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galerie Willy Schoots

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Galerie Willy Schoots was one of the iconic galeries that started in the Nineties with some great exhibitions. Later the gallery was continued in Antwerp  as Galerie Schoots – Van Duyse. But trying to find the internet pages of the gallery i found out that the gallery is now closed. A pitty since another great gallery whichg has dutch roots has now closed its doors . Just a few dozen of galeries for Modern Art continue their work to present dutch and international art to a dutch audience. I predict that in another decade most of these will have closed and ond only “an “online” art market will exist. Still there is lots of these galeries to collect. I have recently added some catalogues and invitations of the galerie Willy Schoots to my inventory at www.ftn-books.com

These are now for sale today the invitations and tomorrow the catalogues which are added.

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Museum DE PONT / Tilburg

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I think that museum DE PONT in Tilburg is one of the museums that impresses me most. In the almost 30 years of its existence it has build a solid reputation in organizing breathtaking and ground breaking exhibitions and in the meantime expanded their collection of contemporary art in a very personal way. The building, not the most architectural beautiful museum in the world, is fantastic to present the modern art and each time i visit de PONT it impresses me. The man responsibel for this great achievement is Hendrik Driessen.

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While i was searching for minimal art in the Netherlands i discovered that many of the contemporary minimal artists in the Netherland had their first museum presentation at the DE PONT. Besides the exhibitions, their publication program is well worth following. Beautiful designed catalogues and posters are published making this one of the most desirable and satisfying museum packages/ visits for me.

www.ftn-books.com has many of the legendary de PONT publications available.

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Posters by Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel…part 12

Another great set andn this time both poster and catalogue look almost identical (1970). Both are great simplistic in their designs , but strong in their appearance and they immediately draw your attention.

The Concrete poetry is one of my personal favorit publications and i like the poster as well. Both are availabel at www.ftn-books.com

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Project KATSHOEK

Without knowing . The VOORMOLEN company made an artist book which contains contributions by the very best artists from the Netherlands from the Sixties. Katshoek was an architectural project in the rebuilding of Rotterdam after WWII. New architectural design , enhanced with art from the very best of dutch artists.

Together with the project the Voormolen company made an artist book. with contributions by Boezem, Bonies, Dekkers, Dibbets, Eikelenboom, van Elk, Gribling, Koetsdier, Manders, n, Rous, Schuitema, Graatsma, Slothouber, Staakman, Struycken, Volten

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the above publication is also in the collection of several dutch museums and now available at www.ftn-books.com

Katshoek office building

Heer Bokelweg became the connection between Schiekade and the Rotte Tracé, a wide road from the centre to the motorway to Utrecht. The Katshoek building was the first structure built on this new and wide city boulevard.

Katshoek multi-tenant building on Heer Bokelweg.

Katshoek multi-tenant building on Heer Bokelweg.

Foto Kramer/Rotterdam City Archives

What a contrast between the large modern building faced in white Kirchheimer limestone and the Oude Noorden district behind it! The huge structure has been built on Heer Bokelweg in the Zomerhof District.

It was originally designed as a multi-tenant building for small industries that had previously been housed in temporary structures in the area. However, this plan was dropped on account of the drastic increase in construction costs since the plan was launched in 1959. The idea now is to house ten large offices in the building, among them probably, subject to approval by the city council, a number of municipal departments. In addition, the Voormolen contracting firm that built the structure hopes to move from its current address on Westersingel into the new building on Heer Bokelweg in early 1968.

Het Vrije Volk, 28 September 1967

Katshoek-Bouw-1966

Flashy perspective drawing of Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Bouw, 1966

The post-war Basis Plan for the centre of Rotterdam earmarked Heer Bokelweg as a main access route into the new city from the north-east; an entrance between ‘gateways’ like the Shell building and the Schieblok to the renewed Hofplein and Coolsingel. Heer Bokelweg later became the connection between Schiekade and the Rotte Tracé, a wide road from the centre to the motorway to Utrecht. The Katshoek building was the first structure built on this new and wide city boulevard. After completion of the building the widening was extended on the north side, including an unsophisticated gap punched in the Hofbogen viaduct. But the changing insights of the early 1990s are visible on the southern side in the narrowing of the street with the construction of the Scala apartment complex beside the RAC garage, which today houses the city archives.

