Intuitive Alphabet - Trade Edition

by Michele Oka Doner


Intuitive Alphabet is, literally, a gift from the sea, like life itself. Michele Oka Doner grew up in Miami Beach combing the sand for treasures—shells, stones, coral—that formed her own alphabet well before she knew how to read. In this book, an homage to that world of discovery, the renowned artist shows us the glyphic forms embedded in the treasures she has collected during a lifetime of walks on the beach. Intuitive Alphabet is both an artist’s book and, yes, an alphabet book, one which conveys a profound message about looking and seeing. On an even deeper level, Intuitive Alphabet offers insights into the way in which language has evolved and is learned.

Minimal text, handwritten by the artist, is paired with photographs of sea objects that represent forms, such as “A is for Animal," and "S is for Spiral.” The result is a thoroughly original, evocative, and thought-provoking work that underscores the connection between humans and nature.

"The exploration of nature into language has fascinated me since childhood. It seems almost magical, like incantations…Intuitive Alphabet reminds children, as well as adults, to look at the natural world, to understand how much we depend on nature for sustenance in all ways." — Michele Oka Doner

Michele Oka Doner is an internationally renowned artist whose production encompasses sculpture, prints, drawings, furniture, jewelry, public art, functional objects, video, costume and set design, and artist’s books. She is well known for such permanent art installations as Flight at Reagan International Airport and A Walk on the Beach at Miami International Airport. Oka Doner’s work is found in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Victoria & Albert Museum.


Trade Edition

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Paperback, French-Fold Binding

56 Color Photographs

Forest Stewardship Council Certified Paper

98 Pages

5.75 x 8.25 in.