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the 500 first Stedelijk Museum publications…A very important list

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Last Thursday i encountered finally one of the list I was hoping to find for a long time. The list is made in the beginning of the Eighties when interest rose in acquiring and collecting the Stedelijk Museum publications. Since the start in the Mid ’30s from last century, over 1100 publications have been published by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and this list contains the numbers and titles of the first 500 numbered publications. Willem Sandberg, Piet Zwart and Wim Crouwel, 3 of the greatest of Dutch designers all can be found on this list and i noticed of the 500 titles on it I have over 400 currently available at http://www.ftn-books.com

Beside the one on the list, there are of course many others published by the Stedelijk Museum FTN books has available. Take a look, save and share this very important document. the list is in PDF format and can be downloaded with the link below:

sm lijst 1 tm 500

 

 

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Helena van der Kraan (1940-2020)

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A few days ago i learned that Helena van der Kraan had died at the age of 80.

I have encountered Helena a number of times at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag where she had become friends with many of its staff. At many occasions these friendships grew into series of portraits and i remember at one time she made photographs of all the staff to be published in a little book which was presented to Theo van Velzen at his leaving the museum. A very kind woman she was and she will be surely remembered for her great photographs she made during her entire career.


On June 14th, on her 80th birthday, former participant and photographer Helena van der Kraan passed away. Born in Prague in 1940, she came to the Netherlands shortly after the uprising in former Czechoslovakya in 1968, for a two year residency at what was then known as ‘ateliers ’63’. There she met sculptor Axel van der Kraan, with whom she collaborated for many years on large-scale, wooden sculptures, until Helena’s artistic practice focussed more and more on photography. She is known for her restrained and tender portraits of artist friends. Her work is represented in the collections of the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum and Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen. In Fotomuseum The Hague, her series of teddybear photographs is on view until November 1st, 2020.

https://www.fotomuseumdenhaag.nl/nl/tentoonstellingen/beer-teddy

 

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Henri Cartier-Bresson…his drawings

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Henri Cartier-Bresson, known for his photographs and member of the Magnum agency will always be remembered for his fantastic photographs he has made during his life,

but what i did not know and discovered recently is that he also was a very talented artist. Last week i purchased a book on his drawings. An artistic quality of this artist i was not aware of, but leafing through the book i found that his drawings have an almost impressionist quality.

These drawings were made in the last 3 decades of his life but show that he has the same approach to a drawing as with his photographs. Perhaps his photographs were the origin of the drawing….i do not know, but abstraction and mouvement within the same drawing show that his mind worked the same with making a drawing and taking a photograph. The book; Henri Cartier-Bresson / Zeichnungen is now available at www.ftn-books.com

bresson zeichnungen

Henri Cartier-Bresson (French: [kaʁtje bʁɛsɔ̃]; August 22, 1908 – August 3, 2004) was a French humanist photographer considered a master of candid photography, and an early user of 35 mm film. He pioneered the genre of street photography, and viewed photography as capturing a decisive moment. His work has influenced many photographers.

Henri Cartier-Bresson was born in Chanteloup-en-Brie, Seine-et-Marne, France, the oldest of five children. His father was a wealthy textile manufacturer, whose Cartier-Bresson thread was a staple of French sewing kits. His mother’s family were cotton merchants and landowners from Normandy, where Henri spent part of his childhood. The Cartier-Bresson family lived in a bourgeois neighborhood in Paris, Rue de Lisbonne, near Place de l’Europe and Parc Monceau. His parents supported him financially so Henri could pursue photography more freely than his contemporaries. Henri also sketched.

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Marlo Broekmans (1953)

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I always have had an admiration for the photographs of Marlo Broekmans and sold her publications in the bookstore of the Haags Gemeentemuseum from the early 80’s. She is a master of lights and shadows and plays with them to enhance her models and subjects . This quality make her photographs stand out and make them recognizable at the same time.

The black and white photographs of her nudes are of a classic beauty and some of these were purchased by the Stedelijk Museum for their photography collection. In many of the photographs from the collection of the Stedelijk Museum, Marlo Broekmans is her own model , which gives these photographs an extra “:personal” layer and make them self reflecting documents.

marlo broekmans

 

 

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Jo van Katwijk (1953)

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For me personally i find that Jo van Katwijk/ Joke van Katwijk  has had  a fascinating career. I noticed her works some 15 years ago and started to visit her gallery exhibitions. Because I admired her Heliogravures i began to study her other photographs and found that they too had a quality i admired in black and white photography.

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Beside her heliogravures i very much liked her nudes and still lives and recently i finally found the book i was looking for for a long time . The book is the KWAK & VAN DALEN & RONDAY publication which was published  on the occasion of the Grafiekprijs they initiated. It is a shared publication with POL TAVERNE, but for me the interesting part is the van Katwijk part which has some of her best Heliogravures published. This second copy that i now have( beside my personal copy ) is in great condition and now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Gudrun Kemsa (1961)

 

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Both authentic and virtual, her images originate in metropolises such as Paris, New York, Rotterdam, Berlin and Dubai. Some of these cities can be readily identified, while the elimination of signage in others turns them into interchangeable locales in our global village. Kemsa has been able during the last few years to position her works with remarkable precision on the interface between photography and film.

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The concept behind these photographs and their effect on the viewer are tied up closely with the aspect of movement. Gudrun Kemsa is one of the foremost photography and video artists working in Germany today. She lives and works in Dusseldorf and has been professor of “Moving Images and Photography” at the Hochschule Niederrhein in Krefeld since 2001. She has shown works in international exhibitions and festivals and is represented in several private and public collections.

There is one early Kemsa publication now available at www.ftn-books.com

kemsa

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Architecture and photography

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One of the greatest books on the subject of architecture and photography i recently added to my inventory. It is the 2001 publication by the Museum Folkwang /Steidl.

The Steidl publishing company stand for the best photography books in the world and this is no exception. The book  is a beautiful printed documentary on the best architectural photographs in the world and all come from the Folkwang collection. Over 168 you will find the best. Friedlander, Becher, Aiget, Hausser, Sander and Callahan ao.

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This is such a feast for the eye that i immediately bought the other copy at my local secondhand bookstore> Now i own two copies of which one is available at www.ftn-books.com

wenn berlin

 

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Erwin Olaf (continued)… April Fool 2020

olaf vk b

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.

olaf vk a

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.

 

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Wally Elenbaas (Continued)

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On the 8th of May 2018 i published a blog on the very impressive photography by Wally Elenbaas. These were photographs not lightly to be forgotten. Specially because Elenbaas was sentenced to prison for these beautiful photographs.

https://ftn-blog.com/?s=elenbaas

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Now it is time to shine some light on another aspect of this great dutch artist. Elenbaas was also a gifted designer and used his typography to create images and illustrations consisting of letters transforming these and their meaning into illustrations. Images tell a far better story than words so here are some illustrations….and….the LETTERBOEK is available at http://www.ftn-books.com

elenbaas letterboek a

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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.