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A perfect invitation card

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I have seen thousands of invitation cards by museums from all over the world and helped to produce hundreds of them. Sometimes you make a mistake in choosing the wrong picture or the color scheme does not work out the way it should have, but i know of the difficulties and the traps of producing a good invitation card. The subject has to be clear immediately and the picture on the card has to be a typical example from the exhibition. In my opinion here is a perfect card. Produced for the Bauhaus Archiv exhibition of Bauhaus photography. The card dates from 1990 and has an outstanding look and feel. The print quality is excellent and the subject clear immediately with the partly covered face in black and white. …… a perfect invitation it is and now available at www.ftn-books.com

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An important Tajiri/Crouwel book

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It was in the earliest years of his career that Wim Crouwel was invited to design the catalogues of the van Abbemuseum and in these years several iconic publications were published that were designed by Crouwel. I have encountered over the years many of them and have a nice selection for sale at www.ftn-books.com, but until last month i never had seen the Tajiri catalogue from 1961. It was one of the earliest of Tajiri his catalogues for a major museum, but Wim Crouwel must have felt the same about the catalogue as Tajiri did. Both must have the iedea that is was important for them personally. The typography on the cover is outstanding and the photograph by Cas Oorthuys even enhances it. This is a thin 12 page catalogue with a special 4 page inlay ( with photographs of sculptures), but every page shows the quality of Wim Crouwel his design in combination with the works by Tajiri.

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Wim Crouwel (continued )

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Early September 2019 i recommended the Mr Gridnik exhibition which would open shortly  after in the Stedelijk Museum. Just a few days before opening Mr.  Gridnik/ Wim Crouwel died  and he never witnessed his tribute at the Stedelijk. Since i have not found the time to go to this exhibition myself, but now that i finally have the opportunity and started planning my visit, i found out that all rooms are photographed and can be visited on line. It is a worthy tribute to one of the greatest designers from the last decade, but could have been much more complete. It focusses for 90% on the Stedelijk Museum publications, but it is still a very impressive sight to see so many great designs collected, but the real surprise is that i noticed that i have almost all of the books on show in my inventory. (www.ftn-books.com)

For those living too far away to visit the exhibition….here is the direct link to the rooms and showcases with Crouwel material:

https://www.stedelijk.nl/nl/crouwel-vitrines

and another excellent site with 19 photographs:

http://dutchdesigndaily.com/nl/nieuw/wim-crouwel-mr-gridnik/

 

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Irma Boom and the OUBORGPRIJS

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Every year and sometimes every two years, The STROOM agency for contemporary art in Den Haag presents the Ouborgprijs to one of the artists from the DEN HAAG region who has become important for modern art in and outside the Netherlands. The prestigious price is presented together with a publication which is published in a very small edition of 400 to 500 copies of the title to the artist. In the years 1992 (Gerard Petrus Fieret ), 1993 ( Lotti van der Gaag) and 1994 ( Tomas Rajlich) this publication was designed by Irma Boom, making these books outstanding in every way and because of the extremely small edition size , highly collectable items. I do not have the Fieret book, have sold the Rajlich book recently to China, but found the Lotti van der Gaag book and have put it up for sale at www.ftn-books.com

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Dick Elffers ( continued )

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A few years ago i wrote a blog on Dick Elffers , who had been designing for the Holland festival during the Fifties. I illustrated this blog with some examples which i had found on the internet, but now i have added two Holland festival items which i have found and bought recently. Both are from 1955. One is for the New York City Ballet performance and the other for Theatro alla Scala, Milano who performed l’Italiana in Algeri by Rossini. These programs ar4e a true delight . Embossed cover and the typical Elffers typography takes the spotlight. Both are now available at http://www.ftn-books.com

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Donald Janssen (1943)

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on Donald Janssen

Exhibition design is a relatively young design discipline that in recent decades has been developing strongly. Graphic and industrial designer Donald Janssen has for fifty years been part of this development, first as an independent designer and then with his design office in The Hague. In the 1970s he started as a freelance designer at the Haags Gemeentemuseum. Gradually several museums in the Netherlands and abroad followed, from which frequently long-term working relations emerged. He is a passionate designer who is constantly looking for new ways and sustainable solutions within the framework of a clear design concept.

