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Jurriaan Schrofer

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Yesterday we ate with our good friend Annemarie Schrofer and because of the beautiful paintings by her father on the walls, i remembered another member of the Schrofer family ……Jurriaan Schrofer.

Born in 1926 and also a child of Annemarie’s father Willem Schrofer he would become one of the leading typography and graphic designers in the Netherlands. His works can be considered as “avant garde” design, thinking “out of the box” and soon he would develop his very own style . He originally wanted to become a film director, but ended being the assistant to Dick Elffers. This was the starting point of a splendid career as a graphic designer. For a few years in the seventies he was a member of Total Design, but soon followed again his own path. Highly original and recognizable are his designs. He was commissioned by many dutch important institutions and was appreciated for the designs he made for them, but his true recognition as one of the leading graphic designers from last century is only 25 years old. His works would become internationally known and appreciated. There now is a high interest in his works from leading British Graphic design schools and recently the same interest comes from the US.

Jurriaan Schrofer books can still be picked up at reasonable prices and for those interested in dutch graphic design, the designs by Schrofer are an absolute and quintessential part in the history of Graphic design and not to be missed in any collection. www.ftn-books.com

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Peter Struycken… multiple structuur 67

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Yesterday i listed the Peter Struycken publication Structuur 67 on the www.ftn-books.com site and found this publication surprisingly mature.

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The publication was published in the mid sixties and the only dutch museum that did something ” special ” with their publications at that time , was the Stedelijk Museum, however this publication shows that the Haags Gemeentemuseum knew about the importance of good design and because the artist himself did the design, an excellent and collectable multiple was published. The Structuur 67 consists om several silkscreened sheets , all bundled within one see through cover , making together a constructivist composition. One of the first special Struycken publications , which would be followed by many more. Struycken always had his special wishes regarding most of his publications which resulted in highly collectable “multiple” items. The monograph which was published some years ago gives an excellent overview of these publications.

Struycken is an artist who will become increasingly more important each year and now is the time to collect his works and special publications.

 

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Irma Boom and Renault

The day before yesterday i read an article about the newly designed book for Renault…design by Irma Boom…and my immediate thought was …how can i get hold of this important title for my private collection. It will be a difficult task , but maybe if i say something nice about the new Renault line of cars , designed by Laurens van den Acker this would help?

I never noticed Renault cars until lately i saw a new design line emerge Captur , Kadgar, Megane  and Talisman could all be recognized as Renault’s, but what struck me most is that the design elements designed by van den Acker could be found in each of these models….and honestly these are great looking cars and the Talisman Estate has one of the best designs of the contemporary estate cars available.

Irma Boom translated these new Renault designs into a book worth collecting ( not for sale). The pages resemble paper thin aluminium, the cover can be polished and the design is breath taking.

So which Renault dealer can help me with this important publication and can make me a happy collector? For the one who helps me with this,

i have a nice Irma Boom book available to trade for it.

By the way…i did not know it, but the iconic Renault logo is designed by Victor Vasarely.

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Joost Swarte…editor in chief of SCRATCHES

Yesterday morning in the V part of the Volkskrant the new graphic magazine SCRATCHES was announced with a special cover drawn by Joost Swarte. The new magazine on graphic art will be launched at the Frankfurter Buchmesse ( starts on 19/10) .Contributions by Swarte himself, Nijstad, Tak , Wasco and Herr Seele make this one of the most anticipated new magazines to be launched. The price of SCRATCHES will be eur0 29,90

for more information visit : http://scratch.pr.co/101536-uitgeverij-scratch-presenteert

And for vintage and collectable Swarte publications visit www.ftn-books.com

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Jan Fabre and BIC art

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Fabre’s fame began when he was making 100% blue drawings with a BIC ballpoint pen ( 1980). It was the early eighties , but before that he shook the art scene with making drawings with his own blood ( 1978) .Since he made stage designs for plays and dance, movies and many more drawings and objects and of course sculptures….extremely large sculptures. Jan Fabre is considered one of the greatest living artist in Europe.

A short introduction to one of the greatest Belgian artist from this time. For me Fabre and Panamarenko will be remembered as the great Belgian artist from the last part of the 20th century. Both imaginative in their own way and both highly original with an own signature.

There is a huge list of all his activities during the last 3 decades, but the best way to get an impression of Jan Fabre is to read what Wikipedia says about him and visit his site afterwards

site: www.janfabre.be

There is a large selection of Fabre titles available at www.ftn-books.com

Wikipedia text:

Fabre is famous for his Bic-art (ballpoint drawings). In 1990, he covered an entire building with ballpoint drawings.

He explores the relationships between drawing and sculpture. He also makes sculptures in bronze (among them The man who measures the clouds and Searching for Utopia) and with beetles.

