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Josua Reichert ( 1937 )… a printer

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Reichert is a typographer, designer, author and printer combined in one person. Take a little bit of Werkman, put in a dash of Piet Zwart combine this with the authenticity of Reichert and you have some idea of the fantastic prints he makes. Study his prints and you see mouvement and a highly original approach to printing  which makes them typical Josua Reichert prints.

One of the publications www.ftn-books.com has for sale is the excellent Wim Crouwel designed catalogue for the 1966 Stedelijk Museum exhibition on Josua Reichert and his prints.

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It is only 4 pages , but the fairly standard design by Wim Crouwel in blue was altered and printed on by Reichert with 3 special prints for this occasion. This combination of Reichert prints with Crouwel typography/design makes this for me personally one of the most valued and appreciated publications by the Stedelijk Museum in the Sixties.

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Sigurdur Gudmundsson (1942)

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Gudmundsson has a loyal following in the Netherland. That must be because he has been present in multiple group exhibitions and solo exhibitions in both museums and art galleries. The Stedelijk Museum presented this artist on several occasions and the catalogues’/ artist books published with these are in high demand. The “Circles” book for instance has been sdold out with me for over 5 years and i have not found another copy at a reasonable price. The same with ” Situations” sold out and nowhere to be found anymore.

Gudmundssons works fascinate. These are symbiosis of IN SITU and performance. Making this a true conceptual artis whose works have been spread all over the world.

Gudmundsson studied in the Netherlands at ao Ateliers 63 and after that study settled in the Netherlands and launched his career in the 1960s as a member of the legendary Icelandic SÚM group. His public sculptures can now be found widely, including in Rotterdam, Groningen and Den Haag in the Netherlands. He later became a teacher at the AKI in Enschede. He is now living in China, the artist prides himself of having been a foreigner for the past 50 years and i am curious to learn how this does influence his works. www.ftn-books.com has still some nice Gudmundsson titles available.

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Julian Schnabel (1951) …the photographer

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I knew the works by Julian Schnabel from the exhibition he had at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1982 ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com). An impressive exhibition of large Schnabel painting, but what i did not not know until some 15 years ago is that Schnabel is also a very gifted photographer. His portraits have a rare quality and make you feel really close to the subject. For instance the Rourke portrait is filled with action and the Lou Reed one makes you feel happy … Reed as a liberated spirit is a rarity.

Books on his photography are rare, i know there exists one title on his Polaroid photo’s, but that is the only title i know of. If you know of more titles let me know, since i am very interested on a personal level to add a book on his photography to my personal collection.

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Wim Crouwel..design of the Atelier series for the Stedelijk Museum.

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The focus of this blog is on the covers of a very impressive series Wim Crouwel designed for the Stedelijk Museum during a period of roughly 14 years in the Sixties and Seventies ( between 1965 and 1979). This series has the typical Crouwel layout and typography and beside these elements these designs are ” clean” without any frills ….just function. These were done when the Total Design agency had their “GOLDEN YEARS” and Wim Crouwel was one of the most important members of Total Design ( founded in 1963). This is a great series of 16 publications . Some with loose pages in portfolio, others in the shape of posters or just ordinary booklets, but all have the quality design Wim Crouwel stands for. Most of these publications are available at www.ftn-books.com and if your are looking for other Crouwel publications search for them at the same site.

 

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Yayoi Kusama… a zero artist

Kusama stands for me as “ZERO”.

Being one of the first to have participated as a Zero artist Dancing together with Jan Schoonhoven (in the nude)

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and after that building an oeuvre on just one pattern…the Polka dot.

i love these artist that stay true to their belief. Kusama is not the only one. Leblanc, Peeters and Schoonhoven ,all from this generation , stayed true to their art ” inventions” developing it into something very perosmnal , recognizable and in many cases a beautiful and impressive work of art.

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Kusama participated in the first ZERO/Nul exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum, but beside that she had her Retrospektives held all over the world including the Tate Modern where a large rRetrospektive was held in 2012. Now she has turned into a grand old lady of  Contemporary Art and perhaps together with Louise Bourgeois  and Georgia O’Keefe she has given a feminine touch to Modern Art. www.ftn-books.com holds some excellent Kusama titles in its inventory.

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William Klein (1928) a master of abstract photography

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I found an excellent biography on Artnet on William Klein, but for me the importance of Klein is the fact that William Klein made a stunning catalogue together with Wim Crouwel for his 1967 exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The catalogue has some very bold typography and the use of the bright yellow in contrast with the black and white photograph in the back makes it for me a classic. Here is the Artnet bio.

