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Jean Moral (1906-1999)

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In 1925, the same year André Kértész moved from Hungary, Jean Moral began photographing in Paris.  Like Kértész, his photographs exemplified the inherent aesthetic of Modernism, which by the mid 1920s was in full swing.  Moral’s photographs from 1925 to 1940 depict his eye for graphic abstraction and tight composition.  His personal expression is most apparent in his images of Paris, his intimate portraits of his wife, his self-portraits and the more experimental images he made with photograms and double exposure.


During the 1930s, Moral’s work was included in numerous exhibitions with other photographers including Laura Albin-Guillot, Brassaï, Florence Henri, Horst P. Horst, George Hoyningen-Huene, André Kértész, Francois Kollar, Germaine Krull, Dora Maar, Man Ray and Maurice Tabard.

It is hard to find good publications on Moral but there is one i can really recommend. The year of his deat MARVAL editions published a beautiful monograph on this classic french photographer . The book is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Julia Ventura (1952)

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Portuguese born, but working in both Lisbon and Amsterdam her works reflect her surroundings. There was a time in the mid Eighties that her work was widely available in the Netherlands because exhibitions were held at many places in the Netherlands including some renowned museums. But starting in the late Nineties her works were becoming more scarce and less available in the Netherlands. Her focus was no longer on the Netherlands and Portugal alone, but her works were presented in Switzerland, China and Spain too. Later i learned that most of her work is now being sold and available in Portugal itself . Julia Ventura is represented by some well known Portuguese galleries.

In her work, Júlia Ventura explores which role the photo can play in the representation of the self. Her initial work features black and white photos of herself in emotion-filled poses. In later work, in ingenious photos of her fingerprint which she adapts using all kinds of methods and techniques, she focuses on the suggestion of authenticity that emanates from the image.

www.ftn-books.com has one of the first Ventura publications available

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David Redfern (1936-2014)

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David Redfern is best known for his photography of musical performances and musicians.  Here is the biography you can find on his site.

60’s JAZZ

David Redfern’s career began in the twilight jazz clubs of 1960’s London. He risked his one and only camera amongst the jiving teenage crowds. The British Trad boom was under way. His first published photos featured Kenny Ball, Chris Barber, George Melly, and the old Marquee Club.

TV

David began photographing TV Shows like ‘Ready Steady Go’ and ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ which were shot during the day. Here he made many of his now classic shots of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Dusty Springfield.

CLUB NIGHTS

Nights were spent at the 100 Club, Ronnie Scott’s or the Marquee, where he captured on film all the jazz greats from Miles Davis to Ella Fitzgerald.

US DAYS

These pictures were to contribute to what is now the most comprehensive jazz collection in Europe. To break into the commercial world by chasing the big American names, David became a regular visitor to the Jazz festivals in Newport, Antibes and Montreux, and the big rock festivals, photographing such greats as Hendrix and Dylan.

FIRST BOOK

By the 1970’s David had firmly established his name as one of the top music photographers in the business. In 1980 Pete Townsend’s Eel Pie Company published David Redfern’s Jazz Album. Lavishly illustrated with many of David’s finest jazz photographs, it was highly acclaimed by critics and public alike. In the same year, at Frank Sinatras request, David stepped into Terry O’Neill’s shoes as official tour photographer.

EXHIBITIONS

In the late ’80s several exhibitions featured the first 25 years:

  • He showed his work along with Lord Lichfield and Lord Snowdon at the Kodak and Royal Photographic Society’s ‘Living Body’ exhibition. Based on the Channel 4 TV series, it was one of the biggest exhibitions ever held by Kodak.
  • In 1990 he was invited to put on an exhibition in Cuba to coincide with the Jazz Festival there.

NOTTING HILL

At the beginning of 1989 David moved his music picture library REDFERNS to new premises in West London, a location now much favoured by the British music industry. The library expanded rapidly. Covering over 26,000 different artists and styles from every musical genre, and representing some 500 photographers and collections, it became the most comprehensive music picture library in the world, with over 205,000 items online.

Redfern is without a doubt a great photographer, artistically he is not the greatest of all his contemporaries, but his photographs are a historical document and must be admired by all who love music. Deavid Redfern books can be found at www.ftn-books.com

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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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Bettina Rheims (1952)….ANIMAL

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Bettina Rheims has been working as an artist since the early Seventies but rose to fame with a controversial series on strip-tease artist in 1978. Since her career took of and she was invited to publish her series of photographs with one of the best publishers in the art book business…Gina Kehayoff. Kehayoff is known for making immaculate publications , and she outperformed herself with the publication of the ANIMAL series by Bettina Rheims. The series of black and white photographs was done in 1982 and published in 1994, hard, cloth bound with see through ( perspex?) cover.

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The Animal series enabled her to train her lens on another form of nudity: that of stuffed animals with fixed stares, “which seemed to want to express something beyond death”.”I had to capture their gaze” declared the photographer.

