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Piet Mondriaan, studio Rue du Départ

Piet Mondriaan was famous for his studios he occupied in Paris and New York and his Paris studio at the Rue du Départ was even a subject for a special exhibition at the Beurs van Berlage who had it rebuild in their main hall in 1994.

With the exhibition they produced together with the Benschop architects an impressive model kit of the studio, which even contains some of the paintings Mondriaan made in this famous studio. During the Nineties some of the DE STIJL icons were produced in Model Kit versions ( Meudon, Rietveldhuis) but this is probably the rarest of them al, since i understand it was not sold, but only presented to the sponsor and its relations. Now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

mondrian depart

 

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Hamish Fulton special

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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.

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.

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Babs Haenen (1948)

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If you are looking for the most complicated ceramic art , then Babs Haenen her objects will be in the top three.

The first time i encountered work by Babs Haenen was when the Haags Gemeentemuseum has bought two vases for its collection. What struck me was that these vases had very delicate colors and were looking not like the ordinary ceramics from the collection. They looked like sculptured vases . Her method of building a vase is simple. Porcelain clay is coloured with pigments and afterwards rolled out into thin sheets. The choice of porcelain clay is dictated by the wish to be able to produce bright colours. The basis for a piece at work is made by cutting up the different coloured sheets and joining them together again in various patterns.
Round a plaster core is placed a thin piece of textile, which serves to prevent the clay from sticking to the core. The core is then inverted and the sheets of clay are draped around the textile.This is done from the bottom, so that at first the pot is shaped upside down.

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When the piece has reached a given height, it is removed from the core. a short drying period and then built up further the right way up. At that point it has often not yet reached half its eventual height. Hence the form at the plaster care only determines the final form of the pot to a very minor extent.
Between the additions at new sheets of clay the piece is dried with a hairdryer, so that the form soon acquires a degree of certainty. In its further built-up a great freedom prevails in respect of designing by distorting and modelling.
After being thoroughly dried, the pieces are given a biscuit firing, then glazed and given repeated reduction firings in a gas kiln at a temperature of 1260 C.

The above text comes from the book which is now available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Ben Akkerman (1920-2010)

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I have always been an admirer of the works by Ben Akkerman. The first time i saw a painting by Akkerman was at the Centraal Museum and since i have been interested in his works. The paintings and drawings i could not afford so instead i started to collect Ben Akkerman publications. The result is that i have collected myself a small but important Akkerman library and the years made me find some duplicates which i now have put up for sale at www.ftn-books.com

Ben Akkerman was , the same as Jan Schoonhoven, an employee for the municipality of Enschede and he painted in the evening in his spare time. Called a ‘hardcore abstract ” painter i personally share his paintings among the Minimal paintings from that era. These are very delicate compositions that are pure minimal art.

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The Gemeentemuseum used the “diamond” by Ben Akkerman for almost 10 years in its letters and invitations, but now that the name has changed in the far less appealing name ” Kunstmuseum Den Haag” they left the beautiful yellow diamond shaped logo for one i do not like at all. To commemorate the diamond they collected 30 Ben Akkerman paintings and made a wonderful presentation  to honor Ben Akkerman and its “diamond”.

 

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Donald Janssen (1943)

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on Donald Janssen

Exhibition design is a relatively young design discipline that in recent decades has been developing strongly. Graphic and industrial designer Donald Janssen has for fifty years been part of this development, first as an independent designer and then with his design office in The Hague. In the 1970s he started as a freelance designer at the Haags Gemeentemuseum. Gradually several museums in the Netherlands and abroad followed, from which frequently long-term working relations emerged. He is a passionate designer who is constantly looking for new ways and sustainable solutions within the framework of a clear design concept.

This is an excerpt from an excellent series of blogs on great Dutch graphic designers. And Donald is certainly one of them. You can find the complete article on Donald Janssen at https://www.dutchgraphicroots.nl/?p=1757

and of course http://www.ftn-books.com has some very nice Donald Janssen designed books in its inventory

 

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Piet Dirkx weekly

Postcard published by the Haags Gemeentemuseum ‘ THE HOUSE OF THE PAINTER “, 1986/87

dirkx kaart stellage

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Ton Boelhouwer (1960)

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Ton Boelhouwer makes no paintings, but still he paints. His objects in a room can not be looked at but must be experienced by entering them and walking along the multi colored objects. This way experiencing the room in a completely different way. His “paintings” can be walked in. The book i have for sale ( by Hans Janssen ) shows this in a splendid way. It is available at www.ftn-books.com

This approach of painting was a few years ago presented at the Bonnefanten Museum and the Gemeentemuseum where he presented his paintings.  The Bonnefanten made a nice introduction with Boelhouwer showing sketches

boelhouwer folio

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Carlo Battaglia (1933-2005)

