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the brilliant “Jong Amerika Schildert” catalogue from 1958

The year is 1958, …the curator Willem Sandberg. The exhibition JONG AMERIKA SCHILDERT, organized by the Stedelijk Museum together with the Museum Of Modern Art,

This is arguably Sandberg his most important exhibition, because this was for the years to come the foundation under all Stedelijk Museum Exhibitions. The artists list now reads like an all time greatest list with many of them record breaking artists. Not only in auction results, but certainly with the total number of exhibition visitors. Just some of the now very famous names who were not that well known in those days. Pollock, Newman, Rothko, de Kooning and Kline are now among the most appreciated artists ever and all were in this one exhibition. Willem Sandberg wrote history with this exhibition and what makes the catalogue even more worth wile is not only the typical Sandberg design but the special art  by Pollock and Gottlieb which is used for the cover. This catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

amerika schildert cc

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Bernard Buffet/ TOXIQUE and GIFT

Just a short blog on the 2 editions i now have in my inventory. There is a time difference of 2 years between them, but both are equally important. The first is the beautiful and impressive Toxique from 1964. A bold and important publication since it is one of the first books that makes in text and art the addiction to palphium /morphine visible. The art is among the best i know and the book reads like a graphic novel. The best is that the german edition from 1966 leaves the pages intact and only includes in the text the translation of the original french text by Sagan. Both can be recommended, but the purist will ofcourse chose the original french edition from 1964.Both editions are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)

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Never heard of Yeats as a painter, until Rudi Fuchs curated an exhibition with his paintings at the Haags Gemeentemuseum and it was a nice surprise. His painting is spontane , a little childish and impressionistic at the same time and thus resulting in a painting what is typical for Yeats with a signature of its own. The exhibition was not that large and i remember that the sizes of the paintings were not that large too.

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What i do remember was the excellent catalogue Gracia Lebbink designed with the exhibition. It was one of her first lareg catalogues she made for the Gemeentemuseum but it has proven to be a classic and available at www.ftn-books.com

yeats

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Felix Vallotton (1865-1925)

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Felix Valotton is without a doubt one of those less familiar names in Modern Art, but still he is very important for the development of modern Art as we know it, because when you look at his works more closely you can discover the fundaments of abstraction.

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In 1893, he became a member of Les Nabis, a semi-secret, semi-mystical group of young artists, mostly from the Academie Julian, which included Pierre Bonnard, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Maurice Denis, and Édouard Vuillard, with whom Vallotton was to form a lifelong friendship. While the Nabis shared certain common ideas and goals, their styles were quite different and personal. While he was a member of the Nabis, he kept his distance; his jocular title among the Nabis was “The Foreign Nabi”, [10] Vallotton’s paintings in this period reflected the style of his woodcuts, with flat areas of color, hard edges, and simplification of detail. His subjects included genre scenes, portraits and nudes. Examples of his Nabi style are the deliberately awkward Bathers on a Summer Evening (1892–93), now in the Kunsthaus Zürich, and the symbolist Moonlight(1895), in the Musée d’Orsay.

His paintings began to be noticed by the public and critics; Bathers on a Summer Evening, presented at the Salon des Indépendents, was met with harsh criticism and laughter.  But they also woodcuts also attracted considerable and growing attention and clients, and he became financially secure. Between 1893 and 1897, he received many commissions for illustrations from notable French newspapers and magazines, including La Revue Blanche, and from foreign art publications, including The Chap-Book of Chicago. He also made woodcuts for the covers of theater programs and book illustrations. One of his prominent patrons was Thadée Natanson, the publisher of the Revue Blanche, and his wife Misia, who commissioned many important decorative works from the Nabis. Through the Natansons Vallotton was introduced to the avant-garde elite of Paris, including Stéphane Mallarmé, Marcel Proust, Eric Satie, and Claude Debussy.

