Paul Gorman is…

Die Kunst ist in Gefahr – Blessed & Blasted is back! Art Is In Danger, 1925

Dec 3rd, 2014
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//George Grosz’s book jacket for of Die Kunst is in Gefahr, published by Malik Verlag, Berlin, 1925//

“Today’s artist, if he does not want to run down and become an antiquated dud, has the choice between technology and class warfare propaganda. In both cases he must give up ‘pure art’.
Either he enrolls as an architect, engineer or advertising artist in the army (unfortunately very feudalistically organized) which develops industrial powers and exploits the world; or as a reporter and critic reflecting the face of our times.”
From Last Round, the conclusion to Art Is In Danger

Today I’m returning to Blessed & Blasted – my occasional series about art manifestos – with Art Is In Danger, issued as a small book in 1925 by George Grosz and John Heartfield’s brother Wieland Hertzfelde.

This choice has been triggered by a charity shop acquisition of the catalogue for the 1979 London exhibition Neue Schachlichkeit And German Realism Of The Twenties, an examination of the so-called “New Objectivity” which arose as a reaction to the establishment of Weimar Germany.

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Mr Freedom designs at the V&A: ‘When what has been considered bad taste is suddenly found to be invigorating’

Dec 20th, 2013

V+AArchive-MrFreedomWingedBoots2

“There is a moment when ‘good taste’ becomes dead; what has been considered ‘bad’ is suddenly found to be invigorating. Fashion today has little to do with la mode and the tacky is often accepted as an essential part of the necessary ‘total’ look. It can be fun.”

Cecil Beaton, introduction to the catalogue for the 1971 V&A exhibition Fashion: An Anthology

Recent visits to the V&A’s Archive of Art & Design have proved fruitful, particularly a viewing earlier this week of the collection of  Pop Art clothing sold through London boutique Mr Freedom in the late 60s and early 70s.

V+AArchive-MrFreedomGodBlessWoolworthstop

//Design: Diana Crawshaw, 1971//

V+AArchive-MrFreedomPKOfftop

//Kiss Off t-shirt, Jim O’Connor, 1971//

V+AArchive-MrFreedomRamalamadingdongtshirt

//Design Christopher Snow/Trevor Myles, body design: Diana Crawshaw, 1971//

V+AArchive-MrFreedomUniversityofWishfulThinkingtshirt

//Design: Pamla Motown, 1971//

V+AArchive-MrFreedomSpottedJockeyJacket

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Another of Mr Freedom’s ‘monstrous oddities’: Sue + Simon Haynes’ giant blue fun-fur gorilla

Mar 18th, 2013

//Mirabelle, May 2, 1970//

From the archive of the late Tommy Roberts, this image from British teen fashion magazine Mirabelle shows a particularly outré commission from fashion’s master of flamboyant retailing: a 7ft high rendition of a King Kong-style gorilla in blue fun fur created by the design team Sue and Simon Haynes.

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BeatBooks 62: Beat Recordings; Beat Literature; Beat Art

Feb 5th, 2013

//Jacket, Beatbooks 62 from collage by Norman Ogue Mustill, 1967.//

The new Beatbooks catalogue returns Andrew Sclanders to his primary preoccupation with the creative outpourings of the American Beats and their fellow travellers.
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The Look Of London: Research materials for new map with Herb Lester Associates

Oct 8th, 2012

Beatbooks 61: Communal, alternative and psychedelic living; Peyote; Hippies; Music; Psychedelic & Underground Art; Sixties London; Underground Press

Jul 23rd, 2012

//Cover, Beatbooks 61, from Martin Sharp's design for Oz no. 3 (May 1967).//

The new Beatbooks catalogue lines up the seminal alongside the obscure, from complete sets of Oz, Ink, Gandalf’s Garden and Suck magazines and Time’s “Swinging London” cover story to Robert E. Brown’s The Psychedelic Guide To Preparation Of The Eucharist, LIFE’s July 1969 study of US communes and a rare poster for the Psycho Circus at the Roundhouse in 1967 in support of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign.
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Rebel Rebel: Essay on Derek Boshier in Pallant House’s new catalogue

Jun 9th, 2012

Beatbooks 59: Pulp Junkies, The Naked Lunch, Beats + Outsiders, Concrete, Visual + Sound Poetry

Feb 10th, 2012

Cover design based on artwork from: (front) C.Comics No. 2, 1965; (back) The Friendly Way, 1972.

The new BeatBooks catalogue is preoccupied with a print netherworld encompassing one-offs, limited editions and short-runs published by  concrete poets, beats and other outsiders.

There are also juicy examples of smack-sensationalising pulp fiction and – in one section alone – 36 items relating to The Naked Lunch, including  Chicago Review excerpts from 1958 and William Burroughs’ first US LP release.
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Beatbooks 58: Psychedelia

Jul 19th, 2011

Beatbooks 57: Patti Smith

May 11th, 2011