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Jakob Gasteiger ( 1953 )

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It must have been in 1991 that i first encountered the publicatiions by Picaron editions. Among them was the Travel to Rome portfolio by Marc Mulders . On this specific item i wrote a blog some 2 years ago. Now it is time to devote a blog to another of their publications. The Jakob Gasteiger portfolio which was published in an edition of only 300 copies. It contains 8 special prints and certainly is one of the rarest of all Gasteiger publications and now finally for sale at www.ftn-books.com

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A rare and beautiful item and for those who do not know Gasteiger . here is an interview with him from 6 years ago to discover the man behind the artist:

 

JAKOB GASTEIGER By Karlyn De Jongh April 2013

The analytical painting of Jakob Gasteiger (1953, Salzburg, Austria) centralizes the process and act of painting itself. Gasteiger lives and works in Vienna, Austria. KDJ: For this year’s 55th Venice Biennale, you will make a room covered completely with carbon paper. Why did you choose to make this particular statement? What do you want to say with it? Why create a Black room? JG: For twenty years I have worked with paper as well, carbon and tissue paper. Before the introduction of computers and printers, carbon paper was used for copying. What you see are, strictly speaking, industrially produced monochrome charcoal drawings. Tissue paper is being sold in many colors as wrapping paper for presents. I stick these papers on canvas or, for an exhibition, directly on the walls of a museum or gallery. They are environments, graphic rooms which temporarily can be walked in, and at the same time murals. The color pigments of the papers come off when I stick them on the walls and you get, although I don’t use any paint here, the impression of a painting. The ‘treated’ walls are not black, however, depending on the brand the colors of the papers come off differently. KDJ: In an interview for Personal Structures: Works and Dialogues (2003) you stated that your basic concept is the question: Where is the boundary between graphics and painting and between painting and sculpture.” Now 10 years later, can you give an answer to this question? Has your answer changed over the years? Have you been able to extend these boundaries? Which boundaries would you still like to abolish? JG: In my works with tissue and carbonpaper I question the boundary between graphics and painting, my acrylics do the same with the boundary between painting and sculpture. But I am not especially interested in giving answers. Thirty years ago, when I started with this concept, I attached more significance to it. Since then my artistic activity has become independent, now I can draw on my wealth of experience. I do not want to eliminate boundaries either, I was interested in recognizing these boundaries in my work, but I did no tintend to abolish them. KDJ: When you are ‘researching’ the boundaries between painting and sculpture, the concept of space must be an important discussion point for you – if only as a consideration of the 2- or 3-dimensionality of your work. What does space mean to you? JG: The beauty of Japanese art lies in the “Ma”, the negative space or gap. It is considered to be a “filled emptiness”. This has inspired me as much as Japanese or Chinese tissue papers or lacquer painting. KDJ: Artists such as Hermann Nitsch, Toshikatsu Endo and Rene Rietmeyer have a strong urge to say something, wanting to be heard to create awareness and accomplish some change in humans and the way they think about the world around them. This is one of the reasons why Rietmeyer started PERSONAL STRUCTURES, for example. Maybe I am mistaken, but I have the feeling that you make your work for different reasons. It seems you are more introvert and create your works as a research for yourself. Am I right? Is there something you want to change in human thinking? JG: As an artist, I hardly have a missionary urge with my work. However, I would like to change human thinking a bit. Worldwide there are about twenty wars and more than a hundred violent conflicts. We are experiencing racism, discrimination, intolerance and violence all over the world. With my work as an artist there is nothing I can do about these problems, but as a politically conscious person I can express my disgust at this state of affairs. KDJ: In 1978 Marcia Hafif wrote the essay “Beginning Again”, in which she describes the situation of painting