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Wim Crouwel (continued )

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Early September 2019 i recommended the Mr Gridnik exhibition which would open shortly  after in the Stedelijk Museum. Just a few days before opening Mr.  Gridnik/ Wim Crouwel died  and he never witnessed his tribute at the Stedelijk. Since i have not found the time to go to this exhibition myself, but now that i finally have the opportunity and started planning my visit, i found out that all rooms are photographed and can be visited on line. It is a worthy tribute to one of the greatest designers from the last decade, but could have been much more complete. It focusses for 90% on the Stedelijk Museum publications, but it is still a very impressive sight to see so many great designs collected, but the real surprise is that i noticed that i have almost all of the books on show in my inventory. (www.ftn-books.com)

For those living too far away to visit the exhibition….here is the direct link to the rooms and showcases with Crouwel material:

https://www.stedelijk.nl/nl/crouwel-vitrines

and another excellent site with 19 photographs:

http://dutchdesigndaily.com/nl/nieuw/wim-crouwel-mr-gridnik/

 

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Alberto Burri (1915-1995)

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A blog on Burri since i acquired a very MIce 1961 catalogue by Galerie de France on Burri. Numbered 495 from an edition of only 1600 copies and in excellent condition.

Burri i have known for his MATTER paintings. A bit created like the ones Jaap Wagemaker made in the Netherlands. But there is so much mofre . His “paintings” are like three dimensional sculptures and make in some way a bridge to the zero art from a decade later.

He remained a reserved artist, ceaselessly working and creating, initially in a small studio in Via Margutta but frequently moving out. As a matter of fact, Milton Gendel – an American journalist who visited Burri’s studio in 1954 –, later reported: “The studio is thick-walled, whitewashed, neat and ascetic; his work is ‘blood and flesh,’ reddened torn fabric that seems to parallel the staunching of wounds that Burri experienced in wartime.”

Burri’s first solo figurative artworks exhibition took place on 10 July 1947 at the gallery-cum-bookshop La Margherita, in Rome, presented by the poets Leonardo Sinisgalli and Libero De Libero. However, Burri’s artistic production flowed definitively into abstract forms before the end of the same year, the use of small format tempera resulting from the influence of such artists as Jean Dubuffet and Joan Miró, whose studio was visited by Burri during a trip to Paris in the winter of 1948.

In the sixties Burri has had several exhibitions all over Europe and one, in 1961, was at the galerie de France. Who made a beautiful catalogue for it.

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Two different Malevitch titles

On a recent book market visit i found 2 totally different publications on the same artist. Malevich being the subject it occurred to me that there was a great difference between both publications. One rather modern with the emphasize on his early works proved that the interest in his early works was not there from the early beginning. The other being earlier…. a Louisiana / Denmark Museum publication from 1959. Shows the influence of Willem Sandberg in its catalogue design and its approach is totally different. Only a few early works are depicted and the focus is on his Suprematist works, which were being discovered as highly important in those days. The ultimate “BLACK SQUARE” being the final result of his search in constructivist painting.

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These and other great Malevitch publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Pieter Brattinga (1931-2004)

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In an earlier blog I wrote something on the relation between Henry Miller and Pieter Brattinga, but there is much more importance found in the fact that Brattinga was a designer /publisher all by himself, who made some very prestigious publications in the late Fifties and early Sixties. Being the son of the director of Steendrukkerij de Jong he held exhibitions within the printing rooms of Steendrukkerij de Jong and even started his own publication KWADRAAT Blad making it an example of the qualities that the Steendrukkerij de Jong was possible of. In later years he organized numerous exhibitions and designed many other books and stamps for PTT ao.. Pieter Brattinga was important for the development of dutch graphic design from the last century. Many of the Kwadraat publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Ko Oosterkerk ( 1928-2012)

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Jacobus Willem (Ko) Oosterkerk. It has not been recently that Ko Oosterkerk was admired for his black and white , highly abstract etchings. Almost in a contstructivist way he builds his compositions, but always was free, where the constructivist set their limitations.

