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Franco Pinna (1925-1978)

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Without knowing who the photographer was i have encountered , many, many photographs by Pinna in the time i read the PARIS MATCH. Studying french i had to read the language, which meant that i bought weekly the Paris Match. Pinna’s photographs are easily recognizable and have a signature of their own.

He was born in La Maddalena, on July 29, 1925. In 1952 he moved to Rome and, after a brief experience as a cinedocumentary operator, constituted the cooperative Fotografi Associati together with Plinio De Martiis, Caio Mario Garrubba, Nicola Sansone, Pablo Volta, which was dissolved in 1954 due to economic difficulties. He followed the anthropologist Ernesto De Martino during several research expeditions in southern Italy (Lucania, 1952, 1956, 1959, Salento 1959), obtaining documents of great artistic and cultural value. In 1959 he published his first book, entitled La Sila, which was followed by Sardegna una civiltà di pietra (Sardinia, a stone civilization) (1961). Meanwhile, his photos appear in the magazines Life, Stern, Sunday Times, Vogue, Paris Match, Epoca, L’espresso, Panorama. From 1965 Pinna became the trusted photographer of Federico Fellini and made scene photos of his films Giulietta degli spiriti, 1965, up to Fellini’s Casanova in 1976; he also publishes some photo books (I ClownsFellini’s Film) inspired by his films. He died suddenly in Rome on April 2, 1978.

www.ftn-books.compinna has a nice italian publication on Pinna available.

 

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Philippe Hiquily (1925-2013)

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I came accross this artist some years ago when i go interested in sculpture from the mid sixties. Chadwick, Jacobson and certainly Alecxander Calder were my heroes, but then there was also Hiquily …….Philippe Hiquily was a French artist and designer known for biomorphic furniture and sculptures. He was able to combine modernist design, insect physiognomy, and human sexuality, to produce unique Surrealist works. Born on March 27, 1925 in Paris, France, he attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Orléans and later the École Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. In Paris, Hiquily mingled with prominent artists, including Jean Tinguely and Germaine Richier. In 1959, he received the Critic’s Prize for his sculpture at the Paris Biennial. That same year, he showed work at New York-based gallery The Contemporaries, where he met the American artist Robert Rauschenberg. Hiquily died on his 88th birthday on March 27, 2013 in Villejuif, France. Today, his works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal.

Now i have finally a very nice publication on Hiquily in my inventory available. Silkscreened cover and very well worth collecting.

hiquily

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Kriki / Christian Vallee (1965)

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Punk, Underground/Metro, music, resistance, grafiti, painting, street art.-

All these words are related to the artist Kriki who made a name for himself in the Paris art scene in the mid Eighties.

In 1984, in Paris, Kriki founds a group of painters called Nuklé-Art and the electro punk group Les Envahisseurs. With the street and the Underground as his art school, he is involved in the beginnings of what is now known as Street Art. Immersed in alternative culture, he is identified from the beginning as one of the emblematic figures amongst the young French painters of the nineteen eighties. Kriki clearly belongs to the generation whose sensibility expressed itself in Free Figurative Art, which he helps to renew. Still very young, he exhibits with Keith Haring, Futura 2000 and even with Basquiat and Wim Delvoye. At just 23 years old, he has his first solo exhibition at FIAC (Paris) which will then move on to the Gramercy Art Fair in New York; this will lead to taking part in the very first exhibitions of his work in now famous Paris galleries such as Jérôme de Noirmont and Kamel Mennour. Kriki at that time becomes well known for a style which becomes immediately identifiable on the international scene, making him into one of the major artists of his generation.

