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Larry Clark (1943)

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In many ways the US audience thinks his works a controversial, but in the Netherlands were there is a much more liberal approach to art, Larry Clark’s his works are considered as important and progressive. The result….some excellent gallery exhibitions over here and the spectacular Larry Clark exhibition at the Groninger Museum in 1999. The catalogue design was done by Swip Stolk, who designed the catalogue in the shape of a book containing postcard/photographs and some Clark designed (real) stickers.. Making this one of the most collectible Larry Clark items worldwide ( now available at www.ftn-books.com.

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Larry Clark was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1943. While a teenager Clark developed his photography skills working as an assistant to his mother, a door-to-door baby photographer. He later spent two years at a commercial photography school. Larry Clark achieved both fame and notoriety with the publication of his first book Tulsa in 1971. Although drug use, sex and violence are the main themes, the images are often beautifully composed and his subjects are sympathetically presented. Tulsa demonstrated a new style of photography that was subjective, alienated and completely detached from any social agenda. Clark raised the ante for engaged photography; his work offered a lived experience rather than a merely observed one.

In his collages and videos of the late 1980s and early 1990s, he broadened this investigation into revealing the ways that mass media alternately creates, rejects, and eroticizes young people. In 1995, Clark released his first feature film, Kids, which premiered at that year’s Sundance Film Festival and was hailed as “an instant classic” and “a wake-up call.” Kids was followed by such works as Another Day in Paradise (1998), Bully (2001), Ken Park (2003), WASSUP ROCKERS (2005), and the autobiographical installation and publication punk Picasso (2003). Marfa Girl (2012) was released independently on his website (www.larryclark.com) and won the Marcus Aurelius Award for Best Film at the 2012 Rome Film Festival. Marfa Girl 2, Clark’s first sequel, premiered in New York City in 2018.

Clark has been the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Photographers’ Fellowship in 1973 and the Creative Arts Public Service Photographers’ Grant in 1980. His work is included in important museum and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; and the Frankfurt Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany. In 2010, a retrospective of Clark’s work, Kiss the past hello, was held at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. He lives and works in New York.

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Allessandro Mendini (continued)

 

I wrote two earlier blogs on Mendini. One in 2016 and one in February this year to commemorate his accomplishments after his death at the age of 87.

Last week i found one of his earliest dutch publications. An important one, because it preceded the commission of designing the Groninger Museum. Probably the exhibition was held to introduce Mendini to the dutch people of Groningen and prepare them for the adventurous building Mendini would design for the Groninger Museum.

This publication is from 1988 , published together with Politi editore  and it is filled with the typical Mendini designs of which elements would be used outside and within the Groninger Museum.  I love this book, which is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

mendini groningen

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David Lachapelle (1963)

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One look at a photograph of David Lachapelle and you will never forget it. His art is so recognizable, that even a non art lover will know it is a Davis Lachapelle. In many cases controversial, always colorful and a scene filled with symbolism and figures his photographs belong to the best photographs from this century.

There is an interesting site on Lachapelle / www.davidlachapelle.com . but nothing shows his art in the way TASCHEN has published his photographs in a series of different editions. Large sized photographs published in the best possible way . www.ftn-books.com has some of these publications available.

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Milan Kunc (1944)

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Milan Kunc makes art on the cross roads of Memphis design meeting Picasso with a dash of childrens drawings and with a color palet that is endless. I managed to collect quite some titles by Kunc during the last two decades, because the Netherlands was fortunate to hold exhibitions at the galerie Swart , Groninger Museum ( 1984, large retrospective curated by Frans Haks), Stedelijk Museum and the Boymans van Beuningen museum. Many publications were the result , add to these the catalogues that were published with every gallery presentation in Europe and the result is a stack of publications , many artists would wish they had the same number of publications.