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A few years ago (2016) there was an exhibition at the Kampen Museum, which showed all the qualities of his work through the years. Just have a look at all these wonderful works by searching with Google and you will be amazed how timeless these works are. I leafed through the van Abbemuseum catalogue from 1975 and noticed the quality of all his works. I can highly recommend this artist who is on the verge of becoming much more popular, but now still is very affordable.

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Willem Sandberg a 1961 publication

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Willem Sandberg has designed many publication for the Stedelijk Museum. Starting as early as 1939 until in the early 60’s he finished designing publications for the Stedelijk and Wim Crouwel took over this task. In those 25 years he rarely made a large sized publication. This book is the exception. In collaboration with Meulenhoff publishers the Stedelijk Museum published its highlights and asked Sandberg to be the designer. A Large sized book of 12.1 x 10.6 inches  containing over 200 pages, linnen bound with dustcover. Sandberg took the typical elements ( use of multiple sorts of paper) of his Stedelijk designs and incorporated these in his own way into this much larger publication. The extra size makes the art even more impressive.

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This book is now for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com and has been included in the ever expanding inventory of Stedelijk Museum catalogues. I know that sometimes these emerge and come to the market, but i rarely have seen one at a reasonable price. This one, includes the dustcover, which is almost every time missing ans it is now for sale. A Willem Sandberg masterpiece which has been under valued for far too long.

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Stedelijk Museum 2009 … a cotton bag

 

During the renovation of the Stedelijk Museum in 2009. There were only 5 special opening days of the museum. These days were on the occasion of the Amsterdam art fair to let the public see the progress and possibilities of the “new” building and get acqainted with it

The museum had a completely different approach in showing its colection since the rooms were filled for a period of only 5 days. The result a truly different museum filled with surprising and fantastic art and this bag is proof that there were these opening days in May 2009. There were 4 different versions and all versions are available. The bag is made of cotton and contained a newspaper on the museum and had a special button on the outside. These bags have now become highly collectable items and are now for sale at www.ftn-books.com. An important Stedelijk Museum collectible.

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Fritz Wotruba (1907-1975)

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A truly visionary artist Fritz Wotruba was. He is almost forgotten, but deserves to be recognized as one of the great European artists who shaped modern art and combined this with great architectural designs. Wotruba is like a cubist sculptor, but his shapes consist of parts put together and seen from nearby it seems as they have no relation with each other. But from further away figures emerge.

His sculptures are magnificent, but when you once have seen his architecture you are completely sold .

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This is the discipline in which he excels and is a one of a kind artist. Fritz Wotruba has had several exhibitions in the Netherland in the 50’s and the 60’s, but is after these events almost forgotten. Instead in Austria he is still one of the greatest Modern Artists. Catalogues of these events are available at www.ftn-books.com

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A tribute to Cor Rosbeek ( 1944-2019 )

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Recently one of the driving forces in the dutch museum publications world died. I remember Cor Rosbeek as one of the most gifted of all printers in Europe. On those occasions that we met professionally he came up with practical solutions and had always in mind the quality of the finished product.

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He made the impossible possible with a printing press and found solutions for the product that were thought to be impossible to realize. One of his best publications was the Diary of Anne Frank for which he made the facsimile reprint. Cor Rosbeek was a printing genius and realized many beautiful publications with the greatest of practically all (dutch) designers. His series of Rosbeek publications is known all over the world. In these publications everything comes together….great design, typography, layout, choice of papers and subject make these publications a monument for Cor Rosbeek. Some of these highly collectable publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

 

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Johan van Loon (1934)

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Johan van Loon is without a doubt one of the most creative and important ceramic artists from the Netherlands. He is original in his approach to the material and his designs reflect his creative mind. His use of colors and the use of layers in his ceramic designs .

He bends, shapes and builds his creations in a very personal and original way, making these objects stand out from all their peers. Johan van Loon is an important ceramic artist and this is emphasized by the many exhibitions he has had in his career. One of the highlights was the 1991 Stedelijk Museum exhibition ( catalogue available at http://www.ftn-books.com) together with van der Vaart and Stockmans, but since many other s have followed. ao others the ones with the gallery Loes & Reinier ( https://loes-reinier.com/kunstenaar/johan-van-loon/).