ARTBOOK LOGO

ARTBOOK BLOG

RECENT POSTS

DATE 9/7/2016

Landon Nordeman: Out of Fashion

DATE 9/6/2016

Back to School Blueprint (for Counter Education)

DATE 9/5/2016

Toilet Paper: Issue 13, Woman in Ocean

DATE 9/4/2016

Toilet Paper: Issue 13, Watermelon

DATE 9/3/2016

Toilet Paper: Issue 13

DATE 9/2/2016

Hilma af Klint: Painting the Unseen, Adulthood, Ten Largest Series

DATE 9/1/2016

Hilma af Klint: Painting the Unseen

DATE 8/31/2016

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 1975: Photographs by Barbara Pyle

DATE 8/30/2016

Photography at MoMA: 1920 to 1960

DATE 8/29/2016

Isamu Noguchi: Playscapes, Play Equipment Study Models

DATE 8/28/2016

Isamu Noguchi: Playscapes

DATE 8/27/2016

Carrie Mae Weems: Kitchen Table Series

DATE 8/26/2016

Matt Mullican: Rubbings

DATE 8/25/2016

Bad Luck, Hot Rocks: Conscience Letters and Photographs from the Petrified Forest

DATE 8/24/2016

Bruce Conner Brass Handles, A Project by Will Brown

DATE 8/23/2016

Bruce Conner Brass Handles

DATE 8/23/2016

Muhammad Ali: Fighter's Heaven 1974 Book Trailer

DATE 8/22/2016

Hannah Höch: Life Portrait

DATE 8/21/2016

Hannah Höch: Life Portrait, A Collaged Autobiography

DATE 8/21/2016

IN THE NEWS! Hannah Höch: Life Portrait

DATE 8/20/2016

Wallace Berman: American Aleph, Shirley Berman in boat

DATE 8/19/2016

Wallace Berman: American Aleph, Verifax Collage Multicolor Shuffle Neil Young

DATE 8/18/2016

Keith Haring: Manhattan Penis Drawings for Ken Hicks

DATE 8/17/2016

Kati Heck, Als Ob

DATE 8/16/2016

Cindy Sherman: 2016

DATE 8/15/2016

Hokusai’s Lost Manga

DATE 8/14/2016

Hokusai’s Lost Manga, volume 1

DATE 8/13/2016

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence, Madonna and Child with Lilies

DATE 8/12/2016

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence

DATE 8/11/2016

Gerhard Richter: Colour Charts, Six Yellows

DATE 8/10/2016

Peter Angelo Simon presents 'Muhammad Ali: Fighter's Heaven 1974' at Greenlight Bookstore

DATE 8/10/2016

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: King of Lesser Lands

DATE 8/9/2016

NEW Yayoi Kusama Edition of Hans Christian Andersen's 'Little Mermaid'

DATE 8/8/2016

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen & Yayoi Kusama

DATE 8/7/2016

Muhammad Ali: Fighter's Heaven 1974, in the ring

DATE 8/6/2016

Muhammad Ali: Fighter's Heaven 1974, Joe Frazier rock

DATE 8/5/2016

SOJOURNS

DATE 8/5/2016

VIVA BRASIL!

DATE 8/5/2016

Muhammad Ali: Fighter's Heaven 1974

DATE 8/5/2016

All Eyes on Brasília!

DATE 8/4/2016

Alejandro Aravena: Elemental

DATE 8/4/2016

The Films of Robert Frank at BAM, Frank Books at Greenlight Bookstore

DATE 8/3/2016

Nicole Eisenman: Al-ugh-ories, Selfie

DATE 8/3/2016

Best of Fall 2016: Forthcoming Favorites from Mark Pearson

DATE 8/3/2016

Brilliant Piece of Critical Writing by Badlands & Paul Chan

DATE 8/1/2016

California Surfing and Climbing in the Fifties, Wendy Wagner and Tom Carlin Kaena Point

DATE 8/1/2016

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence, Bust of a Boy

DATE 7/31/2016

Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction

DATE 7/31/2016

Peter Angelo Simon & D.A. Pennebaker to Launch 'Muhammad Ali: Fighter's Heaven 1974' at Rizzoli

DATE 7/29/2016

Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction

DATE 7/28/2016

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


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