Posted on Leave a comment

Gerard Garouste (1946)

Schermafbeelding 2018-10-09 om 14.34.20

Garouste is now one of the grand “old”  mater painters in France, but that has not always been the case. From the mid Seventies until the early 80’s he was one of the angry young French wild painters who rose  to fame with (extremely) large paintings of which many were brought together in the Bordeaux CAPC museum in 1987.

Since his star rose in France and abroad and now he has the stature of one of the great 20th century painters…and deservedly so, because his paintings are one of a kind and you will not lightly forget a Garouste painting once you have seen one. Unfortunately these are far too large for any private collection and i am personally not the greatest fan of his smaller works. The best you can do is buy one of the great catalogues which is publiched in one of the last 3 decades and emerge in the world Garouste has created with his impressive paintings.

The CAPC catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on Leave a comment

Pyke Koch (1901-1991)

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-10-01 om 14.15.21 

For me Pyke Koch stands for the paintings of Bertha van Antwerpen and de Schoorsteenveger, both paintings are in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum en are part of a very small oeuvre of around 120 paintings. This makes this artist one of the hardest to collect in the Netherlands and it is therefore that it is a true accomplishment by Dirk Scheringa that he collected so many of Koch’s paintings. Beside Scheringa, that Centraal Museum is known for his larger collection of Koch paintings.

Koch’s paintings of formidable women captured the public’s imagination: with Mercedes of Barcelona (1930), Bertha of Antwerp (1931) and The shooting gallery (1931), Koch gained a reputation as an artist who used his highly perfected technique to create an idiosyncratic fantasy world, both ominous and bitingly ironic. His Nocturne (1930) even caused a scandal: the small temple at night, surrounded by dimly lit façades on a city square, is, after all, a public urinal – and a notorious meeting spot for homosexuals.

In this exhibition, Koch’s work is displayed in the context of his contemporaries – not just of Dutch artists like Carel Willink, Raoul Hynckes and Charley Toorop, but also of Georg Grosz, Anton Räderscheidt and Christian Schad, as representatives of the German Neue Sachlichkeit (New Sobriety movement). In addition, short documentaries compiled by Ad van Liempt capture the mood of those years.

In this way, the exhibition seeks a deeper understanding of Koch’s artistic career and inspiration while exploring the political complexities of the Interbellum: the period in between the two world wars. It also aims to put Koch’s affiliation with fascism into perspective and thereby to add some nuance to the debate on ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ that has continued unabated since 1945. Now that rightist populism is on the rise all across Europe and an anti-democratic voice is becoming more strident, this re-examination of the Interbellum is highly relevant.

After the Second World War, Koch was condemned for his fascist sympathies and was banned from exhibiting his work for one year. But his friends and colleagues remained faithful to him. In 1950 he and a number of colleagues represented the Netherlands at the 25th Venice Biennale. And in 1955 he was offered a solo exhibition in Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum by its director and renowned member of the resistance, Willem Sandberg. By that time he was exploring new avenues in his work, painting a series of portraits and scenes with strong references to Piero della Francesca, one of the great masters of early Italian Renaissance work. He also revived his fondness for the so-called ‘naive’ art of Henri Rousseau. His Sleeping gypsy (1897) inspired Koch’s Resting somnambulist, of which he painted four versions between 1959 and 1971.

Koch continued to work as an artist until 1980. His last painting, The tightrope walker III (1980), can be interpreted as a metaphorical self-portrait in which Koch takes stock of his life and work. In a bare and shabby room with two doors leading to stairs going up and going down, a man balances on a rope, his head covered by a cloth. It is a desolate scene, and a poignant finale to an impressive oeuvre. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Pyke Koch publications available, including the 2 versions the Stedelijk Museum published of this Crouwel designed catalogue

Posted on Leave a comment

Ben Vautier / Fluxus and Basel

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-19 om 02.15.05

People who follow this blog , know of my love for Ben Vautier. Not only because he is one of the most original and consistent artists from the last 100 years, but also because there is always some humor just around the corner. Unfortunately  I have missed the most important Vautier exhibition from the last 10 years. It was held at the Tinguely Museum in Basel :

Ben Vautier. Is everything art?

