Henk Peeters a very special composition

Later this year i will devote another short blog to Henk Peeters. Peeters has become world famous for his contributions to the art world as a ZERO / NUL artist. Since yesterday i added a small composition by Henk Peeters to my inventory. A s good as his best Informal and Zero paintings, but on a very small scale this is a great little piece of art and now available at www.ftn-books.com

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Ugo La Pietra (1938) / Edizioni Flaviana…Serie Minimultipli.

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Yesterday, the first of my new acquisitions was discussed in my blog. Today the second one will be presented to my readers. This one is another one from the 1967 publications by Edizioni Flaviana within their series of Minimultipli. Title …..Campo Tissurale….Condition of this one too is excellent and another one well worth collecting now, because these beautiful publications are getting more scarce every month and i believe to be the only seller on the internet who is offering 2 of these rare publications. Ugo La Pietra is still active as an artist and designer, but none of his work is considered more important than his sixties work in which he showed his admiration and close relationship to other ZERO / NUL artists. This exquisite small publication shows why and is available at www.ftn-books.com

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Enrico Castellani (1930) / Edizioni Flaviana…Serie Minimultipli.

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Manzoni, La Pietra, Colombo, Christo and Enrico Castellani. What do they have in common?. Yes , they were all artists who started their careers in the early sixties, but an another lesser known fact is that they were all chosen to publish within the Minimultipli series by Edizioni Flaviana a small, but also art collection worthy, work of art. The ones which i added today to the inventory of my store are considered to be the best of the series. Tomorrow the Ugo de La Pietra. But here is the Superficie Oro by Enrico Castellani from 1967.

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This Enrico Castellani is believed to have been published in an edition of only 1000 copies ( others within the series were published  also in 1000 copies) of which few will have survived as good as this one. The “envelope”, plastic covered inlay and the multiple are all in exceptional condition . Published in 1967. This Castellani is a true ZERO work of art. He encountered many dutch and german artist who belonged to the ZERO and NUL mouvements in Germany and the Netherlands and he himself , as his friends Fontana and Manzoni, were influenced by the ideas of these groups of artists. The ” Superficie Oro” shows it in the smallest scale possible, but even at this size, it truly is an outstanding work of art and now available at www.ftn-books.com.

Piero Manzoni…artist’s shit (1961)

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In May 1961, while he was living in Milan, Piero Manzoni produced ninety cans of Artist’s Shit. Each was numbered on the lid 001 to 090.  A label on each can, printed in Italian, English, French and German, identified the contents as ‘”Artist’s Shit”, contents 30gr net freshly preserved, produced and tinned in May 1961.’ In December 1961 Manzoni wrote in a letter to the artist Ben Vautier: ‘I should like all artists to sell their fingerprints, or else stage competitions to see who can draw the longest line or sell their shit in tins. The fingerprint is the only sign of the personality that can be accepted: if collectors want something intimate, really personal to the artist, there’s the artist’s own shit, that is really his.’ (Letter reprinted in Battino and Palazzoli p.144.)

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It is not known exactly how many cans of Artist’s Shit were sold within Manzoni’s lifetime, but a receipt dated 23 August 1962 certifies that Manzoni sold one to Alberto Lùcia for 30 grams of 18-carat gold (reproduced in Battino and Palazzoli p.154). Manzoni’s decision to value his excrement on a par with the price of gold made clear reference to the tradition of the artist as alchemist already forged by Marcel Duchamp and Yves Klein among others. As the artist and critic Jon Thompson has written:

Manzoni’s critical and metaphorical reification of the artist’s body, its processes and products, pointed the way towards an understanding of the persona of the artist and the product of the artist’s body as a consumable object. The Merda d’artista, the artist’s shit, dried naturally and canned ‘with no added preservatives’, was the perfect metaphor for the bodied and disembodied nature of artistic labour: the work of art as fully incorporated raw material, and its violent expulsion as commodity. Manzoni understood the creative act as part of the cycle of consumption: as a constant reprocessing, packaging, marketing, consuming, reprocessing, packaging, ad infinitum. (Piero Manzoni, 1998, p.45)

