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Robert Ryman (1930-2019)

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One of the greats in Abstract Modern Painting died at the age of 88 on the 8th of February 2019. White was his “color” and he painted on every material with his “white”. Impressed by the Rothko paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he was working as a museum guard, he started to paint himself and finding in the process the strength of “white” when used as the only color in his paintings. This approach made him famous within a period of 5 years. After these initial years he had had his first gallery exhibitions and soon after his his first major exhibition at the Guggenheim museum. Rymans paintings are highly recognizable abstract paintings and can be seen as the link between abstract expressionism and minimalism ( btw. Sol LeWitt also started his career as a museum guard). We are lucky to have al large collection of his paintings iin the Netherlands since the Stedelijk Museum started collecting his paintings from the very first years of his career. The result an impressive 11 paintings from all periods of his artistic life. Robert Ryman publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Holland in Vorm 1987

I remember it well. It was the first time i met with Jan van Capellen, the responsible person who had the same  function at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum as i had with the Gemeentemuseum at that time and we carried box after box with one of the heaviest catalogues ever produced by the combined (important) dutch museums. Within the project the Stedelijk Museum, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Arnhem Gemeentemuseum, Museum Boymans van Beuningen and Centraal Museum Utrecht all participated and all had a different approach and subject on dutch design. The overall design of posters and catalogues was executed by Anthon Beeke and Swip Stolk. Unfortunately the catalogue was at that time not the success the museums had hoped it would be , but now…. over 30 years later, it is a sought after collectable catalogue. One that inspires and was at the start of the dutch design mouvement which is now collected all over the world. Catalogue and exhibition posters are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jean Gorin (1899-1981)

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It took me almost 20 years to first see an actual work by Jean Gorin. I knoe if his great catalogue which was designed by Wim Crouwel for the 1967 Gorin exhibition. But at that time i was far too young to appreciate art in general, but since i took an interest in art, i took an interest in constructivist art and certainly Gorin is one of the great artists when you look and take in consider the reliefs produced by the other artist from his generation.

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He was a French neoplastic painter and constructive sculptor. He was a disciple of Piet Mondrian, and remained true to the concept of rigid geometricism and use of primary colors, but pushed the limits of neoplasticism by introducing circles and diagonals. He was known for his three-dimensional reliefs. His art developed along the same line as the art of Cesar Domela developed , resulting in complex reliefs that are now collected and appreciated worldwide. His appeal is still growing and personally i think his art is far better than the works Cesar Domela produced in the same period of his life.

I have to devote some special text on this publication, since the Crouwel designed catalogue is very special. It has the typical 60’s Crouwel dimensions, but what makes this one special is the embossed /relief printed cober, making this one, one of the very special Stedelijk Museum 60’s catalogues. Other titles are available too at www.ftn-books.com

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Barry Flanagan (1941-2009)

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Barry Flanagan, a protege of Rudi Fuchs, presented this artist at different venues on several occasions. The van Abbemuseum and the Stedelijk Museum among them. This way creating a platform for this artist who, after the exhibitions in dutch museums , could count on a loyal following of admirers. He began his career as a minimalist working in folded cloth, but later became Britain’s best-known and most controversial modernist, internationally renowned for his colossal bronze figures of leaping hares.

That said i personally am impressed with his small scale art. His drawings, linocuts and lithographs are like dreamlike landscapes with an abstract twist and bright colors, making these far more intimate. For us in the Netherlands it is still hard to find the nice publications published on this artist, because the edition size was on all occasions “small”. Less than 1000 copies were produced of his catalogue of which most part was over the years destroyed. His following may be loyal and admiring, but it is too small too sell a complete edition of his art catalogues. www.ftn-books.com has some Flanagan titles available.

 

 

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Etienne Martin (1913-1995)

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Etienne Martin was one of the most colorful sculptors from France from the last 100 years. Ofcourse France has brought us great sculptors like Rodin and Camile Claudel, but in this long tradition, Martin must have a place in history too. His sculptures are a combinbation of abstract art and recognizable human body parts. The result …. a typical Etienne Martin sculpture of which his LE MANTEAU from 1962 is probably his most well known and famous sculpture.

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A large work which is intended to be worn by the artist.

