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Assouline is a very special publisher

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In 1994, Prosper and Martine Assouline published their first book, La Colombe d’Or, on the history of their favorite hotel in the South of France, with photographs by Prosper and text by Martine. The publishing house began as a family company in the basement of the couple’s apartment in Paris and one year later, the firm opened its first office on rue Danielle Casanova in Paris. The company later opened more offices, first in New York, and then in Venice, Geneva, Istanbul, and London. The company’s first book series was the Memoire collection of books focusing on individuals and companies in fashion, jewelry, design, and art. Initial publications included books about AzzedineAlaïa, Chanel, Vionnet, and Dior. As of 1997, about half a million editions from the Memoire collection had been sold, with 27 titles on Paris in addition to others.

Assouline has partnered with fashion companies, including Poiret, Chanel, Pucci, Dior, Goyard, Coach, Andrée Putman, and Valentino to create special editions and trunks.Assouline titles have been published in multiple different languages. In 2001, Assouline published Lee Radziwill’s memoir, Happy Times, the first book of the Icons collection, which focuses on travel and style. Assouline also produces the “Impossible Collection” of books and the “Ultimate Collection”, a series of limited-edition hand-bound oversize volumes with hand-tipped illustrations.

In 2002 Assouline published the book Bright Young Things by Brooke de Ocampo.[17] Then in 2007, the company owners relocated to New York City, and that same year they began to partner with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In 2011 Prosper Assouline was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture for his work in publishing. In 2012, Assouline produced a waterproof book on the subject of the South Pole, as well as Gaia, a book of photos taken on the International Space Station by Guy Laliberté.

In 2015, Assouline launched a “Haute Couture” furnishings collection called “Assouline Interiors”. Assouline also produces accessories, bookbags, and bindery. They have also designed private libraries and lounges in New York City in buildings including 432 Park, The Caledonia, and The Shephard. In 2016, the French Institute Alliance Française awarded the Assoulines with the Art de Vivre award for their publications.

(this is the full text as found on Wikipedia)

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Assouline publications available

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Ans Wortel (1929-1996)

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When i started to collect art ( editions) i must have been 16 years of age and one of the first lithographs i acquired was one by Ans Wortel. A feminist artist who found her inspiration nearby. A feminine, mother, child approach to her subjects made her work very accessible and understandable to many. This together with the strong graphic quality these works were very appealing and at that time i bought 2 lithographs for my starting collection.

These were sold a long time ago because i found the works after many years to become less interesting. This was now some 30 years ago, but lately i rediscovered her works, because when you look at them again after not seeing them in a very long time , you discover them to be timeless and well worth collecting. There were other things to discover about Ans Wortel because at her peak she had some important exhibitions and became very popular as an artist in the Netherlands resulting in multiple exhibitions, among them at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

In the 1970s, the paintings and prints of Ans Wortel (1929–1996) were hailed by critics and purchased by major museums. Her work, imbued with intensely feminine themes, was very much in demand. The artist became a well-known Netherlander, whose non-conformist lifestyle spoke to everyone’s imagination. In the village of Bergen, where she lived for 20 years, her villa Kranenburgh is now museum Kranenburgh.

Tough women

Where her fellow artists sought innovation in abstraction, Ans Wortel remained faithful to figuration, developing a distinctive visual language and palette. Her paintings feature tough and robust women, with large hands and eyes, surrounded by surreal landscapes.

Liberated

In 1968 the mayor of Bergen offered her villa Kranenburgh. Many were the parties in her building – more numerous were the stories about her eccentric lifestyle. Her free-spirited life is reflected in the countless drawings and paintings that filled Kranenburgh. When, after twenty years, she had to leave the villa, she protests vehemently, but in vain.

 

 

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Anthon Beeke (1940-2018)

First of all i have to apologize in publishing this blog without commemorating Anthon Beeke who died a few weeks ago and who’ s death i announced on the the 26th of September in a special blog on Beeke. Here is the blog which was prepared some months ago.

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One of the great and now world wide known names in dutch graphic design is Anthon Beeke. Born is 1940 he was of the flower power generation who took over Amsterdam in the late sixties. Free love, drugs and influences from all over the world shaped a generation of designers of which Beeke was one of . Without knowing who the designer is, you immediately recognize his work. Bright colors , details, shocking views or attributes draw you into his designs immediately.

