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Benno Wissing (1923-2008)

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In the dutch museum and art scene there are some classical partnerships regarding the design of museumpublications. There are Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel who bot worked in different decades for the Stedelijk Museum. There is again Wim Crouwel and Walter Nikkels who worked for the van Abbemuseum. There are Donald Janssen and Gracia Lebbink who had their designs published by the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and there is Benno Wissing ( one of the founders of Total Designs) who worked almost exclusively for the Boymans Van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam during 3 decades.

Bernard (Benno) Wissing was a Dutch designer, painter, graphic artist and architect. He trained as a painter at the Art Academy in Rotterdam.

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He began his career in 1949 as a designer for the Museum Boijmans in Rotterdam under VP Ebbinge Wubbe. He designed catalogs and posters and established exhibitions. He was one of the founders of Total Design which he worked from 1964 to 1972.

Benno Wissing is for me one of the greatest names in dutch design, but still stands in the shadow of Crouwel and Sandberg. Undeservedly, because his designs are true ” classics”. Just search for Wissing at www.ftn-books.com and find some excellent examples of his truly great designs.

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Gilbert & George …The Paintings, 1971

 

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If you ask me…what is the rarest of all Stedelijk Museum catalogues?…the answer probably will be the 1971 THE PAINTINGS catalogue by Gilbert & George, which is published with no. 511. It is only an 8 page catalogue, measuring 8.3 x 5.9 inches, but this one is really a rare collectable artist book. I finally found one for my inventory and it is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

 

 

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An exhibition curated by Queen Beatrix in 2000

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The year is 2000 and Queen Beatrix is invited as a guest curator for the exhibition DE VOORSTELLING to be held in the Stedelijk Paleis op de Dam . The place where each year the Koninklijke Subsidie voor de Vrije Schilderkunst is presented . Her “right hand” is no less than Rudi Fuchs the director at the Stedelijk Museum who helps the Queen with her choices and presentation.

I am not a great fan of our Royals, but i always have had great respect for Queen Beatrix and her love for the arts and i am convinced that she is very knowledgable about art, art techniques and with that background could make some  great choices for her collection. ( a.o. Eja Siepman van den Berg and Andre Volten ). This time it was for real and one could see her personal dutch favorites  within the exhibition. To accompany the exhibition a more than nice catalogue was published which is available at www.ftn-books.com.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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Erwin Olaf (1959)… new additions

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Over a year ago i devoted a blog to Joel Peter Witkin and Erwin Olaf and it has been too long since i wrote about Erwin Olaf, but this time it is worth writing about him because in recent months i was able to add some highly collectable Olaf publications to my inventory. Erwin Olaf publications are harder and harder to find and get more scarce every month, but sometimes you get lucky and you encounter a small collection. So in recent months i was able to add some great posters and rare publications. The Erwin Olaf poster for the Anjer Fonds was specially designed by Anthon Beeke and this makes it twice as special. The same is applicable to the Sipek book. Sipek a great artist, who’s works are photographed by Erwin Olaf… again two for the price of one. available at www.ftn-books.com

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the attraction of Robert Zandvliet (1970)

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I can not add more than the short documentary the fantastic HOLLANDSE MEESTERS series made on this artist. Unfortunately it is in dutch, but the images tell more than a 1000 words.

books available at www.ftn-books.com on Robert Zandvliet

 

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Willem Hussem (1900-1974) and the “Posthoorngroep”

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What about these glasses!….it is the first thing you see when you look at this portrait of Willem Hussem, a dutch painter from the Hague who formed together with Nanninga , Roede and Bohemen the core of the “Posthoorngroep”. The met weekly in the famous cafe de Posthoorn where they discussed art and everything else, but most of all inspired each other to some of the greatest art found in the Netherlands in those days, Among them Willem Hussem was perhaps the most diverse ( painting , sculpture and poetry), but certainly one of the most outspoken member of the group. Willem Hussem his works are spread all over the Netherlands in Museums ( Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stedelijk Museum, Dordrechts museum) and many private collections. If you are searching to add a beautiful Hussem to your collection, let me know because i know of the whereabouts of some excellent paintings that are for sale by this great artist and of course www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications available.

hussem paol a

 

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Wim Crouwel and Willem Sandberg publications found.