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Model of Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Stedenbouw, 1968

Multi-tenant building

The sturdy seven-floor concrete-frame building is designed as a multi-tenant building, but it differs considerably in both layout and architecture from Maaskant’s other multi-tenant buildings such as the Industriegebouw, Groothandelsgebouw and Verzamelgebouw Zuidplein. According to Maaskant expert Michelle Provoost, this is an atypical work for Maaskant. “Especially the facade, which is very flat. You don’t see that very often in Maaskant’s buildings. The facades of his buildings are usually very expressive.”

The exterior is indeed fairly flat, with sleek bands of fenestration in aluminium profiles and stone cladding. The interior and the columns along the lower volume on Almondestraat are finished in bush-hammered concrete, a technique used to leave the concrete surface rough. The use of luxury materials gives the building a strongly representative feel. The floors of the two halls of the main staircases and of the shopping gallery are finished in Jura stone. The walls of the halls and the ground-floor columns feature exposed concrete adorned with a relief, while the entrances to the staff lifts are finished in white anodized aluminium.

The angle on the front facade is elegantly highlighted by the stone bands that continue as a vertical series of balconies.

Clearing the way for cars

The widening of Heer Bokelweg cleared the way for cars, but the building facilitates cars in other ways too. A car park for 250 vehicles was built behind the building and was directly connected to the office volume. In addition, an Aral petrol station was built on the triangular site between Heer Bokelweg and Almondestraat. And so the number of petrol stations within a 100-metre radius came to three!

Artwork

Art plays an important role in the building. The facade features an entrance relief by André Volten (1925-2002), one of the best-known abstract sculptors of the post-war period, whom Maaskant frequently worked with. The piece (Untitled, 1968) is a facade element with circular segments. The lines of the architecture are repeated in the work and distorted to form a new image. It was originally made of stainless steel and stone, but during renovation it was painted black along with the columns, ruining the effect. An art event was held in the entrance hall to mark the opening of the building in 1968.

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Advertisement for NV Aannemingsmij. v/h H & P. Voormolen, proud builder and owner of the Katshoek multi-tenant building.

Stedenbouw, 1968

Until 21 December, the ground floor of the new Katshoek office building in Rotterdam is the venue for an exhibition that is as unusual as it is striking. At the invitation of Voormolen, the contractors responsible for building Katshoek, sixteen artists were given an opportunity to express themselves creatively with all sorts of construction materials.

Het Parool, 14 December 1968

It was, according to organizer Bob Bonies, a remarkable project:

“After all those exhibitions, which always consisted of the finest possible arrangement of existing works, I wanted to try another approach. I proposed inviting a number of Dutch artists to create their contribution inside that wonderful space by using construction materials supplied by Voormolen. Including engines, blowers and the like. And with the help of skilled workmen from Voormolen. It was an expensive project, but I immediately received full cooperation.

I chose sixteen artists: the cool guys Dekkers, Manders, Koetsier, Struycken and myself, Boezem, Dibbets and Van Elk with their micro-emotive art, the kinetic artist Staakman, Eikelenboom with his utopian situations, Rous, who makes a sort of minimal art, André Volten, Paul Schuitema with his colour scheme and his alphabet and the Slothouber-Graatsma team from the Cubic Construction Centre. And Gribling with his space structures.”

Het Parool, 21 December 1968

Today

The building housed the offices of Robeco, Procter & Gamble Benelux and a number of municipal departments. Owing to its out-of-the-way location, the building later fell out of favour. The current tenants are OMA and Havensteder.

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“Bookmarks” a highly collectable item

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Over the years i encountered bookmarks at all kinds of places and those related to art i bought or took with me. Over the same number of years i was able to collect multiple copies of these bookmarks which are now for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com. Among them bookmarks on Sol LeWitt, M.C. Escher,  Wesselmann, Evans and others. One i have to mention specially, because it is very special . A bookmark  published by Venduehuis who sold the Keith Haring container (dep[icted on the bookmark) at auction some 5 years ago.

