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Allessandro Mendini (continued)

 

I wrote two earlier blogs on Mendini. One in 2016 and one in February this year to commemorate his accomplishments after his death at the age of 87.

Last week i found one of his earliest dutch publications. An important one, because it preceded the commission of designing the Groninger Museum. Probably the exhibition was held to introduce Mendini to the dutch people of Groningen and prepare them for the adventurous building Mendini would design for the Groninger Museum.

This publication is from 1988 , published together with Politi editore  and it is filled with the typical Mendini designs of which elements would be used outside and within the Groninger Museum.  I love this book, which is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

mendini groningen

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A tribute to Cor Rosbeek ( 1944-2019 )

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Recently one of the driving forces in the dutch museum publications world died. I remember Cor Rosbeek as one of the most gifted of all printers in Europe. On those occasions that we met professionally he came up with practical solutions and had always in mind the quality of the finished product.

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He made the impossible possible with a printing press and found solutions for the product that were thought to be impossible to realize. One of his best publications was the Diary of Anne Frank for which he made the facsimile reprint. Cor Rosbeek was a printing genius and realized many beautiful publications with the greatest of practically all (dutch) designers. His series of Rosbeek publications is known all over the world. In these publications everything comes together….great design, typography, layout, choice of papers and subject make these publications a monument for Cor Rosbeek. Some of these highly collectable publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

 

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Wim Crouwel and DE VOLKSKRANT

 

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Wim Crouwel passed away some days ago and since, a great number of articles have been published on his life and accomplishments as a designer. His works will prove to be highly important for designers all over the world in the future and DE VOLKSKRANT ( one of the most important newspapers in the Netherlands) recognized that fact and devoted  a 2 page article on Crouwel in their Saturday paper. It is only on rare occasions that such a long and detailed article is published on just one person. Wim Crouwel and his works prove to be that important. The article can be found on the internet here (dutch)

https://www.volkskrant.nl/mensen/wim-crouwel-hoeder-van-het-functionele-ontwerp-en-een-onverzettelijke-rechtlegger~bf53fa62/

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Oxenaar…the year 1985…the artists : David Nash and Sjoerd Buisman

It is in 1985 that David Nash and Sjoerd Buisman are both invited by Rudi Oxenaar to make a contribution to the 50 years anniversary of the Nationaal Park de Hoge Veluwe.

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On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Hoge Veluwe National Park, the ‘Steyn-park’, designed by Henry van de Velde, is restored, ‘both in terms of the afforestation and foliage and the paving’. Furthermore, the artists David Nash and Sjoerd Buisman are invited to realize two projects each in the grounds of the Hoge Veluwe. These Growing sculptures are subsequently acquired by Oxenaar.

buisman nash

I witnissed at one time one of these growing sculptures by Sjoerd Buisman. He realized a project at the pondds of the Gemeentemuseum , by splanting sticks into the grounds of the water. Over time these sprouted into bushes along the shores of the ponds. Since i could witness the progression and growing of this sculpture it fascinated me more over time. The total length of the project was about 3 month. Ther book on the project is available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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the oldest Stedelijk Museum i have in stock is on Aug. Legras

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To be honest … i had never heard of Legras before, but the catalogue is impkrtant enough to add it to my inventory. Since this is rare. Published in a time that the world was at war and the Netherlands was neutral. What struck me, is that like many of his fellow artists Legras was charmed by North Africa. he visited countries and villages and translated his observations into drawings and paintings. This catalogue is special and a very welcome addition to all who collect the Stedelijk Museum catalogues.

legras sm a

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Gust de Smet (1877-1943)

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I have always been an admirer of the painting DE LOGE by Gust de Smet and at the time i worked at the Gemeentemuseum i have seen it numerous times and it never disappointed me. This work is so typical for the works by Gust de Smet and when you study it for a while, you begin to notice that it a bridge between abstraction and cubism, executed in a very personal way.

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There are so many object to be distinguished within the painting that it looks like a tapestrie of paintings within the painting. On many paintings by de Smet you will find, beside the figures, a still life or a bowl with fish or…. a vase filled with flowers. These objects make the painting typical de Smet.  De Smet is one of the great Belgian expressionist painters, but outside Europe he is hardly known. Undeservedly …..because De Smet makes beautiful paintings that deserve to be exhibited worldwide.

