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Marcelle van Bemmel (1948)…Fantastic photography

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To be honnest…i did not know  Marcelle Van Bemmel until i recently discovered and purchases an nice catalogue on het fantastic photography from 1986. It shows the qualiteis in which she excells. Living in Rotterdam it can not ne coinsidence that many staged photography is being made . Many photographers are making staged photography as an art form ( Henk Tas ao) and van Bemmel is one of them.

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The photographs make you guess and wonder  why these objects, forms and figures were in a way that emotions are aroused. Humor, darkness and phantasy all are fighting to concur your mind. The book is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

marcelle van bemmel

 

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Museum DE PONT / Tilburg

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I think that museum DE PONT in Tilburg is one of the museums that impresses me most. In the almost 30 years of its existence it has build a solid reputation in organizing breathtaking and ground breaking exhibitions and in the meantime expanded their collection of contemporary art in a very personal way. The building, not the most architectural beautiful museum in the world, is fantastic to present the modern art and each time i visit de PONT it impresses me. The man responsibel for this great achievement is Hendrik Driessen.

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While i was searching for minimal art in the Netherlands i discovered that many of the contemporary minimal artists in the Netherland had their first museum presentation at the DE PONT. Besides the exhibitions, their publication program is well worth following. Beautiful designed catalogues and posters are published making this one of the most desirable and satisfying museum packages/ visits for me.

www.ftn-books.com has many of the legendary de PONT publications available.

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Zoom, Magazin Kreativer Fotografie

The Seventies and Eighjties were the two decades that artistic photography magazines were launched with great success. These magazines also functioned as a platform for the young, lesser known photographers who were featured with their latest works in these magazine. There was in the Netherlands a magazine called FOCUS , in France there was ZOOM , which later had also a German edition. These were all filled with photographs of the most famous of these young photographers. There were special issues with photographs by Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, Araki, Jan Saudek and Lucien Clergue. All would rise to world fame with their photographs, but it is interesting to see that they used these magazines to grow their audience, making these magazines highly collectable items since they are the first two give some publicity space to, which are nowadays considered to be, the greatest photographers from the last century.

http://www.ftn-books.com has some nice examples available.

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Nono Reinhold (1929)

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It has been almost 50 years ago that the Stedelijk Museum presented dutch graphic artist Nono Reinhold for the first time. She has never become a “household’ name among dutch graphic artists, but now is the time to recognize the importance of Reinhold . Her works , inventive techniques and place among the arists of her generation , shows that she is important. the Teylers Museum adn Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam have an important collection of her works , which is occasionally on show. When you first see her works the immediate association is the liquid slides from the SIXTIES, with one difference. slides are random, but these compositions and colors are intentional. Until 10 years ago i never had heard of the artists but since i grew my inventory i encountered several books on Reinhold ( availabel at http://www.ftn-books.com ) and i started to like her works. May be it is time for you to discover Nono reinhold at this moment too.

 

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Robert Mapplethorpe… an assignment

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Before Robert Mapplethorpe became worldfamous for his photographs he made a living as a portrait photographer and in 1986 he brought in an assigment for  a book which is now sought after because of his brilliant photography. The book? ….. 50 NEW YORK ARTISTS … edited and written by Richard Marshall and all portrait photography done by Robert Mapplethorpe. Among the artists depiceted some famous names like Isamu Noguchi, Kenny Scharff, Donald Judd, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Eric Fischl and many many more. It reads like a WHO IS WHO from the art scene in New York in the mid Eighties. A great collectable book and now available at www.ftn-books.com

mapplethorpe artists a

mapplethorpe artists c

mapplethorpe artists b

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Pierre Poiret ….King of Fashion

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The following text was originally published in the New York Times.
Poiret’s achievement is not as visible today as that of Coco Chanel, who built on some of his ideas and discarded others. His fashion house closed in 1929, and he spent his remaining years impoverished. But Poiret was for a while a revolutionary in revolutionary times and also a canny impresario. His radically streamlined, unstructured, often stridently colored clothes freed women from corsets while evoking exotic, non-Western cultures and a fierce disregard for social convention.

He introduced these corset-free garments in 1906, the year before Picasso committed his decidedly uninhibited (and unstaid) “Demoiselles d’Avignon” to canvas. But with his love of the exotic, his brilliant use of color and pattern, and his penchant for simplified, almost rudimentary form, Poiret most resembles Matisse.

Poiret functioned as a kind of one-man cultural scene. He collected art, gave lavish costume parties and made astute use of the press while laying the groundwork for fashion design as a modern art and a modern business. His clients included Sarah Bernhardt, Nancy Cunard, Isadora Duncan, Colette and Helena Rubinstein. Man Ray photographed Peggy Guggenheim in a Poiret gown and turban. Edward Steichen’s first fashion photographs were taken of models in Poiret’s atelier.