at that time as no longer being relevant. Her aim was – and seems to have been for the past 30 years – to go back to the question of what painting actually is. Although you seem concerned with the same subjects as she is, you are one generation younger than Hafif is, and were born in another part of the world. Was your situation different than hers? Why do you have this urge to question ‘painting’? JG: All questions of art reappear cyclically. How often has the end of painting been proclaimed… But every generation faces its new tasks which have to be analyzed in accordance with the time and for which new solutions have to be found. Abstract or non-representational painting is probably the greatest achievement in the art of the 20th century, and it is still relevant to me and my work. KDJ: In texts about “Radical Painters” and related artists, often there is a reference being made to the German word “Farbe”, which in English denotes to both paint and colour. Being Austrian, having German as your mother tongue, is there for you an existential difference between paint and colour? Or can we not see them separately? How does colour relate to material? JG: Paint is just material to produce my paintings. In this context, color does not carry meaning or content. A red painting is for me nothing more than a painting that was created from a material whose color is red. KDJ: When I visited your studio in Vienna, it had the impression of being a laboratory. It seems that developing new ideas, coincidences are sometimes important to get further in our development. When you work in such a clean space, is there still room for coincidences? What role do precision and exactness play in your work? To what extent is the act of making a new work an analytical practice? JG: I see myself as an architect who is planning and designing a building. It must comply with his ideas and it is not supposed to collapse. Nevertheless, there are many unexpected problems during the construction that require new decisions. KDJ: For making his brushstrokes, Lee Ufan grinds stone to make pigment out of it. You also sometimes use ‘unusual’ pigments to create your works, such as copper, glass, aluminium or iron. Why do you do that? JG: I already answered your question about paint and color stating that a red painting does not carry meaning or content. But a red image (or whatever color) nevertheless evokes in the viewer a mood, a feeling. I use different materials, grated to powder, that are atypical as pigments in painting. Copper, iron, glass, aluminum are commonly used for sculpture. Copper has something old-fashioned and reminds one of copper kettles or copper roof sheeting, while aluminum, as the metal of the 20th century, lets one think of airplanes or cars. One of my aluminum pictures is “faster” than one made from copper. KDJ: Joseph Kosuth once remarked about Rene Rietmeyer’s VENEZIA glass Boxes that they “suffer from aesthetics.” Opinions are always different, but to me, with regard to your choice of colour, your work does not seem to ‘aim’ for ‘beauty’. What role does beauty or aesthetics play in your work? JG: Especially with my graphics and my works with paper I try to keep to a dilettante approach. Whether the results are “beautiful”, I do not know. I believe that the terms “right” or “appropriate” are more suitable. Viewers have probably their own opinion about it. KDJ: The colours you choose for your work are – in my opinion – quite sombre. Having lived in Vienna for some time, for me these colors go very well with Vienna as a location. To what extent do you think your colour choices – or your work in general – is influenced by the location where you create your works? JG: I am not influenced by the location of my studio. My choice of colors is also not dependent on my whims and moods. Since I started to use iron, glass, copper, etc. as pigments some years ago, the colors do get a completely different meaning. There was one exception once: I made Yves Klein-blue images because I wanted to break the taboo of his ultramarine. But it was just a quote, I did not refer to Klein’s metaphysics. KDJ: Instead of a brush, you use a comb to apply paint to the canvas. What attracts you in this ‘tool’? Why not use your fingers directly, like Arnulf Rainer did? JG: When I started to occupy myself with analytical painting, I also questioned the tools to apply the paint with and I have tried various other tools instead of the commonly used brush. I wanted “impersonal” tools, so fingers were no option. I used timber, boards, nails or a saw-blade to work with the