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Minimal Art at the Haags Gemeentemuseum

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It was in the early Eighties that i learned of the Minimal Art collection and history of the Haags Gemeentemuseum.

Crucial for the collection was the interest of almost all modern art curators in Minimal Art. Starting with Enno Develing who introduced the key artists of the Minimal Art scene for the first time in a large exhibition in 1968. Among them Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre and of course Sol LeWitt. Many of them would receive solo prentations in the years to follow, but this first time was a breakthrough for Minimal Art. The catalogue is arare book nowadays and i am lucky to have a copy for sale at www.ftn-books.com

After this first exhibition many exhibitions would follow. Enno Develing, Flip Bool, Rudi Fuchs and Franz Kaiser all took an interest in Minimal Art and because of this interest , exhibitions with LeWitt, Andre and Judd were organized in the decades after this first  1968 Minimal Art exhibition. I doubt that none was as important as this very first one, because after this first one Minimal Art was established as an art form, but another aspect that makes this first ( Develing ) exhibition important is that the relationship between the Gemeentemuseum and these artist was not only an artistic one.  The museum and its curators became friends with practically all Minimal Art artists, resulting in an ever growing collection of Minimal Art.

There is a nice link to a tribute to Sol LeWitt to be found over here:

http://www.gem-online.nl/files/media/gem/2016/sol_lewitt._a_tribute/ebook_sollewitt_web.pdf

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David Tremlett at Coazzolo / Italy

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Last 10 days we spent in the beautiful Langhe e Roero area near Alba (Italy). There is not a great number of Modern Art to be found in the joining areas. There is of course Modern Art in Torino and Rivoli. But in and near Alba almost nothing. One exception. David Tremlett decorated a church at Coazzolo which is well worth visiting and Sol LeWitt decorated a chapel in the wine fields.

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Both are well worth a vist but none is that spectacular it is worth a detour still when in the neighborhood visit them because this is one of the most enchanting regions in Italy and well worth visiting even if there is hardly any modern art to be found. For some Tremlett publications visit www.ftn-books.com

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Haus Konstruktiv – Zurich- Suisse

Museum Haus Konstruktiv – the Foundation for Constructive and Concrete Art

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It was 2 months ago that i visited the museum HAUS KONSTRUKTIV. At first a little disappointed but the Graevenitz exhibition made the visit worthwhile . Personally i think it is importnat that such a small part of the modern art scene has an excellent platform in which special exhibitions can be held.

The Haus Konstruktiv is located in one of the most distinctive icons of Zurich’s industrial architecture, providing a space for concrete art.

The museum is dedicated to the exploration of concrete, constructive and conceptual art. The Museum Haus Konstruktiv focuses on making it part of a living dialog with international trends in contemporary art.

Over the five floors of the former Selnau electricity sub-station, visitors discover works of art in the context of their historical background through temporary exhibitions and collection presentations.  Also on permanent display are treasures from the museum’s own collection, the legendary “Rockefeller Dining Room” by the Swiss artist Fritz Glarner. Beside the special exhibitions the Haus Konstruktiv has an excellent exhibition program of which some publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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( to be continued )

 

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Wim Crouwel / Total Design- 20 jaar verzamelen / Stedelijk Museum, 1984

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Followers of this blog know of my special interest in the publications of the Stedelijk Museum. I have many titles avaialable and ftn-books.com is one of the first sources that is consulted when it comes to publications of and on the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Yet…. one learns every day, even when you have so many catalogues by the Stedelijk Museum available as i do. It has been years ago that i last saw this catalogue which was published by the Stedelijk in 1984 which gives the best and complete overview of their collecting in the period 1963-1984.

Why is this important? Personally i think that this is the period in which the SM made their best and most important purchases. How about important acquisitions like the ones by Kelly, Dubuffet, LeWitt, de Kooning , Mangold , Lichtenstein and Warhol. Just a few names that belong to the most famous ones, but among the hundreds of these acquisitions there is so much quality art acquired that only with these acquisitions one can fill an entire collection and become  with this collection one of the most important Modern Art Museums in the world. The book was compiled by Joosten and designed by Total Design/ Wim Crouwel, which makes it even more worthwhile collecting . It is now available at www.ftn-book.com

20 jaar verzamelen sm

 

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Josef Albers Museum / Quadrat Bottrop and its amazing poster publications.

It must have been in december some eight years ago that me, my wife and Ellis my sister in law decided to make a small detour to Bottrop after vsiting the Alsace region. When we arrived there were were impressed by the surroundings of the museum. a park and a sculpture garden next door to the museum building itself. Of coursse we came over there to see the Josef Albers paintings, but after the visit we started to see what wonderful items the bookshop was selling. Among them….posters, special prints and Josef Albers furniture.

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I bought the posters , because they were there for sale in all sorts of appearances. Specila prints, silks screened, signed and even limited editions and they were not exported or could not be ordered only bought on site. That is the reason why we returned one year later and i bought more of them. Making them a substantial part of my inventory. Most of them are sold out now, but i am fortunate to be able to offer them. These are among the very best exhibition poster sin the world by some of the grewatest names in Art today. The posters i bought are available at www.ftn-books.com…just search for Albers or Bottrop.

