It was 5 years ago that i discovered an Escher title that i never had encountered before.
This can be explained easily, because the publications was initiated by the Fung Ping Shan museum, which is now not only a museum but also a University and Art gallery in Hong Kong. Publication by this museum are rare and it is even more exceptional to encounter one of their publications in Europe. This is one of the smaller museums in the world and i do not know how they managed to get an Escher exhibition, but i suspect it was bought from Cordon Art. Cordon Art is the sole owner of the reproduction rights of the works by M.C Escher and probably has still the largest collection of original works by the artist. It was 1994 that this book was published and what strikes me most is that the reproduction and print quality is the best that was possible in those days. The book outshines other Escher publications from that era and is possibly the best that was published on the artist in the nineties. Escher is always present in the inventory of www.ftn-books.com , but this one is rare and probably a one time offer .
For me there are two personal reasons to love the works by Thomas Schütte. The first reason for me is his architectural art. Always trying to find a different approach to architecture makes his works interesting and in the same category as the architectural works by John Hejduk.
Secondly there is his publications. Meticulously designed books. Published by the best publishers, printed by the best printers and from start to finish typical Thomas Schütte productions. These books are among the best art books published in the last 50 years and i am proud to have some of them in my inventory of www.ftn-books.com
A few month ago i contacted Eja Siepman van den Berg and inquired after a small statue she had made in an edition. The first contact resulted in an invitation to come and visit her in her studio in Beetsterzwaag, but because of circumstances it was impossible for us to make an appointment to visit.
Time passes and circumstances change so we finally had a chance to take some days off and decided to go to Friesland and yes …there is also the studio of Eja. We contacted each other again and found a time to visit on the 10th of august. I really looked forward to visit this fascinating artist because i never visited a real sculptors studio.
The morning of the 10th it was raining again and we run towards the entrance where we were met by Eja Siepman van den Berg. Turned to the left and walked right into the studio gallery where there was a special exhibition by a Chinese artist Xinjian Lu ( blog in a few days ), together with the statues by Eja. The abstraction of the large paintings by Xinjiang with the bronzes by Eja worked extremely well. Each showed its qualities together with the works by the other and nowhere a work dominated . I took some pictures which show just what i mean. This was a perfect setting for both artists.
After showing us the gallery and the works which were on show we soon chose our favorites and it appeared that the more abstraction was within the sculpture the more we admired it. Not that the full body sculptures were not appealing, but we thought that the sculptures with the focus on a specific body part were more abstract and had more strength
The next room, where we drank coffee, was the artist studio. Decorated with a magnificent photograph by Eja on the wall together with a work by JCJ van der Heijden.
I never knew she was a gifted photographer as well , but she explained that she made photographs during the time she had a shoulder injury and it was almost impossible for her to sculpt. The Large JCJ van der Heijden was the remainder of an exhibition which was one time held in the gallery. An extremely organized studio, with a special spot with mirrors to make the sculptures. The one that she was busy with was modelled after a photograph and in most cases Eja uses photographs to model after. Eja explained that the editions of the sculptures is protected by french law in which is stated that the maximum number of sculptures which is allowed to be made from one cast is eight. Above this number one speaks of an edition which of course can be limited too.
It takes an extremely lot of work before the final result can be shown in the gallery or museum and one can only admire the patience any sculptor must have before the final result can be shown. Sculptors must be a different kind of artist breed and one can only have the greatest respect for the path they have chosen to show their art to us…. their public.
The catalogue i write about is the Giulio Paolini catalogue made for the Musee des Beaux Arts Nantes from 1987. This is not such a well know catalogue but because of its provenance i chose this one. Paolini is a well known “Arte Povera”artist and this fame has brought him all over the world with his art. One of his admirers is Rudi Fuchs who organized exhibitions with Paolini in the van Abbemuseum and the Stedelijk Museum and because of this, he always received complimentary copies whenever there was another exhibition with Paolini. One of these catalogues i have for sale is signed by Rudi Fuchs, meaning that this must have belonged to his personal library. It is a rather obscure publication, but very nicely published with an impressive cover with the name of Giulio Paolini underneath an arch. Exhibition was organized by Henry-Claude Cousseau, but the importance of this catalogue and proof of its quality is that is was within the library of Rudi Fuchs. Signature in blue ink on the first inner page.
In 2002 Raymond Pettibon made the opening exhibition for the GEM museum. The exhibition was curated by Roel Arkesteijn. Pettibon worked day and night to include over 600 drawings and designs, but he finished in time to make it a memorable exhibition. After the opening he had time to make and finish 3 comic books, which were printed ( copied ) and stapled in house by Chantal Sieuw. These 3 titles are since highly collectable Pettibon books , because the edition was only 100 copies for each title.
The Over Easy title is the first to be discussed in this blog.
Artist / Author : Raymond Pettibon
Title : Over Easy
publisher : GEM, 2002
Number of pages : 28
Text language : English
Measurements: 8.7 x 5.6 inches
Pettibon had strict demands regarding the way these books were published . As designed and prescribed by Pettibon these were copied and stapled editions and each copy was numbered in pencil ( xxx/100 ).
At the time of the exhibition these special editions were not popular at all. They sold at only euro 20,00 for each copy but only a dozen or so were sold. ………One year later…. everything was sold out and these books were offered and sold on eBay for prices of around USD 350.00 each. It appeared Pettibon had a very loyal following of collectors who were buying these rarities for their collection. Since that date Pettibon has published many more “comics” / art books, but this Over Easy remains one of the very special ones which was specially made for the opening of GEM in 2002 and can be seen as one of the highlights from the first decade in this new millennium
I was looking for a place to start a blog on Books and Art and decided to use WordPress as a platform to publish my personal thoughts, feelings and findings on books and art i think are worth to be discussed or maybe even collected. Sometimes you will encounter the great names in Modern art, but mostly you will read about lesser known artists. For the coming weeks most of my blog articles will be on artists which i personally know or have known in the past. many of them i have encountered in the last 35 years because of my 25 year experience at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and took a special interest in a few of them and started collecting. The collection was enhanced with a large collection of books and this last expanded collection is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com
So please join me in this personal journey and discover the books and artists i think are worth writing about.