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Claes Oldenburg (1929)

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Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. They are a couple and the reason i mention this is that without Coosje van Bruggen , Oldenburg would never have become the great artist he now is. van Bruggen has written all monographs on Oldenburg and is mentioned in every publication. van Bruggen was his second wife, but undoubtedly the one who had the greatest influence on him and his works. It was about 15 years ago that i for the first time encountered in real life some other work by Oldenburg than the screw from the Boymans van Beuningen collection.

We visited the Guggenheim in Bilbao and there they were ( nowadays the space is occupied by the MATTER OF TIME by Serra) Immense sculptures made out of polyester and painted in bright colors in a Gehry surroundings. The ensemble of both reminded me of a Disneyland setting, but these sculptures were so impressive that i, for the first time, realized the importance of Oldenburg as a sculptor. It is still a rare occasion that i encounter a large Oldenburg but since the Bilbao sculptures i am looking with different eyes to all Oldenburg sculptures including the very familiar SCREW at the Boymans van Beuningen museum. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Oldenburg publications available including the Crouwel designed Stedelijk Museum catalogue from 1977 and the Crouwel designed poster for this exhibition.

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Claes Oldenburg recent additions from the 60’s and 70’s

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When at auction, i noticed a “lot” with early Oldenburg publications . Most from the sixties an all from renowned galleries like Sonnabend, Sidney Janis and the Margot Leavin gallery. His works do always mean something special to me , because of their scale they instantly impress and make you want to touch these beautiful works. Still the best way to make yourself familiar with these works is to study them out of a book, because of their extremely large size you must travel a lot to get a great overview of the most famous Oldenburg sculptures. It is easier to buy some classic Oldenburg books at www.ftn-books.com

and to make it easier ….use the code : Oldenburg for a 10% discount on all items listed on FTN books this week ( 12/11/18 – 12/18/18)

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Mel Ramos ( 1935 )

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Mel Ramos made hyperrealistic paintings , but if i had to decide what kind of artist he was , i would rather say he was first and foremost a Pop Art artist.

Ramos is best known for his paintings of superheroes and voluptuous female nudes emerging from cornstalks or Chiquita bananas, popping up from candy wrappers or lounging in martini glasses.

Ramos was among the first wave of Pop Art artists who gained recognition for their art. His art was hidden for a long time for us dutch. No publications were available and the nude paintings/illustrations we had in magazines over here were practically all done by Alberto Vargas, the famous Playboy illustrator, but none by Mel Ramos

Ramos received his first important recognition in the early 1960s; since 1959 he has participated in more than 120 group shows. Along with Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, he was one of the first artists to do paintings of images from comic books, and works of the three were exhibited together at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1963. Along with Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselman and Wayne Thiebaud, Ramos produced art works that celebrated aspects of popular culture as represented in mass media. His paintings have been shown in major exhibitions of Pop art in the U.S. and in Europe, and reproduced in books, catalogs, and periodicals throughout the world.

PS. i started to write this blog knowing for sure i had a great publication on Ramos in my stock, but unfortunately it was sold some years ago and it is not available any longer at www.ftn-books.com

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Claes Oldenburg and Wim Crouwel

Claes Oldenburg has had 2 solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The first in 1970 and the second in 1977. With both exhibitions, catalogues by Wim Crouwel were published , but the one from 1970 has a special lettering by Wim Crouwel. The same letter was used as the one on the poster which was printed in a bold deep blue color. Underneath the title of the catalogue there was in the same letter a blind print of the SM logo. Both items,  catalogue and poster are now for sale at www.ftn-books.com. This is a rare opportunity to collectors to add both items to their collections.

oldenburg poster a