We joined our friends David and Monica this weekend in Paris. Planning this to meet each other half way planet earth took some organization, but it was worth it, because the exhibition of the Sergueï Chtchoukine collection is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to see all these marvelous paintings in one place. Later i will blog on the exhibition itself, but for now i will focus on the building in which it is presented…the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Starting as a company making high quality bags, travel trunks and accessories out of prepared canvas and leather, the company later became one of the leading companies in the fashion world. Nowadays they are part of the LVMH group. A large holding specializing in luxury goods and one of the wealthiest companies in the world….and that shows, because in the Bois de Boulogne they build a museum which can not be compared with anything i have seen except the other Gehry designed buildings. Guggenheim Bilbao, Vitra in Weil Am Rhein and the Disney Concert Hall in LA), but this one is special….. First of all the layers / shells are all executed in white instead of the aluminium ones in Bilbao and L.A.). constructed and attached to each other with wooden supporting beams and because of the outer layer material, it was possible for Daniel Buren to convert these shells into one of his most complex, impressive and colorful In Situ works ever.
When you walk towards the entrance you get a glimpse of the pattern as it is executed, but when you leave the museum at the other side and walk into the garden, …..get some distance…..there it is …. you see a beautiful building totally covered by a great work of art. I do not know how long the Buren will be visible on the building but as long it is there, try to see it because it is well worth to see this one “live”. Compare it with the Christo In Situ works. Whenever you have seen one there is no photograph which can be compared with seeing the project with your own eyes. The scale in which it is executed makes these works special and so is this Daniel Buren….and Yes the Fondation Louis Vuitton is not the only one who combined these artist together, because books on Vuitton, Gehry and Buren can all be found at www.ftn-books.com
Yesterday….9th of December, 2016…location studio of Floris Hovers in Raamsdonksveer.
Never met him before, but an instant liking for the person and works of Floris Hovers. when we met each other yesterday . The studio visit was a result of a purchase which we had seen at Art THE HAGUE. The result a beautiful and highly entertaining tableau of Circus wagons.
The tableau is featured in the recently published book “Hover’s Manual of Things “which is published in a limited and numbered edition of only 750 copies of which each has a different hand colored cover . Ours is yellow /green on a color of blue, but many others are available at www.florishovers.nl
Hovers was educated at the Eindhoven Design Academy, graduated in 2004 and has since been designing and developing furniture, toys and objects. The showroom in Raamsdonksveer gives a great overview of the products he has made during the last decade, but what makes the visit to his studio really special is the workspace behind the office/showroom. A space which has been in his family for generations and in which he creates his projects. His use of color is some kind of special, because in many cases he choses for the subdued colors instead of the bright ones, which results in a typical Hovers color scheme. He has an adult approach to his designs and products and of course the marketing of them, but an imaginative mind to please adults and children alike with his designs. A designer for ages from 8-88. The same approach like Herge who’s “Kuifje naar de Maan” poster is gracing his workspace.
Last but not least…i bought myself a CARtools set and have now played for half an hour with it. You can make numerous cars from it by using the 3 kinds of chassis included and combine them together with the multi colored blocks within the set. A little bit like the Bauhaus ship block set, but as a set i prefer this one. Only one product in my own inventory comes to mind when i see his products. It is the fabulous series of ADO wooden toys. They are as nice as the ones Floris makes.
The products featured in this blog : Hover’s manual of Things (euro 49,50) and CARtools are both available at www.florishovers.nl
Last Sunday we visited the Stedelijk Museum for the Tinguely exhibition ( see blog in a few days) and the Willem Sandberg exhibition. Sandberg was not only the director for over 2 decades at the Stedelijk ( 1945-1963), but also took care of almost all the design and typography for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which was made during his years as a director. 5 rooms are filled with a multitude of publications. Mostly for the Stedelijk and some for the Israel museum in Tel Aviv.
What struck me most is that his designs are timeless and still belong to the very best designs that were made in last century. The 3rd room was filled with Stedelijk Museum publications and i was proud to find that 100% of the book publications shown in that room was available at www.ftn-books.com.
This is an exhibition you have to visit when you are a Sandberg admirer and study the publications on show. Beautiful, in many cases handcrafted typography and designs and among the Sandberg designs the very best that were made. It was good to see that so many of these publications still are timeless and of the highest quality and never looked old fashioned. For me Willem Sandberg is still one of the very “greats” in design and typography from the 20th century.
Yesterday we ate with our good friend Annemarie Schrofer and because of the beautiful paintings by her father on the walls, i remembered another member of the Schrofer family ……Jurriaan Schrofer.
Born in 1926 and also a child of Annemarie’s father Willem Schrofer he would become one of the leading typography and graphic designers in the Netherlands. His works can be considered as “avant garde” design, thinking “out of the box” and soon he would develop his very own style . He originally wanted to become a film director, but ended being the assistant to Dick Elffers. This was the starting point of a splendid career as a graphic designer. For a few years in the seventies he was a member of Total Design, but soon followed again his own path. Highly original and recognizable are his designs. He was commissioned by many dutch important institutions and was appreciated for the designs he made for them, but his true recognition as one of the leading graphic designers from last century is only 25 years old. His works would become internationally known and appreciated. There now is a high interest in his works from leading British Graphic design schools and recently the same interest comes from the US.
