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Nicolaas Petrus de Koo (1881-1960)

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de Koo was one of the most important of all PTT employed designers. He started as an interior and book designer, but soon after found his way into designing for the dutch postal service PTT. PTT has a long standing history with the best designers in the Netherlands. Schuitema, Piet Zwart and also de Koo have had their history with PTT.

( Piet Zwart designed HET BOEK VAN PTT, available at www.ftn-books.com)

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de Koo designed some of the most iconic of all PTT designs. Among them letterboxes,  printed matter, labels and signs.

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The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag had a special exhibition on de Koo in 1988 and with it a very nice thini catalogue was published for this occasion. The book was originally published in 400 copies, but there was no interest in this publication and at the time the Berlage building was renovated , all of the remaining copies were destroyed. My guess is ther are some 100 copies being sold over time, making this one of the rarest of all Eighties publ;ications of the Gemeentemuseum and i now have an excelent copy for sale at www.ftn-books.com

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Mariken Wessels (1963)..Taking Off / Henry my Neighbor

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By chance i stumbled upon this beautiful and highly collectable publication by Mariken Wessels. I always have admired her publications, but because of their price i never had purchased one, until recently i found one at the local book market, reasonably priced and i had to had it. The book has so many layers. It has a beautiful design and contains the 5000+ photographs  of “model” Martha. Reading and leaf throught the book is like travelling in time and experiencing art in the meantime . It is an artist book of a rare quality and i am lucky that i can offer an extra copy at www.ftn-books.com, because …the bookseller had three copies available from a bookshop that went out of business. One for myself, one for my son and one copy is for sale.

Justine Kurland on Mariken Wessels Taking Off. Henry My Neighbor

If there is one part of a woman’s body available to anyone as a site of erotic fantasy, it is the breast. We all either did or did not satisfy our needs for nutrients from its voluptuous, pendulous amplitude. Drunk from milk, my son used to push his Hot Wheels car over the then-mountainous terrain of my chest. Or he might hold fast to the left nipple while sucking the right, as if trying to reconcile the doppelgängers with his little fist—the good mommy that nursed him, and the bad mommy that took it away. There are a hundred different scenarios that lead to the same fetish. The titular artist of Mariken Wessels’s Taking Off. Henry My Neighbor, Henry, was a boob man. More specifically, he loved his wife Martha’s breasts.

Of the three-hundred-plus pages, edited and arranged by Wessels from Henry’s archive, over a hundred pages show repetitive grids of middle-aged Martha posing in quasi-erotic positions, in states of undress at their home in New Jersey, from 1981 to 1983. She stiffly offers herself to her husband’s camera, exhibiting more of a clinical awareness of her body than any real pleasure in it. Her gaze never meets the lens, but seems to follow directions to look stage right or stage left. There is nothing extraordinary about these pictures, aside from their immense number. Anyone with an iPhone might have many similar images. By 1984 Martha had left Henry, maybe tired of the constant attention of his mammogram-like camera, or maybe simply tired of Henry. A photograph shows her now-familiar arms, stretching out from an upstairs window and throwing streams of photographs down to the street below. We see the objects of Henry’s fantasy unhinged from the person of Martha, literally blowing away.

Mariken Wessels, Taking Off. Henry My Neighbor, Art Paper Editions. Ghent, Belgium, 2015. Designed by Mariken Wessels and Jurgen Maelfeyt.

What happened after Martha left marked Henry as an artist. He recycled his archive of photographs and collaged together fantastic mutations, recombining body parts into sprawling new forms. These images enact Martha’s symbolic death, engendering a battalion of phantasmagoric monsters in her place. She becomes a mostly headless totem of bulbous flesh, an orgy of breasts, a psychosexual grotesquerie. Henry then used these composites as studies for clay figures, which are also documented here. These sculptures complete the process of abstraction. Martha remains only as a disembodied breast-phallus with a striking resemblance to modernist sculpture.

What is clear is this: Henry’s long obsessive relationship with his wife allowed him to develop a voice that gave rise to a powerful and complex body of work.It is less clear what Wessels’s relationship with Henry yielded. We are told only that Henry left his work in his house under a neighbor’s care, and the neighbor later gave the work to Wessels. Henry is not given a last name, and the neighbor remains anonymous. How did Henry, an artist from New Jersey, end up having his life’s work published by a Dutch artist? What distinguishes her work from that of an editor or curator?

Mariken Wessels, Taking Off. Henry My Neighbor, Art Paper Editions. Ghent, Belgium, 2015. Designed by Mariken Wessels and Jurgen Maelfeyt.

