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The greatest men and women in dutch graphic design.

I have had the pleasure to suggest this site in earlier blogs, but it still expands and contains the very best of dutch graphic designers over the last 50 years or so. Of course i have books available by all these gifted dutch designers and i can not recommend enough to visit their excellent site at: https://www.dutchgraphicroots.nl

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Piet Dirkx weekly

Another rare itemis this special publication by galerie van esch. Piet Dirkx has the largest contribution with some color photo’s and 2 special booklets.  numbered edition of only 200 copies . Published 0n the occasion of the KUNSTRAI 1990

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Irina Popova (1986)

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A blog on a contemporary artist who must have been inspired by her fellow countryman Boris Mikhailov and stirred the art world with het book on two Russian drug addicts “ANOTHER LIFE” But this is not the reason for this blog. I recently added a wonderful artistbook by Popova from 2013 to my inventory. An edition of only 80 , signed and numbered copies. This book is an absolute must for her admirers.

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Irina Popova is Russian / Dutch photographer, writer and curator with special interest in the subjects of privacy, sincerity and marginality. She works with a combination of the mediums; non-linear multi-focal storytelling, internet & new media, books and installations.

Born in 1986 in Tver, Russia, Popova started to work as a journalist at the age of 16 in the local newspapers and magazines, and made photos for her articles. Since then, she has gained a remarkable reputation for her intimate collections of photo-stories.

Popova became scandalously famous for her project “Another Family”, where she told a personal story of a drug-addicted couple with a little daughter. The viewers questioned if the story was staged and also the future of the girl in these circumstances. Someone wrote to the police and the investigation started. The artist refused to give away the address of the family, so the family couldn’t be reached. Once more, this story raised questions about the professional ethics of photojournalism.

“If You Have a Secret” tells the stories of her native land, edited from thousands of images, and seven years of photographic life.

the artist book is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

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Erwin Olaf (continued)… April Fool 2020

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A follow up on the many blogs i have now written on Erwin Olaf. In the mid Nineties Olaf was diagnosed with COPD, a lung disease which makes him now one of the vulnerable people during this Covid-19 pandemic. He made a very personal series , making himself the subject and staging himself in some situations that can only occur during these pandemic times. The series is called ” APRIL FOOL 2020 ” and is now published for the very first time . The series which is now published in the magazine contains 8 photographs. Erwin Olaf makes himself the subject of these impressive, very personal photographs. The Volkskrant magazine had this honour to publish these for the first time.

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The magazine is a supplement to the Volkskrant newspaper which was published on Saturday the 16th of May. Maybe you can obtain a copy for your collection yourself, because this is an important , historical series and who knows, perhaps the only time it is published. ww.ftn-books.com has some very nice Erwin Olaf titles available.

 

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Wally Elenbaas (Continued)

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On the 8th of May 2018 i published a blog on the very impressive photography by Wally Elenbaas. These were photographs not lightly to be forgotten. Specially because Elenbaas was sentenced to prison for these beautiful photographs.

https://ftn-blog.com/?s=elenbaas

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Now it is time to shine some light on another aspect of this great dutch artist. Elenbaas was also a gifted designer and used his typography to create images and illustrations consisting of letters transforming these and their meaning into illustrations. Images tell a far better story than words so here are some illustrations….and….the LETTERBOEK is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

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New Business Card FTN books & Art

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Some recent changes made it necessary to translate these changes into a new business card. The most important one being two new email addresses. One personal one and the other for the FTN books & Art contacts. So here is all the new business information to contact me and keep track of my activities, the daily blog and additions to my inventory.

Wilfried van den Elshout / FTN books

Veursestraatweg 106c

2265CG Leidschendam,  the Netherlands

www.ftn-books.com

www.ftn-blog.com

new email : wilfriedvandenelshout@gmail.com

new email : ftnbooksandart@gmail.com

 

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The “Observatorium” by Robert Morris ( 1931-2018)

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Just last year Robert Morris died at the age of 87 and because of a folder i found on his Observatory in the Netherlands, this folder reminded me of his importance for Modern and Minimal art. Robert Morris had a special connection with the Netherlands and during his life he made some iconic land Art projects on this country. One of these projects was the ” OBSERVATORIUM” at a town called Lelystad. The best is can do now is show you how impressive and “beautiful this project still is:

 

there are some very nice Robert Morris publications available at www.ftn-books.com

 

 

 

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Ania Bien (1946)

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At first glance i thought i had a book by Christian Boltanski, but…..studying it more closely i soon noticed that it was by Ania Bien. There are so many similarities between the two artists. Th Holocaust is a central theme within their oeuvre and both approach this theme in a very direct and personal way. They make a kind of art that makes you think and reflect.

