Artist’s Books

London: Victoria Miro, 2011
9 x 12cm, 40pp plus card covers and printed label. Artist's book content of 18 "definition" works by Finlay.

"MILKY WAY, n. the celestial East-West axis."

This publication was produced for the London exhibition DEFINITIONS and was a limited edition of 250 copies. Clearly Finlay had died 5 years earlier so it's status as an artist's book is moot but we have retained the classification. VG+

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Little Sparta/Heidelberg-Berlin: Wild Hawthorn Press/ Kehrer Verlag, 2010
24.5 x 16cm, 112pp, plus pictorial boards. Photographic book contrasting Ian Hamilton Finlay's two major gardens, Little Sparta in Scotland, and Fleur de l'Air in France with 70 colour illustrations. VG+.

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Glasgow: WAX366, 2009
19.7 x 13cm, 64pp plus card covers. An anthology of letters and texts by Finlay on "poetry and making" edited by Thomas A. Clark and published by David Bellingham. VG+.

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Edinburgh: Inverleith House, 2005.
14 × 27cm, 32pp plus typographic green card covers. Artist's book with various textual works issued on the occasion of an exhibition where the same texts were printed on the walls of the gallery. It felt old - there was not much new in the show and it appeared a lazily curated affair. The book is similar - really an anthology of older work. It could be argued to be an exhibition catalogue but given the lack of commentary we have placed this as an artist's book albeit one that really isn't that great (the works are of course great but all having been seen before in other contexts). In less than one year's time Finlay would sadly be dead. One of 1,000 copies, VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. (c. 2005)
21 x 15cm, 1pp plus blue card covers which are metal spiral bound.
The text on the single page (printed on white card) reads:

SPIRAL BINDING
(PAGE TO COVER)

SPIRAL BINDING
(MAST TO SAIL)

Finlay is comparing the physical form of the book to the way a sail is bound to a mast.
This was not Finlay's first comparison of spiral binding to a sailboat - the work SPIRAL BINDING from 1972 consisted of shaped cards bound together to resemble a ship's sail printed with the boat's number. To our mind this is a cruder version of that work .
A note on date - we cannot find any reference to allow us to date this item accurately - we believe it to be one of Finlay's last artist's books and have dated it as 2005 but may be wrong.

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Glasgow: WAX366, 2002
19.7 x 13cm, 64pp plus card covers. An anthology of poems by Finlay edited by Thomas A. Clark and published by David Bellingham. The works are often more traditional in format although some are concrete. VG+.

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Belper: Aggie Weston's Editions, 2004
19.4 x 13cm, 68pp plus boards and dustjacket. Place ribbon. One of the last books published in Finlay's life time which was based on collected aphorisms and one line poems taken from notebooks (blue jotters) in which he wrote down ideas and single lines. Edited by his friend and long time collaborators Stuart Mills and Colin Sackett. One of 500 copies printed. VG+.
JOINT WITH:
15 x 10.5cm, 1pp, compliments slip from the Aggie Weston press which has a lengthy handwritten note from Mills to Paul Robertson which talks about the enthusiasm for the book and how well it was received by the likes of the Tate Gallery. In original torn posted envelope.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 2001
10.8 x 7.5cm, 16pp plus card covers and russet red/brown dust jacket with printed boat. Artist's book with six visual poems/amusing short texts by Finlay and drawings of barges by Gary Hincks.
Such as:
HOPELESS
Like looking for
a needle in
a stackie.

A stackie is a slang name for a working barge that usually carried cargo stacked up on its deck. Finlay has perverted for a joke the well known saying "Looking for a needle in a haystack." VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 2000
15.2 x 21.4cm, 48pp plus red patterned boards. Artist's book with eighteen b/w photographs by Robin Gillanders ofone of the small sections of Little Spartas which Finaly denoted as Huff Lane - in part a joke about being somewhere to go and sit when feeling aggrieved ("In the huff" as Scots say.
Along the lane are five low benches inscribed with epigrams such as:

"A lane cannot be measured in metres"

This line may be related to another bench:

"In a lane one will not encounter Apollo but one may come upon Pan."

The former is a punny musical reference (Pan after all plays the pipes) and a lane is usually shadowed from the sun but also it has music from nature:

"A song of a skylark may return us to Shelley, a lane may lead us back to Clare."

Both Shelley and Clare are romantic poets.
GIllander's photographs are also of flowers found during the (very) short walk.
One of 300 such books published for Christmas 2000. VG+. Finlay gives Pia Simig a credit for being part of the conceptual idea.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1999
14.2 x 9cm, 16pp, plus oversize white card covers and floral decorated dust jacket with tipped on title label. Content of six "exchange" poems - three by Thomas A. Clark and three by Finlay where the structure is of a two line poetic phrase where the swapping of the adjectives or a noun alters the meaning in subtle manners. This:

the centuries of the oak/the sermon in the stone
becomes
the centuries of the stone/the sermon in the oak
Each is illustrated by a small painting by Laurie Clark. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1996

7 x 8.5cm, 12pp plus printed card covers. Artist's book which is printed in green in one direction (Orchard) and once turned around is orange in the other (Larder). The words in both directions are APPLE, PEAR, CHERRY, PLUM, TREE and APPLE, PEAR, CHERRY, PLUM, JAM. The former is denoted as the "Inauguration of the orchard, Little Sparta, Autumn 1999" and the latter "Replenishment of the larder, Little Sparta, Autumn 1999". A small delight. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1999
11.5 x 8.6cm, 8pp, plus card covers and printed blue dust jacket. Three appropriated drawings of named boats by Gloria WIlson from as book published by Fishing News are printed below their names and a short paragraph describing the,. The names together read "PROSPERITY/LEAD US 11/AND GALILEE" which Finlay relates to both the life of Jesus and the Romantic poet Christina Rossetti who wrote many devotional texts.
The title "A WILD HAWTHORN RE-READER" alludes to the appropriation of another's work and a re-interpretation of it.

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