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Dennis Bailey (1931-2016) a prominent British graphic designer

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It was just recently that my eye was caught by a cover for a British exhibition on Architecture. ( available at www.ftn-books.com) The exhibition “ARCHITECTURE TODAY, has over 140 page filled with examples of typical Sixties architecture but what made it stand out for me was the excellent cover by Dennis Bailey.

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Bailey was of great influence to other British designers because he taught at the Central School Of Art & Design (1957-60), Chelsea School of Art (1970-81) and at Middlesex Polytechnic during the late 1980s.

I wondered why i find his design so appealing. It must have been the influence of Swiss design . at least there is a hint Gerstner in his designs and it is no wonder, because he contributed for a period of over 20 years to GRAPHIS magazine based in Zurich.

For more information on this great Britisch designer please read the article that i found over here:

Remembering Dennis Bailey – design’s unassuming statesman

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Fritz Glarner and Haus Konstruktiv

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In my last blog on the Haus Konstruktiv i ended with ( to be continued ) and that was not without reason. When i visited this museum in Zurich, I mentioned that i was disappointed but that is only part of the story, because i was also very surprised by an unexpected beautiful reconstruction of the Fritz Glarner office he made for the Rockefellers. They were admirers and according to the thank you note they sent were very happy with the result and…..i can fully understand why. Floor, walls and ceiling are covered with Glarner designs and the large table in the middle with the chairs makes the room complete and one of the most beautiful reconstructions i ver have seen. This room only is worth the visit of the Haus Konstruktiv….don’t miss it when you are in Zurich.

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There are some Fritz Glarner publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Haus Konstruktiv – Zurich- Suisse

Museum Haus Konstruktiv – the Foundation for Constructive and Concrete Art

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It was 2 months ago that i visited the museum HAUS KONSTRUKTIV. At first a little disappointed but the Graevenitz exhibition made the visit worthwhile . Personally i think it is importnat that such a small part of the modern art scene has an excellent platform in which special exhibitions can be held.

The Haus Konstruktiv is located in one of the most distinctive icons of Zurich’s industrial architecture, providing a space for concrete art.

The museum is dedicated to the exploration of concrete, constructive and conceptual art. The Museum Haus Konstruktiv focuses on making it part of a living dialog with international trends in contemporary art.

Over the five floors of the former Selnau electricity sub-station, visitors discover works of art in the context of their historical background through temporary exhibitions and collection presentations.  Also on permanent display are treasures from the museum’s own collection, the legendary “Rockefeller Dining Room” by the Swiss artist Fritz Glarner. Beside the special exhibitions the Haus Konstruktiv has an excellent exhibition program of which some publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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( to be continued )

 

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Gerhard von Graevenitz (1934-1983). on show at Haus Konstruktiv

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The artist that walked the line between ZERO art and Kinetic art. Born in Belgium and died in Switzerland van Graevenitz lived for a long period of his life in Amsterdam /The Netherlands ( from 1970) and because of a plane accident his life ended far too early. I write this blog because on our way back from Italy , i decided to make a small detour to Zurich, because i always wanted to visit HAUS KONSTRUCTIV. Not for their special exhibitions, but because i had discovered they had a wonderful collection. The visit was a slight disappointment because no works from their collection were on show instead they had 2 solo exhibitions of which one was on Gerhard von Graevenitz. Only about 50 works were on show, but because of their mouvement it took a while before i had seen all of them. It was well worth the visit and if you are near Zurich make the detour yourself to discover von Graevenitz. He deserves to be known by all admirers of Modern art. Unfortunately it was not allowed to photograph the works but i found a nice Haus Konstruktiv contribution on You Tube in which the show on Von Graevenitz is discussed and shown.

the von Graevenitz exhibition is on show until the 6th of May and www.ftn-books.com has some nice pubications available on him.

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I love the works by Victor Pasmore (1908-1998)

 

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Victor Pasmore (1908 – 1998) was born in Chelsham, Surrey, the son of a well-known physician and mental specialist and an amateur painter. He was educated at Harrow School where he first became seriously interested in painting. Following the sudden death of his father he had to abandon his studies at the Central School of Arts and Crafts where he had studied under A. S. Hartrick, an artist who had worked in France and who knew van Gogh. Pasmore, who had expected to go Oxford and then on to The Slade School of Art, now had to find employment as a clerk in the Public Health Department in London instead, a job he held until 1937.

