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Wim Crouwel and DE VOLKSKRANT

 

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Wim Crouwel passed away some days ago and since, a great number of articles have been published on his life and accomplishments as a designer. His works will prove to be highly important for designers all over the world in the future and DE VOLKSKRANT ( one of the most important newspapers in the Netherlands) recognized that fact and devoted  a 2 page article on Crouwel in their Saturday paper. It is only on rare occasions that such a long and detailed article is published on just one person. Wim Crouwel and his works prove to be that important. The article can be found on the internet here (dutch)

https://www.volkskrant.nl/mensen/wim-crouwel-hoeder-van-het-functionele-ontwerp-en-een-onverzettelijke-rechtlegger~bf53fa62/

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William Leavitt (1941)

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William Leavitt was not known to me. I had seen his name in relation to the Art & Project bulletins, but never had seen works by him, so i had to turn to Wikipedia for some more information and this is what i found. Leavitt , a conceptual artist was not known like his contemporary friends like Baldessari and Kelly, but his work is well worth checking out, since some of his works are fascinating .

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William Leavitt (born 1941) is a conceptual artist known for paintings, photographs, installations, and performance works that examine “the vernacular culture of L.A. through the filter of the entertainment industry…drawing on ‘stock environments’ and designs of films as well as the literature of the place.” A critical figure in the West Coast conceptual art movement of the late 60s, Leavitt himself has managed to maintain a low profile. “Over the last 40 years, William Leavitt has made a name for himself as an influential artist while staying so far out of fame’s spotlight that his hard-to-categorize works have been all but invisible to the public,” wrote the LA Times. While his work is collected by high-profile artists such as John Baldessari and Mike Kelley (who donated Leavitt works to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles), Leavitt himself has eschewed celebrity.

Leavitt received a BFA from Boulder Unviversity and a MFA from Claremont Graduate School. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1965 his work evolved, increasingly referencing themes endemic to the city such as the line between reality and fantasy and the nature of illusion.

Three of the Leavitt bulletins he made for Art & Project are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

 

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Mail Art by Art & Project, 1970

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Followers of this blog must know by now that i have acquired a large collection of Art & Project Bulletins, publications and invitations. Among these invitations , many are considered to be true Mail Art and Art & project was one of the first galleries to communicate with its subscribers in this way. From the first 100 of exhibitions held at the gallery many are considered to be iconic, but some stood out. One of these exhibitions is still a classic in the history of the gallery. It is the 1970 Gilbert & George exhibition. First there was the bulletin send from Japan. with drawings of Gilbert by George and of George by Gilbert and secondly i must mention the invitation by van Beijeren and Ravesteijn. Handwriting in print to made it as personal as possible. Here is the example i have currently in my inventory which is addressed to Kees Schippers, the dutch conceptual artist.

gilbert george uitn 1970 b

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Ger van Elk (1941-2014) and the Art & Project Bulletins

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Ger van Elk was one of the gallery artists from Art & Project and made 7 Bulletins for the gallery. ( all 7 are available at www.ftn-books.com)

over a period of 15 years he published within the series the following numbers Bulletin 19, 55, 65, 74, 100, 132 and 139

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Each different in its approach of the medium and all very much worth collecting. Her are some examples of the Bulletins.

 

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Luigi Ontani (1943)

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Like Cindy Sherman, Ontani makes his own image subject in his his works and therefore it is not by coincidence that the Groninger Museum has made n exhibition with Ontani some 20 years ago. Ontani has a natural place in the colection of this Museum, Italian art and a focus on photography are two pillars that made the collection of the Groninger Museum well known all over the world.

After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna Ontani began his artistic career in the 1970s when he became known for his tableau vivants: photographed and videotaped performances in which he presented himself in different ways: from Pinocchio to Dante, Saint Sebastian to Bacchus. These displays of “actionism” (different from Viennese Actionism, to which Hermann Nitsch is associated) verge on kitsch and raise personal narcissism to a higher level.

