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

Archive for February, 2011

 

Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae

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Laboratorium. More alchemical business which should be familiar to anyone who’s cracked open an occult history or two. Familiar as these illustrations often are, it’s only recently that we’ve been able to scrutinise their mysteries in detail thanks to the services of various libraries and online archives. These plates are from Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae (1609) […]

Posted in {black and white}, {books}, {occult} | Comments Off

 


Weekend links 48

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Nite Flights (1978) by The Walker Brothers. Cover design by Hipgnosis. something attacked the earth last nite with a kick that man habit-eye cut the sleep tight boys who dreamed and dreamed of a city like the sky Scott Walker quotes Brion Gysin (and who knows what else) in Shutout (see below), one of the […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {illustrators}, {music}, {photography} | 10 comments »

 


The recurrent pose 40

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Another addition to the burgeoning archive of you-know-what, the Flandrin pose on this occasion being by Egon from JKK Fine Arts. He also sent details of some new photobooks, the image below being an example from The Blue Book. There’s also Narcissus and Homage to Egon Schiele. Thanks Egon! Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • […]

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Pascal Sébah

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Studio portrait of models wearing traditional clothing from the provinces of Hedjaz (Hejaz), Yemen and Tripoli, Ottoman Empire (1873). Photo prints by Turkish photographer Pascal Sébah (1823–1886) at the Library of Congress. I always like to see photos of ruins in the wild, so to speak, as they generally were in the 19th century before […]

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Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #9

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The Ludwig Habich building, Darmstadt. Continuing the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. Volume 9 covers the period from October 1901–March 1902. This edition continues the examination of the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony begun in the previous number. Despite the colony being very much an Art […]

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Fred Holland Day revisited

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St Sebastian with wounded chest (c. 1906). The work of American photographer Fred Holland Day (1864–1933) has featured here in the past but it’s only recently that I came across the archive of prints at the Library of Congress. Not all the works there are digitised yet, and some are still unavailable for viewing, but […]

Posted in {art}, {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography}, {religion} | Comments Off

 


Vultures Await

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From a Void City to what might be a Vulture City, this is an illustration I produced last September for San Jose psych rock band Vultures Await. I would have mentioned it sooner but the following months were very busy and I was also waiting for the band to make the artwork public. Stylistically, this […]

Posted in {collage}, {design}, {music}, {surrealism}, {work} | 16 comments »

 


Void City

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Friends & Relations Vol. 3 (1985) by Hawkwind. Unless you assiduously collect everything you’ve ever worked on—which I don’t—you occasionally have to rely on the web to remind you of something you created years ago. This Hawkwind album is an example of that, being one of the last releases by the band to use a […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {science fiction}, {work} | 10 comments »

 


Weekend links 47

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DG-2499 (1975) by the fantastic (in every sense of the word) Zdzislaw Beksinski (1929–2005). See the Dmochowski Gallery for a comprehensive collection of the artist’s work. Thanks to BibliOdyssey for the tip. • More ICA events: From Animism to Zos: Strange Attractor Salon will be “a series of weekly events, consisting of a talk and […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {painting}, {photography}, {religion}, {science} | 18 comments »

 


ICA talks archived

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I’ve linked to the British Library’s sound archive before but it was only recently that I had a browse through their collection of talks from the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. The public discussions cover the period 1981–1994, and while there’s a wide range of contributors the lion’s share of interviewees are writers. Most of […]

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The art of Ron Rodgers

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Century of Progress. While the web has given many artists a visibility they wouldn’t have had in the past, too many artists’ sites are blighted by the dreaded “Artist’s statement” in which people who express themselves visually are forced to try and articulate for the paying customers what it is they’re doing with all this […]

Posted in {art}, {sculpture} | 2 comments »

 


Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #8

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Continuing the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. Volume 8 covers the period from April–September 1901 and continues to use the ornamental capitals by Karl Lürtzing featured in the previous volume. In this edition the emphasis is predominately upon the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony, a remarkable […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {black and white}, {design}, {magazines}, {typography} | Comments Off

 


Leonardo’s warrior

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Bust of a warrior in profile (c. 1475–80) by Leonardo da Vinci. A recent interview question reminded me of this splendid Leonardo piece when I was discussing early artistic influences. One crucial influence for me was the example of my mother who’d been an art student during the 1950s specialising in ceramics and textile design. […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {fantasy}, {film} | 7 comments »

 


Victorian typography

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“Victorian” isn’t really the correct term for the products of 19th century America but then “19th century” covers rather a lot of ground. Mr BibliOdyssey’s most recent post is a stunning collection of title pages from fire insurance maps of the late 19th and early 20th century. Rather than repost any you ought to go […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {typography} | 7 comments »

 


The Choise of Valentines, Or the Merie Ballad of Nash His Dildo

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My little dilldo shall suply their kinde: A knaue, that moues as light as leaues by winde; That bendeth not, nor fouldeth anie deale, But stands as stiff as he were made of steele; A salacious post for chocolate-and-roses day. There’s a degree of confusion around this work and its author, an Elizabethan poet, playwright […]

