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Teun Hocks (1947)

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Teun Hocks. Is it staged photography or is it painting on photographs. It is a combination of both and the result is always absurd. Like Magritte he sketches a scene which is impossible , but pushes you to discover the meaning of the composition and look for the sabsurd and surreal in the painting/photograph. Hocks has build an oeuvre with these compositions and always plays a part in them.

He is an artist who creates self portraits with the utmost charm. “In my images I aim to achieve not so much, offering a mirror sometimes, or/and gaining a smile, and maybe a good feeling,” Teun tells It’s Nice That. This is a refreshingly humble aim, and one that is achieved with heart-warming artworks despite their surrealist edge.

The artworks featured are each part of Teun’s Analogue Works painted pieces that are the result of a thorough process from the artist. “First I start out with almost no ideas, or vague ones, drawing thoughts I have about all kinds of situations that get me dreaming.” The artist explains that once he is settled upon a concept, “I build and paint a setting, checking and controlling everything by taking digital photos to compare to my drawings”.

Next, once a desired light is found, “I take my place, and start to take polaroids (using a self-timer and longer cable release). If I am satisfied with the result I take eight photos on 6×9cm black and white film. Looking at the contact sheet, I decide which negative is the one to print. If not I start all over again.” This extensive process doesn’t stop there either. “I make three large black and white prints on fibre-based photographic paper, tone them to sepia, glue them on aluminium and start to colour them with transparent oil paint.”

The result of Teun’s perfectionism is a series of artworks that leave the viewer bewildered. Are they paintings? Are they photographs? The answer as the artist explains is both, and his ability to merge the mediums flawlessly is brilliantly baffling.

 

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Richard Long…Two important invitation cards

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Recently i acquired with the help of a good friend a wonderful collection of Eighties and Nineties invitation cards. Among them there were some very beautiful Richard Long cards and i wish to show two of these invitations in this blog.  About 5000 miles of space between the two locations where the opening was ( Glarus and New York  ) does not make the cards totally different. You can feel and see the hand of Richard Long in the design of the cards. Black and white photographs with red lettering on the upper side of the cards make the look identical, sizes are slight different, but it does not show immediately. These cards are true collectable Richard Long items and i believe that from the edition only some dozens will have survived. These cards and some other very ncie publications by Richard Long are now available at www.ftn-books.com

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A perfect invitation card

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I have seen thousands of invitation cards by museums from all over the world and helped to produce hundreds of them. Sometimes you make a mistake in choosing the wrong picture or the color scheme does not work out the way it should have, but i know of the difficulties and the traps of producing a good invitation card. The subject has to be clear immediately and the picture on the card has to be a typical example from the exhibition. In my opinion here is a perfect card. Produced for the Bauhaus Archiv exhibition of Bauhaus photography. The card dates from 1990 and has an outstanding look and feel. The print quality is excellent and the subject clear immediately with the partly covered face in black and white. …… a perfect invitation it is and now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Erwin Olaf special 1:1 by Floris Vos

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It has been some years ago that there was an exhibition by Erwin Olaf. The sets/ stage design was done by Floris Vos who recently died. Floris Vos was important to Erwin Olaf since the staging of his photographs is so important and a part which makes his photographs recognizable and stand out. Every detail counts and the result is a photograph which is truly remarkable. Of course the talent of Erwin Olaf is undoubtedly present in every photograph he takes, but the staging by Floris Vos will be missed in the future. I dare to say that the future Olaf photographs will be different and that is probably not a bad thing, because now Olaf must use a different set director, which means different photographs for sure and taking a new road into the staged photography he excels in.

set for “Grief”

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www.ftn-books.com has the HET NIEUWE INSTITUUT folder/invitation for the exhibition from 2013 available for sale.

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Ger Dekkers (1929-2020)

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This morning i read in our newspaper that the artist/photograph Ger Dekkers died on the 20th of January. Dekkers will always be known for his series of landscapes that he combined into an abstract almost constructivist composition. Dekkers was the artist who needed a landscape for his art. www,ftn-books.com has several books on Dekkers available.

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Günther Förg – Moskau / Moscow. 1995

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For many among us Günther Förg is the painter of lead surfaced paintings and one great print maker, but there is another quality in which he excels. Förg was a great photographer and made some high quality photo books on the almost forgotten ( Bauhaus )architecture of Tel Aviv and Moscow. The book on Tel Aviv i have sold a very long time ago, but was fortunate to find a Moscow copy with his photographs on a recent book market. This is a truly outstanding publication. Large sized , printed and published by Snoeck and of the highest print quality. The book shows the excellence of his photographs and makes you wonder why art lovers all over the world are not familiar with this part of Förg’s work.. The photographs look like still lives and do not only have an artistic quality but a historic quality too. Where the Tel Aviv book is of the highest quality, this Moscow book even looks better. It is a publication of a rare quality and a highly collectable photography/art book.

 

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Roni Horn (1955)

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An artist from my generation is Roni Horn and since the days i worked at the Gemeentemuseum i came across her works. This is not the easiest art on the planet, but it is fascinating and some wonderful books have been published with her works. Some of these are available at www.ftn-books.com. Here is a text i found recently in which is explained some of the qualities of her works.

