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Piet Mondriaan, studio Rue du Départ

Piet Mondriaan was famous for his studios he occupied in Paris and New York and his Paris studio at the Rue du Départ was even a subject for a special exhibition at the Beurs van Berlage who had it rebuild in their main hall in 1994.

With the exhibition they produced together with the Benschop architects an impressive model kit of the studio, which even contains some of the paintings Mondriaan made in this famous studio. During the Nineties some of the DE STIJL icons were produced in Model Kit versions ( Meudon, Rietveldhuis) but this is probably the rarest of them al, since i understand it was not sold, but only presented to the sponsor and its relations. Now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

mondrian depart

 

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Cor van Dijk (1952)

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It took me along time to fianally appreciate the sculptures by van Dijk. At first i thought them to be too much copies of Judd sculptures, but i discovered them to be completely different. Why….surface , composition and construction differ from the one by Donald Judd. Still i consider his sculptures to be Minimal art and not constructivist.

 

He was  born in 1952 in Pernis, is a Dutch artist. The steel sculptures of Cor van Dijk are characterised by clear lines and geometric shapes. From first stages of their design, the material used for these works – steel – and their realisation are inextricably linked. To create his work, the artist uses separate sheets of solid steel, which he joins together with extreme precision. Van Dijk bases the dimensions of his sculptures on the standard gauge of the sheet metal. As a result, the mill scale found on the rolled steel is left intact in the finished works.

Viewing Van Dijk’s sculptures, one’s eyes constantly move across their surface and one’s attention keeps shifting from areas of open space to sections that take up space. The seams between the different segments play a key role in the works, since they lend a sense of scale to the mass of steel and define its different volumes. The artist strives to show interior space – its layout, possible compartments, the spaces between the segments and the massive quality of the steel itself. The different dimensions all interact with one another. Ultimately, this is also what gives the sculptures their specific presence: the precise handling of volumes and the perfect connection of individual sections in space. Each newly-realised concept is intended to bring even greater clarity to the context of the preceding work – while also pointing ahead, suggesting new concepts that are still waiting to be developed.

Van Dijk’s most recent sculptures comprise a single segment. The location of the open space and its dimensions determine the scale of the work as a whole. The result is an object in which mass (matter) and open space interact more intensively than ever before. In technical terms, the steel used for the sculptures shows no traces of machining or processing. Thanks to their mass, the open space and the interaction of these two elements, these tranquil objects seem to speak directly to the viewer.

www.ftn-books.com has the monograph on van Dijk now for sale

cor van dijk

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Tiong Ang (1961)

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The work of TIONG ANG spans a wide array of media, from collective performance, experimental film, through video and installation to painting, photography, and the display of objects. His practice across these forms centers around the social, emotional and existential consequences and negotiation of dislocation, disparate identities, and dispersion of imagery. _ Recurring themes are the impact of mass and digital media on individual perspective and collective memory, and the anxieties evoked by mobility and globalization. In these hybrid contexts, Ang addresses multiple modes of human presence and representation, using social intervention and juxtaposition, chance and communality, mockery and disguise. He explores subjective positions in divided, ambivalent, and collective conditions, be it on ethical, ethnic, or sociopolitical grounds. _Initially an object/painting based studio artist, from the mid-1990s Ang has expanded his production including experimental film, performative and relational enactments, interdisciplinary collaborations and curated projects. In a divergent practice, he examines authority and sustainability of images and narratives. The common thread in the work is the conflict between detached objectivity and engaged subjectivity; it demonstrates how universal media not only affect our perceptions of places and events but also denote our concept of reality. Elements of selfhood, cultural meaning, and social absorption have emerged in a diversity of mediated images. Thus, human perception and behaviour converge in complexities of disparate truths. The persona of the artist, distorted by media based projections, is the ultimate body to explore the human experience.

The above text comes from the Tiong Ang site.

www.ftn-books.com has recently added 2 important Tiong Ang publications to its inventory.

