December 1968

Dunsyre: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1968 45.9 × 52cm, yellow and black on white silkscreen. A collaboration with the well known British pop artist Caulfield in the latter's bold, thick out-llined style. Four lemons are in a bowl, and the word MARINE is next to the bowl seemingly on a piece of wood or card (possibly a fisherman's slip used to identify who owned what fish boxes when the catch went to market).
In a number of different works, Finlay often compares lemons to boats - so this is on one level a scene of a harbour: the lemons are made even more obviously to represent boats as they each has port registration numbers on them.,
The edition size is not known. All copies of the print are unsigned (which was Finlay's preference but a little unusual for the pop artist). There are some scuffs on the black of this silkscreen but else VG. This is a very rare print - partly for the later popularity of Caulfield.
JOINT:
15 x 21cm, 1pp. Printed compliments slip "Marine: Ian Hamilton Finlay:drawn by Patrick Caulfield" and with added hand written note: "Love from Ian, 4 January 1969". Perhaps might be regarded in lieu of a signature.
BR> MEDIUM Screenprint on paper DIMENSIONS Image: ...

Dunsyre: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1968
56 x 43cm, 2pp. Green on blue on white paper - a circular design made up of fishing boat names typographically set by Alistair Cant on Finlay's instruction. The pattern creates both a planet or the movement in the stars as they appear to spin around the boat as night passes. Stars for boats are essential to allow passage - until modern methods of navigation they were the sailor's only orientation. The choice of the boat names chosen by Finlay reinforces that - all have the word STAR in them e.g. Morning Star, Day Star, Fortune Star and so on.
This is the second of two large prints with a similar intent - Sea Poppy 1 being in 1966 - the other uses the letters and numbers of the boats - here the attractive names people give their vessels are used instead.
The title Sea Poppy refers to the yellow hornpoppy which only grows on sea shores - again a clear nautical reference.
This design and others like it was used by Finlay in different formats including wall works, object multiples, printed posters and cards - but this printed version uses colours that are hard to see against each other - given the text is more readable in the other formats of this work it is tempting to suggest that the colour clash here was a mistake although some psychedelic designs of the late 60s did deliberately set up such colour clashes.

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Koln: Art Intermedia, 1969
14.5 x 21cm, 4pp gatefold card. Announcement for a solo show of early works (drawings and sculptures) by Beuys from the period 1947 to 1957. A text on Beuys by Per Kirkeby is found on the back of the card. Slight brown marks (nascent foxing perhaps) on the front of the card else VG+.
JOINT:
Koln: Art Intermedia, 1969
16 x 22.5cm, printed mailing envelope with a text from the gallery on the front and on the back "details" of the various events in the gallery for December 1968 (really a newsletter. Some wear from the mailing process and a hand addressed example.

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NYC: Letter Dressed in Black Press, 1968 25 x 25cm black envelope with a silkscreen image of Byars Four in a dress. Content of a folded "dress", With 3 holes and 1 "cap" representing the 4 dancers who performed in a 1968 performance sculpture by James Lee Byars. The dress opens out to 50cm dia. One of 1,200 copies released as part of Copley’s famous SMS portfolios. ...

NYC: New Directions, 1968 21 x 15cm, 186pp plus wrappers, Single number of this anthology of poetry contributors include: Manuel Banderis (Nine poems), Alan Burns (Europe after the Rain), Russell Edson (Wedding Night), Mary Feldhaus-Weber (The Virgin, the Lizard and the Lamb), Richard Fields (At the Silver Rail), , Paul Friedman (Portrait), Jonathan Greene (5 poems), Charles Guenther (Escalator), Elia Katz (Reynold Stengrow's Short Story), Thoma Merton (Symbolism: Communication of Communion?) Denise Levertov (some notes on Organic Form), James Purdy (2 poems) Kenneth Rexroth (Heart's garden) Muriel Rukeyser (Speek of Darkness), Tennessee Williams (You and I) . Finlay is included with many of the poems (in traditional form) from Dancers Inherit the Party reproduced. VG+>

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Bath: Openings Press, n.d.
28 x 28cm, 2pp offset print with an "poem by Ian Hamilton Finlay interpreted by Angela Wellard" noted on the back.
On the front is a re-setting in typographic terms of an early work by Finlay "lackblockblack" but now displayed twice in two similar square text blocks.
The reworking of the original concrete poem in homage to Malevich is given a new meta level by the placing of it twice in geometric relationship to each other. Malevich's black square is not only shown in each text but in the overall composition of the work which abstractly is structured like a Supremacist painting.
We believe this work was created at Bath University during John Furnival's stint in Bath as a tutor when he invited Finlay to come and work with his design group . Eavelines Pondlines was produced at that time but so was this print which would date it as c. 1968. Limitation unknown but not too many. In VG+ condition.