Jurriaan Schrofer books can still be picked up at reasonable prices and for those interested in dutch graphic design, the designs by Schrofer are an absolute and quintessential part in the history of Graphic design and not to be missed in any collection. www.ftn-books.com
The day before yesterday i read an article about the newly designed book for Renault…design by Irma Boom…and my immediate thought was …how can i get hold of this important title for my private collection. It will be a difficult task , but maybe if i say something nice about the new Renault line of cars , designed by Laurens van den Acker this would help?
I never noticed Renault cars until lately i saw a new design line emerge Captur , Kadgar, Megane and Talisman could all be recognized as Renault’s, but what struck me most is that the design elements designed by van den Acker could be found in each of these models….and honestly these are great looking cars and the Talisman Estate has one of the best designs of the contemporary estate cars available.
Irma Boom translated these new Renault designs into a book worth collecting ( not for sale). The pages resemble paper thin aluminium, the cover can be polished and the design is breath taking.
So which Renault dealer can help me with this important publication and can make me a happy collector? For the one who helps me with this,
i have a nice Irma Boom book available to trade for it.
By the way…i did not know it, but the iconic Renault logo is designed by Victor Vasarely.
The Finnish master of design and glas has had some great exhibitions in the Netherlands, but the most important one was the one in the Stedelijk Museum ( 1976). The Stedelijk Museum took a special interest in Wirkkala and acquired many beautiful works by him and from his wife Rut Bryk, who also had her exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum (1970) , even before her husband had his. Both their catalogues were designed by Wim Crouwel and both catalogues are collectors items now.
Wirkkala designed many great glas objects for Iitala which are still in production. I wish i had more publications on Wirkkala and his wife, but these are rare. The ones i have are both from the Stedelijk Museum. One is the monography and the other two are on a group exhibitions on Finnish glas and design.
Because of a recent sale , i was reminded that there are so many important designs made by this master of ALCHIMIA. The design group that made the most remarkable designs in the eighties. Beside these designs he made for Alchimia, he also was a gifted architect and book designer. A multi talented artist who made some of the most iconic designs and in the Netherland was partly responsible for the architecture of the Groninger Museum. The Groninger Museum got his new building in 1994. At that time it was one of the most spectacular Museum buildings in the world.
This was possibly the building that paved the way for many more avant garde museum buildings. For instance the Gehry building which was made for the Guggenheim museum was opened in 1997, 3 year after the opening of the Groninger Museum. Since, the Groninger Museum always has had a special interest in design and their own publications have for the greatest part been of the highest possible quality. In many of them Swip Stolk had a role and they always show the influence of Alessandro Mendini .
There was a time when our generation was amazed when we saw the instant result when you took a picture with a Polaroid camera. It was at the end of the seventies that these camera’s were hugely popular and many artists in those days used them to get an immediate result. Recently i only know of Araki who still uses the technique of instant photography. However , a few weeks ago, a friend of the family took a new camera out of his pocket and showed it to us. It was a similar camera to a Polaroid camera , same technique, but much much smaller. Personally i do not think it will replace the digital photography we all got used to nowadays, but maybe some artists will see new opportunities and will use it in their art. Time will tell.
There are some very nice publications to be found on the technique and the artists that used it. Of course Andy Warhol is one of the best known, but there are many more and this form of art was recognized by the Stedelijk Museum in 1982 with a large exhibition on instant photography. An excellent Wim Crouwel designed catalogue which shows many great examples of INSTANT PHOTOGRAPHY.
A few years ago i found a very nice remainder stock of books on Josef Zotti, who i dit not know at that time. Triggered by the quality of the book i found that i really loved his works. Buildings and design go hand in hand and last year when we visited Vienna i encountered many buildings which were designed by Zotti and saw the buildings “live” and was even more impressed. There are not many titles on this architect designer but this is the one i have in my stock which i can truly recommend and shows best why he is such a multitalented artist.
The year is 1991. The occasion is the opening of the exhibition on Hamish Fulton. Curated by Rudi Fuchs and Franz Kaiser. The Haags Gemeentemuseum organized this excellent exhibition which was accompanied by a publication ONE HUNDRED WALKS ,which still is one of my personal favorites and certainly is one of the most beautiful books in my collection. The book was designed by Hamish Fulton himself and Gracia Lebbink was asked to do the graphic layout and production. The result….. an artist book which is one of the best ever published.
The book was delivered ( as almost always) just a few hours before the opening of the exhibition and sold during this opening. The next day i encountered Fulton in the corridor of the museum and complimented him on the book and asked if he could sign my personal copy. No problem….. the book was signed and i had another souvenir for my collection, but then it occurred to me that the idea of signing some of these could be profitable for the museum and i asked him if he could sign and number a series of 20 copies to be sold in our museum bookstore.
The friendly and sympathetic person he is , he did not even think about it and asked for the 20 copies to sign them. Later that afternoon he came to the library , set himself at a desk and signed the 20 copies , which were numbered 1 to 20. The signature he placed in the books is still one of my most admired signatures in Modern Art. The way it is placed on the page and dated, plus the story behind it makes this still very special to me. The books ( signed and unsigned version) are still available at :
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20