte, was one.

Robert Olaf Stoop was born in Amsterdam and grew up with his grandmother in Indonesia. He grew up to be a full-blooded anarchist, putting provocational pamphlets in the newspapers of non-suspecting travellers when he was working at the AKO in Schiphol Airport. He made posters for Provo magazine, and got involved with comics during the 1960s. In 1966, he self-published his comic ‘De Lotgevallen van Roza’, which can be considered the first European underground comic.

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He founded publishing house The Real Free Press in Amsterdam, “the lost connection for solid facts” which imported American underground comics and reprinted the work of long-forgotten geniuses such as George Herriman, Winsor McCay, Gustave Verbeck and George McManus. Stoop also published magazine De Real Free Press Illustratie, which featured many old and new comic artists, and ran from 1968 until 1974.

Olaf Stoop was one of the first to recognize the talent of Joost Swarte, and published his work in several forms, such as ‘De Papalagi’, which became famous world-wide, and Swarte’s first comic, ‘Modern Art’ (1980).

Stoop can be considered the founder of the Dutch alternative comics scene. An intriguing personality, he lived his whole life as an anarchist and a free mind. He died of a heart attack at the age of 52.

www.ftn-books.com has found of the Real Free Press papers with works by a.o Robert Crumb and has them for sale .

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Norman Parkinson (1913-1990)

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Another photographer . Yesterday William Klein and today Norman Parkinson. Two different approached to photography. For me Parkinson stands for typical sixties photography. Fashion and Royalty were his expertise and because of that expertise he stayed practically his entire life the preferred photographer choice of the British Royals. These photographs were typically staged photographs, they showed nothing spontanious and every pose, setting and prop was well thought over an staged. ( Yes, Audrey Hepburn is some kind of cinematic Royalty too)

His fashion photographs were much more loose and therefore i prefer these above the Royal photographs.

It is noot a very common book to find. A monography with photographs by Norman Parkinson is a rarity , but still www.ftn-books.com has one in its inventory.

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Seven Deadly Sins (1969) and Gerd Arntz

In 1969 the Walburg press published a prestige publication containing . original prints by dutch artist on theme of ZEVEN HOOFDZONDEN / SEVEN DEADLY SINS . The edition only 375 copies were printed. Bound in a beautiful gold special paper cover. Among the artist there is Gerd Arntz who made a print on the ENVY theme.

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There si no way i can describe this publication in a way to do it justice so i decided to publish all the print pages of the book. The book is available at www.ftn-books.com