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Robert Jacobsen at Galerie Asbaek / 1976

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The year 1976. The exhibition …Robert Jacobsen at gallery Asbaek. This catalogue i found some weeks ago and knew instantly that this was one of the most important Jacobsen catalogues. Only a few color illustration, the rest black and white, but all the works powerfull and form his most important periods. The portrait shows a happy and confident artist who knows that his works are important.

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The catalogue itself has . Plain cartonboard cover with the initials of Robert Jacobsen printed upon. A weak black paper spine completes this simple but effective and highly important little book which is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com  together with some other Jacobsen publications.

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Memphis…no not the city in the US!

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This is a blog on Memphis as a design and art form. Memphis was born in 1982 in Italy in Milano and founded by ao Ettore Sottsass. They designed Postmodern furniture, fabrics, ceramics, glass, and metal objects from 1981 to 1988. and were of great influence to many designers started their careers in those days. The design ideas by Memphis spread all over the world and culminated possibly in one building ….the Groninger Museum. Memphis designs are known for us dutch by one gallery shop in Den Haag who presented all these artists and had many specials an limited editions from the Memphis group. The COPI shop in the Prinsenstraat / Den Haag does not exist any longer but ask any dutch collector interested in Memphis, they know the name for sure. Because of the blog i finally know the origin of the name and found it on Wikipedia and want to share this information with you:

On December 11, 1980, Ettore Sottsass organized a meeting with designers, and in 1981 formed a design collaborative named Memphis. The name was taken after the Bob Dylan song “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” which had been played repeatedly throughout the evening’s meeting. They drew inspiration from such movements as Art Deco and Pop Art, including styles such as the 1950s Kitsch and futuristic themes. available at www.ftn-books.com are the following Memphis publications.

 

 

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Kenneth Martin (1905-1984)

 

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Kenneth Martin was for me one of the grand old masters of Constructivism. Outside England hardly known, but considered by many of great influence and importance. His best works for me are his prints in which he excels. His wife Mary was a gifted artist too and from both www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications. I only know of one exhibition outside Great Britain, which is the Bottrop exhibition but when you see one announced , i strongly recommend a visit to discover yourself the importance of Kenneth Martin.

 

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Ossip, Winter and Chezhin

There different artists, 3 different backgrounds, 3 different era’s, but somehow their works have a resemblance with each other. The source is with all three an old photographs, which is worked over in a way the scene becomes surreal.

Above are some of the examples i found in my inventory of www.ftn-books.com , which has pubications of all three artists available.

From left to right: Ossip, Julie Winter and right Chezhin.

Chronologically and artistically there is for me no doubt who is the most original of these three……by far it is my friend OSSIP, who’s art is still developing . His “sculptures”are literally on the move nowadays.

 

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Vladimir Tatlin (1885-1953)

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I always have liked the works by Tatlin. Being one of the first true constructivist artists he has always interested me as an artist. Inspired by Pablo Picasso he soon began to experiment with cubistic patterns, but eventually ended making pure abstract constructions. One of this constructions is only realized as a maquette because the actual work was never executed.  He began creating objects that sometimes seem poised between sculpture and architecture. Initially trained as an icon painter, he soon abandoned the traditionally pictorial concerns of painting and instead concentrated on the possibilities inherent in the materials he used – often metal, glass, and wood. He wanted above all to bend art to modern purposes and, ultimately, to tasks suited to the goals of Russia’s Communist revolution. He is remembered most for his Monument to the Third International (1919-20).

A design for the Communist International headquarters, as said it was realized as a model but never built. It crystallized his desire to bring about a synthesis of art and technology, and has remained a touchstone of that utopian goal for generations of artists since. The arc of his career has come to define the spirit of avant-gardism in the 20th century, the attempt to bring art to the service of everyday life.

www.ftn-books.com has some Tatlin titles available

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Francois Morellet (1926-2016) and the van Abbemuseum catalogue from 1971

 

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Several reasons why this catalogue is importand. First of all …this is one of the first Morellet catalogues published outside France. In 1971 Morellet was invited for a LICHTKUNST exhibition at the van Abbemuseum and Jan van Toorn was commissioned to design the catalogue with this exhibition. van Toorn decided for the Local printer LECTURIS ( still one of the very best printers in the Netherlands) and included within the catalogue multiple special prints after the large silkscreens by Morellet.

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Making it this way more like an artist book than a simple exhibition catalogue. This made the book so special that it is arguably the best catalogue ever published with the works by Morellet.

