ARTBOOK LOGO

ARTBOOK BLOG

RECENT POSTS

DATE 6/22/2017

Art & Beauty Magazine: Drawings by R. Crumb, Serena Williams

DATE 7/31/2016

Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction

DATE 7/30/2016

Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe, Braniff flight attendants

DATE 7/30/2016

Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction

DATE 7/29/2016

Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe, Miller House

DATE 7/26/2016

Hannah Höch: Life Portrait, A Collaged Autobiography

DATE 7/26/2016

Mary Heilmann: Looking at Pictures, Primalon Ballroom

DATE 7/25/2016

Hannah Höch: Life Portrait

DATE 7/25/2016

Mary Heilmann: Looking at Pictures, Taste of Honey

DATE 7/24/2016

Save up to 30% at the ARTBOOK @ Swiss Institute Last Day Sale!

DATE 7/23/2016

Ed Templeton: Wayward Cognitions Huntington Beach USA

DATE 7/21/2016

Separate Cinema: The First 100 Years of Black Poster Art, Josephine Baker

DATE 7/20/2016

Visit Park Life & ARTBOOK | D.A.P. at the Inaugural SF Art Book Fair

DATE 7/20/2016

The 2001 File: Harry Lange and the Design of the Landmark Science Fiction Film

DATE 7/19/2016

The 1960s: Photographed by David Hurn

DATE 7/19/2016

Billy Name, 1940-2016

DATE 7/19/2016

Wayne Koestenbaum 'Notes on Glaze' Reading & Launch at 192 Books

DATE 7/18/2016

Brigid Berlin: Polaroids

DATE 7/18/2016

WELCOME REEL ART PRESS! An Interview with Tony Nourmand

DATE 7/17/2016

Sophie Calle: True Stories, Obituary

DATE 7/16/2016

Sophie Calle: True Stories

DATE 7/16/2016

Find our books at Park Life during the inaugural SF Art Book Fair, July 22-24!

DATE 7/15/2016

Sophie Calle: True Stories

DATE 7/14/2016

Seeing Things: A Kid's Guide to Looking at Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz, Edouard Boubat Lella

DATE 7/13/2016

Seeing Things: A Kid's Guide to Looking at Photographs, Bruce Davidson

DATE 7/12/2016

June Leaf: Thought Is Infinite

DATE 7/11/2016

Gus Van Sant: Icons, Michael Pitt Last Days

DATE 7/10/2016

Gus Van Sant: Icons, River Phoenix by Bruce Weber

DATE 7/9/2016

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction, Women with Bulldog

DATE 7/8/2016

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction, Udnie

DATE 7/6/2016

Parkett 98 Launch Event with Mika Rottenberg & Nikki Columbus at Swiss Institute!

DATE 7/6/2016

Georgia O'Keeffe: Watercolors, Mountain painting No. 22 - Special

DATE 7/6/2016

Georgia O'Keeffe: Watercolors, Stieglitz portrait

DATE 7/5/2016

Georgia O'Keeffe: Watercolors, Evening Star

DATE 7/4/2016

Maude Schuyler Clay: Mississippi History, Anna and Schuyler with fireworks

DATE 7/3/2016

Cape Cod Modern, Marcel Breuer Stillman House

DATE 7/2/2016

Cape Cod Modern: Mid-Century Architecture and Community on the Outer Cape

DATE 7/1/2016

Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné

DATE 6/30/2016

Carrie Mae Weems Book Launch at the Strand

DATE 6/30/2016

Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, Landscape near Malabata, Tangier

DATE 6/29/2016

Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, Jet of Water

DATE 6/28/2016

Jean Tinguely: Retrospective

DATE 6/27/2016

Peter Fischli and David Weiss: Flowers and Mushrooms

DATE 6/27/2016

City of Angels

DATE 6/26/2016

Tom Bianchi: Fire Island Pines, Polaroids 1975-1983

DATE 6/26/2016

Alvin Baltrop: The Piers

DATE 6/25/2016

Jimmy DeSana: Suburban, Untitled Stockings

DATE 6/25/2016

Bettina Rheims: Gender Studies

DATE 6/24/2016

Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Billboards

DATE 6/23/2016

Greg Reynolds: Jesus Days

DATE 6/23/2016

Design Observer Announces 50 Books | 50 Covers 2015


THOMAS EVANS | DATE 5/3/2011

Charles Avery: Onomatopoeia (Walther König/Koenig Books, London, 2011)

