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

Archive for January, 2014

 

Spanish Salomés

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Uncredited painting based on Modern Salomé (1927), a poem by Emilio Carrere. Yet more on this indefatigable theme, the examples this time being by Spanish artists and illustrators. All the pieces are from this page, and the artists involved aren’t well-known at all so checking details isn’t easy. Take the references with a pinch of […]

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The Trials of Oz

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If it’s a surprise to see Cockney geezer Phil Daniels masquerading as the erudite (and non-Cockney) Thomas De Quincey in The Art of Tripping, it’s even more of a surprise to see Hugh Grant in wig and hippy gear as Richard Neville in this 1991 dramatisation of the obscenity trial against Neville’s Oz magazine. Grant […]

Posted in {books}, {comics}, {magazines}, {politics}, {television} | 1 comment »

 


The Art of Tripping, a documentary by Storm Thorgerson

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How does this sound? 100 minutes of solidly informative documentary about the use of drugs by artists from the early 19th century on; a production that calls upon a remarkable cast of contributors (see below), with music by David Gilmour, and the whole thing “devised and directed” by Storm Thorgerson, better known as one third […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {drugs}, {film}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {surrealism} | 1 comment »

 


Les Chants de Maldoror by Shûji Terayama

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27 minutes of experimental video from 1977 in which director Shûji Terayama retrieves some predictably unorthodox images from the bottomless pit of Lautréamont’s text. The preoccupations here seem to belong as much to the director’s mind as to that of Isidore Ducasse, what with the emphasis on various forms of bondage and unusual erotics. (Not […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {surrealism} | 6 comments »

 


Polypodes

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Sepia (no date) by Gao Jianfu. Quelquefois, dans une nuit d’orage, pendant que des légions de poulpes ailés, ressemblant de loin à des corbeaux, planent au-dessus des nuages, en se dirigeant d’une rame raide vers les cités des humains, avec la mission de les avertir de changer de conduite, le caillou, à l’œil sombre, voit […]

Posted in {books}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {surrealism} | 2 comments »

 


Weekend links 196

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Cochemare (1810) by Jean Pierre Simon. One of 100,000 high-resolution images now available from Wellcome Images. • Ted Morgan’s Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs (1990) was a solid biography blighted by a bizarrely bad-tempered and judgemental attitude towards many of Burroughs’ friends and colleagues. Morgan says Burroughs disliked the book […]

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The Grammar of Ornament revisited

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I’ve owned a facsimile of Owen Jones’ study of ornamental design for many years. Jones was an architect who helped in the planning of London’s Great Exhibition in 1851, and in the subsequent development of the Victoria & Albert Museum. The Grammar of Ornament (1856) originated from this work, a lavish guide to the history […]

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The art of Sidney Hunt, 1896–1940

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Ganymede Before Zeus (1921). Another of those artists about whom detail remains tantalisingly remote if the web is your primary research tool. Hunt was a British Modernist who also edited an avant-garde magazine, Ray, from 1926–27. Most of the works here are bookplates from around 1923, many of them distinctly homoerotic which adds to their […]

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The Royal Picture Alphabet

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Another pictorial alphabet but no architecture this time. “Royal” is used here in the more general sense of “grand” or “first-rate”, and this isn’t the only example of an instruction book for children that calls its alphabet a royal one. John Leighton’s Royal Picture Alphabet is a finer example than others to be found at the […]

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Giovanni Battista Pian’s Pictorial Alphabet

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Another recommendation from Paul Rumsey (thanks, Paul!), these are from a series of lithographs dated 1842–43 by Leopold Müller based upon paintings (?) by Giovanni Battista Pian, or Giovanni Battista de Pian (1813–1857). Shades again of (Giovanni Battista) Piranesi in the name, although the pictures are a lot less Piranesian than Antonio Basoli’s; the only […]

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

 


Antonio Basoli’s Pictorial Alphabet

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My thanks to Paul Rumsey for reminding me of the Alfabeto pittorico (1839) by Antonio Basoli (1774–1848). This is the same idea as yesterday’s pictorial alphabet but with an architectural theme. Basoli’s series of prints depicts each letter in an architectural style which matches the initial: A is for Arabia but also for aranciera (orangery). […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {typography} | 3 comments »

 


Grand capitals

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It’s no doubt true to say that they don’t make them like this any more, but it’s also likely that they didn’t make many of them like this in 1866 when the first volume of Pierre Larousse’s Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle was published. Despite the title this is a 15-volume encyclopedia, each volume […]

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

 


Weekend links 195

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Untitled painting (c. 1920–1933) by Ethel le Rossignol depicting “the Sphere of the Spirit”. An exhibition of  Ethel le Rossignol’s channelled paintings takes place at the Horse Hospital, London, next month. • “It’s always disconcerting to discover a favourite writer was kind of a jerk. How does this realization effect our understanding of Walter Benjamin’s […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {science} | Comments Off

 


Lynd Ward’s Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley’s novel illustrated in woodcuts by the great Lynd Ward (1905–1985). This edition appeared in 1934, a couple of years after the release of James Whale’s first Frankenstein film whose popularity may have led to its commission. It’s good to see Dover Publications keeping this one in print when first editions go for hundreds […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {horror}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »

 


Einstein on the Beach

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Well this was a revelation. Einstein on the Beach (1976) is Philip Glass’s first opera, a collaboration with theatrical producer Robert Wilson, and the only Glass opera with which I’m familiar. With a running-time of almost five hours it’s not light listening, and when many of the pieces consist of little more than slabs of […]

Posted in {dance}, {music}, {theatre} | 1 comment »

 


