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Kenneth Martin (1905-1984)

 

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Kenneth Martin was for me one of the grand old masters of Constructivism. Outside England hardly known, but considered by many of great influence and importance. His best works for me are his prints in which he excels. His wife Mary was a gifted artist too and from both www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications. I only know of one exhibition outside Great Britain, which is the Bottrop exhibition but when you see one announced , i strongly recommend a visit to discover yourself the importance of Kenneth Martin.

 

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Francois Morellet (1926-2016) and the van Abbemuseum catalogue from 1971

 

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Several reasons why this catalogue is importand. First of all …this is one of the first Morellet catalogues published outside France. In 1971 Morellet was invited for a LICHTKUNST exhibition at the van Abbemuseum and Jan van Toorn was commissioned to design the catalogue with this exhibition. van Toorn decided for the Local printer LECTURIS ( still one of the very best printers in the Netherlands) and included within the catalogue multiple special prints after the large silkscreens by Morellet.

morellet sep

Making it this way more like an artist book than a simple exhibition catalogue. This made the book so special that it is arguably the best catalogue ever published with the works by Morellet.

 

Since, Morellet is one of the most appreciated and valued artist in the Kinetic and Minimal Art scenes and the catalogue is one which is sought after and collected by many admirers. The catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com:

https://ftn-books.com/products/abbemuseum-francois-morellet-1971-nm

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Donald Judd at the van Abbemuseum

Rudi Fuchs was the admirer and curator who convinced Donald Judd to have a large retrospective at the van Abbemuseum. Judd had his entrance into the dutch Museum scene with Enno Develing who had organized, with all important minimal art artists, exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Sixties . Judd was one of them and since the popularity of Minimal Art in the Netherlands grew steadily. The van Abbemuseum made an exhibition with Judd in 1987, after which exhibitions another one with Judd, Fuchs and Jitta was held on the prints by Donald Judd at the Gemeentemuseum. It was one of the last exhibitions Rudi Fuchs curated for the van Abbemuseum before he switched to the Gemeentemuseum as a director and made this print exhibition. Fuchs was a great fan, because together with the print exhibition he ordered furniture, desks and even a complete parquet floor all done by Judd of which only the floor remains at the Escher Museum at the Paleis Lange Voorhout location. The rest “disappeared” , was damaged,  or was sold during the last 2 decades.

The blog is to point out that this is an important catalogue which is now available at www.ftn-books.com together with some other publications. As mentioned …Enno Develing wast the first European curator who presented the Minimal Art movement and his artists at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Here is the extremely important catalogue of this exhibition which i gladly make available for my readers. Click the MINIMAL ART link below and read the PDF version of this rare and very important catalogue.

MINIMAL ART

 

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Haus Konstruktiv – Zurich- Suisse

Museum Haus Konstruktiv – the Foundation for Constructive and Concrete Art

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It was 2 months ago that i visited the museum HAUS KONSTRUKTIV. At first a little disappointed but the Graevenitz exhibition made the visit worthwhile . Personally i think it is importnat that such a small part of the modern art scene has an excellent platform in which special exhibitions can be held.

The Haus Konstruktiv is located in one of the most distinctive icons of Zurich’s industrial architecture, providing a space for concrete art.

The museum is dedicated to the exploration of concrete, constructive and conceptual art. The Museum Haus Konstruktiv focuses on making it part of a living dialog with international trends in contemporary art.

Over the five floors of the former Selnau electricity sub-station, visitors discover works of art in the context of their historical background through temporary exhibitions and collection presentations.  Also on permanent display are treasures from the museum’s own collection, the legendary “Rockefeller Dining Room” by the Swiss artist Fritz Glarner. Beside the special exhibitions the Haus Konstruktiv has an excellent exhibition program of which some publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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( to be continued )

 

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Wim Crouwel / Total Design- 20 jaar verzamelen / Stedelijk Museum, 1984

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Followers of this blog know of my special interest in the publications of the Stedelijk Museum. I have many titles avaialable and ftn-books.com is one of the first sources that is consulted when it comes to publications of and on the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Yet…. one learns every day, even when you have so many catalogues by the Stedelijk Museum available as i do. It has been years ago that i last saw this catalogue which was published by the Stedelijk in 1984 which gives the best and complete overview of their collecting in the period 1963-1984.

Why is this important? Personally i think that this is the period in which the SM made their best and most important purchases. How about important acquisitions like the ones by Kelly, Dubuffet, LeWitt, de Kooning , Mangold , Lichtenstein and Warhol. Just a few names that belong to the most famous ones, but among the hundreds of these acquisitions there is so much quality art acquired that only with these acquisitions one can fill an entire collection and become  with this collection one of the most important Modern Art Museums in the world. The book was compiled by Joosten and designed by Total Design/ Wim Crouwel, which makes it even more worthwhile collecting . It is now available at www.ftn-book.com

20 jaar verzamelen sm

 

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Piet Dirkx….and now for something completely….special.

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Readers following the “Piet Dirkx daily” know of my admiration for Piet’s his work.

