Posted on Leave a comment

Lawrence Weiner (1942) + discount

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-08 om 15.03.44

Lawrence Weiner and the Netherlands is a combination which now exists for almost 50 years. His connections with dutch directors and curators is legendary and he has made several special projects with them in dutch. Weiner is considered as a post minimal artist and one of the founders of Conceptual art and that is the reason why his works blend so well within the collections of the more important dutch museum. The van Abbemuseum, Stedelijk and Gemeentemuseum have all works by Weiner in their collections.

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-08 om 15.10.09

But Weiner is much more than a conceptual artist. He is a book designer and poet at the same time  and these little sketches with words can be blown up into facades and objects with words. One of the most memorable to me was the facade at the Ljubljana Modern Art museum with a Weiner object on one of the outside museum walls. Impredssive, recognizable. So to celebrate the longtime history that Lawrence Weiner has with the Netherlands there is a discount this week of 10%  on all items at www.ftn-books.com . use the discountcode : LawrenceWeiner10 and receive a 10% discount on all items including some marvelous Lawrence Weiner publications.

weiner sm a

Posted on Leave a comment

Lettering by Modern Artists

The above title is the same title as the exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1966. I recently acquired this catalogue which is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com and for me it makes clear the importance Modern Artists have for Modern typography. this is not the printed letter, but the much more free and personal lettering by artists on paper and canvas, making this a source of inspiration for modern typographers and designers and it shows clearly the way lettering can be used to make a splendid composition and be informative at the same time. A catalogue i can truly recommend.

lettering

Posted on Leave a comment

Nancy Spero (1926-2009)

Schermafbeelding 2019-03-04 om 12.10.14

I wanted to write a blog on Nancy Spero, but when studying her works and biography i stumbled upon a more than excellent article on Spero written by  Hans Ulrich Obrist. This can not be bettered so i decided to use his entire text for this blog on `Nancy Spero…enjoy.

“The one thing that artists must possess above all other qualities is immense courage,” the filmmaker and anthropologist Jean Rouch once said to me. Nancy Spero, who died on October 18th in Manhattan at the age of 83, was a woman who possessed immense courage, both in her art and in her life. For more than half a century, this courage propelled a practice of enormous imagination that moved across painting, collage, printmaking, and installation, constructing what Spero once called a “peinture féminine” that could address—and redress—both the struggles of women in patriarchal society and the horrors perennially wrought by American military might. Nevertheless, Spero’s art was ambiguous and never merely illustrative, and her treatment of these subjects came through a complex symbolic language incorporating an extraordinary polyphony of goddess-protagonists drawn from Greek, Egyptian, Indian, and pagan mythologies. She once told me that “goddesses, as is true of the gods, possess many characteristics of the eternal, which range from the tragic to transformation into a state of pleasure or even extreme excitement or happiness.”

Her prolific and tremendously inspired career was also fueled by her enduring dialogue with Leon Golub, whom she met in the late 1940s as a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and later married. In Paris, where they lived from 1959 to 1964, Spero produced a series of hauntingly oblique works called the Black Paintings, clearly infused with something of their mid-century Parisian, existentialist milieu. Painted at night and featuring androgynous figures and scrawled text fragments in somber colors over bright underlays, the artist once described them as “lyrical,” but also, “deathlike.” Throughout her career, Spero’s aesthetic was indeed one of the fragment, of the torn piece borrowed and fractured, the artist akin to Gilles Deleuze’s “vol créateur” who creatively steals and redirects meaning. Collage, though only one of the artist’s formal means, remained what we might call the conceptually determinant medium of Spero’s art.

Initially, Spero’s work was not openly confrontational—“not parallel, but at an angle,” she once said, paraphrasing Simone de Beauvoir. It was only with the War Series (1966–70), produced at the time of the war in Vietnam and after the couple had relocated to New York, that the terms for Spero’s subsequent overt politicization of painting were established. Its gendered bombs and helicopters, blood-spurting heads and flying insects, constructed a scatological picture of conflict as orgy. Its grotesque realism (in Mikhail Bakhtin’s sense) was all the more disturbing for what Spero once described as its “weird combination of the celebratory and the horrendous,” of the “festive and the frightening.” Kill Commies/Maypole, a work from the War Series that featured severed heads dangling from the end of maypole ribbons, was to form the basis—forty years later—of Spero’s thirty-five-foot-tall hanging mobile, Maypole/Take No Prisoners, installed in the entrance hall of the Italian Pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale. The relation of repetition and difference between the two works paralleled that between the conflict in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and America’s recent war in Iraq, casting a “terrible continuum” of death and destruction into relief.