Big fish

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Illustration by Lawrence for The Undying Monster (1946) by Jessie Kerruish. Another of those collisions between fine art and pulp fiction that I like to note now and then. The drawing above by Lawrence Sterne Stevens (from this page) I immediately recognised as borrowing its fish from the painting below by Néstor Martín-Fernández de la […]

Posted in {art}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {painting}, {surrealism}, {symbolists} | 2 comments »

 


Holbein details

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The Merchant Georg Gisze (1532) by Hans Holbein the Younger. Hans Holbein the Younger’s masterwork, The Ambassadors (1533), was one of the first paintings available for viewing when Google’s Art Project debuted in 2011. Not all the paintings that Google selects warrant the gigapixel treatment but The Ambassadors certainly does, as does this Holbein portrait […]

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The Burroughs Century

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By the end of this year (maybe sooner) we’ll all be heartily sick of hearing about the centenary of the First World War, so it’s good to have some positive anniversaries from 1914 to celebrate. I mentioned yesterday that Sun Ra’s centenary falls this year; next month there’s a celebration in Bloomington, Indiana of the […]

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The Last Angel of History: Afrofuturism, science fiction and electronic music

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There’s been a resurgence of interest recently in Afrofuturism (see this recent newspaper article, and this site), not before time when the term has been around since 1993. The concept itself goes back a long way, at least as far as the remarkable body of work produced by Sun Ra (1914–1993) whose vast discography dates […]

Posted in {books}, {electronica}, {music}, {science fiction}, {technology}, {television} | 2 comments »

 


Weekend links 194

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Untitled glass sculpture by Richard Roberts. • Lord Horror: Reverbstorm, my collaboration with David Britton, makes The Quietus list of Literary Highlights of 2013. At the same site there’s Russell Cuzner talking to English Heretic. “His methodology takes in magick, psychogeography and horror film geekdom, along with firm roots in Britain’s industrial music culture of […]

Posted in {animation}, {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {collage}, {comics}, {cormac}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {science}, {sculpture}, {work} | 5 comments »

 


The Angel of the Revolution

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The British Library’s recent uploading of a million copyright-free images to Flickr has been a mixed blessing. On the one hand it’s an exemplary gesture on the Library’s part, on the other I wish they’d archived their images somewhere other than Flickr where the recent interface changes have made using the site for any length […]

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

 


January

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January, Skating on the Frozen River (First half of the seventeenth century) by Jan Wildens. The first month of the year doesn’t seem to provide much inspiration going by the few examples at Wikipaintings and the Google Art Project/Cultural Institute. We haven’t had any snow so far this winter, the days more closely resemble Isidre […]

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Wound Man

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Wound Man from Feldbuch der Wundarzney (Field Book of Surgery, 1517). For years I wondered about the precise appearance of Wound Man after reading the following in Red Dragon (1981) by Thomas Harris: “It was a coincidence,” Graham said. “The sixth victim was killed in his workshop. He had woodworking equipment and he kept his […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {illustrators}, {science}, {work} | 4 comments »

 


Valhalla Rising

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Screengrabs from some of the more lurid moments in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Valhalla Rising (2009). Having watched Drive (2011) and Refn’s recent Only God Forgives I’ve been backtracking to his earlier films. Valhalla Rising is 90 minutes of apocalyptic doom set among sparring tribes in the northern wilds. There’s little in the way of dialogue […]

Posted in {film} | 10 comments »

 


What the Butler Saw by Joe Orton

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Dr Rance: You can’t be a rationalist in an irrational world. It isn’t rational. “Lunatic” is a description suited to the frenetic pace and escalating calamities of the stage farce. Here the word gains greater resonance when the farce takes place in a psychiatric hospital. The customary sexual shenanigans are all in place—the play opens […]

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A Genius Like Us: A Portrait of Joe Orton

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Last week’s reading was the script of Joe Orton’s Loot after finding one of the first published editions of the play. Reading a play is never the same as seeing it performed, of course, but it’s still very funny, and many of its digs at police corruption haven’t dated at all. There is a film […]

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Weekend links 193

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A Problem Glyph by Eliza Gauger. Problem Glyphs are “symbolic illustrations … drawn in response to problems sent in by tumblr users”. • Kosmische Night takes place at the Museum of Bath at Work, Bath, Somerset, on January 25th (Rescheduled to February 22nd).  “…a celebration of all things Teutonic for anyone who enjoys Neu!, Can, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {politics}, {psychedelia}, {science} | Comments Off

 


Art of Fencing

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Race Imboden. The Men with swords archive hasn’t received much attention recently, the last addition being in May 2012. Had I been more diligent I might have found a photo or two of American fencer Race Imboden before now, the picture above being one of many such images at a Pinterest page entitled Art of […]

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

 


Robert Louis Stevenson’s Moral Emblems

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Being the owner of half the volumes in the Tusitala Edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s collected works I’m not exactly unacquainted with the author’s books but this is one I hadn’t seen before. It is included in the Tusitala set (vol. 22) but this is one of the books I don’t own. The Moral Emblems […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »

 


The weekend artists, 2013

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“Chloromgonfus detectis, a dragonfly that can detect volatile pollutants.” A speculative insect by artist Vincent Fournier. The annual review of artists/designers/photographers featured in the weekend posts should have run at the end of December but MR James got in the way. Big thanks, and happy new year to Form is Void and Beautiful Century for […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture} | Comments Off

 


02014

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Self-Portrait in Yellow Vest (1914) by Egon Schiele. Happy new year. 02014? Read this. Coloured Composition of Forms (1914) by August Macke. Young Man with a Fountain Pen (1914) by Diego Rivera. The Sawmill, December Sun (1914) by Ester Almqvist. The Bottle of Anís del Mono (1914) by Juan Gris.

Posted in {art}, {painting} | 1 comment »

 


 


 

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“feed your head”