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The Jean Tinguely exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

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Jean Tinguely ….one of my art heroes …. he had his first exhibitions in the Netherlands in the Stedelijk in the mid sixties and since, his works have been on show in many theme and group exhibitions, but never again in a large retrospective until now.

But now there is one in the Stedelijk Museum and this one is on show until the 5th of March 2017. What can i tell you about this one….it is a nice show, but…….it never has the impact one experiences when visiting the Tinguely Museum in Basel , because it lacks the space, grandeur, size and number of machines/works to show all aspects of his works. I really missed the extremely large mechanical works. I caught one on a video of his funeral

and beside the one in the collection of the Stedelijk there is only one other one, a wall covered with a very large one, but that is all.

Not that the exhibition is not worth visiting…it really is …. but i was not knocked of my feet. Still i had a chance to make some nice photographs of the (DYLABY documents/ in a blog next week) documents on show and was amazed to see the correspondence Tinguely and Nikki de Saint Phalle had with Edy de Wilde ( the former director of the Stedelijk). On an A4 text, drawings, and illustrations were combined into great works of art.

This is an exhibition to visit for the smaller items like the documents and remember to visit the Tinguely Museum in Basel to get the best overview of his mechanical works.

See the ones in the Stedelijk as an entree to a dinner in which the side dishes steal the show.

There are a great number of Tinguely publications available at www.ftn-books.com

including some original drawings by Meta Matic 10

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Pierre Alechinsky and Sol LeWitt, two recent acquisitions.

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Remember that a few weeks ago i mentioned that there was some great art out there to be picked up….and what is more..at very reasonable prices.

Last week i acquired from a small collection 2 beautiful books. Both folio sized and containing some of the best art you can imagine. First of all there is the Alechinsky publication, he made for his galerie de France exhibition in 1962. The cover is a spectacular 2 page original lithograph by Alechinsky. The book s published in an edition of only 2000 copies, numbered ( numero 460)  and beside the cover containing another 8 original 1 page lithographs printed by Maurice Beaudet. Price USD 275,– which makes it only USD 28,00 per lithograph. Excellent publication and when you use the code: alechinskyblog…. a discount of USD 25.00 is applied to the purchase of this beautiful publication .

available at http://www.ftn-books.com

Secondly there is the NOISE 7 publication by Maeght editeur.

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When Maeght finished their Derriere Le Miroir series, they tried to launch an even better series….NOISE…. only far less volumes were published than within their DLM series. The NOISE 7 is arguably the very best volume within the series ,because it contains the lithographed contributions by Karel Appel ( 5x a one page lithograph ) and Sol LeWitt ( 3x a double page lithograph). Original great works of art at low prices is what there is out there and these are two excellent examples and proof that great art has not to be expensive.

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Josef Albers Museum/Quadrat Bottrop and its excellent publications program.

I have visited this museum 5 times in a period of over 15 years and on every occasion i was impressed with the excellent publications they have for sale. Their program is simple….. They publish with every exhibition one large poster, if possible an extremely well designed catalogue and if the artist cooperates they publish a special print in a signed , numbered and limited edition.  Because of this simple but effective publication program their publications are highly recognizable and are among the best in Germany/ Europe. I really like their publications…you must have guessed that…but what is more, i collected many of these beautiful posters and books over the years and bought extra copies to sell and these are now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

so please have a look at these below to get an impression and search on my site for Albers, Bottrop or Quadrat and you will get the complete overview of all available.

 

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Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe…this morning i was reminded of Mapplethorpe, because this evening there will be a documentary on him on dutch television. Mapplethorpe is certainly one of the most iconic photographers from the last 50 years, but for the dutch there were not many occasions one could see his works. There was a show at gallery Jurka in the early eighties and some of his photographs were shown in the Stedelijk Museum. Both i did not see. What is did see was a show in Dusseldorf which included his flower photographs which impressed me a lot. To prepare this blog i wanted to read something on Mapplethorpe. But the best information i found was an excellent biography on the site of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation ( http://www.mapplethorpe.org ). so here is the biography and for a complete picture of Mapplethorpe and its foundation visit their site please.

