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Josua Reichert ( 1937 )… a printer

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Reichert is a typographer, designer, author and printer combined in one person. Take a little bit of Werkman, put in a dash of Piet Zwart combine this with the authenticity of Reichert and you have some idea of the fantastic prints he makes. Study his prints and you see mouvement and a highly original approach to printing  which makes them typical Josua Reichert prints.

One of the publications www.ftn-books.com has for sale is the excellent Wim Crouwel designed catalogue for the 1966 Stedelijk Museum exhibition on Josua Reichert and his prints.

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It is only 4 pages , but the fairly standard design by Wim Crouwel in blue was altered and printed on by Reichert with 3 special prints for this occasion. This combination of Reichert prints with Crouwel typography/design makes this for me personally one of the most valued and appreciated publications by the Stedelijk Museum in the Sixties.

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Arthur Spronken (1930- 2018)

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A few weeks ago Arthur Spronken died, Famous in the South of the Netherlands with his horse sculptures. He has become each decade of more importance for the dutch sculpture scene. His statues are widely spread in public spaces in Limburg and because of their size in most cases outside.

What do i think of Spronken as a sculptor and his sculptures. To me they look like classic sculptures , influenced by the “classic” Chinese Tang hors ceramic horses. Their legs in most cases missing , leaving a muscular torso of the horse and in most cases there is “action and mouvement ” in the torso.

A little like the technique the futurists used to use within their paintings, suggesting a mouvement. After his initial fame in Limburg, his sculptures spread over the Netherlands. Making sculptures in public places in towns like Amsterdam, Haarlem and Zwolle. I respect his craftsmanship but his sculptures never fascinated me enough to buy a small one for my collection,. They come up for auction regularly and their prices are still on the verge of affordable. His sculptures are nice to look at and they draw your attention immediately when you encounter them, but for me the do not intrigue long enough to collect them.

Arthur Spronken has had some important exhibitions in the Netherlands. Among them Beelden Aan Zee and the Frans Hals Museum and www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles on the sculptor Arthur Spronken. What i personally like about Spronken is the catalogue which was made for the van Bohemen/Spronken Stedelijk Museum exhibition in 1968. A designed catalogue by Wim Crouwel.

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Sigurdur Gudmundsson (1942)

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Gudmundsson has a loyal following in the Netherland. That must be because he has been present in multiple group exhibitions and solo exhibitions in both museums and art galleries. The Stedelijk Museum presented this artist on several occasions and the catalogues’/ artist books published with these are in high demand. The “Circles” book for instance has been sdold out with me for over 5 years and i have not found another copy at a reasonable price. The same with ” Situations” sold out and nowhere to be found anymore.

Gudmundssons works fascinate. These are symbiosis of IN SITU and performance. Making this a true conceptual artis whose works have been spread all over the world.

Gudmundsson studied in the Netherlands at ao Ateliers 63 and after that study settled in the Netherlands and launched his career in the 1960s as a member of the legendary Icelandic SÚM group. His public sculptures can now be found widely, including in Rotterdam, Groningen and Den Haag in the Netherlands. He later became a teacher at the AKI in Enschede. He is now living in China, the artist prides himself of having been a foreigner for the past 50 years and i am curious to learn how this does influence his works. www.ftn-books.com has still some nice Gudmundsson titles available.

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Julian Schnabel (1951) …the photographer

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I knew the works by Julian Schnabel from the exhibition he had at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1982 ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com). An impressive exhibition of large Schnabel painting, but what i did not not know until some 15 years ago is that Schnabel is also a very gifted photographer. His portraits have a rare quality and make you feel really close to the subject. For instance the Rourke portrait is filled with action and the Lou Reed one makes you feel happy … Reed as a liberated spirit is a rarity.

Books on his photography are rare, i know there exists one title on his Polaroid photo’s, but that is the only title i know of. If you know of more titles let me know, since i am very interested on a personal level to add a book on his photography to my personal collection.

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Wim Crouwel..design of the Atelier series for the Stedelijk Museum.

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The focus of this blog is on the covers of a very impressive series Wim Crouwel designed for the Stedelijk Museum during a period of roughly 14 years in the Sixties and Seventies ( between 1965 and 1979). This series has the typical Crouwel layout and typography and beside these elements these designs are ” clean” without any frills ….just function. These were done when the Total Design agency had their “GOLDEN YEARS” and Wim Crouwel was one of the most important members of Total Design ( founded in 1963). This is a great series of 16 publications . Some with loose pages in portfolio, others in the shape of posters or just ordinary booklets, but all have the quality design Wim Crouwel stands for. Most of these publications are available at www.ftn-books.com and if your are looking for other Crouwel publications search for them at the same site.

