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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.

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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

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Martin Visser ( 1922-2009 )

Famous for his dutch designs. Especially his Martin Visser couch is a design classic, but Visser was so much more than a designer. Martin Visser build one of the most important private art collections in the world. Specializing in die Neue Wilden and Minimal art, his collection was after his death on the wish list of all the major and  important museums in the Netherlands. He was one of the first to collect Cobra, He recognized the importance of Keith Haring and was one of the first to collect Kiefer at a large scale. Visser’s life was art and the House Visser was designed by Gerrit Rietveld and the adjustments to the house done by Aldo van Eyck.

What is more to say about him.., He worked together with the greats in dutch design like Kho Liang Ie and Wim Crouwel. He knew all the great german painters from the eighties and conceptual art and land art had no mysteries to him. Visser was a force in the dutch art world and the Kroller Muller MUseum can show why he was such an important collector because they received the gift of 400 works from the Martin Visser collection. www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on the Martin Visser collection.

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Gerhard von Graevenitz (1934-1983). on show at Haus Konstruktiv

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The artist that walked the line between ZERO art and Kinetic art. Born in Belgium and died in Switzerland van Graevenitz lived for a long period of his life in Amsterdam /The Netherlands ( from 1970) and because of a plane accident his life ended far too early. I write this blog because on our way back from Italy , i decided to make a small detour to Zurich, because i always wanted to visit HAUS KONSTRUCTIV. Not for their special exhibitions, but because i had discovered they had a wonderful collection. The visit was a slight disappointment because no works from their collection were on show instead they had 2 solo exhibitions of which one was on Gerhard von Graevenitz. Only about 50 works were on show, but because of their mouvement it took a while before i had seen all of them. It was well worth the visit and if you are near Zurich make the detour yourself to discover von Graevenitz. He deserves to be known by all admirers of Modern art. Unfortunately it was not allowed to photograph the works but i found a nice Haus Konstruktiv contribution on You Tube in which the show on Von Graevenitz is discussed and shown.

the von Graevenitz exhibition is on show until the 6th of May and www.ftn-books.com has some nice pubications available on him.

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Agnes Martin …the Islands (2004)

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Yesterday i spoke about the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop and their excellent poster publications. Today i will present the very best of them. It is the magnificent Agnes Martin poster for the “the ISLANDS’ exhibition. Executed as an original silkscreen this poster is a true work of art.

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Publisher: Quadrat /Josef Albers Museum, 2011 Measurements: 31.4 x 24 inches Condition: mint-

This is a highly collectable and important poster> not only because the exhibition was important, but because of the printing technique this is a masterpiece.

Poster and exhibition catalogue are both available through www.ftn-books.com

catalogue design by Walter Nikkels

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a Reminder…FTN books holds two great ZERO multiples. Castellani & La Pietra

1 year ago i acquired for my inventory two spectacular multiples. These are not cheap, but since last auctions results of both these artists i am even more convinced that these are not overpriced and will be a great addition to any book collection. These two multiples were published in the seventies by Edizioni Flaviana within their series of Zero artist. Here are the links two both blogs i published on these rare multiples.

https://ftn-blog.com/2017/08/06/enrico-castellani-1930-edizioni-flaviana-serie-minimultipli/

https://ftn-blog.com/2017/08/07/ugo-la-pietra-1938-edizioni-flavianaserie-minimultipli/

and do not forget to look them up at www.ftn-books.com

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Yayoi Kusama… a zero artist

Kusama stands for me as “ZERO”.

Being one of the first to have participated as a Zero artist Dancing together with Jan Schoonhoven (in the nude)

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and after that building an oeuvre on just one pattern…the Polka dot.

i love these artist that stay true to their belief. Kusama is not the only one. Leblanc, Peeters and Schoonhoven ,all from this generation , stayed true to their art ” inventions” developing it into something very perosmnal , recognizable and in many cases a beautiful and impressive work of art.

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Kusama participated in the first ZERO/Nul exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum, but beside that she had her Retrospektives held all over the world including the Tate Modern where a large rRetrospektive was held in 2012. Now she has turned into a grand old lady of  Contemporary Art and perhaps together with Louise Bourgeois  and Georgia O’Keefe she has given a feminine touch to Modern Art. www.ftn-books.com holds some excellent Kusama titles in its inventory.

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Tomitaro Nachi (1924-2007)

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Tomitaro Nachi was one of the first japanese artist ever to have an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum. Wim Crouwel designed the catalogue for his exhibition and what makes it extra special is that the catalogue included a rare and beautiful multiple. There is wonderful short movie about this artist which was made at the time of his exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 1974.

The catalogue shines. It is like a minimal artist book and reflects the spirit of “Zero” and Kinetic art and was forgotten by most until recently it was sold at a local book auction and fetched a steep price of euro 120,– because it had the original multiple included. www.ftn-books.com has both copies available. The one with and the one without the multiple. Both are worth collecting, but as lng as it is there i would chose the one with the multiple included.