collected by Flip Bool
November 5 - December 24, 2023
Opening 5 November, 16.00 hrs
Franz W. Seiwert
This exhibition of avant-garde printed works from the 1920s and 1930s at Galerie VIVID consists mostly of works that were actually never intended to be preserved: advertisements, brochures, dust jackets, invitations, pictorial statistics, picture postcards, product catalogues, etc. In Dutch we call that ‘gebruiksdrukwerk’, in German ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ and in English the term 'printed ephemera' is used for this range of paper works. It is a surprising collection of European typo- and photographical works collected over the course of more than five decades by an art and photo historian who looked beyond the boundaries of what is generally defined as Art.
Deze tentoonstelling met avant-garde drukwerken uit de jaren twintig en dertig bij galerie VIVID bestaat grotendeels uit drukwerken die eigenlijk nooit bedoeld waren om te worden bewaard: advertenties, beeldstatistieken, boekomslagen, folders, prentbriefkaarten, productcatalogi, uitnodigingen, enz. Wij noemen dat ‘gebruiksdrukwerk’ of in het Duits ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ en in het Engels wordt hiervoor het begrip ‘printed ephemera’ gebruikt. Het is een verrassende collectie Europese typo- en fotografische drukwerken, die in de loop van ruim vijf decennia bij elkaar werd gebracht door een kunst- en fotohistoricus die verder keek dan kunst met een grote ‘K’.
Ever the same
prints and drawings 1950 - 1970
Gerd Arntz (1900 - 1988) gained international fame for his political woodcuts and symbols for visual statistics. Although Arntz produced a few paintings around 1930, he otherwise worked exclusively as a graphic artist. He made his choice for this profession at an early age and then limited himself to two techniques within the graphic arts: the woodcut and the linoleum cut. This limitation gives his oeuvre a great deal of cohesion. After a short expressionist period, he soon created his own, unmistakable visual form. There was no room for intermediate tones or shading, nor for the spatial illusion suggested by the perspective. In his woodcuts, Arntz constructed a world in two dimensions that is systematically made up of alternating black and white, in lines and planes.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Arntz's woodcuts analyze social contradictions; they want to teach, criticize and call for solidarity in the midst of revolt, repression and nationalism.
Wood was replaced by linoleum to cut his images and from 1950 the formats became larger, the compositions more complex. Again the prints reflected the world of that time. In large, moralizing and slightly mocking allegories Arntz depicts the aspects of joy and fear of those years. The world conceived as a carousel, carnival or circus: in the details the time remains legible, which was dominated by cold and colonial war, by nuclear threat and opposing powers. Fashions and styles change, but Arntz often seems to sigh: 'Semper idem' - 'Ever the same'