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Ad Petersen and Anthon Beeke

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Here is one of the most cherished titles i now also can offer on http://www.ftn-books.com. I now have two sopies of which one becomes for sale. This is special for me. It shows the importance of Ad Petersen as a curator for the Stedelijk Museum and it shows the many contacts he had with world famous artists. He kept and collected the envelopes of the artists he corresponded with and among them many were art themselves, being true ” Mail art”. Studio Anthon Beeke recognized this and published together with Anthon Beeke and Ad Petersen a selection of over 60 envelopes and published these in the book  EEN KLEINE VISUELE KEITELING. The design of the book and the collection of envelopes is sublime. Making this one of the most cherished books in my personal collection.

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Niki de Saint Phalle poster/ 2001

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Since i have met my wife , we travel every year to the Alsace region in France to have a relaxing weekend, enjoy some great meals and wine and visit the Vitra Compound and when they have nice exhibition, the Beyeler and Tinguely museums. On every occasion i have bought some additions to my inventory. Publications which were sold at bargain prices….. except the poster i am now selling. This was full price but i had to have 2 for my personal collection. One I framed , the other was lost until recently i encountered it behind a bookcase still in good condition. Surviving almost 20 years in the dark. I searched for it on the internet and discovered that a few years ago (2013) one was sold at Christies.

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I was surprised to see the final bid . Making the poster i now have available, a very expensive, but scarce and highly collectable one The poster is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com

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Posters by Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel…part 3

In this blog it is time to show the combination of the 1973 Tinguely poster and the Wim Crouwel designed catalogue which he designed for this 1973 exhibition.

The poster is an original design by Jean Tingeuly, where as the catalogue, which was published for this exhibition, was designed by Wim Crouwel. It is just functional where the poster is full of life and design elements . I like both very much but these are worlds apart from each other. It is up to you which is the better graphic design.

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Both publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Rene Burri ( 1933-2014)

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The world renowned Magnum photographer René Burri (born in 1933), whose legendary portrait of Che Guevara has been a photographic icon for many years, caught a number of important artists of the 20th century through his lens. The great photographer also realised numerous individual portraits and reportages on his friend Jean Tinguely and his work between 1967 and 1991. Camera in hand, Burri observes the artist at work in his atelier “Le Cheval Blanc” at Soisy-sur-École and during construction of the monumental sculpture “Le Cyclop”, literally peering over his shoulder. In the photographic series showing Tinguely installing his works at the World Exhibition in Montreal, in Basel or in Venice, the photographer manages to capture the artist’s spontaneity and essence – his fascination with movement – in almost cinematographic shoots. He was recognized as one of the true great photographers of the 20th century and in his birthland  Switzerland numerous exhibitions were organized with the photographs of Burri. Among them , arguably the best exhibitions at the Tinguely museum in Basel, where the series on Tinguely were exhibited.

The exhibition poster for the Tinguely exhibition is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Basel…the perfect museum city

 

We always travel the Alsace in the second half of the year between September and December, visit the Christmas markets and pick up some wine at our preferred wineries. If ever we have some spare time and only if there is a nice exhibition, we go to Basel city. You do not need a special “vignet” if you do not travel beyond the Basel / Bale city limits. Certainly do not lunch or drink a coffee in Basel because prices are far too high, but instead visit one of the 3 famous museums within the Basel city limits. First there is the Beyeler Museum ( By Renzo Piano), which is beside the Gemeentemuseum my favorite museum of all time, second there is the Kunstmuseum and third but not least there is the Tinguely Museum ( by Mario Botta). All worth visiting. Entrance fee of all three museums is steep too, but when you save on your coffee and lunch these three museums are well worth visiting. www.ftn-books.com has publications from all 3 museums available.

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Alfred Hofkunst (1942-2004)

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The First Hofkunst items i had in collection were the Pop Swatch series he made for Swatch. These watches were “specials” and sold among the groceries and vegetables in which these specials were presented and sold as ordinary groceries. The small edition of them made them highly collectable items and because of that and as soon as i had acquired them with much physical and financial effort, i sold them to another collector with a nice profit. It was at the height of the Swatch watches craze. A craze where simple plastic, but highly accurate and reliable watches fetched prices as much as 30 times their original value. In retrospect these watches were not worth this kind of money, but nowadays that prices have normalized and you might want to collect these specially designed watches. Alfred Hofkunst was one of the first that was invited to make a special for the newly introduced POP watches and came up with this series including a cucumber, bacon & egg and pepper watch.