21.10.2015 – 22.01.2016

Ben Vautier has been on the scene since the late 1950s as an artist, performer, organizer, linguistic inventor, and re-thinker of art. He is one of the pioneers of the Fluxus movement in Europe and, as a comrade-in-arms of the École de Nice, a close friend of artists such as Arman, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, and others. He is known for his text images, which, using brief, pithy phrases, equally question and challenge life and art. Ben Vautier has the first comprehensive retrospective in Switzerland dedicated to him at the Museum Tinguely. Alongside an overview of the first 20 years of his creativity, Ben sets up in Basel more than 30 rooms as he comments on various social, artistic, and political topics and takes a stance. In total, the show exhibits far in excess of 400 works by the artist, who is still very active to this day.

Still what remains is one of the best and certainly one of the most beautiful books on Vautier’s art. It has a simple brown cover, but is filled with iconic Ben “paintings” from hs first 20 years as an artist and published as only the Suisse can publish art /museum catalogues. The print is exceptionally good, the lay out superb and the contents…..well all BEN, making this one of the most collectable books i recently offered on www.ftn-books.com

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-19 om 02.14.27

Posted on Leave a comment

Alexander Calder Stedelijk Museum catalogues by Sandberg

There are 3 Calder catalogues published by the Stedelijk Museum ( 1947,1959 and 1969). 2 of them are available through www.ftn-books.com. The first 2 were designed by Willem Sandberg and the last one by Wim Crouwel. Many colelctors like the 1959 catalogue , this because of the bald design and great prints on the cover, but for me the 1949 is the best, much more subtle and a catalogue that shows the design path Sandberg is going to take. Choice of paper, typography and illustrations make this the perfect early Sandberg publication.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985) an Iittala visionary.

Like Andries Copier in Netherlands, you probably have seen and perhaps are even using the designs by Tapio Wirkkala. Born in Finland his designs are certainly influenced by Scandinavia design. They are without any unnecessary details , clean and clear. Most of them have been published by Iittala and among them there are such iconic designs like the Thule and Tapio glass series .

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-16 om 13.43.44

But he also had his free projects in which he developed beautiful ceramics. Wirkkala had a solo exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1976 for which Wim Crouwel designed the exquisite catalogue. The catalogue itself has become rare since there have been a worldwide recognition of Wirkkala as a truly original designer and artist, but www.ftn-books.com has this catalogue available together with other catalogues on Finnish designs and art.

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-14 om 11.05.08

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.

 

Posted on 1 Comment

Wim Crouwel and Willem Sandberg publications found.

3 maal incl arp a

I am always on the look out and searching for the best catalogues that are published by rhe Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The best catalogues were published in the 50’s and 60’s and designed by Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel and i am proud to say that i have managed to colelct a wonderful collection of their catalogues and possibly one of the largest collections available on the internet. Many of thier publications are sold and collected all over the world and because of that i sell these catalogues to many collectors. The 3 titles i present in this blog weere sold out during the last 6 months, but….. i was lucky to find these with a colleague and now i have them again in my inventory. Just search for them at www.ftn-books.com .

3 maal incl arp c

They are expensive catalogues , but take my word these will become impossible to find in a few years and when they come on the market they will be even more expensive. The power of these titles is that they are more like works of art. The Arp (1960) has woodcut printing on the outside and inside and the Soto cover is a kinetic object because of the thread on the outside (1969). The Steinberg….yes one of the first publications with fold out pages (1953).

