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

Archive for May, 2012

 

Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen revisited

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Messes Noires. Lord Lyllian (1905). An email earlier this week from French bookdealer Chez les libraires associés contained a link to an online catalogue of books by or related to that disreputable Uranian Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen, the subject of this earlier post. The catalogue describes the poet as “l’Oscar Wilde français” which isn’t strictly true since […]

Posted in {books}, {gay}, {photography} | 6 comments »

 


Leo Dillon, 1933–2012

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Illustrations for Dangerous Visions (1967) by Leo & Diane Dillon. top left: Lord Randy, My Son by Joe L. Hensley; top right: Gonna Roll the Bones by Fritz Leiber; bottom left: The Happy Breed by John Sladek; bottom right: Shall the Dust Praise Thee? by Damon Knight Beyond my love for them and my understanding […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 4 comments »

 


Ah Pook Is Here

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John Calder edition (1979). Design by Brian Paine incorporating a glyph of Ah Pook from the Dresden Codex. It would have been tempting to write “Ah Pook is finally here” but that’s not quite the case. Artist Malcolm McNeill sent Savoy Books the following preview images last week. What was originally going to be the […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {comics}, {illustrators} | Comments Off

 


A Reverbstorm jukebox

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Another in a series of posts that supplement the forthcoming Reverbstorm book. Music, especially the rock’n’roll of the mid-50s to the mid-60s, was an important motor in Reverbstorm‘s creation: the title comes from the lyrics to Paul Temple’s song, and the song itself was included as a CD-single with the first issue. Each issue opened […]

Posted in {books}, {comics}, {music}, {work} | 6 comments »

 


Weekend links 110

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Til Eulenspiegel by Urban Janke. From Twenty Postcards of the Wiener Werkstätte at 50 Watts. • Rorschach Audio by Joe Banks is “essential reading for everyone interested in air-traffic control, anechoic chambers, artificial oxygen carriers, audio art, bell-ringing, cocktail parties, cognitive science, communications interference, compost, the death penalty, Electronic Voice Phenomena, evangelism, evolutionary biology, experimental music, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {science fiction}, {science}, {technology} | 1 comment »

 


Heliograms by Jean Piché

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Heliograms (1982), an album of early digital music by Canadian composer Jean Piché has managed to stay resolutely off my electronic music radar until now following news of a reissue from Digitalis Recordings: Jean Piché recorded “Heliograms” between the years 1977-1980 during his time at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. The music on the […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {electronica}, {film}, {music} | Comments Off

 


Max Klinger’s New Salomé

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The New Salomé (1887–1888) by Max Klinger. The German Symbolist Max Klinger (1857–1920) is celebrated today for the etchings which comprise his Ein Handschuh (A Glove) series, ten prints that in their curious details and dream-like quality prefigure Surrealism and Giorgio de Chirico’s “metaphysical” paintings. During his life Klinger was highly regarded for his sculpture […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {sculpture}, {surrealism}, {symbolists} | 2 comments »

 


The Standard Scroll Book

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One of the work-related searches at the Internet Archive this week was for scrolls…which I eventually realised should have been for ribbons since it was those text-bearing lengths of graphic ribbon I was looking for. I didn’t find anything useful but the search error did turn up this small book of borders, frames and scrollwork […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {work} | 2 comments »

 


Devils debris

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The Devils (1971). There is only one English feature director whose work is in the first rank. Michael Powell is the only director to make a clear political analysis in his films, his work is unequalled. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is the finest English feature, and A Canterbury Tale and A Matter […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {film} | 4 comments »

 


The art of Juan de Valdés Leal, 1622–1690

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In ictu oculi (1672). Having castigated Somerset Maugham yesterday for a novel that even he professed to dislike, thanks can be offered for the passage in The Magician which draws attention to a painter I hadn’t come across before. With a scythe-wielding skeleton snuffing a candle flame, and a bishop rotting in his casket, these […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 6 comments »