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2x Borek Sipek and 2x Erwin Olaf

sipek olaf aa

Why another blog on Erwin Olaf? This one is on the occasion of the addition of the book BOREK SIPEK / Glas Design Architectuur in which a series of photographs by Erwin Olaf with works by Sipek is published . Almost the exact series was used before. The series was made on location with gypsies holding glas and design by Sipek and photographed by Erwin Olaf for the Stedelijk Museum exhibition and publication which was designed by Irma Boom ( Book on the left/private collection). The addition to my inventory is the book published by the Drents Museum, which contains 8 color photographs by Erwin Olaf together with the Anton Corbijn cover. This makes the book a true collectors item since these photo’s are among the best Olaf ever made.

sipek olaf cc

When you study both series ( Stedelijk Museum and Drents museum), at first you think the photographs are the same , but study them closely and you will notice some subtil differences. I conclude that Erwin Olaf must have made shortly after each other two series. One in Black and white, the other in color.

sipek olaf bb

Using 2 cameras this must have been technically possible. Just look at the position of the hand of the gypsy boy. The book published for the Drents Museum is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Paul Schwer (1951)

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A large text this time by Ludwig Seyfarth ,which can also be found on the Paul Schwer site. Why?…because FTN art has acquired 2 works by Paul Schwer and which will be for sale shortly.

„One would be tempted to believe that this structure used to have some convenient form, and now it was only broken. This does not seem to be the case; at least there is no indication; nowhere are approaches or fractures to be seen that would point to such a thing; The whole thing seems pointless, but completed in its kind. Incidentally, nothing more can be said about it, since Odradek is extremely flexible and can not be caught. „- From: Franz Kafka, The Care of the House Father

Extremely agile and unstoppable – that‘s also what Paul Schwer and his art say. The objects (an auxiliary term for quite different things) that Schwer produces do not move themselves, but almost systematically dispense with the usual names and categories with which works of art are classed in terms of genre, media or style.

How consistently Paul Schwer places his work between the chairs of conventional art forms, the various attempts make it clear that they capture it in an orderly manner. In the Wikipedia article he is called installation artist. On the website of the Goch Museum, he is considered one of the most famous German sculptors. And the radio contribution by Thomas Frank, which was broadcast to the exhibitions in Ratingen and Goch, sees the aspect of extended painting as central, thus ultimately following the artist himself. Somewhat surprisingly, he then places Paul Schwer in the art-historical tradition of stained glass. The fact that each interpreter sees a different artist, depending on the perspective, could be due to a very divergent design vocabulary within the work. Even well-known artistic oeuvres do not offer a uniform picture. Suppose someone is not familiar with Pablo Picasso‘s work and enters a solo exhibition of this painter who has become the cliché of the modern artist. If he then sees works from the blue and pink period, then the cubist, the classicist and the later phases, he is likely to expect to attend a group exhibition.

That would hardly be suspected in an exhibition by Paul Schwer despite the diversity of media and materials. Plexiglass and polyethylene terephthalate (PET9, wood or fluorescent tubes are repeatedly used materials that, in addition to a clear color, a game with transparency and semi-transparency and a play of surface shapes and complex volumes,a clear, consistent „handwriting“.

At the same time, however, seemingly contradictory things are always connected with each other. Both the individual object as well as an overall arrangement in an exhibition or in an outdoor space (often Paul Schwers works outdoors) often suggest a lability and fragility, a situation that would immediately get out of hand with a small change in the heavyweight.

Not just a house is upside down, on the edge of the roof (which we will come to). The relationship between two- and three-dimensionality always stands in the balance. The „painterly“ application of color does not take place on a flat surface. The most common image carrier is a transparent, heated PET fluid (or Plexiglas) that has been thrown in a fluid state and re-hardened. Thus, the „image ground“ becomes a plastic, free-standing object or lying on the ground object. The latter is reminiscent of the irregular outline of a crumpled paper, as if a picture or a drawing were discarded and thrown away, which also applies to the various red forms in the exhibition in Goch.

Thus, each image is simultaneously a sculpture, with sculptural elements, so to speak on the other side, also tending to be architectural elements in space. The prototype for this are the natural-brown or green lattices, which are made of roof battens and based on the outline of two pillars in the room, which reach below the ceiling in Goch and divide one of the two exhibition rooms, divided into different directions, into compartments. However, these rooms in the room are not completed; The grids are not fixed walls, but largely open to the view. The different sawed out sections correspond exactly to the dimensions of the door and window openings of the room. Other elements that also have an optical outline function are colored rectangular discs made of corrugated polyester, which hang pictures on the construction like single panels – not all at the usual eye level, but their size and position is also derived from the architectural conditions of the room.

