Polish art and typography

While leafing through my documents, I noticed some very nice and interesting publications from and on Polish art and typography. These are a combination of Russian and western art and typography, making them stand out and being typical for Poland. It is the same with Japanese typography.

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A style of typography of its own , but with influences from western typography and design. But back to Poland. This very unique way of design was recognized by Willem Sandberg, who organized an exhibition on Polish posters. Whenever i visit a  book) market i always pick them up , because of their appearance and some are worth collecting and selling. Take a look at www.ftn-books.com

to find some of these very nice publications.

Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) at Tate Modern

I just received by Blouin art info the announcement that a large Giacometti retrospective will be held at Tate Modern. read the Blouin article below:

Tate Modern, London presents a retrospective exhibition of works by Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), celebrated sculptor, painter, and draughtsman, traced the shifting enthusiasms of European art before and after the Second World War in his remarkable career. As a Surrealist in the 1930s, he devised innovative sculptural forms, sometimes reminiscent of toys and games. As an Existentialist after the war, he led the way in creating a style that summed up the philosophy’s interests in perception, alienation, and anxiety. Although his output extends into painting and drawing, Giacometti is most famous for his sculpture. He is perhaps best remembered for his figurative works that helped make the motif of the suffering human figure a popular symbol of post-war trauma.

The exhibition reasserts Giacometti’s place alongside the likes of Matisse, Picasso, and Degas as one of the great painter-sculptors of the 20th century. Through unparalleled access to the extraordinary collection and archive of the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, Paris, this wide-ranging exhibition brings together over 250 works. It includes rarely seen plasters and drawings which have never been exhibited before and showcases the full evolution of Giacometti’s career across five decades.

The exhibition is on view through September 10, 2017 at Tate Modern, London, Bankside, London SE1 9TG, UK.

Alberto Giacometti publications are available at www.ftn-books.com


Jeff Wall (1946)…coincidence or staged?

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The scenes that Jeff Wall photographs look random and by chance, but reality is …..they are completely staged.

Since the 1980s, Wall  ( Born in Vancouver/Canada) has produced critically acclaimed work in the form of color transparencies backlit by fluorescent light strips and presented in lightboxes. He was one of the first artists to make photographs on a large scale. The standard lightbox was created for the primary purpose of outdoor advertising. In Wall’s work, this medium became a platform for his figurative tableaux, street scenes and interiors, landscapes and cityscapes. Wall explores themes such as the relationships between men and women and the boundary between metropolis and nature. He offers social commentary on violence and cultural miscommunication, and conjures seductive nightmarish fantasies and personal memories. These scenes provide the basis for photographic reconstructions of Wall’s experience. They derive their inherent suspense from a combination of extreme realism and sometimes elaborate artifice.

www.ftn-books.com has some important publications by Jeff Wall available.



Rene Daniels (1950)

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His first exhibition was in Dusseldorf in 1977, but he nver joined the NEUE WILDEN . A group of painters who were in vogue in those days. He felt himself more comfortable when compared with painters like Broodthaers and Picabia, who had an extra layer in their paintings.

His paintings look abstract, but when you study them in more detail you see that they are a complete abstract reproduction of reality. . Piccadilly/London, WTC New York and old houses in Gent can all be distinguished when you look long enough at the paintings.

The paintings look simple, but in reality they are very thought over and are complex and typical Daniels.

Rene Daniels has not had a long career …in 1987 he had a stroke and because of that had to finish his career at that moment as a painter. Since 2006 he paints again , but his style and approach to painting has changed, because of his motor skills are far less than before. But what he made in that very short period of nearly 10 years is of the highest quality and the museums that have work by Daniels should feel lucky to have it in their collections. You can find work(s) by Daniels in the collections of a.o. the van Abbemuseum, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stedelijk Museum, Dordrechts Museum, Groninger Museum and Bonnefanten Museum

and of course www.ftn-books.com has some nice titles on the artist

( and search on the site to find more Rene Daniels contributions to group exhibitions in which he participated)


Paul van Eerden (1954)

Best way to start a blog on van Eerden is this very informative video .

It explains what he sees and how he works. The result….highly original drawings and for this he has become for me personally one of the great contemporary artists in the Netherlands . Good and Slow observations are the fundaments for his drawings, which take a long time to finish with highly detailed parts which look simple but take a long time to execute and finish. The publications do justice to his drawings because they maybe even take longer to finish and some of them are available at www.ftn-books.com


Ika Huber (1953)

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Possibly because of the same age we both have there is an automatic liking i have for the works by Ika Huber. Influenced by many, but still a very personal signature in her compositions which makes them 100% Ika Huber. We must have grown up and liked both the same kind of art and artists, because i recognize within her works many elements of artists i admire, but the best way to describe a painting by Huber is the way the former director of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam , Rudi Fuchs did.

The paintings give the overall impression of fragments – meaning that they originate as fragments. At some point came the first touch of paint at a random spot on the canvas as an extension , in a way, of memories of landscapes, buildings, inner courtyards and windows, light as a feather – and so, as such, fragmentary; as fragmented and haphazard as memory itself.

Individual elements assume at times the completeness of a figure or the solidity of a column; straight lines are, however, meticulously avoided. Colours are mostly thin, but applied in delicate layers; the broad brushstrokes remain visible, creating a veiled effect but also one of restless vibration, like warm air over a horizon. In places, too, the paint is sometimes rubbed on dry and brittle, giving it the appearance of chalk. There is so much to see in these paintings if you examine them more carefully: hundreds of details make the picture glow like night.

Straight lines are avoided then, as these tend to trap colours and forms within their rigid framework. But the figments of memory which lead to fragmentary pictures should surely float if anything. This is what makes the drawing in these paintings so remarkable. The forms do indeed have contours but they are very hesitantly, almost unwillingly, suggested.

The forms are intertwined with each other with extraordinary care, as if Ika Huber was reluctant to say what the memory is. She leads the eye towards something else which must be seen, I think, in the same indescribable movement as that of Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine just over 500 years ago.

It is the mysterious and unfathomable that always confronts me in these pictures; in their composition, their details, the resonance and tone of their colours, and in their dreamlike mobility and “Sfumato”. There is a lot here then which does indeed complete the fragments in the pictures – but the question remains: to what extent. 

Rudi Fuchs, Den Haag

There are 2 titles on Ika Huber available at www.ftn-books.com

Gilbert & George/ Naked shit paintings

The blog of yesterday reminded me that Piero Manzoni was not the only artist who used faeces as a subject in their art. Gilbert & George is another example who used the subject in a far more explicit way than Manzoni did. With the canned Manzoni multiple it is still uncertain if the contents is the same as the label indicates , however with Gilbert & George it is no question at all, because the pictures show the subjects as they are.

Still the composition and execution are 100% recognizable Gilbert & George, but personally i like the more society and critical related subjects better and far more pleasing to look at, but just to show that many more artists used the subject it is nice to devote a blog on these 2 great artists.



Books on Gilbert & George are available at www.ftn-books.com