Of the many inspired curatorial concepts that Harald Szeemann devised in the course of his career, one of the most suggestive was “individual mythologies.” Szeemann debuted the term as the guiding thesis of the legendary Documenta 5, 1972; he later explicated it (in an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist collected in the latter’s A Brief History of Curating) as “intense intentions that can take diverse shapes: people create their own sign systems, which take time to be deciphered.” Nebulously broad as this may sound, what Szeemann intended by “individual mythologies” was an art in which a unified system, or world view or cosmology manifests itself across a range of media—via a repertoire of signs and symbols, as in Marcel Broodthaers’ eagles, pipes and bricks, or Matt Mullican’s generic Isotype symbols; or through allegory, as in the cosmologies of William Blake, or Paul Thek, whom Szeemann included in the 1972 Individual Mythologies show. Such cosmologies would operate independently of existing religious, scientific and philosophical systems (though inevitably borrowing from them).

Among the few contemporary instances of “Individual Mythology,” Scottish artist Charles Avery (born 1974)’s The Islanders project stands out for its especial richness and spirit of adventure. In 2004, Avery invented an island (known just as “the Island”) and began to populate it with natives, industries, colonists, philosophical systems and beliefs partly drawn from such thinkers as Kant and Heidegger—all illustrated in large drawings and sculptures.
Charles Avery: Onomatopoeia
Charles Avery: Onomatopoeia
The Islanders is a philosophical allegory, somewhat in the fashion of a Borges parable, with problems posed through encounters between competing or conflicting positions. Much of its thinking takes place through the Hunter, a would-be anthropologist from Triangleland (the name for everywhere that is outside the Island) who pursues a beast called the Noumenon, in a plotline that allows Avery to explore various allegories on the subject of absolute truth. (The Noumenon is a philosophical term associated with Kant’s “thing-in-itself,” i.e. an unknowable entity existing independently of human cognition.)

The Island’s port is named Onomatopoeia, and this second volume in what Avery envisages as a multivolume encyclopedia on The Islanders gives a detailed rendering of what the local businesses and flyposter ads around the port of a philosophical allegory might look like:

Charles Avery: Onomatopoeia
Charles Avery: Onomatopoeia

“If the drawings are compelling, it is because of the sheer effort I got to and my earnest attempt to portray a place to the best of my abilities,” Avery told a recent interviewer. “It’s as though I have an intense conviction about how this place and its people look.” The Islanders differs from other artistic mythologies in which symbolism is often privileged over description, as Avery’s drawing skill takes the enterprise almost to the realm of the virtual in its illustrative zeal; perhaps it also helps obviate the hazard of author-centric solipsism particular to individual mythologies. With each new installment in the project, Avery throws open another vista onto a fresh corner or hinterland of his philosophical playground.


Charles Avery: Onomatopoeia
Charles Avery: Onomatopoeia
Charles Avery: Onomatopoeia

Charles Avery: Onomatopoeia

Charles Avery: Onomatopoeia

WALTHER KöNIG/KOENIG BOOKS, LONDON
Hbk, 9 x 12.75 in. / 80 pgs / 22 b&w.



ARTBOOK LOGO
 
 

the art world's source for books on art & culture

  

CUSTOMER SERVICE
orders@artbook.com
212 627 1999
M-F 9-5 EST

TRADE ACCOUNTS

800 338 2665

CONTACT

JOBS + INTERNSHIPS

NEW YORK
Showroom by Appointment Only
155 Sixth Avenue
New York NY 10013
Tel   212 627 1999

LOS ANGELES
Showroom by Appointment Only
818 S. Broadway, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel. 323 969 8985

ARTBOOK LLC
D.A.P. | Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.


All site content Copyright C 2000-2013 by Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. and the respective publishers, authors, artists. For reproduction permissions, contact the copyright holders.

ARTBOOK AMPERSAT

The D.A.P. Catalog
www.artbook.com