Throughout his long career Ontani has expressed his creativity and poetics through the use of many different techniques: from his “oggetti pleonastici” (1965–1969), made in plaster, to the “stanza delle similitudini,” made with objects cut in corrugated fiberboard. He has often anticipated the use of techniques subsequently adopted by other artists: his first Super 8 films were made between 1969 and 1972. With his work “Ange Infidele” (1968) Ontani begins to experiment with photography. From the beginning his photography has been characterized by some particular elements: the subject is always the artist himself, who uses his own body and face to personify historic, mythological, literary and popular themes; the chosen formats are usually miniature and gigantography, and each work is considered unique. From the late 1960s on are “Teofania” (1969), “San Sebastiano nel bosco di Calvenzano, d’apres Guido Reni” Tentazione,” “Meditazione, d’apres de la Tour,” “Bacchino” (1970), “Tell il Giovane,” “Raffaello,” “Dante,” ” Pinocchio” (1972), “Lapsus Lupus,” the diptych “EvAdamo” (1973), “Leda e il Cigno” (1974), “I grilli e i tappeti volanti” that will be followed by other “d’apres,” and the first Indian cycle “En route vers l’Inde, d’apres Pierre Lotti.” His first artistic photography has a historic importance because it anticipates a phenomenon that will be widespread and popular from the 1980s.

While working on his photographs Ontani began to make his first tableaux vivants. From 1969 to 1989 the artist made around 30 of these exhibitions, again foreshadowing the so-called interactive installations, which are based on the mixture of various technologies. With this same attitude he has created works in papier-mâché, glass, wood (he has made numerous masks, especially on Bali, with Pule wood) and, more rarely, in bronze, marble, and fabric. He has also made notorious works in ceramic, thanks to the cooperation with Bottega Gatti of Faenza, Venera Finocchiaro in Rome, and the Terraviva laboratory of Vietri: some of them are his “pineal” masks, the “Ermestetiche,” and the last great works such as “GaneshaMusa” and “NapoleonCentaurOntano.”

Ontani has not used all these different techniques as ends in themselves but as occasions to experiment new possibilities and formulate new variations of the themes and subjects that interest him the most: his own “transhistoric” travel through myth, the mask, the symbol and iconographic representation. He has exhibited his works in some of the most important museums and galleries of the world, from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to the Pompidou Centre, the Museo Reina Sofía to the Frankfurter Kunstverein. He has also participated in several editions of the Venice, Sydney, and Lyon biennales. Recently he has had four important retrospectives at the MoMA (2001), the SMAK in Ghent (2003–2004), the MAMbo in Bologna (2008), and the Accademia di San Luca, also called the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, in Rome (2017). The retrospective in Rome marks his receiving the Premio Presidente della Repubblica award in 2015.

Part from thnis blog comes from the WIKIPEDIA page on Ontani

www.ftn-books.com has the most important Ontani publication on stock.

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Lawrence Weiner (1942) + discount

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Lawrence Weiner and the Netherlands is a combination which now exists for almost 50 years. His connections with dutch directors and curators is legendary and he has made several special projects with them in dutch. Weiner is considered as a post minimal artist and one of the founders of Conceptual art and that is the reason why his works blend so well within the collections of the more important dutch museum. The van Abbemuseum, Stedelijk and Gemeentemuseum have all works by Weiner in their collections.

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But Weiner is much more than a conceptual artist. He is a book designer and poet at the same time  and these little sketches with words can be blown up into facades and objects with words. One of the most memorable to me was the facade at the Ljubljana Modern Art museum with a Weiner object on one of the outside museum walls. Impredssive, recognizable. So to celebrate the longtime history that Lawrence Weiner has with the Netherlands there is a discount this week of 10%  on all items at www.ftn-books.com . use the discountcode : LawrenceWeiner10 and receive a 10% discount on all items including some marvelous Lawrence Weiner publications.

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Mark Boyle (1934-2005)

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I think it was Hans Locher as a curator who brough the works by Mark Boyle for the first time to the Netherlands. I remember the exhibition was reviewed and it made me go to the Haags Gemeentemuseum. It was the time of music by the Soft Machine and shows with liquid slides to accompany the music. Upstairs in the rooms of the museum were the objects/ earth by Mark Boyle. Boyle made exact replcias of the soli and pavements he found interesting and hang them on the wall like paintings. I thought and think these objects are still fascinating and to my knowledge Boyle is still unique in his approach to art.

These so called earth  studies were highly accurate painted casts that operate somewhere between painting and sculpture – involve the meticulous re-creation of randomly chosen areas of the Earth’s surface using resin and fibreglass (as well as real materials from the site) and have been exhibited internationally. Past shows have included the British Pavilion at the XXXIX Venice Biennale in 1978, Beyond Image – Boyle Family (Hayward Gallery, London) in 1986 and Boyle Family (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh) – a major retrospective held in 2003.

www.ftn-books.com has several Mark Boyle and Boyle family catalogues available.

