The Apotheosis of Ern Malley

This book contains many Garry Shead drawings as well as 3 original etchings, loose, numbered and signed that can be framed if desired. The book complete with three original etchings sells for $3300. The edition is 120 of which 100 are the edition and 20 are Artist Proof’s. Great Investment, talk to us about Lay Buys.

In 1940s Melbourne Max Harris and John Reed established the modernist magazine, Angry Penguins, which was the flagship journal for the Australian modernist movement. Two Sydney poets, James McAuley and Harold Stewart, who greatly opposed this movement, were posted for armed service in Melbourne at the time and plotted a literary prank against the Angry Penguins group. Together they created a collection of intentionally nonsensical poems from random pieces of obscure literature and invented a fictional author by the name of Ern Malley.

The poems, titled The Darkening Ecliptic, were sent to the Angry Penguins accompanied by a letter from a second fictional character created by the two, by the name of Ethel (Ern’s sister). Ethel wrote that she had found the poems at her late brother’s house. The poems were subsequently published in Angry Penguins with great enthusiasm by Harris and Reed who claimed them to be the work of a genius. The truth of the origins of the poems was quickly discovered and McAuley and Stewart delighted as the story made front page news. Garry Shead’s interest in this famous story of Australian art history began in the early 1960s and was further explored in the early 2000s in a series of drawings, paintings, etchings and ceramic works.

Included in the book are three individual etchings (above)
Signed LR ‘Garry Shead’
Edition is 6/100 and titled LL
29.5 x 22cm (plate size)
42.4 x 30cm (paper size)

Price: A$ $3,300 (inclusive of 3 etchings)