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William Klein is an American artist known for his unconventional style of abstract photography depicting city scenes. Although similar in subject matter to other street photographers such as Diane Arbus and Saul Leiter, as well as fashion photographers Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, Klein’s images break from established modes. “I came from the outside, the rules of photography didn’t interest me. There were things you could do with a camera that you couldn’t do with any other medium—grain, contrast, blur, cock-eyed framing, eliminating or exaggerating grey tones and so on,” he reflected. “I thought it would be good to show what’s possible, to say that this is as valid of a way of using the camera as conventional approaches.” Born on April 19, 1928 in New York, NY, Klein studied painting and worked briefly as Fernand Léger’s assistant in Paris, but never received formal training in photography. His fashion work has been featured prominently in Vogue magazine, and has also been the subject of several iconic photo books, including Life is Good and Good for You In New York (1957) and Tokyo (1964). In the 1980s, he turned to film projects and has produced many memorable documentary and feature films, such as Muhammed Ali, The Greatest (1969). Klein currently lives and works in Paris, France. His works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

There are more titles on or with contributions by William Klein available at www.ftn-books.com

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Philip Guston (1913-1980)

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-03 om 14.19.31I once read a story of a collector who had sold over half of his collection to finally buy his ideal “dream” painting. It was a painting by Philip Guston. I knew some of his works because i had some books in my inventory of www.ftn-books.com, including the Sandberg designed stedelijk

Stedelijk Museum catalogue, but could not understand why one wants to trade in half of a collection, collected over decades, for a Philip Guston.

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I finally had a chance to see some of these painting a few years ago and i must say i was impressed by them. Personally i would not sell half of my collection, but these works have a strange appeal. A little like the Dubuffet paintings. They are ugly but bold and they represent another world.  A world which can only exist in the artist mind.

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Bert Frijns (1953)

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If ever there is one “glass” artist who deservees to be called original in his approach to the medium of glass, it is Bert Frijns. The first time i saw some of his glass vases presented in the Haags Gemeentemuseum in the inner garden, they were soon filled with rain water, make them appear even more fragile. But the water did not harm them, no it enhanced the capture of light, making the glass vase like a solid sculpture. The form , also highly original and it stayed one of the trademark forms of Frijns. Frijns had multiple museum and gallery exhibitions in the Netherlands, but the first one which i saw by this artist stayed with me forever.

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Great works of art and with the exhibition one of the first Gracia Lebbink designed exhibition catalogues for the Gemeentemuseum which is finally available through www.ftn-books.com. The short biography comes from www.acquestarte.com

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Born in 1953 in Ubach Worms, The Netherlands. From 1973 until 1980 he studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and, after graduation, he attended specialist courses at the Department of sculpture and glass.
Since 1991, Bert Frijns lives with his family on a farm on an island of Zeeland, the southwestern province of the Netherlands. Surrounded by the North Sea and living in contact with nature, the artist is daily inspired by the landscape of the area.

Glass, water, light and movement are the main ingredients of the works of Bert Frijns. With minimalist simplicity and a strong sense of poetry, the artist has worked with these elements for almost three decades. The interaction of sculpture, light and space surrounding are common features in all his works.
Frijns also adopts an extremely complex and specific method of working the glass. Although his finished works seem simple, they are actually the result of a lengthy and difficult technic. His works are distinguished by their sheer beauty, stripped of frills or decorations. Since the glass sculptures are also filled with water, it creates an additional visual element.To date, Frijns has exhibited his works in many  museums and galleries around the world: in the Netherlands, Germany, United States, Indonesia, Japan, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, England, Israel and Australia.

Some of his creations are part of collections of some well-known museums: the Museum Jan van der Togt, the Jewish Historical Museum, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem, the Frans Hals Museum, the Haags Gemeentemuseum, the Landesmuseum in Kassel, the Ernsting Stiftung and the Jewish Historical Museum in New York.

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Ernst van Leyden (1892-1962) … a forgotten painter

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Undeservedly forgotten by most and rarely presented nowadays in exhibitions and gallery presentations. The story of van Leyden is that he fortunately had a loyal group of admirers and collectors, but after trying to give him back his popularity with an exhibition around 2008, it is again complete silence.

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Van Leyden was an extremely productive and versatile artist, hugely inspired by his numerous travels: his use of warm colors, striking compositions, and strong rendition – whether figurative or abstract – of people, animals, objects and landscapes made him a thoroughly appreciated artist within a circle of peers and friends to which Picasso, Salvador Dali and Willem de Kooning belonged as well.

It just took a look at a recently acquired catalogue on van Leyden from 1964 and it oozes with quality.  Rotella, Villegle and others using the art of collage must have been inspired by van Leyden. Who dares …who presents this great artist again and gives him the stage in Modern Art he deserves to have?

www.ftn-books.com has the Stedelijk Museum and galerie Anderson -Meyer catalogues available for sale.

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Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)

 

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If ever i had to chose two great sculptors from France , for me personally it would be Camille Claudel and Aristide Maillol. Rodin is a great sculptor , but i find his sculptures/statues to classic. He is a craftsman but for me he lacks the personal touch that i encounter with Maillol and Claudel. I have been admiring daily for 25 years a great statue by Maillol which is in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and i found it never boring.

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This is the reason that i am always on the look out for publications on Maillol and finally i found another great one at our local bookmarket . It is the spectacular Paul Rosenberg catalogue for his sales exhibition of sculptures by Maillol from 1958. It is now available at www.ftn-books.com together with excellent Sandberg designed catalogue from the 1962 exhibition which was held at the Stedelijk Museum.