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Alexander Calder (1898-1976)

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Born in the 19th century . Calder has become for me one of the pioneers in Modern Art. The public knows Calder by name for his mobiles, but for me Calder is the first artist who explored the extreme sizes in sculpture. Later, this was followed by Serra, but Calder must have been one of the very first to make sculptures bigger than a building. A few of these can be found in STORM KING, but these are not the only ones. These very large sculptures are scattered all over the world.

From Denmark to Brazil, the Calder statues are the highlights among other statues in sculpture parks all over the world. It is a pity there is only one large sized Calder in dutch collections. It is the “anteater” from the collection of the Rijksmuseum.

So do not miss them when you are abroad or there is a special exhibition on Calder because they are among the very best in Modern sculpture. I am fortunate to have some great classic Calder publications within the inventory of www.ftn-books.com

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Barcelona and Antonio Gaudi

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In the next 2 weeks many people will visit the city of Barcelona. 2 instant tips…first if you like cigars, go to Gimeno on the Ramblas, secondly beware of pickpockets. They operate in groups in the crowded streets like the Ramblas but also in the Subway. They group around you, press against your body without no reason and somebody within the group of pickpockets, steals your wallet. But that said, this blog is not about the negatives of Barcelona, but the great places you can visit. 2 absolute musts are the Fundacio Antoni Tapies and the Fundacio Joan Miro. These are two of the smaller sized museum in Barcelona. Both you can visit within a visit  of 1,5 hours and then you have seen the best Museums in Barcelona ( my opinion) and most importantly on the same location you can see the magnificent Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion.

But Barcelona is much much more and one of the highlights you will encounter every time you turn a corner in the city center is the great architecture. Of course there is Gaudi , but also Jujol. Musts are the casa Mila,the Park Güell and the ver going on project of the Sagrada Familia and by Jujol there is his famous Centre Jujol Can Negere.

If you want to prepare your visit there are some nice publications at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Jan Hoet (1936-2014) and Chambres d’Amis.

(drawing by Marlene Dumas )

It has been already almost 3 years that Jan Hoet died, but since his death no one has taken his place. He was truly innovative with his exhibitions and next to Rudi Fuchs , they probably were the best from their generation of curators of Contemporary Art.

His international reputation was first established by “Chambres d’Amis,” an innovative exhibition he organized in Ghent in 1986. In that show, about 50 American and European artists were invited to create works for 50 private homes in Ghent, which were then opened to the public for several weeks. Followed a few years later by Open Mind and his Documenta IX in which he performed as a boxer established his name as one of the very best in his field. His last great project was over the edges. 4 giant exhibitions spread over 2 decades made him one of the absolute best.

The Museum in Gent , his long lasting love SMAK, which he served as a curator and director from 1975 until 2003 was his laboratory for the greater projects he organized outside this Museum rooms. www.ftn-books.com is fortunate to have some very nice titles of his exhibitions. including the Chambres d’Amis which is getting scarce these days.

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three Sol LeWitt posters

 

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I have always been a fan of Sol LeWitt and especially his exhibition posters i always like very much. Each of them a piece of art and whenever there is chance to buy them… i do so.

For instance there was a short city break some 10 years ago, when we did go to Barcelona. Flew with one of the greatest carriers of all time…Ryanair. When you ever have flown with Ryanair, you know of their strict policy to allow only 1 piece of hand luggage. maximum dimensions aprox .55 x 35 x 15  cm. not weighing more than 10 kg. When you pack for 4 days it always is a challenge to not exceed this weight, but so far we always have managed. This time, some 10 years ago, it was winter which is a slight complication, because all your clothing is much heavier and bulkier, but still we succeeded in packing under 10 kg. But….there was this very nice  Fondacion Antoni Tapies museum in Barcelona and they sold a small poster by Sol and i had to buy some of them for my collection. Problem…. the cardboard tube did not fit in my cabin luggage suitcase, so i had to remove some of clothing to make space for it. This flight was exceptionally warm for me. 3 layers of clothing i had on my body, but the good thing is, I brought the poster home with me. Undamaged in mint condition and still a couple of them are for sale at www.ftn-books.com. The other 2 available posters come from one of my favorite museums in Germany. The Josef Albers Museum / Quadrat in Bottrop. Whenever you have a chance to visit both museum mentioned, give them a try a see their wonderful collections.

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Stanley Brouwn (1935)

Stanley Brouwn….Autodidact artist, born in Paramaribo/ Suriname and a conceptual artist for his entire artistic life began to fascinate me some 20 years ago when i bought an artist book in which the exact measurements of 1 meter were repeated for over 50 pages . Most of his conceptual works were published in books and because of this, his books are considered as the actual work of art. Small publications, in many cases far less than 500 copies make these highly collectable items. This is work from an artist who is as a conceptual artist closely related to ZERO, but also to FLUXUS . Original in his own way i would say he is not ZERO and not FLUXUS….no he is Stanley Brouwn and very much worth collecting.

some of the Brouwn publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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David Robilliard . musician, poet and painter (1952-1988)

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I first encountered the works by David Robilliard at the exhibition which was held at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1993. I learned that he was diagnosed HIV positive and died from aids in 1988. Before that time he was one of the models of Gilbert & George and found for them others who were willing to pose for them.

