Intuitive Alphabet - Trade Edition978-0-9986931-0-1 $21.95
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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.
“Although Oka Doner’s practice is about the physical power and material potential of objects, she’s fascinated with something wholly abstract and intangible: language. Or, perhaps more precisely, how we communicate with each other and the world around us.”—Observer
“Best known for her public installations…Michele Oka Doner is also a prolific and inventive maker of sculpture, jewelry, furniture, functional objects and handmade books. Her work celebrates organic forms, particularly seashore life, but also seeds, trees, the body and other natural growths.”—New York Times
“Sublime.”—New York Daily News
“Among the most versatile artists working today…The source of Oka Doner’s governing passion emanates from the spiritual nature that forms around us.”—Art Daily
“Oka Doner’s studio is essentially one giant, fantastical and tastefully decorated wunderkammer…But her collections are much more than elegant clutter. They serve as the spark for her work.”—Wall Street Journal
“A delicate sensitivity and surprising force of expression.”—Vogue Italia
“Oka Doner tells us a story of how our minds make meaning…And that is the delightful point of it all: to make us aware, at each turn of the page, of the remarkable plasticity of our imaginations, that reading and seeing are not passive experiences; they are ways we, quite literally, make the world.”—The Miami Rail
“Luminous and absorbing…Oka Doner reminds us of the interconnectedness of all things—that everything is alive.”—Susan Brind Morrow, Guggenheim Fellow and author of The Names of Things
“Immersing herself in the natural world… Michele Oka Doner creates evocative spaces and places.”—Metropolis
“Her studio is itself a work of art.”—Washington Independent
“[Intuitive Alphabet] is spectacular. It will make a tremendous addition to our collection of artist’s books and I predict it will be a very popular item in our classrooms and reading room.” —Tom Hyry, Houghton Library of the Harvard College Library
“A deep understanding of light is at the core of Oka Doner’s work.”—Modern Magazine
“I can’t think of another artist who is so remarkably versatile but always hews to her singular aesthetic.”—David Gill of David Gill Gallery
“The book’s un-spectacularity makes it so spectacular. It is soul food that will be sitting on my night stand next to Rainer Maria Rilke’s Die Gedichte.”—Juergen Fischer, cultural critic