ARTBOOK LOGO

ARTBOOK BLOG

RECENT POSTS

DATE 2/18/2016

Muse: Mickalene Thomas, Le Dejeuner Sur l'herbe les Trois Femmes Noires

DATE 2/17/2016

Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs, Don't Forget About Me (Keri)

DATE 2/17/2016

SURF'S UP! Two California Events for Joni Sternbach: Surf Site Tin Type

DATE 2/16/2016

Muse: Mickalene Thomas, Sandra: She's a Beauty #2

DATE 2/16/2016

The Sun Went to Their Heads: Louise Sandhaus to Lecture on California, Graphic Design & Modernism during Palm Springs Modernism Week

DATE 2/15/2016

The Photographs of Abraham Lincoln

DATE 2/14/2016

Private Collection: A History of Erotic Photography, 1850–1940

DATE 2/14/2016

Love Stories

DATE 2/13/2016

Sarah Cain: The Imaginary Architecture of Love, Bow Down

DATE 2/12/2016

Shannon Ebner: Auto Body Collision

DATE 2/11/2016

Santu Mofokeng: Stories No. 1: Train Church

DATE 2/10/2016

Lookin' Good

DATE 2/10/2016

Beauty: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, Vlisco textiles

DATE 2/10/2016

Congratulations Badlands Unlimited: New Offices, New Flagship Outlet!

DATE 2/9/2016

William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest, Bottles on Table

DATE 2/8/2016

William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest

DATE 2/7/2016

William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest, Gulf Transport bus

DATE 2/6/2016

Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet, Gaston Duf

DATE 2/5/2016

BACK IN STOCK! Maude Schuyler Clay: Mississippi History, Anna as Heidi

DATE 2/4/2016

Kerry James Marshall: Look See, Untitled (Rapunzel)

DATE 2/3/2016

NEW! The Artist as Curator: Collaborative Initiatives in the International Zero Movement 1957-1967, Margret Mack, Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Jean Tinguely, Daniel Spoerri, Pol Bury, Yves Klein and Emmett Williams after the opening of Vision in Motion

DATE 2/2/2016

Christine Osinski: Summer Days Staten Island, kids hanging out by car

DATE 2/1/2016

Joel Meyerowitz: Morandi's Objects, Flowers in Vase

DATE 2/1/2016

Join ARTBOOK | D.A.P. at the 2016 CAA Conference

DATE 2//2016

Visit ARTBOOK at the LAABF 2016!

DATE 1/31/2016

Ed Ruscha: Los Angeles Apartments

DATE 1/30/2016

Suzan Frecon: Oil Paintings and Sun, Dark Red Cathedral

DATE 1/29/2016

Jack Pierson: onthisisland

DATE 1/28/2016

Robert Frank: In America

DATE 1/27/2016

Sue Williams, It's a Man's World

DATE 1/27/2016

Books & Films by Robert Frank

DATE 1/26/2016

BACK IN STOCK! Guy Bourdin: Polaroids

DATE 1/25/2016

Saul Leiter: Early Black and White

DATE 1/25/2016

The Haas Brothers & Liza Lou at Art Catalogues, LACMA

DATE 1/25/2016

Cooking from the CCCP COOK BOOK

DATE 1/24/2016

The Haas Brothers: Afreaks

DATE 1/23/2016

Brad Cloepfil / Allied Works Architecture: Case Work, Wisconsin Art Preserve

DATE 1/22/2016

Brad Cloepfil / Allied Works Architecture: Case Work, National Music Centre of Canada

DATE 1/22/2016

HISTORIC: Robert Frank & Gerhard Steidl in Conversation

DATE 1/21/2016

Exquisite: Gerhard Richter: Atlas, Limited Edition

DATE 1/21/2016

Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists

DATE 1/19/2016

Charlotte Dumas: Work Horse

DATE 1/19/2016

Chris Killip: Pirelli Work

DATE 1/18/2016

Gordon Parks: Segregation Story

DATE 1/17/2016

Hiroji Kubota: Photographer, March on Washington

DATE 1/16/2016

BACK IN STOCK! Henry Taylor

DATE 1/16/2016

New & Forthcoming Books by Gordon Parks

DATE 1/15/2016

Erica Baum: The Naked Eye, untitled woman

DATE 1/15/2016

Best of 2016: Dan Nadel Shares his Forthcoming Favorites

DATE 1/14/2016

The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip, Alec Soth

DATE 1/14/2016

Jennie C. Jones: Compilation


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