What strikes me every time i leaf through these books i find his work appealing, but in many cases i find it just too much absurd fantasies by the artist. Still this is, according to others, one of the qualities Kunc has. He exaggerates and creates scenes with many layers, but for me after some time they stop working and i am in need of a new ” surprising” composition. Milan Kunc is certainly a great artist, with many beautiful publications, but personally i prefer other artists. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Milan Kunc publications available.

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Luigi Ontani (1943)

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Like Cindy Sherman, Ontani makes his own image subject in his his works and therefore it is not by coincidence that the Groninger Museum has made n exhibition with Ontani some 20 years ago. Ontani has a natural place in the colection of this Museum, Italian art and a focus on photography are two pillars that made the collection of the Groninger Museum well known all over the world.

After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna Ontani began his artistic career in the 1970s when he became known for his tableau vivants: photographed and videotaped performances in which he presented himself in different ways: from Pinocchio to Dante, Saint Sebastian to Bacchus. These displays of “actionism” (different from Viennese Actionism, to which Hermann Nitsch is associated) verge on kitsch and raise personal narcissism to a higher level.

Throughout his long career Ontani has expressed his creativity and poetics through the use of many different techniques: from his “oggetti pleonastici” (1965–1969), made in plaster, to the “stanza delle similitudini,” made with objects cut in corrugated fiberboard. He has often anticipated the use of techniques subsequently adopted by other artists: his first Super 8 films were made between 1969 and 1972. With his work “Ange Infidele” (1968) Ontani begins to experiment with photography. From the beginning his photography has been characterized by some particular elements: the subject is always the artist himself, who uses his own body and face to personify historic, mythological, literary and popular themes; the chosen formats are usually miniature and gigantography, and each work is considered unique. From the late 1960s on are “Teofania” (1969), “San Sebastiano nel bosco di Calvenzano, d’apres Guido Reni” Tentazione,” “Meditazione, d’apres de la Tour,” “Bacchino” (1970), “Tell il Giovane,” “Raffaello,” “Dante,” ” Pinocchio” (1972), “Lapsus Lupus,” the diptych “EvAdamo” (1973), “Leda e il Cigno” (1974), “I grilli e i tappeti volanti” that will be followed by other “d’apres,” and the first Indian cycle “En route vers l’Inde, d’apres Pierre Lotti.” His first artistic photography has a historic importance because it anticipates a phenomenon that will be widespread and popular from the 1980s.

While working on his photographs Ontani began to make his first tableaux vivants. From 1969 to 1989 the artist made around 30 of these exhibitions, again foreshadowing the so-called interactive installations, which are based on the mixture of various technologies. With this same attitude he has created works in papier-mâché, glass, wood (he has made numerous masks, especially on Bali, with Pule wood) and, more rarely, in bronze, marble, and fabric. He has also made notorious works in ceramic, thanks to the cooperation with Bottega Gatti of Faenza, Venera Finocchiaro in Rome, and the Terraviva laboratory of Vietri: some of them are his “pineal” masks, the “Ermestetiche,” and the last great works such as “GaneshaMusa” and “NapoleonCentaurOntano.”

Ontani has not used all these different techniques as ends in themselves but as occasions to experiment new possibilities and formulate new variations of the themes and subjects that interest him the most: his own “transhistoric” travel through myth, the mask, the symbol and iconographic representation. He has exhibited his works in some of the most important museums and galleries of the world, from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to the Pompidou Centre, the Museo Reina Sofía to the Frankfurter Kunstverein. He has also participated in several editions of the Venice, Sydney, and Lyon biennales. Recently he has had four important retrospectives at the MoMA (2001), the SMAK in Ghent (2003–2004), the MAMbo in Bologna (2008), and the Accademia di San Luca, also called the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, in Rome (2017). The retrospective in Rome marks his receiving the Premio Presidente della Repubblica award in 2015.

Part from thnis blog comes from the WIKIPEDIA page on Ontani

www.ftn-books.com has the most important Ontani publication on stock.

