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Josef Albers Nesting Tables 1926/27

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This set of tables i first encountered at the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop where two types of these set were sold. One with colored perspex and one set with original italian fabricated glass. I had to had this and i ordered one set direectly from the manufacturer. These are so impressive and 100% like the original set which was originally designed at the Bauhasu by Josef Albers and thnis reedition from 2010 is one of the best small furniture items ever produced. I checked and this set is still available, but not as cheap as it originally was in 2010, but choose this set and you will have the pleasure of looking at one of the greatest functional Bauhaus designs ever made. Klein und More sells the original authorised set in Europe  and the Moma stora sells a set in their store for the US. Josef Albers is one of the artist of whom ww.ftn-books.com sells many items

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Robert Ryman (1930-2019)

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One of the greats in Abstract Modern Painting died at the age of 88 on the 8th of February 2019. White was his “color” and he painted on every material with his “white”. Impressed by the Rothko paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he was working as a museum guard, he started to paint himself and finding in the process the strength of “white” when used as the only color in his paintings. This approach made him famous within a period of 5 years. After these initial years he had had his first gallery exhibitions and soon after his his first major exhibition at the Guggenheim museum. Rymans paintings are highly recognizable abstract paintings and can be seen as the link between abstract expressionism and minimalism ( btw. Sol LeWitt also started his career as a museum guard). We are lucky to have al large collection of his paintings iin the Netherlands since the Stedelijk Museum started collecting his paintings from the very first years of his career. The result an impressive 11 paintings from all periods of his artistic life. Robert Ryman publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988)

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One of the greatest sculptors from last century for me is Isamu Noguchi. The reason is simple i have been living for half of my life with designs of Noguchi around me. I have sold lamps and stools by the artist and in our own home a stool is ever present in our interior. The sculptures are different . In many cases executed on a scale to large to place inside and nowadays far too expensive for almost all. But sometimes you can exprience the quality of Noguchi as a sculptor in a simple publication. This is the case with the Pace Wildenstein publications which has al the qualities you are looking for in a Noguchi work. enjoy the photo’s. Publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Here is the text on the artist from THE ART STORY

Isamu Noguchi, a major American and Japanese sculptor and designer, spent over six decades creating abstract works – largely in stone – based on both organic and geometric forms. Greatly inspired by traditional Japanese art, as well as by the biomorphic style of some Surrealist art, Noguchi became internationally known both for his artwork and his publicly accessible furniture and architecture. His ultimate objective, to create and enhance public spaces through sculpture, provided his career with a distinct direction and established him as a critical figure in the worlds of post-war art, architecture and design.

The overarching concept informing Noguchi’s work was his passionate, career-long desire to create art the public could use in a social space. He realized this goal in myriad ways: mass produced furniture and lamps; theatrical set designs; public projects such as gardens, playgrounds and fountains; and sculptural manipulations of the natural landscape.
Noguchi wanted to call attention to the dichotomies inherent in much of his work: he merged geometric and organic forms, found value in both positive and negative space, and created works that challenged the boundaries of design and art. He also integrated the materials and art forms of both his Japanese and American heritages into his innovative creations.
Noguchi was socially and artistically connected to Abstract Expressionism, as evident not only in his large-scale works evoking abstracted forms but also in his friendships with Arshile Gorky and Willem de Kooning. Yet, his sculpture retained a distinct sensibility in its use of natural materials and its distinct blend of Surrealist and Japanese influence.
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Bill Brandt (1904-1983)…body parts

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Yesterday….  a blog on Marianne Brandt, today the subject is Bill Brandt. Not related in anyway  and an age difference of some 50 years, but both working with photography. But where Marianne cut up photographs to make some excellent photomontages, Bill Brandt uses the angle of the lens to make some very impressive photographs. For me Brandt is together with Lucien Clergue one of the very best nude photographers from last century. He uses the angle of the lens to photograph parts of the body and with this technique his photos are like the sculptures of Maillol and Moore in which body parts are enhanced and polished into almost abstract sculptures.

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This technique makes him quite unique among photographers and with this quality he stands out. Add the use of Black and White film and Bill Brandt becomes a very recognizable photographer. His nudes are among the very best photographs from the last century and it took me only a minute to find some of the examples that show in an excellent way that what i tried to explain in words. www.ftn-books.com has some Bill Brandt titles avaialble.

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Bertien van Manen (1942)

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Just a little piece of technical information i picked up from an interview with Bertien van Manen who’s works are known, appreciated and collected worldwide. Even the MOMA in New York has a nice selection of her photographs from the early 90’s.

Mrs. van Manen informed her interviewer that she uses the most simple AUTOMATIC camera’s available. Speed, size and ease of use are a key ingredients to take a successful photograph.

This is nice to know, since for us ….simple amateur photographers it is now with all excellent phone camera’s available as easy to take photographs as it is for professional photographers. All you need is a keen eye for the right subject and composition. Bertien van Manen showed us the way and it is now up to us to create our own portfolio’s with ex excellent photographs. www.ftn-books.com has titles by van Men available.

