July 1990

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1990

21 x 21cm, white outer folder content of two 21 x 21cm b/w lithographs by Gary Hincks which parody Victor Vasarely's op-art style. In both (one in outline, the other solid black) the outer square shapes slowly turn into guillotine blades much as OpArt works often show slow gradual change in shapes.
This is a visual poem which is made more poignant with the two quotes on the inside of the folder - one from Vasarely: "Let us first kill in ourselves egocentricity" and another from Anacharsis Cloots - the French anarchist - "France you will be happy when you are finally cured of individuals." by their addition the work reveals itself as being about the tension between the individuals role in the state versus his/her rights to individual liberty. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1990
42.2 x 14.7cm (folded size) offset lithograph which when open displays the elevations of the finials - drawn by Andrew Townsend- a note on the outside of the card points to the "pineapple" finials visually being like fragmentation grenades and that the use of brick and stone being a poetic metaphor of the philosophies of Terror and Virtue during the French Revolution. One of 250 copies made. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1990
17.6 x 11cm, 4pp grey outer folder with a drawing of a guillotine. Internally a 17.6 x 11cm, 4pp sheet with a poem:

1794.

The steeples fell silent.


The guillotine tolled.

1794 was the year in which the Committee of Public Safety under Robespierre became the most powerful centralised body in the state (or at least Paris). There had been a concerted campaign against the church by many of the Revolutionaries (but not Robespierre who thought it counter-productive) and churches and parts in many parts of France were closed. What was not closed was the guillotine. The tolling of that instrument of death is compared with the silence of the bells.
This is one of a series of works which the Wild hawthorn Press denoted as "Poems in folders". VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1990
9.8 x 9.3cm, 16pp and card wrappers and printed light green dust jacket. Drawings by Kathleen Lindsley of various baskets containing bread, wheat leaves and finally, heads are denoted as DOMESTIC, PASTORAL, PARNASSIAN and SUBLIME. Again Finlay sees the extremes of the Terror as somehow pure and homely even if evil.
Staples are a bit rusted else VG+. ...

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1990
21.2 x 3.6cm, 4pp and blue card wrappers. Internally there is a text by Finlay merging Saint-Just and Rimbaud.

"Whoever desecrates sepulchres is banished."

A poem about respecting tradition and by extension classicism. VG+

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