Austin Osman Spare

Austin Osman Spare The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist

Revised & expanded edition

Paperback (21 Nov 2023)

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Publisher's Synopsis

A revised edition of Phil Baker's critically lauded biography of artist and occultist, Austin Osman Spare. London has harbored many curious characters, but few more curious than the artist and visionary Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956). A controversial enfant terrible of the Edwardian art world, the young Spare was hailed as a genius and a new Aubrey Beardsley, while George Bernard Shaw reportedly said "Spare's medicine is too strong for the average man." But Spare was never made for worldly success and he went underground, falling out of the gallery system to live in poverty and obscurity south of the river. Absorbed in occultism and sorcery, voyaging into inner dimensions, and surrounding himself with cats and familiar spirits, he continued to produce extraordinary art while developing a magical philosophy of pleasure, obsession, and the subjective nature of reality. Today Spare is both forgotten and famous, a cult figure whose modest life has been much mythologized since his death. This groundbreaking biographical study offers wide-ranging insights into Spare's art, mind and world, reconnecting him with the art history that ignored him and exploring his parallel London; a bygone place of pub pianists, wealthy alchemists, and monstrous owls. This richly readable and illuminating biography takes us deep into the strange inner world that this most enigmatic of artists inhabited, shedding new light while allowing just a few shadowy corners to flourish unspoiled. Revised, updated, and with a new afterword by the author, this is the definitive edition of Phil Baker's critically lauded Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist.

Book information

ISBN: 9781913689650
Publisher: Strange Attractor Press
Imprint: Strange Attractor Press
Pub date:
Edition: Revised & expanded edition
DEWEY: 759.2
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: x, 333
Weight: 554g
Height: 209mm
Width: 152mm
Spine width: 34mm