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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Weekend links 447

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Physical Training for Business Men (1917).

• At Expanding Mind: Erik Davis concludes his discussion with religious scholar Diana Pasulka about anomalous cognition, 2001 monoliths, disclosure, future truths, absurd Christianity, and her book American Cosmic.

• This year the LRB wouldn’t let non-subscribers read Alan Bennett’s 2018 diary but they have a recording of Bennett reading entries here.

• “Glen thought it was very good PR for us to be heavily involved in the druids.” Tom Pinnock talks to the Third Ear Band.

• Rebecca Fasman on the forgotten legacy of gay photographer George Platt Lynes.

• Laura Leavitt on John Cleves Symmes Jr.‘s obsession with a hollow Earth.

• David Parkinson recommends 12 essential Laurel and Hardy films.

• Paul Grimstad on the beautiful mind-bending of Stanislaw Lem.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 277 by Sigillum S.

• The endlessly photogenic Chrysler Building.

Energy Flow by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

195 Gigapixel Shanghai

Solaris: Ocean (1972) by Edward Artemyev | The Sea Named Solaris (1977) by Isao Tomita | Simulacra II (2011) by Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason

 


The art of Nick Hyde, 1943–2018

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Estate of Man (1967).

A short tribute to American artist Nick Hyde who I’ve been informed died last month. Hyde’s extraordinary paintings were featured here a few years ago after I found a copy of Visions (1977), an art book devoted to artists of the loosely-affiliated California Visionary school. Most of the paintings in the book are a type of fantastic art (not to be confused with fantasy art) that owes much to the hippy mysticism that later became codified as “New Age”, a vague term which covers a lot of territory. Several of the paintings were featured in the early issues of OMNI magazine but I don’t recall Nick Hyde’s art being among them. Hyde’s early paintings are darker and stranger than those of his Visions contemporaries, and they were ones I inevitably preferred to the rest, hence my earlier post highlighting his work. There isn’t much else I can say about him other than pointing to the official website and posting the following appraisal by Walter Hopps from Visions. All the paintings here are from Visions, and several of them (Abraxas in particular) look like they need to be seen at a much larger size.

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Cryptyde (1967).

I am not trying to clean myself of impurities, but to venture into a very real situation. I consider myself a true visionary—it comes to me and I flow with it. My imagery is always a dance.” Nick Hyde, 1976

The powerful nature of Nick Hyde’s art stands in certain important ways vividly apart from that presented here by his visionary colleagues. Rather than scenes of cosmic calm, serene process, or peaceful resolution, Hyde pours forth effulgent compositions of both hallucinatory intensity and tumultuous activity. The myriad visual events and details brought forth in an all-at-once total vision in Hyde’s paintings give rise to a unique tension between what seems the most violent of struggles and the most delicate of dances. In maintaining qualities of such polarity Hyde reveals a mastery of a sinuous, insinuating line structure that both divulges and dissolves images.

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Inside Out Breaking Free (1968).

In his extraordinary allegorical painting Estate of Man, human figures are disgorged from a Gothic tracery of lines that suggests the network of nerves of a livid inner eye. Closer inspection reveals the jaws of a hell-mouth that swallows these figures and assimilates them as functioning fibers in a self-conceiving infernal machine. At upper right, however, in a zone of apparent transcendence, Hyde paints a luminist landscape at the moment of sunrise. It is perhaps where one is to find redemption in the Eye of God: or is it merely the burning earth that bears man to offer him to hell?

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BethAnn (1969).

Hyde’s painting Abraxas touches on a note of subtle, mordant humor: the mythoid monster and his serpent-headed mate entwined in an infernal lair is, at the same time, a gentleman with his lady, reclining at ease, casually smoking. and telephone in hand. A clock—on the fire-place mantle at the right of the composition—is without hands, and ornamented by two barely perceptible figures. They repeat in reverse the pose of the two polymorphic companions. Abraxas, a god of good and evil, exists in a world abandoned of time, of rhythmic mimesis, of smoldering mockery. —Walter Hopps

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Urp (1970).

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Abraxas (1971).

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The fantastic art archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Visions and the art of Nick Hyde

 


Weekend links 446

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The Ghost Box label releases a new album by the excellent Pye Corner Audio in February (previews are here). The spectral design, as ever, is by Julian House.