During the Nabi period, he also produced a remarkable series of woodcuts. His woodcut subjects included domestic scenes, bathing women, portrait heads, and several images of street crowds and demonstrations—notably, several scenes of police attacking anarchists. He usually depicted types rather than individuals, eschewed the expression of strong emotion, and “fuse[d] a graphic wit with an acerbic if not ironic humor”. Vallotton’s graphic art reached its highest development in Intimités (Intimacies), a series of ten interiors published in 1898 by the Revue Blanche, which deal with tension between men and women. Vallotton’s woodcuts were widely disseminated in periodicals and books in Europe as well as in the United States, and have been suggested as a significant influence on the graphic art of Edvard Munch, Aubrey Beardsley, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. In 1898, he produced one of his most important series of woodcuts,

By 1900, the Nabis had drifted apart. One source of the division was the Dreyfus affair, the case of a Jewish army officer falsely accused of aiding the Germans. The Nabis were divided, with Vallotton passionately defending Dreyfus. He produced a series of satirical woodcuts on the affair, including The age of the Newspaper,which were published on the first page of Le Cri de Paris on January 23, 1898, at the height of the affair.

Another major event during this period was his marriage to Gabrielle Rodrigues-Hénriques, a upper middle class member of the Paris artistic and social elite. The union also brought to his household three children from her previous marriage. After a brief honeymoon in Switzerland, they moved to a large apartment on near the Gare Saint-Lazare train station. He also established a solid relationship with the Bernheim family and their gallery, which presented a special exhibition devoted the Nabis, including ten of his works. The marriage brought him financial security, and he gradually abandoned woodcuts as his main source of income. Thereafter he devoted his attention almost entirely to painting. www. ftn-books.com has some titles on vallotton available.

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Will Ferwerda (1942-2019)

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Just recently, onthe 12th of March Will ferwerda died at the age of 77. Known for his free expressionism and activist for his entire life he was one of the most colorful artists in the dutch art scene. He was locally a well known artist and many in Gorkum and Dordrecht had at some time met him.( A bit the same as Gerard Fieret in den Haag), but his art deserves so much better. It has some mysticism in it i can not explain, but when you look at he limited editions by Ferwerda ( available at www.ftn-books.com) , these images intrigue and show that Ferwerda was not an amateur , but a true and original artist.

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Outsider Art of atelier de Herenplaats

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By chance i found a publication by atelier de Herenplaats. An artist studio for the mentally deficient and i was really surprised to find some great art within this publiucation. This Art Brut/Outsider Art is matured and must be considered as true art. The spontanious compositions delight and i have read on the site of de Herenplaats that many of their artist have had their ( international) presentations in galeries and museums.

de Herenplaats site can be found on this address: www.herenplaats.nl

and www.ftn-books.com has the Herenplaats publication now for sale in its shop.

visjes

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Jan van Munster (1939)

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Jan van Munster stands for me personally as the artist who experimenst with Neon and Pyrographics and using these to create Minimal objects and sculptures. I noticed his works for the first time when a work of him was presented at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. It weas a neon sculpture and made in an edition of a few copies and for sale at the museum shop. Unfortunately i did not have the insight at that time to buy it, but the memory remains, because it was the first van Munster i had seen. This is not the easiest of art to admire, but once you follow his career and search back throught the decades that he has made his art, you conclude that he always stayed true to his origins. One of the characteristics that keep reappearing is that he uses frequently two elements on his covers of the catalogues that are published with his works.

munster diep b

First…many of his covers are embossed and second. ….in many cases there is a special Pyrographic made/burnt into the cover of his catalogues, making these original, one of a kind works of art at a more than reasonable price. www.ftn-books.com has some nice van Munster titles available.

