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Panamarenko

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In the beginning i did not take the work by Panamarenko serious, however times and perspectives change. It took some years ( 20 years) but now  i consider Panamarenko as one of the greatest living modern artist. Panamarenko stayed true to his inventions, flying machines, submarines and all other vehicles and objects he invented, but what makes Panamarenko for me special is the way he designs them and executes the “real thing”

His sketches and drawings show detail and from the drawing itself one gets the immediate impression that it will work if it is executed properly. The way he invents makes one think about the possibilities of many items. He not only is an inventor but a truly original artist.

A future world made by Panamarenko could well be not too far away. Panamarenko is here now, but will be present with his machines in the future too. This is an artist who does not looks behind him, but Panamarenko designs the future for us.

soon we will be wearing, flying and driving, machines with the logo’s “copyright by” or “designed by”…PANAMARENKO.

For more publications on Panamarenko visit www.ftn-books.com

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Gerard Petrus Fieret (1924-2009)

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If you ask the many photograph collectors in the Netherlands….who is the most important photographer from the 60’s and 70’s in the Netherlands?…my guess is more than 50% percent will answer…FIERET.

For the last 2 decades in his lifetime, Fieret led a secluded life, out of the way from ordinary people …feeding his pigeons on a daily basis and making drawings…many many drawings. He even locked himself up for almost a month to decorate an entire room within the Gemeentemuseum with his drawings.

But in the early sixties and seventies his main activity was making photographs. Making them from a very personal perspective and “signing” them with studio stamps all over the photo. Fieret had a keen eye and took his photographs from a different angle and perspective, making them stand out from other photo’s from these decades. Favorite of his were young woman who posed for him and of course many street scenes and thus documenting the sixties in the Netherlands. Since 15 years or so the work of Fieret has been exhibited in other countries outside the Netherlands too. the Deborah Bell gallery showed his works for the first time in the US and this catalogue a.o.  is available at www.ftn-books.com

This is what Gaby Wood said about the first time she encountered the photo by Fieret:

Like most people outside Holland, I had never seen Fieret’s work before, and the Rijksmuseum’s examples are not, it turns out, all that typical. He is best known for his female nudes, but the images I saw were more ethereal. Nevertheless, I was drawn to them immediately: a large, dark print showing a milky-white little girl, blurred almost to the point of abstraction; a faded interior, so fuzzy it bordered on double-exposure; the self-portrait of a bearded man, in a style that looked barely intentional but whose subject seemed full of concentration.

The prints themselves were rough: full-bleed, manhandled and mildewed around the edges; brashly signed in fat-tipped black pen. Some of them had been stamped several times across the front: “Copyright Gerrit Petrus Fieret”, defaced and claimed at the same time. They appeared to have been discarded – not just because of their strange presentation but because they still felt feverish with experiment, as if they were pages torn from a sketchbook, or pictures of memories rather than of actual scenes.

The effect is hard to describe: photography is a realist medium – it’s not supposed to be able to sketch or imagine. But evidently, for a decade beginning in the mid-Sixties, Gerard Fieret’s work did. Looking at it in the museum it was impossible not to wonder: who was this man, and how did his pictures get that way?

I have heard that in the next few years the collection of photographs by Fieret will be travellng all over the world . If i know of dates and venues i will post them on this site.

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Roland Topor

I first heard about Topor when i was living in Paris for almost a year. It was one of these artists who was known for his illustrations and not for his Fluxus works. Later on… my idea about his works was reversed and i primarily saw him as a Fluxus artist. There were several times when i could buy his works at auction, but in only one i was successful . The remainder of the Vogtschmidt gallery was auctioned to compensate with gallery Vogtschmidt for the Karel Appels she had sold and not paid for. In the auction i bid a fair amount for a little drawing of an angel and this is still in my collection. Because it is not on the wall i decided to sell it and this made me remember Topor.

There is one Fluxus book you have to be on the look out for… SOUVENIR…  a book with crossed out words so nothing can be read. Published by the Harmonie  in 1975. Topor was the only person in the world who knows which text he had written and crossed out.

Arnon Grunberg made a nice biography ( incl. cd) on Roland Topor which is also for sale so please take a look at the Topor items i currently have available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jurriaan Schrofer

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Yesterday we ate with our good friend Annemarie Schrofer and because of the beautiful paintings by her father on the walls, i remembered another member of the Schrofer family ……Jurriaan Schrofer.