Robert Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 in Floral Park, Queens. Of his childhood he said, “I come from suburban America. It was a very safe environment and it was a good place to come from in that it was a good place to leave.”

In 1963, Mapplethorpe enrolled at Pratt Institute in nearby Brooklyn, where he studied drawing, painting, and sculpture. Influenced by artists such as Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp, he also experimented with various materials in mixed-media collages, including images cut from books and magazines. He acquired a Polaroid camera in 1970 and began producing his own photographs to incorporate into the collages, saying he felt “it was more honest.” That same year he and Patti Smith, whom he had met three years earlier, moved into the Chelsea Hotel.Mapplethorpe quickly found satisfaction taking Polaroid photographs in their own right and indeed few Polaroids actually appear in his mixed-media works. In 1973, the Light Gallery in New York City mounted his first solo gallery exhibition, “Polaroids.” Two years later he acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the S & M underground. He also worked on commercial projects, creating album cover art for Patti Smith and Television and a series of portraits and party pictures for Interview Magazine.

In the late 70s, Mapplethorpe grew increasingly interested in documenting the New York S & M scene. The resulting photographs are shocking for their content and remarkable for their technical and formal mastery. Mapplethorpe told ARTnews in late 1988, “I don’t like that particular word ‘shocking.’ I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before … I was in a position to take those pictures. I felt an obligation to do them.” Meanwhile his career continued to flourish. In 1977, he participated in Documenta 6 in Kassel, West Germany and in 1978, the Robert Miller Gallery in New York City became his exclusive dealer.

Mapplethorpe met Lisa Lyon, the first World Women’s Bodybuilding Champion, in 1980. Over the next several years they collaborated on a series of portraits and figure studies, a film, and the book, Lady, Lisa Lyon. Throughout the 80s, Mapplethorpe produced a bevy of images that simultaneously challenge and adhere to classical aesthetic standards: stylized compositions of male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and studio portraits of artists and celebrities, to name a few of his preferred genres. He introduced and refined different techniques and formats, including color 20″ x 24″ Polaroids, photogravures, platinum prints on paper and linen, Cibachrome and dye transfer color prints. In 1986, he designed sets for Lucinda Childs’ dance performance, Portraits in Reflection, created a photogravure series for Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, and was commissioned by curator Richard Marshall to take portraits of New York artists for the series and book, 50 New York Artists.

That same year, in 1986, he was diagnosed with AIDS. Despite his illness, he accelerated his creative efforts, broadened the scope of his photographic inquiry, and accepted increasingly challenging commissions. The Whitney Museum of American Art mounted his first major American museum retrospective in 1988, one year before his death in 1989.

His vast, provocative, and powerful body of work has established him as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Today Mapplethorpe is represented by galleries in North and South America and Europe and his work can be found in the collections of major museums around the world. Beyond the art historical and social significance of his work, his legacy lives on through the work of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. He established the Foundation in 1988 to promote photography, support museums that exhibit photographic art, and to fund medical research in the fight against AIDS and HIV-related infection.

PS. there are of course some nice publications available at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

 

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Karel Appel and the original litho covers

No….this is not a title for a classic Roald Dahl story, but this is reality. Some museums, but specially the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, had a policy to make affordable catalogues for their visitors to accompany their exhibitions in the 50’s and 60’s.

Designed by the best in the business ( Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel ) they had the task to produce these catalogues at a low price without being cheap looking. They experimented with low cost papers, small editions, number of pages between 24  and 48, most of the time stapled and a scarce use of color. Only one exception was made ….in some cases an original lithograph by the artist was used as a cover. This is why some of these beautiful catalogues are even more desirable…all because of the original lithograph.

Karel Appel was one of those artist who had his peak in the sixties and was able to demand the best possible catalogues with his exhibitions and Sandberg granted this. The Appel catalogues which were published in the late 50’s and early sixties are among the best from the catalogue series of the Stedelijk and should be present in every serious Karel Appel collection.

Just look at this foldout cover and be convinced yourself that this is special.

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For the readers of this blog…i have two of the above 1965 catalogues available at

www.ftn-books.com

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