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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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Blinky Palermo (1943-1977)

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Decades ahead of his time, the art of Blink Palermo has proven to be “classic”. The use of color and the forms he useed makes him stand out from his contemporary artists and in the decades after his death this art form developed into an art that i personally am a great fan of. Look at Piet Dirkx, Richter, Forg and many others who must be inspired by Blinky Palermo. His works are a combinaton of Constructivist and Minimal paintingsPalermo was born as Peter Schwarze, but took the name Blinky Palermo as an artist name at the time he studied with Joseph Beuys at the Dusseldorfer Kunstakademie. In 1973 he moved to New York where he stayed and worked until his death in 1977.

In the short time Blinky Palermo lived and worked as an artist he did not receive the recognition he deserved, but soon after his deat . Retrospective exhibition were being held and showed the importance of Palermo. Some of these publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

among these venues are Moma, Hirschhorn, Mocba, Lacma and Serpentine galeries. These are not the least venues to be presented as an artist and i predict that the works by Blinky Palermo prove to be highly original and groundbreaking in the years to come.

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Don Judd at the van Abbemuseum in 1970

This was after the presentation at the Haags Gemeentemuseum ( 1968) the 2nd exhibition within a short period of time Donald Judd received in the Netherlands. This time ( 1970) in the van Abbemuseum curated by Jean Leering, but what makes this for me even more special are 2 reasons.

The first is …i had never found the Judd catalogue before. I knew it existed , but never one was offered anywhere and secondly the design was done by one of the greats in dutch graphic design …Jan van Toorn.

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And ….now i have one! it was hidden between a lot of books , but i found an excellent copy. What makes it even more special is that the cover is executed in gold and i believe that the design is done by Judd himself and executed in silkscreen. In those days editions where rarely more than 1000 copies and my guess is this edition is even less. So there you are…finally at www.ftn-books.com this rare Donald Judd / Don Judd for sale. It is one of the rare occasions that you can offer a truly rare publications and this one certainly is.

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Francois Morellet (1926-2016) and the van Abbemuseum catalogue from 1971

 

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Several reasons why this catalogue is importand. First of all …this is one of the first Morellet catalogues published outside France. In 1971 Morellet was invited for a LICHTKUNST exhibition at the van Abbemuseum and Jan van Toorn was commissioned to design the catalogue with this exhibition. van Toorn decided for the Local printer LECTURIS ( still one of the very best printers in the Netherlands) and included within the catalogue multiple special prints after the large silkscreens by Morellet.

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Making it this way more like an artist book than a simple exhibition catalogue. This made the book so special that it is arguably the best catalogue ever published with the works by Morellet.

 

Since, Morellet is one of the most appreciated and valued artist in the Kinetic and Minimal Art scenes and the catalogue is one which is sought after and collected by many admirers. The catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com:

https://ftn-books.com/products/abbemuseum-francois-morellet-1971-nm

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Gábor Ősz (1962)

At the time Osz had his exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum, we met and i told him i was very much impressed with his photographs. Large scaled sea views and architectural photos, unsharp and blown up to gigantic proportions they make you almost feel little. If i must compare his art i almost would say that his photography has a MINIMAL art concept and is mostly related to others from the Minimal art scene. His photo subjects are almost non existent and you really have to study them to see what is meant by them. Study them closely and you see that it is a sea with a horizon and of course the title helps ( THE LIQUID HORIZON no. 13 ) but just glance at it shortly and you are in doubt what the subject is.

Because of the unsharpness the photo feels abstract. It is hard to describe what the quality of his photography is. I think it is best to experience them. Stand in front of one of them and feel the strength of the composition. These photo’s are not the easiest ones on this planet, but certainly they are fascinating. www.ftn-books.com has a very nice signed and dated publication by Gábor Ősz available. This comes from avery small edition of only 400 copies and Gábor Ősz presented me with 2 of these copies of which one is now for sale.

osz

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Agnes Martin …the Islands (2004)

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Yesterday i spoke about the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop and their excellent poster publications. Today i will present the very best of them. It is the magnificent Agnes Martin poster for the “the ISLANDS’ exhibition. Executed as an original silkscreen this poster is a true work of art.