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World Fairs from 1851-1992

 

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-23 om 13.59.45An important publication. published within the series of Grafisch Nederland and designed by Gracia Lebbink. A quintessential 150 years with some great inventions ( telephone, TV, Radio and Nylon) and a developing art scene which made the transition into constructivist and abstract art.  The book not only has a beautiful design by Gracia Lebbink , but it is great fun to look at the history of these World Fair’s. What struck me is that the architecture is truly innovative, but only a few buildings were kept. Of course the Eiffel tower is one of them and it has grown into a landmark for Paris and France, but when you look at some of the other great architecture realized, it is a pity that so few of the buildings remain.The book is available at www.ftn-books.com

wereldtentoonstellingen

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Michael Kirkham (1971)

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Michael Kirkham is one of the younger British artists that implressed me immediately when i saw his first paintings at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

Often highly regarded for their uncompromising nature, Michael Kirkham’s paintings give a delicate insight into the dark corners of human existence. Painted mostly from the mind, mixing fantasy and reality, Kirkham depicts his subjects in uncomfortable or awkward positions, (half) undressed, engaging in acts of sexual nature, being in love, daydreaming, or showing their genitals. While doing so, the characters in Kirkham’s paintings often appear distant, as if disconnected or sunken into the emptiness of their subconsciousness. In addition to the apathetic character of his subjects, most of Kirkham’s paintings appear covered in an apt layer of misery and ambiguity.

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As much as these scenes of the despicable bring about a sense of discomfort or voyeurism to the spectator, they are equally intriguing and touching as they display a deep sense of empathy for all aspects of the human condition. This is Kirkham’s power: rather than depicting scenes that exist only in Kirkham’s own artistic universe, his works show those parts of life that, no matter our attempts to disregard or overlook them, are a core part of contemporary life. They show us the alienated or estranged individuals who are no match for the complexities of the world they themselves have helped to build.

It is in this commentary on the contemporary that any sense of melancholy, irony, or even voyeurism so often related to the Kirkham’s paintings disappears. The power and beauty of his work are inseparable from the discomfort it brings about when it confronts the viewer with the bleakness of humanity. Therefore, any form of sadness, irony, voyeurism, or discomfort felt in Kirkham’s paintings can only be a sign of confrontation, recognition or even emotion of the spectator, pointing out to us what essentially makes us human throughout the complexities of today.

Michael Kirkham (Blackpool, UK, 1971) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He completed his education at the Glasgow School of Art and De Ateliers, Amsterdam. His work has been exhibited, among many other locations, at Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (NL), Centraal Museum, Utrecht (NL), and Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (DE), and is part of collections such as the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (NL), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL), Centraal Museum, Utrecht (NL), Sammlung Ritter Sport, Stuttgart (DE), Collection Olbricht (DE), Sollection SØR Rusche, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam (NL), and of private collections in The Netherlands, Germany and the United States, among others.

ftn-art has the limited edition of THE STORY OF THE GLOVE. a controversial “comic” in prints available. Please inquire.

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Ton Mars (1950)

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I looked for Ton Mars information and found this. It . is in dutch but for my dutch readers it is an absolute must:

Mijn hoofd is in de wereld 

de wereld is in mijn hoofd

In de wereld
noem ik continenten en sferen,
duid ik windstreken en sterren,
ken ik landen en volken,
tel ik woorden en talen,
zie ik contrasten en overeenkomsten,
ervaar ik kleuren en vormen,
duizel ik in veelvoud en verscheidenheid,
kan ik blijven en reizen.

In het hoofd
orden ik veelvoud en verscheidenheid,
maak ik contrasten en overeenkomsten,
ontwikkel ik continenten en sferen,
speel ik met richting en ritme,
droom ik landen en volken,
vind ik woorden en taal,
kan ik blijven en reizen.

In het werk
kies ik
voor verf en linnen
voor potlood en papier
voor lijn en kleur,
voor vlak en volume,
voor licht en schaduw,
voor deel en onderdeel,

refereer ik
aan boek en teken,
aan code en regel,
aan woord en getal,
aan systeem en verbeelding,

verbind ik
getal en plek,
kennis en spel,
complexiteit en helderheid,
eenvoud en mysterie
zwaarte en lichtheid,
feit en fictie.

Met het werk
eigen ik me de wereld toe,
leef ik mijn droom,
ben ik 
dag en nacht.

www.ftn-books.com has some Ton Mars publications available

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