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Nicolaas Petrus de Koo (1881-1960)

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de Koo was one of the most important of all PTT employed designers. He started as an interior and book designer, but soon after found his way into designing for the dutch postal service PTT. PTT has a long standing history with the best designers in the Netherlands. Schuitema, Piet Zwart and also de Koo have had their history with PTT.

( Piet Zwart designed HET BOEK VAN PTT, available at www.ftn-books.com)

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de Koo designed some of the most iconic of all PTT designs. Among them letterboxes,  printed matter, labels and signs.

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The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag had a special exhibition on de Koo in 1988 and with it a very nice thini catalogue was published for this occasion. The book was originally published in 400 copies, but there was no interest in this publication and at the time the Berlage building was renovated , all of the remaining copies were destroyed. My guess is ther are some 100 copies being sold over time, making this one of the rarest of all Eighties publ;ications of the Gemeentemuseum and i now have an excelent copy for sale at www.ftn-books.com

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Giorgetto Giugiaro (1938)

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For me Giugiaro stands for car design. Specially the iconic Alfa Romeo GTV and Sprint are the cars i am thinking of when i think of Giugiaro, but others  are reminded of other objects when they hear the name of Giugiaro, because he is one of the most influential Italian designers from our days. Coffee machimes, furniture, lamps etc. all by the hand or studio of Giugiaro have been produced in the last 50 years.

Giugiaro was named Car Designer of the Century in 1999 and inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2002 and this is the model i would like to share with you. After driving the original Austi Mini for a few years i changed to the even less reliable Alfa Romeo Sprint by Giugiaro. Less reliabel, but great fun to own and drive,

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In addition to cars, Giugiaro designed camera bodies for Nikon, computer prototypes for Apple, Navigation promenade of Porto Santo Stefano, and developed a new pasta shape “Marille”, as well as office furniture for Okamura Corporation.

Giugiaro’s earliest cars, like the Alfa Romeo 105/115 Series Coupés, often featured tastefully arched and curving shapes, such as the De Tomaso Mangusta, Iso Grifo, and Maserati Ghibli. However, as the 1970s approached, Giugiaro’s designs became increasingly angular, culminating in the “folded paper” era of the 1970s. Straight-lined designs such as the BMW M1, Lotus Esprit S1, and Maserati Bora followed before a softer approach returned in the Maserati Merak, Lamborghini Calà, Maserati Spyder, and Ferrari GG50.

Giugiaro is widely known for the DeLorean DMC-12, featured prominently in the Hollywood blockbuster series Back to the Future. His most commercially successful design was the Volkswagen Golf Mk1.

There is a nice book on Giugiaro avaialble at www.ftn-books.com

giugiaro

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Karel F. Treebus (1938)

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He is an important dutch Typographer, but is not that known outside the Netherlands, but because Treebus has witnessed the transsition from lead printing into the digital age of printing it is nice to see how this process has taken effect in the designs of Treebus. Treebus has made numerous designs in those 32 years he was sdesigning papers, letters and forms for the STAATSDRUKKERIJ /Uitgeverij.

Treebus is one of those people that has influenced 3 genarations of designers, because his designs used by many over a period of 40 years

www.ftn-books.com has an excellent monographic book on Treebus available.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Swip Stolk (1944-2019)

 

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-12 om 11.13.44Swip Stolk is certainly one of the great names in dutch graphic design. He died last sunday at the age of 75 . There are some iconic designs by Stolk that are worldwide famous. Specially the peeing poster for the Serrano exhibition drew attention from all over the world. There was a typical Swip Stolk styke of design. He broke with the minimal designs of the sixties ( Crouwel and Wissing) and invented his own exuberant style of design which was soon to become the “house style” of the Groninger Museum for which museum he made for nearly two decades many important book and publication designs.

there are several important Swip Stolk designs availabel at www.ftn-books.com

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Karl Gerstner and Nouvelle Tendence, 1964

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Nouvelle Tendance is an international group of avant-garde artists founded in Paris. Under this title, five international exhibitions were organized with innovative art.

The artists in this movement experimented with lighting effects, kinetic art and Opart. In 1968 they brought one of the first exhibitions with computer art. From that moment, they published nine issues of their magazine Bit International, including two double issues.

Many of the members of Nouvelle Tendance were affiliated with local movements such as ZERO, Nul, Grav, Equipo 57 and others. In contrast to these local moves, Nouvelle Tendance had no statutes or regulations.

This in short what i found as a description of this mouvement. However there is more because in 1964 this mouvement was received an important exhibition at the Musee des Arts decoratifs, recognizing it as an important international art form. Karl Gerstner designed the poster for the exhibition and now i have this original poster for sale. The poster is in excellent almost MINT condition and i believe this to be the only copy currently to be on the market.