3 maal incl arp b

 

Posted on Leave a comment

A very special WERKMAN publication (1964) by Wim Crouwel

Schermafbeelding 2017-05-30 om 09.46.52

Because i get notified by Pinterest which items are shared and saved, i found out that this is one of the most appreciated photographs of all publications on www.ftn-books.com

This publication was published on the occasion of the Werkman exhibition in Groningen in 1964 and one of the first designs that Wim Crouwel made for a dutch museum. In this same period he designed the publications for the van Abbemuseum which were followed from the early sixties on by the publications of the Stedelijk Museum. What makes this one special is the condition it is in  and the highly unusual appearance. The use of multi colored papers, its odd size and a cover chosen in relation with the Werkman print which is used as a cover. This publication is the top in dutch lay-out and design and must be considered as one of the very best publications of the sixties. Curious?………take a look at

https://ftn-books.com/products/groninger-museum-dutch-typography-h-n-werkman-wim-crouwel-design-1964-nm

and see for your self the many special qualities of this rare collectable Crouwel item.

werkman crouwel a

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Asger Jorn ( 1914-1973)

Schermafbeelding 2017-04-21 om 12.09.50

I appreciate all the COBRA mouvement artists, but if i had to chose one…it would be Asger Jorn. His paintings have a mysterious quality and within their abstraction one can always recognize a realistic element. Wether its a face, a human figure, an animal they are there …hidden within the picture, brightly colored and sometimes outlined with black. Before COBRA, Jorn was painting realistic scenes, and was an assistant to Le Corbusier, but after he met Appel, Constant and Corneille, with whom he founded COBRA and travelled to France, his style became completely abstract and strongly influenced by child drawings. He discussed this frequently with Christian Dotremont , because they both were ill with tuberculoses and treated within the same hospital in Silkeborg. In this same city, nearby his birth town an Asger Jorn museum was founded and financed by Jorn. http://www.museumjorn.dk/da/

This museum has become one of the most important ones in Denmark.

Jorn is now a classic among modern art lovers and will become more important every decade to come. www.ftn-books.com has some great Asger Jorn titles available in its inventory.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Koloman Moser (1868-1895)

schermafbeelding-2017-02-15-om-13-58-12

Because the Leopold Museum as a whole was a disappointment (see yesterdays blog), I focused on the other art inside the museum. I had seen all the paintings by Schiele and Klimt before, but were less familiar with the beautiful Munch and excellent series of Koloman Moser paintings which were exhibited. Especially the series by Moser were impressive and showed the transition into the more Modern art of the century to come. Next to the paintings there were some excellent examples of the Wiener Werkstatte exhibition and the combination of these 2 made the visit, except for the disappointing display of Schiele art, still worthwhile.

Born in Vienna, he studied at the Wiener Akademie and the Kunstgewerbeschule, where he also taught from 1899.

His designs in architecture, furniture, jewellery, graphics, and tapestries helped characterise the work of this era. Moser drew upon the clean lines and repetitive motifs of classical Greek and Roman art and architecture in reaction to the Baroque decadence of his turn-of-the-century Viennese surroundings.

In 1901/1902, he published a portfolio titled Die Quelle (“The Source”) of elegant graphic designs for such things as tapestries, fabrics, and wallpaper.

In 1903, Moser and his colleague Josef Hoffmann founded Wiener Werkstätte, whose studios and artisans produced a number of aesthetically and functionally designed household goods, including glassware, flatware, silverware, rugs and textiles. In 1904, he created the Apse mosaic and glass windows for the Kirche am Steinhof in Vienna.

In 1905, together with the Klimt group, he separated from the Vienna Secession. The same year, he married Editha (Ditha) Mautner von Markhof, the daughter to one of Austria’s great industry fortunes.

In 1907 Moser, due to internal conflicts and as his plans for reorganising the Werkstätte (to cope with financial problems) weren’t realised, withdrew from the Wiener Werkstätte.

Koloman was one of the designers for Austria’s leading art journal Ver Sacrum. This art journal paid great attention to design and was designed mainly by Moser, Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann. His design for the cover of one edition of the art journal was later plagiarized by well known street artist and designer, Shepard Fairey.

Books on Moser and the Winer Werkstatte are available at www.ftn-books.com