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Guillaume Bijl (1946)

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The first Guillaume Bijl installation/exhibition i visited was the Guillaume bIjl installation he had made for the Witte de With venue in Rotterdam. It was the opening exhibition in 1990 for which Bijl had made . It was Für Garderobe keine Haftung .

In light of the newly created exhibition space at Witte de With, Bijl’s show could be seen as a critique of the spectacular and inflationary nature of fine art production as well as an ironical poke at the profusion of exhibitions and exhibition spaces. Guillaume Bijl’s exhibition at Witte de With presented a survey of his installations and objects from the eighties, in the form of a shopping mall.

Guillaume Bijl (1946) has been testing the relationship between art and consumer society since 1979, when he made his Art Liquidation Project. This work took the form of a mock government commissioned report in which he concluded that, in light of the proven uselessness of art, all areas devoted to the arts should be made suitable for more practical purposes. Since then, Bijl has been transforming museums and art galleries into fitness centers, lamp shops, carpet stores, travel agencies, driving schools, and so on. His imitations of spaces not traditionally associated with the arts are caught up in a perplexing interplay between fiction and reality. Even more confusion is caused by Bijl’s imitations of art spaces, such as his fictive exhibition Four American Artists (1987), or his fictive commercial fair installed at the art fair of Lyon in 1986, which also included an art store selling his paintings.

Bijl ironically points out the connection between the display of goods in shop windows and showrooms and the exhibition of objects in museums and galleries. In his installations, consumer items and museum objects seem interchangeable. Bijl’s logic assumes the complete abolition of real differences in the commercial rhetoric of consumer society.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Guillaume Bijl publications available.

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Lettering by Modern Artists

The above title is the same title as the exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1966. I recently acquired this catalogue which is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com and for me it makes clear the importance Modern Artists have for Modern typography. this is not the printed letter, but the much more free and personal lettering by artists on paper and canvas, making this a source of inspiration for modern typographers and designers and it shows clearly the way lettering can be used to make a splendid composition and be informative at the same time. A catalogue i can truly recommend.

lettering

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Piet Dirkx weekly

I had to dig in my archives to find the subject of the Piet Dirkx weekly in the coming weeks and decided to show you some publications i have collected over the last 35 years.

The first is the invitation fot the artotheek Dordrecht presentation:

dirkx dordrecht

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André van der Vossen (1893-1963)

 

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A typical dutch abstract artist who was inspired by many of his great contemporaries. Autodidact he now has a nice following of admireres in the netherland who collect his work. You can recognize influences of Matisse, Miro and Calder in his works, specially when he uses torn papers to make his compositions. Compositions which are constructivist on first sight , but study them more closely they become far more loose and less rigid then the constructivist compositions of these times. I personally like his work very much and it is still very affordable to collect. Pollock and Soulages can be recognized within some of his compositions too, but with a very large difference. …..These works are sold at 1/10000 of their price levels.

Andre van der Vossen worked as a teacher at the Dienst Esthetische Vormgeving PTT and Joh, Enschede as a graphic designer and was member of Vrij Beelden, Creatie (Co-founder), de Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Parijs and with Liga Nieuwe Beelden.

www.ftn-books.com has a nice publication available at www.ftn-books.com

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Marcel Mariën (1920–1993)

