It was about 9 years ago that me and my wife Linda visited Paris. Dropped our son together with my sister in law, nephew and niece at the gates of Disneyland Paris and went to the city.
I know Paris well and took Linda for the first time to some “arrondissements” she had never visited before. There was the 16th where i had lived for almost a year and the Rue de Seine , the Modern art district .
At one of the galleries a FLUXUS exhibition was being held with art by BEN and Saito. To make this exhibition known to the outside world an extremely nice FLUXUS poster was published. Because i had a hunch that these posters would become important i asked if i could take 4 of them with me. NO problem….. and now 9 years later there is only one of these rare posters left and available at www.ftn-books.com and in time they have proven that i was right about them. They have proven to be important and highly collectable.
For me Fluxus is Robert Filliou and Robert Filliou is Fluxus. There are so many examples how Filliou approached art in his very personal way. Born in France, but at one time he worked in Los Angeles for Coca Cola. This is where he must have learned to speak and write english, but when you listen to him he learned to speak the language, but not without the french accent.
Still i like his works and there is always something to discover within his projects of which one was a project he did at the StedelijK Museum Amsterdam in 1971 after which project a catalogue was published. The catalogue RESEARCH AT THE STEDELIJK Nov.5-Dec.5 1971 is available at www.ftn-books.com , is one of the rarest from the Seventies Stedelijk catalogues and is an excellent introduction into the fascinating world of Robert Filliou.
It was 1962 when Ben Vautier joint the Fluxus mouvement and stayed true to its principles until he moved forward and started the Figuration Libre mouvement in 1981.
When you read what Wikipedia says about him , you will notice that they mention that he is a ZERO artist, but for me he is everything but …. No he foremost is a great and one of the first Fluxus artists, who has developed an art language which is typical Vautier. You will recognize his works among thousands, because on an even background his writing language and saying are unique and o so typical Vautier
Pictures tell a better story than words in this case. Take a look at a screenshot i made from Google.
A little anecdote….the first time i saw the publications of Emmett Williams was in the early eighties in the Gemeentemuseum. It was a very nice publication, but at that time i did not see the qualities of his works and publications. When a few years later too many of the edition was unsold , we decided to put them in a “sale” for 2 guilders each. Even at that price they were very hard to sell and now 30 years later… I was offered a small collection of Emmett Williams books and bought them back at 30x the price of 2 guilders, a price well worth the books ,because these are very special books. The VOYAGE is published in only 1000 copies and works like a classic “flip book”. These books are absolute “must have’s” for serious collectors. They are becoming more rare every year and as an artist Emmett Williams will become one of the most important artists from the Fluxus mouvement.
John Lennon, composer, rock artist, activist, actor and the reason for this blog “artist”. It was until 10 years ago when i acquired a book on the artist John Lennon that i realized that beside all his qualities he also was an excellent drawing artist. Possibly the influence of his second wife Yoko Ono,
he developed a complete style of his own and made some excellent drawings, portraits and sketches from daily life. His erotic draewing are made in a time that there was liberation and they must have contributed to a more open view towards sex. An excellent book on his drawings is availabel at www.ftn-books.com together with some excellent biographical publications.
Stanley Brouwn….Autodidact artist, born in Paramaribo/ Suriname and a conceptual artist for his entire artistic life began to fascinate me some 20 years ago when i bought an artist book in which the exact measurements of 1 meter were repeated for over 50 pages . Most of his conceptual works were published in books and because of this, his books are considered as the actual work of art. Small publications, in many cases far less than 500 copies make these highly collectable items. This is work from an artist who is as a conceptual artist closely related to ZERO, but also to FLUXUS . Original in his own way i would say he is not ZERO and not FLUXUS….no he is Stanley Brouwn and very much worth collecting.
some of the Brouwn publications are available at www.ftn-books.com
I first heard about Topor when i was living in Paris for almost a year. It was one of these artists who was known for his illustrations and not for his Fluxus works. Later on… my idea about his works was reversed and i primarily saw him as a Fluxus artist. There were several times when i could buy his works at auction, but in only one i was successful . The remainder of the Vogtschmidt gallery was auctioned to compensate with gallery Vogtschmidt for the Karel Appels she had sold and not paid for. In the auction i bid a fair amount for a little drawing of an angel and this is still in my collection. Because it is not on the wall i decided to sell it and this made me remember Topor.
There is one Fluxus book you have to be on the look out for… SOUVENIR… a book with crossed out words so nothing can be read. Published by the Harmonie in 1975. Topor was the only person in the world who knows which text he had written and crossed out.
Arnon Grunberg made a nice biography ( incl. cd) on Roland Topor which is also for sale so please take a look at the Topor items i currently have available at www.ftn-books.com
It was about 15 years ago that the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag produced some original Karel Appel lithographs and sold them through galerie Vogtschmidt in Amsterdam. All were sold but none were paid. So after a long time arguing about the payment we decided to go there ourselves and “rescue” what was left. A colleague of mine and i went to Amsterdam and chose some art from the stock of galerie Vogtschmidt and among these items was this Roland Topor drawing which i bought privately in an auction which i organized among the personnel of the Gemeentemuseum . This together with a series of prints was mine. At a fair price, but not as cheap as i hoped for , because others were bidding with me on these items. Now some 15 years later the purchase price is forgotten and what remains is the memory of the auction and the many nice items which were for sale at that time. I wish i had bid on the Henk Peeters set and the light drawing by Roland Topor but you can not have everything. and for the dutch….Martin Bril zei’ Je mist meer dan je meemaakt’
In the Netherlands many of the (special) publications were published because Topor received a lot of attention by publishers and curators. Because of this, one can regularly find nice publications, but since Fluxus is getting popular every year now, it becomes more and more difficult to find the nice ones
, but please take a look at my inventory at www.ftn-books.com and find the Topor books that i have at the moment.