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Hofkunst himself is a well known Suisse artist who was friends with Jean Tinguely and  Bernhard Luginbühl and can be considered as one of the most important Suisse artist from last century. Of all these 3 artists www.ftn-books.com has catalogues and posters available. Unfortunately Hofkunst died too early at the age of 62.

 

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Alice Aycock (1946)

1983, Just 3 years after i started my career at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, the museum made an exhibition with Alice Aycock. Within the Schamhart buidling the complete floor was covered with large kinetic sculptures by Aycock and at that time i could not appreciate them at all. Now 35 year later i wished i had the same knowledge at that time that i have know, because recently i leafed through the catalogue and it struck met that these works were not only great in dimensions, but even after 35 years fascinating. Where Tinguely made his kinetic sculptures in the Sixties. Aycock made them in much more modern and industrialized/high tech versions in the Eighties and after. Alice Aycock has received international fame with her sculptures.

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What remains to me is a wonderful catalogue ( available at http://www.ftn-books.com) and the memory of meeting a great artist and beautiful woman back in 1983.

To give an impression of her more recent works here is a video on her 2010 presentation:

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Ben Vautier / Fluxus and Basel

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People who follow this blog , know of my love for Ben Vautier. Not only because he is one of the most original and consistent artists from the last 100 years, but also because there is always some humor just around the corner. Unfortunately  I have missed the most important Vautier exhibition from the last 10 years. It was held at the Tinguely Museum in Basel :

Ben Vautier. Is everything art?

21.10.2015 – 22.01.2016

Ben Vautier has been on the scene since the late 1950s as an artist, performer, organizer, linguistic inventor, and re-thinker of art. He is one of the pioneers of the Fluxus movement in Europe and, as a comrade-in-arms of the École de Nice, a close friend of artists such as Arman, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, and others. He is known for his text images, which, using brief, pithy phrases, equally question and challenge life and art. Ben Vautier has the first comprehensive retrospective in Switzerland dedicated to him at the Museum Tinguely. Alongside an overview of the first 20 years of his creativity, Ben sets up in Basel more than 30 rooms as he comments on various social, artistic, and political topics and takes a stance. In total, the show exhibits far in excess of 400 works by the artist, who is still very active to this day.

Still what remains is one of the best and certainly one of the most beautiful books on Vautier’s art. It has a simple brown cover, but is filled with iconic Ben “paintings” from hs first 20 years as an artist and published as only the Suisse can publish art /museum catalogues. The print is exceptionally good, the lay out superb and the contents…..well all BEN, making this one of the most collectable books i recently offered on www.ftn-books.com

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Arman (1928-2005)

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Arman stand for Armand Pierre Fernandez, I encountered his name today and remembered our visit to the cemetery of Père-Lachaise, the place where so many frnech and foreign celebrities are buried and remembered. There was of course the “shrine” of Jim Morrisson, who died in Paris and is still remembered by many admirers. His grave is full with grafiti and names of them and at an another side of the place there was a beautiful poetic grave of Arman.

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The grave was covered with violins and made quite an impression on me. Arman was one of the founders of the group Nouveau Realisme and can be seen as the European part of the Pop Art mouvement. In France this group grew famous with works by Spoerri, Klein and Tinguely , but the works by Arman stand out by their own. Accumulations of objects arranged and repeated on canvasses were his trademark. Including many times the use of Violins. This combination of violins in his works and for his shrine was remarkable to me. Some of his books are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002)

A few months ago i dedicated a blog to Jean Tinguely who’s exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum can be seen until the 15th of March. Within this exhibition there are some excellent examples of Tinguely letters illustrated by his wife Niki de Saint Phalle.

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Niki et Jean

Of course she was in the beginning the wife of….but on her own she has become famous with a highly original and recognizable oeuvre. Illustrations , sculptures, books and paintings. became her world after she had divorced from her first husband. Autodidact , she first made very masculine art, but in the mid sixties she made a 180 degrees turn and “invented” the Nana. Niki de Saint Phalle’s version of the super woman. An expressive figure painted in bright colors . This became her trademark and this figure was used in multiple exhibitions. As a statue, as an entrance for an exhibition ( Stockholm), as a fountain and hanging from the ceiling as an angel. She made these statues/sculptures from polyester and plastics and because of these frequently used materials she became ill and had to move to the US for the cleaner air in San Diego. This helped her , but after a long sick bed she finally died in 2002.

SInce her art has become more important every year. At auction her works are in high demand. She had major exhibitions in Japan, in the Tinguely Museum/ Basel and Centre Pompidou and every year i notice that her books are sought after more an more. Even the small decals which she made for the Tinguely Museum are sold rapidly. So find still some publications at www.ftn-books.com as long as they last.