paint. Later I cut comb spatulas from cardboard, I still do that today. KDJ: In the PERSONAL STRUCTURES catalogue for the 55th Venice Biennale, Florian Steininger writes about your work that it is about “painting as process, aloof from the emotional and personal gesture.” What is meant by “painting as process”? Do you look at the process of this particular painting? Or is it also about the process of your œvre? JG: I believe both. The ever-repeated gesture of applying and structuring the paint material to create my images is a repetitive work process and to some extent the growth of my œvre in small changes is also a process over many years. KDJ: I have met you a few times in Vienna and Venice and you made a very “soft” impression on me. To me, you as a person seem quite receptive of emotions and it is hard for me to imagine that your works would miss this ‘emotional’ aspect. I think that always emotions have at least a small influence on the decisions we make, even when it is just from being hungry or wanting to have an orgasm. Is it your aim to exclude these emotions as much as possible – even though it can never really be accomplished? JG: Instead of “soft” I would rather say “well-disposed”. It applies to artists as well as to politicians or other people: those who shout, quickly lose their voice. I prefer tolerance and respect myself and other people as well. Making art is like an expedition. It is planned and prepared, and the expedition leader should keep a clear head. On the way you have to react to something unexpected or you must choose a detour. This is, more or less, my situation as an artist for over thirty years. But still it is not certain that the expedition reaches its destination. You could also reply with the famous quote that the journey is the reward. KDJ: In 2009, I interviewed Marcia Hafif in her New York studio. She told me about her work in relation to time and space. The concepts of time and space were understood by her in a very ‘concrete’ way: the actual location of the work, and the time necessary to produce a work. It seems that time has a broader meaning in your work. An important element in your work seems to be ‘change’, the change of yourself as well as from your work. Change is perceived over time. How do you understand time? What does change mean to you? JG: Of artists is expected that they always come up with something new. “New” receives much attention. I did not want to live up to these expectations, so I adopted an attitude of denial. I began to produce the same pictures again and again, to repeat myself. That worked out well, because soon people started to say that “Gasteiger makes always the same”. But because I am basically non-dogmatic, I have expanded the range of possibilities to express myself in the course of time. KDJ: In an interview for PERSONAL STRUCTURES: TIME SPACE EXISTENCE (2009), Joseph Marioni states that “the element of time, is that my paintings involve a visual transition.” In your paintings, is change only a visual transition? Or does it go beyond that and are they in fact different? JG: Works of art are rooted in the time of their creation. Good art is resistant to zeitgeist and fashions and keeps its importance beyond the time of its origin. KDJ: Being very interested in time and existence myself, for me it is quite difficult to imagine that a person like you or Marcia Hafif spend their life ‘researching’ materialistic elements of painting. After a certain number of years and having painted a certain number of paintings, I know that for me it would become boring. Why does this research matter to you? What keeps you from continuing? Or have you changed over the years and adapted your main concept accordingly? JG: Of course I have changed over the years, at least I hope so. In my art, however, changes are not an intentional decision. I let them happen.There are outstanding works – of myself and others –, they are a benchmark for my work. Working in the studio always means self-reflection and a commitment to high quality standards. Mistakes happen nevertheless, and over time there have been works that I would rather not have shown. KDJ: In 2003, you have stated that “art is man’s activity of creating something new, of researching, of discovering.” Are you still this same opinion? Why do you think it is necessary to create something ‘new’? JG: It is not necessary, it happens. KDJ: Seemingly having a similar concern in your art as Hafif and Marioni, what is so ‘new’ about your work? Is it not rather the fact that it is made by you, that makes the work particular? JG: Yes.