In 1985, Kriki invents Fuzz, a half-robot, half polymorphous fetish, appearing as a virus infecting the history of art, and of which the Museum of Modern Art in Paris will publish a specimen. Kriki manipulates the original images from which his paintings emerge, resisting our initial attempts at a reading in order to express themselves in a universal language. Today, Kriki is still an incarnation of punk culture in French contemporary art, leading Ernest Van Buyender, the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp to write: “Kriki is the only French artist whose originality and ambition can be seen as a bridge between Sub Culture and High Culture”. www.ftn-books.com has one rare Kriki publication available.kriki

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the Spanish Pavillion 1937

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Last week i spend 2 days in Madrid and visited the Reina Sofia museum, because i wanted to show my son and his friend the “Guernica” painting by Picasso. The painting was shown for the first time in the spanish pavillion in 1937. The Republican government sought to garner international support by assembling modern works by sympathetic artists that express powerful and overt political outrage, including a large painting of an upraised fist by Joan Miro and unveiled on the ground floor was Picasso’s Guernica. But not only because of the art the building was important. Its architecture was certainly avant-garde for that time. Simple materials and influenced by le Corbusier the building itself was far ahead of its time.

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The Spanish Pavillion in the Paris International Exhibition of T937 aimed at getting support from the international community in their detense of the Spanish Republic. The Government commissioned the Pavillion to the architects Josep Lluis Sert and Luis Lacasa, who designed a modern and low-cost building, with elements and materials From the traditional Spanish culture. It was consciously built as a modest and cosy space, featuring referents of a modern architecture inherited from Le Corbusier. A reasoned sample of art, culture and propaganda was shown in it, with an intention of bearing witness to the horrors of war while highlighting the optimism and ongoing productivity of the Government. The building housed the works of Alexander Calder, Josep Renau, Joan Miro, Julio Gonzalez, Alberto Sanchez and José Gutierrez-Solana amongst others. Yet, the most internationally acclaimed piece was Picasso’s Guernica, commissioned by the Government as a main artistic appeal.

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The above text comes from the model kit of the Spanish pavillion 1937 which is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Kiki’s Paris: Artists and Lovers, 1900-1930 (1989)

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A portrait of Montparnasse in the first decades of the century, this attractive book of some 650 black-and-white photos uses, as a focal point, the artist, artist’s model, singer, dancer and actress Kiki (born Alice Ernestine Prin). Proclaimed “Queen of Montparnasse” in 1929 by the newspaper Paris-Montparnasse , she was outrageous, charming, beautiful, talented–and so is the Paris that emerges. We see the cafes–Dome, Rotonde, Coupole, etc.–where notable artists Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, Man Ray, Stein, Leger, Cocteau, Brancusi, Soutine and hundreds of others hung out, the studios in which they worked, the parties they went to, the vacations they took and the galleries where they exhibited.

The text, deliberately understated, takes a back seat to the photos, offering introduction, explanation and anecdote. Kluver, president of Experiments in Art and Technology, and Martin, a staff member at the the same foundation, have assembled a lavish, information-packed look at the people and places of an important, exciting era in art history.

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This title is now available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Erté / Romain de Tirtoff (1892-1990)

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It was at the time i was living in Paris, that i frequently walked the rue du Seine , it is the place where all the art galleries used to have their exhibitions. Among them there was one who was showing the most beautiful Erté drawings and gouaches. I wondered why a gallery in Paris had such a huge selection (they had a few hundred of these drawings in stock ) but later i realized that the reason probably was that many of the theaters in Paris commissioned Erté their costume designs for their plays and shows. If i had known at that time that Erte was going to be one of the most important Art Deco artists i should have borrowed some money and bought me some Erté’s .

Later i managed to buy 2 drawings at auction at a fair price and these are sold some 20 years ago, but the memory of these walks along the gallery window in the rue du Seine remains.  I should have kept these auction drawings too, but decided at that time to make some profit on them.

As it is …. there are only a few publications that rest me and all these are available at www.ftn-books.com

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André Masson (1896-1987)

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I remember a magnificent Masson exhibition at the old venue of the Musee de l’art Moderne / avenue Wilson in Paris. It was at the time i was living for 9 months in Paris and visited that museum frequently. They had the Brancusi Studio , which is now opposite the Centre Pompidou. I remember  the Masson exhibition being different . I expected a kind of surrealism like the paintings by Dali and Magritte, instead i found paintings which were far more abstract and reminded me more like the ones i had seen by Miro. Here follows a short biography i copied from Wikipedia.

