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A very special catalogue on Figuration Libre

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The year 1982, the exhibition …l’Air du Temps….location Galerie d’Art Contemporain Nice….the artists… Alberola, Blanchard, Blais, Boisrond, Castellas, Combas, Denis, di-Rosa, En avant comme avant, Favier, Gainon, Giard, Laget, Lanneau and Rousse.

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All artists were member of the FIGURATION LIBRE group and have gained world fame in the decades after this exhibition. What makes this catalogue special is that it is the only copy currently available on the market and from an art historical point of view. It presents these artists for the first time together in one of the major museums for modern art. Beside that a text is written by Ben Vautier ( Fluxus) who was and is an admirer of the Figuration Libre. This i the only copy i have available and it is very special , since the condition is excellent and it is dedicated to Riekje Swart who was the first to present these Figuration Libre artists in the Netherlands.

figuration air a

 

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Swip Stolk meets Keith Haring (1992)

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This is still possibel, since 2 year after his death the Groninger Museum used one of Keith Haring Subway drawings as the leading image for all the publications that were published around the theme of Subway graffiti art.  An exhibition which was held at the Groninger Museumin 1992.

Swip Stolk interpreted in his own special way this drawing and transformed into a spectacular exhibition poster. A few years earlier Stolk took an interest in graffiti art and integrated this art form into a poster devoted to the collection of the Groninger Museum. Both poster are now available at www.ftn-books.com

This will be the first of a series blogs devoted to the poster art for the Groninger Museum by Swip Stolk

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Keith Haring, Bulletin contribution, 1990

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1986….Keith Haring had his retropective at the Stedelijk Museum and made the VELUM for the entrance at that time. Since, there has been a friendship between Wim Beeren and Keith Haring. The 1990 Bulletin published by the STEDELIJK MUSEUM, had a small contribution on the memorial held at the MAZZO discotheque in Amsterdam. With the article a note written by Keith Haring addressed to Wim (beeren) was published for the first time. Here is the letter.

haring brief

The Bulletin frm 1990 is now availabe at www.ftn-books.com

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Kenny Scharf (1958)

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It has been a very long time since i first encountered the works by Kenny Scharf at the Groninger Museum in the early Eighties. During  the famous Grafiti exhibition the works by Scharf were among the ones i admired most. Comic like , huge paintings that impressed, but somehow…. over the years ….did not stick with me.  Last month i encountered a catlogue by the Tony Shafrazi gallery. It was the Scharf 1983 catalogue and i was fascinated again. the same powerful comic like figures , but over the decades they have matured into great timeless art. The catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

scharf 1983 a

scharf 1983 c

scharf 1983 d

Here is what Angelica Jardini says on Kenny Scharf and i can fully agree with her.

If you like to have fun, you’re going to like Kenny Scharf.

The American painter sources his fantastical creations from retro cartoons, like The Jetsons and The Flintstones, and popular science fiction. His style is completely unique, and once you know his colorful, animorphic creatures, you’ll see them everywhere.

No, literally. Scharf does tons of murals and public art. This ties in with his manifesto to make art for the people- works that anyone can enjoy, not just stuffy academics or rich collectors. And his vividly playful tableaux live up to his goals.  Whether he’s picking Instagram followers for “Karbombz,” where he spraypaints one of his signature critters on your car for free, or reimagining a picnic table as a psychadelic atomic bomb, Scharf breaks down the elitist barriers of the art world by implementing his vision in lots of places outside the gallery and museum.

And boy is he prolific. He’s collaborated on a collection with fashion designer Jeremy Scott, creates immersive blacklight installations called “cosmic closets” for parties, and even designed this hilarious pool toy

Though a lot of his work references serious subjects like apocalyptic nuclear warfare, he somehow makes it lighthearted. One of his newest series of paintings features shining cartoon donuts, some of which are hurtling through space. Homer Simpson and I were both tickled pink (with sprinkles). 

Scharf hit it big in the 1980’s art scene in a little place called the East Village, in Manhattan. He was friends and roommates with famous street artist Keith Haring, and it’s easy to imagine them tagging up the town, brightening city streets and commuters’ days with their creative graffiti.

Now you’d assume most famous artists with famous friends would let success go to their head, but when we met Scharf at an event he graciously passed the time chatting with us about his life and work. Over ice cream tacos, we learned he likes to ride his bike and that he released his pet turtles to a local turtle sanctuary where he visits them often.

Like his art, the guy makes you smile.

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Ronnie Cutrone (1948-2013)

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Ronnie Cutrone (July 10, 1948 – July 21, 2013) was an American pop artist known for his large-scale paintings of some of America’s favourite cartoon characters, such as Felix the Cat, Pink Panther and Woody Woodpecker.

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This is how the Wikipedia listing starts , but there is so much more to Cutrone as artists. He belonged to the first wave of New York graffiti artists in the New York region it is there he met with Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring and he even made it at one time as Andy Warhol’s assistant at the Factor. trone’s paintings are colourful, lively, and less challenging than those of his contemporaries. A frequent use of comic figures makes his art accessible and appreciated for almost any age. The first generation of street artist in the US were recognized as being important and Frans Haks from the Groninger Museum invited them for an exhibition in the Netherlands in the early 80’s. the result ….a growing popularity and appreciation for this generation of street artist and as a result gallery presentation in the first half of the Eighties, after these years these artists became less popular, but interest starts to be picking up. I have seen some great auction results recently and I expect a growing interest for the decades to come.

http://www.ftn-books has recently acquired a nice 1984 Cutrone publication.

cutrone aa

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Kriki / Christian Vallee (1965)

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Punk, Underground/Metro, music, resistance, grafiti, painting, street art.-

All these words are related to the artist Kriki who made a name for himself in the Paris art scene in the mid Eighties.