He was the first designer to understand the value of designing for well-known actresses both onstage and off. He was also the first to create his own line of perfume, named Rosine, for his eldest daughter, and the first to open an interior design store, Atelier Martine, named for his second daughter but inspired by the Weiner Werkstätte. His innovations included the chemise, harem pants and pantaloons and the popular lampshade skirt. When he visited the United States in 1913, he found himself called the king of fashion and discovered the underside of modern fashion success: His lampshade skirt was being copied far and wide.

Organized by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton, who are curator in charge and curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, “Poiret: King of Fashion” conveys quite a bit of his complex genius and his contradictory relationship with modernity. It displays 50 garments on mannequins (by Beyond Design) whose ovoid faces and cryptic features evoke Brancusi and Modigliani. The silk backdrops, which are the work of Jean-Hugues de Chatillon, a French set designer who served as the exhibition’s creative consultant, accent the show’s spaciousness with indelibly Parisian vistas of leafy parks, chic theaters and luxurious drawing rooms. All told you may have the sensation of drifting through a series of extraordinarily beautiful fashion illustrations, an art that Poiret cultivated to his advantage.

 

Poiret’s liberation of the female body was in part inspired by the gamine build and independent spirit of his wife and muse, Denise, whom he married in 1905. In other ways it was born of necessity. Although he was initiated into the couturier business between 1898 and 1903, working as a designer for Jacques Doucet and then the House of Worth, Poiret never trained in the exacting crafts of couture tailoring or dressmaking.

His design ideas began with the flat, rectangle of the fabric itself, as did the Japanese kimonos and North African caftans he admired. They then evolved through draping, not tailoring, into garments with a minimum of seams that pretty much hung from the shoulders.

Poiret drew from a broad range of sources. Early in the show there is a trio of nightgowns, based on the Classical Greek gown known as the chiton, that are precursors to the 1950s negligee and the early 21st-century socialite party dress. To one side of these are two white high-waisted dresses that hark back to the severe yet demure gowns of post-Revolution France, displayed with an Atelier Martine chair that has bubbly hand-painted fabric.

Nearby is evidence of Poiret’s attraction to a more ornate form of non-Western dress: a gauzy harem outfit studded with enormous beads of turquoise celluloid that Denise might have worn to their most famous fete, “The Thousand and Second Night” costume party on June 24, 1911.

But turn around and you will see a stark simplicity that may take you aback: a gown that resembles nothing so much as a 1960s abstract painting. Wrapped gracefully around a mannequin, it has no sleeves or collar to speak of, just four broad, alternating bands of stylishly darkened red and blue.

Poiret’s best clothes were abstract in a very real sense, with a kind of self-evident structure that is a precursor of Minimalism, as well as of clothing designs as different as those of Rei Kawakubo, Hussein Chalayan and Andrea Zittel. His basic form was a cylinder, with or without sleeves attached. It appeared in his work as early as 1905 in his Révérend Coat embellished with Chinese roundels. The first garment in the show, it is worn over a white, lacy, high-necked, pinch-waisted Edwardian gown, like those Poiret designed at the beginning of his career. The sartorial conflict accents the shock of the newness of his sense of form, structure and color.

His best known and most audacious designs are a series of full-length columnar opera coats that begin in 1911 and culminate in the 1919 Paris Evening Coat, merely a swath of uncut fabric with a single seam. In a wonderful bit of exhibition magic this Möbius-like feat is demonstrated in a brief digital animation projected on a scrim that then turns transparent, revealing the actual coat behind it.

But even without digital aids you can see how his garments are built, step by step. A day coat began as a black satin jacket based on a Chinese robe. To this he added four strips of cream-colored wool jacquard striped horizontally with thin lines of brown for two cuffs, a simple folded-over collar and a slightly gathered skirt that reaches almost to the floor.

The contrast of fabrics joined in this single form is elegantly harsh, like a combination of Hudson Bay blanket and black tie. A similar contrast is drawn more closely in a jumperlike dress made of gold-lamé twill.

Poiret followed modernity only so far. By the mid 1920s Chanel was designing convenient, understated clothes for women enjoying an increased sense of physical and social freedom in the wake of World War I. But Poiret ignored the shorter skirts and trimmer lines and continued enveloping women in luxurious garments that began to look cumbersome.

the following books on Poiret are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Lothar Baumgarten (1944-2018)

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Lothar Baumgarten is one of those artists who’s fame never was never worldwide, but who rightfully deserves to be known and admired by many more. In recent years a new reveived interest grows in his works. Baumgarten, a conceptual artist< has had his exhibitions in the Netherlands at the Stedelijk Museum and Museum de PONT, but these have been some years ago, but lately i see a raised in interest and the works that appear at acution are sold at fair but rising prices. A good work from an edition is sttill to be acquired far below euro 250,–

Baumgarten is an artist to follow, and if you admire his works, like i do, focus on the editions. These are still to be bought at low prices.

www.ftn-books.combaumgarten bulletin has some nice Baumgarten publications available.

