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All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.
WILSON, S. Clay
Three original pen-and-ink illustrations for the German edition of Burroughs' novel Cities of the Red Night. Two of the images are 5-1/4" x 9", the third is 5-1/4" x 10"; all three are matted and framed to approximately 16" x 19". Wilson and Burroughs collaborated on three books -- this one, a German edition of The Wild Boys, and Tornado Alley. Wilson was one of the group of artists who gained exposure in the underground comix of the 1960s counterculture. After R. Crumb, he is probably the best known of that group, and his images are almost certainly the most extreme: all of the underground comic artists sought to break barriers and defy convention, and Wilson's images are densely packed and full of overt sex and violence to a nearly unthinkable degree. In this he was very much like Burroughs, whose verbal imagery sought to shatter all barriers, preconceptions and hypocrisies; the collaboration between the two of them seems in retrospect to have been inevitable. These drawings were displayed at the Los Angeles County Art Museum in the show "Ports of Entry: William Burroughs and the Arts," which sought to convey the influence Burroughs has had on visual arts. Extraordinary images, the result of an equally extraordinary collaboration; these are probably among the best artwork Wilson has done, and probably the best illustrations ever of Burroughs' writings. Burroughs himself appears as a character in one of the images. Together with the original layout and lettering for the title page of the book, Die Stadte der Roten Nacht: three hand-lettered sheets and one printed sheet. All items are fine. [#027316] $22,500
(BURROUGHS, William). WILSON, S. Clay
1988. An original drawing by Wilson for Burroughs' 1989 book Tornado Alley. This image was included in the exhibition "Ports of Entry: William Burroughs and the Arts" that was mounted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1996, and it is reproduced on page 140 of the exhibition catalog. Interestingly, the illustration in the book does not show some of the work that Wilson did, as it was done using nonrepro blue pencil which does not show up when photographed: Wilson's edits didn't appear in Tornado Alley and they don't appear in Ports of Entry, but they are quite visible in the work itself. Wilson, one of the great artists of the underground comix of the 1960s and beyond, whom R. Crumb has said was a major influence on Crumb's own work, collaborated with Burroughs on a number of projects. This is not only a significant work of art, and a significant association with Burroughs, but it is also signed by Wilson, who has added, "To Nelson" next to his signature: Wilson gave this work to his friend Nelson Lyon, who loaned it to the exhibition and is listed in the book as one of the lenders to the exhibit. This is, in effect, a three-way association: Nelson Lyon was the co-producer of Burroughs' Dead City Radio, a 1990 album of Burroughs reading his work (including pieces from Tornado Alley) against a background of experimental music by various artists. 9-3/4" x 6-3/4". Matted and framed. Fine. A notable association copy, and an artifact of one of the great collaborations that Burroughs engaged in. [#028091] $7,500