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Marinus Boezem (1934)

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Marinus Boezem (1934) belongs, together with Jan Dibbets and Ger van Elk, among the most important representatives of the Conceptual Art and Arte Povera movement in The Netherlands. In the 1960s, Boezem discovered that he could use elusive elements such as air, weather, wind and light as visual materials and made a name with radical, immaterial works that were far ahead of their time. Boezem was one of the initiators of the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Op Losse Schroeven: Situaties en Cryptostructuren’ (1969) at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and took part in the equally influential exhibition ‘When Attitudes Become Form’ at the Kunsthalle Bern in the same year.

In 1969 he created one of his most famous works of art, ‘Signing the Sky Above The Port of Amsterdam With an Aeroplane, 1969’: exactly as stated in its title, an aircraft’s condensation trails were used to spell out Boezem’s surname in the sky, the ephemeral wording disappearing almost as soon as it was created. In 1971 he made an artwork for television that was broadcast under the auspices of Gerry Shum’s legendary Fernseh Gallery. Furthermore, Boezem created numerous works in public space and land art. The Green Cathedral is a beautiful example: 174 Italian poplar trees are planted to reproduce the floor plan and measurements of the Cathedral at Reims, in a flat polder near Almere, the Netherlands.

In an oeuvre spanning more than sixty years, Marinus Boezem has created a body of work that stands quite independently in contemporary art. His works are part of many important museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Gemeentemuseum Den Haag; Museum Kröller-Muller, Otterloo; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; and many more public art collections.

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New site for FTN books and discount code

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It was a necessary step to make the site more accessible, so i changed the lay-out made it much more clear for all visitors to find their way among the 8000+ items that are for sale at www.ftn-books.com.

The result a clean and pleasing site in a blue and creme color scheme. Pleasing to the eye, with a great search engine to find those titltes you are looking for . Please take a look at www.ftn-books.com and when you order use the discount code: FTNnew (10% discount on all items), which is valid until the 6th of February 2019.

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Gerry Schum ( 1938 -1973)

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Rightfully he may be called one of the true pioneers of Video art.

Because of his early contribtions to the collection of the Stedelijk Museum resulted in an exhibition ( which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com) and the hsitory and development of Video art during the last 50 years. Th Stedelijk has made a permanent presentation of his :

Schum made Land Art as part of his Fernseh-Galerie Gerry Schum. The German television station Sender Freies Berlin broadcasted this film on 15 April 1969. Schum was looking for a way to show modern visual art to a wide audience. He achieved this by broadcasting his film and video productions on television, bypassing the traditional institutions. The TV programme showed recordings of artistic interventions in the landscape by eight artists, including Jan Dibbets, Barry Flanagan and Richard Long. Schum’s own sober camera work is an essential element of the visual end result. Jan Dibbets’ contribution 12 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective shows a tractor leaving behind a trapezium-shaped track on a beach. The position of the camera and the effect of the perspective mean that the viewer sees this shape as a rectangle. Dibbets was casting doubt on the reliability of representation via the camera and on the perception of the eye, as he had done previously in his ‘perspective corrections’.
It takes time to appreciate Video as an art form , but when you finally do so , there is an artist not te be missed and that is Gerry Schum.

btw. The Gerry Schum catalogue was designed by Wim Crouwel.

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Daan van Golden and Ameland ( 1971)

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Hollum/Rotterdam, Daan van Golden/Rotterdamse Kunststichting, 1971. Folded green cover with letterpress containing a stapled cellophane wrapped herbarium, 22,5 x 15 cms. (assemblage) between 2 cardboard sheets, 25 x 21 cms., consisting of a colour postcard, feathers, sand, tree-leaves, grass, fern. Van Golden spends October and November 1971 on the island of Ameland; while walking and cycling he collects leaves, mosses and so on; the result is a series of 500 cellophane wrapped herbariums. Van Golden’s Ameland report is distributed as the 6th edition of the ‘Atlas voor een nieuwe metropool’.