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I am always on the look out and searching for the best catalogues that are published by rhe Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The best catalogues were published in the 50’s and 60’s and designed by Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel and i am proud to say that i have managed to colelct a wonderful collection of their catalogues and possibly one of the largest collections available on the internet. Many of thier publications are sold and collected all over the world and because of that i sell these catalogues to many collectors. The 3 titles i present in this blog weere sold out during the last 6 months, but….. i was lucky to find these with a colleague and now i have them again in my inventory. Just search for them at www.ftn-books.com .

3 maal incl arp c

They are expensive catalogues , but take my word these will become impossible to find in a few years and when they come on the market they will be even more expensive. The power of these titles is that they are more like works of art. The Arp (1960) has woodcut printing on the outside and inside and the Soto cover is a kinetic object because of the thread on the outside (1969). The Steinberg….yes one of the first publications with fold out pages (1953).

3 maal incl arp b

 

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Felim Egan (1952) and the Stedelijk Museum

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I had never heard of Felim Egan, but when i saw one of his paintings ( for the first time at Seasons gallery in Den Haag) i became an admirer. A free kind of constructivist abstraction in soft colors, which looks like Irish mist over a landscape. Later i found 2 publications on this artist which are now available at www.ftn-books.com so when i encountered these i decide to write  a blog on an artist of whom i did not know very much except that he had exhibited in the Stedelijk Museum. I searched and found this article on his Felim Egan’s own website : www.felimegan.ie

FELlM EGAN was born in lreland in 1952 and studied at Belfast and Portsmouth, England before attending the Slade School of Art in London. He then spent a year at the British School at Rome in 1980 before returning to Dublin. Since then he has lived and worked at Sandymount Strand and the Docklands, on the edge of Dublin Bay.

He is known as a painter of restrained eloquence, who sparingly deploys a vocabulary of hieroglyphic motifs over monochromatic expanses of colour. His paintings are built up slowly with layers of thin colour applied to the surface and stone powder ground into the acrylic. The work is universal in spirit and at the same time emotionally intimate. His paintings are epiphanic, in that they convey to us the essential nature or meaning of something of which we were previously unaware. He is an abstract artist, a painter of quite formal abstract images, and yet his work is tied to the place he lives and works, to the long horizons, big skies and empty sands of the Strand and sea. In this way his abstract paintings are almost landscapes, with a magical quality that his neighbour, the poet Seamus Heaney, has aptly described “a balance of shifting brilliances”.

Egan has exhibited widely across Europe with 72 solo exhibitions since 1979 including major shows at the lrish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin,1996 and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, 1999. In 1981 he represented Ireland at the Xie Biennale de Paris and in 1985 at the San Paulo Bienal. In 1993 he won the prestigious UNESCO prize in Paris, and in 1995 the Premiere Prize at Cagnes-sur-Mer. His work hangs in numerous public collections including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the Ulster Museum, Belfast; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the collection of the European Parliament. Major Commissions include; Dublin Castle; National Gallery of Ireland: O’Reilly Hall, UCD; Meeting House Square, Temple Bar; Pavilion Theatre, Dunlaoghaire; City Quay Building, Dublin; New Providence Wharf, London; the National Gallery of Ireland; Deutsche Bank, UK and Dublin and a large scale public ‘sculptural work’ at Cork Street, Dublin.
In 2005 he completed an installation of paintings at Deutsche Bank Headquarters, Dublin.

Felim Egan is a member of Aosdána.

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Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)

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Ossip Zadkine is perhaps one of the most famous artists in the Netherlands without people knowing him by name. Zadkine made the sculpture ” DE VERWOESTE STAD” which symbolizes the destruction of the heart of Rotterdam after the bombardment of it in the early stages of WWII ( 14 mei, 1940) .

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The sculpture was revealed in 1953 and financed by DE BIJENKORF on the condition that it always must be on the same spot within the centre. The human figure has a hole where the heart should be making it the perfect image for a destroyed city centre.

