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Bob Colacello (1947)

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He was considered as the right hand of Andy Warhol. Always present and his camera ready to take pictures. Possibly Colacello captured most of Andy Warhol private life in the Eighties. http://www.ftn-books.com has the invitation for the 1990 Mary Boone exhibition now for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

The Guardian had a few years ago an excellent article on Colacello which i would like to point out in this blog: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/may/07/i-wasnt-too-obvious-how-bob-colacello-captured-candid-celebrities

As editor of Andy Warhol’s Interview from 1971 to 1983, Bob Colacello, was perfectly placed to record the scene of the wild and glamorous Golden Age when every night was a party night and such distinctions as uptown and downtown, gay and straight, black and white were momentarily cast aside.

Raised in New York, Colacello studied International Affairs at Georgetown University and film criticism at Columbia University before beginning his writing career in 1969 publishing film reviews for the Village Voice. Colacello caught Andy Warhol’s attention when he reviewed Warhol’s Trash, labeling it ‘a great Roman Catholic masterpiece’. Warhol and Paul Morrissey approached Colacello to write for Interview Magazine, and within six months he was made editor of the magazine. For the next twelve years, Colacello remained directly involved in all aspects of life and business at The Factory.

Colacello’s photographs document the insider’s view of decade of excess between the end of the Vietnam War and the advent of AIDs. His monthly “Out” column was a diary of the frenetic social life that took him from art openings to movie premieres, from cocktail parties to dinner parties, from charity balls to after-hours clubs, often all in the course of a single evening.

Colacello began to include pictures in his column in 1973 when Swiss art dealer Thomas Ammann gave him one of the first miniature 35-mm cameras to come on the market, a black plastic Minox small enough to hide in his jacket pocket. His pictures have an immediacy, a veracity, and an aesthetic that can only be found in the middle of the action. With his stealth camera and his ‘accidental style’, Colacello captured subjects including Diana Vreeland, Jack Nicholson, Raquel Welch, Mick Jagger, Yves Saint Laurent, Nan Kempner, Gloria Swanson, Anita Loos, Willy Brandt, Joseph Beuys, Robert Rauschenberg, Truman Capote, Halston, Studio 54’s Steve Rubell, Egon von Furstenberg and Tina Chow. His images bring to life a carefree but reckless moment in history when social mobility and personal expression were played out to the limits

Bob Colacello joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in 1984 and has been a special correspondent since 1993.

 

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Franceso Clemente at Paul Maenz, 1988

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You wonder why there have not been many more publications like the CROWN SKY WAR special which was published on the occasion of the opening of the Clemente exhibition at the Paul Maenz gallery in 1988.

An important exhibition  and the specially designed collectible should be an example for other gallery publishers. It is not too expensive to produce, but its appearance is like no other publication. It looks and feels special from the moment you set eyes on it and when you “unbutton” it it shows its contents….3 fold out cards CROWN…SKY…WAR. estimated costs…less than 1 euro. But this special is worth much much more since it’s importance means that the Paul Maenz gallery is mentioned in all the years after its publication. Whenever a copy surfaces , one is reminded of the Clemente exhibitions at their gallery in 1988.

I have now finally found me a copy which is for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com. This gallery was/is an example to many others in the business

clemente crown c

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A perfect invitation card

bauhaus archiv a

I have seen thousands of invitation cards by museums from all over the world and helped to produce hundreds of them. Sometimes you make a mistake in choosing the wrong picture or the color scheme does not work out the way it should have, but i know of the difficulties and the traps of producing a good invitation card. The subject has to be clear immediately and the picture on the card has to be a typical example from the exhibition. In my opinion here is a perfect card. Produced for the Bauhaus Archiv exhibition of Bauhaus photography. The card dates from 1990 and has an outstanding look and feel. The print quality is excellent and the subject clear immediately with the partly covered face in black and white. …… a perfect invitation it is and now available at www.ftn-books.com

bauhaus archiv b

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An Andy Warhol invitation card, 2005

This invitation card is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com and is the first from a number of very special items i acquired. Among them, invitations for Rainer, Beuys, Förg, Fulron, Long, Judd and some sketches by Westerik. Most dating from the time that Rudi Fuchs was director for the Haags Gemeentemuseum. This is an exception but from the same collection and one of the few Warhol invitations that is now on the market.

warhol inv cowboy c

 

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John Balderssari’s pencil

A few month ago i found this great short movie on John Baldessari.

