New York

Ian Hamilton Finlay, ROUSSEAU (Sour Vase)/A Wild Flower Is Ideological, like a Badge, 1991–93, cast bronze, ceramic vase; bust: 27 1⁄2 × 10 1⁄2 × 11“, vase: 5 1⁄2 × 3 3⁄8 × 3 3⁄8”.

Ian Hamilton Finlay

David Nolan Gallery

Ian Hamilton Finlay, ROUSSEAU (Sour Vase)/A Wild Flower Is Ideological, like a Badge, 1991–93, cast bronze, ceramic vase; bust: 27 1⁄2 × 10 1⁄2 × 11“, vase: 5 1⁄2 × 3 3⁄8 × 3 3⁄8”.

A certain subset of modernists was eager to demonstrate that what seems newest is old, even archaic, and that what appears most radical in contemporary culture has its source in centuries past. Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925–2006) first came to attention in the 1950s for his innovations in concrete poetry. But the Scottish poet, gardener, sculptor, and prolific collaborator was equally influenced by the poetry of Virgil and the unfolding of the French Revolution. This show, Finlay’s tenth at the gallery, attempted to give viewers a sense of Little Sparta, a garden on a farm near Edinburgh, which Finlay built with his wife, Sue Finlay. The garden, now overseen by a trust and open to the public each summer, is the summation of Finlay’s life in art. It features nearly three hundred artworks; many are sculptures featuring poetic inscriptions created in collaboration with stone carvers and

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