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Posters by Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel…part 10

This time a double bill of Renato Guttuso and Alan Davie. Two exhibions both held at the Stedelijk Museum at the end of 1962. It is rumored that this poster was designed by Sandberg , but the execution of it done by ten Have. Still i love this poster .. The red and green indicate the hand of Sandberg and the simplicity of it makes this a highly important historical poster for the Stedelijk Museum. Both poster and catalogues of the exhibitions are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Posters by Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel…part 9

Another iconic duo from the early Sixties is the Wim Crouwel designed poster for the Etienne martin exhibition in 1963 and the catalogue he did design for the same exhibition. The catalogue is still influenced by the designs of Willem Sandberg, but the poster is completely different and a 100% Wim Crouwel design. The Martin poster has become the starting point of a series of iconic posters he made for the Stedelijk Museum. Both publications are now available at http://www.ftn-books.com.

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Massimo Campigli (1895-1971)

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Ever since i added to my personal collection of Stedelijk Museum catalogues the Willem Sandberg designed exhibition catalogue for the Campigli / 1950 exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum i became an admirer of this italian artist. Combining abstract element with figurative painting he developed a style of his own which is time less and authentic and very typical for Italian art.

His paintings have a sense of friendliness and “Joie de vivre” nd are still rooted in classic Italian art. This artist is a true Italian master painter, but also made some beautiful and highly collectible lithographs and etchings. If you look into Campigli his exhibition history you will notice that somehow people has lost interest in this great Italian artist, possibly considered “old fashioned”  since one of his last major exhibitions was held in 2000 ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com). Still i am a fan and consider him one of the founders of great Italian Modern Art in the 20th century.

 

 

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Happy New Year…and a healthy 2021

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Dear Reader,

Thanks for your interest in this continuing daily blog. It has been been a year filled with changes and I truly hope next year will be a more normal year and of course a healthy one for you and all your loved ones.

What way to have a better start of the blogs remembering the New Years wishes Willem Sandberg made during his directorship at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Each year until the early Sixties he made a yearly New Years wish for the Stedelijk Museum. Recognizable, highly original and in a way only Sandberg could design and make them. I encountered these New Years wishes in a biography which was published in 2004 and written by Ank Leeuw Marcar. In the centre of the book all Sandberg New Years Wishes are assembled. ( available at http://www.ftn-books.com).

To finish ….My best wishes for you and your loved ones and have a wonderful 2021.

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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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Guido Strazza (1922)

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One of the grand old masters in Italian modern art is Guido Strazza. His works remind me of the ones Hans Harting made during the Sixties, but these are different….more spontaneous and they have a lighter touch. Perhaps this is because his graphic works has a kind of transparency which is rare. thin lines , scattered in a pattern. like a mikado game transformed into art.

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This rare quality was recognized by Willem Sandberg who held an exhibition with Strazza in 1961 at the Stedelijk Museum ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com)/

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In the Seventies and early Eighties Strazza was almost forgotten, but lately his works are in fashion again. These are abstract works that tend to Minimalism and perhaps that is the reason why Strazza is becoming more popular by the year. The result several publications and some major exhibitions with his works.

 

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Two “scarce” Stedelijk Museum additions

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It has been a long time since i encountered the No. 183 catalogue ,published by the Stedelijk Museum in 1958. The publication is a leporello like publication which folds out and describes the contributions by three French artists. The design done by Willem Sandberg makes this one stand out and it is one of the most scarce publications by the Stedelijk Museum. The artists André Bloc, Claude Parent and Charlotte Perriand. an absolute must have for the admirers of these artists and a highly collectable item for all interested in the Stedelijk Museum publications. (now available at www.ftn-books.com)

The second one is even more scarce and it is one i never have encountered before in all these years that i sell Stedelijk Museum publications. Designed by Wim Crouwel it is only a 4 page publication. Specially made for the Werkgroep Plakat Praag / Politieke affiches uit Tsjechoslowakije ( ODPOVĒDNOST)/ 1965. This is another highly desirable item for Stedelijk Museum/Crouwel collectors.

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André François (1915-2005)

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Born Rumanian, but living for most of his life in France.  From the early Fifties on, France had a very lively comic art scene. This surely has been an influence since his cartoon-like drawings were strongly rooted in this kind of art in France BD / Bandes Dessinees) became increasingly popular and so did the art by André François. This was picked up by Willem Sandberg who curated an exhibition on André François in 1966. Catalogue design by Wim Crouwl makes this one of my personal favourite catalogues from the Sixties. the article below was published in the Guardian some years ago…..and of course www.ftn-books.com has the 1966 Stedelijk Museum catalogue available.

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André François born André Farkas in 1915 was an illustrator known for his satirical cartoons and comics. He was born in Romania and but eventually moved to Paris. He was a left-wing Jewish and during WWII he hid away from the Germans, and after the war moved to Grisy-les-Plâtres where he eventually passed away in 2005 after a long successful career.

Francois took his early inspiration from the Art Deco movement and the renowned illustrator A.M. Cassandre. When he moved to Paris he actually studied under Cassandre for some time.

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He worked in many satirical publications in France and also in American publications like the New Yorker, Vogue, Holiday and Sports Illustrated. Beyond magazines he also worked in the realm of children’s book illustration, adult content illustration and within the advertising industry (as many illustrators of the time did). In advertising he often created visual puns usually. This usually involved turning inanimate objects into human forms as well as the opposite.

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He became known in Paris for the sense of humour in his work, which he primarily completed in crude black and white ink drawings, with the occasional injection of vibrant colour. He became well-known and sought after by art directors in America after he published several anthologies of his cartoon work titled “The Penguin André François”, “The Tattooed Sailor and Other Cartoons From France” and “The Half-Naked Knight”. His obituary published in the New York Times describes his style perfectly: “François’ crude but sensual black-and-white brush drawings and starkly colored paintings, employing surreal and ironic juxtapositions, introduced serious whimsy to conservative commercial art. He also injected a comedic eroticism that broke various taboos.”

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At the age of 86, his house underwent a terrible house fire and he lost almost all of his work. His friends report that he wanted to create a completely new set of work to replace that which was lost. In 2005 he died from heart and kidney failure.

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What drew me to François’ work is the looseness and simplicity. It reminds me of another contemporary illustrator who I love named Manddy Wyckens. It also reminds me of the illustrations done by Jean-Jacques Sempé for the children’s comic Petit Nicolas. What I love about François’ work is that he doesn’t just create cute, or beautiful images, he is always saying something. While he aims to convey a message, he also doesn’t give the audience all of the puzzle pieces. Sometimes it takes a little longer to understand what the illustration means but when you understand it, it’s all the more rewarding.

I think part of the reason I’m attracted to his work is that I can relate to it as I feel that I am always trying to say something with my work, but often the results are crude drawings and paintings.

The looseness and simplicity is also something I love about his work. Being able to communicate a message with a style that seems effortless is commendable. Looseness and simplicity is something I would love to learn how to use in my own work so I will be sure to look to André François for future inspiration.

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Sources:
https://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/16/world/europe/obituary-andr-franois-illustrator-and-cartoonist.html

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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