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

Archive for October, 2011

 

A playlist for Halloween: Orchestral and electro-acoustic

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Bluebeard (1982) by János Kass. I thought I might not be able to do a fresh playlist this year, so much has already been covered by the previous lists (see the links below to earlier posts). The search for new tonalities and timbres in 20th-century orchestral music led many composers to produce works that sound […]

Posted in {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {kubrick}, {music} | 8 comments »

 


Weekend links 82

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At the Mountains of Madness (1979) from Halloween in Arkham by Harry O. Morris. • Golden Age Comic Book Stories always pulls out the stops in the run up to Halloween. In addition to a wonderful collection of Harry O. Morris collages, Mr Door Tree has also been posting Virgil Finlay’s illustrations for Edgar Allan […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {cities}, {collage}, {comics}, {drugs}, {fashion}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {science fiction}, {surrealism}, {theatre} | 5 comments »

 


A Picture to Dream Over: The Isle of the Dead

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The Isle of the Dead (second version, 1880), Kunstmuseum, Basel. In the sudden flares of light over the water, reflected off the sharp points of his cheeks and jaw, a harder profile for a moment showed itself. Conscious of Sanders’s critical eye, Father Balthus added as an afterthought, to reassure the doctor: “The light at […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {music}, {painting}, {symbolists}, {work} | 5 comments »

 


Ver Sacrum, 1899

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Another post about Ver Sacrum, the art journal of the Viennese Secession and one of the world’s major art magazines during its short run from 1898 on. This is another digitised edition from the University of Heidelberg’s archive and is the second volume of the journal’s monthly issues. It’s difficult to make a small selection […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {magazines} | 2 comments »

 


Pas de Deux by Norman McLaren

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Norman McLaren’s 1968 film is not only one of the greatest ballet films ever made, it’s also an astonishing combination of high-contrast photography and optical printing. Choreography by Ludmilla Chiriaeff, dance by Margaret Mercier and Vincent Warren, music by Dobre Constantin and the Folk Orchestra of Romania. YouTube isn’t the ideal medium to watch anything […]

Posted in {dance}, {film} | 3 comments »

 


The Classical alibi in physique photography

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Stowitts photographed by Nickolas Muray. The title is from two gallery pages at the Queer Arts Resource which runs through a history of the old subterfuge whereby homoerotic pictures were decorated to look suitably Greek or Roman. This seldom fooled anyone, even in Oscar Wilde’s day, but it no doubt helped to keep the studios […]

Posted in {dance}, {eye candy}, {film}, {gay}, {photography} | Comments Off

 


The Frolie Grasshopper Circus

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For a taste of the unalloyed strangeness of the past you have to bypass the fine art and cultivated histories and look to the ephemera. The Frolie Grasshopper Circus (1898) is an uncredited booklet for American children made to promote Quaker Oats, and it does so in a manner far removed from today’s bland and […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy} | 5 comments »

 


Soft Self-Portrait of Salvador Dalí

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Yet another Dalí documentary, Soft Self-Portrait of Salvador Dalí is a welcome arrival at the splendid Ubuweb for its being the source of a number of sequences that turn up in later Dalí documentaries, notably the scenes of the artist and wife Gala emerging from giant eggs, and Dalí clattering away at a piano in […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {painting}, {sculpture}, {surrealism} | 3 comments »

 


Weekend links 81

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Black Cat on a Chair (1850–1860) by Andrew L Von Wittkamp. • “A little bit of acid, lots of weed, and too much Castaneda and I was ready to move from the magical realm of Middle Earth into a world that was much stranger than any involving hairy dwarves and white wizards…” Too Much to […]

Posted in {animation}, {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {collage}, {design}, {drugs}, {film}, {illustrators}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture}, {surrealism}, {technology} | 5 comments »

 


Ed Wood’s Sleaze Paperbacks

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Yes, it’s that Ed Wood, Mr Plan 9 from Outer Space, who apparently supplemented his erratic film career by penning dubious porn novels and exposés of the erotic underworld. Most of what I know about him is culled from Tim Burton’s biopic so this was news to me. Ed Wood’s Sleaze Paperbacks is an exhibition […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {gay}, {pulp} | 3 comments »

