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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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Mark Rothko (1903-1970)….Walls of light

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I discovered that in the over 1000 blogs i published i never have written one about Mark Rothko and you must know that Rothko is one of the painters i admire most. There are several exhibItions i have seen on Rothko  . The first one was the Spiritual In Art, which had some Rothko’s within the exhibition and then there was recently the exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag which i liked very much and which had a near perfect chronological overview of his painting including the one he just made before his suicide, which was presented next to Piet Mondrian’s final painting,

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but the exhibition which impressed me most was the Rothko special exhibition at the Guggenheim Bilbao (2004). I did not know it was there and when Linda and I entered the room we both were overwhelmed with the paintings on show.

Large scale paintings, executed in colors which were either very bright or very close to each other with hardly any contrast in them. It was the first time we visited the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and on show were large scale works by Oldenburg which on another occasion were replaced for the Richard Serra work MATTER OF TIME and then , surprise….. one of the greatest and best overviews of Rothko paintings imaginable. Here is the text belonging to the announcement by the Guggenheim Museum

MARK ROTHKO

WALLS OF LIGHT

June 8, 2004 – October 24, 2004

Born Marcus Rothkovitz in Dvinsk, Russia, in 1903, Mark Rothko emigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1913, settling in Portland, Oregon. Rothko attended Yale University on scholarship from 1921 to 1923, when he left without a degree and moved to New York. He began to paint in 1925 and had his first solo show in 1933. He continued to refine his technique as he developed his famous mature style in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Since his tragic death in 1970, his art has continued to enjoy undiminished popularity. Today Rothko counts among the great pioneers of American postwar art and, alongside Barnett Newman and Jackson Pollock, as one of the major representatives of Abstract Expressionism.

In 2003, to mark the hundredth anniversary of Rothko’s birth, the Beyeler Foundation, Basel, in collaboration with the artist’s children Kate R. Prizel and Christopher Rothko, installed a sequence of Rothko rooms, now on view in an extended version at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The exhibition features a representative cross-section of works from all phases of Rothko’s career and provides a moving homage to the artist and his work.

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The Mark Rothko exhibition is still in our minds and we have on our wishlist to go at one time to the Rothko chapel and experience once again the timeless abstract art by Mark Rothko. Rothko is truly timeless and undoubtedly one of the greatest painters the art world has given humanity. There are several Rothko titles available at www.ftn-books.com

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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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Mark Prent (1947)

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Yesterday, Polish born artist Mark Prent contacted me about the Stedelijk Museum catalogue i have for sale on his exhibition in 1978. A never had studied the catalogue in detail before. But is a “dark’ catalogue which reflects the work of Prent in an excellent way. His works are “dark”

have a look at www.markprent.com and see for yourself what i mean

Mark Prent works consist of life-moulded mixed media, polyester resin and fiberglass casts of human models in sometimes disturbing poses and juxpositions. Mark Prent has consistently maintained throughout the years, that his sculptures and installations do not carry intentional messages. Despite the powerfully grotesque imagery that he has employed, interpretation is left to the viewer. Prent developed his own unique technique of layering to give a heightened realism to his figures; thus giving rise to the label “Extended Realism”. When he later became concerned about the toxicity of polyester resin, he began to experiment with other materials, developing innovative techniques for recreating that trademark quality of virulent realism. This venture into new materials led him in many new directions in his own work and ultimately, to become a technical resource for other artists as well.

Having followed his education in the US and exhibitions in Amsterdam , Berlin and Montreal his works are known all over the world, but because of their “Dark” nature never have become popular.

In 2005 Prent began a new series of video-taped performance pieces in collaboration with videographer/son Jesse Real Prent. In this series, Prent’s own body becomes a living, interacting component of his nightmarish scenarios. He continues to produce new sculptures in his Vermont studio. www.ftn-books.com  has the Stedelijk Museum Mark Prent catalogue available.

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Gerrit Benner (1897-1981)

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One of my first blogs was devoted to the museum Belvedere where i encountered some wonderful paintings by Gerrit Benner. This blog is solely devoted to Benner because he deserves it. His paintings are among the first abstract paintings which still hold a link with realism in the Netherlands . These paintings are definitely inspired by nature. Skies, meadows and even an abstract cow can be determined in the compositions. Benner is a painter “pur sang” who’s works are rooted in the dutch tradition of abstract paintings. For instance Mondrian used these abstracted landscapes in his own painting from the early 20th century.

on the left a painting by Benner with Red cloud on the right Landscape with Red cloud by Piet Mondriaan

Benner is a great painter who deserves to be known outside the Netherlands and for those visiting the Netherlands. When you visit the Stedelijk, Gemeentemuseum, Belvedere and Museum Twente you surely will encounter a Benner painting in their permanent collections.

There are some very nice Benner publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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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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Richard Long (1945)

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Hamish Fulton and Richard Long…. Two artist who i learned to appreciate in the time that Rudi Fuchs was director at the Gemeentemuseum. Long was nominated 4 times for the prestigious Turner price , but only won it once in 1989 for White Water Line.

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Since i first saw works and publications i have seen Richard Long his works on many occasions and one of the most recent ones was at the Guggenheim Bilbao museum. Each time the lines, circles and labyrinths look random, but this is not true. The placement of the stones and paint is strict and makes it free whitin the object , but it has very strict boundaries making it perfectly shaped. The way each work is created is described and laid down in drawings i a way that each work can be re-cretaed at any other place than it was first was created. It is somewhat the saem as with the walldrawings by Sol LeWitt who uses the same method . The art work is the sketch/drawing and materials and can be re-created anywhere as long as you have the original drawing belonging to the work.

What makes Richard Long stand out from other contemporary artists is that many of his publications are also artist books which hold beside the works, photography and word “sculptures” by Long and www.ftn-books.com has some of these titles available.

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Henry van de Velde ( 1863-1957)

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What is possibly not known to many is that they have visited one of the masterpieces by Henry van de Velde in the past. The architecture of the Museum Kroller Muller was done by van de Velde after the family Kroller Muller turned down the sketches and plans by both Mies van der Rohe and Berlage. The new building was necessary for them to present their extremely large collection of van Gogh paintings. Later this collection has become the fundament of their collection which included highlights by many other contemporary artist, but the van Gogh’s are in most cases the reason why visitors from all over the world visit this museum in the forests of Park de Hoge Veluwe.

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van de Velde designed a beautiful building with spectacular views on the surrounding forests and sculpture park. Later Wim Quist designed the necessary annex building , because the collection had grown too large for the old building alone and the museum was in need of an extra exhibition space for large objects.

Beside architecture van de Velde was a multi talent who designed everything. From wall papers to kitchen were all was executed with an exquisite taste.

www.ftn-books.com has some books available on Henry van de Velde

velde henry