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Timm Ulrichs (1940)

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Timm Ulrichs (born in 1940) is considered one of the most influential German conceptual and action artists. He writes concrete poetry, makes performance art, and works as a sculptor.

For his work, Timm Ulrichs has received numerous international prizes, but in a conscious gesture of rejection, he withdrew from the art market. Even though his early performances and happenings have art historical significance in terms of determining an avant-garde art after 1960, his entire oeuvre is often only known to insiders. As an artist’s artist, Timm Ulrichs is widely respected.

Ulrichs has been active as a self-proclaimed “total artist” since 1959 when he displayed himself in a glass box and determined himself “the first living artwork”. In that year, he established the Werbezentrale für Totalkunst, Banalismus und Extemporismus [Advertising agency for total art, banalism, and extemporism] in Hanover, which was to serve the propagation, development and production of total art. Under the motto “art is life, life is art”, he called himself “the perfect gesamtkunstwerk”. www.ftn-books.com has two Ulrichs titles available.

 

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Marcel Mariën (1920–1993)

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Marcel Mariën was a Belgian artist, he was born in 1920 in Antwerp and died in 1993 in Brussels. During his childhood, Marcel Mariën faced big difficulties at school since he attended a school where the classes were imparted in Flemish. When he turned 15, he joined, as an apprentice, the atelier of a photographer who taught him all the foundations of photography. He joined in parallel the Superior Popular School for the workers, which led him to discover Rene Magritte’s work. A year later, he became interested in Surrealist paintings and started to write poetry. In 1937, Marcel Mariën went to Brussels to met Rene Magritte, Paul Colinet, Louis Scutenaire, Irene Hamoir and Paul Nouge. He participated for the first time in a Surrealist group exhibition, where he exposed his first object “l’Introuvable” that he created from his own broken glasses. On his return from his military service, he worked in the collective invention of Magritte and Ubac. During the war, Marcel Mariën helped healing the wounded, and then left to Dunkirk and Berck where he was taken prisoner. He was then sent to the concentration camp of Gorlitz until 1941. On his return to Brussels, he met Christian Dotremont and his wife Elisabeth. He founded the Editions “l’Aiguille Aimantee” and published several books. He participated with Scrutenaire and Nouge in the creation of the titles of Magritte’s books. In the beginning of the 40s,he made several trips to Paris, illegally transporting paintings by famous painters such as Picasso, Leger, Chirico and Renoir. Marcel published several books including the first biography of Magritte and participated in conferences about surrealism. In 1948, He settled in Brussels and lived from the profit of his books and from typing works, later on he started working on the “Silver Ocean” cargo sailing from Normandy to the French West Indies. Marcel Mariën met his wife Jane Graverol during Magritte’s first exhibition and with her he founded a communist newspaper they called ” Les Levres Nues”. Despite various deceptions, he managed to create several films including the movie “L’Imitation du Cinema” with Tom Gutt. In 1963, Marcel Mariën left to the United States.Where he worked multiple jobs.The following year, he left to Japan and then Hong Kong. He worked several months in Beijing as a proofreader of the propaganda Newspaper “China under construction” before leaving again to Europe in 1965. He came back to Belgium and published several text of Paul Nouge and Magritte. In 1967, Marcel Mariën exhibited his first collages and some objects. In 1973, he had to go in front of the justice for his past collaboration with the Nazis having participated in the creation of Leon Degrelle’s journal, but he was found innocent. In 1979, Marcel Mariën published a reference book about the history of surrealism in France. He published as well the correspondence of Scutenaire.

(the text above comes from Artsper)

www.ftn-books.com has some Marien titles available

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Terry Atkinson (1939)

 

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Founding member of the art project group ART & LANGUAGE and a very gifted artist in his own right too. He began to teach art at the Coventry School of Artwhile producing conceptual works, sometimes in collaboration with Michael Baldwin. In 1968 they, together with Harold Hurrell and David Bainbridge who also taught at Coventry. formed Art & Language. The group including Atkinson existed until 1974, when Atkinson left the group.

Atkinson is not the easiest artist to fall for. His subjects are war, disease and religion, making his paintings hard to admire. Still the use of color is in many cases bright and uplifting. Atkinson is an artists artist and had his exhibitions in the Netherlands at galleries and the van Abbemuseum in 1984.

www.ftn-books.com has 2 titles available