What made me realize that Etienne AMrtin is important is the catalogue i recently acquired. The catalogie was published by galerie Breteau and is from 1960. It has a classic kind of cahier stitching and in between the black and white pages foils with Etienne Martin sculpture designs are inserted. A typical and highly collectible Etienne Martin catalogue which is, beside the Sandberg designed Stedelijk Museum catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com

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New site for FTN books and discount code

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It was a necessary step to make the site more accessible, so i changed the lay-out made it much more clear for all visitors to find their way among the 8000+ items that are for sale at www.ftn-books.com.

The result a clean and pleasing site in a blue and creme color scheme. Pleasing to the eye, with a great search engine to find those titltes you are looking for . Please take a look at www.ftn-books.com and when you order use the discount code: FTNnew (10% discount on all items), which is valid until the 6th of February 2019.

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Gerry Schum ( 1938 -1973)

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Rightfully he may be called one of the true pioneers of Video art.

Because of his early contribtions to the collection of the Stedelijk Museum resulted in an exhibition ( which catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com) and the hsitory and development of Video art during the last 50 years. Th Stedelijk has made a permanent presentation of his :

Schum made Land Art as part of his Fernseh-Galerie Gerry Schum. The German television station Sender Freies Berlin broadcasted this film on 15 April 1969. Schum was looking for a way to show modern visual art to a wide audience. He achieved this by broadcasting his film and video productions on television, bypassing the traditional institutions. The TV programme showed recordings of artistic interventions in the landscape by eight artists, including Jan Dibbets, Barry Flanagan and Richard Long. Schum’s own sober camera work is an essential element of the visual end result. Jan Dibbets’ contribution 12 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective shows a tractor leaving behind a trapezium-shaped track on a beach. The position of the camera and the effect of the perspective mean that the viewer sees this shape as a rectangle. Dibbets was casting doubt on the reliability of representation via the camera and on the perception of the eye, as he had done previously in his ‘perspective corrections’.
It takes time to appreciate Video as an art form , but when you finally do so , there is an artist not te be missed and that is Gerry Schum.

btw. The Gerry Schum catalogue was designed by Wim Crouwel.

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Sarah Lucas (1962)

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Another young bBritish artist who emerged in the early Nineties in a wave of young British artists. Others from her generation rose to fame in the same years. Among them Gary Hume and Damien Hirst. They had one thing in common. All were added to the Tate collection at a very young age and collected by Saatchi. Personally i am not a great admirer of her works. For the same reasons  i am not a great admirer of Hirst his works, but sometimes you have to look twice and try to discover the meaning of her(in many cases) masculine constructions to confront and dissect their nature.

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Her pieces represent a fantastical world and playfully employs unrealistic ideals to unearth obscene paradoxes created by those very constructions. These works are constructed and well thought over and perhaps that is the quality i do not like about them.

www.ftn-books.com has some Sarah Lucas titles available

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Hans van Hoek (1947)

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Hans van Hoek, a typical dutch artist who’s work is rooted in the classical approach to painting. You can recognize parts by Rubens and Cezanne in his painting but overall it is typical Hans Van Hoek. Look closely and you can distinguish figures…from a distance it is different and it is almost like looking at an abstract painting.

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van Hoek was a very well known and appreciated painter in the Netherlands and he had his exhibitions in the large museums over here. Stedelijk Museum and van Abbemuseum had their exhibitions with this great artist, but people lost interest in his works when he decided to move to South Africa where he stayed in Barrydale for a period of 12 years. In 2008 he returned to the Netherlands and he had to build his reputation as an artist once again, but somehow he has lost momentum in the period he stayed in South AFrica because when he left he was a welll appreciated and colelcted artist and recently i encountered work by van Hoek at auction for prices as low as euro 600,–

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Hans van Hoek will prove to be important in the near future so i can only recommend his works to be collected. www.ftn-books.com has some nice hans van Hoek publications available.

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de Stijl catalogue ( 1951 ) by Willem Sandberg

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I have copies of this 1951 catalogue for sale at www.ftn-books.com for a very long time now and whenever i have a copy available it is rapidly sold, but the one i have at this moment is very special ( please inquire). It is the same book/catalogue from 1951 as the other ones i had, but it has some extra’s that none of the copies i had before had. It contains the original folder ( it is possibly designed by Willem Sandberg) in which the separate rooms in the Stedelijk are described and 2 pages of stencilled texts on de Stijl. I have never seen the folder before and it must be one of the extremely rare Stedelijk Museum collectibles. To my knowledge this makes this package the only complete publication package on the very Special de STIJL 1951 exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

stijl package a

stijl package b

stijl package c