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Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)

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Never heard of Yeats as a painter, until Rudi Fuchs curated an exhibition with his paintings at the Haags Gemeentemuseum and it was a nice surprise. His painting is spontane , a little childish and impressionistic at the same time and thus resulting in a painting what is typical for Yeats with a signature of its own. The exhibition was not that large and i remember that the sizes of the paintings were not that large too.

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What i do remember was the excellent catalogue Gracia Lebbink designed with the exhibition. It was one of her first lareg catalogues she made for the Gemeentemuseum but it has proven to be a classic and available at www.ftn-books.com

yeats

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World Fairs from 1851-1992

 

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-23 om 13.59.45An important publication. published within the series of Grafisch Nederland and designed by Gracia Lebbink. A quintessential 150 years with some great inventions ( telephone, TV, Radio and Nylon) and a developing art scene which made the transition into constructivist and abstract art.  The book not only has a beautiful design by Gracia Lebbink , but it is great fun to look at the history of these World Fair’s. What struck me is that the architecture is truly innovative, but only a few buildings were kept. Of course the Eiffel tower is one of them and it has grown into a landmark for Paris and France, but when you look at some of the other great architecture realized, it is a pity that so few of the buildings remain.The book is available at www.ftn-books.com

wereldtentoonstellingen

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Siegfried Anzinger (1953)

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At the time Anzinger had an exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag ( curated by Franz Kaiser  i was not very interested in this kind of art, but sone 25 year ahead in time thingds change and now i find his work at least….INTERESTING and INTRIGUING.

Perhaps that is because i have learned to appreciate this kind of art. His paintings remind me of some of the ones Bacon has made and in the Netherlands John van ‘t Slot approached his subjects in the way Anzinger does. (Van ‘t Slot and Anzinger are from the same generation) and still they are rooted in the Austrian way of painting.

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If you try to find some information on Anzinger you will have a hard time finding it. There is some put on line by his gallery  MAX WEBER, but even this information is not very elaborate. An interesting artist, but hard to keep track of his works, because outside Germany and Austria his work is rarely seen.

www.ftn-books has one important publication on Anzinger available

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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Sara Blokland (1969)

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Willem van Zoetendaal made me look more careful at the photographs by Sara Blokland. It was at the time he  was invited by Hans Locher to curate the Fotokabinetten exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. It was at that time that i began to realizxe and see that photography was a very interesting and highly personal search for the inner soul of the photographed. The persons depicted in the photograph were not ordinary models but their appearance reflected their inner soul. Koos Breukel was one of them and surely Sara Blokland was the other with whom i experienced this.

Sara Blokland (1969 NL) is a visual artist, independant researcher and curator of photography. She lives and works in Amsterdam. She studied at the Rietveld Academy (BA in photography) and graduated at the Sandberg Institute (MFA photography and video) in the Netherlands and a MA in Film and Photographic Studies from the Leiden University.

As a visual artist she is predominately working with photography. Her work reflects on the complicated role of this medium in relation to the histories of individuals, the concept of ‘family’ and culture heritage. Blokland’s films and photographic works have a strong focus on the portrait and landscape as part of identity and memory.   Internationally her work has been exhibited in venues such as Kumho Museum (Seoul, Korea) and Gallery Lmak-projects (New York) the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Museum of Modern Art (Arnhem, Netherlands) and Gemeentemuseum The Hague (Netherlands). Her work is part of several private and public collections, such as the ABN-AMRO Collection, the Rabobank Collection, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and Gemeentemuseum The Hague. She was also the photographer and editor of the book Van Waarde [Of Value] (2008) and the photographer of the publication The Surinam Police Band (2009).

Since 2009, she is the co-founder and co-director of UNFIXED Projects. The organization aims to create platforms for dialogue about photography, contemporary art and theory with a strong focus on cultural identity. In 2010 UNFIXED projects organized in cooperation with the Center for Contemporary Art Dordrecht in the Netherlands, the UNFIXED exhibition, artist-residency , workshop and symposium. Sara co-edited the publication: UNFIXED – photography and post colonial perspectives in contemporary art, which was co-published by Jap Sam Book in Spring 2012.

www.ftn-books.com has a very nice Sara Blokland publication available which was published by Willem van Zoetendaal.

blokland fam

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Piet Dirkx daily … Christmas edition

On the 1st of September 2016 i started the “Piet Dirkx daily” with the publishing of a Piet Dirkx cigarbox on each day since. There were over 850 cigarboxes that were once part of the installation Biotoop at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. This publication of the collection of cigarboxes has come to an end. That does not mean that the Piet Dirkx daily will not continue. Yes…. it continues ….however the frequency will be different. Every week on Saturday or Sunday a new “classic” Piet Dirkx item will be published, but this time it will be mostly very colorful larger and extreme large items. Drawings, paintings and special publications all other parts of my/our collection will eventually be published.

So it is certainly still not the time to stop, but the name will change and be different of course. the “Piet Dirkx daily” will become the “Piet Dirkx weekly”. Starting this weekend when a new chapter in the Piet Dirkx publications will start. I did not plan it, but there was some real symbolism in this last Piet Dirkx cigarbox no. 855 published .