 


John Holmes, 1935–2011

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(1974). Artist John Holmes, whose obituary was published this week, had a style that was immediately recognisable from the many paintings featured on book covers (and a few record sleeves) in the 1970s and 1980s. His painting for The Female Eunuch is by far the most well-known, of course, although I often used to wonder […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {music}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {surrealism} | 3 comments »

 


Looking for the Wild Boys

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Calder & Boyars, 1972. Design by John Sewell. This must be the first space novel, the first serious piece of science fiction—the others are entertainment. Mary McCarthy defending The Naked Lunch in the New York Review of Books, June, 1963. Mary McCarthy’s view—echoed a year later by Michael Moorcock and JG Ballard in the pages […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {science fiction} | 5 comments »

 


Wroblewski covers Burroughs

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Picador, 1982. Being an occasional cover designer I naturally have a more than passing interest in how the books of favourite writers are packaged. I’ve mentioned a couple of times how much I liked the covers that Thomi Wroblewski produced in the 1980s for UK editions published by Picador and John Calder. Wroblewski is a […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {collage}, {design}, {music} | 6 comments »

 


Mugwump jism

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Naked Lunch (1991). So what happens when you take a regular scenario like this: There is a type person occasionally seen in these neighbourhoods who has connections with junk, though he is neither a user nor a seller. But when you see him the dowser wand twitches. Junk is close. His place of origin is […]

Posted in {books}, {burroughs}, {drugs}, {film}, {music} | Comments Off

 


Coulthart calendars for 2012

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I did have vague plans earlier this year for doing a new calendar but when work gets as busy as it has been you really need to plan these things weeks in advance and in the end I didn’t have the time. Since I created my psychedelic Alice in Wonderland calendar in 2009 I’ve had […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {psychedelia}, {work} | Comments Off

 


Weekend links 80

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Niels Klim’s descent to the planet Nazar from the 1845 edition of Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum (Niels Klim’s Underground Travels) (1741) by Ludvig Holberg. BibliOdyssey posts illustrations from different editions of Ludvig Holberg’s satirical fantasy, appends the usual informative links and draws our attention Stories of a Hollow Earth at The Public Domain Review. I’d […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {dance}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics}, {sculpture} | 10 comments »

 


The art of Jacopo Ligozzi, 1547–1627

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Cartouche with Macabre Symbols and a Hairy Skull (no date). Some macabre things for a macabre month. Jacopo Ligozzi was a Mannerist artist, and the date of his birth here is the most commonly cited one, some sources give later years. The excesses of Mannerism—distorted figures, sensational subject matter, grotesquery in general—used to be regarded […]

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

 


Virgil Finlay’s Salomé

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While chasing down Virgil Finlay’s illustration for Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space earlier this week I came across another Finlay drawing I’d not noticed before in a book I’ve owned for years. Makes me wonder what else is lurking on the shelves. Finlay’s depiction of Salomé was an illustration for Waxworks, a story by […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {magazines} | 7 comments »

 


Malicious Damage

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I was going to title this post “Fucked by Monty” but thought that might give the wrong impression. The phrase was one of several titles added to the cover of The Collected Plays of Emelyn Williams by Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell when they were happily defacing the books of Islington Library, London, in the […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {collage}, {film}, {gay}, {surrealism}, {theatre} | 1 comment »

 


Die Farbe and The Colour Out of Space

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Die Farbe (2010). The colour, which resembled some of the bands in the meteor’s strange spectrum, was almost impossible to describe; and it was only by analogy that they called it colour at all. Its texture was glossy, and upon tapping it appeared to promise both brittleness and hollowness. The Colour Out of Space (1927). […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {film}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {science fiction} | 9 comments »

 


Early woodcut initials

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More decorated initials, these being from Early Woodcut Initials (1908), a collection by Oscar Jennings of ornamental letters from books of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. By way of contrast with yesterday’s examples, not all of these feature the religious or mythological figures one would expect, some show early mathematical and astronomical devices.

