This is a blog on Memphis as a design and art form. Memphis was born in 1982 in Italy in Milano and founded by ao Ettore Sottsass. They designed Postmodern furniture, fabrics, ceramics, glass, and metal objects from 1981 to 1988. and were of great influence to many designers started their careers in those days. The design ideas by Memphis spread all over the world and culminated possibly in one building ….the Groninger Museum. Memphis designs are known for us dutch by one gallery shop in Den Haag who presented all these artists and had many specials an limited editions from the Memphis group. The COPI shop in the Prinsenstraat / Den Haag does not exist any longer but ask any dutch collector interested in Memphis, they know the name for sure. Because of the blog i finally know the origin of the name and found it on Wikipedia and want to share this information with you:
On December 11, 1980, Ettore Sottsass organized a meeting with designers, and in 1981 formed a design collaborative named Memphis. The name was taken after the Bob Dylan song “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” which had been played repeatedly throughout the evening’s meeting. They drew inspiration from such movements as Art Deco and Pop Art, including styles such as the 1950s Kitsch and futuristic themes. available at www.ftn-books.com are the following Memphis publications.
Some combinations are hard to beat and this one is surely a classic. Wim Crouwel was not yet promoted to the position of designer of the catalogues of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and had just left the van Abbemuseum with his designs. In the in between period he did some free lance works and one of these was the catalogue he designed for the H.N.Werkman exhibition of 1964 in the Groninger Museum and this catalogue became the standard for all his future designs. He chose a slim sized catalogue, but within the book he used some of the papers which he had used in the van Abbemuseum catalogues and would use again for the Stedelijk Museum catalogues. Making it simple but still complex.
On the cover a bold and typical Werkman print which emphasized the graphic quality of the catalogue. The back…. a typical red with clear black and white lettering. This is in my opinion one of the very best graphic designs ever made in the Netherlands and i am proud to still have a copy for sale of this beautiful and splendid Wim Crouwel catalogue.
It was in the very first beginning of her museum career that i met Jonieke. Jonieke studied at Groningen University and after an apprenticeship at ao. the Gemeentemuseum, she became curator at this museum. Moving forward after this job to Curator of collections at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum, but sadly died at too young an age in 2012. In those early Gemeentemuseum days she started a project on the works by Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, Yes the one who taught M.C. Escher, which resulted in the most spectacular book on Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita. A true catalogue Raisonne, which will be the standard book on his works for at least a century. The book was published in 2005 by Waanders and is completely sold out for over a decade now. But now i finally found another copy and for those of my readers that were looking for this one….it is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com
Because i get notified by Pinterest which items are shared and saved, i found out that this is one of the most appreciated photographs of all publications on www.ftn-books.com
This publication was published on the occasion of the Werkman exhibition in Groningen in 1964 and one of the first designs that Wim Crouwel made for a dutch museum. In this same period he designed the publications for the van Abbemuseum which were followed from the early sixties on by the publications of the Stedelijk Museum. What makes this one special is the condition it is in and the highly unusual appearance. The use of multi colored papers, its odd size and a cover chosen in relation with the Werkman print which is used as a cover. This publication is the top in dutch lay-out and design and must be considered as one of the very best publications of the sixties. Curious?………take a look at
Joost van den Toorn…an artist i literally stumbled upon when we visited Kasteel Het Nijenhuis. At the entrance there was at that time a small statue by van den Toorn a statue which i overlooked and did not see……..so i stumbled upon it and made half a fall. Now that i have received an invititation for the presentation at Galerie Jacoba Wijk i remembered what happened. Van den Toorn a recognizable artist who’s works have a lot of humor within them is an excellent excuse to visit the gallery in Groningen. The exhibition is until the 29th of January, but you can also find his publications in my store. www.ftn-books.com
August Rodin…. a legend among sculptors and a sculptor who is appreciated by young and old. The Musee Rodin in Paris receives over 700.000 visitors each year and now some great works from their collection are on loan at the Groninger Museum. In total 140 sculptures and 20 works on paper are in the Rodin exhibition, which makes it the largest Rodin exhibition in the Netherlands ever. So this is a great opportunity to visit the Mendini designed museum in the north of the Netherlands and visit the Rodin exhibition ( until the 30th of April 2017).
Groninger Museum, Museumeiland 1
9711 ME Groningen
What makes me look really forward to this exhibition, is the special part by Erwin Olaf. I know the sculptures by Rodin quit well, because i have visited the Musee Rodin and saw his exhibition in the Museum Het Paleis ( 1995) in The Hague multiple times. But these Olaf photographs are a first. Olaf photographed dancers of the National Ballet in typical Rodin poses, creating an atmosphere as if these photographs are taken in the Rodin studio. Spectacular photographs of these talented dancers with bodies like they were sculpted by Rodin himself.