The reference to the conditions of space based on strictly geometrical forms and dimensions could almost be read as a continuation of the tradition of Minimal Art. But one may also be reminded of the Cabinet of Abstracts, which El Lissitzky set up between 1926 and 1928 in the Sprengel Museum Hannover and which since 2017 has been accessible there as a reconstruction. Lissitzky designed a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk for the presentation of works by other artists as well, based on a clear constructivist vocabulary of forms. However, Paul Schwer also incorporates in his „Gesamtkunstwerk“ other elements that would be unthinkable to Lissitzky or strict minimalists. Thus, several red PET objects form a radical contrast to the geometric reduction. Complex wrinkled and folded forms can not be grasped at a glance, suggesting a baroque overabundance, an impression of the random and the chaotic. A staging of the exhibition space based on such strong formal counterparts may seem like an attempt to bring things right back to their original level after an explosion or other destruction.

The corrugated iron hut, which stands diagonally upside down in the other showroom, could also have been torn away by a flood. It does not seem habitable anymore, even when light is on. Inside, there is an accumulation of fluorescent tubes, the cables of which hang down at the bottom, reminiscent of a torrent of water.

„Model“ for this architectural sculpture is a corrugated iron hut that Paul Schwer has seen far away from human settlements in Iceland. Travel memories often form associative starting points for his spatial stagings. The second room was inspired by the facade of a vegetable shop in Istanbul, where the artist had a scholarship in 2015.

However, such references and narrative references never become clear; mental impressions, like physical materials, enter into the composition of an „installation“. After all, is Paul Schwer ultimately an „installation artist“ who combines various individual elements into a spatial entity? Or does he create three-dimensional images that extend concepts of painting into space? Even though Paul Schwer himself, as already mentioned, tends towards the latter „categorization“, in the end it is up to us how we classify our mode of experience conceptually. The emotional impact can also vary depending on the observer. Thus, the strong color and the physical force of the sculptural forms combined with the often surprising light effects of the fluorescent tubes can trigger a feeling of expressive affection. If you look more closely at the constructive components, you will discover in Paul Schwer‘s work a seemingly contradictory, almost hermetic feature, in which the elements, as on different levels of presentation, almost seem to interlock with one another like a Russian doll.

Furthermore, one could ask how Paul Schwer‘s art of spatial presentation could be classified in the context of contemporary installation art. If we follow Claire Bishop‘s 2005 installmentage „Criitical History“ in the Tate Modern Press, different forms of installation are distinguished not by their spatial presentation, but by the way they are viewed („viewer“) that are, are mentally and physically involved. Dream scene, heightened perception, Mimetic engulfment and Activated Spectatorship are the guidelines here, which are also based on different subject theories. The recipient subject is involved, but also decentred: psychoanalytically, phenomenologically, libidinally or in the sense of a post-structuralist political subject.

The receiving subject is called upon to actively explore the spatial staging. But this is no self­assured subject with a sovereign command of a unitary space as in Renaissance perspective but one that is decentred in the sense of post­structuralist theories. There is no sovereign viewer’s standpoint from where the entire spatial installation can be grasped in one sweep. This is a central characteristic of Paul Schwer’s spatial stagings, aligning them with the procedures of many well­known installation artists like Allan Kapow, Lucas Samaras, Paul Thek, Ilya Kabakov, and Gregor Schneider.

However, the combination of different, seemingly incongruent things in stage­like spatial ensembles also calls to mind the psychoanalytically inspired combinatorics of the Surrealists. And perhaps the individual elements brought together by Paul Schwer take on a »sense« only if read as Freud read dreams: as picture puzzles whose deeper meaning does not lie in what is to be seen in the images.

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Armando …signed publications

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It was a few months ago that i was fortunate to buy a small collection of ARMANDO books. Only 25 cm’s of books, but among the 16 books , 6 were signed by the master himself. Since his death , Armando paintings, drawings and etchings have become highly collectable items and the books are no exception. Publications that are in most cases of a very high quality and the ARMANDO signature makes them even more wanted and collectable. ww.ftn-books.com has them now for sale, so please take a look at them at my site and search for the many Armando items i have for sale.

armando rood a

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Hamish Fulton special

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It has been 2 months ago that i acquired a collection of invitations from the Nineties and among them there were several Hamish Fulton ones. I remember Hamish as being one of the friendliest artists i have met at the Gemeentemuseum. He was willing to sign 20 copies of the book which we published by us.

