In 1958, K. Schippers (pseudonym of Gerard Stigter, born in Amsterdam in 1936) entered the Dutch literature scene as an editor of an unconventional magazine. Barbarber presented everyday reality with an ironic aplomb that strongly contrasted with the main current at that time: the expressionism of the Vijftigers. This new method has produced numerous dry-comical classics, such as ‘The Car Owner’: “A man gets into a car / performs the necessary actions / for driving / and then / indeed / drives away”.
Modest poems, which is a characteristic feature of Schippers’ body of work. From his debut ‘De waarheid als De koe’ to his latest work ‘Tellen en wegen’ (2011), Schippers’ poems never revolve around the spirit of the poet. He observes and shares with his readers what he finds worthy. And that doesn’t have to be much. In fact, the smaller and more inconspicuous the observation, the better he likes it, even if it’s just the address of the Rijksmuseum, or the fact that everything has a color.
Schippers does not limit himself to traditional poetic forms; if a photograph is a more suitable illustration for the point he wants to make, then it becomes a photograph. If he wants to describe the path of a fly over a magazine, he draws a line through the letters. And if a poem doesn’t need words because it’s titled ‘Vlielandse zandplaten’ and therefore consists of “seawater, sand, and plants,” then the page remains empty.
Schippers enjoys writing about visual artists who have inspired him. He will never present someone else’s discovery as his own. He likes to share – for the essayistic part of his oeuvre, he received the P.C. Hooft Prize. Besides visual art, film is the most beloved medium. He collaborated on several films with Kees Hin, and it was also the subject of his essays and the novel ‘Waar was je nou’ (awarded the Libris Literature Prize).
Most likely, Marcel Duchamp is the most important artist for Schippers, not only because of his discovery of the ‘readymade’ – the ultimate tribute to the beauty of reality – but also because of his humor and sense of relativism. Because those are the other two characteristics that you immediately associate with the work of K. Schippers.
Johan Claassen describes his work as “minimal, musical visual poetry”. What can I add? Dorien Melis (1938-2021) made small paintings, primarily on canvas or panel, in which lines were drawn along somewhat larger shapes to depict memories. These memories must have something to do with the city’s reflections Like the water, the horizon at dusk, or the cold light of the morning sun streaming into the bedroom through a light curtain. Her works have titles such as Life of Water, Little Cantatas, Songs of the Night, and Between the Lines. A painting depicting how vulnerable people are protected. A minimalist, musical visual poem.
Because of a recent addition to my inventory here is the information on the VISIBLE LANGUAGE magazine. It is one of the leading publications in the world of graphic design and i have added some important volumes from the 70’s and 80’s to my inventory.
Visible Language is an American journal presenting visual communication research. Founded in 1967 as The Journal of Typographical Research by Merald Wrolstad, occasional Visible Language issues are co-edited with a guest editor-author.
The journal was founded with the primary tenet of the journal being that reading and writing together form a new, separate, and autonomous language system. The journal has evolved to focus on research in visual communication. The journal has covered the subject of concrete poetry, the Fluxus art movement, painted text, textual criticism, the abstraction of symbols, articulatory synthesis and text, and the evolution of the page from print to on-screen display. Guest editor-authors have included Colin Banks, John Cage, Adrian Frutiger, Dick Higgins, Richard Kostelanetz, Craig Saper, and George Steiner.
The journal was edited for 26 years (1987–2012) by Sharon Poggenpohl of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design, with administrative offices at the Rhode Island School of Design. It is currently edited by Mike Zender of the University of Cincinnati, which publishes and provides administrative offices for the journal.
Willem Hussem has been a long time favorit of mine and not only for his paintings , but also his poetry is remarkable. Influenced by the rythme of japanese poetry , Hussem began to write his poems as early as 1950. He is becoming deservedly more and more known for his poems of which one recently found a place on a wall in the city of Leiden. It is the same poem as the one that graces the cover of the book which was published in 1977 by Bert Bakker and Nouvelles Images which is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com
Where do you draw the line between the art of painting and poetry? Willem Hussem started out as a painter of landscapes and portraits but from the 1950s onwards his work became more abstract. This way, he hoped to capture the essence of an image, a technique he also used in his poetry. His poems became shorter and more powerful, which is also evident in this poem, in which Willem Hussem uses words to paint the beach of Scheveningen.
After his return to the Netherlands, Hussem also started writing poetry. His first collection of poems, De kustlijn (The coastline), was published in 1949. In subsequent collections the sea also plays a prominent role. The beach of Scheveningen, on which this poem is based, was his primary source of inspiration. Hussem mostly wrote short poems in which he ‘painted’ images for which he received the Dutch Jan Campert award for poetry in 1965.
Translated it is :
PUT THE BLUE
Put the blue
of the sea
blue of the
of a sail
in it and the
wind starts to blow
Another great set andn this time both poster and catalogue look almost identical (1970). Both are great simplistic in their designs , but strong in their appearance and they immediately draw your attention.
The Concrete poetry is one of my personal favorit publications and i like the poster as well. Both are availabel at www.ftn-books.com
Why this writer… “instant” poet in a blog on art. This is because this famous dutch writer who had a weekly platform in the DE WERELD DRAAIT DOOR program also has a very personal view on art. He published together with the Kröller Muller Museum a book in which he wrote personal texts for items which are in the permanent collection of the Museum. The book is titled “DIJKSHOORN KIJKT KUNST” and is now available at www.ftn-books.com.
I the coming months i will place some examples from the book. Short personal texts put together by Dijkshoorn with great art. Here is a first . It is a text combined with the “Potatoes” painting by van Gogh.
“Little Sparta” is the art filled garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay. IHF for some, because of his poems, a controversial artist, but for others a deserved nominee for the Turner price and invited for the Documenta 8, was a Scottish born artist who was evacuated to the Orkney Islands at the beginning of WWII but later joined the British army in in 1942. Since 1963 he publishes his own poetry and limited editions with the the Wild Hawthorne Press.
A publishing company owned by IHF himself. The little Sparta garden is filled with his poetry carved into stone , but beside these objects the garden itself is a true haven of tranquility and when of the classic works in the LAND ART scene.
A not likely combination. Concrete Poetry and Brasil, but still there was a faithful group among the Brasilian artist who made Concrete Poetry and held exhibitions with them. One of them and perhaps the most famous among them, was Pedro Xisto. By chance i have bought a very nice publication by Xisto some 10 years ago and this is for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com. The books is in excellent condition and a typical artist book. Published in a limited edition and signed/dedicated by the artist and i believe this is the only one available on the internet at this moment. A rare chance to add this excellent publication to your collection.
A little anecdote….the first time i saw the publications of Emmett Williams was in the early eighties in the Gemeentemuseum. It was a very nice publication, but at that time i did not see the qualities of his works and publications. When a few years later too many of the edition was unsold , we decided to put them in a “sale” for 2 guilders each. Even at that price they were very hard to sell and now 30 years later… I was offered a small collection of Emmett Williams books and bought them back at 30x the price of 2 guilders, a price well worth the books ,because these are very special books. The VOYAGE is published in only 1000 copies and works like a classic “flip book”. These books are absolute “must have’s” for serious collectors. They are becoming more rare every year and as an artist Emmett Williams will become one of the most important artists from the Fluxus mouvement.
Most people know Breytenbach as a South African poet, but less know him as a painter. Because of the language, dutch and South African are related to each other, Breytenbach had a large following of admirers over here and galeries in the past decades invited him, not only recite his poems , but also to exhibit his works of art. This is the reason why www.ftn-books.com, has some nice publications. Not many , but worth wile to check them out.
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20