His decoration of the ceiling of the Royal Palace in Brussels Heaven of Delight (made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases) is widely praised. In 2004 he erected Totem, a giant bug stuck on a 70-foot steel needle, on the Ladeuzeplein in Leuven.

In 2008, Jan Fabre’s The Angel of Metamorphosis exhibition was held at the Louvre Museum.

On 26 October 2012, several media reported how during a shoot in the Antwerp town hall for a forthcoming film on Fabre, living cats were thrown repeatedly several meters spinning into the air, after which they made a hard landing on the steps of the entrance hall. Animal welfare executive chairman Luc Bungeneers said he was having a meeting with his party chairman when he heard howling cats. “To my horror, we found cats were being assaulted in the name of art”, Bungeneers said. “It went on for several hours.” The filming was eventually aborted after protests from the crew’s own technicians. Later that day, Fabre claimed all cats were still in good health and it was a conspiracy of the political party NVA.[1][2][3][4] Mr. Fabre has received 20,000 emails slamming his act. He has also been attacked seven times by men carrying clubs whilst out jogging in the park and been forced to sleep in a different location every night. Antwerp’s deputy mayor for animal wellbeing and the animal rights organisation Global Action in the Interest of Animals also launched complaints about Mr Fabre’s controversial act.

On February 2016, Jan Fabre was appointed by the Greek Ministry of Culture as the Creative Director of the annual Athens – Epidaurus Festival.[5] He resigned less than two months later, on the 2nd of April 2016, after a huge controversy over his plan to turn Greece’s major arts festival into “a tribute to Belgium” and devote eight of the festival’s ten productions to those from his homeland.[6]

In September 2016 Fabre made an attempt to not break cyclist Eddy Merckx‘s 1972 hour record at the Tête d’Or Velodrome in Lyon. Fabre completed a total of 23 km in an hour, compared to Merckx’s record of over 49 km. The attempt was commentated on by Merckx, fellow cyclist Raymond Poulidor, and veteran cycling commentator Daniel Mangeas[7] and was performed as the opening of his “Stigmata” retrospective exhibition organised by the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon.[8] Fabre described the attempt as “how to remain a dwarf in the land of giants”.[9]

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Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985)

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The Finnish master of design and glas has had some great exhibitions in the Netherlands, but the most important one was the one in the Stedelijk Museum ( 1976). The Stedelijk Museum took a special interest in Wirkkala and acquired many beautiful works by him and from his wife Rut Bryk, who also had her exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum (1970) , even before her husband had his. Both their catalogues were designed by Wim Crouwel and both catalogues are collectors items now.

Wirkkala designed many great glas objects for Iitala which are still in production. I wish i had more publications on Wirkkala and his wife, but these are rare. The ones i have are both from the Stedelijk Museum. One is the monography and the other two are on a group exhibitions on Finnish glas and design.

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Ian Wilson sector 30 and section 43

At the time i first laid my hands on a publication by Ian Wilson published in the section series . I really thought …..absolutely crazy….however when you read what the van Abbemuseum writes on the publications of Ian Wilson, you see the logic and when you see the logic you notice that every publication is a work of art by itself. I really do not know how many of these “Section” books were published, but for sure i know of 3 i had in my collection ( 2  i still have). There was the art &project publication. ( only 4 pages, but highly collectable) and the section 30 by the van Abbemuseum and the one i made for the Gemeentemuseum in the time Rudi Fuchs was director of the museum. The section 43 was published in an edition of 500 copies. Only 10 or so were sold and the main part of the edition was destroyed at the time the depots of the museum  had to relocate because of the renovation in 1996. So my guess is only about 50 have survived what makes this one of the scarcest Ian Wilson publications. Please look at them at www.ftn-books.com

This is what the van Abbemuseum writes about Ian Wilson:

At first, Wilsons artistic explorations took place entirely in the monochrome. He was absorbed by questions relating to perception and painting. This is aptly illustrated by the nameless object of fibreglass and white pigment (1967) recently purchased by the Van Abbemuseum. In it, he created a slight convex curvature atop a circular surface. When hung on the wall at eye level, this ‘disc’ is so subtle that it does not cast any shadows. The fibreglass object presents the perceptive viewer with an ambiguous scene – sometimes it simulates a cavity in the wall, only to pop out of it again a moment later. His last physical objects, ‘Circle on the Floor’ and ‘Circle on the Wall’, were created in early 1968. Almost completely stripped of any material substance, these works are circles consisting only of outlines drawn in chalk and pencil, respectively. Using Wilsons meticulous instructions, the circles can be reproduced for use in any exhibition.

After some time, Wilson realised that it was no longer necessary to create an object in order to realise a concept. Wilson: ‘I found that I could think or say the circle just as well, that I didn’t need to draw it in order to convey the idea I was exploring.’ The movement towards dematerialisation was a widespread tendency among artists in the 1960s. Language predominated as the means of achieving this, and artists employed it in various ways to stimulate a mental process inside the ‘viewer’ of the work.