But it is not always his intention to shock, there were occasions that his designs were just functional. For instance his Wanderlieder

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designed catalogue for the Stedelijk is only different in size but holds and reads just like a normal book.

Beeke is one of the great designers in the Netherlands and well worth collecting. www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles by Beeke available including the poster he made with Erwin Olaf for het Anjer Fonds.

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Fiep Westendorp (1916-2004)

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Well, this one is on the border of true art… the illustrations of Fiep Westendorp are highly original and recognizable and they even sell nowadays at art prices, but first and foremost these are great quality book illustrations ( mainly for the ones written by Annie M.G. Schmidt) . Fiep Westendorp is a well established name in the dutch illustrator scene and because many of our generation have read the novels by Annie M.G. they also know the illustrations by Westendorp. Pluk en de Pettefelte, Jip en Janneke and other could not exist without the images created by Fiep Westendorp and she is now collected not only in the Netherlands, but all over the world. Great fun illustrations which deserve a large audience. Some Westendorp titles are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Rob Scholte ( continued )

 

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Since ii have sold several Scholte multiples during the last months , i was on the look out for more of these excellent mScholte multiple editions and……found them. I contacted a collector of whom i knew he had sold me several in the past and he could help me with 6 more of these Scholte multiples. All from the” Lucifer in paradise ” edition which was originally sold at the Kruidvat stores in 2007. As far as i know all are unique because every one of them depicts a different kind of set of match boxes. The one on the upper right is not available. It is now part of my personal collection because Donald Duck is an all time favorite of mine. The other 5 are all available at www.ftn-books.com. For more inquiries please mail me at wvdelshout@ziggo.nl

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Willem Sandberg… Experimenta Typographica 1943 – 68.

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As you can read in the title , Willem Sandberg experimented with typography and designs.

During the occupation by the Germans he published experimental books with his own typography. Mostly a combination of very original and personal lay-out and torn out letters, making these publications unique. Unique because of their chosen size, material, printing ,their design and the very limited numbers in which they were produced.

Sandberg produced nineteen pamphlets between December 1943 and April 1945, making a couple of copies of each one, all done by hand. They consisted of twenty to sixty pages of drawings, collages, and texts, which were either written by Sandberg himself or quoted from Confucius, Proudhon, Stendhal, and other favorite writers on themes like love, death, education, architecture, and typography. As Sandberg had no money and materials were scarce in wartime, he improvised by using whatever he could find: scraps of wallpaper, cardboard packaging, tissue paper, and wrapping paper together with photographs, drawings, and symbols torn from magazines for his collages.

The originals are very very rare and exceptionally hard to find. Luckily some of the dutch publishers decided to make some reprints and make them in this way available for other admirers. These reprints are getting more scarce every year now, but www.ftn-books.com still has some available.

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Constant..NEW BABYLON by Wigley

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If there is one title which has become one of the most sought after ones i have in my inventory it is Constant’s New Babylon/ The Hyperarchitecture of desire.

The book originally published in 1998 for the Witte de With exhibition , was sold at the occasion of the restoration of the New Babylon models by Constant. It took almost 5 years, but after that restoration period, these very important and visionary models could be presented again in all their glory. With the exhibition the Gemeentemuseum sold the book by Mark Wigley and because of its price almost guilders 50,– we did not sell many copies and eventually the book was part of a sale in which the book was sold for less than euro 12,–

But after that “low”, the stature of the book changed. It was described as one of the best architecture books on the market and i received orders from all over the world because in architecture lessons and classes it was described as one of the key publications in the field of visionary architecture. At one time i even bought a box of these books and sold them within a few months. But things have changed. No longer you can find copies and whenever one is offered it is at auction where it fetches a high price ( plus costs ). Still one copy remains in my inventory at ww.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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Paul Cuvelier (1923-1978) and EPOXY

