Every year and sometimes every two years, The STROOM agency for contemporary art in Den Haag presents the Ouborgprijs to one of the artists from the DEN HAAG region who has become important for modern art in and outside the Netherlands. The prestigious price is presented together with a publication which is published in a very small edition of 400 to 500 copies of the title to the artist. In the years 1992 (Gerard Petrus Fieret ), 1993 ( Lotti van der Gaag) and 1994 ( Tomas Rajlich) this publication was designed by Irma Boom, making these books outstanding in every way and because of the extremely small edition size , highly collectable items. I do not have the Fieret book, have sold the Rajlich book recently to China, but found the Lotti van der Gaag book and have put it up for sale at www.ftn-books.com
The following blog has certainly to do with my personal fascination for the works of Tomas Rajlich. Rajlich has been a long time favorit of us and i was very happy that i finally could add the Art & Project Bulletin 134 from 1983 to our collection. Within the 4 pages the pages 2 and 3 are devoted to a beautiful golden composition with a fine mazed grid. This is a great composition and shows what Rajlich was doing at that time. Gold painted minimal compositions were painted and on it a grid in pencil was drawn. IN almost all cases the grid was 5 x 5 cm. squares in pencil. The Bulletin 134 is available at www.ftn-books.com
A master in Blue . A bit like Yves Klein had his favorit color too and executed many of his paintings in Blue. Zinsser uses the available commercial paints with their standard bright colors.
John Zinsser’s abstract paintings investigate formal properties of gestures, supports, color, and paint through simple actions and two-toned compositions that explore the relationship between figure and ground. After studying art history at Yale, Zinsser relocated to New York, where he has remained since the 1980s. Color is a preeminent concern for Zinsser; he typically works with naturally occurring commercially available colors such as cobalt blue or cadmium red. The properties and values of the ground determine what colors and forms he chooses to include in the foreground. “I always put a faith in materials first—that paint has a kind of authority of its own,” he says. “Paint has a unique power to assert tactile reality, pushing toward a larger visual and bodily response.”
For me personally il compare his paintings with the one Tomas Rajlich has done in the last 2 decades / also monochrome paintings with working the paint over that it the paint is moulded into a shape. Both arftists i like very much, but for me personally i prefer the Rajlich paintings , because i have met Tomas on several occasions and beside an excellent painter he is a an aimable person.
Last Sunday me and Linda visited the Tomas Rajlich exhibition in the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam. I had to see it , because i am a long time admirer of the works by Rajlich. Fundamental paintings almost like Minimal art , Rajlich stayed loyal to his monochrome paintings, with or without a grid with or without a very precise space of 5 cm. in between the lines just paint. I admire his gold paintings with the pencil grids, but his grids can appear in very different ways. white lines, black lines, pencil or painted with the fingers or the entire hand. The ones in the Boijmans have a vertical grid which is applied with some sort of comb and like the smaller sketches/drawings in the adjacent room, glitter is applied on the surface which gives an extra dimension. Still the execution of the paintings is almost the same like some 30 years ago.
Look at the details of one of his gold paintings and the much more recent red painting. At the bottom of the painting it looks like paint is dripping from the canvas. as if all sites matter except the bottom. Rajlich is for my personally one of the most fascinating artist whom i have met and his art is timelesss. I am glad this show is organized with a great and impressive overview of some of his best recent paintings ( 2003) which he has lent on an extended loan to the Boijmans van Beuningen.
Painting was declared dead in the early 1970s. Tomas Rajlich (1940) opposed this notion and revived painting by making the act of painting itself the subject of his canvases. In 1975 he was one of the most important exponents of Fundamental painting: a collective term for works in which idea and materials are inseparable. Rajlich still considers himself a Fundamental painter and has continued to develop as such to the present day.
The grids that were so characteristic of Rajlich’s early works seem to have disappeared from his recent monochrome canvases. The grid has become simply one of the elements, like the paint, glitter and linen that Rajlich uses to build up his extravagant paintings.
Just a short blog to let you know that a large retrospetcive on Tomas Rajlich will be opened on the 15th of October 2016 which will be on show until 22nd January 2017.
Tomas Rajlich, a minimal painter for whom the grid is the measure of things. Rajlich’s starting point is usually a network of horizontal and vertical lines, which he lays down and then covers them with loose brushwork. The result – constructed with an exceptional feel for colour, sheen and the substance of his materials- is a painted surface in which texture and structure predominate.
The exhibition is made partly with works that Rajlich recently has donated to the collections of the Gemeentemuseum.
Of course , the title of this blog is my way of thinking about Irma Boom, who first made a career with SDU publishers before she started her own office in 1991. But without a doubt she is one of the greatest living graphical designers of the world.
One of the first who had complete faith in the abilities and quality of Irma Boom was Paul Fentener van Vlissingen who commissioned the SVH jubilee publication of over 2000 pages ….. a classic in book design, finished in 1996 and done in the very special Irma Boom way with no limitations in the execution and with a complete rethinking of the classic book design.
A true DUTCH DESIGN classic which was the starting point of the Irma Boom designs as we know them. Other clients followed . Vitra , Chanel and Ferrari among them, but…..not only the larger companies and brand names wanted to use the design qualities of Irma Boom. There were smaller ones like dutch museums and the Siewe gallery , who presented a solo exhibition of her earlier this year with which they published a special Irma Boom limited edition.
and beside this special exhibition they commissioned some of their gallery publication to mrs Boom. My personal favorite Irma Boom publication is a small book on Tomas Rajlich which was published some 15 year ago and which has all the subtleties of a great book design. Now is the time to start collecting Irma Boom publications…wait another couple of years and none are there to be found. Irma Boom her designs and publications are collected by practically all of the large dutch museums and of course the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
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