Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1988
8.4 x 13cm, 1pp. Artist's card attacking the Guardian art critic Januszczak. The text "Reader, be warned that within this thicket there lurks a name" is a jibe at the Polish name and a slight hint that Finlay regards Januszczak as a thicko. As with some of Finlay's attacks, this might well have been better not published as it hints at a xenophobia (which may have seemed less in 1988) although knowing Finlay he probably saw the profuse use of consonants in the name and thought of nothing else but that is being generous.
Finlay's ire was not to be fired up and a majority of the cards he published in the late 80s were attacks on his enemies. While sometimes amusing, and sometimes well aimed at people who had criticised him mostly unfairly, many are little more than slight barbs and this period of artist card production was not that artistically valid. VG+

BLADES. 1988

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1988
8.8 x 8cm, 12pp (accordion fold printed on one side only). Folding artist's card with images of a guillotine blade with four one line poems such as "Hard-edged abstraction" over printed on the image.
The publication is an attack on Michel Blum, Jonathan Hirschfeld and Yves Hayat all of whom had recently accused Finlay of anti-semitism (and had turned on Finlay despite the poet at one point helping him in his personal life). VG+

RIFF-RAFF. 1988.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1988
11.2 x 16.5cm, 1pp. Artist's card with two quotes - the first by Michael Archer in Art Monthly attacking Finlay for suggesting that Waldemar should be repatriated and pointing out the critic was from Berkshire not Poland.
The second quote suggests that Berkshire "is the sort of county that given half a chance would impose a toll to keep out the riff-raff and as such it attracts the sort of riff-raff who have acquired sufficient money to be allowed in..." which amazingly is from the Follies book by Headley and Meulenkamp which Finlay also took such offence to.
When Finlay used the word "repatriate" in his earlier card (see elsewhere) he probably went too far, even if the card was considered to be a deliberate provocation, the word has too many racist overtones to be happily used even in polemic but this card tries to walk that suggestion back while hitting once again at the Guardian's art critic. VG+.


Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1988
10 x 14cm, 1pp. Artist's card with an aggressive text about Finlay's enemy Blum:
Michel Blum
petal by
Finlay compares this to the "flaying of Marsyas" the satyr who upset Apollo and was killed in the most painful manner. Finlay is suggesting a similar fate, albeit only in metaphor, for Michel Blum the "intellectual terrorist". VG+.

BASTA. 1988.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1988
16.5 x 14cm, 1pp. Artist's card with a quote from Catherine Millet "I saw a work, I saw Nazi signs carved on it, basta....". Above which Finlay destroys her argument with a single image - a photomontage by the great anti-nazi John Heartfeld from 1934 which is made up of four bloody axes in a swastica shape.
Not all of Finlay's polemical cards and works are effective but this card proves Millet's lazy view, that a work of art showing fascist symbolism somehow indicates sympathy for Nazi ideology is simply wrong, and astonishing in an art critic.
Basta (enough) indeed. VG+.

BARK. 1988.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1988 15 x 21cm, 2pp. Artist's card with lettering drawn by John R. Nash. The three words - Bark, Barque and Baroque - are not only a progression in the number of letters all based on the phoneme Bar(k) but an increase in sophistication from the plain (wood) to the baroque via the elaborate bargue. Additionally the three words also refer to the three masted sailing ship. VG+.


Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1988
3.1 x 7.1cm, 4pp with 4pp stapled insert. Artist's card which has the words Sail and Boat on the inside of the white insert both set at an angle perhaps to indicate the physical orientation of both visual images. A minimalist work by Finlay. VG+.


Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1988
17.4 x10.1cm, 2pp. Artist's card with a drawing of a sculptural work where an urn is covered with a flowing material - possibly a shroud. Similar to the editioned print of the same name (which is in red and black) also by Gary Hincks this is a memorial for the Terror and those who died but also an indication of Finlay's commitment to neo-classicist style and his belief that it is radical and confrontational. VG+.


Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1988
13.4 x 8.3cm, 1pp. Artist's card with a parody of the famous Haiku by Basho - here updated to being an attack on Michel Blum. The poem now reads:

old pond
frog pontificating

The "frog" here becomes a charged none-too-acceptable reference to Blum's French nationality and the "plop" infers failure or something more scatalogical.
Not Finlay's finest hour although he use of the word "frog" was probably marginally more acceptable in 1988 than now. VG+.


Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1988 5.5 x 9.8cm, 4pp (assymetric fold). A remembrance card for Martin Waters who was one of the Saint Just Vigilantes. VG+. Scarce.


Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1988
8.5 x 12.7cm, 4pp. Artist's card with a reproduced photograph of a Nazi rally where the red swastica flags are brightly coloured against the drab of the uniforms below which the text 'When Pleasures are Like Poppies Spread' (from Rabbie Burns) is continued "or banners in the beds of Roehm's Brown shirts".
Poppies, of course, have became a symbol of war remembrance and the comparison to the banners of evil amongst the crowd seems initially inappropriate but, more deeply, the visual metaphor is perhaps closer to a symbol of forthcoming death. VG+.

THE DESMOULINS CONNECTION. Millet, Hirschfeld, Hayat…. 1988

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press / The Committee of Public Safety, 1988 4.4 x 9.9cm (folded size), 4pp artist's card with the text: "THE DESMOULINS CONNECTION/Millet, Hirschfeld, Hayat - certain natures compare to human nature as a modern slurry-pit to an old-fashioned farm-midden" and printed black on yellow. Issued by Finlay as part of a series of c. 13 similar small cards each attacking enemies of the poet. VG+.

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