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Jan van Toorn (1932-2020)

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Jan van Toorn dies last Friday at the age of 88 years.

Tragic newss this morning , but one of the greatest of all dutch designers from last century dies at the age of 88 years.

I have followed his career with all kinds of examples of his design through all decades of last half century. Many of these are also available at www.ftn-books.com

. Many of them stand out and some are also known outside our borders, since many of his designs were done for exhibitions outside the Netherlands. His style….highly recognizable and less formal than Crouwel is known for. van Toorn sits in between Sandberg and Crouwel and developed over the years a style of his own. He was one of the main designers for the van Abbemuseum and a director for the Jan van Eyck academy and beside the van Abbemuseum made design for PTT Nederland and the Cultural Foreign office. His archives are now with the Unviversity of Amsterdam.

During his life Van Toorn received two prestigious art prices for his designs. First the H.N. Werkmanprijs in 1972 and second in 1985 the BNO Piet Zwart award.

 

 

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Billy Apple ( Barrie Bates – 1935 )

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Billy Apple is considered to be a Pop Art artist, although he side stepped at some occasions his main works are related to the Pop Art movement. Coming from New Zealand but working and living in the US he made a career for himself knowing many of his great contemporaries personally.

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Billy Apple (ONZM) is an artist whose work is associated with the New York and British schools of Pop Art in the 1960s and with the Conceptual Art movement in the 1970s. He collaborated with the likes of Andy Warhol and other pop artists. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (New Zealand), Auckland Art Gallery / Toi o Tamaki (New Zealand), the Christchurch Art Gallery / Te Puna o Waiwhetu (New Zealand), The University of Auckland (New Zealand) and the SMAK/Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (Ghent, Belgium).

Barrie Bates was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1935. He left secondary school with no qualifications and took a job as an assistant to a paint manufacturer in 1951. Bates attended evening classes at Elam School of Fine Arts, where he met Robert Ellis, a graduate of the Royal College of Art in London.

In 1959 he left New Zealand on a National Art Gallery scholarship. He studied at the Royal College of Art, London, from 1959 until 1962. During his time at the Royal College of Art, Bates met several other artists who went on to become a new generation of pop artists; including David Hockney, Derek Boshier Frank Bowling and Pauline Boty. He exhibited frequently during his time at the College in the Young Contemporaries and Young Commonwealth Artists exhibitions along with Frank Bowling, Jonathan Kingdon, Bill Culbert, Jan Bensemann and Jerry Pethick.

In 1962 Bates conceived Billy Apple: he bleached his hair and eyebrows with Lady Clairol Instant Creme Whip and changed his name to Billy Apple. Apple had his first solo show in 1963 – Apple Sees Red: Live Stills – in London at Victor Musgrave’s Gallery One.

Apple moved to New York in 1964: he progressed his artistic career and also found work in various advertising agencies.

A pivotal event was the 1964 exhibit “The American Supermarket”, a show held in Paul Bianchini’s Upper East Side gallery. The show was presented as a typical small supermarket environment, except that everything in it — the produce, canned goods, meat, posters on the wall, etc. — was created by six prominent pop artists of the time, including Billy Apple, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Jasper Johns and others.

Apple was one of the artists who pioneered the use of neon in art works (Apples to Xerox and Neon Rainbows). Other exhibitions and series include Art for Sale, The Given as an Art Political Statement, Transactions, Golden Rectangle, The Art Circuit etc.

In 2008 Apple was the subject of a feature length documentary called “Being Billy Apple”.

http://www.ftn-books.com has acquired the important UNION JACK poster by Billy Apple he made for his 2009 Witte de With exhibition. Now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Heimo Zobernig (1958)

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The catalogue i have available on this artist shows why he is appreciated as an artists. It shows why he is considered a multi-disciplined artist. Sculpture, design, painting etc. …all disciplines and aspects of Modern art come along in his works.

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Heimo Zobernig is a contemporary Austrian artist working across media—painting, sculpture, film, performance, and more—to create a completely interdisciplinary Postmodern practice. Known for his treatment of colour within his abstract works, Zobernig blends elements of Minimalism with expressive brushstrokes, geometry, or typography while retaining an emphasis kept on the grid and the monochrome. Born on April 30, 1958 in Mauthen, Austria, he studied at both the Akademie der bildenden Künste and Hochschule fur Angewandte Kunst in Vienna, where he currently lives and works. He created work for the Austrian Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Zobernig has commented, “there are moments when I really enjoy being an artist, but I also appreciate those moments when I completely forget about it.”

zobernig

The book is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jacob Jongert (1883-1942)

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Jac ( Jacob ) Jongert is one of the classic dutch designers. It is highly likely that you once have seen a design of his , since his van NELLE box has grown into a world famous design object from the Twenties/Thirties.

