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Minimal Art at the Haags Gemeentemuseum

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It was in the early Eighties that i learned of the Minimal Art collection and history of the Haags Gemeentemuseum.

Crucial for the collection was the interest of almost all modern art curators in Minimal Art. Starting with Enno Develing who introduced the key artists of the Minimal Art scene for the first time in a large exhibition in 1968. Among them Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre and of course Sol LeWitt. Many of them would receive solo prentations in the years to follow, but this first time was a breakthrough for Minimal Art. The catalogue is arare book nowadays and i am lucky to have a copy for sale at www.ftn-books.com

After this first exhibition many exhibitions would follow. Enno Develing, Flip Bool, Rudi Fuchs and Franz Kaiser all took an interest in Minimal Art and because of this interest , exhibitions with LeWitt, Andre and Judd were organized in the decades after this first  1968 Minimal Art exhibition. I doubt that none was as important as this very first one, because after this first one Minimal Art was established as an art form, but another aspect that makes this first ( Develing ) exhibition important is that the relationship between the Gemeentemuseum and these artist was not only an artistic one.  The museum and its curators became friends with practically all Minimal Art artists, resulting in an ever growing collection of Minimal Art.

There is a nice link to a tribute to Sol LeWitt to be found over here:

http://www.gem-online.nl/files/media/gem/2016/sol_lewitt._a_tribute/ebook_sollewitt_web.pdf

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Minimal Art / 1968 curated by Enno Develing … a pdf file

This is a special blog on Minimal art . This time i am offering my readers a real treat.

As you might know the Gemeentemuseum published in the late nineties a cd rom containing the PDF files of possibly the 3 most important and sought after Minimal Art exhibition catalogues which were held in Europe in the late sixties. A European first…..All three were curated by Enno Develing and all three were accompanied by a simple but important catalogue. All these catalogues ( LeWitt, Minimal Art,  Carl Andre) sold out completely and because of the demand and art historical importance we decided to buy some antiquarian 2nd hand copies, strip them from their backbones and scan them as PDF files for future use and disclosure to students and publish them in a very limited number on cd rom.

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At that time i bought the CD rom. The CD rom player on my Mac disappeared, but i kept the files on my hard drive including the Carl Andre, LeWitt and Minimal Art catalogues in pdf format . You can view the Minimal Art catalogue here:  MINIMAL ART

For the complete CD ROM or separate files of the other catalogue please visit www.ftn-books.com

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Minimal Art by Judd, Andre and LeWitt

I chose these 3 artists to tell you something on Minimal Art in the Netherlands. These 3 artists were the first to be invited to have an exhibition on Minimal Art in 1968,. The exhibition was curated by Enno Develing and the catalogue published with this exhibition has become one of the rarest of dutch museum catalogues from the last half century. I am fortunate to still have it available in PDF, because this one was so rare i decided, at the time i was working as a bookseller/publsher for the Haags Gemeentemuseum to buy one to turn it into PDF files and so making it available for collectors and visitors. Thanks to Ap Gewald, who had the original copy and lent it to me for this purpose, this project became possible. A good decision, because it has become a very hard to find catalogue and because of its importance it is still available for students and collectors alike in PDF.

For all customers ordering in the next week, i make this catalogue available on request and sent it by Wetransfer. But because of this long time relation of these 3 artists, all three of them have made special editions with the museum shop. Sol LeWitt made painted tiles, Carl Andre small copper plates in editions of 1/1 and Donald Judd, made brightly colored furniture for the bookshop in the early nineties. Of course these products are all completely sold out, but what is still available, but is increasingly becoming more scarce every day, is the Museum publications and artist books by these artists. Specially Sol LeWitt works are harder to find each

 

month, but i am proud to have one of the 1972 editions by Sol LeWitt in my inventory. It is the Macerata edition of 8 original /signed silkscreens by Sol LeWiit in its original white plastic container.

https://ftnbooks.myshopify.com/admin/products/448412805

And because we have to celebrate a milestone on Facebook there is of course a discount code (valid for only 2 days) , which gives a 10% discount : FBminimal10

Please take a look at the many beautiful Minimal Art books that are available at:

www.ftn-books.com

lewitt-2015

 

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Carl Andre (1935)

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Carl Andre (born September 16, 1935) is an American minimalist artist recognized for his ordered linear format and grid format sculptures. His sculptures range from large public artworks (such as Stone Field Sculpture, 1977 in Hartford, CT and Lament for the Children, 1976 in Long Island City, NY) to more intimate tile patterns arranged on the floor of an exhibition space (such as 144 Lead Square, 1969 or Twenty-fifth Steel Cardinal, 1974). In 1988, Andre was tried and acquitted in the death of his wife, artist Ana Mendieta.

This is how the text on Wikipedia starts on this great artist. Together with Sol LeWitt and Donald Judd he is recognized as being one of the artists who started the Minimal Art mouvement. Specially in the late sixties these three names were presented in group exhibitions on Minimal Art. In 1968 the Haags Gemeentemuseum was the first museum in Europe to hold an exhibition on Minimal Art, curated by Enno Develing who later became one of the authorities on Minimal Art and was a long life friend of Sol LeWitt after the exhibition was held.

Just a small story on some of the great art which was sold through the shop of the Gemeentemuseum. In 1986 the museum held its 50 years birthday celebration and together with this event some special art works were produced by famous artists….among them Carl Andre…he made some unique small copper plate pieces together with a drawing. If i remember correctly there were 8 of them. All sold instantly…..and i did NOT buy one…what a pitty ;-(

The most crucial event in his career is the death of his wife Ana Mendieta

In 1979 Andre first met Ana Mendieta through a mutual friendship with artists Leon Golub and Nancy Spero at AIR Gallery in New York City. Andre and Mendieta eventually married in 1985, but the relationship ended in tragedy. Mendieta fell to her death from Andre’s 34th story apartment window in 1985 after an argument with Andre. There were no eyewitnesses. A doorman in the street below had heard a woman screaming “No, no, no, no,” before Mendieta’s body landed on the roof of a building below. Andre had what appeared to be fresh scratches on his nose and forearm, and his story to the police differed from his recorded statements to the 911 operator an hour or so earlier. The police arrested him. Andre was charged with second degree murder. He elected to be tried before a judge with no jury. In 1988 Andre was acquitted of all charges related to Mendieta’s death

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The works by Andre are still very much visible in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum and the last addition of ‘WEIR”  was done by Rudi Fuchs in 1988/1989 after the Carl Andre exhibition of 1987. The catalogue and other Carl Andre books are available at www.ftn-books.com

The 1968 Minimal Art / Enno Develing catalogue was published in PDF as a reprint and because i still have this available in my personal collection i can offer all purchasers of a Carl Andre item a copy of this in PDF file. Please let me know with your order that you want the PDF file sent by email.