Born in 1926 and also a child of Annemarie’s father Willem Schrofer he would become one of the leading typography and graphic designers in the Netherlands. His works can be considered as “avant garde” design, thinking “out of the box” and soon he would develop his very own style . He originally wanted to become a film director, but ended being the assistant to Dick Elffers. This was the starting point of a splendid career as a graphic designer. For a few years in the seventies he was a member of Total Design, but soon followed again his own path. Highly original and recognizable are his designs. He was commissioned by many dutch important institutions and was appreciated for the designs he made for them, but his true recognition as one of the leading graphic designers from last century is only 25 years old. His works would become internationally known and appreciated. There now is a high interest in his works from leading British Graphic design schools and recently the same interest comes from the US.

Jurriaan Schrofer books can still be picked up at reasonable prices and for those interested in dutch graphic design, the designs by Schrofer are an absolute and quintessential part in the history of Graphic design and not to be missed in any collection. www.ftn-books.com

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Egon Schiele

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My recent visit to Slovania reminded me of our last years visit to Vienna. We collected “Boris” our Irish Glen of Imaal terrier dog with an Austrian breeder and the time we visited her we had a three day chance to visit Vienna with its magnificent Museums.

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The museum that struck me most was the Leopold museum with probably the largest Egon Schiele collection in the world. I knew the works from Schiele from different other exhibitions. There was this time, some 10 years ago, we encountered a special Schiele exhibition with his works on paper in the Guggenheim/Bilbao museum and of course the Schiele/Klimt exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, during that exhibition i bought some excellent prints 1:1 with the original works . Schiele an artist with a very short life, but with a large production. Within my inventory i have a Marlborough gallery catalogue which shows that some 40 years ago Schiele works were still widely available and at reasonable prices, but in these crazy ART times it is different and Schiele works fetch high prices at auction.

for my blog readers i put together a special set of Postcards containing works by Schiele for only $ 12.00 including worldwide shipping. Please select the 7 postcards Schiele set and use the discount code:  schiele12 and have a look at my many other Schiele items i have available at www.ftn-books.com

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Irma Boom and Renault

The day before yesterday i read an article about the newly designed book for Renault…design by Irma Boom…and my immediate thought was …how can i get hold of this important title for my private collection. It will be a difficult task , but maybe if i say something nice about the new Renault line of cars , designed by Laurens van den Acker this would help?

I never noticed Renault cars until lately i saw a new design line emerge Captur , Kadgar, Megane  and Talisman could all be recognized as Renault’s, but what struck me most is that the design elements designed by van den Acker could be found in each of these models….and honestly these are great looking cars and the Talisman Estate has one of the best designs of the contemporary estate cars available.

Irma Boom translated these new Renault designs into a book worth collecting ( not for sale). The pages resemble paper thin aluminium, the cover can be polished and the design is breath taking.

So which Renault dealer can help me with this important publication and can make me a happy collector? For the one who helps me with this,

i have a nice Irma Boom book available to trade for it.

By the way…i did not know it, but the iconic Renault logo is designed by Victor Vasarely.

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Andres Serrano…A History of Sex

At least you can say that he has a completely different approach to his subjects than any other of his colleagues. Most of the time hechoses a highly controversial subject. This differs from sex to the morgue, but most of the time the result is “shocking”.

Taschen made an excellent book titled AMERICA with Serrano and it is one of the books i keep for my own collection. A little search resulted in enough copies for the collector to add this to his or her collection, but there is another one… a much harder to find book which was published with the Groninger Museum exhibition A History of Andres Serrano/ A HISTORY OF SEX in 1997. The design was done by Swip Stolk ( the house designer at that time ) and blown up pictures from the exhibited collection were used as posters in the street. One of them ( a girl peeing in a mans mouth) hit the street , but was removed a couple of days later , because it was a little bit too shocking. Still the result of this publicity campaign was that the Groninger Museum registered a record number of people, who visited this exhibition. The catalogue sold out within a few weeks, with no reprint and has become one of the most searched for catalogues of the Groninger Museum…..and www.ftn-books.com luckily

has one copy available.

