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Franceso Clemente at Paul Maenz, 1988

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You wonder why there have not been many more publications like the CROWN SKY WAR special which was published on the occasion of the opening of the Clemente exhibition at the Paul Maenz gallery in 1988.

An important exhibition  and the specially designed collectible should be an example for other gallery publishers. It is not too expensive to produce, but its appearance is like no other publication. It looks and feels special from the moment you set eyes on it and when you “unbutton” it it shows its contents….3 fold out cards CROWN…SKY…WAR. estimated costs…less than 1 euro. But this special is worth much much more since it’s importance means that the Paul Maenz gallery is mentioned in all the years after its publication. Whenever a copy surfaces , one is reminded of the Clemente exhibitions at their gallery in 1988.

I have now finally found me a copy which is for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com. This gallery was/is an example to many others in the business

clemente crown c

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John Balderssari’s pencil

A few month ago i found this great short movie on John Baldessari.

The epic life of a world-class artist, jammed into six minutes.
Narrated by Tom Waits.
Commissioned by LACMA for their first annual “Art + Film Gala” honoring John Baldessari and Clint Eastwood.

directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman (supermarche.nyc)
edited by Max Joseph (maxjoseph.com/)
written by Gabriel Nussbaum (bankstreetfilms.com)
cinematography by Magdalena Gorka (magdalenagorka.com/)
& Henry Joost
produced by Mandy Yaeger & Erin Wright

 

www.ftn-books.com has some nice John Baldessari books for sale

 

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Pierre Faure (1972)

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Because i have always had an interest in Japan, i noticed this book on Japan at a local secondhand bookstore. Still sealed the one i have for sale now, but the one i leafed through was already open so i had a quick look. I noticed that these were real life photographs, not one of them was staged and they reflected a Japan that i very much would like to see and experience at one time. For now i have to content myself with the book ( available at http://www.ftn-books.com) until it is sold

Pierre Faure was born in 1972 in Nice and lives in Paris. He studied economics. He produces at first a work in which abstraction and organic evocations occupy a central place (series Rhizomes, Plis, Palimpsests); series which question the look of the spectator and play with the notions of scales and perspective. He also approaches the social question by realizing a work of dumping within a community Roma of Ile-de-France (2011-2012). In 2013 he is interested in the life of people in big precariousness welcomed in emergency reception center and tries to seize in this everyday life the figures of a wounded humanity. In parallel in these works he pursues since 2010 a series on the urban trees, questioning the place of the vegetable in urban zones.
pierre faure
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Erwin Olaf special 1:1 by Floris Vos

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It has been some years ago that there was an exhibition by Erwin Olaf. The sets/ stage design was done by Floris Vos who recently died. Floris Vos was important to Erwin Olaf since the staging of his photographs is so important and a part which makes his photographs recognizable and stand out. Every detail counts and the result is a photograph which is truly remarkable. Of course the talent of Erwin Olaf is undoubtedly present in every photograph he takes, but the staging by Floris Vos will be missed in the future. I dare to say that the future Olaf photographs will be different and that is probably not a bad thing, because now Olaf must use a different set director, which means different photographs for sure and taking a new road into the staged photography he excels in.

set for “Grief”

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www.ftn-books.com has the HET NIEUWE INSTITUUT folder/invitation for the exhibition from 2013 available for sale.

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the Stuyvesant Foundation

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I have a weakness for the Stuyvesant Foundatio. The foundation was founded by Alexander Orlow of Turmac company who had the brilliant idea to bring great art works among his factory workers by placing the art in the middle of the production. This meant that many large sized works were purchased over a period of 30 years. Zero, Cobra en abstract expressionism being the most important among these works.  For most of the collection they had one thing in common. Their size was large and larger, since the works had to be seen by the people who worked a fair distance from them.

The following article appeared in the Telegraph a few days before the first auction was being held. In total there were 3 auctions. Personally i thought the first was exceptional, the second very good and the third was filled with the leftovers. I was lucky to buy one of the best Gerard Verdijk paintings ever in the 2nd auction at AAG. My luck….it is too large for many, so no bids were placed after the initial price set by the auctioneer.