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Marcel Mariën was a Belgian artist, he was born in 1920 in Antwerp and died in 1993 in Brussels. During his childhood, Marcel Mariën faced big difficulties at school since he attended a school where the classes were imparted in Flemish. When he turned 15, he joined, as an apprentice, the atelier of a photographer who taught him all the foundations of photography. He joined in parallel the Superior Popular School for the workers, which led him to discover Rene Magritte’s work. A year later, he became interested in Surrealist paintings and started to write poetry. In 1937, Marcel Mariën went to Brussels to met Rene Magritte, Paul Colinet, Louis Scutenaire, Irene Hamoir and Paul Nouge. He participated for the first time in a Surrealist group exhibition, where he exposed his first object “l’Introuvable” that he created from his own broken glasses. On his return from his military service, he worked in the collective invention of Magritte and Ubac. During the war, Marcel Mariën helped healing the wounded, and then left to Dunkirk and Berck where he was taken prisoner. He was then sent to the concentration camp of Gorlitz until 1941. On his return to Brussels, he met Christian Dotremont and his wife Elisabeth. He founded the Editions “l’Aiguille Aimantee” and published several books. He participated with Scrutenaire and Nouge in the creation of the titles of Magritte’s books. In the beginning of the 40s,he made several trips to Paris, illegally transporting paintings by famous painters such as Picasso, Leger, Chirico and Renoir. Marcel published several books including the first biography of Magritte and participated in conferences about surrealism. In 1948, He settled in Brussels and lived from the profit of his books and from typing works, later on he started working on the “Silver Ocean” cargo sailing from Normandy to the French West Indies. Marcel Mariën met his wife Jane Graverol during Magritte’s first exhibition and with her he founded a communist newspaper they called ” Les Levres Nues”. Despite various deceptions, he managed to create several films including the movie “L’Imitation du Cinema” with Tom Gutt. In 1963, Marcel Mariën left to the United States.Where he worked multiple jobs.The following year, he left to Japan and then Hong Kong. He worked several months in Beijing as a proofreader of the propaganda Newspaper “China under construction” before leaving again to Europe in 1965. He came back to Belgium and published several text of Paul Nouge and Magritte. In 1967, Marcel Mariën exhibited his first collages and some objects. In 1973, he had to go in front of the justice for his past collaboration with the Nazis having participated in the creation of Leon Degrelle’s journal, but he was found innocent. In 1979, Marcel Mariën published a reference book about the history of surrealism in France. He published as well the correspondence of Scutenaire.

(the text above comes from Artsper)

www.ftn-books.com has some Marien titles available

marien z

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Bettina Rheims (1952)….ANIMAL

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Bettina Rheims has been working as an artist since the early Seventies but rose to fame with a controversial series on strip-tease artist in 1978. Since her career took of and she was invited to publish her series of photographs with one of the best publishers in the art book business…Gina Kehayoff. Kehayoff is known for making immaculate publications , and she outperformed herself with the publication of the ANIMAL series by Bettina Rheims. The series of black and white photographs was done in 1982 and published in 1994, hard, cloth bound with see through ( perspex?) cover.

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The Animal series enabled her to train her lens on another form of nudity: that of stuffed animals with fixed stares, “which seemed to want to express something beyond death”.”I had to capture their gaze” declared the photographer.

This book is, together with “Morceaux choisis”, my personal favorit book by Rheims and both are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Joost Swarte (1947) pins.

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I do not exactly know how many pins by Joost Swarte there have been published during the last 35 years or so, but i have counted 25 of which the most part can be found on Google . These pins are among the very best small collectibles there are. Most of them were published by HET RAADSEL in the early Nineties, but others were published on the occasion of an event  (Film Festival) or commissioned by a large corporation for their museum store (PTT museum). This is a world of small collectibles by Joost Swarte which has not been explored that much. The number of pins published can be overseen and prices are still fair , although rising quickly after recent auctions of these small objects.

www.ftn-books.com has 2 collectable Joost swarte designed pins available.

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Piet Dirkx weekly

A rare one. This in house made publication by Piet Dirkx. april 1987dirkx anonyme

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BNO & GKf and Proost Prikkels 251

ontwerpers gkf

The Beroepsorganistaie Nederlandse ontwerpers and the Beroepsvereniging van Fotografen GKF joint forces in a premium edition by the manufacturer of paper for printing purposes….Proost. Proost was known for its quality papers they delivered for printers in the Netherlands and abroad and every few month they published a Proost Prikkels edition to show in which way their papers could be used. The no. 251 is a very prestigious project since it contains fiches ( cards) on all the designers and  photgraphers that used their papers. There are 80 fiches in this cassette which itseld is a beautifully typically designed 60’s project . On the front of the card , names address and short biography of the designer and the back holds a picture of one of his most iconic designs.

On the cards famous names like Piet Zwart, Wim Crouwel, Willem Sandberg, Jurriaan Schrofer and Otto Treumann ao. This is the history of dutch design in a smalll box and available at www.ftn-books.com

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Terry Atkinson (1939)

 

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Founding member of the art project group ART & LANGUAGE and a very gifted artist in his own right too. He began to teach art at the Coventry School of Artwhile producing conceptual works, sometimes in collaboration with Michael Baldwin. In 1968 they, together with Harold Hurrell and David Bainbridge who also taught at Coventry. formed Art & Language. The group including Atkinson existed until 1974, when Atkinson left the group.

Atkinson is not the easiest artist to fall for. His subjects are war, disease and religion, making his paintings hard to admire. Still the use of color is in many cases bright and uplifting. Atkinson is an artists artist and had his exhibitions in the Netherlands at galleries and the van Abbemuseum in 1984.

www.ftn-books.com has 2 titles available