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Wim Crouwel (1928-2019)

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This morning i heard that one of the most influential designers from our time, Wim Crouwel, has died. The last years of his life he suffered Parkinson disease, but he was still going strong and must have looked forward to the retrospective of his works being opened later this  month at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. What better way to commemorate this great artist than to show a selection of the many items designed by him. www.ftn-books.com

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And to finish one of my personal favorites. Wim Crouwel will be an example for many designers in the decades to comewerkman crouwel aa.

 

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A rare Wim Crouwel designed publication.

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Most of the people who admire the designs by Wim Crouwel, know that at one time he designed a series of stamps for the PTT ( the postal service in the Netherlands) The series of stamps was widely used and became famous for being functional and still having a great design.

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Because the series was widely used and succesfull, Crouwel was asked to design the book on the publication of the stamps of 1977. This has become a typical Wim Crouwel publication. The book is smaller than usual, but one can recognize the Crouwel Lay-out of the pages. The editions of these “YEARBOOKS” were small and after inquiring i heard the number of 1000 copies. Of these many will have be destroyed or were lost and this is a ncie chance to add this to your Crouwel collection. Available at www.ftn-books.com

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Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)

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Never heard of Yeats as a painter, until Rudi Fuchs curated an exhibition with his paintings at the Haags Gemeentemuseum and it was a nice surprise. His painting is spontane , a little childish and impressionistic at the same time and thus resulting in a painting what is typical for Yeats with a signature of its own. The exhibition was not that large and i remember that the sizes of the paintings were not that large too.

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What i do remember was the excellent catalogue Gracia Lebbink designed with the exhibition. It was one of her first lareg catalogues she made for the Gemeentemuseum but it has proven to be a classic and available at www.ftn-books.com

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Stuttgarter Hefte IIII… also in the Moma collection

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I am proud to have finally found one of these iconic publications by the Staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule Stuttgart. It was a lucky find, but still one i have been looking for for for many many years in the past. The location was secret for many years because it was protected by another book which i recently had bought and which is roughly from the same date. It must have been the former owner who knew its value and wanted to protect the precious publication. These Stuttgarter Hefte were published in only 400 copies in the mid Twenties and printed in the printing rooms of the Kunstgewerbeschule. Everything is special about these publications. Sizes are far larger than usual. The lay out is impressive and the designs are true avant-garde for those years. This one was printed in 1926 and as said in an edition of only 400 copies. I am sure that only a few have survived over the years and most of these have found new owners or are in important libraries. I found the set being a part of the MOMA collection and when i tried to find other copies on the internet….. i found as expected…. ZERO of them. Now this excellent copy is for sale. On a scale of 1 to 10 i would rate this one at 8+ points

Pictures tell a better story so here are some of the pages an designs of this truly remarkable publication.

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Emmy Andriesse ( 1914-1953)

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Emmy Andriesse was married to another famous dutch graphic designer. Dick Elffers was her husband and together they formed a formidable and important artistic couple. Where Elffers excelled in design and typography,

Emmy Andriesse found her artistic goal in photography. Het photographs belong to the best dutch photography has produced in the 20th century. People were her main subjects, but beside her portraits and scene photographs she proved to be an excellent landscape photographer too. At one time she travelled to Arles to photograph what van Gogh must have seen in his days and these photographs belong to the best ones she ever has made.

Book available at www.ftn-books.com. Het photographs have a social element which was rare and give an extra depth to the scenes she photgraphs.

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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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