Since the mid-1990s, Horn has been producing cast-glass sculptures. For these works, colored molten glass assumes the shape and qualities of a mold as it gradually anneals over three to four months. The sides and bottom of the resulting sculpture are left with the rough translucent impression of the mold in which it was cast. By stark contrast, the top surface is fire-polished and slightly bows like liquid under tension. The seductively glossy surface invites the viewer to gaze into the optically pristine interior of the sculpture, as if looking down on a body of water through an aqueous oculus. Exposed to the reflections from the sun or to the shadows of an overcast day, Horn’s glass sculpture relies upon natural elements like the weather to manifest her binary experimentations in color, weight and lightness, solidity and fluidity. The endless subtle shifts in the work’s appearance place it in an eternal state of mutability, as it refuses a fixed visual identity. Begetting solidity and singularity, the changing appearance of her sculptures is where one discovers meaning and connects her work to the concept of identity.For Horn, drawing is a primary activity that underpins her wider practice. Her intricate works on paper examine recurring themes of interpretation, mirroring and textual play, which coalesce to explore the materiality of color and the sculptural potential of drawing. Horn’s preoccupation with language also permeates these works; her scattered words read as a stream of consciousness spiralling across the paper. In her ‘Hack Wit’ series, Horn reconfigures idiomatic turns of phrase and proverbs to engender nonsensical, jumbled expressions. The themes of pairing and mirroring emerge as she intertwines not only the phrases themselves but also the paper they are inscribed on, so that her process reflects the content of the drawings. Words are her images and she paints them expressionistically, which – combined with her method – causes letters to appear indeterminate, as if they are being viewed underwater.

Notions of identity and mutability are also explored within Horn’s photography, which tends to consist of multiple pieces and installed as a surround which unfolds within the gallery space. Examples include her series ‘The Selected Gifts, (1974 – 2015),’ photographed with a deceptively affectless approach that belies sentimental value. Here, Horn’s collected treasures float against pristine white backdrops in the artist’s signature serial style, telling a story of the self as mediated through both objects and others – what the artist calls ‘a vicarious self-portrait.’ This series, alongside her other photographic projects, build upon her explorations into the effects of multiplicity on perception and memory, and the implications of repetition and doubling, which remain central to her work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cornelie Tollens (1964)

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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? ……

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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.

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Leo Divendal (1947)

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Leo Divendal…… Photographer, publisher, gallery owner, writer, musician, artist book maker, bookseller and antiquarian.

Why this blog on Leo Divendal, first of ll it is rare that so many talents have come together within one person and…..then there is of course the connection with the Gemeentemuseum where Divendal curated some 20 years ago, together with Willem van Zoetendaal some exhibitions in the Fotokabinetten.

The second reason is that i bought a Divendal special publication recently. Het Glazen Oog is a Divendal special from 1991 which features some of the greatest dutch photographers from last century.

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This and other publications are now available at www.ftn-boooks.com

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But possibly the main reason is that i noticed that Divendal and i have the same approach to art and artists and that the both of us like the same artists and have an admiration for them. Here is the link to the Leo Divendal site ( https://www.leodivendal.nl/atelier/) in which you can discover all those nice publications which many of them are also available at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

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Larry Clark (1943)

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In many ways the US audience thinks his works a controversial, but in the Netherlands were there is a much more liberal approach to art, Larry Clark’s his works are considered as important and progressive. The result….some excellent gallery exhibitions over here and the spectacular Larry Clark exhibition at the Groninger Museum in 1999. The catalogue design was done by Swip Stolk, who designed the catalogue in the shape of a book containing postcard/photographs and some Clark designed (real) stickers.. Making this one of the most collectible Larry Clark items worldwide ( now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.

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Larry Clark was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1943. While a teenager Clark developed his photography skills working as an assistant to his mother, a door-to-door baby photographer. He later spent two years at a commercial photography school. Larry Clark achieved both fame and notoriety with the publication of his first book Tulsa in 1971. Although drug use, sex and violence are the main themes, the images are often beautifully composed and his subjects are sympathetically presented. Tulsa demonstrated a new style of photography that was subjective, alienated and completely detached from any social agenda. Clark raised the ante for engaged photography; his work offered a lived experience rather than a merely observed one.

In his collages and videos of the late 1980s and early 1990s, he broadened this investigation into revealing the ways that mass media alternately creates, rejects, and eroticizes young people. In 1995, Clark released his first feature film, Kids, which premiered at that year’s Sundance Film Festival and was hailed as “an instant classic” and “a wake-up call.” Kids was followed by such works as Another Day in Paradise (1998), Bully (2001), Ken Park (2003), WASSUP ROCKERS (2005), and the autobiographical installation and publication punk Picasso (2003). Marfa Girl (2012) was released independently on his website (www.larryclark.com) and won the Marcus Aurelius Award for Best Film at the 2012 Rome Film Festival. Marfa Girl 2, Clark’s first sequel, premiered in New York City in 2018.

Clark has been the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Photographers’ Fellowship in 1973 and the Creative Arts Public Service Photographers’ Grant in 1980. His work is included in important museum and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; and the Frankfurt Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany. In 2010, a retrospective of Clark’s work, Kiss the past hello, was held at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. He lives and works in New York.