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Georg Gerstner (1928-2019)

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Georg Gerster is considered as one of the true masters of Aerial photography and the best way to prove this is to have one look at the series he made for Swissair. This is sheer brilliance and all posters feature a photograph which you must study first to understand. In many subjects there is a form of abstraction , but the reality is it is just  a compostion from a photograph taken from high above the subject. He started this way of Photography in 1963 and visited over 100 countries to make his fantastic photographs. He is considered as one of the pioneers in this metier  and will be remembered for many “classic’ aerial photographs

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Between 1971 and 1996 the swiss master of aerial photography Gerster created 60 poster for swissair, together with graphic designer Emil Schulthess, Hans Frei or Karl Gerstner.

He was born in Winterthur, Switzerland, on April 30th, 1928 and studied classical languages at his local grammar school, before reading German and English at Zurich University, where he also received his doctorate. From 1950 to 1956 he was science editor of the Zurich Weltwoche. Since 1956 he has been a freelance journalist specializing in science reporting and aerial photography. He has undertaken extensive visits to every part of the world, including Antarctica.

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By pursuing this line of reasoning, Georg Gerster has turned aerial photography into something more probing, something that, with luck, may prove a contemplative, philosophical instrument encouraging greater reflection.

His way of viewing the world has caught on and found many imitators. Georg Gerster consoles himself with the thought that imitation is still the sincerest form of flattery.

For two decades Georg Gerster’s aerial photographs for Swissair’s posters and calendars had contributed substantially to the airline’s image.

Gerster worked on a regular basis for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the Washington-based National Geographic Magazine. Today he works for the Swiss online news platform Journal21. Further his works are known among Photography- and Artlovers and are part of several Art Portfolios.
Georg Gerster died 90 years old, outside Zurich on February 8th, 2019. 

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Posters by Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel…part 4

This week it is the set Wim Crouwel designed for the 1964 Arman exhibition. It was the first Arman show at the Stedelijk Museum and there would be some more to follow, since Willem Sanderg was a fan of Arman and his sculptures.

Both designs are executed in a blazing red color with a transformed and crushed lettering like the sculptures by ARMAN. An absolute beautiful design by Wim Crouwel.

 

but study them closely….. they look the same , but they are not…. there is a differnce in the lettering of the ARMAN name. Botht are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Posters by Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel…part 2

Another impressive poster by Willem Sandberg for a series of 1962 exhibitions. Among these the first presentation of works by Philip Guston.

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of these the published catalogues look quite different. All publication are available at www.ftn-books.com.

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Jan van Toorn (1932-2020)

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Jan van Toorn dies last Friday at the age of 88 years.

Tragic newss this morning , but one of the greatest of all dutch designers from last century dies at the age of 88 years.

I have followed his career with all kinds of examples of his design through all decades of last half century. Many of these are also available at www.ftn-books.com

. Many of them stand out and some are also known outside our borders, since many of his designs were done for exhibitions outside the Netherlands. His style….highly recognizable and less formal than Crouwel is known for. van Toorn sits in between Sandberg and Crouwel and developed over the years a style of his own. He was one of the main designers for the van Abbemuseum and a director for the Jan van Eyck academy and beside the van Abbemuseum made design for PTT Nederland and the Cultural Foreign office. His archives are now with the Unviversity of Amsterdam.

During his life Van Toorn received two prestigious art prices for his designs. First the H.N. Werkmanprijs in 1972 and second in 1985 the BNO Piet Zwart award.

 

 

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Almir Mavignier (1925-2018)

The HOCHSCHUKLE FÜR GESTALTUNG has become over the years a legendary institution and one of its many well-known students was the Brazilian born Almir Mavignier. He attended the school in 1953 and has become part of art history since.

