Fernand Leger (1881-1955)

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I am still in doubt for myself if i must consider Leger as one of the great artists from last century…or does he uses a ‘Trick” to compose and impress with his paintings. If one sees an extremely large sized work …it is almost in every case impressive, but as soon as it is a smaller one, the attraction is gone. I will show this with to examples. The first painting is roughly 3 x 4 meters and in the collection of the Fondation Maeght. The send is Trois Camarades in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The first has typical figures by Leger with an abstract pattern painred over them….. a beautiful and impressive Leger. The second one, is for me far less appealing and a “flat” painting.

Make up your mind yourself on Leger , but know that there are some excellent publications available at www.ftn-books.com including a famous Sandberg designed catalogue

Sculpture 10 days… Day 9 ..Tom Otterness (1952)

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Can sculpture be fun too?….Yes it can. Look at the works by Tom Otterness. Comic like figures, tumbling, standing, cheering, next to eachother Executed in bronze or other materials these sculptures are to be enjoyed…this is great fun. There is on the seaside in Scheveningen Museum Beelden aan Zee and they have on the outside of the building a large complex work by Otterness. This is free to visit and a must see for every art tourist in Scheveningen.

For books on Otterness take a look at www.ftn-books.com ( only one copy available)

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Eadward Muybridge (1830-1904)

The importance of Muybridge is not the artistic way he made his photographs, but because he recognized that he could catalogue motion and movement by placing photographs in sequence. This find was important because in detail one could study all movements. From athletes to birds….everything was photographed ,recorded and placed in sequence, making this in the 19th century the reference guide for all movement. The quality of his studies and photographs is shown in this excellent animation

Conclusion must be that not only serious art lovers, but also directors and animators are tributary to Eadward Muybridge.

And of course www.ftn-books.com has some nice books available on the subject.

Joost Swarte / VPRO and the Holland Animation Festival 2017

 

Because many of the readers live outside the Netherlands i can not withhold you the cover Joost Swarte made for the broadcasting association VPRO. Swarte is one of the house designers of the printed publicity outings of the Holland Animation festival and this 2017 edition is a very special one. The complete cover of the TV guide is published with a specially designed publicity drawing. Enjoy it and keep in mind that there are more nice Swarte items available at www.ftn-books.com

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Robert Crumb (1943)

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Robert Crumb, one of the “founders” of the underground comic movement and very important for the evolution of comics. Totally independent , a very personal style and a free spirit in thoughts and subjects, he introduced , sex and drugs into comics.

Robert Crumb was born in Philadelphia in 1943. As a kid, he started drawing homemade comic books, together with his brother Charles, for the amusement of himself and his family. One of the characters he invented back then was Fred the Cat, named after the family’s pet. Eventually, Fred became Fritz the Cat, one of Crumb’s best-known characters.

Crumb left home in 1962, getting a job as a greeting card artist in Cleveland, Ohio. At the same time, he continued his comics, sending one to the public gallery section of Harvey Kurtzman’s Help! Magazine. Encouraged by Kurtzman, Crumb moved to New York to work for Help! Unfortunately, this magazine folded just after Crumb returned from an eight-month stay in Europe. Crumb stayed in New York for a while, making comics trading cards for Topps Gum, among other things, and then returned to Cleveland.

In January 1967, Crumb moved to California, where he did some comics for a magazine called Yarrowstalks. His work was so well received they asked him to do a whole comic book, and soon the first issue of Zap was ready. The publisher however disappeared with all of the original artwork. Crumb, who had not only saved xeroxes of his work, but was already halfway with the next issue of Zap, found Don Donahue and Charles Plymell willing to publish it. And so the material for the second Zap comic was published as Zap #1, after which the older material for the first issue was printed as Zap #0. All of these have become collector’s items.

Zap Comix 1 by R. Crumb

Zap Comix became a success, and soon other artists, like Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso and S. Clay Wilson, started contributing their work. Interest in Crumb’s work resulted in ‘Head Comix’, a collection of his comics published by Viking Press, and a ‘Fritz the Cat’ book by Ballantine. Crumb also contributed to other publications from the underground movement, such as the East Village Other. When animator Ralph Bakshi turned to Crumb to make Fritz the Cat into an animated movie, Crumb eventually agreed, but soon became exhausted with the pressure and left it to his wife, Aline Kominsky, who signed the contract. Crumb hated the film so much that he killed off Fritz once and for all in a strip in The People’s Comics.

The end of Fritz the Cat

In the early 1990s, Robert Crumb and his family moved to France, where they still live today. The creator of unforgettable characters such as Mr. Natural, Mr. Snoid, Angelfood MacSpade and Devil Girl still has a tremendous production, which has been collected in many books. He has worked on a series of comic books with Charles Bukowski in the 1980’s, produced a book on Kafka with David Zaine Mairowitz and also illustrated several issues of Harvey Pekar’s ‘American Splendor’ series. Crumb’s daughter Sophie eventually also turned to comic art.

Crumb is also a talented musician. He plays banjo and mandolin, and has performed with R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders and Eden and John’s East River String Band. He has also illustrated a great many album covers, including ‘Cheap Thrills’ by Big Brother and the Holding Company and the compilation album ‘The Music Never Stopped: Roots of the Grateful Dead’.

There are some very nice Crumb titles available at www.ftn-books.com including the rare Point d’Ironie title Flesh and Blood

Valerio Adami and Pop Art

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Sixties and seventies are the decades of Pop Art and Valerio Adami was one of the artists outside the US that was influenced by the more famous Pop Art artists and developed his own style from the popular comics, with their thick black outlines (ligne clair). He was not always appreciated for his art, but always was assured of a valuable platform to show his art in the Maeght galleries and publications. He took figures , situations and objects apart to reassemble them again into another composition, thus making them abstract and hardly recognizable.

Personally i am very fond of Valerio Adami. For me he is the artist who bridges comics with serious (Pop) Art. This is another of the artist who s relatively cheap to buy and collect and i predict his works and publications will be in high demand in the next 20 years.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Maeght and other publication on this great artist.

Joost Swarte…editor in chief of SCRATCHES

Yesterday morning in the V part of the Volkskrant the new graphic magazine SCRATCHES was announced with a special cover drawn by Joost Swarte. The new magazine on graphic art will be launched at the Frankfurter Buchmesse ( starts on 19/10) .Contributions by Swarte himself, Nijstad, Tak , Wasco and Herr Seele make this one of the most anticipated new magazines to be launched. The price of SCRATCHES will be eur0 29,90

for more information visit : http://scratch.pr.co/101536-uitgeverij-scratch-presenteert

And for vintage and collectable Swarte publications visit www.ftn-books.com