Posted in {books} | 5 comments »

 


Weekend links: fifth anniversary edition

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The Figure 5 in Gold (1928) by Charles Demuth. It’s a little surprising to find I’ve been doing this for five whole years yet here we are. Having seen a number of blogs call it quits at the five-year point I should note that I don’t feel quite that exhausted although maintaining a discipline of […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {music}, {painting}, {politics}, {theatre} | 13 comments »

 


The specimen jars of Frederik Ruysch

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Some plates for Darwin Day from Thesaurus Animalium Primus (1710) by Dutch botanist and anatomist Frederik Ruysch. As is evident from these examples, Ruysch wasn’t above some frivolous indulgence when it came to illustrating his scientific texts, and he often gathered specimens into little tableaux which verge on the bizarre, such as the conjunction below […]

Posted in {science} | 3 comments »

 


Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #7

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Continuing the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. Volume 7 covers the period from October 1900 to March 1901 and features a set of ornamental capitals throughout this edition designed by Karl Lürtzing, part of a presentation of typefaces in the Art Nouveau style. The […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {magazines}, {painting}, {sculpture}, {symbolists}, {typography} | 9 comments »

 


More Queer Noise

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Hand In Glove (1973) by The Smiths, 7″ single. This celebrated pair of buttocks turned up in the inbox this week, courtesy of a news mail from the Manchester District Music Archive announcing their Queer Noise website, an online exhibition exploring LGBT music and club culture in Greater Manchester. It was just over a year […]

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The writhing on the wall

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Dracula (1992). This is the closest you’ll get to a guest post here even though it’s been done remotely and I’ve changed things around a little. Following my mention yesterday of the Cocteau-derived lantern-arms in Francis Coppola’s Dracula, Jescie sent me an abandoned blog post which collected similar examples of the arms-through-the-walls motif. I’ve done […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {fantasy}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {sculpture}, {surrealism} | 11 comments »

 


Symbolist cinema

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Symbolist? Arguably. Decadent? Certainly. Watching Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (1992) again this weekend I thought it worth making note of some of these resonances. The real age of Symbolist cinema was the Silent Era from around 1910 onwards, something I discussed in more detail here. That being so, several films made since can be taken […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {sculpture}, {symbolists} | 19 comments »

 


The Peacock Clock

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Something discovered courtesy of the Google Art Project is James Cox’s splendid Peacock Clock automaton, an exhibit at the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg: The history of the Hermitage’s Peacock Clock begins in 1777, when the Duchess of Kingston visited St Petersburg. Balls were given in the Russian capital in honour of this wealthy and distinguished […]

Posted in {art}, {sculpture}, {technology} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 46

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The Final Programme (1973). Philip Castle’s poster art implied the androgynous finale of Moorcock’s novel which the film itself evaded. They were musty-smelling 10p messages from the futuristic past, complete with cover designs (and content) that were unlike anything I’d seen before. I’m fairly certain that this was how I first came across Michael Moorcock, […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {dance}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {magazines}, {music}, {photography}, {politics}, {science fiction}, {work} | 7 comments »

 


Shrouded

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It’s been mostly graphic aesthetics of one sort or another recently so here’s some bodily aesthetics via the always reliable Homotography. Shrouded is an exhibition by Australian photographer Brenton Parry which runs at the Pine Street Gallery, Chippendale, Sydney, until February 13th. Homotography has further pictures. Another recent post there was a set of nude […]

Posted in {dance}, {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 2 comments »

 


Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #6

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Continuing the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. Volume 6 covers the period from April to September 1900, and the content is still Art Nouveau all the way, with a dash of Symbolism. Among the contributors in this edition there’s Otto Eckmann and more work […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {painting}, {sculpture}, {symbolists} | 1 comment »

 


Kenneth Grant, 1924–2011

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Kenneth Grant by Austin Spare (c. 1951). Kenneth Grant, writer and occultist, died last month but the event was only announced this week. He’ll be remembered for the nine fascinating occult treatises he wrote from 1972 to 2002, and for continuing the work of Aleister Crowley as head of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a position […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {work} | 25 comments »

 


The Ambassadors in detail

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Some revelations courtesy of a new venture, the Google Art Project, in which we’re given the opportunity to wander some of the world’s great art galleries and examine a selection of paintings in detail. Holbein’s 1533 masterpiece, The Ambassadors, is the default work for the collection from the National Gallery, London, and it’s a great […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {technology} | 7 comments »

 


The art of Robert Lawson, 1892–1957

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Sargasso Sea (no date). Did I say Sargasso Sea? Blame William Hope Hodgson some of whose sea stories I was re-reading over the weekend. An idle search for Sargasso images turned up this tremendous etching by American author and illustrator Robert Lawson, part of a collection of equally fine work at the Florida State University. […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {film}, {illustrators} | 8 comments »

 


 




 

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