 

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Alexandra Povorina (1888-1963)

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If ever there is an artist who deserves to be called cosmopolitan, it certainly is Alexandra Povorina.

Alexandra Povorina-Hestermann was born in 1885 in Saint Petersburg. At the urging of the expressionist Marianne von Werefkin, the artist went to Munich in 1907, where she began studying at a private school of painting with Simon Hollósy, a painter with a relatively traditionalist approach to art.

She maintained close contacts with the local artistic bohemia, including the later founders of the group “Der Blaue Reiter”. It was the avant-garde that attracted a woman much more, who while polishing her workshop in the master’s studio, at the same time searched for new challenges and paths.

In 1911, Povorina moved to Paris, the artistic capital of the world.

It took until the early Sixties that she was recognized for being an exceptional artist. The catalogue which was published together with the Tiergarten Berlin exhibition from 1960 is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

povorina

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Early Promotional designs

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I have been interested in promotional and commercial designs from the Twenties until the Eighties from Last century. Willem Sandberg, Wim Crouwel , Piet Zwart and Paul Schuitema all are personal heroes . Not only known by me, but by many more admirers all over the world. But there is another field of interest. …..

The small commmercial colourful brochures which were published from the early Thirties until the mid Sixties. These are almost forgootten, but have a quality of their own and show life in those decades . Bright colours hardly any descent typography and filled with info and photomontages these brochures are collectibles too. They do not have the quality and historic value of the ones which are designed by the greatest designers from last century, but beside their quality they have “appeal” and that is perhaps even is as important as quality. I have decided to sell some of my doubles on the Scandinavian countries and some of the ones i have on German trains

These are now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Joost Swarte and HUMO (continued)

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Joost Swarte has been drawinh and designing covers for well repected magazines for over four decades now. Drawing covers for Vrij Nederland, The New Yorker, Raw magazine and many more, but one contribution which has been continuing for over 30 years now,stands out and is for the Flemish magazine HUMO.

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He made dozens and dozens of covers over the years and many of these were published in small portfolio’s. A collection well worth starting now. http://www.ftn-books.com has the portfolio “TWEE POLEN” now available. A beautiful start or addition for your Joost Swarte collection.

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Cor van Dijk (1952)

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I recently acquired a drawing by Cor van Dijk from 1993. I am very happy with my purchase, since i consider Cor van Dijk as one of the true dutch minimal artists.

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I have encountered many sculptures by van Dijk at gallery exhibitions and auctions, but never had the funds to buy  a larger work. This was a chance i had to take and bought the drawing.  A graphie filled in shape of two rectangles intertwined and very much a drawing which is typically van Dijk. The drawing is now available at www.ftn-books.com

To explain the attractions of van Dijk i found this text on his site. It gives a rather accurate description of the way Cor van Dijk constructs his sculptures, which is also applicable on his drawings

The steel sculptures of Cor van Dijk (Pernis, 1952) are characterised by clear lines and geometric shapes. From first stages of their design, the material used for these works – steel – and their realisation are inextricably linked. To create his work, the artist uses separate sheets of solid steel, which he joins together with extreme precision. Van Dijk bases the dimensions of his sculptures on the standard gauge of the sheet metal. As a result, the mill scale found on the rolled steel is left intact in the finished works.

Viewing Van Dijk’s sculptures, one’s eyes constantly move across their surface and one’s attention keeps shifting from areas of open space to sections that take up space. The seams between the different segments play a key role in the works, since they lend a sense of scale to the mass of steel and define its different volumes. The artist strives to show interior space – its layout, possible compartments, the spaces between the segments and the massive quality of the steel itself. The different dimensions all interact with one another. Ultimately, this is also what gives the sculptures their specific presence: the precise handling of volumes and the perfect connection of individual sections in space.
Each newly-realised concept is intended to bring even greater clarity to the context of the preceding work – while also pointing ahead, suggesting new concepts that are still waiting to be developed.