This is an excerpt from an excellent series of blogs on great Dutch graphic designers. And Donald is certainly one of them. You can find the complete article on Donald Janssen at https://www.dutchgraphicroots.nl/?p=1757

and of course http://www.ftn-books.com has some very nice Donald Janssen designed books in its inventory

 

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Two different Malevitch titles

On a recent book market visit i found 2 totally different publications on the same artist. Malevich being the subject it occurred to me that there was a great difference between both publications. One rather modern with the emphasize on his early works proved that the interest in his early works was not there from the early beginning. The other being earlier…. a Louisiana / Denmark Museum publication from 1959. Shows the influence of Willem Sandberg in its catalogue design and its approach is totally different. Only a few early works are depicted and the focus is on his Suprematist works, which were being discovered as highly important in those days. The ultimate “BLACK SQUARE” being the final result of his search in constructivist painting.

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These and other great Malevitch publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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A great Museum Alphabet book / 1995

 

museum alphabet.jpgIn the very long period that i am now active  as a bookseller and collector i have seen many Alphabet books published and sold by the most famous of museums. Arguably one of the best, and certainly a personal best was the one designed by Gracia Lebbink. ( i only have a personal copy in my collection) but recently i bought another MUSEUM ALPHABET book which is nice and adventurous. It is the book published by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The museum published a 30 page hard paged book with details of some of the highlights within the collection, making the very youthful in a playful way familiar with the Museums collection. The book was designed and “written” by Gisela Voss and published in 1995 and is well worth collecting.  There is nothing to be found on the internet on the author, but this book is one of a series of other books she made for the Boston Museum .This book is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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De voorstelling begint op straat!

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This has been one of the highlights from the past year. A book i did not know was published but a true treasure trove. The book dates back from 2001 and shows the history of 10 years of “Stage” posters. These are done by the very best of dutch (poster) designers. To name a few Anthon Beeke, Jan Bons, Joost Swarte, Lex Reitsma, Marten Jongema. A beautiful published book. BIS published these posters on a larger sized format. Giving these the best possible size in a still reasonably sized book . The book contains the very best of 10 years of posters starting in 1991 and ending in 2001. This book is now in my personal book case and i am glad to give this a place in my personal collection until it sells…..i love it!

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Larry Clark (1943)

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In many ways the US audience thinks his works a controversial, but in the Netherlands were there is a much more liberal approach to art, Larry Clark’s his works are considered as important and progressive. The result….some excellent gallery exhibitions over here and the spectacular Larry Clark exhibition at the Groninger Museum in 1999. The catalogue design was done by Swip Stolk, who designed the catalogue in the shape of a book containing postcard/photographs and some Clark designed (real) stickers.. Making this one of the most collectible Larry Clark items worldwide ( now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.

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Larry Clark was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1943. While a teenager Clark developed his photography skills working as an assistant to his mother, a door-to-door baby photographer. He later spent two years at a commercial photography school. Larry Clark achieved both fame and notoriety with the publication of his first book Tulsa in 1971. Although drug use, sex and violence are the main themes, the images are often beautifully composed and his subjects are sympathetically presented. Tulsa demonstrated a new style of photography that was subjective, alienated and completely detached from any social agenda. Clark raised the ante for engaged photography; his work offered a lived experience rather than a merely observed one.

In his collages and videos of the late 1980s and early 1990s, he broadened this investigation into revealing the ways that mass media alternately creates, rejects, and eroticizes young people. In 1995, Clark released his first feature film, Kids, which premiered at that year’s Sundance Film Festival and was hailed as “an instant classic” and “a wake-up call.” Kids was followed by such works as Another Day in Paradise (1998), Bully (2001), Ken Park (2003), WASSUP ROCKERS (2005), and the autobiographical installation and publication punk Picasso (2003). Marfa Girl (2012) was released independently on his website (www.larryclark.com) and won the Marcus Aurelius Award for Best Film at the 2012 Rome Film Festival. Marfa Girl 2, Clark’s first sequel, premiered in New York City in 2018.

Clark has been the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Photographers’ Fellowship in 1973 and the Creative Arts Public Service Photographers’ Grant in 1980. His work is included in important museum and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; and the Frankfurt Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany. In 2010, a retrospective of Clark’s work, Kiss the past hello, was held at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. He lives and works in New York.