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It has been one of those iconic design objects executed in a style which have been of great influence to designers in the following decades. Look at the second poster and you will recognize that this typography and design elements must have influenced the POP ART designs from the Sixties.

But beside the avant garde designs there are so much more beautiful designs by Jongert and for those interested in Jongert and his design career i truly recommend the book which has been published in 2009 for the Jongert  special exhibition at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum. A book which shows why Jongert is important as a designer and what is more . The book itself is one of the best and most beautiful published books which i encountered in recent years. This book is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Almir Mavignier (1925-2018)

The HOCHSCHUKLE FÜR GESTALTUNG has become over the years a legendary institution and one of its many well-known students was the Brazilian born Almir Mavignier. He attended the school in 1953 and has become part of art history since.

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Friend of Max Bill, witnessing the very early beginnings of the ZERO movement and later becoming one of the most appreciated Poster designers from the 3 decades to follow. He himself was working as a constructivist/minimal artist and that meant he was interested in all artists who were working along the guidelines of the movements. Because of this interest and the resulting friendships, he had a chance to design the posters for many of the artists he met. To name a few….Calderara, Arp, Morellet and Soto….and all of these artists I personally admire very much. This makes the book I now can offer on http://www.ftn-books.com very special for me personally too. A great publication of the Gewerbe Museum Hamburg in cooperation with the German Poster Museum. Great poster designs by Mavignier. btw. …. the site on Mavignier is well worth visiting and can be found here: https://www.mavignier.com

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the 500 first Stedelijk Museum publications…A very important list

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Last Thursday i encountered finally one of the list I was hoping to find for a long time. The list is made in the beginning of the Eighties when interest rose in acquiring and collecting the Stedelijk Museum publications. Since the start in the Mid ’30s from last century, over 1100 publications have been published by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and this list contains the numbers and titles of the first 500 numbered publications. Willem Sandberg, Piet Zwart and Wim Crouwel, 3 of the greatest of Dutch designers all can be found on this list and i noticed of the 500 titles on it I have over 400 currently available at http://www.ftn-books.com

Beside the one on the list, there are of course many others published by the Stedelijk Museum FTN books has available. Take a look, save and share this very important document. the list is in PDF format and can be downloaded with the link below:

sm lijst 1 tm 500

 

 

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Cuban posters

A recent auction of famous movie poster by Sotheby’s inspired me to have another look at the 70’s Crouwel designed catalogue which was made for the Cuban poster exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum. In 1971 the Stedelijk Museum had the foresight of organizing a Cuban poster exhibition. They recognized the outstanding quality of these posters. Political images were presented in colorful and powerful posters, but the auction shows a different side of these Cuban posters. Their interpretation of famous classic western movies. The Cuban designs were “classic” films with a twist. These posters were used to advertise famous titles in Cuba. Their strong designs and vibrant colours recall Havana in its heyday. The Cuban poster catalogue from 1971 is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Belgium Covers

There is no country in Europe that is so patriotic in its covers as Belgium. Many of the publications used for fairs and Biennales use the national colors of Belgium and the series of Europalia publications is inspired by the national colors of the country which is the guest country of Belgium museums, but still there is always a hint of the national colors to be found . I tried to find equivalents for France and the Netherlands, but apart from an occasional catalogue you can count the publication on the fingers of one hand.

Here are some examples which are now available at http://www.ftn-books

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Daan van Golden and Mick Jagger

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At first sight an unlikely combination for the dutch Pop Art artist Daan van Golden. Still…van Golden made an hommage to Mick Jagger in 1967. The silkscreen was printed in an edition of 10 copies and is now sought after as being one of the most iconic of his works. It is a large silkscreen measuring 123 x 106 cm. and this copy of the Stadscollectie Rotterdam was acquired at the famous dDelta gallery who was at that time the representing gallery of van Golden. The image of the silkscreen was used in 1988 for the cover of the book published on the occasion of the presentation of the Stadscollectie Rotterdam . This book is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.

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Otto Treumann (1919-2001)

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Treumann is certainly one of the greatest designers from last century and has designed some of the most iconic images in the Netherlands from the last 50 years, but he has been specially important for the designs of the Joods Historisch Museum and the Jewish community.

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Born in Bavaria in a German Jewish Liberal family in 1935 he came as an immigrant to Amsterdam fleeding Nazi Germany. He followed his education at the “NIEUWE KUNSTSCHOOL” in Amsterdam he educated their students according to the Bauhaus principles. During the occupation in WWII, Treumann became part of the resistance and forged ID’s and food stamps. After the war his posters for the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht became very famous . He also made some striking designs for AKU, which are now sought after and collected. In 1948 he received the H.N. Werkman price.

Treumann made designs for the Stedelijk Museum, the Anne Frank foundation and the Gasunie. His designs can still be found at reasonable prices and some of these pubications are available at http://www.ftn-books.com