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For Paul Cuvelier comics were a necessary way to earn money. His true heart lay in painting and sculpting, especially nudes which showcased his passion for the beauty and anatomy of the human body. Cuvelier’s fine art was characterized by a sensuality which has been described as “slumbering eroticism”. The same can be said about some of his comics. Even the juvenile heroes in his ‘Corentin’ stories are scantily clothed most of the time. The friendship between Corentin and Kim can be interpreted in the same homo-erotic subtext as the companionship between Jacques Martin’s Alix and Enak. His final ‘Line’ story also featured a more sexy presentation of the heroine. The 1973 ‘Corentin’ story ‘Le Royaume des Eaux Noires’ featured much nudity and hinted at a sexual relationship between the protagonist and Zaïla. By then, Cuvelier and Van Hamme had already created their groundbreaking erotic graphic novel ‘Epoxy’ (1968).

Epoxy, by Cuvelier
Epoxy

‘Epoxy’ was created in the wave of adult-oriented comics, which found its breeding ground in the American underground comix movement. The first generation that grew up with the post-war comics continued to embrace the medium, which opened up new possibilities for creators. Free from the restrictions of working for the children’s press, authors could now aim their work at a mature audience. In Europe, magazines like Pilote and Hara-Kiri were at the vanguard of this new movement. Frenchman Jean-Claude Forest‘s sci-fi heroine ‘Barbarella’ (1962) was the first character that embodied the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

In Belgium, Guy Peellaert had pioneered the comics eroticism with his stories ‘Les Aventures de Jodelle’ (1966) and ‘Pravda, la survireuse’ (1967), while Guido Crepax heralded in the “sexties” in Italy with his ‘Valentina’ (1965). Dutch authors Thé Tjong-Khing and Lo Hartog van Banda released their pop-art inspired graphic novel with the sexy ‘Iris’ in 1968. Cuvelier and Van Hamme’s ‘Epoxy’ fully presented the artist’s qualities for sensual artwork, against a story inspired by Greek mythology. Created in 1967, the album was released by the Paris-based Belgian publisher Eric Losfeld in the revolutionary month of May 1968. It initially didn’t catch much attention, but in later years its historical importance was recognized for being one of the first independent and fully erotic Belgian comics. It has been re-issued in later years by Horus (1977), Marcus (1981), Clue Circle (1985), Éditions Lefrancq (1997) and Le Lombard (2003). German and Scandinavian translations of ‘Epoxy’ were however published without the knowledge and consent of the authors, who consequently never received royalties from these editions.

Paul Cuvelier spent the final years of his life in poverty, and in a constant search of artistic fulfillment. A final attempt to pick up ‘Corentin’ was made in cooperation with Jacques Martin, who wrote the script for ‘Corentin et l’Ogre Rouge’ (1973). Cuvelier abandoned the project after the first pages, which were published posthumously in the monography ‘Paul Cuvelier: Corentin et les chemins du merveilleux’ by Philippe Goddin in 1984. Martin later used the plot for the ‘Alix’ story ‘Les Proies du Volcan’ (1978). Jacques Martin also picked Cuvelier as his first choice to draw his historical comics series about French serial killer Gilles de Rais. Cuvelier was however not interested, and was revived by Martin and Jean Pleyers for the series ‘Xan’ (1978, later renamed to ‘Jhen’). Pleyers was Cuvelier’s pupil during his final years. In an interview in L’Est Républicain in 1993, Pleyers recalled squatting with Paul Cuvelier during most of the 1970s, living in “old embassies, surrounded by homosexual drug addicts”. Another assistant of Cuvelier was the Spanish artist Juan Lopez de Uralde, who helped him with the last pages of ‘Corentin et le Prince des Sables’ in the late 1960s. Paul Cuvelier’s final work included some erotic illustrations for Privé magazine in 1975, and the preparations of an exposition with the theme “Fillettes” (“little girls”). The artist however passed away in 1978 in Charleroi at the age of 54 after years of declining health.The extremely large folio edition by Blue Circle is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Hendri van der Putten (1940) an artist book

 

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Last week i found at the local bookmarket a special artist book by Hendri van der Putten. The book was made for the exhibition of Hendri in the Apollohuis in 1988.The artist book consists of 16 pages of which 5 are silkscreened with lines across the pages and on the edges…. a very delicate yellow. an exquisite book which is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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