Whenever you have the chance, visist the De Smet museum in Saint MArtens LAtem and loose yourself among many great de Smet paintings.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice De Smet titles available

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Sam Francis (1923-1994)

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Sam Francis is a subject for a blog a long time overdue. Since i have been admiring the works by Sam Francis for many years now and of course there is a special connection with the Netherlands, because he has had many solo exhibitions in this country for over 30 years and not at the less important museums and galleries but at the very best ones. First there is of course the exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum with the beautiful Wim Crouwel designed catalogue. secondly there are the gallery exhibitions at gallery Delaive and third there is the Museum van der Togt/Cobra Museum exhibition. All of these exhibitions were accompagnied by beautiful large catalogues and available at www.ftn-books.com

My first interest in Sam Francis was raised in the early Nineties when i collected Swatch watches. Together with my brother in law we searched for the earliest of these watches and bought, collected and resiold them and one of these watches was a Christmas special by Sam Francis. We had multiple copies of this rare watch and the last one was sold some 5 years ago. Still whenever i hear the name Sam Francis i am reminded of this swatch collection. But from that time on i noticed that there is more to Sam Francis than just his Swatch watch. Just read this short biography which can be found on the Sam Francis site too:

Sam Francis (1923 – 1994) occupies a prominent position in post-war American painting. Although associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement and Clement Greenberg’s Post-Painterly Abstraction, unlike many American painters of he time he had direct and prolonged exposure to French painting and to Japanese art which had an individual impact on his work.

On leaving the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1944 owing to illness Francis took up painting as a hobby. He decided to make this a serious undertaking studying under David Park in 1947 and completed his BA and MA at the University of California. He was greatly influenced by Abstract Expressionism particularly the works of Clyfford Still and Jackson Pollock. In his use of space on the canvas to allow free circulation of strong colour and the sensitivity to light Francis developed his own style by the time his studies had ended.

Francis moved to Paris in 1950 where he met Jean-Paul Riopelle who was to remain an important influence, and study of Monet’s Waterlilies had a profound impact on his work. From a very muted palette of greys and whites he returned to the qualities of light and colour producing such works as Big Red 1953. He continues to develop the use of white space and increased the dimensions of his paintings for greater emphasis. During his period in Europe he executed a number of monumental mural paintings.

Francis returned to California in 1962 and was then influenced by the West Coast School’s preoccupation with mysticism and Eastern philosophy. Blue had become a more dominant feature of his work since 1959 inspired by personal suffering and the great joy of becoming a father for the first time in 1961. This led to combinations of hard colour and more disciplined structures with centrally placed rectangles during the 1970s. Eventually these more rigid structures gave way to looser configurations sometimes of snake-like forms with web-like patterns. Blue, sometimes brilliant, remained an important part of many later works.

The above publications and other Sam Francis publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Hildo Krop (1884-1970)

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Hildo Krop is truly the one and only city sculptor of the city of AMsterdam. When you see an ornament at a building or a statue on a square there is a fair chance that it was done by Hildo Krop. Krop was active in the period that Amsteram had its biggest growth .

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It was in preparation of the Olympic games of 1928 and many new buildings and parks were built in those days and if one wanted to make them more beautiful with a sclpture or statue, Hildo Krop was the artist of choice for many new projects in those days.

This was recognized by the Stedelijk Museum who devoted an exhibition to Krop in 1964 and had Wim Crouwel design the catalogue with the exhibition. Since that year there has been a growth of interest in Hildo Krop as an artist which resulted in a Museum devoted to Hildo Krop….location Amsterdam and on the internet at : http://hildokrop.nl

The Wim Crouwel publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Alessandro Mendini dies at the age of 87

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Within 24 hours two great artists have died shortly after each other. Yesterday, Karl Lagerfeld died and this morning i learned that the architect of the Groninger Museum and the founder of the Studio Alchemia mouvement has died 24 hours before. I am a great fan of Mendini and in the Nineties i was glad to hear that he was chosen to be the architect of the Groninger Museum. Since i have visited the museum numerous times and i am always impressed with the wealth of details within this great Mendini building.

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Allessandro Mendini, a greart multidisciplined artist , but above all a friendly, kind personality. 16th august 1931 – 18th February 2019

Some of Mendini’s publications are availabel at www.ftn-books.com

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Gerard Garouste (1946)

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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