The text in the Taschen book on Serrano is :

Even though I consider myself a conceptual artist, I am a traditionalist when it comes to photography. I like to use film and shoot straight. No technical gimmicks or special effects. What you see is what I saw when I looked though the camera. If I’ve dazzled you with lights and colors, it’s because I’ve dazzled you with lights and colors. Ideas are more important than effects. And effects are always better when they’re real. In Lori And Dori, for instance, the conjoined sisters are dressed like fairy tale princesses evoking a dreamy and surreal landscape of the mind. But they’re real. Other times I have to make things look real, even if they’re not. In White Nigger, a man is made Black through make-up, while a child is “hung” with a harness. Ezra Pound once said, “Make it new.” I do. And make it real, too.

The trick is not so much coming up with ideas, as how to make them work. When I first tried to photograph my ejaculations, for instance, I kept shooting and missing. After about eight times of getting back black film I realized that I needed a motor drive on my camera. I would start shooting film before I felt myself coming, and was able to shoot a roll of film in seconds. Invariably, there would be one shot, and one shot only, of my ejaculate. In Vagina Dentata (Vagina with Teeth) the teeth-they were shark’s teeth-kept falling out. I had to keep pushing them in to keep them from coming out. After a while, they stayed in place. When the shoot was over, I tried to get them out, but they were stuck. I then realized that the glue that kept them in place was dried menstrual blood.

–Andres Serrano, Reprinted from an interview with Julie Ault for “America and other Work by Andres Serrano” published by Taschen.

 

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Alessandro Mendini

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Because of a recent sale , i was reminded that there are so many important designs made by this master of ALCHIMIA. The design group that made the most remarkable designs in the eighties. Beside these designs he made for Alchimia, he also was a gifted architect and book designer. A multi talented artist who made some of the most iconic designs and in the Netherland was partly responsible for the architecture of the Groninger Museum. The Groninger Museum got his new building in 1994. At that time it was one of the most spectacular Museum buildings in the world.

This was possibly the building that paved the way for many more avant garde museum buildings. For instance the Gehry building which was made for the Guggenheim museum was opened in 1997, 3 year after the opening of the Groninger Museum. Since, the Groninger Museum always has had a special interest in design and their own publications have for the greatest part been of the highest possible quality. In many of them Swip Stolk had a role and they always show the influence of Alessandro Mendini .

There are some nice Mendini titles available at www.ftn-books.com

Including the famous Mendini Sketchbook published by the Groninger Museum

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Vera Molnár and computer art

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Yesterday i added a very nice publication on Vera Molnar to my inventory and realized that she was the artist i was most impressed with the time i visited the Vasarely Museum in Budapest. Molnar born 1924 studied with the art school of Budapest and was one of the first artists worldwide to experiment with computers in her art.

In 1968 she began working with computers, where she began to create algorithmic paintings based on simple geometric shapes geometrical themes.

Patterns and compositions were made with help the computer and since, her art developed in something very special.

In the 1960s, Molnar co-founded several artist research groups: GRAV who investigate collaborative approaches to mechanical and kinetic art, and Art et Informatique, with a focus on art and computing. Molnar learned the early programming languages of Fortran and Basic, and gained access to a computer at a research lab in Paris where she began to make computer graphic drawings on a plotter, several of which are included in a 2015 retrospective exhibition in New York called “Regarding the Infinite | Drawings 1950-1987.

Her works are now found in collections and museums all over the world, but the best museum to see her works is the Vasarely Museum in Budapest.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Molnar publications in its collection. including a signed and original print.

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James Turrell…a magic place in the dunes

Nearby the city of Den Haag, close by the beach of Kijkduin you can visit one of the most important works of art in the Netherlands. Stroom has commissioned James Turrell some 20 years ago to realize a Turrell masterpiece in the dunes of Kijkduin titles CELESTIAL VAULT. You can enter through a tunnel a beautiful shaped bowl covered with grass , with in the middle a stone bench, which functions as a bed. When laid down, you can experience the serene surroundings and look at the sky, which of course is always different. Dutch landscapes are renowned for their skies and because of the focus on the sky when you are lying down you can experience this for the full 100%

An absolute must for the Turrell admirers and good to know that the CELESTIAL VAULT has been restored to its original splendor some 5 years ago.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles on Turrell including the one on this masterpeice in the dunes. This one is signed and from a limited signed edition. Beautiful publication and today for the special price USD 150.00