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Douglas James Johnson (1940-1998) and Jean Genet.

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This will not be an easy blog and i was in doubt if i should publish it, but these prints are so impressive that i will make an effort.

In 1948 Jean Genet published Funeral Rites. An impressive, erotic, grief stricken, despairing novel on the death of his lover. The young hero  who was shot at the barricades in the uprising of the populace of Paris against the german occupation in August 1944. Irreconcilable contradictions become the poles between which he constructs a vast, centrifugal ritual of Love, Death, ecstasy, horror, beauty, betrayal and despair. Johnson’s pictures are a translation and an expansion of these principal themes in which the love and physical excitement for his death lover remains after his death. The Hitlerian and Nazi imagery is suggested in the prints and is/was always present in the Genet novel and is the background, which together with the male nudity, gives them an uneasy feeling to the spectator. To understand  these prints it is necessary to at least read a short summary of the Genet novel. Now for the technique…. I have seen many prints during my life, but this publication with these 10 prints belongs to the very best of all. All prints are special. Not only because the print quality is excellent, but nearly on every print a special collage is fixed to enhance the print and making it stand out. All prints are numbered and signed from an edition of 80 . Numbered 30/80

On Facebook i found some further information by David Cowper on this edition.

The genesis of this series of silkscreen prints goes back to 1970-72. Johnson, who was living in Tehran at the time, had read Genet’s ‘Funeral Rites’ after a visit to France where he met and talked to Bernard Frechtman, the translator. He was fascinated by the themes of betrayal, depair and love. as well as by the strange technique of the narrative. By 1972 he had completed twelve drawings with collages based on the book. In 1975 after coming to live in France the previous year, Johnson showed them to Genet at the Karl Flinker gallery in Paris. Genet enthusiastically encouraged Johnson to have them printed and in1976 when Rob Jurka of Amsterdam saw them he suggested publishing a series of prints based on the drawings. Johnson started preparing a set of ten plates for the printer and in May 1977 spent a month in Amsterdam with the printer Hans Jansen and completed the first five prints. The last five were completed in september 1977 and the series was first exhibited by Galerie Jurka at the International Contemporary Art Fair ‘FIAC’ in the Grand Palais in Paris. October 1977. (this text was taken from the booklet Definitions of Betrayal Part 1 Funeral Rites) The Prints have also been exhibited at the Schwules Museum in Berlin within the past couple of years.

I will not post any pictures that may offend the readers but for those interested in this very special portfolio by Galerie Jurka from 1977 … here is the link to download the PDF file with the 10 prints.

pdf file : Douglas James Johnson rites b

The portfolio is available at ftn art.

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Günther Förg…. a “mystery” edition

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Günther Förg, together with Sol LeWitt, this artist is one of the most promising artists for the future.

With Abstract painting, Graphic art and photographs, Günther Förg has made  a name for himself in the world of Art.

Because he was discovered in the late eighties by some dutch curators a.o Flip Bool, directors ( Rudi Fuchs) and Wim van Krimpen as a gallery owner, he received at an early stage of his career some important exhibitions in the Netherlands. Among them there was a gallery presentation in the van Krimpen gallery in Amsterdam. At that time Wim van Krimpen had some nice young artists who were presented in his gallery. Among them Piet Dirkx ( yes… from the Piet Dirkx daily) and Günther Förg, who had a chance to present some lead paintings and large photographs at the gallery. With this exhibition, an extremely nice set of  4 color lithographs was published in a small edition of only 25 copies. I loved and love the works by Gunther Forg and i am fortunate to have bought 2 of these sets at the time they were published. One litho from the set is depicted on the cover of Gunther Forg/ The complete editions 1974-1988 and within the book the set is spread over 2 pages (64 and 65) and illustrated. So far the history of the set which was published in 1987 by galerie van Krimpen.

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A leap in time brings us to ca. 2000 when i spoke Wim van Krimpen and told him we had met before at the time i bought the sets and he told me i was lucky , because about 15 sets were destroyed because his cellar at one time flooded and the sets could not be saved, leaving in total about 10 sets that were sold at the gallery and were among collectors.

Since his death in 2013 Günther Förg works are in high demand at auctions and with art dealers and i believe this demand will not end for a long long time. Günther Förg’s art is original and exquisite and this set which is now on offer is one of the best he ever has published . Look at the FTN art page for additional information.

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A new look and feel for the daily FTN blog and FTN art.

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These pages with the daily blogs on “books and art” needed some changes. I had to give the “Piet Dirkx daily” a more prominent spot, the place it deserves and made a new and better focus on FTN art . I found a better template and layout and because of that the items which are for sale are far more easy to access. A search option for blog and art is now included in a much better place.

The new blog site will be changed and adjusted in the coming weeks. I have to find out what works best and how to make it better, but for the moment ….enjoy!

PS. I am sorry if i published some test versions and you were wrongly notified for the new blogs published.

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Robert Mangold ..Holderlin/ Seven Maxims

Added this afternoon the beautiful publication of Robert Mangold ‘s SEVEN MAXIMS, containing 5 original large double page prints to the FTN art page.

This is one of the highlights in my inventory. Not because it is expensive, but i think this is outright beautiful and has everything what a great art limited edition should be. Slipcase, loose sheets. prints spread over double pages , best possible print quality, very limited edition, signed and numbered. This is really superb and needs to be presented in this blog on SEVEN MAXIMS by Mangold.

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Toon Teeken (1944)

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I have been fascinated by the works of Toon Teeken for some decades now. I first encountered his works in the Bonnefanten Museum Maastricht in 1986 where he had an exhibition at that museum together with Fons Haagmans. I loved both, but slightly preferred the works by Teeken.

Since, i followed his exhibitions at museums and galleries. Because Teeken is represented by gallery Nouvelles Images which is quite nearby and easy for me to visit. I could follow his development as an artist. I  love his works but saw them rise in price with every new exhibition and becoming financially out of reach for me, but sometimes you are in luck…..  I found one of the most important works by Teeken coming up for sale and made a direct bid for it ….. and won.

teeken groot

I hoped to find a large wall for it at our home, but i miscalculated the space needed for such a large painting and had to store it. It is now stored for some years and it has become clear that there is no space available for it in the future and therfore it is now for sale at ftn-art at a price half of the gallery price. A bargain price for a painting which is much larger than the standard sized ones usually for sale.  But this one really needs space being 260 x 200 cm. it is an unsually large work , but when you have an office or conference offices i can highly recommend this one. Affordable and impressive and artistically an important work by a great dutch artist…Toon Teeken.

Its provenance…Artesia bank / Maastricht who had it in their entrance.

for more information see ftn-art

There are some nice Teeken publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Ossip for sale … IN TEN NATISIMO ! / 2007

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Today added item no. 3 to FTN art. It is the statue by Ossip from 2007

In Ten Natisimo!

PLease take a look at this typical Ossip work.