For all those who are not familiar with the dutch language…on the last box Piet stated …De trein staat stil and positief leven, which means the “train has stopped” and “live positively”. The last few words are maybe the most important to us all. Translated they mean:

Live positively

and on a personal note….Merry Xmas to you all.

The BIOTOOP / Biotope catalogue of the Piet Dirkx exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Aziz Bekkaoui (1969)

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One of the dutch fashion designers i truly enjoyed working with was AZIZ (Bekkaoui). I met a few of the great fashion designers in my time at the Gemeentemuseum. Frank Govers i found authentic but not that sympathetic, the same with Frans Molenaar …at a distance a likable personality, but as soon as you had met he was not the friendliest one. Max Heymans….. a rude person that thought of himself to be the king among dutch fashion designers, but for me he never reinvented himself, but his importance was based on a very loyal clientele who thought his designs were ina class of their own. Mart Visser a found sympathetic and one of the last i worked with was AZIZ Bekkaoui. A Moroccan born fashion designer of who i personally think is one of the most original ones to have appeared on the dutch fashion scene in the last few decades.  No gimmicks like Viktor & Rolf, but true and original fashion His fashion designs are inventive and highly original and…..he is certainly one of the friendliest designers i have met.

At the time of his Gemeentemuseum show he was hardly known, but the catalogue we made for the show was one of the most original ones at the time i was working at the Gemeentemuseum. Designed by Gracia Lebbink, we chose for a felt like white cover and the best printing possible…the result a highly collectable fashion exhibition catalogue which is still available at www.ftn-books.com

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Barrie Cooke (1931-2014)

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For me Barrie Cooke stands for the excellent taste Rudi Fuchs has in art and the beautiful designed catalogue Gracia Lebbink made for the Cooke exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in 1992. I can not remember if Cooke was present at the opening, but i still remember the first impression his paintings made on me when i first saw them in the exhibition rooms in the Gemeentemuseun. These paintings were personal and overwhelming and reminded me of the ones Francis Bacon made.

left Cooke and right Bacon

At that time Fuchs had become very interested in Irish art and presented Cooke shortly after he had had an exhibition with works by Jack B. Yeats

An artists’ artist, he won enormous respect from his peers over several generations for his utter commitment and the integrity of his vision. He was a passionate fisherman and the natural world was always at the heart of his work. His figure paintings and portraits are also exceptional.

His paintings are cherished for their dynamic, immediate, visceral connection with their subject matter. Early training at Skowhegan in the US and at Oskar Kokoschka’s School of Vision in Salzburg helped to shape the urgent vitality of his pictorial approach – a vitality reflected in the artist’s personality.

Having grown up in Bermuda and studied in the US, he went to England in 1954 to revisit his roots but found little to engage him. So he took a ferry to Ireland and, he said, felt at home even as he walked down the gangplank.

Irish life
He settled in rural Co Clare where he and his first wife, Harriet Cooke, lived in some poverty. Later he moved to Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, with ceramic artist Sonja Landweer, who introduced him to Rudolf Steiner’s ideas on natural processes. His next move was to a remote house overlooking Lough Arrow in Co Sligo.

The Barrie Cooke Gemeentemuseum catalogue designed by Gracia Lebbink is available at www.ftn-books.com

cooke a

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Centraal Museum Utrecht and book design

Every decade in Dutch design and typography has its own specialties. In the Interbellum there was the photomontage, Isotype and typography by Zwart, Schuitema and Arntz. After WWII , the Stedelijk MUseum was a source of inspiration for its director Willem Sandberg who made beautiful catalogues for his exhibitions in the Stedelijk. In the late fifties and early sixties Benno Wissing and Wim Crouwel lead the way in design, followed by the Total Design agency who had a leading role in dutch design in the seventies and eighties, which brings us to the Nineties. Here it becomes interesting. The large museums in the Netherlands practically all had their contracts with dutch “house” designers. Walter Nikkels for the van Abbemuseum, Swip Stolk for the Groninger Museum and Gracia Lebbink for the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag were such designers. And then there is the Centraal Museum. They had a very consistent publication program in which design , specially sized/formatted books and bindings were very important. www.ftn-books.com has some excellent examples of these publications for sale . I knew of course of these publications, but when i rearranged some of my inventory, it struck me that these publications are and will become more important in the world of book design every year from now. These publications are still available at reasonable prices , but it will not be long before others will recognize the importance of these books too.

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Floor van Keulen (1951)

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For me Floor van Keulen is similar with wall drawing. The projects i remember and encountered all were wall drawings by this artist. He mostly uses black . paint on a white back ground, but the drawing i witnessed come to life personally was the one he made in the projectenzaal of the Gemeentemuseum.

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It was an extremely large one and had some bright colors in it. Franz Kaiser was the responsible curator and Gracia Lebbink designed a beautiful small publication for the project which is available at ww.ftn-books.com. It does not take long for van Keulen to execute such a large wall painting. Within the week it was there. But a projectroom functions only if the project is temporary, which means the painting was overpainted after the show was over. Still the book keeps the painting alive.