The (mental) architectures of Onomatopoeia, a journey to Charles Avery’s Island in Milan

The (mental) architectures of Onomatopoeia, a journey to Charles Avery’s Island in Milan
The (mental) architectures of Onomatopoeia, a journey to Charles Avery’s Island in Milan
Charles Avery, Untitled (Inner Circle, Onomatopoenia Zoo), detail, 2016
pencil, acrylic, watercolour and ink on paper, 216,5 x 352,7 x 10,2 cm

Zoo, Hat, Bridge, Tree: Architectural Propositions of Onomatopoeia, that is Charles Avery’s first solo show in Milan. At the Vistamare gallery (8 June – 30 July 2021), Avery presents a series of drawings, made in the last five years, depicting important buildings in the city of Onomatopoeia, the capital of the fictional island of which the artist continues to trace new narratives and ideas which touch on mathematics, architecture, literature and mathematical philosophy.

At the center of the exhibition, Untitled (Inner Circle, Onomatopoeia Zoo), 2016, a large large-scale drawing, which shows the overview of a zoo teeming with both human and non-human life. From a careful examination of the image, the artist’s desire emerges to describe the people and the architecture that inhabit it more than his mere zoology. Also on display are several drawings of finely decorated architectural studies, which tell the genesis of Avery’s imagination, from idea to conception. “Drawing a convincing building is like drawing a person. You have to understand its function, where are the stairs, the pipes, before putting on its skin ”. Two sculptures complete the exhibition: Untitled (Tree No.1 for Jadindagadendar) and Untitled (Boogie-Woogie), both examples of the artist’s philosophical and imaginary poetics.

Using drawing as the main medium, Avery himself becomes one of the protagonists of his fiction. The island exists as a place for new beginnings and opportunities, where bridges and buildings are built; they open bars and hotels for tourists greedy for another culture, who are greeted as they flock from the boats to the harbor. As Plato identified two different planes of reality, the sensible world and the intelligible world, so Avery, at the limit between real and ideal, invites the viewer to play an active role between subjectivity and imagination, in search of his Atlantis.

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mental architectures Onomatopoeia journey Charles Averys Island Milan

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