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The cream of one of Europe’s most highly regarded corporate art collections is to be dispersed by Sotheby’s next week in spite of efforts by civil authorities and art experts to preserve it and turn it into a museum. Known as the Peter Stuyvesant collection, it originated in the late 1950’s when Alexander Orlow, managing director of Turmac Tobacco, which made the popular Peter Stuyvesant brand of cigarettes in its factory in Zevenaar, Holland, decided his workforce needed something to cheer them up. “However complicated the operations of a machine may look, it soon becomes monotonous to a factory worker,” he said.

His solution was to buy art – preferably big, colourful abstract paintings – and in 1960 commissioned 13 artists from different European countries to make works on the theme of “joie de vivre” to hang in the factory’s production halls. The experiment was so popular that in the following year he invited William Sandberg, formerly the director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, to expand the collection. Over the next 50 years, the collection grew under the supervision of a series of former Dutch museum directors.

However, in 2000, Turmac was swallowed up by the British American Tobacco Company (BAT), and the art collection renamed the BAT Artventure collection. But there was not to be much in the way of artistic venture in store. In June of 2006 it was announced that the Zevenaar factory would close with the loss of 570 jobs, so that European production could be concentrated in Germany and Poland. That left over 1,400 works in the art collection valued at some 23 million pounds looking for a new home.

Jan de Ruiter, the mayor of Zevenaar, supported by Martijn Sanders, chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the Stedelijk Museum, looked for a way to buy the collection and keep it locally, possibly as a wing of the museum. But “BAT did not really want to make a deal,” said de Ruiter. It went to Sotheby’s instead.

Sotheby’s has a good track record in handling corporate art collections. Back in 1989 it handled the disposal of the British Rail Pension Fund collection and the $93 million (£62.5 million) Reader’s Digest collection. Since then we’ve seen a series of high profile sales for IBM, the 7-Eleven photo collection, the HSBC collection of 19th century pictures, not to mention a certain £65 million sculpture by Giacometti from the German Commerzbank last month.

The company clearly sets some store by advising corporations on the acquisition and disposal of art, setting up a department just to deal with that in New York 20 years ago, and another in London last year. Saul Ingram, who runs the London department, says most companies sell to buy new work or channel profits into broader cultural activities. The Stuyesant/BAT collection is different because it was site specific, and without the factory and its workers, its purpose has gone.

Its value, though, is still substantial. The 163 works to be sold by Sotheby’s Amsterdam next week are estimated to fetch between £3.6 million and £4.6 million, with further sales planned in the future. Avant garde European groups from the 50s and 60s such as CoBrA, the abstract expressionist group based around Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, and Zero, the Dusseldorf based group who worked with experimental materials such as fire, nails and papier mache, are to the fore.

The Zero artists, Gunther Uecker and Jan Schoonhoven, who starred at Sotheby’s recent Lenz collection sale last month, are expected to do exceptionally well. A rarity is Lily ou Tony (1965), one of Nicki de St Phalle’s first Nana sculptures that celebrate womanhood. Though fragile, made of tissue and wire mesh, it carries a £180,000 to £270,000 estimate. The most significant example of British art is a 1958 Alan Davie painting that has been undervalued at £27,000 to £36,000.

In addition to the stylish brand name Stuyvesant gave to the world of smoking, it also achieved brand recognition in the art world, especially in Britain, where, during the sixties, the Stuyvesant Foundation sponsored the Whitechapel Gallery’s trendsetting The New Generation exhibition, which included David Hockney and Bridget Riley, and also the talent spotting Young Contemporaries, much of which was immortalised in the Tate Gallery’s Recent British Art show of 1967. The separate collection of British art that was formed by the Stuyvesant Foundation between 1964 and 1967 was eventually sold in the late 1980s and established what were then huge prices for Davie, Riley, and others of that generation. The last sale, held at Bonhams in 1989, was a complete sell out. Next week will see how well the Stuyvesant brand has survived.

http://www.ftn-books.com has nearly all  dutch publications on the Stuyvesant collection available.

