Beauty & Revolution: The Poetry & Art of Ian Hamilton Finlay


This publication was produced to coincide with the exhibition Beauty and Revolution: The Poetry and Art of Ian Hamilton, held at Kettle's Yard in 2014/15

The Scottish poet Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925–2006) first met and began to correspond with Jim Ede, the founder of Kettle’s Yard in 1964

“Ede and Finlay were wary friends, and the exhibition is a vibrant dialogue between two opposing approaches to art”, The Financial Times (December 2014).

In the same year, a group of Cambridge students had started to exhibit and write about his work. Among the students was Stephen Bann who went on to become an expert on the artist.

The exhibition, devised by Professor Bann and coming from his private collection, traced Ian Hamilton Finlay’s artistic development from the poems that made him Britain’s most internationally acclaimed concrete poet to the images and texts that marked his engagement with the ideas of the French Revolution. It also presented his famous garden, Little Sparta, in photographs and film.

64 pages
ISBN 978-1-904561-50-7

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