His early works display an interest in cubism. He later became associated with surrealism, and he was one of the most enthusiastic employers of automatic drawing, making a number of automatic works in pen and ink. Masson experimented with altered states of consciousness with artists such as Antonin Artaud, Michel Leiris, Joan Miró, Georges Bataille, Jean Dubuffet and Georges Malkine, who were neighbors of his studio in Paris.

From around 1926 he experimented by throwing sand and glue onto canvas and making oil paintings based around the shapes that formed. By the end of the 1920s, however, he was finding automatic drawing rather restricting, and he left the surrealist movement and turned instead to a more structured style, often producing works with a violent or erotic theme, and making a number of paintings in reaction to the Spanish Civil War (he associated once more with the surrealists at the end of the 1930s).

Under the German occupation of France during World War II, his work was condemned by the Nazis as degenerate. With the assistance of Varian Fry in Marseille, Masson escaped the Nazi regime on a ship to the French island of Martinique from where he went on to the United States. Upon arrival in New York City customs officials inspecting Masson’s luggage found a cache of his erotic drawings. Living in New Preston, Connecticut his work became an important influence on American abstract expressionists, such as Jackson Pollock. Following the war, he returned to France and settled in Aix-en-Provence where he painted a number of landscapes.

Masson drew the cover of the first issue of Georges Bataille’s review, Acéphale, in 1936, and participated in all its issues until 1939. His brother-in-law, the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, was the last private owner of Gustave Courbet’s provocative painting L’Origine du monde (The Origin of the World); Lacan asked Masson to paint a surrealist variant.

www.ftn-books.comhas a few important Masson titles available

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Emmy Andriesse ( 1914-1953)

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Emmy Andriesse was married to another famous dutch graphic designer. Dick Elffers was her husband and together they formed a formidable and important artistic couple. Where Elffers excelled in design and typography,

Emmy Andriesse found her artistic goal in photography. Het photographs belong to the best dutch photography has produced in the 20th century. People were her main subjects, but beside her portraits and scene photographs she proved to be an excellent landscape photographer too. At one time she travelled to Arles to photograph what van Gogh must have seen in his days and these photographs belong to the best ones she ever has made.

Book available at www.ftn-books.com. Het photographs have a social element which was rare and give an extra depth to the scenes she photgraphs.

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Chaim Soutine (1893-1943)

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Soutine is what you call an artists artist. Somebody who fame grew because of the admirations of his contemporary artists. For me personally stands for three moments in time . All related to art. The first was a moment i witnessed the auction of a Soutine painting in the mid Seventies nad i was amazed because it fetched  an unexpected serious high bid, The second was when i read the spectacular story by Roald Dahl. The one in which a sailor is tatooed on his back by Soutine and an art dealer who tries to obtain this painting and last the timne i visited a dutch gallery and saw a painting of a dead ox by Marc Mulders and it instantly reminded of the Soutine paintings i had seen at one time. ( left Soutine/ right Marc Mulders)

Now i finally have another Soutine catalogue available. Soutine publications are scarce and this one is once again part of my inventory . Now it is for sale at www.ftn-books.com . This is the first one i found in the last 10 years.

soutine paris

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Jean Moral (1906-1999)

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In 1925, the same year André Kértész moved from Hungary, Jean Moral began photographing in Paris.  Like Kértész, his photographs exemplified the inherent aesthetic of Modernism, which by the mid 1920s was in full swing.  Moral’s photographs from 1925 to 1940 depict his eye for graphic abstraction and tight composition.  His personal expression is most apparent in his images of Paris, his intimate portraits of his wife, his self-portraits and the more experimental images he made with photograms and double exposure.


During the 1930s, Moral’s work was included in numerous exhibitions with other photographers including Laura Albin-Guillot, Brassaï, Florence Henri, Horst P. Horst, George Hoyningen-Huene, André Kértész, Francois Kollar, Germaine Krull, Dora Maar, Man Ray and Maurice Tabard.

It is hard to find good publications on Moral but there is one i can really recommend. The year of his deat MARVAL editions published a beautiful monograph on this classic french photographer . The book is available at www.ftn-books.com

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