Since i have followed his career and exhibitions and now i have added 4 special invitations to the collection of http://www.ftn-books.com which are now for sale. The ones i like most are the Graeme Murray gallery and Marian Goodman gallery ( signed and dedicated for Rudi) ones  and there is of course the time/indoor/outdoor with japanese text. This is the one i can not find any information on so if you know who organized this one let me know. Your help would be appreciated.

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Bob Colacello (1947)

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He was considered as the right hand of Andy Warhol. Always present and his camera ready to take pictures. Possibly Colacello captured most of Andy Warhol private life in the Eighties. http://www.ftn-books.com has the invitation for the 1990 Mary Boone exhibition now for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

The Guardian had a few years ago an excellent article on Colacello which i would like to point out in this blog: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/may/07/i-wasnt-too-obvious-how-bob-colacello-captured-candid-celebrities

As editor of Andy Warhol’s Interview from 1971 to 1983, Bob Colacello, was perfectly placed to record the scene of the wild and glamorous Golden Age when every night was a party night and such distinctions as uptown and downtown, gay and straight, black and white were momentarily cast aside.

Raised in New York, Colacello studied International Affairs at Georgetown University and film criticism at Columbia University before beginning his writing career in 1969 publishing film reviews for the Village Voice. Colacello caught Andy Warhol’s attention when he reviewed Warhol’s Trash, labeling it ‘a great Roman Catholic masterpiece’. Warhol and Paul Morrissey approached Colacello to write for Interview Magazine, and within six months he was made editor of the magazine. For the next twelve years, Colacello remained directly involved in all aspects of life and business at The Factory.

Colacello’s photographs document the insider’s view of decade of excess between the end of the Vietnam War and the advent of AIDs. His monthly “Out” column was a diary of the frenetic social life that took him from art openings to movie premieres, from cocktail parties to dinner parties, from charity balls to after-hours clubs, often all in the course of a single evening.

Colacello began to include pictures in his column in 1973 when Swiss art dealer Thomas Ammann gave him one of the first miniature 35-mm cameras to come on the market, a black plastic Minox small enough to hide in his jacket pocket. His pictures have an immediacy, a veracity, and an aesthetic that can only be found in the middle of the action. With his stealth camera and his ‘accidental style’, Colacello captured subjects including Diana Vreeland, Jack Nicholson, Raquel Welch, Mick Jagger, Yves Saint Laurent, Nan Kempner, Gloria Swanson, Anita Loos, Willy Brandt, Joseph Beuys, Robert Rauschenberg, Truman Capote, Halston, Studio 54’s Steve Rubell, Egon von Furstenberg and Tina Chow. His images bring to life a carefree but reckless moment in history when social mobility and personal expression were played out to the limits

Bob Colacello joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in 1984 and has been a special correspondent since 1993.

 

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Franceso Clemente at Paul Maenz, 1988

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You wonder why there have not been many more publications like the CROWN SKY WAR special which was published on the occasion of the opening of the Clemente exhibition at the Paul Maenz gallery in 1988.

An important exhibition  and the specially designed collectible should be an example for other gallery publishers. It is not too expensive to produce, but its appearance is like no other publication. It looks and feels special from the moment you set eyes on it and when you “unbutton” it it shows its contents….3 fold out cards CROWN…SKY…WAR. estimated costs…less than 1 euro. But this special is worth much much more since it’s importance means that the Paul Maenz gallery is mentioned in all the years after its publication. Whenever a copy surfaces , one is reminded of the Clemente exhibitions at their gallery in 1988.

I have now finally found me a copy which is for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com. This gallery was/is an example to many others in the business

clemente crown c

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A perfect invitation card

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I have seen thousands of invitation cards by museums from all over the world and helped to produce hundreds of them. Sometimes you make a mistake in choosing the wrong picture or the color scheme does not work out the way it should have, but i know of the difficulties and the traps of producing a good invitation card. The subject has to be clear immediately and the picture on the card has to be a typical example from the exhibition. In my opinion here is a perfect card. Produced for the Bauhaus Archiv exhibition of Bauhaus photography. The card dates from 1990 and has an outstanding look and feel. The print quality is excellent and the subject clear immediately with the partly covered face in black and white. …… a perfect invitation it is and now available at www.ftn-books.com

bauhaus archiv b

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