IAN HAMILTON FINLAY

OBJECT + PAPER MULTIPLES

TOO MANY LAWS TOO FEW EXAMPLES. 1994.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1994
5cm, dia. printed plastic with metal safety pin clasp. A lapel badge with the title text on it in white on red (the colour of blood). Issued in the year of the European elections the slogan alludes to Saint-Just's "Fewer laws, more examples" but here the over emphasis on "too many" rather and "fewer" refelcts Finlay's own experiences with Scottish local governmental restrictions. Limitation not known. VG+>

1794. TOO MANY ALLEGATIONS TOO FEW EXAMPLES. 1994.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1994
5cm, dia. printed plastic with metal safety pin clasp. A lapel badge with the title text on it in blue on white. Issued in the year of the European elections the slogan alludes to Saint-Just's "Fewer laws, more examples" but with a twist - the "allegations" referred to seem to relate to the libel of Finlay by Catherine Millet and others who accused Finlay of being anti-Semitic (which was absurd and deliberately based on untruths and lies) and the lack of examples being the lack of evidence. Limitation not known. VG+>

SIMPLE AND USEFUL, ….

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. 16 x 10.5cm, transparent resealable plastic bag content of a 12.2 x 6cm, brown manilla label with string. On the label is a poem by Finlay:

Simple and
useful,
attached

like the Idea
in Plato,
a circle

incised in
its rectangle

of cardboard
and string.

The poem describes the label but compares it to Platonic philosophy where items have perfect forms which are perceived by humanity.

Limitation unknown. VG+. Scarce.

BLUE LEMON. HOT LEMON.

N.p. (Basel?): s.p. (Finlay), n.d.
2.5 x 3.5 x 0.75cm, two part printed matchbox content of blue tipped safety matches. The outside of the box has two separate sides – one being a promotional address and logo for a Swiss nightclub and the other (rather bizarrely) being an Ian Hamilton Finlay work with the name of a boat (Blue Lemon) with details of its port (Moray Firth) and boat number. We can find no reference to this in the Finlay literature and we do not know the limitation but it came from the collection of Finlay’s friend and collaborator Janet Boulton. In VG+ estate. Scarce.
Not in the Murray catalogue raisonne.

ART IS A SMALL ADJUSTMENT. XMAS 2001.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 2001
180 x 35cm., 100% lamb's wool scarf with embroidered text. One corner of the blanket is stitched in such a way that one corner is permanently folded back. The title "ART IS A SMALL ADJUSTMENT" hints at the minimalism of the work. A Xmas gift from Finlay to friends - there were two colour variations in the wool colour - dark blue and light brown - this is one of the latter. VG.

SAILS/WAVES. 2002. ONE OF 20 ISSUED.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 2002 183 x 122cm, two colour embroidery on a wool/cashmere blanket with backing material. The original version of SAILS/WAVES was originally conceived in 1970 and published as an artist's card. There was an earlier design variant of the same work but essentially the equivalence of the shape of sails being blown in the wind with the shape of waves is the point here. One is reminded in some ways of Wittgenstein's Rabbit/Duck visual pun.
Only 20 examples of this large blanket were made. An artwork to keep you intellectually warm.

THE DIVIDED MEADOWS OF APHRODITE. 2002. ONE OF 20 EXAMPLES.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 2002
183 x 122cm, two colour embroidery on a wool/cashmere blanket with backing material.
The original version of THE DIVIDED MEADOWS OF APHRODITE was originally conceived in 1975 and published as a print.
Aphrodite was famously a chaste virgin who when spied upon took extreme revenge. Here Aphrodite is shown as an aircraft carrier and the "divided meadows" which is a reference to her labia is the runway from which war planes can be launched against an enemy.
Only 20 examples of this large blanket were made. An artwork to keep you intellectually warm.

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