Artist’s Shit was made at a time when Manzoni was producing a variety of works involving the fetishisation and commodification of his own body substances. These included marking eggs with his thumbprints before eating them, and selling balloons filled with his own breath. Of these works, the cans of Artist’s Shit have become the most notorious, in part because of a lingering uncertainty about whether they do indeed contain Manzoni’s faeces. At times when Manzoni’s reputation has seen the market value of these works increase, such uncertainties have imbued them with an additional level of irony. ( text on this subject comes from the Tate site : http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/manzoni-artists-shit-t07667)

www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on Manzoni

Ad Dekkers (1938-1974)…. dutch Minimal art

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Ad Dekkers was probably the first dutch minimal artist and even is somehow related to the dutch NUL / ZERO art of the sixties and because of his age 36 , on the day he died, there are not too many works by Dekkers. His oeuvre is limited and most of the important works are to be found in dutch ( museum) collections. ALL important dutch museums have work(s) by Ad Dekkers in their collections and these works prove to be more and more important when you look at them in conjunction with other art from the sixties and seventies. Dekkers announced his own death. He was manic depressed and his suicide was no surprise to the ones that had known him. He left us  a great and important oeuvre and many of the publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima into Zero art ( Staudt and Leblanc)

HRH King of the Netherlands, Koning Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima collect Zero art. It was yesterday evening that there was a 90 minute interview with King Willem-Alexander on the occasion of his 50th birthday on prime time television.  An open and honest interview in which i learned to appreciate more the person Willem-Alexander is. I am still opposed to a King or Queen as head of state, but this was the first time i admired this King and learned that he and his wife Maxima appreciate Zero art. At the beginning of the interview , where Wilfried de Jong ( interviewer) was received in the entrance hall of the kings home, villa Eikenhorst. Willem- Alexander showed 2 of the works from his collection, the first was a work by Klaus Staudt ( he referred to it as being from a german artist) and the other was not mentioned at all , but i am for 99% sure it was a TORSIONS painting by Walter Leblanc.

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Both great works of art and it makes me curious about the other works in their collection. To celebrate the Kings birthday there will be a 10% discount today on the entire inventory of www.ftn-books.com and an invitation to the King to look at the great books i have in my collection on ZERO art.

We live nearby and it will be an honor to show you some nice ZERO publications.

discount code only the 27th and the 28th of april: Koningsdag2017

 

Yves Klein (1928-1962)

Yesterday i learned from a dutch TV program (DWDD / De Wereld Draait Door) that there is a large Yves Klein retrospective in the BOZAR museum Brussels.

Yves Klein , touched many currents in Modern Art, even was one of the participants in ZERO, but eventually developed a style of his own using in many of his works the iconic BLUE color he developed. Was it zero, action painting or performance art? Today art lovers around the world can not answer these questions , but one can see for one self what fits most, because there is a great retrospective on his art in BOZAR/ Bruxelles until the 20th of August. His monochrome blue paintings are on show together with his action paintings of blue prints of female bodies. A great show and possibly a once in a lifetime chance to see many important Yves Klein works together.

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Nowadays Klein paintings fetch record prices at auctions all over the world, but in one of his first shows In Krefeld in 1961 nothing was sold. This was followed by an unsuccessful opening at Leo Castelli’s Gallery, New York, in which Klein failed to sell a single painting. He stayed with Rotraut Uecker at the Chelsea Hotel for the duration of the exhibition; and, while there, he wrote the “Chelsea Hotel Manifesto”, a proclamation of the “multiplicity of new possibilities.” In part, the manifesto declared:

At present, I am particularly excited by “bad taste.” I have the deep feeling that there exists in the very essence of bad taste a power capable of creating those things situated far beyond what is traditionally termed “The Work of Art.” I wish to play with human feeling, with its “morbidity” in a cold and ferocious manner. Only very recently I have become a sort of gravedigger of art (oddly enough, I am using the very terms of my enemies). Some of my latest works have been coffins and tombs. During the same time I succeeded in painting with fire, using particularly powerful and searing gas flames, some of them measuring three to four meters high. I use these to bathe the surface of the painting in such a way that it registered the spontaneous trace of fire.

To prepare your self for the exhibition, know that over the decades excellent books on Klein were published. There are some available at www.ftn-books.com