Zos-Kia: An Introductory Essay on the Art and Sorcery of Austin Osman Spare


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Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) was one of the most enigmatic artists of this century. His powerful and idiosyncratic art masks a philosophy of arcane beauty, often overlooked by the undiscerning eye. In this essay his personal systems are explored, clarified and augmented with judicious application of the artist’s own words. Here are excerpts from Spare’s last unpublished grimoire The Logomachy of Zos alongside the early text of  The Book of Pleasure, clearly demonstrating the strength and consistency of his vision through life.

With the hindsight of many years biographical research and experimentation exploring Spare’s system with his own, the author Gavin Semple here gives emphasis to the techniques of sorcery that imbued Spare’a art with such power and demonstrates to the reader the methods by which these potentials are controlled and made manifest. First published in Starfire magazine, the essay has been considerably revised and expanded, including a glossary, and is fully illustrated.



8 colour | 17 black and white
English text


Youth Unmasks
The Sacred Alphabet
In the Death Posture
Casting the Shadow
Modus Operandi
The Effort of Remembering


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