This book is, together with “Morceaux choisis”, my personal favorit book by Rheims and both are available at www.ftn-books.com

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BNO & GKf and Proost Prikkels 251

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The Beroepsorganistaie Nederlandse ontwerpers and the Beroepsvereniging van Fotografen GKF joint forces in a premium edition by the manufacturer of paper for printing purposes….Proost. Proost was known for its quality papers they delivered for printers in the Netherlands and abroad and every few month they published a Proost Prikkels edition to show in which way their papers could be used. The no. 251 is a very prestigious project since it contains fiches ( cards) on all the designers and  photgraphers that used their papers. There are 80 fiches in this cassette which itseld is a beautifully typically designed 60’s project . On the front of the card , names address and short biography of the designer and the back holds a picture of one of his most iconic designs.

On the cards famous names like Piet Zwart, Wim Crouwel, Willem Sandberg, Jurriaan Schrofer and Otto Treumann ao. This is the history of dutch design in a smalll box and available at www.ftn-books.com

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Ornela Vorpsi (1968)

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A strange but still highly collectable book is the book by Ornela Vorpsi, an Albanian writer/photographer who’s work i first encountered through a publication which is available at WWW.FTN-BOOKS.COM. An excellent and beautiful publicatioin by SCALO publishers who have a nose for new talented photographers. Photographs which are mysterious and erotic at the same time. Recommended and as said …..collectable.

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Art & Project bulletins (1968-1989)

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Adriaan van Ravesteijn and Geert van Beijeren are in my opinion the most important gallery owners in the history of (dutch) Modern Art. Their gallery was for decades the venue for conceptual art and many important artists have found  in this gallery their starting point for their career.

Art & Project was an institution in the art scene and this was emphasized by publication of their Bulletins , which were published on a regular basis between 1968 and 1989.

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In total there were 156 bulletin published and i am proud to say that www.ftn-books.com has BULLETINS available by the following artists: Andre, Antonakos, Boezem, Breuker, Brouwn, Buren, Berghuis, Barry, Camesi, Charlton, Clemente, Chia, Cucchi, Cragg, Dibbets, Darboven, van Elk, Fulton, Flanagan, Giese , Gilbert & George, Knoebel, Leavitt, Long, Lord, Maconey, Mclean, Paladino, Pope, Ryman, Ruckriem, Rosenthal, Ruppersberg, Rajlich, Struycken, Salvo, Tremlett, Tordoir, Visser, Verhoef, Weiner, Yamazaki and the 1972 Catalogue of our Bulletins

( for more information and the “Bulletin” numbers available please inquire)

43 artist of the gallery Art & Project now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Hiroshi Sugimoto (1947)….杉本博司

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A few days ago i read an article on the portraits by Hiroshi Sugimoto and i remembered the book i had available at www.ftn-books.com. I searched for it and looked through it and noticed that style wise there is no difference the photographs he makes presently compared to the ones he made some 20 years ago. These photographs are truly fascinating and prove that Hiroshi Sugimoto is an outstanding photographer.

Here follows the article by Spencer Bokat-Lindell who makes his observations on the recently published “Portraits” book by Sugimoto.

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Hiroshi Sugimoto has spent a career photographing fictions. When he moved to New York from Japan in 1974, by way of Los Angeles, he intended to find work as a wedding photographer. Instead, he took his camera to the Museum of Natural History, where he developed a lifelong fascination with dioramas. He photographed the taxidermy there, already frozen in their meticulously staged tableaux, and, as he writes, “I realized that I too could bring time to a stop. My camera could stop time in the dioramas—where time had already been halted once—for a second time.” This doubling of perspective, which has since become a signature of Sugimoto’s work, can produce unexpected and uncanny transformations: a 1976 photo from his “Dioramas” series, for example, shows a stuffed polar bear on a faux icescape, looming over a seal, its teeth bared, as though ready to strike. Twice removed from its natural setting, the scene unfreezes. It could easily be confused for a photo of a real bear, a real icescape. “My life as an artist began,” Sugimoto writes, “when I saw with my own eyes that I had succeeded in bringing the bear back to life on film.”

Sugimoto achieves similar feats in his latest collection, “Portraits,” which will publish this month. For this series, Sugimoto traveled to the Madame Tussauds wax museums in London and Amsterdam, where he selected subjects that span some two thousand years of history. As in his Diorama series, the imposition of photographic distance has a kind of embalming effect on Sugimoto’s subjects, rendered somehow more lifelike in the act of preservation. “Photographs,” Susan Sontag once wrote, “are a way of imprisoning reality.” But in Portraits, Sugimoto uses his camera to opposite effect, creating counterfeit realities that give history back to the dead: “However fake the subject,” he writes, “once photographed, it’s as good as real.”—Spencer Bokat-Lindell

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Hildo Krop (1884-1970)

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Hildo Krop is truly the one and only city sculptor of the city of AMsterdam. When you see an ornament at a building or a statue on a square there is a fair chance that it was done by Hildo Krop. Krop was active in the period that Amsteram had its biggest growth .

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It was in preparation of the Olympic games of 1928 and many new buildings and parks were built in those days and if one wanted to make them more beautiful with a sclpture or statue, Hildo Krop was the artist of choice for many new projects in those days.

This was recognized by the Stedelijk Museum who devoted an exhibition to Krop in 1964 and had Wim Crouwel design the catalogue with the exhibition. Since that year there has been a growth of interest in Hildo Krop as an artist which resulted in a Museum devoted to Hildo Krop….location Amsterdam and on the internet at : http://hildokrop.nl

The Wim Crouwel publication is available at www.ftn-books.com