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

Archive for the {books} category

 

Art that transcends

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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} | 2 comments »

 


A Book of Satyrs by Austin Osman Spare

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The Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word “satire” is Formerly often confused or associated with satyr, from the common notion (found already in some ancient grammarians) that Latin ‘satira’ was derived from the Greek ‘satyr’, in allusion to the chorus of satyrs which gave its name to the Greek ‘satyric’ drama. The word derives […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books} | 3 comments »

 


Inventorium of Traces, a film by the Brothers Quay

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Inventorium of Traces was made in 2009 but it’s taken a while to make its way out of Poland in any complete form. In this 25-minute video piece the Quays turn their attention to Lancut Castle, a celebrated Polish stately home, and the former residence of the Potocki family. Of the latter, Jan Potocki would […]

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

 


René Gockinga revisited

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Presenting another guest post by Sander Bink concerning drawings by Dutch artists from the early decades of the 20th century, several of which show a distinct Beardsley influence. There’s also more than a little Harry Clarke in some of the details, especially the large Salomé picture below. Sander examines the provenance. * * * In […]

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Weekend links 259

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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 »

 


Owls and flowers

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1: The pattern 2: A novel by Alan Garner The Owl Service (1967). Cover design by Kenneth Farnhill. 3: A Granada TV serial The Owl Service (1969). Eight episodes, written by Alan Garner, directed by Peter Plummer.

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Laurence Housman’s The Sensitive Plant

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Shelley’s The Sensitive Plant is a lengthy poem written after the death of Percy and Mary Shelley’s first child. Laurence Housman illustrates the sombre garden scenes in a minutely detailed manner, and manages to incorporate some concerns of his own. Pan isn’t mentioned in the poem but Housman adds a Pan figure which he describes […]

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Laurence Housman’s End of Elfintown

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More Laurence Housman, and a book I’d not seen before. Jane Barlow’s The End of Elfintown (1894) is a typical piece of Victorian fairy poetry—her “elves” are also flower-dwelling “Fays”, and Oberon is mentioned—but Housman’s renderings give a very different impression. In place of the usual delicate creatures he shows a very sensual company, all […]

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

 


Weekend links 258

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Simon Stålenhag‘s SF artwork will be published in book form if funding is secured. In the future everything will be crowdfunded for 15 minutes. • Mixes of the week: FACT Mix 494 is a fantastic dub selection by Colleen; Secret Thirteen Mix 151 is by Sally Dige; Stephen Mallinder‘s return to the doom-laden Industrial music […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {sculpture}, {television} | 3 comments »

 


Orson Welles: The One-Man Band

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Vassili Silovic’s 90-minute documentary about the uncompleted films of Orson Welles’ later years was a revelation when it appeared in 1995. Orson Welles: The One-Man Band was shown on UK TV as The Lost Films of Orson Welles but “one-man band” is more appropriate, not only because of the bizarre song-and-dance sequence he filmed in […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {theatre} | 1 comment »

 


The Immortal Story, a film by Orson Welles

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The Immortal Story (1969) is an oddity in the Welles oeuvre, an hour-long adaptation of an Isak Dinesen short story originally made for French TV but subsequently released as a feature. Plans to film two more Dinesen stories foundered when the promised funds disappeared. This was the first of Welles’ films in colour—he always preferred […]

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Welles at 100

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Orson Welles: A First Biography (1946) by Roy Alexander Fowler. Happy birthday, Orson. The premature celebrity biography is nothing new, as this small volume from the Coulthart library demonstrates. Welles was only 31 in 1946 but was already the director of three feature films. If I’m less of a Welles obsessive today it’s because many […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {science fiction}, {television}, {theatre} | 2 comments »

 


Weekend links 257

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The Nine of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith, and the same card from The Ghetto Tarot, a Haitian deck created by photographer Alice Smits and Haitian art group Atis Rezistans. Almost four months after the murders in Paris, Charlie Hebdo continues to be problematic, to use a common epithet. The “p” word occurs with such frequency […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {electronica}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics}, {religion} | 5 comments »

 


La Ronde du Sabbat

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This is too late for Walpurgisnacht (although it’s still night at this moment) but the 1st May is Beltane, and this is a very pagan drawing. The artist is Louis Boulanger, a friend of Victor Hugo’s here illustrating one of the author’s poems for Cent Dessins: Extraits des Oeuvres de Victor Hugo, illustrations for Hugo’s […]

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

 


The case of the fin de siècle fleuron

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I said yesterday that poppies are a common feature of the fin de siècle magazines for the convenient way they combine long-stemmed flowers—ideal for all those Art Nouveau flourishes—with narcotic connotations that signal Decadence. The spiralling fleuron above is one example that readers of Savoy books may recognise, an occasional company logo which has been […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {magazines}, {work} | Comments Off

 


The art of Edmond van Offel, 1871–1959

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Edmond van Offel was a Belgian artist who Philippe Jullian features in two of his books about Symbolist art but whose work I’d not seen anywhere else—at least until now. All the pictures here are from a collection published in Paris in 1902 which may be the one Jullian used for his selections. The book […]

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Odilon Redon’s Temptations

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Saint-Antoine: Au secours, mon Dieu! (Saint Anthony: Help me, O my God!) St. Anthony and his temptations provide another connection between the Surrealists and the Symbolists via Gustave Flaubert and his phantasmagoric drama. Flaubert’s The Temptation of St Anthony (1874) doesn’t quite stand in relation to the art of the time as does Oscar Wilde’s […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {fantasy}, {religion}, {symbolists} | 2 comments »

 


Weekend links 255

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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 »

 


Aubrey Beardsley’s Keynotes

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Promotional poster. Keynotes was a series of 34 novels and short story collections published by John Lane from 1893. Aubrey Beardsley produced cover designs and embellishments for 22 of the titles in 1895 while he was working on The Yellow Book which John Lane was also publishing. Beardsley’s designs comprised a title frame with illustration […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {books}, {design}, {horror} | 2 comments »

 


Lucian’s True History

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Lucian is Lucian of Samosata whose True History (also known as A True Story) is often regarded as one of the earliest works of science fiction. The book is a satirical work, but unlike many earthbound satires this one concerns a journey into outer space, encounters with the inhabitants of various planets, and descriptions of […]

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

 


 




 

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