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A special PLAY catalogue by Swip Stolk and Frans Haks ( early dutch design 1968)

Imagine the old dutch game of ELECTRO . You habe to find the right combination between question and answer and than the light will light up when the answer is correct. This was the idea behind the play catalogue Swip Stolk designed together with Frans Haks for the ENVIRONMENT exhibition they organied in 1968 fro Studium Generale Utrecht.

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For me the importance is not the design of the the play catalogeu but the participating artists. Among them…Morellet, Megert, Struycken, Le Parc and Gerstner.

The “creme de la Creme ” all within one exhibition. This exhibition from 1968 is almost forgotten and one of the reasons is the rare catalogue which was published with this exhibition. Now i have one copy available. Text by Frans Haks, design by Swqip Stolk and produced by Jumbo. A classic among the Sixties catalogues in teh Netherlands anmd well worthdt collecting. Available at www.ftn-books.com

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Otto Hamer (1938)…The Killing of Desire

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Never heard of the artist before, but what a great find this is. People following the blog know that concrete and constructivist artists are among my favorites. Last week i visited the bookmarket and found an intriguing title ” OTTO HAMER : Mijnheer I.KAA EN DE KUNST” leafing through the book i noticed immediately why his art fascinates me personally . The repetitions of form(s), the use of bright colors and the feel for composition “hit” me. The book itself was a surprise too. Beautiful lay-out, excellent print quality . Designed by Otto Hamer himself together with Aernout Tas this is a highly  accomplished book. To give an impression of Hamer’s work here is the Youtube video i found:

There is not much info to be found on the artist, but i found an article in dutch:

Otto Hamer

and some photo material of his studio and works. In the coming months i will try to find more information, but for the meantime you can start with the sites supplied.

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Pieter Laurens Mol / Cervo Pendulum

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Sometimes you know a book exists, never seen it, but from stories heard and publications read there is only one conclusion…it must be out there…somewhere.

Cervo Pendulum by Pieter Laurens Mol is such a publication. I learned the book was printed by Rosbeek. At the times i visited this printer in the late Nineties i had never seen a copy. All the times i visited book fairs, markets etc….no copy found. But now finally after over 24 years  i have a copy at www.ftn-books.com available.

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This book is rare, that is for certain, but it is also important. It is one of those little artists books which is worth collecting. Printed by Rosbeek and published on the occasion of the opening of the new medical faculty building of the University of Utrecht. Edition is said to be 250 copies only and of these few will have survived. Text is in dutch and in english, which makes this important book accessible to english collectors too.  An absolute “must have” for the Pieter Laurens Mol collector and it is not very likely that it will show up again in the coming years.

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100 years ….DE STIJL

It was 50 years ago Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles was released on the 1st of June, but 50 years before that date the DE STIJL group was founded in Leiden in 1917 with the publishing of the book de NIEUWE BEWEGING IN DE SCHILDERKUNST by Theo van Doesburg. Leiden , Utrecht ( home of the famous Rietveld huis) and Den Haag ( largest Mondrian/de Stijl collection in the world will be presenting exhibitions on DE STIJL and its influence on Modern Art. One basic thing about DE STIJL. Use of primary colors, dividing the surface in abstract elements. Mondrian and van Doesburg were originally friends and worked along these lines until van Doesburg thought his works were limited by the use of horizontal and vertical lines and wanted to use the “diagonal” too. This cooled down the friendship and van Doesburg decided to leave the group in 1924. Was it the end of the DE STIJL…no certainly not . The group stopped, but the ideas were there and were later found in BAUHAUS and constructivist modern art. To acknowledge the importance of DE STIJL is done now by these many exhibitions and certainly more than a few will be well worth visiting. Prepare yourself and look at the many DES TIJL/ Mondrian /van Doesburg publications available at www.ftn-books.com

PS . there is a very special bank by Ko Verzuu in blue and yellow which is exclusively available at ww.ftn-books.com. This was a prestige edition by the makers of ADO.

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A money bank by ADO/ Ko Verzuu

Yesterday i wrote a blog on the Rietveld Schroderhuis in Utrecht. One of the persons who was inspired by this architectural masterpiece ( and DE STIJL in general) was Ko Verzuu, who had at that time his own program to help his patients with activities during the day. He made wooden toys and in this series of wooden toys he developed a wooden bank inspired by the Rietveld building he admired so much. A square 3d wooden hollow block divided with a horizontal yellow rectangular piece. Bottom was screwed on so you could open and empty the bank. Simple and effective and one of those items which is worth collecting and admiring. The ADO manufacturers/SWZ made a special reedition of this blue/yellow bank in 1999 and used it as a promotional item to show their customers the quality of their work. Nowadays it is a collectible and still available at www.ftn-books.com

wilfried

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the Rietveld Schröderhuis

address :

Prins Hendriklaan 50, 3583 EP Utrecht, the Netherlands

Yes, you still can see and visit this iconic architectural masterpiece which was designed by Gerrit Rietveld at the time he was a “de Stijl” member. Together with Piet Mondriaan and Theo van Doesburg he was was one of the founders of the DE STIJL mouvement in the Netherlands.

Soon Theo van Doesburg dropped out of this mouvement because he found himself restricted by the horizontal and vertical lines the mouvement prescribed. He wanted to use the Diagonal line too, but Rietveld believed in these horizontal and vertical lines and used them together with the primary colors he loved so much and draw with them one of the most beautiful small buildings from the last century. When you visit Utrecht, visit the Schroderhuis too. BTW. the house got its name from the first inhabitant of the house. She commissioned Rietveld to build it for her. Truus Schröder-Schräder lived in it for her entire life.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice books on the Rietveld husi and a kit from which you can rebuild the house yourself in a much smaller scale.

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Ko Verzuu (1901-1971) , the force behind ADO (wooden) toys

Ko Verzuu ( 1901-1971) had a technical background and with this background he designed and developed wooden toys from 1925-1962 for ADO. These toys were produced in the workshops from the Berg and Bosch hospital and were influenced by  ” de Stijl” which Gerrit Rietveld promoted in those days. Primary colors in relation to clear and straight lines and these characteristics found their way into the ADO toys. The wooden bank is such an example. …..Blue and Yellow in a small designed wooden bank,which could be an element of the Rietveld Schroder Huis in Utrecht.

Verzuu designed these toys with their playability in mind and tested them with his own 11 children to be sure that these were the ultimate wooden toys

The BESTELDIENST in this blog comes from a limited edition of only 250 copies. All with certificate. This was a “prestige” project by ADO from some 15 years ago in which they showed their history and expertise in wooden toys. Made and painted by hand , all numbered this was made in two editions/ A yellow one , which was specially made for the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in an edition of only 50 copies and….. the one in the picture made in an edition of 250 copies. It was about 12 years ago that SWZ stopped production of all ADO school furniture  and other ADO products and this ended all other ADO projects to be made in the future. The remainder of the banks, beetles ( yes, another special product to be discussed in the near future) and the BESTELDIENST were bought by FTN and were sold on special occasions and on eBay. Now the stock comes to an end and the only place that these will be sold is at www.ftn-books.com.

These last copies  ( all mint, numbered with certificate and original ADO box ) can still be picked up at a fair price.

The quality is superb and these pieces are highly collectable.

wilfried