I thought i had, but i just discovered that i had not written a blog on Oey Tjeng Sit before and there is now every reason to write a blog on this self taught artist, because i recently added a wonderful multiple to the collection of http://www.ftn-books.com. It is the Loerakker multiple on the occasion of the presentation of the monograph on the artist.
Amsterdam based pharmacist-artist Oey Tjeng Sit (1917-1987) invited visitors of an art fair to throw paper balls toward tin cans, decided to set fire to cages filled with balls of newspapers, or to fill warehouses with the same second hand paper material. He liked to add bizar titles to his works such as ‘Bicycling against the wind one might forget the invention of the wheel’, ‘An artist who is fashionable is a victim of good taste’ or ‘The only thing I know is that I trust blindly a feeling that promises me secrets.’
Oey Tjeng Sit, whose name means Yellow Clear Solid was born in Purwokerto (Java) at the foot of the Klud Volcano, that erupted just at the time of Oey’s birth. Born in the Year of the Dragon he found himself released of the duty to take care of his parents; that is why – after visiting high school in Bandung – he traveled to the Netherlands in 1938 in order to study pharmacy. Twenty years later he opened Apotheek Oey (Oey Pharmacy) at the Prinsengracht opposite the Anne Frank House. He took away the pills and potions out of the window display and started a small art gallery there. One of his nicknames was a ‘Dragon Man with a Dada Passion’ who showed the art work of colleagues and friends which gave him another epitheton: ‘the nestor of Amsterdam window art’. Oey’s work as an autodidact is characterized by a wide artistic range of disciplines: after a period of surrealistic drawings and paintings he started making wood and linoleum cuts, collages, assemblages and editing books through his own editorial ‘The Finger Press’.
In his collages, often together with Chinese ink and brush, as well as in his installations he used frequently news papers, of which he wanted to extend their short life, tied as they are to daily actuality. The newspaper was a source for many questions for Oey ‘Can we measure the weight of printed news?’ and ‘What contains more wood than newspaper letters?’ ‘If there is an order, then is it a temporary one.’
Oeys oeuvre – light-hearted, playful with a subtle feeling for the hidden esthetic quality of daily life – can be a long lasting confirmation of these words.
Beside the multiple i have more collectable books by the artist in my inventory
Why Bernard Buffet in this blog. …an hour ago i was reflecting on my early youth and i remembered we had a reproduction of a Clown by Bernard Buffet hanging on the wall.
In the early sixties, Buffet was one of the most famous young artists who was appreciated by the great public. A recognizable style and what is more important…. No abstraction what so ever. A stylized reproduction of reality in portraits, landscapes and still lives and made available for a large audience through reproductions .
This resulted in an overkill of Buffet’s on the market and meant his work was not in fashion for at least 3o years, but now this is changing. Large retrospectives are being held and one now realizes that his works are part of the evolution in Modern Art. One of his very best 60’s artist publications is TOXIQUE , By Francoise Sagan
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and available at www.ftn-books.com, but looking through the inventory and reading some of his older catalogues you must admire the very personal style of Bernard Buffet and understand why he is now considered as one of the great artists from the 20th century.
The second time i met Günter Tuzina was with his exhibition in 1992 in The Haags Gemeentemuseum and noticed that he still followed his own artistic path. Making variations on his windows with crossed lines in color schemes which were very recognizable and typical for the works by Tuzina. At the time Tuzina executed a walldrawing for one of the staircases in the Gemeentmuseum which is beside the LeWitt, Toroni and Forg staircase drawings still on show. I think Tuzina is one of those artists you can see work of and immediately know it is by Tuzina. A few years ago i was impressed by a work which was for sale at Christie’s but unfortunately it was out of my budget and sold for twice+ the estimation, but one can get lucky too, because a little before that i noticed these 2 beautiful drawings on the local book market, which were made in a series of 55 for the Bebert publishing house. Both are signed and numbered and all the drawing on each of them is done by hand and all have a different background color. These are from the same edition of 55 copies but the background colors vary and therefore these are unique and…..these beauties are now for sale at
Panamarenko is one of the artists which i follow with great interest and because of this interest i have collected many titles on this fascinating artist. I know of excellent gallery publications , beautiful Museum editions ( Berlin ao) and many limited editions, but one of the most interesting to me is this edition by Marzona. An early book on Panamarenko but with many detailed description of the “machines ” he invented and produced. It shows the strength of his imagination. Totally original designs by an artists who stayed true to his belief that he had to invent and make his dreams come true.
The Marzona edition is from 1975, and because of this publication date it includes many of the inventions Panamarenko has become famous for:
First of all you must know that Aggie Weston comes from a work by Kurt Schwiters ” A SMALL HOME FOR SEAMEN”. It is told that Agnes Weston founded seamens’s homes and this name was used by Coracle press for their art magazine publication. Coracle hoped that this magazine provides some refuge for lesser known artist.
This brings me to Richard Long who was, at that time, by no means a lesser name, but Richard Long was nevertheless invited to contribute to this No. 16 Winter 1979 number.
Beautifully published with excellent print quality makes this a perfect collectable artist book.
The book is only 16 pages with text, walks and photography by Richard Long, but should not be missed by any Richard Long or artist book collector. This is a Coracle publication from 1979 and contains beside the Richard Long texts. Photographs on:
The year is 1991. The occasion is the opening of the exhibition on Hamish Fulton. Curated by Rudi Fuchs and Franz Kaiser. The Haags Gemeentemuseum organized this excellent exhibition which was accompanied by a publication ONE HUNDRED WALKS ,which still is one of my personal favorites and certainly is one of the most beautiful books in my collection. The book was designed by Hamish Fulton himself and Gracia Lebbink was asked to do the graphic layout and production. The result….. an artist book which is one of the best ever published.
The book was delivered ( as almost always) just a few hours before the opening of the exhibition and sold during this opening. The next day i encountered Fulton in the corridor of the museum and complimented him on the book and asked if he could sign my personal copy. No problem….. the book was signed and i had another souvenir for my collection, but then it occurred to me that the idea of signing some of these could be profitable for the museum and i asked him if he could sign and number a series of 20 copies to be sold in our museum bookstore.
The friendly and sympathetic person he is , he did not even think about it and asked for the 20 copies to sign them. Later that afternoon he came to the library , set himself at a desk and signed the 20 copies , which were numbered 1 to 20. The signature he placed in the books is still one of my most admired signatures in Modern Art. The way it is placed on the page and dated, plus the story behind it makes this still very special to me. The books ( signed and unsigned version) are still available at :
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20