Posted on

Wim Crouwel….SM Gedrukt in Japan / 1967

Wim Crouwel is a regular name appearing in my blog. This is not only because i have many titles available at www.ftn-books.com, but mainly because i consider Wim Crouwel the most important graphic designer from last century. There are some that are important too and i think of Gerstner and Sandberg, but Wim Crouwel is in my opnion the absolute best. Wim Crouwel made some 200+ designs between 1960 and 1980 for the Stedelijk Museum, Among them posters, catalogues an folders and many have become iconic for graphic design in the Sixties. There was of course the VORMGEVERS catalogue which is in high demand and extremely hard to find, but the one i would like to discuss now is the GEDRUKT IN JAPAN catalogue, which has become rare and expensive too. It is of great graphici quality and although it is only 20 pages, for me it is the summit in design from the sixties. A simple but highly effective lay out. The use of Magenta on the front . The SM logo and underneath a very very fine line with below it one of the logo’s for the Osaka Art Festival . Published in 1967 with no. 407……it is perfection on the 20 pages.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted on

Norman Parkinson (1913-1990)

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-07 om 13.58.24

Another photographer . Yesterday William Klein and today Norman Parkinson. Two different approached to photography. For me Parkinson stands for typical sixties photography. Fashion and Royalty were his expertise and because of that expertise he stayed practically his entire life the preferred photographer choice of the British Royals. These photographs were typically staged photographs, they showed nothing spontanious and every pose, setting and prop was well thought over an staged. ( Yes, Audrey Hepburn is some kind of cinematic Royalty too)

His fashion photographs were much more loose and therefore i prefer these above the Royal photographs.

It is noot a very common book to find. A monography with photographs by Norman Parkinson is a rarity , but still www.ftn-books.com has one in its inventory.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted on

Peter Blake (1932) … a British Pop-Art artist

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-28 om 10.13.16

Peter Blake is known by the dutch art lovers as one of the first Pop Art artist who had the opportunity to exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum, Together with this exhibition an excellent catalogue designed by Wim Crouwel was published , bu apart from that his work is becoming more and more important every year. The same with Paolozzi works , this Pop Art is original and authentic and where it was almost forgotten 30 years ago it is now considered among the best art from the 60’s.

Without knowing, many people have admired Peter Blake’s works and are familiar with it . This, because he was the painter and designer of the Beatles Sgt Pepper  album. He even made a second version for Liverpool being cultural capital of Europe in 2008.

In the original 1967 work, the Beatles form the centrepiece wearing colourful military-style outfits while their wax models also feature. However, in the 2012 piece, the faces of Ringo Starr and the late John Lennon and George Harrison have all been omitted.

And even Sir Paul McCartney has been relegated to the third row – one behind his daughters Stella, the fashion designer, and Mary, the photographer. Blake, known as the Godfather of Pop Art, has put his own face and images of his family where the Fab Four once stood.

Blake painted several album sleeves. He designed the sleeve for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with his wife Jann Haworth, the American-born artist whom he married in 1963 and divorced in 1979. The Sgt. Pepper’s sleeve has become an iconic work of pop art, much imitated and Blake’s best-known work. Producing the collage necessitated the construction of a set with cut-out photographs and objects, such as flowers, centred on a drum (sold in auction in 2008) with the title of the album. Blake has subsequently complained about the one-off fee he received for the design (£200[5][6]), with no subsequent royalties. Blake made sleeves for the Band Aid single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (1984), Paul Weller’s Stanley Road (1995) and the Ian Dury tribute album Brand New Boots and Panties (2001; Blake was Dury’s tutor at the Royal College of Art in the mid-60s). He designed the sleeves for Pentangle’s Sweet Child and The Who’s Face Dances (1981), which features portraits of the band by a number of artists.

There are some excellent publications on Blake available at www.ftn-books.com

Posted on

Andre Volten (1925-2002)

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-19 om 14.44.57

Andre Volten is arguably the greatest sculptor form the second half of last century in the Netherlands. Educated in Amsterdam he soon became friends with contemporary artists like Ongenae. AAfter his arrival in Amsterdam he founded the LIGA NIEUWE BEELDEN and developed his art into a very personal form of abstract expressionism. Because he was at one time employed as a welder, steel and other metals were like wax in his hands and he could bend and transform them into the sculptures he wanted to make from the available materials. The result …. some magnificent large sculptures in public places. Sometimes they are hidden , but in many cases they are in the open. Just look at these 2 examples and find many more in classic publications on this artist at www.ftn-books.com. Among them iconic Wim Crouwel designed in brown and black cover . One of my personal favorites.

For more information on Volten please look at the www.andrevolten.nl site for information on the Volten foundation

Posted on

Wessel Couzijn (1912-1984)…iI

 

Schermafbeelding 2017-09-04 om 15.37.54

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.

couzijn sand a

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!

 

 

Posted on

Tate Modern….SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER

 

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

 

Posted on

Gerard Leonard van den Eerenbeemt ( 1936-2011)

Schermafbeelding 2017-07-30 om 10.21.19

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

eerenbeemt aa

https://www.kunstveiling.nl/veiling-main/177339/gerard-leonard-van-den-eerenbeemt-compositie-gesigneerd-en-gedateerd-1963/?AuctionOrder=search

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).

Posted on

Miguel Berrocal ( 1933-2006)

schermafbeelding-2017-01-24-om-13-49-23
Berrocal and Dali

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.

schermafbeelding-2017-01-24-om-13-48-30

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.

Posted on

Bernard Buffet and TOXIQUE by Sagan

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.

schermafbeelding-2017-01-03-om-12-29-12

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

 

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.

Posted on

Karel Appel and the original litho covers

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.

appel-litho-sm-b

For the readers of this blog…i have two of the above 1965 catalogues available at

www.ftn-books.com