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Günther Förg – Moskau / Moscow. 1995

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For many among us Günther Förg is the painter of lead surfaced paintings and one great print maker, but there is another quality in which he excels. Förg was a great photographer and made some high quality photo books on the almost forgotten ( Bauhaus )architecture of Tel Aviv and Moscow. The book on Tel Aviv i have sold a very long time ago, but was fortunate to find a Moscow copy with his photographs on a recent book market. This is a truly outstanding publication. Large sized , printed and published by Snoeck and of the highest print quality. The book shows the excellence of his photographs and makes you wonder why art lovers all over the world are not familiar with this part of Förg’s work.. The photographs look like still lives and do not only have an artistic quality but a historic quality too. Where the Tel Aviv book is of the highest quality, this Moscow book even looks better. It is a publication of a rare quality and a highly collectable photography/art book.

 

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Cesar Manrique (1919-1992)

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Because i encountered a nice publication on this obscure painter , i decided to write a blog on the artist. The main part of this text comes fromT the Cesar Manrique devoted site. They did an excellent job in making more information available on Manrique

César Manrique Cabrera was born on April 24,1919 in Puerto Naos, Arrecife (Lanzarote), the son of Francisca y Gumersindo. His father was a food merchant and his grandfather a notary public. César preceded his twin sister Amparo by just a few minutes. He had another sister and brother all of whom are alive today. Don Gumersindo came from Fuerteventura of good family background and emigrated to Lanzarote.

The Manriques constituted a typical middle class family, without financial burdens. In 1934, his father bought a lot in Caleta de Famara and built a house next to the ocean. This house left a visible impression that lasted his lifetime, he remembered with joy:” My greatest happiness is to recall a happy childhood,five month summer vacationsin the Caleta and the Famara beach, with its eight kilometers of clean and fine sand framed by cliffs of more than four hundred meters high that reflected on the beach like in a mirror. That image has been engraved in my soul as something of extraordinary beauty that I will never forget in all of my life.”

He participated as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War on Franco’s side. His experience of the war was atrocious and he refused to talk about it. In the summer of 1939, once the war was over, César returned to Arrecife. He returned still wearing his military uniform. After greeting his mother and siblings, he went up on the flat roof, took off his clothes, agrily stepped over them, sprayed them with petroleun and burned them.

At the end of the Spanish Civil War, he entered the La Laguna University to study Technical Architecture, which he would abandon after two years. In 1945 he travels to Madrid and enters with a scholarship, to the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where he would graduate as Art Professor and painter.

In the Fall of 1964, following the advise of his cousin Manuel Manrique, a New York Psychoanalyst and writer, Cesar traveled to that city where he stayed until the summer of 1966. He was the guest of Waldo Diaz-Balart, a Cuban painter, who lived in the Lower East Side, at the time, a neighborhood of artists, journalists, writers, and bohemians. Later he was able to obtain through his cousin Manuel’s friendship with the Director of the Institute of International Education, which was sponsored by Nelson Rockefeller. a generous grant which allowed him to rent his own studio and produce a number of paintings which he exhibited with success in the prestigious New York gallery “Catherine Viviano” .
While in New York, he would write his friend Pepe Dámaso “(…) more than ever I feel true nostalgia for the real meaning of things. For the pureness of the people. For the bareness of my landscape, and for my friends (…) My last conclusion is that MAN in N.Y. is like a rat. Man was not created for this artificiality. There is an imperative need to go back to the soil. Feel it, smell it. That’s what I feel.” He began to feel nostalgia for Lanzarote.

” When I returned from New York, I came with the intention of turning my native island into one of the more beautiful places in the planet, due to the endless possibilities that Lanzarote had to offer. ” .

And this is the present reality: It is impossible to imagine Lanzarote as it stands today without César Manrique. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, ecologist, monument preserver, construction advisor, planner of urban developments, outliner of landscapes and gardens.