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Paul Kooiker (1964)….continued

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A few years ago i devoted a blog to Paul Kooiker of whom i have several publications available. Among these is the Hotel New York publication,  but this time i publish this blog to announce the sale of an original photograph by Paul Kooiker.

Kooiker is one of the leading photographers in the Netherlands these days and it is a rare opportunity to sell anoriginal signed photograph. One from the series i keep for my own collection but the one below is for sale:

kooiker fa a

It is a great Paul Kooiker photograph. The setting and the models are typical for Kooiker and used in many series oof which some of the books are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Vasarely …Naissances, 1968

 

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Galerie Der Spiegel in Koln, made a 1968 a memorable publication with Victor Vasarely. Naissances is such a book you will cherish for a long time and find it with each viewing more interesting. The book contains one card whcih can be held behind the tranparent printed pages making each page a different kinetic work of art, plus the book contains two signed and numbered serigraphs which make it even more valuable. I tried to find another copy on the interenet, but it looks like i am the only bookseller who can offer this very special book now. It is not cheap… but i can assure you it is fascinating!

https://ftn-books.com/products/victor-vasarely-naissances-ltd-ed-450-incl-2-signed-serigraphs-1968-mint

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Fiona Rae (1963)

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I never had heard of Fiona Rae until i purchased the excellent Voorwerk box published by Witte de With in which there was a contribution by Fiona Rae. Rae  ( born in Hong Kong) added to this Voorwerk box a small unique painting , making this box one of the most sought after art publications from the last 30 years. These boxes were published in an edition of only 500 copies by Witte de With in the very beginning of its existence. Chris Dercon was the responsible curator, who later would become the director of the Boijmans van Beuningen. An article on Blouin triggered this blog on Rae since an exhibition in Lugano was recently opened. Here follows the Blouin artice and of course for the unique Fiona Rae painting visit this link at www.ftn-books.com:

https://ftn-books.com/products/fiona-rae-original-painting-from-500-paintings-for-witte-de-with-mint

use the code: fionaftn  and receive a USD 95.00 discount on this purchase.

valid until the 31st of december/ only 1 work available.

rae jan aa

Buchmann gallery in Switzerland presents British painter Fiona Rae’s paintings for the first time in Buchhmann Lugano.

The paintings featured in the exhibition are part of the most recent works by the British artist. The works begun in 2014 and are comprised of a number of charcoal drawings. Initially, the series started out as grayscale works and relied upon its fluidic flow of the brush in a calligraphic style, completely omitting the colors. The largest of the painting, thus, is limited to a size which she can completely control from a single standpoint; and can through her brush freely to cover the entire canvas with a single brush stroke.  It’s the magic of the art of calligraphy that makes the canvas as well as the drawings free flowing but with an intense precision and even discipline.

The large work upon canvas, the painting named “Figure 2a” introduces color on the foreground upon a grayscale backdrop.  This approach literally highlights the figure in contrast with the backdrop and creates a new concentration and dynamism in the constellation of figure and ground, surface and line. This approach has been further explored through her smaller drawings and paintings on paper as well, like the paintings “Figment 2u,” “Figment 3b” and “Figment 3c.” For the title of her painting, Rae uses a taxonomic system: Figure 1a, Figure 1b, etc. In this way, she creates a distance between the painting and the title, enabling the viewer to concentrate on contemplating the pure painting. Still, Fiona Rae’s signature remains clearly recognizable in these new works, evidence of the many visual codes and tropes she has developed and made her own over the years.

These new paintings make clear what Fiona Rae means when she says: “I see these paintings as suggesting the presence of a figure, whilst simultaneously insisting on its absence; the paintings remain abstract. I want the urgency of paint marks and gestures made only by the hand; the need to make a mark that goes back thousands of years.”

The exhibition is on view through November 25, 2017 at Buchmann Gallery, Buchmann Lugano Via della Posta no. 2, CH-6900 Lugano.

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Rhythm by Peter Pontiac and Ray Ahn

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Because i have a lifetime admiration for Peter Pontiac i always have carried a large inventory on the artist, but what i neglected to buy for my collection is the “Rhythm” book by Peter Pontiac which has a great part of his comics in one publication. Because of an order by an Australian customer i found one with a colleague and i must say i am very impressed with this publication. It shows in over 400 pages exactly what makes his work stand out from others from his generation. Bold, controversial and in many cases it shows the raw world the main character lives in. Beside the stories this book is beautifully published and does grace to the stories by Pontiac. I told my customer that i had found the book for his collection and beside the fact that he was delighted he pointed out an Australian publication on Ray Ahn / THE ART OF RAY AHN which is still available in a limited edition of only 200 copies at www.starmanbooks.com  for Australian Dollar 375,–

You can view an unboxing video over here:

https://www.facebook.com/starmanbooks/?fref=ts

Of course other Pontiac publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Helmut Newton….only in Taschen publications?

