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

Archive for the {painting} category


The art of Aleksandr Kosteckij


This is the kind of fantastic art I like a great deal: nebulous landscapes whose vast forms may be some kind of hybrid architecture; implications of the alien and mystical that retain some ambiguity; dreamlike without slipping into post-Surrealist cliché. Monsieur Thombeau at Full Fathom Five (whose excellent eye I have to thank once again) […]

Posted in {art}, {fantasy}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 5 comments »


Invisible Cities: Miscellanea


Cover art: The Castle in the Pyrenees (1961) by René Magritte. A final post for this week devoted to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, and it occurs to me that “Miscellanea” could easily be the name of one of Marco Polo’s cities. One thing that’s become apparent over the past few days is that this subject […]

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Colleen Corradi Brannigan’s Invisible Cities


Cities and Memory 5: Maurilia. Colleen Corradi Brannigan’s multimedia project was linked here back in 2011 when news of her endeavours reached a number of high-profile websites. These artworks are another attempt to depict all of Italo Calvino’s cities, this time using a range of media that includes sculpture. I like the variety of this […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {painting}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »


The recurrent pose 56


A pair of literary poses for this increasingly sluggish series. Both these titles are gay-themed to a greater or lesser degree. James Purdy (1914–2009) received much praise from contemporaries while he was alive but, like Angus Wilson, he’s one of those writers’ writers you don’t hear about today. Outsiders were a favourite Purdy theme, and […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {gay}, {painting}, {photography} | 2 comments »


Weekend links 264


Stonehenge Suite, No.10 (1977) by Malcolm Dakin. • “Part of me always wanted to write a teatime drama. That’s something that I wanted to get out of my system,” says director Peter Strickland. The results may be heard here. In the same interview there’s news that Strickland will be adapting Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {religion} | 1 comment »




Reading this article by Richard Shone about the Vorticists, I was struck by passing mention of Alvin Langdon Coburn’s “Vortographs”. Coburn was an American photographer whose most commonly reproduced works are his portraits, some of which included leading members of the Vorticist circle such as Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound, and a number of pictorial […]

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A few more Salomés


Jean Benner (1899). I’ve not done a Salomé post for a while so here’s another handful of different interpretations. The most interesting ones are the two most recent: a drawing by Barry Windsor Smith I’d not seen before (undated but it looks like his work from the 1980s), and a great piece by Paula Andrade […]

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The Barque of Dante (1822) by Eugène Delacroix. More infernal visions. Depictions of Hell aren’t exactly recent but the 19th century saw an increase in Dantean themes, helped, no doubt, by the Romantic taste for violent drama. There are many more such paintings, especially of the doomed lovers Paolo and Francesca whose plight is almost […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {religion} | 4 comments »


Mirko Racki’s Inferno


Mirko Racki (1879–1982) was a Croatian painter whose early work fits the template of allegorical Symbolism even if he was never part of any Symbolist movement. Dante’s Divine Comedy was a favourite subject: these canvases are among the available examples which also include a series of etchings. The painting above showing Charon ferrying Dante and […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {religion}, {symbolists} | 3 comments »


Art that transcends


Late last year, US design magazine Communication Arts asked me to write a piece about psychedelic art, past and present. The resulting feature has been out for a couple of weeks in the May/June issue (no. 56) but I hadn’t seen it in print until a copy turned up today. Attempting to wrangle discussion of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {work} | 3 comments »


Weekend links 259


The Endlessness (2012) by Emma Bennett. • “Clearly if you’re familiar with The Arcades Project by Walter Benjamin you’ve got a leg up on what Rivette and company are up to. [...] Like all Rivette works, it’s obsessed with the interrelationship between theater and life—reality and fantasy.” David Ehrenstein makes Jacques Rivette’s Out 1 sound […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {painting}, {politics} | 1 comment »


Symbolist Temptations


The Temptation of St Anthony (1883) by Fernand Khnopff. This should really be more Symbolist Temptations since Odilon Redon belongs among these artists. Redon may have devoted more of his time than anyone else to the saint’s travails but other artists also took up the theme. Fernand Khnopff seldom depicted religious subjects but his painting—an […]

Posted in {art}, {fantasy}, {painting}, {religion}, {symbolists} | 1 comment »




Exhibition catalogue. In one of the many recent features about Leonora Carrington I noticed a mention of her Temptation of St Anthony painting from 1945 (see below). This was one of eleven works on the theme submitted by different artists for a competition staged to promote Albert Lewin’s The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947), […]

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


Weekend links 255


The Owls by Carlo Farneti for a 1935 edition of Les Fleurs du Mal. Via Beautiful Century although the scans probably came originally from 50 Watts. • “…a project that seemed under a curse comprising greed, peculiar French copyright laws, jealousies and grudges, bad judgment, complicated ownership disagreements, a messy estate, and a list of […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {surrealism}, {television} | 2 comments »


The art of Robin Ironside, 1912–1965


Rossetti’s Willow Wood (1944). In one of those odd coincidences that occur from time to time, a picture by Robin Ironside is featured in a book I’ve been reading this week just as news arrives of a forthcoming talk about Ironside’s strange paintings. The book is Baroque Baroque by Stephen Calloway, while the talk is […]

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


More Alberto Solsona


Opus 5 (1968). It’s dismaying to learn that Alberto Solsona, the creator of the wonderful Agar-Agar, was only 41 when he died in 1988. It’s also a little disappointing to discover that his work for comics is the least part of an artistic career begun in the late 1960s; I’d been hoping there might be […]

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Weekend links 253


A painting by Stephen Mackey. • “Creativity is visual, not informed thought. Creativity is not polite. It barges in uninvited, unannounced—confusing, chaotic, demanding, deaf to reason or to common sense—and leaves the intellect to clear up the mess. Above all else, creativity is risk; heedful risk, but risk entire. Without risk we have the ability […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {surrealism}, {television} | 2 comments »


Weekend links 252


Waiting by Liz Brizzi. • “Music, politics, sex, and art were also widely represented by Evergreen. Gerald Ford famously maligned the magazine on the floor of Congress for printing the likeness of Richard Nixon next to a nude photo.” Jonathon Sturgeon on the return of an avant-garde institution. • “The hallucinogenic properties of language are […]

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Yuggoth details


Yuggoth Cultures (1994) by John Coulthart. Earlier this week I spent a day scanning this painting—which I’m now surprised to find is 21 years old—so I might at last have a good quality digital copy. There’s been a copy on the website for years but that was a print made at a high-street copy shop […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {occult}, {painting}, {typography}, {work} | 7 comments »


Weekend links 251


Beliel (2013) by Dan Quintana. • Guida essenziale all’Italian Occult Psychedelia. Out next month: Nostra Signora Delle Tenebre, a tribute to “movies that…retained a decidedly Italian flavour, a bizarre mix of nasty violence, lurid sexuality and feverish Catholic mysticism, all filtered through a manic obsession with death, blood and the sins of the flesh.” In […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {politics}, {psychedelia}, {work} | Comments Off







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