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Publisher: Quadrat /Josef Albers Museum, 2011 Measurements: 31.4 x 24 inches Condition: mint-

This is a highly collectable and important poster> not only because the exhibition was important, but because of the printing technique this is a masterpiece.

Poster and exhibition catalogue are both available through www.ftn-books.com

catalogue design by Walter Nikkels

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Tomitaro Nachi (1924-2007)

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Tomitaro Nachi was one of the first japanese artist ever to have an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum. Wim Crouwel designed the catalogue for his exhibition and what makes it extra special is that the catalogue included a rare and beautiful multiple. There is wonderful short movie about this artist which was made at the time of his exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 1974.

The catalogue shines. It is like a minimal artist book and reflects the spirit of “Zero” and Kinetic art and was forgotten by most until recently it was sold at a local book auction and fetched a steep price of euro 120,– because it had the original multiple included. www.ftn-books.com has both copies available. The one with and the one without the multiple. Both are worth collecting, but as lng as it is there i would chose the one with the multiple included.

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Tomas Rajlich (1940) in the Boijmans van Beuningen until the 27th of May.

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Last Sunday me and Linda visited the Tomas Rajlich exhibition in the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam. I had to see it , because i am a long time admirer of the works by Rajlich. Fundamental paintings almost like Minimal art , Rajlich stayed loyal to his monochrome paintings, with or without a grid with or without a very precise space of 5 cm. in between the lines just paint.  I admire his gold paintings with the pencil grids, but his grids can appear in very different ways. white lines, black lines, pencil or painted with the fingers or the entire hand. The ones in the Boijmans have a vertical grid which is applied with some sort of comb and like the smaller sketches/drawings in the adjacent room, glitter is applied on the surface which gives an extra dimension. Still the execution of the paintings is almost the same like some 30 years ago.

Look at the details of one of his gold paintings and the much more recent red painting. At the bottom of the painting it looks like paint is dripping from the canvas. as if all sites matter except the bottom. Rajlich is for my personally one of the most fascinating artist whom i have met and his art is timelesss. I am glad this show is organized with a great and impressive overview of some of his best recent paintings ( 2003) which he has lent on an extended loan to the Boijmans van Beuningen.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice and rare Tomas Rajlich publications available

Here is the text Boijmans published on its site:

Painting was declared dead in the early 1970s. Tomas Rajlich (1940) opposed this notion and revived painting by making the act of painting itself the subject of his canvases. In 1975 he was one of the most important exponents of Fundamental painting: a collective term for works in which idea and materials are inseparable. Rajlich still considers himself a Fundamental painter and has continued to develop as such to the present day.

The grids that were so characteristic of Rajlich’s early works seem to have disappeared from his recent monochrome canvases. The grid has become simply one of the elements, like the paint, glitter and linen that Rajlich uses to build up his extravagant paintings.

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Gottfried Honegger (1917-2016)

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Nearly 100 years , Gottfried Honegger died at the age of 98 in 2016 and left us a beautiful ouevre of Geometric and constructivist art.

was a Swiss artist and graphic designer. He was married to the Swiss illustrator Warja Lavater. He studied shop-window display at the Zurich Kunstgewerbeschule and taught there from 1948. His early work was commercial graphic design.

From 1955-1958 he was art director at Geigy. He lived in New York City between 1958 and 1960, and held his first exhibition there. In 1961 he moved to Paris and concentrated on painting, which concentrated on exacting explorations of circles and squares,[4] and (from 1968), sculpture.

Honegger also spent time in Dallas, Texas as the artist in residence at the University of Dallas. Honegger died at his home in Zürich, Switzerland from a short-illness on 17 January 2016, aged 98. The first time i heard of this artist when i acquired a beautiful series of books which included 2 special prints by Honegger. The first artist i thought of was Ellsworth Kelly, but no this was for me an unknown Swiss artist who had the same quality as Kelly only only a much smaller scale. These works are time less and deserve to be collected by all great museum in the Modern Art world, but until now only in a few museums in Switzerland and Germany i encountered these works. It was easier for me to find some great publications on this artist which are now available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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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.