Posted in {books}, {typography} | Comments Off

 


Paulini’s mythological alphabet

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Whoever I. Paulini was, no one seems to know his (or, indeed, her) first name. Even the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, which owns a copy of these plates, doesn’t elaborate. The copies here are scans from a Getty edition of Alphabeto, part of the collection of Getty Institute volumes at the Internet Archive. The […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {typography} | 3 comments »

 


Weekend links 79

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Neville Brody creates a cover design for an issue of the V&A magazine tied to the museum’s current exhibition, Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970–1990. Brody’s comment amused me for the way he smartly explained the thinking behind the design whilst also distancing himself from its theme: For me, Post Modernism felt like a kind of […]

Posted in {apple}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {drugs}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {politics}, {sculpture}, {theatre} | 6 comments »

 


Somnium by Steve Moore

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Another new piece of illustration and design. Somnium is an occult novel by Steve Moore being published this month by Strange Attractor. Some readers here may know Steve’s work as a comics writer, ex-editor of Fortean Times and also the subject of Alan Moore’s recent Unearthing text and recording. I’ve not seen the book yet […]

Posted in {books}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {occult}, {work} | 6 comments »

 


Seminal art and design

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Fountain (2011) by John Coulthart. seminal, a. and n. A. adj. Of or pertaining to seed; of the nature of seed. 1. a. Of or pertaining to the seed or semen of men and animals (applied Phys. and Anat. to structures adapted to contain or convey semen); of the nature of semen. Oxford English Dictionary […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {gay}, {magazines}, {typography}, {work} | 7 comments »

 


Crafting steampunk illustrations

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Today’s post is another guest piece at Tor.com where I talk a little about using collage to create steampunk illustrations and designs. The post is part of their Steampunk Week, and I take the opportunity to acknowledge the influence of some artists who have become familiar points of reference here, namely Max Ernst and Wilfried […]

Posted in {apple}, {art}, {books}, {collage}, {design}, {science fiction}, {work} | 2 comments »

 


Abysmal creatures

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Bezdna (Abyss). A couple of film posters from a time when poster artists weren’t prevented from treating their subject in a symbolic manner. Both these designs are the work of one M. Kalmanson (and I’m assuming here that the scant information is accurate), and both are for Russian films produced in 1917. Beautiful Century alerted […]

Posted in {design}, {film} | 7 comments »

 


Murmur Become Ceaseless and Myriad

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Efflaration (1952) by Austin Osman Spare. The Austin Spare revival continues with another exhibition, Murmur Become Ceaseless and Myriad at Flat Time House, London, curated by Mark Titchner. Unless I’ve missed something this is a significant moment since it’s the first time Spare’s work has been paired with that of a more contemporary artist, the […]

Posted in {art}, {occult}, {painting}, {sculpture} | 5 comments »

 


Main aesthetics

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Hydra-Calm (1992). It’s always good to find a group of musicians who not only make the kind of sounds you like but also package their work effectively. Having read the Quietus interview with Robert Hampson last week I was going back through the catalogue of Hampson’s 90s group Main and thinking again how well the […]

Posted in {design}, {electronica}, {music} | 7 comments »

 


Weekend links 78

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Struggle (2009) by Lindsey Carr. • “Twilight Science is an imprint for sound, music and DVD editions initiated by artist Paul Schütze. We will progressively publish all back catalogue, new projects and collaborations. These will include works by Phantom City, NAPE, Schütze-Hopkins and others.” Related (because Paul Schütze remixed Main): Main Feed The Collapse, Neil […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {television} | 4 comments »

 


A Wilde Night

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A couple more pieces from yesterday’s Posters in Miniature. The drawing above is entitled A Wilde Night and credited to Claude Fayette Bragdon (1866–1946) whose design work has appeared here before. Bragdon was an acquaintance of Will Bradley’s, and like Bradley was a man of many talents being variously employed as an architect, writer and […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {beardsley}, {design}, {illustrators}, {magazines} | 1 comment »

 


 


 

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