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Micha Klein (1964)

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Micha Klein in s probably the first dutch Computer artist. He studied at the Rietveld academy and was there the firts to complete his studies as a video / computer artist. Using the dance scene as one of his first sources of inspiration he soon became known for his use of bright colors and the use of  “beautiful People” .

His art stands out since you can immediately see that his photographs or stills are worked over by computer. The result is an artificial kind of photograph which does not corresponds with reality. Together with Erwin Olaf and Ruud van Empel he forms a new generation of photographers who use the computer as an extra lense to make their photographs perfect. www.ftn-books.com has the Groninger Museum publication on Micha Klein available.

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Attersee (1940)

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Christian Ludwig Attersee is a contemporary Austrian artist. Working in an interdisciplinary practice that combines music, speech, photography, and video, the primary tenet of Attersee’s art is painting. His Neo-Expressionist canvases are rendered with vibrant color, blending abstract form and space with representational images related to the human figure, music, literature, and sexuality. Describing his efforts as an attempt to create a new artistic medium, his work often contains fantastical object inventions. Born on August 28, 1940 in Bratislava, Austria, he is considered one of the foremost contemporary artists of his home country, and represented Austria at the Venice Biennial in 1984. He has been the subject of over 500 solo exhibitions throughout Europe and the United states, and is the recipient of the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art.

This is how Artnet describes Attersee however there is more to the art of Christian Ludwig Attersee, because both the Groninger Museum and Stedelijk Museum have art by Attersee in their collections and the Stedelijk Museum devoted a special exhibition to the artist. An exhibition initiated by Rudi Fuchs who is a longtime admirer of the artist. Together with Brus and Nitsch , Attersee i becoming increasingly more important by the year.

www.ftn-books.com has some Attersee publications available.

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Swip Stolk (1944-2019)

 

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-12 om 11.13.44Swip Stolk is certainly one of the great names in dutch graphic design. He died last sunday at the age of 75 . There are some iconic designs by Stolk that are worldwide famous. Specially the peeing poster for the Serrano exhibition drew attention from all over the world. There was a typical Swip Stolk styke of design. He broke with the minimal designs of the sixties ( Crouwel and Wissing) and invented his own exuberant style of design which was soon to become the “house style” of the Groninger Museum for which museum he made for nearly two decades many important book and publication designs.

there are several important Swip Stolk designs availabel at www.ftn-books.com

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Alessandro Mendini dies at the age of 87

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Within 24 hours two great artists have died shortly after each other. Yesterday, Karl Lagerfeld died and this morning i learned that the architect of the Groninger Museum and the founder of the Studio Alchemia mouvement has died 24 hours before. I am a great fan of Mendini and in the Nineties i was glad to hear that he was chosen to be the architect of the Groninger Museum. Since i have visited the museum numerous times and i am always impressed with the wealth of details within this great Mendini building.

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Allessandro Mendini, a greart multidisciplined artist , but above all a friendly, kind personality. 16th august 1931 – 18th February 2019

Some of Mendini’s publications are availabel at www.ftn-books.com

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Jiří Georg Dokoupil (1954)

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We are from the dame generation and perhaps that is why i appreciate Dokoupil’s painting. Always extremely colorful and becoming more and more abstract.

The association is one of “stained glass” and i would not be surprised that in the end of his career he will be invited to make some church windows ( btw. Marc Mulders made some for the Chapel in the Gouda Museum). It takes some time to get  accustomed to the art of Dokoupil, but once you get know his paintings you only can admire them. Fled to Germany from Tsjechoslovakia in 1968, he soon joined the Mulheimer Freiheit group and participated in performances and group exhibitions together with Dahn and Adamski. In the Nethertlands he had his “one man” exhibitions at the iconic galerie Riekje Swart and became part of the exhibitions organized on the NEUE WILDEN by Frans Haks in the Groninger Museum and the Centraal Museum Utrecht. From these early days on his art developed into an abstract kind of art which is personal and typical for Dokoupil. An artist to keep following and see what his next step in art will be .

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