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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.

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Stephan Vanfleteren (1969)

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the first time i encountered work by Stephan Vanfleteren wat at the UNSEEN fair some 4 years ago. He was presented with large Bunker photographs at a gallery of which i do not remember the name, but the composition and sheer size made them impressive. Since i encountered his name many time in the extra magazines and papers the Volkskrant daily included with their newspaper and i learned to recognize his photographs. They have a quality of their own  and one aspect i encounter in many of them is solitude.

Stephan Vanfleteren studied photography at Sint-Lukas Brussels (1988-1992). He worked as a freelance photographer for the newspaper De Morgen from 1993 to 2009, but continued to be involved in his own projects. He specialises in black-and-white portraits and extensive reports at home and abroad. He is currently mainly working for foreign newspapers and magazines. Stephan Vanfleteren is a co-founder of  Kannibaal/Hannibal Publishing and is the company’s Art Director. He has also been a guest lecturer at KASK (Royal Academy of Fine Arts) in Gent since 2010. http://www.ftn-books.com has now some of the rarest of Vanfleteren publications available.

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AWARDS

In 1998, Stephan Vanfleteren won the European Fuji Awards; in 1996, 1998 and 2000, he won five World Press Photo Awards and several Belgian press awards. He also won the German Henri Nannen Prize in 2011. In 2012, he received the five-yearly Culture Award for the Province of West Flanders and the National Portrait Award in the Netherlands. This year, he has won the World Press Photo Award for his series ‘People of Mercy’ in the category ‘Staged Portraits’.
EXHIBITIONS

Antwerp (FoMu & Fifty One Fine Art Photography Gallery), Brussels (Bozar), Ghent (Winter Circus Museum and Dr. Guislain Museum), Charleroi (Musée de la Photographie), Paris (Sorbonne), London (Host Gallery and The Brickhouse), Liverpool (Open Eye Gallery), New York (UN Headquarters), Cairo (Hanagar Arts Centre), Rome (Gallery Gate), Strasbourg (Salle de la Bourse ), Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum), Leeuwarden (Frisian Museum), Maastricht (Centre Ceramique), Osaka (Flanders Centre), Kortrijk (Buda factory), Geneva, Dhaka, Zurich, Milan, Verona, Hamburg and Berlin, Perpignan, Breda , Sète, Arles and Barcelona. 

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Patricia Steur (1948)

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Patricia Steur is practicing photography as a professional since 1980. She followed the life and career of Mink Deville / Willy Deville from up close. She made photographs of my all time favorite artist Willy Deville,for over 3 decades and has published a beautiful book on Willy, which i recently acquired after being on the search for it for many many years. In the book a DVD with some nice, never published Video’s. Here are the ones that are currently available on Youtube . The first i want to share with you is the very intimate Carmelita song he played for his friend Jack Nitzsche, who would die shortly after this recording (2000).

and in my opinion the second is even better: Willy playing “Heaven stood still”

Willy Deville and his acoustic trio live in Berlin 2002.

 

I had to share these because Willy’s music is beautiful , timeless and an almost everyday joy to listen. I hope you enjoy these too.  I know, these are not books , but to return to the books…..i have a very nice book by Patricia Steur available on the many famous peoples she photographed available at http://www.ftn-books.com and Willy’s music is definitely great art.

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Vrouwen van Amsterdam, 1970

This is the title of a publication which is since a few weeks available at http://www.ftn-books.com. Inspired by the Ed van der Elsken exhibition at the Nederlands Fotomuseum which recently closed, i was looking for publications that were special and depicted the era of Sixties and early Seventies. This is one of the first of i hope many discoveries. “Vrouwen van Amsterdam” was published by Fototribune in 1970 and contains photographs of Amsterdam Women by the vey best . Ed van der Elsken, Cor Jaring, Koen Wessing and Claud van Heye. These are just a few names who had their input in this great publication. Typical Late Sixties photography, the age of Love & Peace depicted by great dutch photographers.

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Martien Coppens (1908-1986)

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Martien Coppens is a little like Vincent van Gogh. One difference…. van Gogh is a painter and Coppens is a photographer, but both have in common that they were fascinated by daily life of the people in Noord Brabant. Van Gogh found his subjects in the neighborhood of Zundert and Coppens photographed the people from DE PEEL.

Farmers, peasants, laundry women these were the people Coppens photographed.

Coppens is considered very important for the Cultural Heritage of the Netherlands since he photographed, daily life work and scenery in a time that the Netherlands grew from an agricultural into an industrial country. This is the main reasons why the Nederlands Fotomuseum acquired the photos by Coppens from his estate and decided to restore them all in 2008. The result… one of the most important dutch publications on a dutch photographer ever. This book is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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