Gallery Hopping: Charles Avery Brings His Islanders’ Culture to Pilar Corrias

The exhibition focuses on the people who inhabit the artist's imaginary city of Onomatopoeia.

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Charles Avery at Pilar Corrias
Charles Avery, "The People and Things of Onomatopoeia, Part 2" (2017)
Charles Avery at Pilar Corrias
Charles Avery, "The People and Things of Onomatopoeia, Part 2" (2017)
Charles Avery at Pilar Corrias
Charles Avery, "The People and Things of Onomatopoeia, Part 2" (2017)
Charles Avery at Pilar Corrias
Charles Avery, "The People and Things of Onomatopoeia, Part 2" (2017)
Charles Avery at Pilar Corrias
Charles Avery, "The People and Things of Onomatopoeia, Part 2" (2017)
Charles Avery at Pilar Corrias
Charles Avery, "The People and Things of Onomatopoeia, Part 2" (2017)
Charles Avery at Pilar Corrias
Charles Avery, "The People and Things of Onomatopoeia, Part 2" (2017)
Charles Avery at Pilar Corrias
Charles Avery, "The People and Things of Onomatopoeia, Part 2" (2017)
Charles Avery at Pilar Corrias
Charles Avery, "The People and Things of Onomatopoeia, Part 2" (2017)

In his fourth solo outing at Pilar Corrias, titled “The People and Things of Onomatopoeia: Part 2,” artist Charles Avery expands on his ongoing 12-year project, The Islanders.

Since 2005, Avery has dedicated the entirety of his practice to The Islanders, described in the press release as “a fictional island with its own population, customs, cosmology, and architecture.” He realizes this “island” through myriad mediums, including large-scale drawings, sculptures, installations, texts, and moving image.

In this particular exhibition, Avery presents new drawings, portraits, furniture, jewelery, posters, and bibelots—all intended to provide a peek into The Islanders’ culture. Also on display is a drawing, described as a “huge vista,” of the zoo in Onomatopoeia, the island’s capital city.

In an accompanying text, Avery describes The Islanders’ belief system. “They’re a cosmopolitan bunch with widely ranging views, so this is a difficult question to answer,” he writes. “If there is a consensus, however, it is of a rational bent.”

“They prefer to argue the possibility of ultimate truth or otherwise through the medium of the many philosophical salons that occur in the warmth of the bars and clubs of Onomatopoeia … In the participation of the ‘Eternal Dialectic’—as these meetings are collectively known—they are avid, for they are much more interested in the texture of propositions than the proof, and in drinking.”

Such focus on the element and objects of The Islanders’ culture serves to further personify and bring to life Avery’s imaginary world and its people.

Charles Avery, “The People and Things of Onomatopoeia: Part 2” is on view at Pilar Corrias, London, through February 17, 2017.


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