Ian Hamilton Finlay
To Apollo His Music His Missiles His Muses
(1996, slate, with Annet Stirling)
A major exhibition of sculpture and wall paintings from the estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay, one of the leading conceptual artists of the twentieth century and one of the Scotland's most original artists of all time. This exhibition coincides with the opening of Hortus Conclusus, Finlay's last major work for Little Sparta, the garden at Stonypath in the Pentland Hills where he lived and worked for 40 years.
Little Sparta is widely, and rightly, understood to be one of the key gardens made in this country in the last 100 years and one of the greatest ever of all Scottish artworks. The Hortus Conclusus was conceived shortly before Finlay's death in 2006 and will be unveiled for the first time at noon on 20th June.
The Ingleby gallery exhibition also coincides with a celebration of concrete poetry at the ICA in London entitled: Poor. Old. Tired Horse. (17 June - 23 August). This exhibition has Finlay's early work at its core, and takes its title from the poetry periodical he published between 1962 and 1968.
Poetry was at the heart of all of Finlay's work and his ideas as an artist, classicist, gardener and fireside philosopher have had a profound influence, despite Finlay himself rarely leaving his isolated home at Stonypath. For all his agoraphobic angst, delight in metaphor and the supposed complexities of his reference, Finlay remains a resolutely accessible and international figure, his voice crossing cultures and his work frequently exhibited in the great museums of the world.
This show looks at several of the key themes that occupied Finlay's thinking over 50 years. It includes a group of small stone sculptures exploring boats and the sea (a subject to which Finlay often returned as an expression of the smallness of mankind, and our inability to impose order on natural chaos). It also includes works on a revolutionary theme that have not been shown since the 1987 exhibition at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, as well as small number of sculptures that have never, until now, been exhibited. The main gallery will be dominated by a wall painting of Apollo and Daphne and by three towering glass guillotines, each emblazoned with a single word, which together form the revolutionary cry: LIBERTÉ…EGALITÉ…FRATERNITÉ.
For further information contact Ingleby gallery on 0131 556 4441 or info@inglebygallery. For more information on Poor.Old.Tired.Horse at the ICA contact Zoe Franklin on : 020 7766 1418 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org