Since the revealing of this statue  Ossip Zadkine received on several occasions exhibitions of his works in the large museums in the Netherlands , but for many his claim to fame here is this ” DE VERWOESTE STAD”

There are some nice publications on Zadkine available at www.ftn-books.com

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Alan Charlton (1948)… monochromes in grey

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For me Alan Charlton stands for British Minimalism. Characterized by the color Grey, he makes constructivist shaped monochrome paintings. This is in short how you can describe the works  by Alan Charlton. There were not many occasions that i have seen his works in Museums, but i remember at least to have seen three times his works. First at the van Abbemuseum, secondly at the Stedelijk Museum and thirdly at the Tate Modern. On all three occasions i thought these works were magnificent. I saw these works quite some time apart from each other, over a period of over 15 years they were viewed, but I always was impressed with the monochrome grey’s, each slightly different from each other making these a true color scale of grey’s.

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They blend into their space and because of their monotony and regular shapes they become a part of the room they are exhibited in. It takes some time to appreciate them , but once you do , there are few more exciting paintings and therefore better artists than Alan Charlton, who makes these wonders in grey.

Alan Charlton titles are available at www.ftn-books.com

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The collection by Salco Tromp Meesters and the JCJ Vanderheyden (1928-2012)

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Like  last weeks auction of the Klein Breteler collection, Salco Tromp Meesters decided that he had to sell his collection because he could not find a proper location for the 770 works to be preserved and shown. At one time there was the Congresgebouw in Den Haag who exhibited the collection, but this location ended when a valuable Schoonhoven painting was stolen from the building. The 770 works were practically all sold during auction in 1990 and one of them was a beautiful J.Cj. Vanderheyden. An early “pop art” like painting which i tried to acquire for my own collection, but was far from successful because the end price went way to high. What i remember about the painting is there were several mirrors fixed to the canvas and one of the painted object was a Citroen 2VC. I looked for the painting on Google but still can not find it. I every much would like to know its whereabouts, because for me this is one of the most iconic JCJ. van der Heyden paintings ever. Of course www.ftn-books.com has the most important JCJ. van der Heyden catalogues from the last 40 years available.

 

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Naum Gabo (1890-1977)….and the Bijenkorf / Rotterdam

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De Bijenkorf building in Rotterdam is one of the iconic buildings in this city. After the bombardment which destructed its complete city centre in WWII, the city rebuild its centre with help of contractors and world famous architects. Among them Marcel Breuer who designed the Bijenkorf building and had a sculpture by Naum Gabo placed before the building. The sculpture has become possibly even more famous than the building by Breuer and was recently cleaned and restored and now has back its original splendor.

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Here is a short biography which can be found at the Tate site

Naum Gabo 1890-1977.Constructive sculptor and painter. Born in Briansk in Russia, named Naum Pevsner; younger brother of the sculptor Antoine Pevsner. Entered Munich University in 1910, studying first medicine, then the natural sciences; also attended art history lectures by Wölfflin. Transferred in 1912 to an engineering school in Munich. Met Kandinsky and in 1913-14 joined his brother Antoine (then a painter) in Paris. After the outbreak of war moved first to Copenhagen, then Oslo; began to make constructions in 1915 under the name Naum Gabo. 1917-22 in Moscow with Pevsner, Tatlin, Kandinsky and Malevich; wrote and issued jointly with Pevsner in 1920 a Realistic Manifesto proclaiming the tenets of pure Constructivism. Lived 1922-32 in Berlin in contact with the artists of the de Stijl group and the Bauhaus. First one-man exhibition with Pevsner at the Galerie Percier, Paris, 1924. With Pevsner, designed the set and costumes for Diaghilev’s ballet La Chatte 1926. 1932-5 in Paris, a member of Abstraction-Creation; 1935-46 in England, first in London, then from 1939 at Carbis Bay in Cornwall. Edited Circle jointly with J.L. Martin and Ben Nicholson in 1937. Moved in 1946 to the USA and settled in 1953 at Middlebury, Connecticut; became a US citizen in 1952. Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at Harvard University 1953-4. From 1950 onwards carried out several large sculpture commissions, including a sculpture for the Bijenkorf store in Rotterdam 1955-7. Created Hon. KBE 1971. Died at Waterbury, Connecticut.

www.ftn-books.com has some Naum Gabo titles available.