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Armando (1929) . …and the Armando Museum/ MOA museum

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At one time in the last decade there was a true Armando Museum in AMERSFOORT, but since a fire destroyed the museum in 2007 the largest part of the Armando collection had to be relocated and found a place in the MOA museum / Museum Oud Amelisweerd.

http://www.moa.nl/nl/Collections/Armando

and of course this great short documentary in the series HOLLANDSE MEESTERS which is an excellent portrait of thsi dutch master.

This site contains over 2100 works by Armando , which makes it the most important public place on the internet to view the works by Armando (Herman Dirk van Dodeweerd). You can spent some great time over there, but what it lacks is the story and the essential timeline on the works by Armando. No problem , because www.ftn-books.com has some great titles on Armando available at www.ftn-books.com to read and see whyArmando is such a great artist.

 

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Jaap van de Ende (1944)…an abstract constructivist

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Personally i think that Jaap van den Ende is the only true successor of Jan Schoonhoven. Specially his early works have the similar qualities as the ones Schoonhoven made in the sixties and early seventies. The Stedelijk Museum has some excellent examples of these early works in which little cut out pieces of grey plastic foil are placed on a white surface according a well though over pattern. the System and pattern make the composition, but thus creating a fascinating , lively work of art.

A little like the way Struycken worked, but with a simplicity that resembles the great early Sol LeWitt works. I love this early works, Later he changed his style into more colorful compositions, but always along a line of well thought over abstract contructivist forms. Since 1997 his works become far more realistic. Seascapes, parks and landscapes are all painted with perfection . a fascinating artist which you can encounter in several dutch museum collections. There are some nice van den Ende publications available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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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.

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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

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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

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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

 

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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

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Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)

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For me , he is one of the greatest from Last century. Lucio Fontana has had a long career in art and joined several groups, before he became part of the ZERO mouvement.

After ZERO he stayed true to his new found form of art in which monochrome paintings were slashed with a sharp Stanley knife or manipulated with his fingers,thus altering the surface with other materials and objects. Glass was one of his favorites to use. Fontana did not become very old, but in his art career of over 40 years he was one of the front runners in Modern Art. Willem Sandberg admired him very much and because of the importance of Zero and this admiration for Fontana, Fontana received his first Amsterdam monographic exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1967. Catalogue design by Wim Crouwel makes this the perfect combination for a great publication. Sandberg/Crouwel and Fontana combined in one publication is hard to beat. Since 1967 , Fontana featured in many group exhibitions on Zero and had solo exhibitions all over the world. Art collectors must pay huge sums of money to acquire a Fontana ( if ever there is one for sale/ there was one at Dorotheum and Sothebys last year, they made  specials on youtube  on these paintings)

and Museums that have one in their collection are lucky, because his paintings are nowadays “hors catagorie”. What can be had at reasonable prices? Of course some great publication at www.ftn-books.com and whenever you find a MUSEUMJOURNAAL with the special Fontana cover, do not hesitate and ….BUY IT!!!.

 

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Beauty and simplicity at de RIJK Fine art

Last week i was in the Stedelijk Museum  Amsterdam and was very much impressed by the Malevich and “white” rooms with Dekkers and Schoonhoven. White and nothing but white and it reminded me of the current exhibition at de Rijk Fine Art ( Noordeinde 95 /Den Haag).

Excellent, high quality, museum worthy paintings by ao Schoonhoven , Dekkers and Leblanc… in a totally different setting which was more a cosy living room ( including the dog ;-), than a gallery. The simplicity and in the same time complexity of the works, work very well in this setting. They do not need a museum presentation to show their true qualities. This exhibition lasts until the 26th of February so i advise you to take a look at the de Rijk gallery and see for yourself the qualities of this great and important gallery exhibition.

For publications on Schoonhoven, Dekkers and Malevich visit www.ftn-books.com

 

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Zero..Walter Leblanc.. Edoardo Landi..Dadamaino at de Rijk Fine Art

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Last Saturday at De Rijk Fine Art in Den Haag a very exquisite small exhibition opened …name….Too Good To Be True…. and yes this is a small art dealer exhibition where all works shown are for sale and of a rare exceptional quality. Zero, Gruppo N and Minimal art all combined in one beautiful presentation and very well worth visiting, because such an excellent selection of works is rare.( I have never seen so many Dadamaino’s in one place for sale ….so only for this fact visiting is a must.)

We visited the exhibition last Sunday. Just returned from 2 days Vienna where we chose our new dog, we loved the contrast between the “Art Nouveau and Wiener Werkstatte” and the minimal, but still very complex modern art on show at De Rijk. For me there were 2 highlights. First of all the Walter Leblanc. aprox 90 x 90 cm. A Zero inspired circle of twisted strings from 1963 in AAA condition, very well framed and the lightning made this work in all its simplicity stand out as one of the very best Walter Leblanc’s i have ever seen.

 

Secondly there were 2 works by Edoardo Landi i liked very much. The larger one of the 2 won me over as soon as i started to take some distance from it. The space between the lines appeared to be different each time, meaning an extra dimension was added to the work. Visiting Den Haag?…go to de Rijk to see some amazing art!

De Rijk Fine Art, Noordeinde 95, Den Haag, +31(0) 653953493

 

The above publications are available at www.ftn-books.com