 

Since, Morellet is one of the most appreciated and valued artist in the Kinetic and Minimal Art scenes and the catalogue is one which is sought after and collected by many admirers. The catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com:

https://ftn-books.com/products/abbemuseum-francois-morellet-1971-nm

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Henk Visch (1950)

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The first time i read about Visch was in the Metropolis M magazine in the early Eighties and the first time i encountered his Art was at the van Abbemuseum  after i had visited the studio of Piet Dirkx. At that visit Piet and I spoke about the works we were going to see at the van Abbemuseum and i learned that Piet knew Henk Visch quit well and even had exhibited at one time in Eindhoven together with him. Since, the FTN collection on Henk Visch is growing steadily and some of them are available at www.ftn-books.com.

Henk Visch is one of the talents that gathered a loyal following. In Germany his name is still getting more important with every exhibitions organized with his works and because his importance for dutch art is undisputed , the Hollandsche Meesters series devoted a special on him:

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Sonsbeek…an exhibition park near Arnhem

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A City and its Exhibition

It was in 1948 that a councillor, a VVV tourism official and the mayor of Arnhem launched an initiative for a contemporary art exhibition on a scale unprecedented in Europe. Their aim was to give the city which had experienced so much destruction during the Second World War a totally new appeal.

Processing the traumatic wartime experience

Sonsbeek ’49 opened that following year with over two hundred works displayed along the paths in the park. Most of these were figurative sculptures created since the turn of the century. A recurring theme among the newer works was the processing of Holland’s traumatic wartime experience, such as Nel Klaassen’s monumental Honour the Woman which still stands in Arnhem.

Connected to the present

In subsequent editions of the exhibition, the idea was the same. Sculptures by internationally renowned artists were presented to Arnhem’s public: Auguste Rodin, Ossip Zadkine, Henri Moore, Pablo Picasso, John Rädecker and Hildo Krop. After each edition the Arnhem council selected some of the exhibited works for permanent display in the city. Often, these were works that referred to the war, such as Ossip Zadkine’s Phoenix which found a permanent place in front of the town hall. Since the beginning, SONSBEEK has always been closely concerned with contemporary issues and current affairs.

Selected by a curator based on a specific theme

After the first four editions, one every three years and each similarly presented, SONSBEEK seemed to have become a tradition. Until in 1971 SONSBEEK broke with that tradition and quite literally went off the beaten track with a show compiled for the first time by a curator and expressing a specific theme. Sonsbeek Buiten de Perken was assembled by Wim Beeren, then chief curator at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. The exhibits abandoned their pedestals, some even left the city and the country. Prominent conceptual artists such as Claes Oldenburg, Wim T. Schippers, Robert Smithson and Nam June Paik turned the exhibition into a milestone for avant-garde art. SONSBEEK became synonymous with progressive and experimental, thematic art shows.

SONSBEEK has constantly played a pioneering role through its novel presentations of art in public space. In collaboration with the curatorial collective ruangrupa, SONSBEEK once again brought art to the public in 2016. SONSBEEK ’16: transACTION marked the start of a quadrennial, the 12th edition will take place in 2020.

www.ftn-books.com has some of the Sonsbeel catalogues still available

 

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Piet Warffemius (1956)

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It took me 2 decades to finally appreciate Piet Warffemius his works. Personally i was not that much convinced by his early graphic works , but from the moment he depicted branches and leaves in his paintings and translated them into cortensteel “outside” sculptures, i was convinced of their quality and now we have almost 7 years now our own Warffemius sculpture ” van een naar twee” in our garden.

It is not unique, it comes from an edition of 5 copies but that does not matter. For us it was our first and until now our only outside sculpture. The most beautiful aspect is that the sculpture present itself differnntly with the change of the seasons. Cortensteel is not a evry friendly material but corrosion gives it a beautful reddisch browm patine which blends perfect with flowers and plants.

Since i have been collecting Warffemius books and found some extra ones which are now for sale at www.ftn-books

 

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Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000)

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The first time i encountered Hundertwasser his work was in an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the first thought was…..he copies Klimt!

At that time i did not not know much about him, but when you read more and see more of his works you begin to realize that Hundertwasser is as original as Klimt was.

The difference is some 70 years between these 2 artists, but the background, influences and education are all well rooted in the city of Vienna from the beginning of the 20th century. This explains the similarities which one can find in many cases between the works by Klimt and Hundertwasser.

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If ever you visit Wien , the Hundertwasser Haus is an absolute must. There are so many aspects about the house and its architecture , that it is impossible to describe it in this blog. However there is a great article on the architecture on the house on the site of the Hundertwasser House;

http://www.hundertwasser-haus.info/en/blog/2011/07/19/the-house-should-not-be-measured-by-normal-standards/

and yes… for the enthousiast collector, ww.ftn-books.com has some nice publications in its inventory including the Wim Crouwel designed Stedelijk Museum one