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.
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
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
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.
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
There are very few publications on this artist, but www.ftn-books.com has the famous Stedelijk Museum publication available at its internet bookstore.
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,
but for sheer painting pleasure, strength of the composition and outright beauty it must be the Czardas Tänzerinnen Kirchner.
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.
The painting UNTITLED sold yesterday at Sotheby’s at a record price of over 110 million dollars. With this result it is the record holder of being the highest auction result by an American artist (until now). This result reminded me of the exhibition i have seen some seven years ago in the Beyeler museum.
In all my life this was for me one of the most important exhibitions i have ever seen. A really impressive overview of his paintings and good fortune for me to have seen it, because with auction results like this it will be almost impossible to organize any Basquiat exhibition in the future. Still, some more affordable Basquiat items are available at www.ftn-books.com
Yesterday i learned from a dutch TV program (DWDD / De Wereld Draait Door) that there is a large Yves Klein retrospective in the BOZAR museum Brussels.
Yves Klein , touched many currents in Modern Art, even was one of the participants in ZERO, but eventually developed a style of his own using in many of his works the iconic BLUE color he developed. Was it zero, action painting or performance art? Today art lovers around the world can not answer these questions , but one can see for one self what fits most, because there is a great retrospective on his art in BOZAR/ Bruxelles until the 20th of August. His monochrome blue paintings are on show together with his action paintings of blue prints of female bodies. A great show and possibly a once in a lifetime chance to see many important Yves Klein works together.
Nowadays Klein paintings fetch record prices at auctions all over the world, but in one of his first shows In Krefeld in 1961 nothing was sold. This was followed by an unsuccessful opening at Leo Castelli’s Gallery, New York, in which Klein failed to sell a single painting. He stayed with Rotraut Uecker at the Chelsea Hotel for the duration of the exhibition; and, while there, he wrote the “Chelsea Hotel Manifesto”, a proclamation of the “multiplicity of new possibilities.” In part, the manifesto declared:
At present, I am particularly excited by “bad taste.” I have the deep feeling that there exists in the very essence of bad taste a power capable of creating those things situated far beyond what is traditionally termed “The Work of Art.” I wish to play with human feeling, with its “morbidity” in a cold and ferocious manner. Only very recently I have become a sort of gravedigger of art (oddly enough, I am using the very terms of my enemies). Some of my latest works have been coffins and tombs. During the same time I succeeded in painting with fire, using particularly powerful and searing gas flames, some of them measuring three to four meters high. I use these to bathe the surface of the painting in such a way that it registered the spontaneous trace of fire.
To prepare your self for the exhibition, know that over the decades excellent books on Klein were published. There are some available at www.ftn-books.com
1989.. Wim Beeren curated one of the iconic Stedelijk Museum from the 80’s….The Horn of Plenty.
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Contributions by Bickerton, Cemin, Doran, Dunham, Eckart, Ziegler, Gober, Halley, Kessler, Koons, LAsker, Prince,Rollins, Steinbach, Wool and Yarber. a great list of great artists from the eighties. One thing they had in common. They were all from New York. Koons is nowadays the most famous one, but i noticed that Peter Halley is among them and beside some smaller exhibitions . He is hardly known in Europe and specially this artist deserves far better. Still the exhibition one of those from the eighties that is remembered by many followers of the Stedelijk Museum exhibitions and it was one of the last gtreat ones which gave an overview of New York modern art in the eighties. This catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com together with some catalogues of the artist mentioned . specially the Halley is rarely encountered in the Netherlands.
One of the first dutch modern artist i learned to appreciate and admire. Also an artist who has had exhibitions all over the world, so a nice selection of his publications is available at www.ftn-books.com
Conceptual artist in the beginning, he began to alter perspectives with modifications of and cutting out elements from photographs and with these new elements he created a new comopistion. A fascinating proces resulting in practically all cases a new way of looking at an object, building or landscape.
Because i had to read something on Dibbets i encountered something i did not know before. Thanks to Dibbets , the republic of Albania has a small collection of Modern Art. When Dibbets visited Triana in the early nineties he noticed there was no Modern Art at all. He invited his artist friends to make a donation in art and 57 of his friend donated one or more works to start a collection of Modern Art in Triana. Dibbets himself coordinated the transport and thanks to Dibbets, Triana now has its own collection of Modern Art. A great success and important to know that such a small initiative by an artist can give great results.
But what struck me most were the similarities between a painting from another dutch painter …Willy Boers. A painting i know very well, title “Quintessens” and from a much earlier date. A painting which is one of the key works in dutch Modern Art and one which is depicted in the book. DOORBRAAK VAN DE MODERNE KUNST IN NEDERLAND
This Willy Boers painting was made in 1947 and finished in 1948. There are 11 years apart in both works. The Boers painting is strongly influenced by Miro and Picasso, but is it possible that Bram van Velde has seen the Willy Boers painting?
The year….1970…..the exhibition MASTERS OF MODERN ART, location gallery Denise Rene…the invitation…..a special object designed by Victor Vasarely.
This is one of the most impressive invitations ever, because it was made in a limited edition and only a few will have remained during the past 47 years. The invitation is printed in an oblong format and consist on one side of the name of and the artists within the exhibition. The other side is printed with a Vasarely design on which a transparent, but printed design can be placed and moved over the original design. Resulting in an ever changing Vasarely composition. … a spectacular original Vasarely which is available at www.ftn-books.com
Yesterday, i received an invitation for the opening on the 17th of december 2016 of a Tribute exhibition on Sol LeWitt. There is a long lasting relation between the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and Sol LeWitt, which collaboration first resulted in the very first European Minimal art exhibition in Europe and later the wall sculptures on the Schamhart wing some 20 years ago. In between exhibitions were held , including his drawings exhibition and of course he made several wall drawings on location.
Because of this relation, Sol Lewitt was invited in 1987 to design one of the plastic bags which was used in the shop of the Gemeentemuseum. Sol designed 2 bags, one in color and one in black on transparent polyethyleen. 2 excellent designs and both were executed and used for a couple of years in the shop. Now the black drawing is used for the invitation of the tribute exhibition. What people forget is that the typography is not done by Sol LeWitt , but it was “borrowed” from an earlier bag designed by Joost Swarte, who designed a plastic bag, including the typography, with the different collection parts in mind. This lettering was used for 100% by Sol for his own designs. So the main part is done by LeWitt but the typography was done by Joost Swarte in his very recognizable lettering. A beautiful bag was the result and only a few copies of this bag remain available for sale at www.ftn-books.com
Exhibition Sol LeWitt a Tribute opens on the 17th of december and runs until the 9th of april, 2017