We now have had over 600 cigarboxes and another 300 works to come. Among them cigarboxes, large paintings on wood and works on paper. Within the last category you will find the special of today. Piet made in 2005 some drawings/ gouaches to be sold in the shop of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and yes….i bought 3 of them and because i can only hang 2 from those three, i decided to sell the one that is still in one of my drawers.

Piet Dirkx, compositie, 2005
Piet Dirkx, compositie, 2005

It is certainly not the least out of those three and because if had first pick from the set which was to be sold i chose what i think were the best. Here it is …..A drawing like a series of open books and buildings, with a typical Piet Dirks mouth drawn in pencil upon them. Colorful, detailed and executed on perfectly square paper . It is the ideal Piet Dirkx composition upon a limited surface. (29,8 x 29,8 cm.)

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Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967)

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If it had not been for the exhibition “SPIRITUAL IN ART ” in the Haags Gemeentemuseum, i probably would not have known Ad Reinhardt. Of course now i know him because of the Bottrop / Quadrat exhibition which was very impressive, but for most people in Europe Ad Reinhardt is far less familiar. His works are spread all over the world and can be admired in public Museums. The Stedelijk Museum only has a handful of prints which makes his works hard to find in the Netherlands. Still whenever one encounters a Reinhardt painting it always impresses me . Perhaps that is the reason why i bought some 9 years ago a beautiful Geert van Fastenhout, which is far more affordable than the steep prices Reinhardt fetch at auction nowadays , also a painting with the symbolic cross. An item which is frequently used by Reinhardt too.

left Reinhardt/ right van Fastenhout

In execution and intensity both painters are equal to each other. The difference…..van Fastenhout is known in France, Japan and the Netherlands, whereas Reinhardt is now known all over the world. www.ftn-books.com has recently added a beautiful German catalogue by the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf from 1972 , which includes an impressive original silkscreen with the depicting of the black/grey crosses.

 

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Gábor Ősz (1962)

At the time Osz had his exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum, we met and i told him i was very much impressed with his photographs. Large scaled sea views and architectural photos, unsharp and blown up to gigantic proportions they make you almost feel little. If i must compare his art i almost would say that his photography has a MINIMAL art concept and is mostly related to others from the Minimal art scene. His photo subjects are almost non existent and you really have to study them to see what is meant by them. Study them closely and you see that it is a sea with a horizon and of course the title helps ( THE LIQUID HORIZON no. 13 ) but just glance at it shortly and you are in doubt what the subject is.

Because of the unsharpness the photo feels abstract. It is hard to describe what the quality of his photography is. I think it is best to experience them. Stand in front of one of them and feel the strength of the composition. These photo’s are not the easiest ones on this planet, but certainly they are fascinating. www.ftn-books.com has a very nice signed and dated publication by Gábor Ősz available. This comes from avery small edition of only 400 copies and Gábor Ősz presented me with 2 of these copies of which one is now for sale.

osz

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Herman de Vries/ Random Shapes cat. 578

 

This is one of those catalogues that has become famous. When i started collecting Stedelijk Museum catalogues some 20 years ago. The first “lot” i bought contained 2 of these and my first thought was….who in the world is interested in these catalogues, but his has changed over the years. 2 reasons….

1st. Herman de Vries has become one of the most important artists since he first presented his works in the Stedelijk Museum.

2nd. What i did not realize at that time, but which is realized by many nowadays is that these catalogues were not a catalogue at all, but true multiples that were published on the occasion af an exhibition. Among them, Soto, Hamilton, Paolozzi, Arp, Calder and…. certainly this RANDOM SHAPES by Herman de Vries.

It was published with no 578 and contained a white cover which contained a see through envelope containing the Random shapes by de Vries a6 page folder with explanation in dutch made it complete.

The Random Shapes has become iconic for the Stedelijk Museum catalogues and finally after a long time i managed to find me another copy which is available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Larry Bell (1939)

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The last day in this cycle of blogs on Forgotten artists. The 5th blog is devoted to Larry Bell. I was in doubt if he really is forgotten, but concluded that at least in Europe he is forgotten. Where he had an initial important exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1968, for which Wim Crouwel designed the catalogue his name never showed up again in the Netherlands for participating in an exhibition ……but on the other side of the ocean it was different and his fame rose in the US from the early Seventies until now. The cubes he has made are magical and are a long time element in his oeuvre.  This is what he says on his site on his Cubes.

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CUBES

Larry Bell became interested in glass in the early 1960s. As a medium, it had three properties that interested: it could transmit, absorb and reflect light, and with specific treatment, it could do all three at the same time. He found the cube to be an ideal form with which to investigate the phenomena of light on surface. The first cubes were made using household mirrors from which he would scratch away parts of the reflective material. Later he discovered a plating process that would make the glass reflective on both sides. With the early cubes, he incorporated geometric imagery, including the ellipse, adding visual complexity and depth to the simple forms. Eventually he eliminated the imagery. With a technology that deposited exquisitely thin films of various metallic and non-metallic substances to the glass. The resulting visual spectrum of colors is in fact light reflected in different wavelengths off the surface of the glass. Bell has continued to revisit the cubes throughout his career.

To end : there is a discount code on every purchase of 10% for the readers of this blog.

use: forgotten10    and you will receive the discount on your order/ valid until the 30th of June 2018