Thi is the comple description of the publication which was made after AVn Golden visited Ameland for the Atlas van een nieuwe Metropool project. This extremely rare publication is now available at www.ftnbooks.com

 

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Josef Albers and his Christmas card from 1952

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On this Christmas eve some thoughts by Josef Albers :

Wenn ich male
sehe und denke ich zunächst – Farbe

Und zumeist Farbe als Bewegung

Nicht als Begleitung
von Form, die seitwärts bewegt,
nur seitwärts verbleibt

Sondern als Farbe in dauernder innerer Bewegung

Nicht nur in Interaktion und Interdependenz
mit Nachbarfarben,
verbunden wie unverbunden

Sondern in Aggression – zum wie vom Beschauer
in direktem frontalen Uns-Anschauen

Und näher betrachtet,
als ein Atem und Pulsieren – in der Farbe

When I paint
I think and see
first and most – color
but color as motion

Color not only accompanying
form of lateral extension
and after being moved
remaining arrested

But of perpetual inner movement
as aggression – to and from the spectator
besides interaction an interdependence
with shape and hue and light

Color in a direct and frontal focus
and when closely felt
as a breathing and pulsating
– from within

Josef Albers

The card below was the original Josef Albers Christmas card from 1952

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Unfortunately this card is NOT available at www.ftn-books.com, but many other Albers item are available. a Merry Xmas from Wilfried van den Elshout and FTN books

 

 

 

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Piet Dirkx daily … Christmas edition

On the 1st of September 2016 i started the “Piet Dirkx daily” with the publishing of a Piet Dirkx cigarbox on each day since. There were over 850 cigarboxes that were once part of the installation Biotoop at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. This publication of the collection of cigarboxes has come to an end. That does not mean that the Piet Dirkx daily will not continue. Yes…. it continues ….however the frequency will be different. Every week on Saturday or Sunday a new “classic” Piet Dirkx item will be published, but this time it will be mostly very colorful larger and extreme large items. Drawings, paintings and special publications all other parts of my/our collection will eventually be published.

So it is certainly still not the time to stop, but the name will change and be different of course. the “Piet Dirkx daily” will become the “Piet Dirkx weekly”. Starting this weekend when a new chapter in the Piet Dirkx publications will start. I did not plan it, but there was some real symbolism in this last Piet Dirkx cigarbox no. 855 published .

For all those who are not familiar with the dutch language…on the last box Piet stated …De trein staat stil and positief leven, which means the “train has stopped” and “live positively”. The last few words are maybe the most important to us all. Translated they mean:

Live positively

and on a personal note….Merry Xmas to you all.

The BIOTOOP / Biotope catalogue of the Piet Dirkx exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Dennis Oppenheim (1938-2011)

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An artist i never heard of before , but since the exhibition of Alice Aycock in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag i know of him and his art and later of course i found out that there was an excellent exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 1974, which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

Why is that?…Oppenheim was married to Alice Aycock and many of the exhibition venues presented both these artist shortly after each other

And what about Dennis Oppenheim? For me Oppenheim stands for conceptual and performance art. His “earthworks” have become famous and on the cover of the stedelijk Museum catalogue one is depicted. BTW. the Stedelijk catalogue was designed by Wim Crouwel and he made it, because of the use of a beautiful impressive photograph of one of the earthworks, stand out from the rest.

If i compare both artist , I definitely have more interest in the large sculptures by Alice Aycock, but Oppenheim is important too and time will tell which of them will be the most important one…. my guess it will be the wife …Alice Aycock.

In 2011 Oppenheim died of pancreas cancer

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Hamish Fulton (1946)

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An earlier blog on Fulton told the story i met Fulton and he graciously signed 20 copies of his book “100 walks” to be sold in the shop of the Gemeentemuseum, but this time i want to tell you about the special publications Fulton has made in the Netherlands. As far as i know there are 4 publications that are worth mentioning of which 3 are available at www.ftn-books.com.

  • the Art & Project publication is rare and very hard to find
  • the 100 walks is available at www.ftn-books.com
  • the van Abbemuseum / Hamish Fulton is available
  • the Stedelijk Museum Hamish Fulton publication from 1973 is the rarest of them all and…..available

These publications are real finds when you find one and true artist books which are highly collectable Fulton items. Hamish Fulton is becoming more an more important, s as long as these publications are available add them to your collection.