• “In October 1966, Phyllis Willner arrived on motorcycle in San Francisco as a teenage Jewish runaway from Jamaica, Queens. She quickly fell in with the Hell’s Angels, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and, most crucially, the Diggers, who were just getting their street radical thing together in the Haight-Ashbury. The next two years would be eventful: many extraordinary highs, some really terrible lows.” Jay Babcock talks to Phyllis Willner about her involvement with “the executive branch of the hippie movement”, the Diggers.

• At Expanding Mind: Erik Davis talks with religious scholar Diana Pasulka about UFOs, scientific believers, book encounters, elite cabals, studying weirdness, and her new book American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology.

• Kenneth Anger is now 91 but he still appears hale, and looks even more magus-like than ever. This short film by Floria Sigismondi finds him reminiscing in the antiquated confines of the Chateau Marmont hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

David Wojnarowicz did not write dark fantasy. He wrote real life. In The Waterfront Journals he brilliantly captures electric tales from the mouths of strangers, those he described as “junkies, prostitutes, male hustlers, truck drivers, hobos, young outlaws, runaway kids, criminal types”, whose lives echo his own ostracized existence. He was thirteen when he was first paid for sex and sixteen when he started “turning tricks” regularly. His mother kicked him out of the house. By the time Wojnarowicz came out to friends in New York, he was in his early twenties. He was on the cusp of finding his voice as a writer and his confidence as an artist. It was the mid-1970s. AIDS was about to tear through the gay community.

Lara Pawson reviews three books by artist and writer David Wojnarowicz

John Banville reviews Kafka’s Last Trial by Benjamin Balint: “A scrupulous study of the squabble between Germany and Israel over Kafka’s papers, and the two women caught in the middle.”

• A sitting with the diva of the diode: electronic musician Suzanne Ciani in conversation with Christine Kakaire.

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 076 by KK Null, and XLR8R Podcast 574 by SHXCXCHCXSH.

Cassie Packard on the colorful and clairvoyant history of aura photography.

Edward Gorey’s Children’s Books Illustrations, Revisited.

Alison Flood on the fascination of miniature books.

Magic Hollow (1967) by The Beau Brummels | Hollow Stone (1972) by Khan | Through Hollow Lands (For Harold Budd) (1977) by Brian Eno

 


L’Image, 1896–1897

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L’Image was a short-lived French publication dedicated to the art of contemporary wood engraving. Short-lived it may have been but its position at the birth of Art Nouveau means that many of its smaller graphics have been recycled ever since in studies of the period. One of these graphics, a fleuron by Jean-Jacques Drogue, was the subject of an earlier post when I was tracing the origin of a motif used for many years by my colleagues at Savoy Books. I eventually found Drogue’s fleuron in a collection of rather poor scans at Gallica, a good resource but one whose web interface (and often the materials themselves) leaves much to be desired.

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All the images here are from a collection of the entire run of L’Image at the Internet Archive which are much better quality and which include the early issues missing from Gallica. The most notable thing about the earlier issues is the way they combine the Art Nouveau style with Symbolist art; in addition to an engraving by Carlos Schwabe that I hadn’t seen before there’s a very Symbolist piece about nocturnal Bruges featuring art by Georges de Feure.

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Read the rest of this entry »

 


Weekend links 445

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Masayo Fukuda‘s octopus is cut from a single sheet of paper.

• “But in the title track, Homosapien contains a truly great song; four and a half minutes of bubbling synth and clever wordplay, atop which Shelley puts to one side the knowing coyness he’d frequently inserted into his contributions to the Buzzcocks catalogue, loosens his tie, and, as much as he ever committed to tape, is explicit in telling the listen exactly what he desires.” James McMahon on Pete Shelley’s first proper solo album.

Kosmischer Läufer, the reissue project for East German kosmische music of the 1970s which may not be entirely authentic, has now reached its fourth volume. Authentic or not, the attention to detail is impressive.

• One of my favourite browsing places this month: NASA Image and Video Library.

• At Dangerous Minds: Eric Stanton and the History of the Bizarre Underground.

• Public domain artworks in high resolution at the Art Institute of Chicago.

• Mix of the week: FACT Mix 686 by the The Radiophonic Workshop.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Les Blank Day.

Art of the Poster 1880–1918.

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Interstellar Rock: Kosmische Musik (1974) by Cosmic Jokers | Sehr Kosmisch (1974) by Harmonia | Meine Kosmische Musik (1974) by Sternenmädchen

 


 


 

Signed & numbered prints

    Blotter Art prints

 


 

Coulthart Books

    The Haunter of the Dark
    Reverbstorm

 


 

Previously on { feuilleton }

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