The epic life of a world-class artist, jammed into six minutes.
Narrated by Tom Waits.
Commissioned by LACMA for their first annual “Art + Film Gala” honoring John Baldessari and Clint Eastwood.

directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman (supermarche.nyc)
edited by Max Joseph (maxjoseph.com/)
written by Gabriel Nussbaum (bankstreetfilms.com)
cinematography by Magdalena Gorka (magdalenagorka.com/)
& Henry Joost
produced by Mandy Yaeger & Erin Wright

 

www.ftn-books.com has some nice John Baldessari books for sale

 

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Nicolaas Wijnberg as a poster artist

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At one time Pieter Brattinga, who knew every good poster artist in the Netherlands , was asked who were the best poster designers. His answer, Crouwel, Sandberg, Treumann and Bons, but the very best was Nicolaas Wijnberg. Because his father was the director of the famous Steendrukkerij de Jong he had seen their works for some decades  being printed on the presses of his father company.  Because he had seen them all, his opinion is important and when you look at the posters by Wijnberg you can see why these were liked so much. His posters are not the ones with the beautiful clean lay-out. Nor the ones which stand out because of the use of color. No……. the Wijnberg posters are special because each of them tells a small story. This is not the poster who draws your attention for an event. The Wijnberg posters reaches out to you with a part of the performance or event. This makes you curious and therefore you will remember it.

The book on the Nicolaas WIJNBERG posters is available at www.ftn-books.com

wijnberg affiches

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Erwin Olaf special 1:1 by Floris Vos

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It has been some years ago that there was an exhibition by Erwin Olaf. The sets/ stage design was done by Floris Vos who recently died. Floris Vos was important to Erwin Olaf since the staging of his photographs is so important and a part which makes his photographs recognizable and stand out. Every detail counts and the result is a photograph which is truly remarkable. Of course the talent of Erwin Olaf is undoubtedly present in every photograph he takes, but the staging by Floris Vos will be missed in the future. I dare to say that the future Olaf photographs will be different and that is probably not a bad thing, because now Olaf must use a different set director, which means different photographs for sure and taking a new road into the staged photography he excels in.

set for “Grief”

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www.ftn-books.com has the HET NIEUWE INSTITUUT folder/invitation for the exhibition from 2013 available for sale.

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Wim Crouwel (continued )

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Early September 2019 i recommended the Mr Gridnik exhibition which would open shortly  after in the Stedelijk Museum. Just a few days before opening Mr.  Gridnik/ Wim Crouwel died  and he never witnessed his tribute at the Stedelijk. Since i have not found the time to go to this exhibition myself, but now that i finally have the opportunity and started planning my visit, i found out that all rooms are photographed and can be visited on line. It is a worthy tribute to one of the greatest designers from the last decade, but could have been much more complete. It focusses for 90% on the Stedelijk Museum publications, but it is still a very impressive sight to see so many great designs collected, but the real surprise is that i noticed that i have almost all of the books on show in my inventory. (www.ftn-books.com)

For those living too far away to visit the exhibition….here is the direct link to the rooms and showcases with Crouwel material:

https://www.stedelijk.nl/nl/crouwel-vitrines

and another excellent site with 19 photographs:

http://dutchdesigndaily.com/nl/nieuw/wim-crouwel-mr-gridnik/

 

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the Stuyvesant Foundation

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I have a weakness for the Stuyvesant Foundatio. The foundation was founded by Alexander Orlow of Turmac company who had the brilliant idea to bring great art works among his factory workers by placing the art in the middle of the production. This meant that many large sized works were purchased over a period of 30 years. Zero, Cobra en abstract expressionism being the most important among these works.  For most of the collection they had one thing in common. Their size was large and larger, since the works had to be seen by the people who worked a fair distance from them.

The following article appeared in the Telegraph a few days before the first auction was being held. In total there were 3 auctions. Personally i thought the first was exceptional, the second very good and the third was filled with the leftovers. I was lucky to buy one of the best Gerard Verdijk paintings ever in the 2nd auction at AAG. My luck….it is too large for many, so no bids were placed after the initial price set by the auctioneer.

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The cream of one of Europe’s most highly regarded corporate art collections is to be dispersed by Sotheby’s next week in spite of efforts by civil authorities and art experts to preserve it and turn it into a museum. Known as the Peter Stuyvesant collection, it originated in the late 1950’s when Alexander Orlow, managing director of Turmac Tobacco, which made the popular Peter Stuyvesant brand of cigarettes in its factory in Zevenaar, Holland, decided his workforce needed something to cheer them up. “However complicated the operations of a machine may look, it soon becomes monotonous to a factory worker,” he said.