 


Rex Ingram’s The Magician

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The Magician (1926), Rex Ingram’s curious occult horror film, receives a rare screening with live music accompaniment at the Brighton Fringe Festival on Tuesday, 22nd May. The film is notable for being based on the 1908 Somerset Maugham novel of the same name whose modern-day magus character, Oliver Haddo, was modelled on Aleister Crowley. The […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {occult} | 10 comments »

 


Weekend links 109

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Dreams before Surrealism: a sheet music cover from 1926 by René Magritte. • The week in music: Listen to compositions by Annea Lockwood. | At the Free Music Archive: Uncomfortable Music, a tribute to David Lynch’s Eraserhead (and, it should be said, to Alan Splet’s unique soundtrack). | Alan Licht plays a track from Trout […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {politics}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {science}, {surrealism} | Comments Off

 


Le style Louis XV

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I’m not always in the mood for the filigree excesses of the rococo era but this French collection of 200 engravings from the reign of the hated Louis XV (1710–1774) is a treat. Peter Jessen is the compiler and the publisher is Guérinet, the house responsible for Friedrich Hottenroth‘s book of costume through the ages. The rococo […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {design} | 4 comments »

 


Summer of Love

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RIP Donna. People who know me well are usually surprised when I tell them I used to go disco dancing. It didn’t happen a lot but in the summer of 1977 I was 15 and used to get taken out by my mother and her new husband to a cabaret spot called the Planet Room […]

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

 


KraftWork

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KraftWork by Seeper is another projection-mapping video where projections of 3d animations onto a building façade bring the architecture to life. Plus points for using the original Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburgh, Germany; minus points for the annoying editing which limits appreciation of the overall effect. Via Dressing the Air‘s weekly bulletin. For more projection mapping, […]

Posted in {architecture}, {film} | 1 comment »

 


Reverbstorm: Bauhaus Horror

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Lord Horror (after Klaus Barthelmess). (No, not Pete Murphy and co.) Now that the Reverbstorm book is at the printers I have an excuse to discuss a few of the art and design appropriations that run through the narrative. I wanted to use some Bauhaus-style design back in the early 1990s when we were putting […]

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

 


Externsteine panoramas

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Lucifer Rising (1973). The first time I saw Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising (1983, at a film club) I recognised all the ancient monuments apart from the peculiar group of rocks where we see a line of robed and cowled torchbearers ascending a stairway at night. These shots are intercut with a caped Marianne Faithfull making […]

Posted in {film}, {occult}, {photography} | Comments Off

 


Against Nature in New York

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I’ve always preferred Against Nature as an English translation of Huysmans’ À rebours, it’s a snappier and more provocative title than Against the Grain which these days might be taken as a prescription for a paleo diet. À rebours this month is also the title of an art exhibition opening Venus Over Manhattan, a new […]

Posted in {art}, {books} | 4 comments »

 


Weekend links 108

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Bob Staake’s cover illustration acknowledges President Obama’s statement last week in favour of gay marriages. • Related to the above: Gay rights in the US, state by state, an infographic and a useful riposte to people like Orson Scott Card (yes, him again) who claim that gay Americans are equal in everything but the right […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {politics}, {science fiction}, {work} | 8 comments »

 


Costume capitals

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Another gem of a find at the Internet Archive, Le costume, les armes, les bijoux, la céramique, les ustensiles, outils, objets mobiliers, etc. : chez les peuples anciens et modernes (1896) is a lavish two-volume (?) guide to the costumes, artefacts, weapons, etc of various races through the ages. The books were compiled and illustrated […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {typography} | 2 comments »

 


Lindsay Kemp’s Salomé

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Fragments are all you get with this one, unfortunately, but how tantalising they are. Lindsay Kemp’s 1975 stage production of Oscar Wilde’s play was probably the queerest there’s been to date, with Kemp himself playing Herod’s doomed daughter under a heap of silks and feathers. These stills from a sequence of Super-8 shots of the […]