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Art prices… gallery versus auction

auke de vries gele labels

Today i added to my inventory a book by Auke de Vries for his Museum Wiesbaden exhibition from 1990. i knew the title and had sold copies before, but what made this one special is that on ca. 10 of the pages yellow post-it’s were fixed with gallery prices in guilders. I leafed through the book and was surprised to find the prices to be as steep as 50.000 guilders. It was not long ago that i attended 2 auctions where several small and larger sculptures by Auke de Vries were sold , fetching prices between euro 2500 and 4000 for a larger sculpture.

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I compared these with the 1990 gallery prices within the Wiesbaden catalogue and found that prices had devaluated with over 60% when compared with the actual auction prices including premium in 2017. Of course the gallery fees are  between 40 and 50%, but when you consider that money has devaluated too in these past two and a half decades the devaluation of Modern Art of a very good artist like Auke de Vries is over 80% compared with the original gallery price. Should i then still buy art?……YES! because you can have tremendous pleasure from it. You search for and find good art and enjoy it at home when you bought or rent it and yes… you support the artist with your buy, but if you ask me , should i buy art as an investment? my advise would be …be careful for the artist you select, because most of them will not be worth very much after a few decades.

But when you are patient, that means a period of 20+ years, you will discover that works by the artist you admire start to appear at auction and are much more affordable and even can be bought by most collectors for as little as a few hundred euro.  I can give you an example of a great Arie van Geest which recently was added to our collection for an extremely fair amount.

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You only learn of the auction records by artist like Warhol, Koons and Hirst, but you can ask yourself…are these works by these artists really that special or are they a marketing product… a true hype? if i did not know who the artist is and  did not know the value of a work …would i buy it ? In the case of Auke de Vries i personally would do so at the price level that i recently experienced at auction, but for the prices in the Wiesbaden catalogue i would “pass”. Art should not be bought as an investment and i dare say that the great collectors in the world never have bought art for its value, but because they admire the artist and his or her works and you should do the same, because there is still some great art to be found and bought at fair prices. www.ftn-blog.com and www.ftn-books.com have art for sale which is published in edition and is still affordable.

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Sonsbeek…an exhibition park near Arnhem

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A City and its Exhibition

It was in 1948 that a councillor, a VVV tourism official and the mayor of Arnhem launched an initiative for a contemporary art exhibition on a scale unprecedented in Europe. Their aim was to give the city which had experienced so much destruction during the Second World War a totally new appeal.

Processing the traumatic wartime experience

Sonsbeek ’49 opened that following year with over two hundred works displayed along the paths in the park. Most of these were figurative sculptures created since the turn of the century. A recurring theme among the newer works was the processing of Holland’s traumatic wartime experience, such as Nel Klaassen’s monumental Honour the Woman which still stands in Arnhem.

Connected to the present

In subsequent editions of the exhibition, the idea was the same. Sculptures by internationally renowned artists were presented to Arnhem’s public: Auguste Rodin, Ossip Zadkine, Henri Moore, Pablo Picasso, John Rädecker and Hildo Krop. After each edition the Arnhem council selected some of the exhibited works for permanent display in the city. Often, these were works that referred to the war, such as Ossip Zadkine’s Phoenix which found a permanent place in front of the town hall. Since the beginning, SONSBEEK has always been closely concerned with contemporary issues and current affairs.

Selected by a curator based on a specific theme

After the first four editions, one every three years and each similarly presented, SONSBEEK seemed to have become a tradition. Until in 1971 SONSBEEK broke with that tradition and quite literally went off the beaten track with a show compiled for the first time by a curator and expressing a specific theme. Sonsbeek Buiten de Perken was assembled by Wim Beeren, then chief curator at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. The exhibits abandoned their pedestals, some even left the city and the country. Prominent conceptual artists such as Claes Oldenburg, Wim T. Schippers, Robert Smithson and Nam June Paik turned the exhibition into a milestone for avant-garde art. SONSBEEK became synonymous with progressive and experimental, thematic art shows.

SONSBEEK has constantly played a pioneering role through its novel presentations of art in public space. In collaboration with the curatorial collective ruangrupa, SONSBEEK once again brought art to the public in 2016. SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION marked the start of a quadrennial, the 12th edition will take place in 2020.

www.ftn-books.com has some of the Sonsbeel catalogues still available