During this time he joined the London Artists’ Association and had his first solo exhibition at their Cooling Galleries on Bond Street in 1933. In 1937 Pasmore left the Public Health Department and formed an independent art school with fellow artists Claude Rogers, Graham Bell and William Coldstream in Fitzroy Street. The school’s first show in 1938 coincided with its move to 316 Euston Road which led to the art critic Raymond Mortimer to identify them as the Euston Road Group. Pasmore himself moved to a studio at 8 Fitzroy Street, formerly occupied by Sickert and Whistler, and spent his time teaching and painting.

Pasmore abandoned visual representation and developed a purely abstract style in 1947. His work, often in collage and construction of reliefs, pioneered the use of new materials and was sometimes on a large architectural scale. He held his first abstract solo exhibition at the Redfern Gallery, London, in 1948. Herbert Read, an important art critic of the time, described Pasmore’s new style as ‘The most revolutionary event in post-war British art’. In the summer of 1950 he visited St Ives where he became associated with Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth and joined the Penwyth Society, the local exhibiting group. www.ftn-books.com has some nice Pasmore titles available.

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Richard Paul Lohse ( 1902 – 1988 )

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A few months ago i published a blog on a very special Lohse poster published by the van Abbemuseum, but that was a blog on just a single item. Richard Paul Lohse deserves much more, because he is a very important artist. Not only for Switzerland but for Modern Art as a whole. Designer, painter and

I first encountered his work when i was working at the Gemeentemuseum and Rudi Fuchs bought a beautiful Lohse for its collection. It must have been right after his death and because of the connection with cubism and the DE STIJL collection it fitted in perfectly. The painting itself is a typical Lohse painting and because this aroused my interest in Lohse, i started collecting his books and publications. Since the collection has grown and contains at this moment some very specials items that are duplicates and are for sale at

www. ftn-books.com

The most special one is Kalte Kunst ( blog next week ) which contains a beautiful serigraph by Lohse.

Lohse is a multi talented artist , 2 time participant of the Documenta and important for modern art, because without his contributions KONKRETE Kunst would probably not have existed.

 

 

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Jakob Bill….son of Max Bill

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The title sounds like a sequel to a popular horror movie, but it isn’t.

Somehow i have developed a liking for Swiss contemporary KONKRETE artists. Almost all are constructivists and Richard Paul Lohse and Jakob Bill are two of them. This time i will blog on Jakob Bill the son of the famous Max Bill and belonging to the group of Zurich Konkrete Kunst.

Outside Switzerland and Germany , Bill is not very well known, but when you visit the collections in Switzerland you encounter many works by Bill. The Zurich Museum/ Haus Konstruktiv organized some exhibitions with Bill, but his most important major exhibitions were all in Swiss Museums . Except for one…..Organized by one of the best galleries in the world. Galerie Denise Rene organized an exhibition in 1972. Denise Rene was the perfect gallery for an artist like Bill, they already represented great artist like Vasarely, Arp., Agam and Jesus Rafael Soto. Bill fits in perfectly. Perhaps this exhibition was a step forward for the popularity of the works by Jakob Bill, but still the artist is not very well known outside Switzerland and certainly deserves better.

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Agnes Martin and Thomas Ammann

Agnes Martin has become one of the greats in Modern Art from the last Fifty years. In 1977 the Stedelijk Museum published an excellent catalogue in which the quality of painting was obvious. Beautiful and impressive design by Wim Crouwel and one that is in worldwide demand because of its design and subject. Since then many catalogues were published on Martin but 2 stand out. The first is the one which was published for the Agnes Martin exhibition in the Josef Albers Museum / Quadrat Bottrop. The catalogue was published in such an excellent way that i had to have one myself for my own collection. The poster is even more special because it is an original silkscreen print in such delicate colour scheme that it reflects in the best way the quality of the work by Agnes Martin. The final book i would like to tell about is the Thomas Ammann  Fine Art catalogue they published in 2008. Large sized book with excellent printing and impressive paintings by Martin. Buy these three titles at www.ftn-books.com and  do not forget to take a look at the impressive poster made for the Quadrat exhibition when i will list this later this month at www.ftn-books.com.