After Henry abandoned his work he built a cabin in the woods to live out his last days. This follows a fantasy dear to my heart, one of isolation and self-reliance—a trope as familiar for visionaries and outsiders as the proverbial ride into the sunset is for cowboys. The final sequence in the book, presumably made after Henry had retreated to his cabin, shows traps laid in the forest and the animals caught in them. These pictures can be read as a final objectification of Martha, or as a reflection of Henry’s own emotional state. In either case he seemed to repudiate carnal pleasure, finally reducing the body to the raw condition of meat.

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Fabio de Sanctis (1931)

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Fabio De Sanctis was born on Rome on 7-2-1931. He studied in Rome. After the war De Sanctis came into contact with the word of the visual arts, making friends with various artists who worked in the capital.
At eighteen he enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture in Rome, and part of his interests were absorbed by the university and the problems of his chosen discipline. During this period he executed tempera drawings, a few oils, and some ceramic sculptures.



He was graduated in 1957 and opened an architectural office,participating in competitions and designing buildings for private and public clients.
As he followed the execution of his designs, he developed a knowledge of the materials and techniques involved in the realization of his ideas.
His relations with artists sometimes led to joint efforts in the making of buildings and interiors

A fascinating artist because his surrealist art was of a kind rarekly seen. There are not many surrealist painters who use sclupture to express them selves. One exception I know of some Dali sculptures, but most them make paintings. There are not that many publications on the artist, but there is one i have in my inventory and it presents itself as one of de Sanctis sculptures. …. a true artis book and available at www.ftn-books.com

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Gianni Colombo (1933-1993)

 

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His art is financially far out of reach for me personally, but i really love his art. It has a mystical quality and it is the kind of kinetic art i really admire. Together Jesus Rafael Soto and Walter Leblanc he is one of the 3 artists i admire most from the era. His kinetic art has become a classic . Not the easiest kind of art to exhibit, but when it is done properly you will see the strength of his art.

I had the pleasure to visit the Colombo exhibition in castello di Rivoli ( near Torino) in 2009.  in which his work was brought together and it showed itself in the best possible setting.

Here is a short biography:

He is one of the most important artist in Italy in experiencing kinetic and a member of the Arte Programmata moviment.

Between ’59 and ’60 he founds the “T Group”, linked to the international movement of “Nouvelle Tendence”. He  held his firt solo show at the Galleria Pater (Milan, 1960).

He experiences in different fields of physics which include electrical and magnet devices, industrial neon lights and laser, all to exalt the aesthetic potential of technological rationalism.  In the 1960s he made experimental films, kinetic object and enviroments. He has exhibited on numerous occasions in Italy and abroad.

In 1985 he becomes director of the Brera Academy where he teaches the “structuration of space”. He also takes part in avant-garde scenography (Operstheater of Frankfurt, 1986) and in designing virtual architectures (the “Architetture cacogoniometriche” in 1988, the “Spazi curvi”, 1992).

With his art-work was the winner of the Venice Biennial in 1968.

www.ftn-books.com has the following books on Gianni Colombo available

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Cassina

 

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Cassina is one of the most renowned producers of furniture. Together with Herman Miller and Vitra they are the top in furniture design and all are producing new and proven classics in the best way possible. What makes these producers also stand out is the meticulous way in which they produce their furniture catalogues. Excellent designs and print quality by the best designers and printers. This way of making catalogues , designing and producing catalogues for their products makes these catalogues highly desirable and collectable items.

It is always worthwile to pick these up ( for free ) when you have the chance and if you want to complete your collection , know that www.ftn-books.com has some of these catalogues still available.

 

 

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Joel Fisher (1947)

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Try to find a good biography on Joel Fisher and you will have a hard time finding one. The best i can come up with a a list of exhibitions:

Exhibitions

1997
Stefan Stux Gallery New York, NY
1996
Stefan Stux Gallery New York, NY
1990
Farideh Cadot New York, NY & Paris, FRANCE
1989
4 Americans–Aspects of Current Sculpture, The Brooklyn Museum Brooklyn, NY
1988
Gallery Shimada Yamaguchi, JAPAN
1987
Structure to Resemblance: Eight Sculptors, Albright-Knox Gallery Buffalo, NY
1984
An International Survey of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1984
Kuntsmuseum Luzern Luzern, SWITZERLAND
1978
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
1975
Stadtisches Museum Monchengladbach
1973
Seven, Penthouse Gallery, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1972
Documenta V, Kassel, Germany
1971
Victoria and Albert Museum London, ENGLAND

 

Study these and you will notice 2 important things. First these are all class A venues and this shows the importance that Joel Fisher was and still is. His art is not accessible at all, which makes his art not well kmnown among art lovers. The ” trigger” for me , was that it was one of the first classic Stedelijk Musuem publications that i bought for my collection. (Available at www.ftn-books.com), another aspect is that Joel Fisher designs his own catalogues . Small books that look like true artist books and have their style , design and size in common, Beautiful little books that are worth collecting.