 

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Mark Prent (1947)

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Yesterday, Polish born artist Mark Prent contacted me about the Stedelijk Museum catalogue i have for sale on his exhibition in 1978. A never had studied the catalogue in detail before. But is a “dark’ catalogue which reflects the work of Prent in an excellent way. His works are “dark”

have a look at www.markprent.com and see for yourself what i mean

Mark Prent works consist of life-moulded mixed media, polyester resin and fiberglass casts of human models in sometimes disturbing poses and juxpositions. Mark Prent has consistently maintained throughout the years, that his sculptures and installations do not carry intentional messages. Despite the powerfully grotesque imagery that he has employed, interpretation is left to the viewer. Prent developed his own unique technique of layering to give a heightened realism to his figures; thus giving rise to the label “Extended Realism”. When he later became concerned about the toxicity of polyester resin, he began to experiment with other materials, developing innovative techniques for recreating that trademark quality of virulent realism. This venture into new materials led him in many new directions in his own work and ultimately, to become a technical resource for other artists as well.

Having followed his education in the US and exhibitions in Amsterdam , Berlin and Montreal his works are known all over the world, but because of their “Dark” nature never have become popular.

In 2005 Prent began a new series of video-taped performance pieces in collaboration with videographer/son Jesse Real Prent. In this series, Prent’s own body becomes a living, interacting component of his nightmarish scenarios. He continues to produce new sculptures in his Vermont studio. www.ftn-books.com  has the Stedelijk Museum Mark Prent catalogue available.

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Tomitaro Nachi (1924-2007)

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Tomitaro Nachi was one of the first japanese artist ever to have an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum. Wim Crouwel designed the catalogue for his exhibition and what makes it extra special is that the catalogue included a rare and beautiful multiple. There is wonderful short movie about this artist which was made at the time of his exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 1974.

The catalogue shines. It is like a minimal artist book and reflects the spirit of “Zero” and Kinetic art and was forgotten by most until recently it was sold at a local book auction and fetched a steep price of euro 120,– because it had the original multiple included. www.ftn-books.com has both copies available. The one with and the one without the multiple. Both are worth collecting, but as lng as it is there i would chose the one with the multiple included.

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William Klein (1928) a master of abstract photography

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I found an excellent biography on Artnet on William Klein, but for me the importance of Klein is the fact that William Klein made a stunning catalogue together with Wim Crouwel for his 1967 exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The catalogue has some very bold typography and the use of the bright yellow in contrast with the black and white photograph in the back makes it for me a classic. Here is the Artnet bio.

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William Klein is an American artist known for his unconventional style of abstract photography depicting city scenes. Although similar in subject matter to other street photographers such as Diane Arbus and Saul Leiter, as well as fashion photographers Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, Klein’s images break from established modes. “I came from the outside, the rules of photography didn’t interest me. There were things you could do with a camera that you couldn’t do with any other medium—grain, contrast, blur, cock-eyed framing, eliminating or exaggerating grey tones and so on,” he reflected. “I thought it would be good to show what’s possible, to say that this is as valid of a way of using the camera as conventional approaches.” Born on April 19, 1928 in New York, NY, Klein studied painting and worked briefly as Fernand Léger’s assistant in Paris, but never received formal training in photography. His fashion work has been featured prominently in Vogue magazine, and has also been the subject of several iconic photo books, including Life is Good and Good for You In New York (1957) and Tokyo (1964). In the 1980s, he turned to film projects and has produced many memorable documentary and feature films, such as Muhammed Ali, The Greatest (1969). Klein currently lives and works in Paris, France. His works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

There are more titles on or with contributions by William Klein available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jean Gorin (1899-1981) and Wim Crouwel

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Jean Gorin , a typical 50’s /60’s artist has stayed a little obscure outside France, but this is undeserved. His art is influenced by Piet Mondrian and Constructivism , but has developed into an art typical of Jean Gorin.

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This was recognized by Willem Sandberg who gave Gorin a solo presentation in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1967. Here it is getting more interesting from my point of view, because together with this exhibition one of the very very best Wim Crouwel designed catalogues ever was published. The catalogue typically Crouwel sized was partly printed in black and the other part of the text on the cover executed in embossed printing. Together with the design of the catalogue itself it has become an exquisite artist book on Jean Gorin which is still available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Then I ducked my Head and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the Dark……

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This brilliant title is given by William N. Copley to a painting he made in 1966. Copley must be one of the wittiest artists.

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He had no trouble at all in finding or coming up with original titles. ( a little like Piet Dirkx/ follow the Piet Dirkx daily at this blog). I love Copley and artists who can come up with original and fun titles for their works. Compare the above and for example” Mount Venus and the Hula-Hula Graces in the Glade” to titles like composition I and composition II. This does not mean that “composition” is a worse painting, but when there is a story in a title it says something about the artist himself. Looking for some more great titles for paintings? visit www.ftn-books.com for other Copley publications.

( and search within my blog to find another blog on Copley)