 

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Hans Haacke (1936)

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His career spans now a period of nearly 60 years and he has always been a frontrunner in the world of art. Perhaps yu can compare him with Damien Hirts, but do not forget that there is a difference of time between them of 3 decades. Haacke never reached the stature of a Damien Hirst, but when his works emerged and were introduced into the art scene… literally every large and important Modern Art museum in the world wanted a piece of the action. Haacke was “hot”. Moma , Tate and Museum Ludwig all started to collect Hans Haacke at a large scale.

In 1978 Haacke was asked for a one man show at the van Abbemuseum / Eindhoven ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com)  and with this show, the Netherlands started to know Hans Haacke as an artist. Nowadays his art is less prominent present in the collections of these large museums, but i am convinced this will change in the not so far away future, because i think Haacke is important for the art of Seventies and Eighties. A forerunner for the art made by the well respected British artist like Hirst and Tracey Emin. Haacke deserves a place among them. His contribution to art is a valuable one and deserves to be recognized as such.

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JÓZSEF PÉCSI (1889-1956) — a photography innovator pur sang… essay from the Moma.org site

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The following text comes from the site of Moma.org.

The Moma delivers a great source on photography with this site and makes it possible to search their collection and compare photographs from it….it is outstanding and an example to many.

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József Pécsi was a Hungarian photographer, innovator, and educator. Born in 1889 into a middle-class family in Budapest (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), Pécsi was schooled in German and maintained lifelong ties with an international photography community. He studied photography at the Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (Training and research institute) in Munich from 1909 to 1911, and began receiving international recognition soon after graduation. In 1911 he returned to Budapest and opened his own studio, where he also offered instruction to apprentices. In 1913 he established the photography department at the Budapest School of Industrial Drawing, for which he is credited as the founder of photography education in Hungary. He was dismissed from teaching in 1920 due to conflicts with the conservative political regime but maintained his own studio, which served as a gathering place for students, including Eva Besnyö and her friend György Kepes. In 1922 Pécsi was elected vice president of the Budapest Industrial Guild of Photographers and served as editor of the guild’s journal, Magyar fotográfia (Hungarian photography). In 1930 he published the influential book Photo und Publizität (Photography and publicity) to promote the blending of typography, design, and photography in avant-garde advertising, with contributions from Kepes and others. The publication marks his crossover from the Pictorialist style of his early work to the ascendant international modernism of the interwar period. The World War II years took their toll: he hid in Romania for a brief period; his studio and negatives were destroyed by a bomb in 1945; and, upon his return to Budapest, in 1946, financial hardship and an unfavorable regime forced him to take passport photographs to make ends meet. His passion for photography and innovative spirit were not lost, however; in 1952 he patented a combined duplex Pigment print process under the name PEJO.

www.ftn-books.com has one title on Pecsi available

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Betty Woodman (1930)

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If there is one ceramist who has had an international career and exhibited all over the world it must be Betty Woodman. On several occasions she exhibited her works in the Netherlands in Museums and Galleries and i remember her exhibition from 1996 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. With this exhibition an excellent catalogue was published, which is available at www.ftn-books.com

The reason why she had such an interesting and world wide career must be found in the accessibility of her art. Bright, primary colors and abundant shapes of her ceramics make her work stand out and are very appealing for many and because of this many museums and collectors around the globe added her works to their collections. Betty Woodman ceramics can be found in ao.:

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
  • Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, London
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Jackson Pollock ( 1912-1956 )…the ultimate abstract expressionist.

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It was 1977. …..the first time i visited the US and went to New York together with my father we visited the museum of Modern Art. In which i saw for the very first time a large Jackson Pollock drip painting. It was an amazing experience and i remember standing in that room …in awe and amazement of such a large , beautiful, impressive, overwhelming abstract painting. The size of it, the spontaneous dripping and the extreme detail when you went close up to it, opened a door to abstract Modern Art for me. Since i have seen many Pollock paintings, but none was so perfect as the very first one i encountered in the Moma. the ONE, number 31, 1950 painting

There are some nice action movies with Pollock painting to be found on Youtube and this is possibly the one that shows best the creating of a Pollock painting.

and i am proud to have both Pollock catalogues that were produced for the Pollock exhibitions in the Stedelijk Museum at www.ftn-books.

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Brice Marden (1938)

It took some while for me to appreciate Brice Marden, that was because the first works i encountered by him where his monochromatic paintings, which i did not like very much at that time ( now i do!),  but influenced by Robert Rauschenberg ( he was his assistant during a couple of years) , multi panelled and more colorful paintings began to emerge from his studio.

That was the same period i became interested in Brice Marden. There was a nice exhibition in 1981 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which Crouwel designed catalogue is now a true collectors item ( available with other Marden publications at www.ftn-books.com ).

The list of collections in which Brice Marden is present is almost endless and contains all major Modern Art Museums in the world. One has to be mentioned, because The MOMA was the first to present a large retrospective on this young artist. It was in 1975 and this early interest resulted in having one of the largest Marden collections in the world.