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The story is known to every book collector. Some 10 years ago Benedikt Taschen had the idea to publish the largest and heaviest book on Helmut Newton ever published. Asked Philippe Starck to design a stand for the book , set the edition size……. and sold all books over some years. Now and then these books surface and draw lots of interest. Antiquarian booksellers are trying to sell these for USD. 10.000 or even more. Taschen produced 3 years ago a much smaller reedition of the book for euro 99.00 with the same photographs within this title, but because of the much better price they could sell it again and i predict that the same title will be presented in a few years within a bargain edition ( printed in China ;-)). What makes this so special…..i really do not know . I consider Taschen as one of the best art publishers in the world , but with such large editions they are hardly interesting for the serious collector. I love the photography of Helmut Newton, but would only use the Taschen books to get an excellent overview of his works. If you are a book collector it is better to focus on the gallery and museum publications from which the Repertinum/ Salzburg one is maybe the best from the last decade.

wilfried

 

www.ftn-books.com

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Ko Verzuu (1901-1971) , the force behind ADO (wooden) toys

Ko Verzuu ( 1901-1971) had a technical background and with this background he designed and developed wooden toys from 1925-1962 for ADO. These toys were produced in the workshops from the Berg and Bosch hospital and were influenced by  ” de Stijl” which Gerrit Rietveld promoted in those days. Primary colors in relation to clear and straight lines and these characteristics found their way into the ADO toys. The wooden bank is such an example. …..Blue and Yellow in a small designed wooden bank,which could be an element of the Rietveld Schroder Huis in Utrecht.

Verzuu designed these toys with their playability in mind and tested them with his own 11 children to be sure that these were the ultimate wooden toys

The BESTELDIENST in this blog comes from a limited edition of only 250 copies. All with certificate. This was a “prestige” project by ADO from some 15 years ago in which they showed their history and expertise in wooden toys. Made and painted by hand , all numbered this was made in two editions/ A yellow one , which was specially made for the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in an edition of only 50 copies and….. the one in the picture made in an edition of 250 copies. It was about 12 years ago that SWZ stopped production of all ADO school furniture  and other ADO products and this ended all other ADO projects to be made in the future. The remainder of the banks, beetles ( yes, another special product to be discussed in the near future) and the BESTELDIENST were bought by FTN and were sold on special occasions and on eBay. Now the stock comes to an end and the only place that these will be sold is at www.ftn-books.com.

These last copies  ( all mint, numbered with certificate and original ADO box ) can still be picked up at a fair price.

The quality is superb and these pieces are highly collectable.

wilfried

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Raymond Pettibon – Over Easy

In 2002 Raymond Pettibon made the opening exhibition for the GEM museum. The exhibition was curated by Roel Arkesteijn. Pettibon worked day and night to include over 600 drawings and designs, but he finished in time to make it a memorable exhibition. After the opening he had time to make and finish 3 comic books, which were printed ( copied ) and stapled in house by Chantal Sieuw. These 3 titles are since highly collectable Pettibon books , because the edition was only 100 copies for each title.

The Over Easy title is the first to be discussed in this blog.

Artist / Author : Raymond Pettibon

Title : Over Easy

publisher : GEM, 2002

Number of pages : 28

Text language : English

Measurements: 8.7 x 5.6 inches

Condition: MINT

Pettibon had strict demands regarding the way these books were published . As designed  and prescribed by Pettibon these were copied and stapled editions and each copy was numbered in pencil ( xxx/100 ).

At the time of the exhibition these special editions were not popular at all. They sold at only euro 20,00 for each copy but only a dozen or so were sold. ………One year later…. everything was sold out and these books were offered and sold on eBay for prices of around USD 350.00 each. It appeared Pettibon had a very loyal following of collectors who were buying these rarities for their collection. Since that date Pettibon has published many more “comics” / art books, but this Over Easy remains one of the very special ones which was specially made for the opening of GEM in 2002 and can be seen as one of the highlights from the first decade in this new millennium

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