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Władysław Strzemiński (1893-1952)

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I had almost forgotten this great artist until recently I discovered a great monograph on him at the local bookmarket (sold). Just quickly leafing through it i noticed the resemblance with some of the greatest Piet Zwart designs and even, after searching on the internet  I discovered his influence in some recent Japanese designs. His art is truly avant-garde. When you look at Minimal Art from the Sixties and Seventies and the hard edge paintings from the Sixties you can only draw one conclusion. All the great artists from these decades must have known, Władysław Strzemiński and drawn inspiration from his art.

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An excellent biography on the artist can be found here:

https://culture.pl/en/artist/wladyslaw-strzeminski

Władysław Strzemiński (Belarusian: Уладыслаў Страмінскі; 21 November 1893, Minsk – 26 December 1952, Łódź) was a Polish avant-garde painter of international renown.

In 1920 he married Katarzyna Kobro.

In 1922 he moved to Wilno (now Vilnius), and in the following year supported Vytautas Kairiūkštis in creating the first avant-garde art exhibition in what is now the territory of Lithuania (then under Polish rule).

In November 1923 he moved to Warsaw, where with Henryk Berlewi he founded the constructivist group Blok.

During the 1920s he formulated his theory of Unism (Unizm in Polish). His Unistic paintings inspired the unistic musical compositions of the Polish composer Zygmunt Krauze. He is an author of a revolutionary book titled “The theory of vision.” He was co creator of unique avant-garde art collection in Łódź gathered thanks to the enthusiasm of members of the “a.r.” group as Katarzyna Kobro, Henryk Stażewski (the artists) and Julian Przyboś and Jan Brzękowski (the poets).

In postwar Łódź he was an instructor at the Higher School of Plastic Arts and Design .Neoplastic Room in Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź. where one of his students was Halina Ołomucki, survivor of the Nazi concentration camps. His Neoplastic Room was installed in the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź in 1948 but was removed in 1950 as it failed to fit in with the socialist realism aesthetic imposed by Włodzimierz Sokorski, the minister of culture of the Polish United Workers’ Party.

His works have been exhibited in such museums around the world as Centre Pompidou, Museo Reina Sofia Moderna Museet Malmö and Whitechapel Gallery

The following Strzeminski publications are available at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

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Architecture and photography

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One of the greatest books on the subject of architecture and photography i recently added to my inventory. It is the 2001 publication by the Museum Folkwang /Steidl.

The Steidl publishing company stand for the best photography books in the world and this is no exception. The book  is a beautiful printed documentary on the best architectural photographs in the world and all come from the Folkwang collection. Over 168 you will find the best. Friedlander, Becher, Aiget, Hausser, Sander and Callahan ao.

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This is such a feast for the eye that i immediately bought the other copy at my local secondhand bookstore> Now i own two copies of which one is available at www.ftn-books.com

wenn berlin

 

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Piet Dirkx weekly

Piet Dirkx was invited on many occasions to shine his artistic light on color and architectural solutions. On this occasion he was invited to make an “in situ” work at the police station in Raamsdonkveer

dirkx rijksgebouwen

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William Katavolos (1928)

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Known for his furniture and his presence in the collection of Moma and his architectural tutorials it is almost forgotten that he made some very nicely designed books of which the one he made for the Kwadraat series in 1961 is one of the nicest ones. The cover is spectacular with a cut out pattern and behind it a pale yellow/gold colored title page. These books are wel worth collecting and can still be picked up at reasonable prices. but my guess is they will not be much longer available since the edition size was small and word spreads that these are the ones to focus on within the Kwadraat series.

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Piet Dirkx weekly

CBK kunstuitleen made this card for the 1999 Piet Dirkx exhibition:

” My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky”

The picture is the Flat at the Jan Vermeerstraat in Venlo

dirkx gevel

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Black Friday at FTN books

Not just a 3 days discount but a total of 11 days, a one period discount of 10% on all your FTN books purchases. Valid from the early hours  of Friday the 22nd of November until midnight on the 1st of December 2019. Use the special Black Friday 10% discount code:

                                                               B2019F

 

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Allessandro Mendini (continued)

 

I wrote two earlier blogs on Mendini. One in 2016 and one in February this year to commemorate his accomplishments after his death at the age of 87.

Last week i found one of his earliest dutch publications. An important one, because it preceded the commission of designing the Groninger Museum. Probably the exhibition was held to introduce Mendini to the dutch people of Groningen and prepare them for the adventurous building Mendini would design for the Groninger Museum.

This publication is from 1988 , published together with Politi editore  and it is filled with the typical Mendini designs of which elements would be used outside and within the Groninger Museum.  I love this book, which is now for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com

mendini groningen

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H.P Berlage and Henry van de Velde

2 architects joined forces in the beginning of the 20th century to realize the museum and hunting cabin for the family Kroller-Muller. In 1939 the museum building it self was finally finished , but more important, in the decades preceding the realisation of the museum. Mrs Kroller Muller had collected together with the aid of H.P. Bremmer a marvelous collection of contemporary art. Her choice in art was exquisite. Van Gogh, Signac, Seurat, Rijsselberghe, Redon and Marini ao were would prove to be key elements within the collection of the Kroller Muller. But for those who have visisted the museum and its surroundings there are other elements on the grounds which will be remembered. How about one of the best sculpture gardens in the world and the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus near ( designed by Berlage ) and ofcourse the beautiful and modernistic museum itslef designed by Henry van de Velde. www.ftn-books.com has a nice italian publication available which is dedicated to these designs.

rassegna kroller

 

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Shizuko Yoshikawa | 吉川 静子 | (1934)

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Shizuko Yoshikawa is one of the artists that knows how to build a bridge between architecture and Modern Art. Swiss citizen but Jpanese born Yoshikawa was largely influenced by the ideas of design department of the Hochschule fur Gestaltung in Ulm.

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One of the people who recognized that was the owner of gallery Artline in the Netherlands who held an exhibition in 1986 on Yoshikawa, presenting her color reliefs for the first time in the Netherlands. I wish i had seen her work at that time, Because my knowledge on art has grown over the years. If i now had a chance in aquiring a Yoshikawa work i really would consider to add it to my collection. It is the kind of art that grows on you and is appreciated more and ore over the years. Rooted in the sixties it has a little from everything a bit minimal art, a dash of Zero and perhaps a drop of Kinetic art makes a Yoshikawa work one of a kind.

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L wig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969)qΩ“Ω~ |’| §

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When i think about Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, three of his designs i remember instantly. The first …a chair by Mies van der Rohe, One i always wanted to own and when i finally had one i did not think it was comfortable enough so i sold it. The chair… a Barcelona chair.

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The one he designed for the Barcelona Pavillion. It was designed for the World exhibition from 1929 and after the exhibition it was demolished, but a group of spanish architects recognized its importance and had it rebuild in the Eighties from last century. I finally had a chance to see it for myself when i visited Barcelona for the first time around 2005. We walked over there since it is only a 10 minutes walk from the Fundacio Joan Miro.

The last one is the Seagram building which is one of the skyscrapers i admired when i first visited New York together with my father. A building i remembered well and of which i recognized style elements when i visited the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin some 30 years later. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is a force in design and has made his mark on many of last centuries greatest designs. Some of his classic publications are availabel at www.ftn-books.com

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