{ feuilleton }

Avatar

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


 

Illustrating Poe #4: Wilfried Sätty

satty_poe01

Here it is, the book that began my fascination with the collage art of Wilfried Sätty (1939–1982), a German artist and psychedelic poster designer resident in San Francisco during the 1960s and 1970s. Warner Books published his Poe collection in 1976 and for some reason omit the umlaut from his name even though it’s present in Thomas Albright’s introductory note. I bought my copy in 1979 at a time when I was writing a lot of unsuccessful “experimental” fiction, and the sight of these tremendous collages inspired a surge of writing activity which disregarded Poe’s stories altogether. I’d seen enough of Max Ernst’s engraving collages to know that Sätty was following Ernst’s example but something about Sätty’s work struck me in a manner I couldn’t articulate other than by trying to set down the thoughts they inspired. Personal obsessions aside, I’ve since come to regard this book as the only illustrated Poe which can approach Harry Clarke’s inimitable volume.

satty_poe02

I’m fortunate to own two copies of this edition otherwise I wouldn’t have attempted to scan any pages when doing so involves bending the spine rather badly. The book is profusely illustrated, with many full-page or double-spread illustrations most of which I haven’t tried to reproduce. What you have here are the title pages from nearly all the pieces and a couple of additional illustrations. Sätty’s Poe is still the easiest of his books to find secondhand if you browse the dealer pages at AbeBooks. For more of his incredible work there’s this page at Ephemera Assemblyman, and for details of the artist’s life and career there’s my 2005 essay in Strange Attractor Journal Two.

• Sätty’s illustrations for The Annotated Dracula (1975) at Flickr.

satty_poe03

satty_poe04

satty_poe05

satty_poe06

satty_poe07

Dreamland–I.

satty_poe11

Dreamland–II.

satty_poe08

satty_poe09

satty_poe10

satty_poe12

satty_poe13

satty_poe14

satty_poe15

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Illustrating Poe #3: Harry Clarke
Illustrating Poe #2: William Heath Robinson
Illustrating Poe #1: Aubrey Beardsley
Metamorphosis Victorianus
Max (The Birdman) Ernst
Gandharva by Beaver & Krause
Poe at 200
The art of Stephen Aldrich

 


 

Posted in {art}, {books}, {collage}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {psychedelia}, {surrealism}.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

 


 


 

5 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Wiley

    gravatar

    This is wonderful, his collage work is unbelievable. Something about the intensity of focus, and the compositions themselves go beyond what Ernst came up with initially as you said. This will be another for me to hunt for on Ebay and Abebooks.

  2. #2 posted by John

    gravatar

    Yes, Sätty started out following Ernst, making very surreal accumulations of people and objects. But he gradually developed an authority to his collage which is even more impressive when you consider that it was all done with scissors, paste and a little ink and white paint. The challenge with collage is to create something which seems greater than the sum of its parts, and towards the end of his career he was doing that all the time.

 


 

tracker

 


 

“feed your head”