His solution was to buy art – preferably big, colourful abstract paintings – and in 1960 commissioned 13 artists from different European countries to make works on the theme of “joie de vivre” to hang in the factory’s production halls. The experiment was so popular that in the following year he invited William Sandberg, formerly the director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, to expand the collection. Over the next 50 years, the collection grew under the supervision of a series of former Dutch museum directors.

However, in 2000, Turmac was swallowed up by the British American Tobacco Company (BAT), and the art collection renamed the BAT Artventure collection. But there was not to be much in the way of artistic venture in store. In June of 2006 it was announced that the Zevenaar factory would close with the loss of 570 jobs, so that European production could be concentrated in Germany and Poland. That left over 1,400 works in the art collection valued at some 23 million pounds looking for a new home.

Jan de Ruiter, the mayor of Zevenaar, supported by Martijn Sanders, chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the Stedelijk Museum, looked for a way to buy the collection and keep it locally, possibly as a wing of the museum. But “BAT did not really want to make a deal,” said de Ruiter. It went to Sotheby’s instead.

Sotheby’s has a good track record in handling corporate art collections. Back in 1989 it handled the disposal of the British Rail Pension Fund collection and the $93 million (£62.5 million) Reader’s Digest collection. Since then we’ve seen a series of high profile sales for IBM, the 7-Eleven photo collection, the HSBC collection of 19th century pictures, not to mention a certain £65 million sculpture by Giacometti from the German Commerzbank last month.

The company clearly sets some store by advising corporations on the acquisition and disposal of art, setting up a department just to deal with that in New York 20 years ago, and another in London last year. Saul Ingram, who runs the London department, says most companies sell to buy new work or channel profits into broader cultural activities. The Stuyesant/BAT collection is different because it was site specific, and without the factory and its workers, its purpose has gone.

Its value, though, is still substantial. The 163 works to be sold by Sotheby’s Amsterdam next week are estimated to fetch between £3.6 million and £4.6 million, with further sales planned in the future. Avant garde European groups from the 50s and 60s such as CoBrA, the abstract expressionist group based around Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, and Zero, the Dusseldorf based group who worked with experimental materials such as fire, nails and papier mache, are to the fore.

The Zero artists, Gunther Uecker and Jan Schoonhoven, who starred at Sotheby’s recent Lenz collection sale last month, are expected to do exceptionally well. A rarity is Lily ou Tony (1965), one of Nicki de St Phalle’s first Nana sculptures that celebrate womanhood. Though fragile, made of tissue and wire mesh, it carries a £180,000 to £270,000 estimate. The most significant example of British art is a 1958 Alan Davie painting that has been undervalued at £27,000 to £36,000.

In addition to the stylish brand name Stuyvesant gave to the world of smoking, it also achieved brand recognition in the art world, especially in Britain, where, during the sixties, the Stuyvesant Foundation sponsored the Whitechapel Gallery’s trendsetting The New Generation exhibition, which included David Hockney and Bridget Riley, and also the talent spotting Young Contemporaries, much of which was immortalised in the Tate Gallery’s Recent British Art show of 1967. The separate collection of British art that was formed by the Stuyvesant Foundation between 1964 and 1967 was eventually sold in the late 1980s and established what were then huge prices for Davie, Riley, and others of that generation. The last sale, held at Bonhams in 1989, was a complete sell out. Next week will see how well the Stuyvesant brand has survived.

http://www.ftn-books.com has nearly all  dutch publications on the Stuyvesant collection available.

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Ben Akkerman (1920-2010)

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I have always been an admirer of the works by Ben Akkerman. The first time i saw a painting by Akkerman was at the Centraal Museum and since i have been interested in his works. The paintings and drawings i could not afford so instead i started to collect Ben Akkerman publications. The result is that i have collected myself a small but important Akkerman library and the years made me find some duplicates which i now have put up for sale at www.ftn-books.com

Ben Akkerman was , the same as Jan Schoonhoven, an employee for the municipality of Enschede and he painted in the evening in his spare time. Called a ‘hardcore abstract ” painter i personally share his paintings among the Minimal paintings from that era. These are very delicate compositions that are pure minimal art.

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The Gemeentemuseum used the “diamond” by Ben Akkerman for almost 10 years in its letters and invitations, but now that the name has changed in the far less appealing name ” Kunstmuseum Den Haag” they left the beautiful yellow diamond shaped logo for one i do not like at all. To commemorate the diamond they collected 30 Ben Akkerman paintings and made a wonderful presentation  to honor Ben Akkerman and its “diamond”.