London: Catalpa Press, 1972. 52 of 200. Folio. Quarter Leather on cloth boards. Three raised bands to leather. Gilt title and drawing by Spare to Cloth boards. Marbled endpapers. Deckled edges. Very good condition. Leather and cloth both display mild wear with some rubbing to corners and soiling to the leather. A small black stain on the cloth. Internally, in pristine condition. Includes a laid-in cancelled personal check from Spare: “this edition is signed by way of a check” the legend states, and so it is. Item #ANT123
With an introduction by Ian Law. Spare’s portfolio of Automatic Drawing, first self-published in 1925 (only a year after the surrealists published their first manifesto), likely owes more to his ingestion of the work of Yeats, William Blake, and his own voracious interest in the occult than to the Surrealists’ automatic method (indeed he had first developed ideas about automatic drawing as early as 1915). Nevertheless, contemporaneously with the surrealists Spare explored the unconscious in work which lies somewhere between the the symbolists, the illuminated books of William Blake, and Andre Masson’s own automatic drawings. Spare, however, brings an individuality and sensibility all his own to a practice then on the periphery of the European consciousness. Published following his early books Earth Inferno and the Book of Satyrs, it features Spare’s familiar but always surprising grotesqueries, demonic entities, and carefully designed calligraphy and design. One of the greats of Spares self-published work in beautiful facsimile.