Those who knew Manrique only superficially ignored the load of puritanism that ruled his conduct. Manrique was really a frugal man, he didn’t drink, didn’t smoke and didn’t allow others to smoke next to him, he regularly went to bed very early and got up at dawn, and began work in his studio very early.

He died at the age of 73 in a tragic car accident, on the 25 of September 1992, next to the Fundacion, near Arrecife. The irony of fate had it that he would encounter death in a car accident, as he loathed the massive amount of vehicles

www.ftn-books.com has the best publication on Cesar Manrique now available.

 

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Marie-Jo Lafontaine (1950)

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An artist who’s works i encounter regularly whenever i visit a European museum is Marie-Jo Lafontaine. Hardly known outside Europe but one of the better known contemporary artists since her Documenta appearance in 1987. The famous Kassel exhibition was at that time curated by Rudi Fuchs and Lafontaine made a name for herself with Larmes d’Acier

This does not mean that her works before 1987 were not interesting. They certainly were , but Video related art is not the most accessible kind of art and these installations by Lafontaine . are no exception. Still the importance of her works is recognized by many and one hopes that a retrospective will be held in the near future. Showing the true quality of her poetic video art.

there are some Marie-Jo Lafontaine books available at www.ftn-books.com

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Albert Van Der Weide ( 1949 )

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A good way to start the New Year.

ALLE MACHT AAN DE KUNST

A happy and healthy 2020

 The art item ” ALLE MACHT AAN DE KUNST ” ( all power to art ) is available at www.ftn-books.com

weide macht

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Roni Horn (1955)

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An artist from my generation is Roni Horn and since the days i worked at the Gemeentemuseum i came across her works. This is not the easiest art on the planet, but it is fascinating and some wonderful books have been published with her works. Some of these are available at www.ftn-books.com. Here is a text i found recently in which is explained some of the qualities of her works.

Since the mid-1990s, Horn has been producing cast-glass sculptures. For these works, colored molten glass assumes the shape and qualities of a mold as it gradually anneals over three to four months. The sides and bottom of the resulting sculpture are left with the rough translucent impression of the mold in which it was cast. By stark contrast, the top surface is fire-polished and slightly bows like liquid under tension. The seductively glossy surface invites the viewer to gaze into the optically pristine interior of the sculpture, as if looking down on a body of water through an aqueous oculus. Exposed to the reflections from the sun or to the shadows of an overcast day, Horn’s glass sculpture relies upon natural elements like the weather to manifest her binary experimentations in color, weight and lightness, solidity and fluidity. The endless subtle shifts in the work’s appearance place it in an eternal state of mutability, as it refuses a fixed visual identity. Begetting solidity and singularity, the changing appearance of her sculptures is where one discovers meaning and connects her work to the concept of identity.For Horn, drawing is a primary activity that underpins her wider practice. Her intricate works on paper examine recurring themes of interpretation, mirroring and textual play, which coalesce to explore the materiality of color and the sculptural potential of drawing. Horn’s preoccupation with language also permeates these works; her scattered words read as a stream of consciousness spiralling across the paper. In her ‘Hack Wit’ series, Horn reconfigures idiomatic turns of phrase and proverbs to engender nonsensical, jumbled expressions. The themes of pairing and mirroring emerge as she intertwines not only the phrases themselves but also the paper they are inscribed on, so that her process reflects the content of the drawings. Words are her images and she paints them expressionistically, which – combined with her method – causes letters to appear indeterminate, as if they are being viewed underwater.

