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Austin Osman Spare: Psychopathia Sexualis

March 19th, 2022 – May 22th, 2022

Curated by Rebecca Fasman, Ryan M Pfeiffer, and Rebecca Walz

Opening Reception: March 19th, 2022, 6 – 9 PM

Publication: Austin Osman Spare: Psychopathia Sexualis


Contributors: Robert Shehu-Ansell, Dr. Jeremy Biles, Elijah Burgher, Rebecca Fasman, Ryan M. Pfeiffer and Rebecca Walz

Book Launch Reception: Iceberg Projects, May 14th, 4 – 6 PM, 7714 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL

Book Launch Lecture Presentation: International Museum of Surgical Science, May 15th, 2:30 – 5 PM, 1709 W. 1524 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago,

Iceberg Projects and the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University, are pleased to present Austin Osman Spare: Psychopathia Sexualis, the first solo exhibition for the artist in North America. This landmark exhibition celebrates the centennial anniversary of a rare folio of erotic drawings from the Kinsey Institute’s Collections. The works on display depict numerous tableaus of a grotesque bacchanalia featuring monstrous figures, satyroi, animals, and even portraits of Spare himself. The unveiling of this folio, on view in its entirety for the first time, contributes forty-four new works to the oeuvre of Austin Osman Spare (1886–1956).

Coinciding with the exhibition, Fulgur Press has produced a full-color facsimile of the portfolio of Austin Osman Spare drawings from the Kinsey Institute, due for publication on April 30th, 2022. An edition of 1500 copies will be available, with a further deluxe edition, signed by the contributors. In addition to the 44 works by Spare, the book will include texts that explore aspects of the artist's work through both poetic and critical methods. The essays included are by Robert Shehu-Ansell, Dr. Jeremy Biles, and Elijah Burgher, as well as a Preface by Rebecca Fasman, and an Introduction by Ryan M. Pfeiffer with Rebecca Walz.

This exhibition contains sexually explicit imagery.
Press Release


Book Launch Symposium Austin Osman Spare Psychopathia Sexualis
A two-day celebration of the publication Austin Osman Spare: Psychopathia Sexualis.

Book Launch Lecture Presentation:
International Museum of Surgical Science
May 15th, 2:30-5 PM
1524 N Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL

Book Launch Reception:
Iceberg Projects
May 14th, 4 -6 PM
7714 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL

Lecture Series and Discussion at The International Museum of Surgical Science, May 15th:
Robert Shehu-Ansell - Keynote Lecture
Director & Founder of Fulgur Press, UK
Austin Osman Spare and the Grotesque: A Fruitful Violence

Robert Ansell, founder of Fulgur Press, will present new scholarship based on Spare’s recently discovered Psychopathia Sexualis folio. This discussion will be laid out in the context of Spare’s oeuvre, his circumstances in 1922, and draw comparisons with other published works to explore Spare’s political relationship with the grotesque.

Dr. Jeremy Biles
Associate Professor at the School of Art Institute of Chicago
Under the Sign of the Sphinx: Spare, Drawing, and the Anal Erotics of Everyday Life

The anus is an occulted riddle, a murmuring enigma, coursing through the work of Austin Osman Spare. Bringing Spare’s visual and written work into contact with psychoanalysis, Biles will formulate an “anal-surrealist” approach to drawing as part of an “erotics of everyday life.”

Follwed by a Q&A discussion with special guests Jesse Bransford, Elijah Burgher along with the publication’s contributors and exhibition curators.

See here for detailed program description.


Jeremy Lybarger, “Pleasure in Perversion: Austin Osman Spare at Iceberg Projects,” Art in America, 2022.

Image: Austin Osman Spare Untitled (Self-portrait) C. 1912-1922 Pencil, ink, colored chalk From the Collections of the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University. All rights reserved.
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