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Francois Boisrond (1959)

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The lesser known artist for us in the Netherlands is Francois Boisrond. The Groninger Museum has some works in its collection, but according to my information this is the only public collection with works by Boisrond, but for the french he is very well known. also with a highly recognizable style he made himself a name in the FIGURATION LIBRE.

Inspired by comics his works developed in a period of 15 years in a complete other direction. His paintings lost their spontaneity and were much more painted in the classical tradition. Still Boisrond is important for Modern Art and the catalogues that http://www.ftn-books.com has now available show the quality of Boisrond his earliest works.

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Pierre Paulin ( 1927-2009 )

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Pierre Paulin , French and a master of the organic shaped modern classics he designed over the decades. The Orange Slice is such a beautiful appelaking small chair . Still produced by Artifort and high on our personal wish list. But there are so many more designs by Paulin that have the status of Modern classics.

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Pierre Paulin  made a considerable impression with a contemporary shell fauteuil, at an international furniture show organised by Kho Liang le. Shortly after the show, he became a freelance designer for Artifort. This marked the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration. What makes his designs so distinctive is their striking sculptural shape, which earned Paulin many prizes worldwide. His work remains timeless and progressive even today. This is not form for form’s sake but applied design. With comfort as the constant starting-point. Artifort still includes many of Paulin’s designs dating from the nineteen-sixties and seventies in its permanent collection. His work can be admired in museums throughout the world. Apart from furniture, he also designed interiors for the French presidents Pompidou and Mitterrand in the Elysée Palace in Paris. Pierre Paulin died on 13 June 2009 in a hospital in Montpellier (France). The French president Sarkozy honored him as “the man who made design an art”. In November 2009, Paulin was posthumously awarded the distinction of “Royal Designer for Industry” (RDI).

http://www.ftn-books.com has a very nice publication on Pierre Paulin available.

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The greatest men and women in dutch graphic design.

I have had the pleasure to suggest this site in earlier blogs, but it still expands and contains the very best of dutch graphic designers over the last 50 years or so. Of course i have books available by all these gifted dutch designers and i can not recommend enough to visit their excellent site at: https://www.dutchgraphicroots.nl

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Company design

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People almost forget that every publication and every outing by a larger company has been designed by a designer. In the tine that i worked at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, i have witnessed that every director wanted a change in company style. It was a bit like the french presidents always want to erect a building to show the people in the country that he once was their president ( Pompidou, Mitterrand, Chirac they all had their building projects and are now remembered in the name of the building.

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It was the same with the directors i worked with at the Gemeentemuseum. First there was Theo van Velzen who was very fond of Donald Janssen, followed by Henk Overduin who continued with Donald. After Henk Overduin the museum had Rudi Fuchs as a director. Fuchs trusted Walter Nikkels , but after a few month he decided for Gracia Lebbink as a designer and young and saspiring designers who had the “style’ he desired for the publications of the museum and i must admit, personally i think this period produced the best and most beautiful publications. Gracia continued to design some 8 years for the museum. In the time of some 20 years i had witnessed and worked with 4 designers and as many of 4 times every printed outing of the museum was redesigned. Posters, books, printing paper , entrance tickets, shopping bags every aspect of printing was designed agin with the coming of the new company style. It the meantinme i had also witnessed 3 name changes of the museum itself. To show some of the bags that were published over the time i show you the most famous plastic bags of the museum , which are both available at 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

 

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Rienold Postma (1950)

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A local celebrity in Friesland, but still not known outside this province of the Netherlands is Rienold Postma. Thom Mercuur who initiated the Museum Belvedere was an admirer and he organized several exhibitions with this painter , who is a master in smaller paintings. With a minimal composition he  transforms his small works into a work with maximum exposure and effect. Just look at these two examples

left : “a girl struggling with her sweater” and on the Right “Two girlfriend walking on the dyke”. These are examples of his art and i think they are impressive. When you leaf trough the book on Postma ( available at www.ftn-books.com) you will soon experience the power of these small paintings. These are realistic paintings that are on the border of being completely abstract.

The works by Rienold Postma can be seen at the Museum Belvedere near Heerenveen.

https://www.museumbelvedere.nl

reinold postma

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Erwin Olaf (continued)… April Fool 2020

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A follow up on the many blogs i have now written on Erwin Olaf. In the mid Nineties Olaf was diagnosed with COPD, a lung disease which makes him now one of the vulnerable people during this Covid-19 pandemic. He made a very personal series , making himself the subject and staging himself in some situations that can only occur during these pandemic times. The series is called ” APRIL FOOL 2020 ” and is now published for the very first time . The series which is now published in the magazine contains 8 photographs. Erwin Olaf makes himself the subject of these impressive, very personal photographs. The Volkskrant magazine had this honour to publish these for the first time.

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The magazine is a supplement to the Volkskrant newspaper which was published on Saturday the 16th of May. Maybe you can obtain a copy for your collection yourself, because this is an important , historical series and who knows, perhaps the only time it is published. ww.ftn-books.com has some very nice Erwin Olaf titles available.

 

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Robert Combas new additions

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The final blog on the “Figuration Libre” presents two important new additions to my inventory. Both are related to each other. The first is the Guy Pieters catalogue from 2003 in which he presented the latest paintings from 2002 and 2003 and the second is from 2005 from the Museum Jan van der Togt. The museum made a choice from these recent paintings and added, many paintings from the decades before to this great retrospective.

Both are now available at http://www.ftn-books.com and belong to the best publications on Robert Combas

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Stephen Prina a Post Conceptual artist (1954)

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Stephen Prina is an American artist whose work has been categorized as post-conceptualism. Prina is a professor at the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

He was born in 1954 in Galesburg, Illinois.

This is probably one of the shortest introductions i found on an artist on the internet. I like Prina’s art very much. Crates, monochrome paintings , ladders and the decoration of an entire space/ room are the elements that Piet Dirkx uses too. Both are from my generation and perhaps that is also one of the reasons i understand their art and like it so much. Where i have followed Dirkx for over 3 decades now, Prina is a discovery from the last 10 years. His exhibitions are true events but rare to be found in Europe. Still there was one held at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in 1992 and to accompany that exhibition an artist book was published . The only color used for all pages is a bright yellow. A scarce book and now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Wally Elenbaas (Continued)

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On the 8th of May 2018 i published a blog on the very impressive photography by Wally Elenbaas. These were photographs not lightly to be forgotten. Specially because Elenbaas was sentenced to prison for these beautiful photographs.

https://ftn-blog.com/?s=elenbaas

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Now it is time to shine some light on another aspect of this great dutch artist. Elenbaas was also a gifted designer and used his typography to create images and illustrations consisting of letters transforming these and their meaning into illustrations. Images tell a far better story than words so here are some illustrations….and….the LETTERBOEK is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

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