 

 

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Josephine Sloet (continued)

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In my last meeting with Josephine she spoke of spending the summer at Marcillac-St.Quentin. She explained that she had had hardly any time to start or finish new work, but planned to paint again in her Marcillac-St.Quentin studio. 2 paintings were ready to be shipped over there, but first she had to attend the opening of a new exhibition , which starts at the beginning of May. After the opening she would leave for France. I am really looking forward to see her new paintings since it has been a while i saw new work. The splendid  and ultimate monograph on Gerard Verdijk took all her time. Still i now want to focus on one painting that i have in my personal collection for almost a year now. It comes from the former Hans Bronsgeest collection and it is hung opposite Horizontal/Vertical by Gerard Verdijk.

Both paintings blend with our interior . One is from 1994 the other from 1993 and in many ways these paintings are related to each other. It feels like both artist have used the same color scheme in those days and these canvasses are fully abstract. “Infinity” is “just arround the corner” in both paintings and their colors match too.

A selection of Josephine Sloet paintings is availabel at www.ftn-blog.com ( see pages on Josephine Sloet) for more information please inquire at wvdelshout@ziggo.nl

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Michel Seuphor (1901-1999)

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Michel Seuphor…wrote a monumental biography on Piet Mondriaan and is one of the great names in constructivist art by himself. In the twenties he became friends with Joaquin Torres Garcia. For me their works are worlds apart from each other but somehow they became friends and started the artist mouvement CERCLE ET CARRE.

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the Netherland was not too far away for Seuphor …the result he had his exhibitions at galleries and museum in the Netherlands. Specially DEN HAAG was a well now city for him. He spent much time at the Gemeentemuseum to study Mondrian for his biography on this famous dutch abstract painter and ….he had an exhibition of his own at the Gemeentemuseum, soon followed with a gallery exhibition at the Nouvelles Images gallery ( closed now) . Both catalogues and a print by Seuphor are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Marinus Boezem (1934)

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Marinus Boezem (1934) belongs, together with Jan Dibbets and Ger van Elk, among the most important representatives of the Conceptual Art and Arte Povera movement in The Netherlands. In the 1960s, Boezem discovered that he could use elusive elements such as air, weather, wind and light as visual materials and made a name with radical, immaterial works that were far ahead of their time. Boezem was one of the initiators of the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Op Losse Schroeven: Situaties en Cryptostructuren’ (1969) at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and took part in the equally influential exhibition ‘When Attitudes Become Form’ at the Kunsthalle Bern in the same year.

In 1969 he created one of his most famous works of art, ‘Signing the Sky Above The Port of Amsterdam With an Aeroplane, 1969’: exactly as stated in its title, an aircraft’s condensation trails were used to spell out Boezem’s surname in the sky, the ephemeral wording disappearing almost as soon as it was created. In 1971 he made an artwork for television that was broadcast under the auspices of Gerry Shum’s legendary Fernseh Gallery. Furthermore, Boezem created numerous works in public space and land art. The Green Cathedral is a beautiful example: 174 Italian poplar trees are planted to reproduce the floor plan and measurements of the Cathedral at Reims, in a flat polder near Almere, the Netherlands.

In an oeuvre spanning more than sixty years, Marinus Boezem has created a body of work that stands quite independently in contemporary art. His works are part of many important museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Gemeentemuseum Den Haag; Museum Kröller-Muller, Otterloo; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; and many more public art collections.

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Josef Albers Nesting Tables 1926/27

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This set of tables i first encountered at the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop where two types of these set were sold. One with colored perspex and one set with original italian fabricated glass. I had to had this and i ordered one set direectly from the manufacturer. These are so impressive and 100% like the original set which was originally designed at the Bauhasu by Josef Albers and thnis reedition from 2010 is one of the best small furniture items ever produced. I checked and this set is still available, but not as cheap as it originally was in 2010, but choose this set and you will have the pleasure of looking at one of the greatest functional Bauhaus designs ever made. Klein und More sells the original authorised set in Europe  and the Moma stora sells a set in their store for the US. Josef Albers is one of the artist of whom ww.ftn-books.com sells many items