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My personal bookcase

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I have had questions in the past….what is your personal interest in books?…. and…..you must have a very nice collection after so many years of being a bookseller. These questions and remarks can be answered simply. I have a large inventory of about 10.000 books that are for sale including some very nice and hard to find titles, but every book in my personal bookcase has a small story attached to it. There are books of exhibitions being held at the Gemeentemuseum while i was a publisher/bookseller at that museum and some were given to me by artists i collect.

About half of the books in my personal bookcase are very small publications related to the artists in our art collection and the remainder is about the artists i like very much and admire. I can say that none of them is very valuable, but for me these books are valuable and important, because they belong to the publication history of the artists i admire. Curious?….just “zoom in” on the picture and discover that of many of these titles i have multiple copies available at www.ftn-books.com. So make this your personal interactive blog and find/discover the titles at www.ftn-books.com

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Kunstenaar en Fabriek / Judd & LeWitt

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In 1970 only 2 years after the first exhibition with Minimal Art at the Haags Gemeentemuseum ( Curated by Enno Develing) , there was an initiative by 3 aspiring admirers who wanted to present their choice of Contemporary Art with a focus on Minimal Art. Organized by the Kunsthistorisch Instituut in 1970  a location was found with the Nebato Fabriek in Bergeijk. The Nebato metal construction company executed some of the works by LeWitt and Judd and in the meantime the artists stayed nearby with Martin and Mia Visser. The Visser’s collected during 3 decades one of the most famous of dutch  Modern Art collections and  focussed in those early years on Minimal Art . From the early beginning of 1966 they started collecting LeWitt and Judd. Building this way a world famous collection of Minimal Art. It all comes together in this exhibition at the Nebato factory in 1970. Participating artists were: van Amen, Balth, van benthumn, Graatsma, Gribling, Grosvenor, Judd, LeWit, Morris, van Munster, Naumann, Slothouber and Staakman. This catalogue is rare and one of the most important Minimal Art collectibles there is. publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

There is a nice article to be found on the internet in which the relation between Visser the collector and the (minimal )artists is explained.

Friday Food For Thought: Martin Visser – collector, designer, free spirit

 

 

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Josef Albers and his Christmas card from 1952

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On this Christmas eve some thoughts by Josef Albers :

Wenn ich male
sehe und denke ich zunächst – Farbe

Und zumeist Farbe als Bewegung

Nicht als Begleitung
von Form, die seitwärts bewegt,
nur seitwärts verbleibt

Sondern als Farbe in dauernder innerer Bewegung

Nicht nur in Interaktion und Interdependenz
mit Nachbarfarben,
verbunden wie unverbunden

Sondern in Aggression – zum wie vom Beschauer
in direktem frontalen Uns-Anschauen

Und näher betrachtet,
als ein Atem und Pulsieren – in der Farbe

When I paint
I think and see
first and most – color
but color as motion

Color not only accompanying
form of lateral extension
and after being moved
remaining arrested

But of perpetual inner movement
as aggression – to and from the spectator
besides interaction an interdependence
with shape and hue and light

Color in a direct and frontal focus
and when closely felt
as a breathing and pulsating
– from within

Josef Albers

The card below was the original Josef Albers Christmas card from 1952

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Unfortunately this card is NOT available at www.ftn-books.com, but many other Albers item are available. a Merry Xmas from Wilfried van den Elshout and FTN books

 

 

 

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(Reinier) Lucassen (1939)

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Possibly the best known member of the NEW FIGURATION mouvement in the Netherlands is Lucassen. If i must describe his art, it is a mix between geometric colorfield and daily household objects like screens, plants and kitchenware, add some comics into it , stirr it and you have an early Lucassen painting .

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Later he developed this style into a very authentic and recognizable personal style. Making abstract compositions with shapes, numbers and letters. These paintings are intuitive compositions combining , more or less at random elements from his direct surroundings, but these can not be recognized as such. The compositions, titles, execution are like small poems executed on canvas.

www.ftn-books.com, has a large selection of Lucassen titles including the catalogues he made for his galerie Espace exhibitions.

 

 

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Jasper Johns (1930)

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Another great artist who surfaced in the Sixties was Jasper Johns. Starting his career at the end of the Fifties , he soon became one of the best known and expensive artists from his generation. At one time one of his flag paintings was the first to fetch an incredible 10 Million dollars at auction, making it the most expensive painting by a living artist.

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Now we are accustomed to these crazy prices collectors are paying for art, but at that time is was unbelievable that a living artist could fetch such a price. Because of his popularity Johns soon had an exhibitions in the Netherlands at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. A special print exhibition and this exhibition was for me personally the perfect one.

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It was one of the first exhibitions i ever visited in the Stedelijk. I had an interest in graphic art and , young as i was,  a rookie in the world of art, i had no idea of prices. I thought i could afford a small print. But no way, these were far too expensive for a young starting collector. What remains?   … i still have the catalogue for sale at www.ftn-books.com and cherish it together with my personal copy. Book design was done by Wim Crouwel and it is available at www.ftn-books.com together with other Jasper Johns titles.