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Friend of Max Bill, witnessing the very early beginnings of the ZERO movement and later becoming one of the most appreciated Poster designers from the 3 decades to follow. He himself was working as a constructivist/minimal artist and that meant he was interested in all artists who were working along the guidelines of the movements. Because of this interest and the resulting friendships, he had a chance to design the posters for many of the artists he met. To name a few….Calderara, Arp, Morellet and Soto….and all of these artists I personally admire very much. This makes the book I now can offer on http://www.ftn-books.com very special for me personally too. A great publication of the Gewerbe Museum Hamburg in cooperation with the German Poster Museum. Great poster designs by Mavignier. btw. …. the site on Mavignier is well worth visiting and can be found here: https://www.mavignier.com

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Cuban posters

A recent auction of famous movie poster by Sotheby’s inspired me to have another look at the 70’s Crouwel designed catalogue which was made for the Cuban poster exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum. In 1971 the Stedelijk Museum had the foresight of organizing a Cuban poster exhibition. They recognized the outstanding quality of these posters. Political images were presented in colorful and powerful posters, but the auction shows a different side of these Cuban posters. Their interpretation of famous classic western movies. The Cuban designs were “classic” films with a twist. These posters were used to advertise famous titles in Cuba. Their strong designs and vibrant colours recall Havana in its heyday. The Cuban poster catalogue from 1971 is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Nicolaas Wijnberg as a poster artist

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At one time Pieter Brattinga, who knew every good poster artist in the Netherlands , was asked who were the best poster designers. His answer, Crouwel, Sandberg, Treumann and Bons, but the very best was Nicolaas Wijnberg. Because his father was the director of the famous Steendrukkerij de Jong he had seen their works for some decades  being printed on the presses of his father company.  Because he had seen them all, his opinion is important and when you look at the posters by Wijnberg you can see why these were liked so much. His posters are not the ones with the beautiful clean lay-out. Nor the ones which stand out because of the use of color. No……. the Wijnberg posters are special because each of them tells a small story. This is not the poster who draws your attention for an event. The Wijnberg posters reaches out to you with a part of the performance or event. This makes you curious and therefore you will remember it.

The book on the Nicolaas WIJNBERG posters is available at www.ftn-books.com

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De voorstelling begint op straat!

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This has been one of the highlights from the past year. A book i did not know was published but a true treasure trove. The book dates back from 2001 and shows the history of 10 years of “Stage” posters. These are done by the very best of dutch (poster) designers. To name a few Anthon Beeke, Jan Bons, Joost Swarte, Lex Reitsma, Marten Jongema. A beautiful published book. BIS published these posters on a larger sized format. Giving these the best possible size in a still reasonably sized book . The book contains the very best of 10 years of posters starting in 1991 and ending in 2001. This book is now in my personal book case and i am glad to give this a place in my personal collection until it sells…..i love it!

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Alfons Mucha (1860-1939)

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For me Mucha was a great way to start appreciating art. Together with Henri de Toulouse Lautrec ( roughly from the same period), Alfons Mucha was the artist i appreciated the most in my mid teenage period. Accessible art and still a little bit more avant garde than the Impressionist painters who were widely appreciated in those days. Mucha was THE Art Nouveau artist and together with some French and Belgian artist was the top in Art Nouveau art. The art of Alfons Mucha is highly recognizable. The use of women models who look straight at you is one of his trademarks.

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Since for me personally a lot has changed. From the accessible Art Nouveau by Mucha i made a “travel” through art history which resulted in appreciating Minimal and conceptual art. Still Mucha has a lot of quality and for those seeking a nice work by an Art Nouveau , please include the works by Mucha, since there are many extremely nice prints now available since this artist is copyright free. For those looking for some publications on Mucha , visit www.ftn-books.com

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Jan Gregoor (1914-1982)

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Jan Gregoor, became “famous” in the Netherlands for his crayon works, but for me it is not his art that makes the artist attractive. It is typical for the decades he lived and worked in, but what struck me most about Gregoor was the EXCELLENT exhibition poster that was made by the van Abbemuseum for an exhibition on the artist and designed by Cornet. It has the simplicity of the greatest of 60’s designs and for me personally i think this is absolutely one of the most splendid of all van Abbemuseum posters ( available at http://www.ftn-books.com).

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I just told that i am not that fond of Gregoor, but still he has made some excellent prints., which are worthwile to search for.

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