Under Ben Bulben. Barry. William Butler Yeats McCallion.

Under Ben Bulben.

East Hampton, NY: 2019. Artist's book, unique, on Richard de Bas paper, signed by the artist, Barry McCallion, and dated 2019 on the colophon. Page size: 13 x 10 inches; 32pp; + titlepage and half title, tailpiece and colophon. Bound by Joelle Webber: the eight folios sewn into green boards with original painted label of the mountain Ben Bulben framed against a blue sky, blue label with title in white ink on spine; housed in custom-made tan cloth over boards clamshell box with blue label, title and author lettered in white ink on spine. W. B. Yeats knew that UNDER BEN BULBEN was to be his last poem. It is an assessing look at the art, politics, spiritual philosophy, history, love, and folklore that informed his creative life. He conjures up the ghosts of past artists, civilizations, religions in a whirlpool of verbal images, not the least of which is the last verse, inscribed on his tombstone, at the foot of Ben Bulben. The text is hand-lettered by the artist, Barry McCallion, in white ink, on blue Richard de Bas paper, which was then cut out and collaged to each page of the book, loosely fitted onto the center rectangle on each page which holds images of the mountain, Ben Bulben. Loosely brushed India ink colors fill the borders around the "text" block- not unlike the borders of early illuminated manuscripts. However, rather than the highly detailed, realistic images of flowers and animals that decorate early illuminated manuscripts, these are abstract creations in yellow and red on a gold gilt ground, often with a circular (if not vortex or gyre) theme. The reader / viewer is taken into the controlled confusion, to make sense of it or not. Looking away does not appear to be an option. Not an easy poem, Yeats has created multiple references to previous artists, mystics, and philosophers - seemingly to inspire the current generation as well as place himself squarely in a hallowed pantheon. He succeeds. Item #11483

Price: $6,000.00