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de Stijl catalogue ( 1951 ) by Willem Sandberg

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I have copies of this 1951 catalogue for sale at www.ftn-books.com for a very long time now and whenever i have a copy available it is rapidly sold, but the one i have at this moment is very special ( please inquire). It is the same book/catalogue from 1951 as the other ones i had, but it has some extra’s that none of the copies i had before had. It contains the original folder ( it is possibly designed by Willem Sandberg) in which the separate rooms in the Stedelijk are described and 2 pages of stencilled texts on de Stijl. I have never seen the folder before and it must be one of the extremely rare Stedelijk Museum collectibles. To my knowledge this makes this package the only complete publication package on the very Special de STIJL 1951 exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

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stijl package b

stijl package c

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Marianne Brandt (1893-1983)

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Marianne Brandt is one of the true fist multi disciplined female artists from last century. One of the front “(wo)men” for Bauhaus and what it stands for. She was responsible for some truly great designs for everyday objects.

Teapots, lamps, cupboards and plates, she has designed it.
Lesser known is that she was one of the pioneers of Photomontage.

A discipline in which she excelled and on which subject a few years ago an exhibition was dedicated at the Bauhaus Museum in Berlin ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com)

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It is time that outside Germany Marianne Brandt becomes known for her excellent designs. At auctions her designs are very much sought after and reach record prices, so how is it possible that a great female artist like Marianne Brandt is hardly known?

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Jim Dine (1935)

He is for certain one of the greatest Pop Art artists if ever there was one. One from the first generation of Pop Art artists who rose to fame in the early 60’s and who even had some great exhibitions in the years to follow at the Stedelijk Museum and the Boymans van Beuningen museum in the Netherlands in the 60’s and 70’s. Both museum have since some great paintings in their collections , (left Stedelijk / right Boymans van Beuningen)

but the Stedelijk Museum stands out for me , because beside multiple art works in their collection they published one of the first simple orange/red catalogues designed by Wim Crouwel. This one devoted specially to the drawings of Jim Dine and available at www.ftn-books.com and this is Wim Crouwel classic

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But of course there are other Jim DIne titles also available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Adolphe Monticelli ( 1824-1886) and Benno Wissing

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Why a blog on Monticelli? Two simple reasons. Monticelli was one of the great inspiration sources for the Impressionists and specially Vincent van Gogh was a great admirer and because of this connection two of the large museums in the Netherlands held exhibitions in the Fifties and Sixties. The Boymans van Beuningen was one of them and held a retrospective exhibition in 1959 of which the catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

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It is this appreciation of Monticelli’s art and the connection with van Gogh that some of the museums over here have Monticelli’s in their collections. I know that Kroller Muller, Gemeentemuseum, Boymans and the Stedelijk all have Monticelli’s in their collections. Personally i think it is time again for a re appreciation of this great painter who’s works are timeless and in so many cases a source of inspiration for the Impressionists. I started this blog on Monticelli because today i bought a poster for the 1959 Boymans exhibitions. It is in excellent B- condition and i consider this to be one of the best Benno Wissing made for the Boymans museum during the Fifties.

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Hans Hartung (1904-1989)

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One of the exhibitions i thought to be one of the very best during the time i was working at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, was one curated by Franz Kaiser on the abstract artist Hans Hartung . Just one word describes the exhibition….impressive.

It showed that the art Hartung created was not just random, but a well thought over creation of abstract art in which a small sketch was turned into a large painting.

Here is the text on the exhibition:

Hans Hartung (b. Dresden, 1904) was regarded as one of the founding fathers of French Lyric Abstractionism, the European counterpart of American Abstract Expressionism: a term in which the word Expressionism refers to an extremely physical and spontaneous manner of painting. The members of the movement wanted, as it were, to work out their emotions on the canvas without any form of symbolism.

Hartung’s paintings displayed a plain ground covered with rough and apparently spontaneous brushwork, with all the paint spatters and brush marks that go with that way of painting. After his death, therefore, people were astounded when the study of unfinished pictures revealed that his paintings had not in fact been created in a wild and spontaneous way, but by carefully filling in predetermined outlines based in every detail, right down to the smallest flecks of paint, on sketches prepared in advance. This exhibition, which the Gemeentemuseum is holding to mark the hundredth anniversary of Hartung’s birth, reveals an artist who would better be described as a conceptual artist, were it not for the fact that conceptual art did not exist as a movement when he produced his works. In this first Dutch retrospective of Hans Hartung’s work, early drawings are presented next to the equivalent paintings, and early versions alongside later versions. The similarities in terms of motif are astonishing.

More about Hans Hartung: www.fondationhartungbergman.fr

There are some nice publications on Hartung available at www.ftn-books.com