IAN HAMILTON FINLAY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2012
IAN HAMILTON FINLAY
YALE UNION INVITES ARTISTS AND SCHOLARS TO CREATE
VARIED EXHIBITIONS OF IAN HAMILTON FINLAY’S ARTWORKS,
DRAWING FROM THE REED COLLEGE LIBRARY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS ARCHIVE
July 2012– Yale Union (YU) is pleased to announce, in collaboration with Reed College’s Special Collections Library, the introduction of a series of exhibitions featuring the work of poet and printmaker Ian Hamilton Finlay. Reed College’s library contains what’s claimed to be the most thorough Finlay collection in North America; over the course of the next year, artists, editors, and scholars will be invited to sift through the extensive archive to curate their own exhibitions of Finlay’s work. Rarely displayed for the general public, YU will have the notable opportunity of hosting this collection and what will be the most comprehensive Ian Hamilton Finlay exhibition in the United States to date.
Ian Hamilton Finlay was a prolific Scottish poet, printmaker, philosopher, and landscape artist. After serving in World War II, Finlay returned to Scotland, to the island of Rousay, Orkney and worked as a shepherd before beginning to write poetry and short stories. He published many books including Rapel (1963), his first collection of concrete poetry- in which the layout and typography of the words contributes to its overall effect. It was as a poet that he first gained wide renown. In 1964 he founded Wild Hawthorn Press, to allow his own and others’ experimentation with elements of language as signs, as both graphic and connotative poetic devices. Finlay began to compose poems to be inscribed into stone, incorporating these sculptures into the natural environment, most remarkably at Little Sparta, a 5-acre garden in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh. The inscription of language, invented and borrowed, onto real objects brought them into the physical world and so brought together two seemingly opposed but betoken characteristics of his work- the complex relation between culture and nature, between the cultivated and the wild. Finlay’s work moves through a variety of genres of expression, and his activities have assumed physical form in cards, books, prints, inscribed stone and wood sculptures, installations and fully realized garden environments.
The first guest curator in the series to present their selection of Finlay’s prints and published books is British artist, typographer, and publisher Will Holder. Holder has focused on the artistic processes and generational correlations in artistic behaviors, through the artwork itself and will be on view through the end of August 2012. Tim Johnson and Caitlin Murray, curators, editors, and managers of the Marfa Book Company (Marfa, TX) will follow, exhibiting their selections beginning September 1, 2012. The exhibition series will be on view in the Yale Union library, and while all displayed in the same manner each guest curator in the series will highlight a different way of looking at Finlay’s extensive body of work.
Tours of the Yale Union building are available upon request with one week’s notice.
Please call (503) 236-7996 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.