Viewed head-on, Van Dijk’s sculptures seem quite unambiguous. But when you observe them from a variety of angles, this clear-cut quality makes way for a new complexity that takes more time to fathom. The seams created by the careful positioning of the individual metal sheets form a two- and three-dimensional drawing – both across the sculpture’s surface and within it.

Over time, the artist’s explorations and realised projects have yielded a unique generative system in which each evolution, each addition and each realisation charts its own course, fulfils its objectives and ensures that the whole ‘makes sense’ – for the moment, at least.

A sculpture’s realisation is the final stage of a long process. The artist needs to wait until the entire design process has been rounded off and the concept is fully developed. The different dimensions all need to be determined with millimetre accuracy. In this method of working, any further interference during or after the sculpture’s production is out of the question. This puts considerable pressure on Van Dijk’s work process – which he sees as a good thing, incidentally.

Van Dijk’s most recent sculptures comprise a single segment. The location of the open space and its dimensions determine the scale of the work as a whole. The result is an object in which mass (matter) and open space interact more intensively than ever before. In technical terms, the steel used for the sculptures shows no traces of machining or processing. Thanks to their mass, the open space and the interaction of these two elements, these tranquil objects seem to speak directly to the viewer.

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Gerard Unger (1942-2018)

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Longtime overdue…this short piece on Gerard Unger does not do justice to the importance of Unger for dutch graphic design.

Unger was a Dutch graphic and type designer. He studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam from 1963–67. A pioneer of digital type and an eyewitness to the important technological shifts of the past five decades, prolific writer and researcher. Unger has taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie for over 30 years, and since 1994, he is a visiting professor at the University of Reading at the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication. From 2006 to 2012, he has been lecturer in typography at the Department of Fine Arts of the University of Leiden.

 

The following text comes from EYEmagazine

Gerard Unger was a quietly ambitious typeface designer whose fonts have achieved a popularity and ubiquity that few superstar designers can equal. Born in The Netherlands in 1942, he has been involved in digital type design since 1974: for print (Dr-Ing Rudolf Hell GmbH, now Linotype Library); for office use (OcZ Nederland, Venlo); and for the screen (Philips Data Systems). Unger studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam from 1963-67 and he has taught there for more than 30 years. Since 1994 he has been a visiting professor of typography and graphic communication at the University of Reading in the UK.

The many typefaces he has designed include Hollander (1983), Flora (1984), Swift (1984-86), Swift 2.0 (1996), Amerigo (1986), Oranda (1986), Argo (1991), Gulliver (1993), Paradox (1998), Coranto (1999) and Vesta (2001), a new sans serif. Many of these are used internationally in newspapers and magazines: for example Coranto for The Scotsman and the Brazilian newspaper Valor, launched in 2000; Gulliver for USA Today and Stuttgarter Zeitung. Swift (see Eye no. 3 vol. 1) has acquired the status of a late twentieth-century classic.

He has also designed several typefaces for signage, including the one used for the Amsterdam Underground and in 1996, in conjunction with the Leiden-based company n|p|k industrial design, a new face for Dutch road signs, commissioned by the Dutch tourist organisation ANWB. He made a personal contribution to the tradition of public lettering in Rome when he was commissioned to developing an orientation and information system for the City of Rome’s Jubilee year 2000. He headed a team of six designers, working again in conjunction with n|p|k. Part of this project was a new type family, Capitolium (1998), to be used in seven languages and in different technologies, including public touch screens.

Unger also designs corporate identities, magazines, newspapers and books, writes regularly about graphic design and typography and lectures abroad. He claims he is proud to remain an ‘old-fashioned designer, satisfying clients, solving problems,’ continuing a Dutch tradition of text face design for reading. ‘Over the past decade,’ he says, ‘while many designers were producing post-structuralist, post-industrial, Deconstructivist designs and … more interested in how things look than in what they have to say, I remained interested in content first.’