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During his life he was not that succes full, but after his death his  drawings and paintings were finding their way into museums, art dealers and collectors. Resulting in the 1993 exhibition curated by Rudi Fuchs who is a long time friend of Gilbert & George. They must have persuaded him to organize a Robilliard exhibition because on the invitation for the Anthony d’Offay presentation they described Robilliard as “the new master of the modern person. Looking, thinking, feeling, seeing, bitching – he brilliantly encapsulates the ‘Existers’ spirit of our time. This must have been for Fuchs the trigger to organize the exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1993 and publish the book  A ROOMFUL OF HUNGRY LOOKS.

Robilliard is strongly related to the 80’s and together with his partner Andrew Heard, they are two of those eighties artists who deserve to be remembered and must not fall into oblivion.( both books are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Marlene Dumas…The Lava-Edge(1983)

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This time a blog on one single item. The Lava-Edge, according to me this is the very first monographic publication by Marlene Dumas ever published. There are only 2 publications that i know of which are 1 year older, but these are publications with group exhibitions in which Marlene Dumas featured. So this is really special and what is more…. it was published in an extremely small edition of only 250 copies by Museum Fodor / Amsterdam in 1983. The publication was part of a cardboard box containing publications by : Ansuya Blom, Marlene Dumas, Erik Andriesse, Frank van den Broeck, Rene Daniels, Jean Paul Franssens, Peer Veneman, Henk Visch and Martin van Vreden. This box was published together with another box with Icelandic artists on the occasion of an exchange exhibition “Reykjavik- Amsterdam, ter weerszijden van de Meridiaan” (1983).

The Lava- Edge is the contribution by Marlene Dumas. A true artist book and as said probably the first ever monographic publication.

Oblong sized and containing 28 pages filled with text, illustrations and photographs. The text is partly in South African and partly in English. This book is extremely rare and as far as i know ,i am the only book seller who is offering this publication at the moment and by some coincedence i have 2 copies available. One  as a single copy of the Lava-Edge and one in the complete box with all the other artists. To give a good impression of the item i took some extra photo’s to show the importance of this publication and since i have an extra copy there is a 10% discount for the first who orders it. use: lavaedge10 for the discount.

use it at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Richard Paul Lohse ( 1902 – 1988 )

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A few months ago i published a blog on a very special Lohse poster published by the van Abbemuseum, but that was a blog on just a single item. Richard Paul Lohse deserves much more, because he is a very important artist. Not only for Switzerland but for Modern Art as a whole. Designer, painter and

I first encountered his work when i was working at the Gemeentemuseum and Rudi Fuchs bought a beautiful Lohse for its collection. It must have been right after his death and because of the connection with cubism and the DE STIJL collection it fitted in perfectly. The painting itself is a typical Lohse painting and because this aroused my interest in Lohse, i started collecting his books and publications. Since the collection has grown and contains at this moment some very specials items that are duplicates and are for sale at

www. ftn-books.com

The most special one is Kalte Kunst ( blog next week ) which contains a beautiful serigraph by Lohse.

Lohse is a multi talented artist , 2 time participant of the Documenta and important for modern art, because without his contributions KONKRETE Kunst would probably not have existed.

 

 

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Floris Hovers … keep on playing

Yesterday….9th of December, 2016…location studio of Floris Hovers in Raamsdonksveer.

Never met him before, but an instant liking for the person and works of Floris Hovers. when we met each other yesterday . The studio visit was a result of a purchase  which we had seen at Art THE HAGUE. The result a beautiful and highly entertaining tableau of Circus wagons.

The tableau is featured in the recently published book “Hover’s Manual of Things “which is published in a limited and numbered edition of only 750 copies of which each has a different hand colored cover . Ours is yellow /green on a color of blue, but many others are available at www.florishovers.nl

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Hovers was educated at the Eindhoven Design Academy, graduated in 2004 and has since been designing and developing furniture, toys and objects. The showroom in Raamsdonksveer gives a great overview of the products he has made during the last decade, but what makes the visit to his studio really special is the workspace behind the office/showroom. A space which has been in his family for generations and in which he creates his projects. His use of color is some kind of special, because in many cases he choses for the subdued colors instead of the bright ones, which results in a typical Hovers color scheme. He has an adult approach to his designs and products and of course the marketing of them, but an imaginative mind to please adults and children alike with his designs. A designer for ages from 8-88. The same approach like Herge who’s “Kuifje naar de Maan” poster is gracing his workspace.

Last but not least…i bought myself a CARtools set and have now played for half an hour with it. You can make numerous cars from it by using the 3 kinds of chassis included and combine them together with the multi colored blocks within the set. A little bit like the Bauhaus ship block set, but as a set i prefer this one. Only one product in my own inventory comes to mind when i see his products. It is the fabulous series of ADO wooden toys. They are as nice as the ones Floris makes.

The products featured in this blog : Hover’s manual of Things (euro 49,50) and CARtools are both available at www.florishovers.nl

For the ADO toys visit www.ftn-books.com

 

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3x DELFT = Bogart, Henderikse & Schoonhoven

Just a simple announcement today. At gallery Schoots + Van Duyse, Antwerp. There will be on the 18th of December  the opening of the 3x Delft exhibition. All three artist  (BOgart, Schoonhoven and Henderikse) have Delft in common. A fascinating exhibition because rarely these artists can be seen together in one venue. 18.12.2016 – 26.02.2017

For those of you who want to prepare themselves before going. Please take a look at www.ftn-books.com for publications on these artists.