One of the most impressive publications i have in my inventory at www.ftn-books.com is a book in a limited edition of only 75 copies . Book design by Willem Sandberg and filled with 12 etchings ( signed/numbered ) by Wessel Couzijn.
The book was published in 1966, when abstract expressionism was at its height. Great quality etchings by Couzijn who beside a painter/ graphic artist was one of the most gifted sculptors from his generation. A multi talented artist which was recognized by Sandberg who admired him and gave him many times a platform to show his latest art in the Stedelijk Museum. This publication “iI” is rarely offered therefore i am proud to show in this blog the complete set of etchings from this rare and extremely important publication. Enjoy!
This morning the Volkskrant mentioned and reviewed another Tate Modern exhibition in which afro-american artists have the leading role. I did not visit this exhibition , but it will be on my list should i visit London in the coming months. The exhibition will be open until the 22nd of October and shows the importance of afro-american artists in the sixties and seventies. None of them have become the household names in Modern Art as we know now and perhaps the only artist who reached “star” status by the end of the eighties was Jean-Michel Basquiat, but he originally was born in Brooklyn and part Haitian, not Afro American. Then i realized that my inventory has very few books on or by Afro American artist. Is it because their art is less appealing? I do not think so, The Dawoud Bey and Kara Walker books i have, show great art, but i think the true reason is that Afro American artists did not get a good platform to show their art in the best possible way. Fewer Museum and gallery exhibitions have been organized with them than with non afro-american artists and that is the reason this exhibition is important and possibly paves the way for artists from other cultures and countries which are lesser known. The mentioned artists Bey and Walker are available at www.ftn-books.com
Abstract Expressionism and even the dutch version of the drip paintings by Pollock, that for me is the meaning of Gerard Leonard van den Eerenbeemt, who even had a solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam ( 1970, supported by a very nice catalogue designed by Wim Crouwel.
Why mentioning van den Eerenbeemt. First because he has a unique style of his own and deserves to become better known outside the Netherlands and secondly because i am auctioning this coming weeks an extremely nice abstract drawing in black ink at www.kunstveiling.nl
What makes this auction important is the fact that in 1988 his studio with his complete oeuvre and archives was burnt down to the ground, leaving only some 100 drawings in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and some drawings and paintings in private collections. This makes his work scarce and because of its quality highly desirable and collectable. Please take a look at the auction and of course there is this nice Crouwel publication available at www. ftn-books.com
BTW. As you can see the drawing is kept/ flat in a drawer of my “new” acquisition. An “antique” drawings dresser which was formally used in a convent in Bergen op Zoom. I found this on Marktplaats and since, my offices have become much more organized . The picture above it is by Ossip (1953).
100% Spanish and an artist who was in the middle of all in the sixties /seventies. The first time i encountered work by Miguel Berrocal must have been somewhere in 1970. One of the furniture design shops ( Studio 40) had a little statue with the interlocking pieces which fitted together perfectly and acted like a multi pieces puzzle. I was impressed, but never associated this with art. It more was a gimmick to me. Later i saw the artistic qualities of Berrocal and now for me Berrocal is one of the sculptors who deserves to be recognized as one of the great sculptors from Spain.
If it was this statue i do not remember….., but these small statues consisting of several pieces were Berrocal’s trademark. People admired him in those days, but one decade later practically all had forgotten him. I always admired these little, beautiful pieces of art, but never had a chance to acquire one for our collection. However what i did find and added to the inventory of www.ftn-books.com were several rare and highly collectable publications including a Jan van Toorn designed poster. These books are as much collectable as his statues , because the edition size is small and because of the exceptional way these are published they are well worth collecting.
Why Bernard Buffet in this blog. …an hour ago i was reflecting on my early youth and i remembered we had a reproduction of a Clown by Bernard Buffet hanging on the wall.
In the early sixties, Buffet was one of the most famous young artists who was appreciated by the great public. A recognizable style and what is more important…. No abstraction what so ever. A stylized reproduction of reality in portraits, landscapes and still lives and made available for a large audience through reproductions .
This resulted in an overkill of Buffet’s on the market and meant his work was not in fashion for at least 3o years, but now this is changing. Large retrospectives are being held and one now realizes that his works are part of the evolution in Modern Art. One of his very best 60’s artist publications is TOXIQUE , By Francoise Sagan
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and available at www.ftn-books.com, but looking through the inventory and reading some of his older catalogues you must admire the very personal style of Bernard Buffet and understand why he is now considered as one of the great artists from the 20th century.
No….this is not a title for a classic Roald Dahl story, but this is reality. Some museums, but specially the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, had a policy to make affordable catalogues for their visitors to accompany their exhibitions in the 50’s and 60’s.
Designed by the best in the business ( Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel ) they had the task to produce these catalogues at a low price without being cheap looking. They experimented with low cost papers, small editions, number of pages between 24 and 48, most of the time stapled and a scarce use of color. Only one exception was made ….in some cases an original lithograph by the artist was used as a cover. This is why some of these beautiful catalogues are even more desirable…all because of the original lithograph.
Karel Appel was one of those artist who had his peak in the sixties and was able to demand the best possible catalogues with his exhibitions and Sandberg granted this. The Appel catalogues which were published in the late 50’s and early sixties are among the best from the catalogue series of the Stedelijk and should be present in every serious Karel Appel collection.
Just look at this foldout cover and be convinced yourself that this is special.
For the readers of this blog…i have two of the above 1965 catalogues available at