Katharina Sieverding (1944)

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If there is one artist who realizes the same intensity as Andy Warhol with her self portraits, it is Katharina Sieverding. Sieverding’s works consist of self-portraiture and most have an abstract quality. She uses the techniques of silhouette, contrast, and extreme close-up to make the photograph more revealing of herself.

She tinted all the prints in one 1969 series a deep scarlet, and for another painted her face gold. Her work often makes statements about society and the individual, such as showing the familiarity of the self and the distance of others. Often she puts multiple portraits together in one piece. Each portrait fills the frame in a way to show the presence of self.

Katharina Sieverding’s publication are rarely offered but http://www.ftn-books.com has some nice ones availabel and do not forget the discount code for the rest of this month : WEINER10

Lawrence Weiner…Two special dutch editions and discount code

The followers of this blog know of my admiration for Lawrence Weiner. I am always keen and interested in publications by or on Weiner nad therefore i was lucky to acquire to my inventory 2 special editions. The first one, BINNEN HET GEGEVEN VAN REACTIE  is from the Seventies and printed on a thick carton like paper and published by the van Abbemuseum. The second is an exhibition poster from 1989 for the Weiner Exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Both are in excellent condition and when you use WEINER10 before the end of this month. There is a discount of 10% for these and all other purchases on http://www.ftn-books.com

 

Hellen van Meene (1972)

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Hellen van Meene is known for her (mostly) square photographic portraits of teenage girls. Her work was first exhibited in 1996 and has been shown around the world since then. Her photos are in the collection of many museums, incl. Guggenheim NYC & MoMA. She lives and works in Heiloo and her subjects now include still lifes, dogs and other animals.

This is how her biography on her personal site starts. A poor site with not much information on which i stumbled because i was looking for more information on Hellen van Meene. However there is one highlight on the site which is available. The page with the photographs shows exactly why i think van Meene is important.

http://hellenvanmeene.com/photos

The use of the square format and mofre the way light is used in an almost “GOLDEN AGE”like way make these beautiful little portraits.

 

http://www.ftn-books.com has one tilte by van Meene available.

The Fotomuseum gives better info on van Meene than her own site so here is the text the Fotomuseum published on their pages:

For the last 20 years, Hellen van Meene (b. 1972) has ranked among the world’s top photographers. Her highly distinctive style and timeless, intimate images of young girls on the brink of adulthood have attracted international acclaim. Solo shows and group exhibitions have won her admirers in places as far away as Japan, Korea and the US. The Hague Museum of Photography now presents the first ever major retrospective of her entire oeuvre.

Hellen van Meene career took off in a big way immediately after her graduation from the Rietveld Academie (Amsterdam) in 1996. Following various group exhibitions and a solo show at the Paul Andriesse gallery in Amsterdam, her international breakthrough came with a solo exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery in London. Since then, her work has been acquired by major museums in the Netherlands and around the world. Collections in which it can now be found include those of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Victoria & Albert Museum (London) and MoMA (New York).

Although Van Meene has continued to develop and her choice of subject has widened over the past twenty years, her work has always displayed the same consistent and distinctive personal style. Whatever the nature of her photographs – whether autonomous art works, images commissioned by the New York Times or Tank Magazine, portraits of young girls in Tokyo or Los Angeles, or portraits of dogs – each of them is always and unmistakeably ‘a Hellen van Meene’.

Van Meene’s unique style is characterized by the timeless and mysterious atmosphere in her images and by her consistent use of natural light. Due to the crucial importance of lighting in her photographs, but also because of the particular way she stages her pictures of adolescent girls, her work is sometimes compared with that of major painters of the past, from Botticelli and Velázquez through to the Pre-Raphaelites of the nineteenth century.

Van Meene draws her models – often young girls – from her immediate social circle or spots them in the street. She doesn’t care who the girl is or where she comes from. For that reason, she deliberately refrains from titling her photographs; the identity of the subject is irrelevant. The photographic image represents a mere moment in time, carefully staged by the photographer; the subject may look quite different the next day – especially if she is a girl in an ‘in-between phase’, hovering on the brink of adulthood. Time flies by: The Years Shall Run Like Rabbits. What remains is a timeless image that frequently offers no clue as to whether it was produced at the start of Van Meene’s career or just this year.

To underline the intimacy of her photographs, Van Meene presents them in the form of small-format prints, forcing the viewer to come close to see them. The retrospective at the Hague Museum of Photography, consisting of over ninety photographs, is accommodated in six vivid, enclosed spaces. It extends from Van Meene’s earliest photographic works, produced in 1994, right through to her most recent images, never previously seen in the Netherlands.

Kustavs Klucis / Klutsis (1895-1938)…photomontage posters

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Gustav Klutsis (Latvian: Gustavs Klucis, Russian: Густав Густавович Клуцис) (January 4, 1895 – February 26, 1938) was a pioneering Latvian photographer and major member of the Constructivist avant-garde in the early 20th century. He is known for the Soviet revolutionary and Stalinist propaganda he produced with his wife and collaborator Valentina Kulagina.

This is how Wikipedia starts on this Russian photographer . What Klucis makes important for me is not the Constructivist part in his biography. For me his use of photomontage in the context of the rapidly changing times make his works spectacular. I had never heard of Klucis before, but because the Gemeentemuseum held and exhibition on Klucis in 2008 i became an instant admirer.  Together with this exhibition a catalogue was “in-house” published in a very limited edition ,which shows in an excellent way the importance of Klucis. I believe the edition size, because of the printing “on demand” situation, was only 250 copies .  It makes it difficult to find, but the good thing is….. i have it in stock and the catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com.

