March 1986

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1986
7.6 x 8cm, printed outer folder content of six 7.6 x 8cm, 1pp cards. Each card has a drawing of a guillotine blade by Hincks with a quotation on it such as:
"The government of the Revolution is the despotism of liberty against tyranny. Terror is an emanation of virtue."
by Robespierre. Other quotes are from Denis Diderot, Nicolas Poussin and from Finlay himself who writes:
"Terror is the piety of the Revolution".
Finlay saw The Terror as in some sense pure - which was not an acceptance of the acts of the despots but a metaphysical impression of the firm beliefs of the Terrorists as being virtuous. The guillotine is often an image used in Finlay's works that stands for that purity as well as the fear and evil of man. VG+.
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Nice: Galerie des Ponchettes, 1986
28 x 21.7cm, 36pp plus card covers and dustjacket. Exhibition catalogue for an exhibition of shadow works (Les Ombres), Les Silhouettes (images of cheaply made cardboard dolls), and the comic performance works (Les Theatres). Images of works in b/w and colour. Essays in French by Jacques Ohhayon and Fumi Yosano. VG+.

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Byars, James Lee THE PHILOSOPHICAL PALACE. 1986. Düsseldorf: Städtische Kunsthalle, 1986 26 x 18cm, gold cardboard slipcase content of a 25.5 x 17.5cm, 148pp book with gold embossed black boards. Exhibition catalogue for the "James Lee Byars, Palace of Philosophy” exhibition. Texts in English and German. Illustrated throughout in colour and b/w. Fine. INSERTED Byars, James Lee THE SPINNING ORACLE….. N.p. (Dusseldorf): n.p., n.d.d (1986) 30 x 21cm, 2pp. Gold on black printed text in Byars’ facsimile hand on one side and a text in German (printed in a typographic font) on the other. Folded with two horizontal creases. Scarce ephemera / print....

London: Jonathan Cape, 1986
21.4 x 14.7cm, 5664pp plus original boards and pictorial dust jacket. First edition of this "guide" to "follies". This was the book that made Finlay so angry because of the short review of Stoneypath (later Little Sparta) and his ire is understandable. The paragraph reads:
Near the village of DUNSYRE about two miles west of the Peebles-Lanark border is Stoneypath, a bogland garden developed from 1967 onwards by the peet Ian Hamilton Finlay. it is a fine and justly famed new garden, but although there isd an Apollo Temple, a broken column or two, and an avalanche of poetic mottoes and inscriptions, the insistent namedropping of pastoral painters and writers and garden theorists tend to get on one's nerves. Everything in Stoneypath is on such a small and fragile scale that one starts hankering for something more manly, like a Wallace monument or a sturdy Gothick eye catcher."
Given Little Sparta has been voted by artists, critics and the general public to be the greatest Scottish artwork of modern times, it is fair to judge Gwyn Headley and Wim Meulenkamp harshly. Their comment " insistent namedropping" is crass and clearly shows that the works they saw were beyond their capabilities. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1986
12.5 x 8.2cm , 2pp green on white card. The card has on one side a quotation from the British traitor and art critic Anthony Blunt discussing Poussin's painting of Arcadia and on the other side a statement complaining that the artworks taken by Strathclyde Region under a poinding of assets in the dispute over unpaid rates had not been returned and that the Scottish Arts Council had refused to implement its legal Charter by "advising the Region on the nature of the Garden Temple, and the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Arts Minister have declined to intervene to uphold the law". Issued on the third anniversary of "Strathclyde Regions assault on the Garden Temple, March 15 1983". VG+.

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