 

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Maeght edition….NOISE no. 10 LeWitt/Appel

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If ever there was a series that deserves to be collected it is the NOISE series published by Maeght editeur and sepcially the no. 10 volume within the series is exceptionally beautiful ( available at www.ftn-books.com). These publications are printed by the best in the business and are far larger sized than the usual Maeght publications. At a size 15 x 10.6 inches and in many cases spread over two pages, these publications are a true treasure trove. For instance the no. 10 issue has contributions by Karel Appel and Sol LeWitt and these artists show their best works in this publication. Check out the different issues published by Maeght and take a look at the no. 10 issue for sale at my shop.

 

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John Baldessari sings LeWitt

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John Baldessari is a conceptual artist. Personally i am not the greatest fan of his work, but because of his approach to the the work of Sol LeWitt i have this one publication that is very special and of course typical Baldessari and available at www.ftn-books.com

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Initially a painter, Baldessari began to incorporate texts and photography into his canvases in the mid-1960s. In 1970 he began working in printmaking, film, video, installation, sculpture and photography. He has created thousands of works that demonstrate—and, in many cases, combine—the narrative potential of images and the associative power of language within the boundaries of the work of art. His art has been featured in more than 200 solo exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. His work influenced Cindy Sherman, David Salle, Annette Lemieux, and Barbara Kruger among others.

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Minimal Art / 1968 curated by Enno Develing … a pdf file

This is a special blog on Minimal art . This time i am offering my readers a real treat.

As you might know the Gemeentemuseum published in the late nineties a cd rom containing the PDF files of possibly the 3 most important and sought after Minimal Art exhibition catalogues which were held in Europe in the late sixties. A European first…..All three were curated by Enno Develing and all three were accompanied by a simple but important catalogue. All these catalogues ( LeWitt, Minimal Art,  Carl Andre) sold out completely and because of the demand and art historical importance we decided to buy some antiquarian 2nd hand copies, strip them from their backbones and scan them as PDF files for future use and disclosure to students and publish them in a very limited number on cd rom.

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At that time i bought the CD rom. The CD rom player on my Mac disappeared, but i kept the files on my hard drive including the Carl Andre, LeWitt and Minimal Art catalogues in pdf format . You can view the Minimal Art catalogue here:  MINIMAL ART

For the complete CD ROM or separate files of the other catalogue please visit www.ftn-books.com

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Niele Toroni (1937)

Born in Switzerland in 1937, Niele Toroni rose to fame in an era that other Swiss artists were very much under the influence of constructivism…. Lohse and Honegger among them. Toroni left that stage behind him and developed a minimal style of his own. The main difference between these two and Toroni is that Toroni progressed his art into a form of MINIMAL ART in which he altered the space by painting with a regular space between them brushstrokes in squares onto a surface using one specific color. He usually uses one specific brush no 50. The imprints made with this n°50 paintbrush are repeated at regular intervals of 30 cm. His works are found in many modern art museum collections including the Stedelijk museum and the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. In which one of the 4 Staircases is painted by Toroni ( the others by LeWitt, Forg and Tuzina).

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These four staircases are there for over 25 years now and have proven to be very important In Situ works of art. All artist have become famous contemporary artists and really make one look at these staircases with different eyes. They are not ordinary staircases any longer , but works of art and part of a great collection.

Books on Toroni can be found at www.ftn-books.com

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Donald Judd and the Chinati foundation

Marfa Texas…that is where the Chinati Foundation is settled. The Foundation was an initiative by Donald Judd who founded this in 1979. Since buildings were eerected and exhibitions were being held with friends and admired artists. There were exhibitions with works by John Chamberlain, an installation by Dan Flavin occupying six former army barracks, and works by Carl Andre, Ingólfur Arnarsson, Roni Horn, Ilya Kabakov, Richard Long, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, David Rabinowitch, and John Wesley. Each artist’s work is installed in a separate building on the museum’s grounds.

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One of the main buildings is called the Arena. It was built in the 1930s as a gymnasium for the soldiers at Fort D.A. Russell. After the fort closed in 1946, the gym floor was torn up for the wood, and sand was laid to provide an indoor arena for horses. In the mid 1980s, Judd restored the building, which was largely dilapidated. Judd left the long strips of concrete that had originally supported the wooden floor, and filled the intervening spaces with gravel. For practical considerations, Judd poured a large concrete area by the kitchen at the south end, and a smaller area at the north end of the building’s interior. These two areas comprise half of the total area of the building. Judd also added a sleeping loft and designed the outer courtyard, which includes areas for eating, bathing, and a barbecue. There are two works by David Rabinowitch installed in the building: one on the ground floor (Elliptical Plane in 3 Masses and 4 Scales, 1971-72) and one in the loft (6-Sided Bar, III, 1969). These works are on long-term loan from the Judd Foundation.

Chinati is like a Disney park for the Minimal art admirer. Everything breathes Minimal Art and the Judd designs make it even more special. There  are some very nice Donald Judd books available at www.ftn-books.com including one publication by the Chinati foundation.