A follow up on the many blogs i have now written on Erwin Olaf. In the mid Nineties Olaf was diagnosed with COPD, a lung disease which makes him now one of the vulnerable people during this Covid-19 pandemic. He made a very personal series , making himself the subject and staging himself in some situations that can only occur during these pandemic times. The series is called ” APRIL FOOL 2020 ” and is now published for the very first time . The series which is now published in the magazine contains 8 photographs. Erwin Olaf makes himself the subject of these impressive, very personal photographs. The Volkskrant magazine had this honour to publish these for the first time.
The magazine is a supplement to the Volkskrant newspaper which was published on Saturday the 16th of May. Maybe you can obtain a copy for your collection yourself, because this is an important , historical series and who knows, perhaps the only time it is published. ww.ftn-books.com has some very nice Erwin Olaf titles available.
Just a little younger than Erwin Olaf, but seeing both photographers photo’s you can conclude that they are from the same generation and inspired each other. Tollens is an Erwin Olaf 2.0? ……
far from that, because this is an artist with a keen eye on her surroundings and placing objects in such a way that they become something else and have a different meaning . It is the absurd combinations that make her photographs in the book WEIRD NATURE stand out from the others. ( book available at www.ftn-books.com).
But one look at her site ( http://www.cornelietollens.com) shows that her other discipline in which she excels….. the photography of dutch actors and artists….is another specialty. She has had almost every younger artist in front of her camera and for those familiar with dutch cultural life this is a great way to look at the most famous of dutch actors and artists.
Micha Klein in s probably the first dutch Computer artist. He studied at the Rietveld academy and was there the firts to complete his studies as a video / computer artist. Using the dance scene as one of his first sources of inspiration he soon became known for his use of bright colors and the use of “beautiful People” .
His art stands out since you can immediately see that his photographs or stills are worked over by computer. The result is an artificial kind of photograph which does not corresponds with reality. Together with Erwin Olaf and Ruud van Empel he forms a new generation of photographers who use the computer as an extra lense to make their photographs perfect. http://www.ftn-books.com has the Groninger Museum publication on Micha Klein available.
The Erwin Olaf exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum/ Fotomuseum are now closed for some months and what remains i sthe memory of a highly successful exhibitions with evn for me had some new elements in it which i did not have seen before. I had seen the cabinet with the peeping holes, but the Video wall with some 20 nude people who crouched and erecetd themselves was impressing. The catalogue however did not do justice to the exhibition. Too large, too expensive and the lesser known moving images from the video walls were missing. Still a great exhibition to remember and for those collectors interested i secured some of the materials that were published to promote the exhibition .
These are available at www.ftn-books.com together with some other nice Erwin Olaf publications
First of all i have to apologize in publishing this blog without commemorating Anthon Beeke who died a few weeks ago and who’ s death i announced on the the 26th of September in a special blog on Beeke. Here is the blog which was prepared some months ago.
One of the great and now world wide known names in dutch graphic design is Anthon Beeke. Born is 1940 he was of the flower power generation who took over Amsterdam in the late sixties. Free love, drugs and influences from all over the world shaped a generation of designers of which Beeke was one of . Without knowing who the designer is, you immediately recognize his work. Bright colors , details, shocking views or attributes draw you into his designs immediately.
But it is not always his intention to shock, there were occasions that his designs were just functional. For instance his Wanderlieder
designed catalogue for the Stedelijk is only different in size but holds and reads just like a normal book.
Beeke is one of the great designers in the Netherlands and well worth collecting. www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles by Beeke available including the poster he made with Erwin Olaf for het Anjer Fonds.
This morning you could read in the Volkskrant that Erwin Olaf donated 500 of his key works to the Rijksmuseum. Why the Rijksmuseum….because the last 5 year a bond between these 2 major forces in the art world grew now resulting in the extremely generous and large gift of the 500 most important works from Erwin Olaf’s career.
At the same time as this gift was announced, it was announced that the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Fotomuseum will both open an Erwin Olaf exhibition in February 2019. Please check both their sites in half a year when the details will be known for both these exhibitions. If you can not wait until February…… Check Erwin Olaf’s site and visit http://www.ftn-books.com for his publications.
Over a year ago i devoted a blog to Joel Peter Witkin and Erwin Olaf and it has been too long since i wrote about Erwin Olaf, but this time it is worth writing about him because in recent months i was able to add some highly collectable Olaf publications to my inventory. Erwin Olaf publications are harder and harder to find and get more scarce every month, but sometimes you get lucky and you encounter a small collection. So in recent months i was able to add some great posters and rare publications. The Erwin Olaf poster for the Anjer Fonds was specially designed by Anthon Beeke and this makes it twice as special. The same is applicable to the Sipek book. Sipek a great artist, who’s works are photographed by Erwin Olaf… again two for the price of one. available at www.ftn-books.com
1983, well before the fame and celebrity status of Erwin Olaf, there was this photographer who was presented in an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum…Joel Peter Witkin was his name and his photographs balanced between absurd realism and surrealism. The same kind of photographs Erwin Olaf made in one of his first series CHESSMAN (1988). This series must have been strongly inspired by Witkin, since it depicts the same kind of absurd subjects, props and even the tone/color and atmosphere in the photographs are the same.
This series by Olaf was the first to make his work known among collectors and since, he has developed a style of his own, with completely staged photographs with a typical sixties/seventies atmosphere, but if you think his first series CHESS MEN was original and typically Erwin Olaf, than first have a look at Joel Peter Witkin and than judge again. Both mentioned publications and others on Witkin and Olaf are available at www.ftn-books.com.
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20