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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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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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Memphis…no not the city in the US!

memphis veur

This is a blog on Memphis as a design and art form. Memphis was born in 1982 in Italy in Milano and founded by ao Ettore Sottsass. They designed Postmodern furniture, fabrics, ceramics, glass, and metal objects from 1981 to 1988. and were of great influence to many designers started their careers in those days. The design ideas by Memphis spread all over the world and culminated possibly in one building ….the Groninger Museum. Memphis designs are known for us dutch by one gallery shop in Den Haag who presented all these artists and had many specials an limited editions from the Memphis group. The COPI shop in the Prinsenstraat / Den Haag does not exist any longer but ask any dutch collector interested in Memphis, they know the name for sure. Because of the blog i finally know the origin of the name and found it on Wikipedia and want to share this information with you:

On December 11, 1980, Ettore Sottsass organized a meeting with designers, and in 1981 formed a design collaborative named Memphis. The name was taken after the Bob Dylan song “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” which had been played repeatedly throughout the evening’s meeting. They drew inspiration from such movements as Art Deco and Pop Art, including styles such as the 1950s Kitsch and futuristic themes. available at www.ftn-books.com are the following Memphis publications.

 

 

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Rodin at the Groninger Museum

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August Rodin…. a legend among sculptors and a sculptor who is appreciated by young and old. The Musee Rodin in Paris receives over 700.000 visitors each year and now some great works from their collection are on loan at the Groninger Museum. In total 140 sculptures and 20 works on paper are in the Rodin exhibition, which makes it the largest Rodin exhibition in the Netherlands ever. So this is a great opportunity to visit the Mendini designed museum in the north of the Netherlands and visit the Rodin exhibition ( until the 30th of April 2017).

Groninger Museum, Museumeiland 1
9711 ME Groningen

What makes me look really forward to this exhibition, is the special part by Erwin Olaf. I know the sculptures by Rodin quit well, because i have visited the Musee Rodin and saw his exhibition in the Museum Het Paleis ( 1995) in The Hague multiple times. But these Olaf photographs are a first. Olaf photographed dancers of the National Ballet in typical Rodin poses, creating an atmosphere as if these photographs are taken in the Rodin studio. Spectacular photographs of these talented dancers with bodies like they were sculpted by Rodin himself.

For more information on Rodin look at these available books at www.ftn-books.com and the site of the Groninger Museum….www.groningermuseum.nl

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Hussein Chalayan

In the 90’s several exhibitions were held in the Gemeentemuseum with some fashion items by Issey Miyake, but after these exhibitions there was a period without any real fashion talents. Exhibitions were held with new aspiring fashion designers but none had the original quality of Miyake until………there was Hussein Chalayan, but this time in a different location..the Groninger Museum.

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For me, suddenly he was there and the Groninger Museum made a wonderful exhibition with his designs. I do not follow fashion very much, but for me Chalayan combined fashion with Modern Art and sculpture and the setting in the Groninger Museum ( Mendini architecture) made it very special. According to Vogue he now makes HIGH TECH dresses. His approach to fashion has stayed the same. Explore the boundaries of fashion, ,wearability is of less importance, but originality is what he is looking for ….and finds.

The article on Chalayan in Vogue can be found here:

http://www.vogue.com/13431267/met-gala-chalayan-erika-wall-morgane-dubled/

Publications on this fascinating fashion designer are rare but www.ftn-books.com has some nice ones.

 

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Andres Serrano…A History of Sex

At least you can say that he has a completely different approach to his subjects than any other of his colleagues. Most of the time hechoses a highly controversial subject. This differs from sex to the morgue, but most of the time the result is “shocking”.

Taschen made an excellent book titled AMERICA with Serrano and it is one of the books i keep for my own collection. A little search resulted in enough copies for the collector to add this to his or her collection, but there is another one… a much harder to find book which was published with the Groninger Museum exhibition A History of Andres Serrano/ A HISTORY OF SEX in 1997. The design was done by Swip Stolk ( the house designer at that time ) and blown up pictures from the exhibited collection were used as posters in the street. One of them ( a girl peeing in a mans mouth) hit the street , but was removed a couple of days later , because it was a little bit too shocking. Still the result of this publicity campaign was that the Groninger Museum registered a record number of people, who visited this exhibition. The catalogue sold out within a few weeks, with no reprint and has become one of the most searched for catalogues of the Groninger Museum…..and www.ftn-books.com luckily

has one copy available.

The text in the Taschen book on Serrano is :

Even though I consider myself a conceptual artist, I am a traditionalist when it comes to photography. I like to use film and shoot straight. No technical gimmicks or special effects. What you see is what I saw when I looked though the camera. If I’ve dazzled you with lights and colors, it’s because I’ve dazzled you with lights and colors. Ideas are more important than effects. And effects are always better when they’re real. In Lori And Dori, for instance, the conjoined sisters are dressed like fairy tale princesses evoking a dreamy and surreal landscape of the mind. But they’re real. Other times I have to make things look real, even if they’re not. In White Nigger, a man is made Black through make-up, while a child is “hung” with a harness. Ezra Pound once said, “Make it new.” I do. And make it real, too.

The trick is not so much coming up with ideas, as how to make them work. When I first tried to photograph my ejaculations, for instance, I kept shooting and missing. After about eight times of getting back black film I realized that I needed a motor drive on my camera. I would start shooting film before I felt myself coming, and was able to shoot a roll of film in seconds. Invariably, there would be one shot, and one shot only, of my ejaculate. In Vagina Dentata (Vagina with Teeth) the teeth-they were shark’s teeth-kept falling out. I had to keep pushing them in to keep them from coming out. After a while, they stayed in place. When the shoot was over, I tried to get them out, but they were stuck. I then realized that the glue that kept them in place was dried menstrual blood.

–Andres Serrano, Reprinted from an interview with Julie Ault for “America and other Work by Andres Serrano” published by Taschen.

 

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Alessandro Mendini

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Because of a recent sale , i was reminded that there are so many important designs made by this master of ALCHIMIA. The design group that made the most remarkable designs in the eighties. Beside these designs he made for Alchimia, he also was a gifted architect and book designer. A multi talented artist who made some of the most iconic designs and in the Netherland was partly responsible for the architecture of the Groninger Museum. The Groninger Museum got his new building in 1994. At that time it was one of the most spectacular Museum buildings in the world.

This was possibly the building that paved the way for many more avant garde museum buildings. For instance the Gehry building which was made for the Guggenheim museum was opened in 1997, 3 year after the opening of the Groninger Museum. Since, the Groninger Museum always has had a special interest in design and their own publications have for the greatest part been of the highest possible quality. In many of them Swip Stolk had a role and they always show the influence of Alessandro Mendini .

There are some nice Mendini titles available at www.ftn-books.com

Including the famous Mendini Sketchbook published by the Groninger Museum