Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1987
8.5 × 17.3cm, 1pp artist’s card printed red and black on white – the text is probably the most contentious of all cards produced by Finlay where he three times calls to “Repatriate Waldemar” while knowing full well that the critic of Polish heritage was born in Britain. The dominant text “When the world took to tolerance it took to crime” is a translation of the stone etched text in Piranesi’s frontispiece to the Carceri (The Prisons) a set of etchings depicting fictitious massive subterranean prisons.
Waldemar Januszczack was the art critic of The Guardian and had attracted Finlay’s unhappiness after a particularly scathing review. The sub title of this card (and others) is “Little Sparta: Sans cullottes against the Jeunesse doree” which is a neat proletarian dig at the middle class Januszczack.
It is fair to say Finlay could be too extreme in his responses to attacks and this period of the late 80s was a time when he felt particularly under siege and had some mental health issues relating to a form of claustrophobia where he could not leave his farm. Most of his attacks are acceptable if extremely biting but this card would have been better left unprinted.
This example is hand addressed by Finlay on the reverse to Claire Burns in Paris. A mailed example but still VG+.

2 in stock

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