 

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Elspeth Diederix (1971)

 

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Elspeth Diedrix is born in Nairobi/Kenya. Her art is photography in which she places objects in strange and unexpected settings or a a simple object in a strange setting. Her ideas are not limited to her studio, but she invents and constructs her works everywhere. Her head is her studio, making her a conceptual artist “pur sang”. Het ideas are noted in her sketchbooks and at some other time executed in her studio. Photography is her preferred way of expressing herself. To experiment with photography is much easier and more real life.

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http://www.ftn-blog has a very nice work by Diederix available for sale. For more information inquire at ftnbooksandart@gmail.com

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Land art Flevoland

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Until 2012 there was an organisation and Modern Art museum in Almere which was responsible for the maintenance and exploitation of the Land art projects in Flevoland ( in the middel of the Netherlands).

The museum was called “de Paviljoens” and presented some breathtaking projects during its existence. But because of financial problems they had to close their doors in 2012.

However the good thing is the world famous land art projects are still there. Projects by Robert Morris and Richard Serra are world famous and the “green cathedral” by Marinus Boezem deserves to be known by many more than the few who know of its existence.

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So we are still fortunate that these great land art projects are still there and hopefully funding will be there to preserve these for future generations. Here is the site which presents these great works of art on the internet:

https://landartflevoland.nl/en/

Land art Deltawerk // (2018) Riff, PD#18245 (2018) PIER+HORIZON (2016) Exposure (2010) Polderland Garden of Love and Fire (1997) De Groene Kathedraal (1996) Sea Level (1996) Aardzee (1982) Observatory (1977) More land art in the area

http://www.ftn-books.com has a series of “de Paviljoens” introductions and books available on these land art artists.

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David Hamilton (continued)

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A few years ago i wrote a blog on David Hamilton. It gavce some information on Hamilton as an artist, but now there is an absolute must read on Hamilton which ws recently published by Mutual Art magazine. Here it is :

The controversial work of the British photographer has long been part of the “art or pornography?” debate, a question to which there are no apparent answers.

Dreamscapes of nubile girls in French fields and farmhouses, an age of innocence teetering on that of womanhood; flowers and the thin fabric of dresses, all seen through the gentle distortion of a soft-focus lens. David Hamilton’s filmmaking and photography are quintessentially 1970s, a product of a time in which society was granted more freedom to explore avenues which may have been previously unchartered. But in today’s period of political correctness, collective guilt and finger pointing, where does it leave the viewer and lover of art? Does the rapidly changing world around us force us to now think and feel differently in terms of aesthetical enjoyment? And do purported wrongdoings on the artist’s part come into play?

There is a warmth emanating within a lot of Hamilton’s photography; washed out light seeping into pastel colors, diffused and surreal. There is also a great gentleness to his work; the images are delicate, as if they exist only amid a slow-fading memory. Hamilton is a master in this sense, possessing the capability to create a world of fragile dream or recollection. It is the same feeling one gets when they conjure up the almost-ancient reminiscences of childhood summers; a time brimming with the possibilities of life, of warm, languid days, when time seems to stand still.

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David Hamilton was born in London in 1933. During World War II he became an evacuee and spent time in the Dorset countryside, which would go on to influence his future work. At the age of twenty he moved to Paris where he worked as a graphic designer for Swiss fashion photographer Peter Knapp of Elle magazine. It was during this period that he began to make a name for himself. He returned to London to work as the art director for Queen magazine, but he soon returned to Paris. Back in the city he truly loved, he found work as art director for the city’s biggest department store, Printemps. Here, he started doing commercial photography on the side, and quickly gained success through his trademark grainy, dream-like style.
But with success the photographer also found defame. The public was either attracted or repulsed by the nudity and the subtle-not-so-subtle eroticism found in his images, and some critics summed up his work as trite. In the mid-90s, Hamilton stated that people “have made contradiction of nudity and purity, sensuality and innocence, grace and spontaneity. I try to harmonize them, and that’s my secret and the reason for my success.
While some have labelled David Hamilton’s work as pornographic, and some photographs are certainly erotic, numerous prints of his are almost completely devoid of sexuality. They are often platonic pieces, which aren’t intended to sexually arouse at all, similar to a nude cherub or statue. But his subjects are very real, which for the viewer can elicit a plethora of moralistic questions. Why was he posing young, semi-clothed girls in front of the camera? What exactly am I looking at here? Photography is a very poignant medium in this regard. With a painting, or a statue, there is some degree of removal between model and masterpiece — in capturing images on film there isn’t. The nude model is there before one’s eyes, the same as the artist looked upon amidst the throes of creation.Hamilton was an active photographer for most of his life, but after decades of shooting film and photography, sexual allegations began to surface, which he denied vehemently. Soon thereafter, he was found dead in his southern Paris apartment. An apparent suicide. In light of these allegations, is it our moral duty to have nothing more to do with Hamilton’s photography? Or is it acceptable to still appreciate the art? Do they even come into account at all? Afterall, the art hasn’t changed, only our perception of the artist, and what may have gone on behind the scenes. It is a difficult question, and one that only the individual can answer for him- or herself.

http://www.ftn-books.com has some David hamilton tiltles available