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Intrigued by the catalogue i found on Carlo Battaglia, i started to look into the life of Carlo Battaglia and noticed he became friends and worked together with Robert Motherwell, Ad Reinhardt and Mark Rothko. But i noticed other aspects in his works. after seeing a large room with Battaglia paintings on photo at studio LA CITTA. I was impressed and at the same time it reminded me of Mondriaan and LeWitt

Schermafbeelding 2019-08-30 om 15.47.59 he must have been influenced by Piet Mondriaan, because just look at the similarities ….just coincidence?

left is Battaglia / right is Duinlandschap by Piet Mondriaan

On the other hand he could have been an inspirator to Sol LeWitt in later years. Battaglia is first and then comes Sol LeWitt with his Horizontal Lines.

left is Battaglia/ right Sol LeWitt

Still i like his works, This is the kind of art that inspires me and never bores.

www.ftn-books.com has publications available on all the artists mentioned

battaglia

Battaglia served in the Italian Air Force from 1958–59, and in 1962 moved to Paris. In 1967, he lived in New York City, where he established friendships with Reinhardt, Motherwell and Rothko.

In 1970, 1978 and 1980, he was invited to the Venice Biennale, exhibiting his series about Maree (“Tides”) for the first time in 1970, which introduced a theme that would be prominent throughout his life. Battaglia’s most prominent exhibitions include retrospectives at Palazzo Grassi, in Venice in 1967, Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara in 1976 and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in 1978.

He also participated in a number of group shows about Italian contemporary art held in many international venues, including the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington in 1974, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 1977 and the Hayward Gallery in London in 1978. In 1978 and 1980, he participated to the 40th and the 43rd Venice Biennale. From 1980 on, he increasingly isolated himself and painted in total solitude.

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Jopie Huisman (1922-2000)

 

Schermafbeelding 2019-08-23 om 14.31.45There was a time that i travelled all over the Netherlands and Germany to get inspiration for the perfect museumshop. Rudi Fuchs wanted a Walter König like bookstore within the walls of the Gemeentemuseum and i personally wanted to see and experience what the best solution could be. I was impressed with the Cologne/ Museum Ludwig and we made an interpretation of that store within the Gemeentemuseum. Many ideas that are now applied to the store were developed within those days and some have even disappeared already. One of the best ideas was to make the store visible from within the museum rooms which was realized now some 14 years ago and the result  i think  is that it is one of the best ideas for this particular store . On one of these travels i found myself in the middle of nowhere at the Jopies Huisman museum in Workum/Friesland. It felt like i travelled to South Africa. No easy connections , but the result was a visit to a highly original museum , totally devoted to Jopie Huisman, a self taught painter . beautiful realistic works of ordinay daily life objects which he found in his direct surroundings.

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Jopie gave the people honour he felt they deserved. His paintings, whether they are about people or about their belongings, are a homage to the simple Frisian rural farm life, the landscape and the culture. The portraits are monuments to simple things.

Jopie’s artwork does not only possess the recognition and acknowledgement of poverty but also a lot of humour. The humour between people who, driven by circumstance, have to rely on one another. For Jopie, humour was the grease and glue of his life. In the stories he wrote, humour is also clearly present. When you read them, you are actually reading behind the scenes of his paintings.

Jopie’s eye for the absurd, for human proportions and relationships can be found in many of his written or painted caricatures. Recognition was and is above all, a comfort to many visitors as we can see by their reactions.

Jopie was fascinated by daily life which he drank in with great gusto and, as he remarked himself, ‘threw down on canvas’. He poured his soul into his art with great doggedness, perseverance and tenacity. He understood the art of rubbing shoulders with people from all different walks of life like no other.What makes Jopie Huisman so unique is the fact that he was able to illustrate his philosophy of life with so much vigour and with so much feeling and energy. His works are a combination of philosophy, aesthetics and phenomenal art. His message of compassion is universal and timeless.

huisman

This book is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com

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Hannah van Bart (1963)

 

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Lets keep it simple today. Pictures tell a better story in this case. Here is Hannah van Bart, a great dutch artist who’s works i encountered for the first time at the time she had her exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum den Haag (Schijngestalten/illuminations ) this book is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com

hannah van bart x

In september next an exhibition will open at the Marianne Boesky Gallery

Amsterdam-based artist Hannah van Bart (b. 1963) paints portraits, still lifes and landscapes. She brings together figures, interiors and exteriors as if to suggest there are no distinctions between the subjects. Figures or anthropomorphized figures appear and reappear in van Bart’s paintings, and her style is marked by distinctive outlines, repeated patterning, and layered brushwork in matte palettes. In September of 201