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Dunsyre: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1968
16.8 x 12.4cm, 2pp. The card show various forms of nets used by different types of fishing boats around a invisible circle and the final word is Planet - referencing the missing circle and the fact such nets are used all around the globe. The obvious joke also being that the word planet ends in NET - and that we are all linked in a single global eco-structure. Planet is also in a lighter tone of black than the others.
Murray has this as Card 4.16. Murray mis-identifies (not unusual) the date here - on the back it is clearly 1968 but the Catalogue Raisonne has it as 1969. ...

Nottingham: Tarasque Press, 1968
25.6 x 10.4cm, 20pp plus tissue end papers and original card covers. Printed typographic dustjacket. An artist's book published by Stuart Mill's press - seven couplet poems (poems that have two lines, one above the other separated by a thick line) by Finlay are illustrated below by Robert Frame. Each first line has a subject and ends with the word poem - indicating the word or letters below ARE the poem.
One such poem is

The Windmill's Poem
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X

The X of course being a letter that looks like the sails of a windmill.

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Birmingham: Ikon Gallery Limited, 1968
23 x 20.5cm, 2pp b/w offset. Announcement leaflet for a solo show of sculptures and maquettes and other works. The short essay on the back is quite insightful and notes that it is not a large show. One b/w image of the glass work ROCK/WAVE on the front.
Finlay's first ever one man show was only two months earlier at the Axiom Gallery in London.
Slightly torn top left and some edge damage but else VG. Very scarce ephemera....

Dunsyre: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1968
12.5x 6.8cm, 2pp. The card is the one of a series that reproduce phrases found in journals and newspapers together to tell a quasi-story or visual poem. Here the headline "Zephyr joins Avoch Fleet" is on the surface a tale of a new acquisition by a company of boats - but of course it also can be read as the good fortune of a sail boat fleet catching a good wind. Murray has this as Card 4.14. Fine....

Nottingham: Jargon Press, 1968
50.7 x 38.4cm, calendar with twelve original silkscreens, one silkscreen portrait of the artist, a colophon sheet and front cover and backing board. Spiral bound along top. Introduction by Jonathan Williams and a foreword by Mike Weaver. Designed by Herbert M. Rosenthal.
Twelve colour prints issued as a large folio spiral-bound calendar, featuring short commentaries by Stephen Bann based on information provided to him by Finlay.
The title refers to Wittgenstein's 'Blue and Brown Books' (1958) in which he developed the concept that the meaning of a word is its actual use in language.
This is quite possibly possibly the most sought after publication by Finlay - the twelve serigraphs are each individual concrete poetry works and dealers usually split this publication up and frame the individual prints and sell them at high prices. This example is unusually complete and is housed in the original custom made cardboard shipping box address to the editor of the Black Sparrow Press Seamus Cooney. There is some browning to the front purple sheet but overall this is one of the best example of this rare publication you can find..
Murray has this as reference 3.28 and notes a complete set of the prints are for sale in 2006 for £2,000. The Prints Drukgrafik catalogue reference is 2.64.4 and the 12 images can be seen on pages 19 - 21.

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N.p. (London) : Pluto Press, 1969
17.5 x 12.8cm, 12pp plus original thick card wrappers. Each page was silkscreened in green and blue. A series of visual poems with texts all based on the flora and fauna around forrest ponds. One is reminded of Basho's famous haiku. The texts are as if the book was for reading to a child. it not clear why Finlay rejected the book - it is perhaps because he did not like the illustrations but it is hard to see the objection as this is a pleasant, amusing book. Only 7 copies were made - all were numbered - and this one is nr 6/7 (in pencil on the half title). This is in pristine condition.
This is one of the absolutely rarest of FInlay's books.

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