Spero specialized in the dissection of conflict. The series of scroll works entitled Codex Artaud that she created between 1971 and 1972 further used collage to produce startling juxtapositions of text and image, their horizontality and the linearity of their elements recalling hieroglyphics, the shards of text taken from Antonin Artaud’s writings exposing her “anger and disappointment at the art world and at the world as a whole.” By this time, Spero had become heavily involved in activist groups operating in and around the New York art world, joining the Art Workers Coalition in 1968 and Women Artists in Revolution in 1969, and becoming a founding member of the women-only cooperative gallery A.I.R. in SoHo. The empowerment of women artists through these activities found symbolic form in Notes in Time on Women, an encyclopedic work Spero first presented in 1979. Taking the form of a 210-foot-long scroll charting the status of women through historical time, it featured figures of athletic women, both ancient and modern, who hopped, skipped, and jumped among quotations from a myriad of sources, many of which spoke to both the implicit and explicit misogyny in the canon of male European philosophers.

From the 1980s onward, Spero exerted a powerful influence on younger generations of artists while continuing to be highly prolific herself. Many of her later works are defiantly hopeful and celebratory, a tenor reflected in her use of particularly strong colors during this time. For instance, a mural produced in the highly charged locale of Derry, Northern Ireland, honored the political actions of the city’s women with a frieze of Greek goddesses and contemporary athletes alongside images of Derry women, while in a 2001 mural on the walls of the 66th Street station in New York City’s subway we see the dynamic figure of an opera singer in a golden gown, lifting and lowering her arms in song beneath the Lincoln Center, home to the Metropolitan Opera.

Nancy Spero continued to work with this sense of hope, despite having suffered the loss of Leon in 2004 and problems with her own health, and amid the deepening of America’s political crisis and international injustices. Spero’s art was suffused with this very human hope, which she saw as being grounded in the intractability of human struggle. Her work was never crudely utopian—as she told me, “utopia, like heaven, is kind of boring.”

Beyond a body of pioneering and exceptional work spanning more than half a century of tumultuous social change, this sense of hope will be her legacy. It was an everyday hope that she lived and breathed, and a hope for today rather than tomorrow: “I don’t know about the future yet because everything is subsumed in the present.” She liked to quote Susan B. Anthony in saying, “Failure is impossible.”

www.ftn-books.com has several titles available on Nancy Spero

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted on Leave a comment

galerie du Dragon (1955-1995)

 

I recently noticed that i have several publications by galerie du Dragon in my inventory

Founded in 1955 and always at the location of 19, rue du Dragon in Paris this galerie is together with galerie Denise Rene one of the grand old institutions in the Parisian art scene. For over 40 years they were representing modern artist like Matta and Carelman,

For those who can read french….. Here is a part from an article on the galerie du Dragon in which ll the famous names of the artists that have made a contribution to the gallerie’s fame are mentioned:

Grâce au soutien de nombreux artistes, le jeune poète Max Clarac-Sérou reprend le bail de la librairie et en fait une galerie d’art à partir de 1955, véritable foyer de découvertes et de contacts : la Galerie du Dragon. De jeunes poètes, comme Edouard Glissant, Alain Jouffroy ou Michel Butor y retrouvent des écrivains plus âgés, Henri Michaux ou Gherasim Luca. Ils y croisent des artistes, peintres ou plasticiens, comme Giacometti, Matta ou Victor Brauner. De solides amitiés voient le jour, dans la fréquentation du lieu, où Max Clarac-Sérou ou Cécilia Ayala organisent les expositions : sur l’art cubain contemporain, en 1961, ou sur le thème de Seul, et le corps, en 1966, réunissant pour l’occasion des œuvres de Balthus, Bellmer, César, Cremonini, Dali, Giacometti, Magritte et Matta..

Posted on Leave a comment

Yayoi Kusama… a zero artist

Kusama stands for me as “ZERO”.

Being one of the first to have participated as a Zero artist Dancing together with Jan Schoonhoven (in the nude)

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-12 om 11.25.09

and after that building an oeuvre on just one pattern…the Polka dot.

i love these artist that stay true to their belief. Kusama is not the only one. Leblanc, Peeters and Schoonhoven ,all from this generation , stayed true to their art ” inventions” developing it into something very perosmnal , recognizable and in many cases a beautiful and impressive work of art.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kusama participated in the first ZERO/Nul exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum, but beside that she had her Retrospektives held all over the world including the Tate Modern where a large rRetrospektive was held in 2012. Now she has turned into a grand old lady of  Contemporary Art and perhaps together with Louise Bourgeois  and Georgia O’Keefe she has given a feminine touch to Modern Art. www.ftn-books.com holds some excellent Kusama titles in its inventory.