Notions of identity and mutability are also explored within Horn’s photography, which tends to consist of multiple pieces and installed as a surround which unfolds within the gallery space. Examples include her series ‘The Selected Gifts, (1974 – 2015),’ photographed with a deceptively affectless approach that belies sentimental value. Here, Horn’s collected treasures float against pristine white backdrops in the artist’s signature serial style, telling a story of the self as mediated through both objects and others – what the artist calls ‘a vicarious self-portrait.’ This series, alongside her other photographic projects, build upon her explorations into the effects of multiplicity on perception and memory, and the implications of repetition and doubling, which remain central to her work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A classic Christmas Card by Bill Hurtz, ca. 1940

This year a classic Christmas Card for all blog readers. It is a card by one of Walt Disney’s 1940 studio employees…Bill Hurtz. he made a true Disney “classic” with this card.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS,

wilfried

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Cornelie Tollens (1964)

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Just a little younger than Erwin Olaf, but seeing both photographers photo’s you can conclude that they are from the same generation and inspired each other. Tollens is an Erwin Olaf 2.0? ……

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far from that, because this is an artist with a keen eye on her surroundings and placing objects in such a way that they become something else and have a different meaning . It is the absurd combinations that make her photographs in the book WEIRD NATURE stand out from the others. ( book available at www.ftn-books.com).

But one look at her site ( www.cornelietollens.com) shows that her other discipline in which she excels….. the photography of dutch actors and artists….is another specialty. She has had almost every younger artist in front of her camera and for those familiar with dutch cultural life this is a great way to look at the most famous of dutch actors and artists.

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Franco Pinna (1925-1978)

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Without knowing who the photographer was i have encountered , many, many photographs by Pinna in the time i read the PARIS MATCH. Studying french i had to read the language, which meant that i bought weekly the Paris Match. Pinna’s photographs are easily recognizable and have a signature of their own.

He was born in La Maddalena, on July 29, 1925. In 1952 he moved to Rome and, after a brief experience as a cinedocumentary operator, constituted the cooperative Fotografi Associati together with Plinio De Martiis, Caio Mario Garrubba, Nicola Sansone, Pablo Volta, which was dissolved in 1954 due to economic difficulties. He followed the anthropologist Ernesto De Martino during several research expeditions in southern Italy (Lucania, 1952, 1956, 1959, Salento 1959), obtaining documents of great artistic and cultural value. In 1959 he published his first book, entitled La Sila, which was followed by Sardegna una civiltà di pietra (Sardinia, a stone civilization) (1961). Meanwhile, his photos appear in the magazines Life, Stern, Sunday Times, Vogue, Paris Match, Epoca, L’espresso, Panorama. From 1965 Pinna became the trusted photographer of Federico Fellini and made scene photos of his films Giulietta degli spiriti, 1965, up to Fellini’s Casanova in 1976; he also publishes some photo books (I ClownsFellini’s Film) inspired by his films. He died suddenly in Rome on April 2, 1978.

www.ftn-books.compinna has a nice italian publication on Pinna available.

 

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Sixties Magazine TWEN/TABOE with Ed van der Elsken

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If you want to know what the Sixties looked like for the youth in the Netherlands, there are 3 magazines you must study. First there is the TIQ magazine. It is now one of the hardest to find magazines in the world, since few numbers were published and because of its controversial contents not to many survived.,….. and then there is TWEN/ TABOE. This is the “progressive” dutch youth showing their interests and sharing this with one of the most important Sixties magazines worldwide. Of course this is my personal idea about this magazine, but it is not without reason that i think this is important. One of the most prominent “house” photographers for TWEN/TABOE was Ed van der Elsken and he literally almost filled the pages of the magazines all by himself with his iconic photographs. Leafing through the special book which was published on the Magazine TWEN, which name had to be changed in TABOE after the german Springer publishing company forced by summary proceedings to do so. TWEN/ TABOE history is short. At the end of 1961 and the beginning of 1961 only 4 magazines were published , but they have proven to be a true historic and cultural document.

The integral publications of these 4 magazines is now available at www.ftn-books.com

twen taboe

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Black Friday at FTN books

Not just a 3 days discount but a total of 11 days, a one period discount of 10% on all your FTN books purchases. Valid from the early hours  of Friday the 22nd of November until midnight on the 1st of December 2019. Use the special Black Friday 10% discount code:

                                                               B2019F