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Here is part of the text published by the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag:

From 1913, Klucis studied at the City Art School in Riga. In 1915, when the city was attacked by German troops, Klucis was conscripted into the imperial Russian army and ordered to Ochsta near St Petersburg, where he subsequently studied at the Art Academy. In the days following the October Revolution of 1917, he volunteered to join the Ninth Regiment of the Latvian Red Infantry in defence of Lenin. Inspired by Malevich and Constructivism, he also began around this time to produce art in support of the emerging Communist state.

In 1919 Klucis produced a series of drawings, photomontages and paintings entitled Dynamic City, showing that he wanted to turn Malevich’s Suprematism into a more concrete artistic movement. Developing alongside Tatlin, Pevsner and Gabo, he became one of the first Constructivists, producing work that exemplifies the political engagement and spirit of innovation that inspired this Russian movement. Around 1919, he discovered photomontage, which he himself later described as a new kind of art for the masses: the art of the Socialist revolution.

From this time on, Klucis was offered a series of prestigious design commissions. These included, for example, one for the 1928 Spartakiade (the Soviet Union’s alternative to the Olympic Games). Klucis designed a series of postcards and a poster establishing a clear link between sport and revolution. In all, he produced over a hundred poster designs, many of them relating to the Five Year Plans and supporting the collectivisation of agriculture and the large-scale industrialisation of the Soviet Union.

Gustavs Klucis was arrested on 17 January 1938 and accused of belonging to a Latvian terrorist organisation (such ‘random’ political purges were a feature of life under Stalin). He was taken away and for many years his wife, artist Valentina Kulagina (1902-1987), knew nothing of his fate. In 1956 his family heard that he had died of heart failure in a labour camp in 1944. It was not until 1989 that they were informed that he had in fact been shot in Moscow on 26 February 1938.

Gabi Dziuba (1951)

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Jewelry artist and a lifetime friend of Günther Förg. Both had a different approach to art. Where Günther Förg chose for abstract geometric painting. Gaby Dziuba chose for jewelry. I think it is fair to say that Dziuba was Günther Förg his “muse”. He used Dziuba on many occasion as his model in his photographs and this is the reason why i would like to show in this blog that one specific catalogue is very important as an artist book. Dziuba had in 1998 a solo exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. The catalogue with this exhibition did not sell very well, but when you look into the colofon, you will find that many of the photographs within the catalogue were taken by Günther Förg. An excellent reason to pick up this catalogue for a reasonable price at www.ftn-books.com. It is still available , but when people realize that this is a disguised artist book by Günther Förg it will be picked up by many and will become a rare collectible.

Robert Capa (1913-1954)… a war photographer

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Only 41 years of age , but with an iconic oeuvre he left us.. Some examples of photographs we all have encountered for more than once in your lives. Foremost Capa was a war photographer and left us some iconic photographs. but when you study the Magmum site   (https://pro.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=CMS3&VF=MAGO31_10_VForm&ERID=24KL535353 ) you discover that beside his war photographs there are some tremendous other photographs to be found within the Magnum archives, but that his most important subject was WAR in all its aspects and cruelties. A true journalist photographer who showed us the cruelties of war . No polished photographs but a raw image of the reality.

 

What i stumbled upon when searching for material on Capa is that he had an affair with the famous Ingrid bergman. In 1945 after the fall of Nazi Germany, Capa was staying at the Hotel Ritz on Place Vendôme where he met Hollywood actress, Ingrid Bergman. Bergman was traveling around Europe to see the devastation caused by the war, and entertaining the troops. When they met, Bergman was still married to Petter Lindström who she had a baby with. Capa asked Bergman for dinner, and soon after they started to have an affair. In 1946, Bergman asked Capa to come to Hollywood with her, and he did. While Capa was in Hollywood, he visited her at a studio where she was filming, Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Notorious’. Capa had shot some still photos for the film which he was given no credit for when they were published Hitchcock later made a film with James Stewart and Grace Kelly in 1954, called ‘Rear Window’, loosely based on Capa and Bergman. Bergman wanted to marry Capa and also tried to convince him to quit his job to work in Hollywood. Capa knew that he wouldn’t fit in, and told Bergman that he can’t have a wife and kids because of his duties of work. Their affair ended when Capa left Hollywood for an assignment in Turkey.

There is a great Capa and Magnum publication available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Willem Hendrik Gispen (1890-1981)

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Sometimes when you search on the large WWW and try to find some information on an artist or subject it is hard to find a site with a good clean design, filled with sensible information and a joy to visit. Of course you must first look at http://www.ftn-books.com for books on Gispen, but after you have done just that…. please visit http://www.whgispen.nl

This site gives the best possible insight in Gispen and his works, unfortunately only in dutch, but the designs speak for themselves. Gispen is one of the true inventors of dutch design, being one of the first to design furniture out of tubular frames and making them suitable for offices and home interiors. The result is that many dutch families know of Gispen, because they lived their lives among Gispen furniture, but never knew the story of its designer. Please visit the Gispen site and do not forget that www.ftn-books.com has some nice books on Gispen.