Ania Bien (born 1946) is an American photographer.Born in Kraków, Poland, to Polish-Jewish parents, she moved to the United States in 1958, where she studied painting and cultural anthropology. Since 1973 she has lived in Amsterdam.

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One of Ania’s early projects, Hotel Polen ( available at www.ftn-books.com), referred to the Hotel Polen fire (which became “part of Bien’s wider theme of destruction”) in Amsterdam, 1977, and established her reputation in Dutch art circles. The collection of photographs illustrated a hotel before World War II, showcasing the relative luxury of middle-class travel in Europe, but objects in the photographs associated with the Holocaust indicate that this was a “doomed” way of life. She fabricated 18 replicas of the hotel’s menu stands, and used them to display the photographs. David Levi-Strauss wrote that Bien’s art piece is a “polysemous work of absence, in which what happens between images is the most important.” The work was displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1987 and at the Amsterdams Historisch Museum in 1988.

Some of Bien’s work is concerned with Franz Kafka; one of her photographs has her place her hand on a portrait of Kafka’s, in response to a note he wrote in 1924 to Dora Diamant, “Place your hand on my forehead for a moment, so I can gain courage.” Her 1989 installation Past Perfect asked “what would have happened had [Kafka] not died in 1924, but instead had come as a refugee to America in the late ’30s.” It gained her international recognition, and was also shown in Jerusalem.

Bien is interested in war, discrimination, and the plight of refugees. She contributed photographs from a centre for asylum seekers in Haarlem to a 1994 book on refugee children in such centers in the Netherlands, Ontheemde kinderen.

She has also exhibited at Portfolio Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam.

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Teun Hocks (1947)

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Teun Hocks. Is it staged photography or is it painting on photographs. It is a combination of both and the result is always absurd. Like Magritte he sketches a scene which is impossible , but pushes you to discover the meaning of the composition and look for the sabsurd and surreal in the painting/photograph. Hocks has build an oeuvre with these compositions and always plays a part in them.

He is an artist who creates self portraits with the utmost charm. “In my images I aim to achieve not so much, offering a mirror sometimes, or/and gaining a smile, and maybe a good feeling,” Teun tells It’s Nice That. This is a refreshingly humble aim, and one that is achieved with heart-warming artworks despite their surrealist edge.

The artworks featured are each part of Teun’s Analogue Works painted pieces that are the result of a thorough process from the artist. “First I start out with almost no ideas, or vague ones, drawing thoughts I have about all kinds of situations that get me dreaming.” The artist explains that once he is settled upon a concept, “I build and paint a setting, checking and controlling everything by taking digital photos to compare to my drawings”.

Next, once a desired light is found, “I take my place, and start to take polaroids (using a self-timer and longer cable release). If I am satisfied with the result I take eight photos on 6×9cm black and white film. Looking at the contact sheet, I decide which negative is the one to print. If not I start all over again.” This extensive process doesn’t stop there either. “I make three large black and white prints on fibre-based photographic paper, tone them to sepia, glue them on aluminium and start to colour them with transparent oil paint.”

The result of Teun’s perfectionism is a series of artworks that leave the viewer bewildered. Are they paintings? Are they photographs? The answer as the artist explains is both, and his ability to merge the mediums flawlessly is brilliantly baffling.

 

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Tiong Ang (1961)

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The work of TIONG ANG spans a wide array of media, from collective performance, experimental film, through video and installation to painting, photography, and the display of objects. His practice across these forms centers around the social, emotional and existential consequences and negotiation of dislocation, disparate identities, and dispersion of imagery. _ Recurring themes are the impact of mass and digital media on individual perspective and collective memory, and the anxieties evoked by mobility and globalization. In these hybrid contexts, Ang addresses multiple modes of human presence and representation, using social intervention and juxtaposition, chance and communality, mockery and disguise. He explores subjective positions in divided, ambivalent, and collective conditions, be it on ethical, ethnic, or sociopolitical grounds. _Initially an object/painting based studio artist, from the mid-1990s Ang has expanded his production including experimental film, performative and relational enactments, interdisciplinary collaborations and curated projects. In a divergent practice, he examines authority and sustainability of images and narratives. The common thread in the work is the conflict between detached objectivity and engaged subjectivity; it demonstrates how universal media not only affect our perceptions of places and events but also denote our concept of reality. Elements of selfhood, cultural meaning, and social absorption have emerged in a diversity of mediated images. Thus, human perception and behaviour converge in complexities of disparate truths. The persona of the artist, distorted by media based projections, is the ultimate body to explore the human experience.

The above text comes from the Tiong Ang site.

www.ftn-books.com has recently added 2 important Tiong Ang publications to its inventory.