Posted on Leave a comment

Mathias Fels (1922-2009)… galeriste extraordinaire

Schermafbeelding 2017-10-13 om 17.14.30

One of the great gallery owners of our town was Mathias Fels. Her started the gallery in 1955 and the gallery has since become one of the leading galleries in the world. With the death of Mathias Fels the gallery stopped, but until that date they organized some very important exhibitions and with these exhibitions catalogues were published using special designs, papers and in many cases special covers . The covers in some cases being original lithographs. As one of the leading art scene figures, Fels has become an icon for many gallery owners and together with gallery Denise Rene in Paris he always had a keen eye to present new modern artists in his gallery.

www.ftn-books.com has some beautiful and important Fels publications available.

corneille fels a

You can find an excellent interview( in french)  with Fels at:

http://www.visuelimage.com/ch/fels/

Posted on Leave a comment

Joost Swarte …artists portfolio Beuys/ Panamarenko/Schwitters and Duchamp (1994)

 

swarte pana f

Four famous names in modern art and selected by Joost Swarte to feature in his portfolio from 1994. One of the first complete Swarte designs. The chosen materials/papers/printing and lay-out all thought out and done by Joost Swarte. Published by het Raadsel and therefore guaranteed to have the best printing possible , because het Raadsel choose the best printers for their projects and because of the success from last months integral publication of the 4 volumes SCHAAMSTREKEN by Otto Egberts i decided to do the same with this beautiful and highly collectable portfolio which is available at www.ftn-books.com

swarte pana h

Artist/ Author:  Joost Swarte

Title : Duchamp, Beuys, Panamarenko, Schwitters portfolio

Publisher: het Raadsel, 1994

Number of pages:  4 prints all signed and numbered from an edition 150 in special portfolio

Text / Language: No Language

Measurements: 44 x30 cm

Condition: mint

 

swarte schwitters a

swarte beuys a

swarte pana a

swarte duchamp a

Posted on Leave a comment

Panamarenko— Lost and Found

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It must have been over 10 years ago that me and Linda visited Brussel and went to the Koninklijk Paleis voor Schone Kunsten. In the bookstore i found 2 prints by Panamarenko which i bought both. These prints featured 35 inventions by Panamarenko and were signed and stamped in print by Panamarenko which made them beautiful works of art to frame and cherish. One was sold shortly after i put it up for sale on eBay /USA, but the other which was sold immediately after i had sold the first one and raised the price substantially, was lost in the process of archiving it. What happened with it….i do not know, but i could not deliver it , because it was lost and i could not find it anymore.

Last week, when i was looking for some Christmas decorations, i noticed a white tube and i immediately knew…. I found the lost PANAMARENKO/ Copyright print.

It is now for sale on eBay and in my shop www.ftn-books.com

Posted on Leave a comment

Viktor IV (1929-1986).. washed ashore in Amsterdam

From 1961 until his death Viktor IV lived in a boathouse at the river Amstel in Amsterdam. Almost like a clochard but not secluded, because during his life he kept a very keen eye on the art scene around him. This resulted in one of the most fascinating oeuvres of any modern artist. Building his works from lost and found material washed ashore wooden panels he developed a sign language which was typical for Viktor IV, including a new way of looking at time with his BULGAR watches. Roughly his artistic life can be divided into 3 parts. The first being the making of his ICONS, the second his sign language the RUNES and thirdly the JOURNAL pages he drew almost daily.

The site of the Viktor IV foundation gives some excellent information on the artist and person Viktor IV was www.viktoriv.nl

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are very few publications on this artist, but www.ftn-books.com has the famous Stedelijk Museum publication available at its internet bookstore.

Posted on Leave a comment

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)

Schermafbeelding 2017-07-24 om 16.08.05

If i could chose only one painting from the collections of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag….. It would be a hard choice between Egon Schiele’s / Edith or the Czardas Tänzerinnen by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. If i would go for the reseller value i surely would be stupid not to chose for the Schiele,

Schermafbeelding 2017-07-24 om 16.41.07

but for sheer painting pleasure, strength of the composition and outright beauty it must be the Czardas Tänzerinnen Kirchner.

Schermafbeelding 2017-07-24 om 16.39.18

A large painting and the first time you see it and study it, it does not look that special , but this one grows on you. You discover small details and every time you enter the room in the museum , where this painting is shown, it lights up his surroundings. For me this is one of the great paintings from the 20th century and one of the true portals to Modern Art as we know it in our time.

For more Kirchner publications please take a look at the inventory of www.ftn-books.com

Both paintings belong to the collection of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stadhouderslaan 41 , 2517 HV . Den Haag.