A few months ago we walked along the streets of beautiful Dordrecht. A lunch rendez Vous with my mother in law and Linda. After dinner we visited a local brique a braque store filled with all kinds of small and larger objects with a special department filled with books. Because Linda, my wife, was looking for some glass object birds ( which she found and bought) I had to wait and leafed through the smaller books and…… there it was , stacked away, hidden because of its small size, between all kinds unimportant publications. I stopped at the moment i recognized the typical Gerd Arntz Isotypes on the cover . It is only 20 pages , published in 1938, but this one of the rarest of all Isotype books published in the Netherlands.
The condition is excellent and the pages clean and filled with typical “Rembrandt” related Isotypes. The quality of the Isotypes is magnificcent. The images are very clear and show the relations for all Rembrandt material and paintings spread over the Netherlands. Printed by Trio and published by “de Bijenkorf” in 1938 this book has all the qualities to become the most wanted of all (dutch) Isotype books. Perhaps it already is the most wanted, but it ceratinly is a very very special publication and i believe that i am the only bookseller that has this one for sale at this moment. available at www.ftn-books.com
If you ask me…what is the rarest of all Stedelijk Museum catalogues?…the answer probably will be the 1971 THE PAINTINGS catalogue by Gilbert & George, which is published with no. 511. It is only an 8 page catalogue, measuring 8.3 x 5.9 inches, but this one is really a rare collectable artist book. I finally found one for my inventory and it is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com
Galerie Der Spiegel in Koln, made a 1968 a memorable publication with Victor Vasarely. Naissances is such a book you will cherish for a long time and find it with each viewing more interesting. The book contains one card whcih can be held behind the tranparent printed pages making each page a different kinetic work of art, plus the book contains two signed and numbered serigraphs which make it even more valuable. I tried to find another copy on the interenet, but it looks like i am the only bookseller who can offer this very special book now. It is not cheap… but i can assure you it is fascinating!
At the time the Gemeentemuseum organized the Francis Bacon exhibition I contacted a colleague at the Hugh Lane gallery ( http://www.hughlane.ie) for purchasing their excellent Bacon posters to resell them in the shop of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. (The Hugh Lane is also the place where the original Bacon studio was rebuilt and permanently shown to the public). After the initial purchase of Bacon material we kept in contact and when i started my own shop on the internet i started reselling these posters on eBay and in my FTN shop. I bought enough of them , but forgot to list them on eBay in the last 10 years and lost track of them. Now i found them again , stacked away, but in perfect condition and can offer them again for sale. Please look for them and other Bacon material at www.ftn-books.com and search for Bacon.
A.R. Penck died 6 days ago i learned today from the Volkskrant newspaper and this brought back memories to the time Penck was invited by Rudi Fuchs to the Gemeentemuseum at the time he had an exhibition in galerie Auerbach in Amsterdam . It must have been somewhere in 1989 and Penck made some paintings on the spot in the museum and opened the exhibition with a drum performance. Because of the Amsterdam exhibition a nice box in a limited edition of only 10 copies was published and it contained 20 original photographs of Penck at “work” an extremely rare box which is nowhere offered, except at www.ftn-books.com ( not shown in te shop / if interested inquire ).
To commemorate Penck i will show the box in this blog and remember the one time we met and were introduced to each other ( although his mind was not clear at the time). Penck one of the last great german artists who made the new figuration famous all over the world.
Anna Julia de Graag was born in Gorinchem and followed her art education at the Koninklijke Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten with Aarts and Bremmer. This H.P. Bremmer would later become the most important art advisor for mrs. Kroller Muller and was from the beginning of her career the personwho guided her into the world of art. Julie de Graag had a very personal way of depicting everyday subjects. Stylized, thick outlines, nature brought back to its essence. Julie de Graag was first and foremost a graphic artist. Her skills were superb and this resulted in great , beautiful small works of art. Her woodcuts i consider to be the very best and most beautiful i know of.
For me it started with a very small , but delicate exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum some 15 years ago and since i have been looking for these true masterpieces. There are not many of them , because Julie de Graag , had a small oeuvre and not many of these remain,because there had been a fire in her studio in which many of these works were lost. Furthermore she had to stop working in the early 20’s because she fell physically and mentally ill . and because of this illness and her weakening she committed suicide at the age of 46 . A sad life with beautiful exquisite art as a result.
It has been a while, but i am fortunate to have found another 2 excellent examples of her art and skills and both are for sale at www.ftn-books.com. For Julie de Graag these are large woodcuts ( approx. 23 x 19 cm) and best of all both are signed in the block and in pencil and in excellent condition.