Wilson exploits the fact that language can be used to conjure up an image or explain a concept. Forming a mental image of a ‘cube’ requires a simple thought process – the concept of ‘infinity’, on the other hand, represents a higher level of linguistic abstraction. In his text entitled ‘Conceptual Art’ (1984), he says: ‘Language is the most formless means of expression. Its capacity to describe concepts without physical or visual references carries us into an advanced state of abstraction.’ In 2002 he explained that ‘by means of language you can grasp the non-visual world.’ By letting go of material objects and continuing his artistic exploration in the realm of the spoken word, he was able to make the transition from visual abstraction to non-visual abstraction.

Initially, Wilsons verbal work was of an informal nature, taking place on the street, at random exhibition openings or in people’s homes. It was in this manner that he presented his work ‘Time’: the word in its spoken form. A deeper discussion on the subject of ‘time’ also emerged. In 1969, Wilson shifted his field of exploration to the medium itself – ‘oral communication as art form’ – and in 1970 was invited to present ‘Oral Communication’ in Europe.

Over the course of the 1970s, his discussions took on a more formal character, and his interests shifted towards ‘The Known and Unknown’, based on Plato’s ‘The Parmenides’. In contrast to a ‘performance’, during a discussion the audience can actively take part in realising the concept of ‘oral communication’. Wilson does not want the discussion to be recorded either on film or audio. He is interested in the concentrated moment in which ideas emerge and are formulated in language. What remains after the discussion is a subjective and unstable thought in the minds of those present. Wilson summarises the core of these discussions in a book series entitled ‘section’.

From 1970 onwards, his discussions were announced using cards, which served as invitations informing the addressee of where Wilson would be and when. Purchases of works were confirmed by a certificate containing a printed and signed declaration by the artist, stating that a discussion had taken place on that date. Wilson had specific ideas concerning the formulation and layout of both the invitation cards and the certificates. These purchase certificates and invitations cards were the only material remnants of the discussion.

In 1986, Wilson stopped holding discussions and concentrated on printed language. From the late 1980s onward, unique series of his artists’ books began to appear, such as ‘The Set of 25 Sections: 90-114, with Absolute Knowledge’ shown here, from 1993. Partially due to renewed interest in Wilson’s spoken works, he started group discussions again in 1999, which to date have focused on the subject of ‘The Absolute’.

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Vera Molnár and computer art

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Yesterday i added a very nice publication on Vera Molnar to my inventory and realized that she was the artist i was most impressed with the time i visited the Vasarely Museum in Budapest. Molnar born 1924 studied with the art school of Budapest and was one of the first artists worldwide to experiment with computers in her art.

In 1968 she began working with computers, where she began to create algorithmic paintings based on simple geometric shapes geometrical themes.

Patterns and compositions were made with help the computer and since, her art developed in something very special.

In the 1960s, Molnar co-founded several artist research groups: GRAV who investigate collaborative approaches to mechanical and kinetic art, and Art et Informatique, with a focus on art and computing. Molnar learned the early programming languages of Fortran and Basic, and gained access to a computer at a research lab in Paris where she began to make computer graphic drawings on a plotter, several of which are included in a 2015 retrospective exhibition in New York called “Regarding the Infinite | Drawings 1950-1987.

Her works are now found in collections and museums all over the world, but the best museum to see her works is the Vasarely Museum in Budapest.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Molnar publications in its collection. including a signed and original print.

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Piet Dirkx daily….023

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Piet Dirkx, cigarbox 23

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Victor Vasarely

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It must have been the early 70’s. There was an art dealer in the Hoogstraat in The Hague, who had in his window 2 silkscreen prints by Vasarely. I thought them wonderful, but lost interest in them because the edition size was 100 numbered /signed copies. At that moment i never had heard of art published in an edition. Nowadays it is common practice. Artists make a living out of these editions and people can purchase an affordable original piece of art. I should have bought them at that time, but time passes and one forgets about these. All of Vasarely’s works are practically forgotten in the 3 decades to follow, but now in the present days, Vasarely works are sought after and well worth collecting…even the one’s which are published in editions of over 100 copies.

Vasarely has become one of the leading artists from the Geometric Abstract art/ optical art movement and the interest in his works is well deserved. With a highly original point of view and approach to Modern Art he has made many beautiful and impressive works of art and you can encounter them in all the large museums of the world.

When you travel Budapest do not forget to visit the Vasarely museum on the outskirts of this town. ( half an hour by tram ). It is not a museum as we nowadays have grown used to, but the art by Vasarely within this “basic” Museum is fantastic and the best OP ART you will seen gathered within one place .

It even has in a showcase one of the Kriwin catalogues which is depicted below.

It is nice to know that the Vasarely catalogue published by the Stedelijk Museum has on the backside of the cover an original relief print in black and white. (above)

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