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Nicolaas Wijnberg (1918-2006)

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Here is one of my regrets as a collector. Nicolaas Wijnberg was one of the first artists i purchased a lithjograph of. At Arta a small lithograph was sold at a very low members price and i could buy it from my saved pocket money. Perhaps 40 years later, it must be about 10 years ago, a painting was offered at Bubb Kuyper. This painting “glowed” and looked at me. It was not signed , but definitely by Wijnberg and from the mid seventies /early eighties.

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I loved this painting, made a written bid. ( I never buy at the live auction , to avoid that i am carried away and spent too much) and ….. i was successful . This beautiful painting was mine. I took it home and within 48 hours i was called by the auction house that they had a new “after sale” bid for the painting i just had bought and I could make a large profit on it. A collector had missed the auction and wanted to buy it with a premium for me as a buyer. I always had told myself that what i had bought for www.ftn-books.com was not for my personal collection….and i decided to sell it. Now years later , i am not so sure that i made the right decision. The painting still looks beautiful and impressive and i recently saw it published in the book on Wijnberg .

But as Martin Bril used to say . “You miss more than you experience”

For other Nicolaas Wijnberg Books please visit www.ftn-books.com

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Philip Guston (1913-1980)

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-03 om 14.19.31I once read a story of a collector who had sold over half of his collection to finally buy his ideal “dream” painting. It was a painting by Philip Guston. I knew some of his works because i had some books in my inventory of www.ftn-books.com, including the Sandberg designed stedelijk

Stedelijk Museum catalogue, but could not understand why one wants to trade in half of a collection, collected over decades, for a Philip Guston.

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I finally had a chance to see some of these painting a few years ago and i must say i was impressed by them. Personally i would not sell half of my collection, but these works have a strange appeal. A little like the Dubuffet paintings. They are ugly but bold and they represent another world.  A world which can only exist in the artist mind.

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Willy Boers (1905-1978).. a dutch artist hero

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Willy Boers, Dutch art ” insiders ” will know the name and the works he stands for. But for those less familiar with the artist Willy Boers here is a short biography. Willy Boers developed his art from realistic scenes into abstract, even hard edge art over a period of some 40 years. He stood at the cradle of the first dutch modern abstract expressionist paintings. Probably influenced by Miro and Picasso he developed his art into something very typical and recognizable as a Willy Boers painting.

When i first read the catalogue EEN NIEUWE SYNTHESE ( available at www.ftn-books.com) , there were 2 artist which immediately caught my eye. There was of course Willem Hussem and ….Willy Boers.

Boers was far less familiar, because i already had seen some Hussem paintings at gallery Nouvelles Images, but it was not until 10 years ago that i finally had a chance to admire some paintings by Boers “live” . It was at the gallery of Henk Klasema who had bought the remainder of the Boers studio and was selling these Willy Boers paintings. Because he had all periods available i could discover his development into hard edge abstract art, but was mostly convinced of the art he made in the period between 1949 and 1955.

Now is finally the time that Willy Boers is being recognized for the great dutch artist he was . A true pioneer in dutch Modern Art and sometimes his works come now available at auction. Keep this in mind… Boers is still affordable, but it will not last 10 years before his art will be picked up by many more art dealers and collectors, making it far less affordable than these works are right now.

There are some nice Boers publications available at www.ftn-books.com including the which was made for his Stedelijk Museum exhibition.

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Erwin Olaf (1959)… new additions

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Over a year ago i devoted a blog to Joel Peter Witkin and Erwin Olaf and it has been too long since i wrote about Erwin Olaf, but this time it is worth writing about him because in recent months i was able to add some highly collectable Olaf publications to my inventory. Erwin Olaf publications are harder and harder to find and get more scarce every month, but sometimes you get lucky and you encounter a small collection. So in recent months i was able to add some great posters and rare publications. The Erwin Olaf poster for the Anjer Fonds was specially designed by Anthon Beeke and this makes it twice as special. The same is applicable to the Sipek book. Sipek a great artist, who’s works are photographed by Erwin Olaf… again two for the price of one. available at www.ftn-books.com

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A special Donald Judd publication, 1993

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The Sikkens foundation chooses every year an artist for their prestigious Sikkens Award and in 1993 the honor was Donald Judd’s. He received the award for his entire oeuvre and delivered a lecture/speech on the subject and the importance of Piet Mondriaan on that occasion.  The title “SOME ASPECTS OF COLOR IN GENERAL AND RED AND BLACK IN PARTICULAR”. For years i tried to find the little book which was published on that occasion and presented to the invited audience. A beautiful little book , cahier stitching, designed by Rutger Fuchs, with a typical Donald Judd cover and finally i have found one for www.ftn-books.com. The book is not the perfect copy i would have wished for. On a scale from 1 to 10 i would rate it as 7.5 ,but given the fact that only about 400 copies have been published this is the best copy which is on the market at this moment and possibly the only one for a long time to come available and for sale, because these are scarce and extremely hard to find.

So if you think the Judd publication is  a “ghost” publication….it is not ! It is real!. Here is a short impression.

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