In 1984, in Paris, Kriki founds a group of painters called Nuklé-Art and the electro punk group Les Envahisseurs. With the street and the Underground as his art school, he is involved in the beginnings of what is now known as Street Art. Immersed in alternative culture, he is identified from the beginning as one of the emblematic figures amongst the young French painters of the nineteen eighties. Kriki clearly belongs to the generation whose sensibility expressed itself in Free Figurative Art, which he helps to renew. Still very young, he exhibits with Keith Haring, Futura 2000 and even with Basquiat and Wim Delvoye. At just 23 years old, he has his first solo exhibition at FIAC (Paris) which will then move on to the Gramercy Art Fair in New York; this will lead to taking part in the very first exhibitions of his work in now famous Paris galleries such as Jérôme de Noirmont and Kamel Mennour. Kriki at that time becomes well known for a style which becomes immediately identifiable on the international scene, making him into one of the major artists of his generation.

In 1985, Kriki invents Fuzz, a half-robot, half polymorphous fetish, appearing as a virus infecting the history of art, and of which the Museum of Modern Art in Paris will publish a specimen. Kriki manipulates the original images from which his paintings emerge, resisting our initial attempts at a reading in order to express themselves in a universal language. Today, Kriki is still an incarnation of punk culture in French contemporary art, leading Ernest Van Buyender, the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp to write: “Kriki is the only French artist whose originality and ambition can be seen as a bridge between Sub Culture and High Culture”. http://www.ftn-books.com has one rare Kriki publication available.kriki

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Claude Monet and Keith Haring

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Worlds apart in their art but with one common factor in their lives. Because of the blog on Liebermann, i Realized that there were many famous artist who visited at one time in their life the Netherlands and worked together with dutch artists or were in residence to refresh their point of views and make some impressive works of art. So did Claude Monet who visited more than once de Zaanse Schans to make some impressive and beautiful impressionist paintings

and one century later there was Keith Haring who stayed a month in Amsterdam and during that time he made the “velum” in the Stedelijk Museum.

There are more examples to be found but these two sprung to my mind when i thought about the frequent times Liebermann spent his summer holiday in the Netherlands.

On both artists there are some nice publications to be found at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Keith Haring (1958-1990)… a special bookmark

 

Schermafbeelding 2017-10-22 om 10.28.13The year 1987, location Channel Surf Club in Knokke Belgium

Quote from the Keith Haring Journals, Penguin 1997, page 221

” I began mural and immediately attract a crowd. By the time i finish, to applause, there are 50-60 people watching. The sun is really hot and i wear sunblock and a hat. The audience is incredible ”

haring bookmark a

This container mural was put of for sale in last auction season and found in the after sale an appreciative buyer. But to attract more visitors for the auction a bookmark/invite  was published of this exceptional piece of art and it is available at www.ftn-books.com.

Below you will find the text as published in the auction catalogue and it is well worth reading.

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Keith Haring Velum …..it is back!

I knew that i was right when i noticed about a year ago that it was a real pitty that the Velum by Keith Haring was removed by the Stedelijk Museum, but now i got notified that it is back. From this day you can marvel at this extremely large Keith Haring and wonder why it has been away such a long time. The velum by Keith Haring…… it is back !

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For some excellent Keith Haring publications visit http://www.ftn-books.com

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where is the velum by Keith Haring?

 

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Keith Haring had one of his first European exhibitions within the Stedelijk Museum and for this occasion he made a very large ceiling piece/ the VELUM ( 1986), which was there during the exhibitions and for some time after, but….. since the exhibition i have never seen it again! Of course it is possible i have missed it, because i dit not visit the Stedelijk Museum each day  i went to Amsterdam, but it is strange that in 30 years i never have seen it again. It was an extremely large piece by Haring and should be one of the key objects within any collection, because it represents everything the art of Keith Haring has become famous for.  I checked the site of the Stedelijk Museum , but could not find it in the collection. Any readers who can help?

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The site Widewalls has an excellent description why Keith Haring is important and was one of the key figures in the Grafiti art movement.

The 1990s were a time of change for many social and cultural aspects on a global scale. Art particularly saw many artists bring tremendous change in this period, and Keith Haring was one of them. Drawing and painting murals in public locations, Haring was often philosophical about his approach to creating artwork, and was amazed and inspired by the interaction and feedback he would get from people around him. Although he was young, he had developed a very specific concept of what art should represent, and the ideology carried over through his work would leave an everlasting effect on the street culture in New York City, as well as art as a whole. Along with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, Futura 2000 and Richard Hambleton, among others, he was part of the young, up-and-coming group of the American artists who challenged art’s old perceptions.

Fortunately the publications on Haring at www.ftn-books.com did not disappear ( but they can get sold out).