This blog is long time overdue. I met Gracia for the first time when she was designing the artist book LA STANZA VEDE by Kounellis for the Haags Gemeentemuseum in 1990. She was introduced to the Haags Gemeentemuseum by Rudi Fuchs who was the director at that time and because trusted her skills after being introduced to Rudi by Walter Nikkels some time before.
Since, she designed for the Gemeentemuseum many publications and posters and build a prestigious agency on the way, “designing” for many cultural institutions and museums. Always recognizable, simple , beautiful designs and with a typography that invites reading the texts.
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I mentioned Nikkels and Lebbink in the same sentence and that is not without a reason … I consider both to be the very best from the generations to follow Sandberg and Crouwel and because I have known Gracia professionally, she is placed on the no. 1 spot, followed at some distance by Walter Nikkels. It proves Rudi Fuchs had a nose to pick not only the best artists, but also the right choice in commissioning a designer with a project. Gracia had to stop her professional career in 2003, leaving us some very beautiful and appealing designs.
Because of my personal interest in her works I have collected many of Gracia’s designs for FTN-books. Many are available at www.ftn-books.com…..just search for Lebbink and you will encounter over 30 Gracia Lebbink designed publications available.
Art & Project was not the only art gallery who published a regular bulletin in the Netherlands. In 3 consecutive decades, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam published their Bulletin series on a regular basis. Their Bulletins were more informative and less a small piece of art. I thought they were less interesting, but now some 15 years later I have become to appreciate these Bulletin publications. Great design, very informative and always “up to date”. Over the decades some very important and highly collectable Bulletins have been published. The series consists over 400 bulletin publications among which are some true classics which are available at ww.ftn-books.com. My thought about the Bulletin series has changed over the years and I think these publications are from an art point of view important. They show the exhibitions which were held over the years and include some of the best art ever. For me the following Bulletins can not be missed in any serious art book collection: Ben, Memphis, Keith Haring on the Velum, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt on his drawings. This is to name just a few……..
We love to travel and taste wine in the Alsace region in France. Only a 6 hour drive to bring you in a totally different surroundings and on the way up to our favorite place ( Auberge Frankenbourg) you will pass 2 famous French cities. There is Metz with the new dependance of the Pompidou museum and the Musee des Beaux Arts on the Place Stanislas in Nancy. The Stanislas square is arguably one of the most impressive and beautiful squares in Europe. A Unesco heritage site and at the edge of the square you can find the Musee des Beaux Arts with its impressive Daum glass collection.
Both museum are well worth visiting and for those wanting to go to the auberge Frankenbourg, make a reservation well in advance to secure you a room or table. As for the wine, discover the wines from this region , most are of excellent quality with some outstanding ones . Most producers will welcome you and let you taste their excellent products. Last sentence is about a book from 1981 i recently added to my inventory which shows part of the Daum collection at the museum.
Personally this is one of my all time favorite publications by the van Abbemuseum. Designed by Arlette Brouwers, this publication has everything.
Great cover. In all its simplicity it makes in one glance clear that these are the important acquisitions of the van Abbemuseum. In the background one of the main exhibition rooms of the museum and inside, a very transparent lay out, in which the acquisitions are described. This is a true connaisseurs publication and deserves to be collected.
Until the 10th of May there will be a Penck exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Den Haag.
8 days ago i visited the combined opening of 3 exhibitions. I came for the Verdijk exhibition to see part of the gift which the Kunstmuseum received and exhibited in a very small room. But because i was early i had the pleasure to look atat the great art by Penck. I met Penck in 1988 when he drummed on the opening of his own exhibition at the Haags Gemeentemuseum ( curated by Rudi Fuchs), so this was my second retrospective, with one great difference.
This show includes the oversized paintings. For the first 15 minutes after the rooms were opened i was almost on my own , because the guest stayed with the Lucassen exhibition which was openend too.
This is a great exhibition which shows that Penck is and will be very important to modern art and i really appreciated that the museum had made an extra effort to show the extreme sized paintings. This is a show you must see…modern art at its best and if i must compare the inmpact that the show had on me i must go back in time to the Basquiat exhibition at the Beyeler. The size and impact of these paintings is overwhelming. A must see.
It has been 2 months ago that i acquired a collection of invitations from the Nineties and among them there were several Hamish Fulton ones. I remember Hamish as being one of the friendliest artists i have met at the Gemeentemuseum. He was willing to sign 20 copies of the book which we published by us.
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Since i have followed his career and exhibitions and now i have added 4 special invitations to the collection of http://www.ftn-books.com which are now for sale. The ones i like most are the Graeme Murray gallery and Marian Goodman gallery ( signed and dedicated for Rudi) ones and there is of course the time/indoor/outdoor with japanese text. This is the one i can not find any information on so if you know who organized this one let me know. Your help would be appreciated.
An artist who’s works i encounter regularly whenever i visit a European museum is Marie-Jo Lafontaine. Hardly known outside Europe but one of the better known contemporary artists since her Documenta appearance in 1987. The famous Kassel exhibition was at that time curated by Rudi Fuchs and Lafontaine made a name for herself with Larmes d’Acier
This does not mean that her works before 1987 were not interesting. They certainly were , but Video related art is not the most accessible kind of art and these installations by Lafontaine . are no exception. Still the importance of her works is recognized by many and one hopes that a retrospective will be held in the near future. Showing the true quality of her poetic video art.
This is the catalogue which started it all for Carel Visser in the Netherlands. After having had his exhibition at the Art & Project gallery in 1974. Visser was considered to be one of the great talents in the dutch art scene. the result…. museum exhibitions like this first one at the van Abbemuseum in 1975
and in the following years consecutive exhibitions at the art & Project gallery, the Stedelijk Museum, Kröler Muller museum, Haags Gemeentemuseum and Museum Boymans van Beuningen. All these contributed to the fame of Carel Visser in the Netherlands resulting in many more gallery exhibitions, commissions and exhibitions abroad too. Carel Visser has become now one of the recognized leading sculptors and the catalogue which is now for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com is arguably one of the most important ones in the long list of publications Carel Visser has made during his career.
A great artist with an even better designed catalogue by Rutger Fuchs. In the spirit of the art of Tim Ayres this Rutger Fuchs designed catalogue shows the best Ayres has produced. It was an exhibition at the galerie Markus Richter/ Berlin in 2000 and the first copy i encountered .Bright contrasting colors and lettering across front and back made this catalogue, from a design point of view, stand out for me and without any hesitation i bought it. Leafing through it i found Ayres his art fascinating and since i have searched for this artist on the internet . This is a catalogue to admire and cherish. available at www.ftn-books.com
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