Willem de Ridder - Paradiso opening (1968) Poster

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Willem de Ridder - Paradiso opening poster (1968)

Opening poster for Paradiso, the leading club venue in The Netherlands

Willem de Ridder - Paradiso opening poster. Poster for the opening of Paradiso. The most important Dutch music underground club. A very important period piece. Nice Jugendstill design. According to Marjolein in Hitweek Vol. 38 # 01 (2003; issued at the Hitweek exhibition in Breda) the posters for the openings of Fantasio and Paradiso were both designed by Willem de Ridder. Fantasio opened March 29, 1968, one day before the opening of Paradiso (March 30, 1968). They are both on pink paper stock.

Overall condition: Very Good.
Poster 1st Edition 1st Printing. Publisher: Paradiso, Amsterdam. Year: 1968.
Size: 61.0 x 43.5 cm. Language: Dutch. Seller inventory: #26695.

Background information

Paradiso – Paradiso (Weteringschans, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) was and still is the leading rock and pop venue in The Netherlands. World-class acts such as The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Patti Smith and The Sex Pistols, and an endless list of others played the Paradiso. Apart from concerts, other cultural manifestations and events took place during its long existence.

Paradiso emerged from the scene around the Dutch underground magazine Hitweek. Paradiso was established in a building that belonged to the religious community Vrije Gemeente. The Amsterdam municipality bought the building in 1966 and pledged it to young people for film evenings, teach-ins on current topics and use as a beat society. However, it took until March 30, 1968 before Paradiso was opened.

Meanwhile, the Dutch underground organization Provadya?, supported by the Dutch underground magazine Hitweek, secretly looked for another location to realize its own plans. On March 29, 1968, one day before the opening of Paradiso, the Fantasio youth center was opened. In one weekend two youth centers were opened with a joint capacity for three thousand visitors. Provadya? held the evenings in Fantasio on Friday and in Paradiso on Saturday and made a multimedia spectacle at both locations with beat music, DJs, light shows, dance shows, film and theater.

According to Marjolein in Hitweek vol. 3 no. 1, issued at the Hitweek exhibition in Breda in 2003,  the opening posters of Fantasio and Paradiso were both designed by Willem de Ridder, editor and founder of Hitweek. Paradiso concert posters were made by graphic designers, in particular Martin Kaye, Max Kisman and Marten Jongema.

Refs: Joost van Liere (2008) ‘Een geslaagd experiment’. De wortels van het Nederlandse clubcircuit, 1965-1970 pp. 42-46, 53; Tom Steenbergen (2017) Pop Pioniers (Karakter Publishers, Uithoorn) pp. 153-162; Harry Ruhé & Jeanette Dekeukeleire (2017) The adventures of Willem de Ridder (Cult Club Edition, Amsterdam) pp. 27-28; William Levy & Willem de Ridder (1983) De Ridder retrospective (Groninger Museum, Holland Festival, Van Wulften, Amsterdam) pp. 16-17; Jan Dietvorst & Jan Hiddink (Eds.; 2008) Paradiso Posters 1968-2008 (De Buitenkant, Amsterdam); Stichting Paradiso (2003) Paradiso 1968-2013 (Stichting Paradiso, Amsterdam); Ed Visser (2006) Paradiso poster collection 1972-1983 (Stichting Martin Kay, Amsterdam); Lutgard Mutsaers (1993) 25 jaar Paradiso. Geschiedenis van een podium. Podium van een geschiedenis 1968-1993 (Stichting Popmuziek Nederland & Uitgeverij Jan Mets, Amsterdam).

Willem de Ridder - In 1962 Willem de Ridder (1939) founded, together with others, the Mood Engineering Society (MES) aimed at establishing a theater form in which the audience participated. He was an important artist in the Fluxus movement founded by George Maciunas. With Peter J. Muller he founded the pop magazine Beatbox and in 1965 the first Dutch underground magazine Hitweek. He was a co-editor of the underground sex magazine Suck. Willem de Ridder was instrumental in the establishment in 1968 of the Amsterdam youth centers Paradiso and Fantasio (which later became the spiritual center De Kosmos).

 Ref: Patrick Bakkenes (2019) Kantelaars van de Sixties. Twaalf interviews over de erfenis van een tijdperk (In de Knipscheer, Haarlem) pp. 113-144; Harry Ruhé & Jeanette Dekeukeleire (2017) The adventures of Willem de Ridder (Cult Club Edition, Amsterdam).

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