Posted in {film}, {gay}, {theatre} | 4 comments »

 


The Telephone Box

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Ah, The Telephone Box, or La Cabina, to give Antonio Mercero’s half-hour film its original Spanish title. Made in 1972, I saw what was probably the first UK TV screening sometime around 1980, and for years afterwards was asking people whether they ever saw that film about the guy stuck in a phone box. Eventually […]

Posted in {film}, {horror} | 9 comments »

 


Maurice Sendak, 1928–2012

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From Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories (1966) by Isaac Bashevis Singer. All the obituaries of the late Maurice Sendak have focused inevitably on Where the Wild Things Are. That gives me a chance to draw attention to some less familiar Sendak drawings whose finer crosshatching naturally appeals to an inveterate crosshatcher such as myself. […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators} | 6 comments »

 


Die Entwicklung der modernen Buchkunst in Deutschland

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Thanks are due again to Mr Peacay at BibliOdyssey for drawing attention to this recent addition to the Internet Archive from the Smithsonian collection. Die Entwicklung der modernen Buchkunst in Deutschland (1901) is a compendium of German book illustration edited by Otto Grautoff, and its a particularly good anthology with a lot of content I […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators} | 2 comments »

 


Mrs Patrick Campbell

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The Vampire (1897) by Philip Burne-Jones. Two pictures of the same woman—Mrs Patrick Campbell (1865–1940)—that were regarded as scandalous in their time. Since the centenary of Bram Stoker’s death recently passed I was looking for better copies of the only painting by Philip Burne-Jones that anyone today bothers with, but the best copies to be […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {books}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {painting} | Comments Off

 


Weekend links 107

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Le Faune (1923) by Carlos Schwabe. • “When I recently attended a conference in China, many of the presenters left their papers on the cloud—Google Docs, to be specific. You know how this story ends: they got to China and there was no Google. Shit out of luck. Their cloud-based Gmail was also unavailable, as […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {animation}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture}, {technology}, {theatre} | Comments Off

 


Swords against death

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Earlier this week Mr BibliOdyssey posted a link on Twitter to a blog entry of his from 2008, a collection of prints by Dutch artist Alexander Ver Huell (1822–1897). If I’d seen his post originally I didn’t recall it so this swordfight gives me an opportunity to draw attention to Ver Huell’s macabre and diabolical […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {fantasy}, {film}, {illustrators} | 3 comments »

 


“Die you brute!”

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Since mention was made yesterday of the “Die you brute!” school of period illustration it seemed pertinent to post the picture that gave rise to the expression. This is another 19th-century ad from Victorian Advertisements (1968) by Leonard de Vries, the picture having appeared originally in The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News for November 1887. […]

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Sea and Land: An Illustrated History

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It’s all fun and games until someone gets bitten in twain by a shark. Illustrations from a Flickr selection of plates from Sea and Land: An Illustrated History (1887) by JW Buel, a compendium of stories about the natural world which tend towards the sensational. Many of these pictures are from what I call the […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators} | 6 comments »

 


Carnival designs from New Orleans

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A New Heaven: float design from Krewe of Proteus 1898 parade. Theme: A trip to Wonderland. A very random selection from a vast collection (5545 items) of designs for carnival floats and costumes at the Louisiana Digital Library. BibliOdyssey had a post about New Orleans carnival designs a couple of years ago, and the plates […]

Posted in {design}, {fantasy} | Comments Off

 


Three Fragments of a Lost Tale

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I hadn’t come across sculptor John Frame’s animated work before so my thanks to John Burridge for the recommendation. Three Fragments of a Lost Tale is part of a larger project, The Tale of The Crippled Boy, which is described at Frame’s website. Being a collection of fragments, this film is necessarily mysterious although I […]

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

 


 


 

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“feed your head”