The Development of Spare’s Work

Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) was an artist who drew and painted over a period of more than fifty years, across a number of media – pencil, pen & ink, watercolour, pastels, and oil – and through a variety of subjects and styles. Over the decades Spare held many exhibitions, and the development of his rich body of work is fascinating. For instance, there was an outwardly grotesque style which reached the peak of its expression in pictures and sketchbooks in the early to mid 1920s. Siderealism was introduced into his work at the 1930 exhibition; the “Witches’ Sabbath” style was a large part of his 1952 exhibition. In this presentation Michael Staley considers Spare’s work across the decades from the early 1900s until his death in 1956, using many examples of his art to illustrate not only the emerging styles but also the interplay with the development of his occult and mystical philosophy.

Speaker Bio:

Michael Staley lives in north-west London, and has been immersed in Spare’s work for many years now. In 2011 he published two early bookworks by Spare as Two Grimoires, and is planning the future publication of a number of Spare’s sketchbooks from the 1950s. Michael has a life-long interest in the occult, and is particularly interested in how Spare’s work resonates with other mystical and magical traditions.

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Jun 5th 2022 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

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