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Alberto Burri (1915-1995)

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A blog on Burri since i acquired a very MIce 1961 catalogue by Galerie de France on Burri. Numbered 495 from an edition of only 1600 copies and in excellent condition.

Burri i have known for his MATTER paintings. A bit created like the ones Jaap Wagemaker made in the Netherlands. But there is so much mofre . His “paintings” are like three dimensional sculptures and make in some way a bridge to the zero art from a decade later.

He remained a reserved artist, ceaselessly working and creating, initially in a small studio in Via Margutta but frequently moving out. As a matter of fact, Milton Gendel – an American journalist who visited Burri’s studio in 1954 –, later reported: “The studio is thick-walled, whitewashed, neat and ascetic; his work is ‘blood and flesh,’ reddened torn fabric that seems to parallel the staunching of wounds that Burri experienced in wartime.”

Burri’s first solo figurative artworks exhibition took place on 10 July 1947 at the gallery-cum-bookshop La Margherita, in Rome, presented by the poets Leonardo Sinisgalli and Libero De Libero. However, Burri’s artistic production flowed definitively into abstract forms before the end of the same year, the use of small format tempera resulting from the influence of such artists as Jean Dubuffet and Joan Miró, whose studio was visited by Burri during a trip to Paris in the winter of 1948.

In the sixties Burri has had several exhibitions all over Europe and one, in 1961, was at the galerie de France. Who made a beautiful catalogue for it.

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Irma Boom and the OUBORGPRIJS

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Every year and sometimes every two years, The STROOM agency for contemporary art in Den Haag presents the Ouborgprijs to one of the artists from the DEN HAAG region who has become important for modern art in and outside the Netherlands. The prestigious price is presented together with a publication which is published in a very small edition of 400 to 500 copies of the title to the artist. In the years 1992 (Gerard Petrus Fieret ), 1993 ( Lotti van der Gaag) and 1994 ( Tomas Rajlich) this publication was designed by Irma Boom, making these books outstanding in every way and because of the extremely small edition size , highly collectable items. I do not have the Fieret book, have sold the Rajlich book recently to China, but found the Lotti van der Gaag book and have put it up for sale at www.ftn-books.com

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Ger Dekkers (1929-2020)

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This morning i read in our newspaper that the artist/photograph Ger Dekkers died on the 20th of January. Dekkers will always be known for his series of landscapes that he combined into an abstract almost constructivist composition. Dekkers was the artist who needed a landscape for his art. www,ftn-books.com has several books on Dekkers available.

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Vali Myers (1930-2003)

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……..and in the title also should also be Ed van der Elsken. Van der Elsken was fascinated by Myers, from his early days in Paris until his death he followed Myers and her career.

Myers was born in Canterbury, Sydney, on 2 August 1930, to a violinist mother and marine wireless operator father. She displayed a talent for art at an early age. The family moved to Box Hill, Melbourne in 1941 and Vali left home at 14. After working in factories to support her dance lessons, she became immersed in dance and later became the leading dancer for the Melbourne Modern Ballet Company.[1] In 1949 at age 19 Myers travelled to impoverished post-war Paris to pursue a dance career but found herself living on the streets of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Quarter on the Left Bank.[1] Love on the Left Bank is a 1954 book of photographs from Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken (1925–1990), documenting the bohemian life on the Rive Gauche of Paris; Vali Myers is the heroine of this semi-biographical roman à clef, and is also photographed along with some of her early drawings.

Myers was a flamboyant fantasy artist who worked in pen and ink and watercolour as well as being a nightclub dancer. She divided her life between her adopted home of Melbourne, the Hotel Chelsea in New York City, Paris, and a 14th-century cottage in a valley near Il Porto (Positano), Italy. This is wher4e the following van der Elsken documentary was filmed:

http://www.ftn-books.com has recently added some Myers collectibles to its collection.

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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.