The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography

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9781568987620: The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography

Maps can be simple tools, comfortable in their familiar form. Or they can lead to different destinations: places turned upside down or inside out, territories riddled with marks understood only by their maker, realms connected more to the interior mind than to the exterior world. These are the places of artists' maps, that happy combination of information and illusion that flourishes in basement studios and downtown galleries alike. It is little surprise that, in an era of globalized politics, culture, and ecology, contemporary artists are drawn to maps to express their visions. Using paint, salt, souvenir tea towels, or their own bodies, map artists explore a world free of geographical constraints.

Katharine Harmon knows this territory. As the author of our best-selling book You Are Here, she has inspired legions of new devotees of imaginative maps. In The Map as Art, Harmon collects 360 colorful, map-related artistic visions by well-known artists such as Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, Olafur Eliasson, Maira Kalman, William Kentridge, and Vik Muniz and many more less-familiar artists for whom maps are the inspiration for creating art. Essays by Gayle Clemans bring an in-depth look into the artists' maps of Joyce Kozloff, Landon Mackenzie, Ingrid Calame, Guillermo Kuitca, and Maya Lin. Together, the beautiful reproductions and telling commentary make this an essential volume for anyone open to exploring new paths.

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About the Author:

Katharine Harmon has produced more than a dozen titles such as Blackstock's Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant and is the author of several books, including You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination. She manages Tributary Books, a book development company in Seattle.

Review:

“In her striking new book THE MAP AS ART, author Katharine Harmon brings together a wide selection of maps clearly meant to be more psychologically expressive than geographically correct.... By the end of the book, you wonder just which way is up.” —Art in America

“Katharine Harmon's THE MAP AS ART is a collection of visionary topographies and imaginary geographies charted by artists including Vik Muniz, a Brazilian who re-creates the globe from pieces of junk; Kim Jones, an American who draws obsessively detailed battle diagrams; and the amazing Congolese painter Cheri Samba, who populates his dreamscape with figures from the all-too-real spheres of politics and finance.” —O, the Oprah Magazine

“Rand McNally seems a world away.” —New York Times Magazine

“Colorful, creative, and downright disorienting. Whether you're interested in how we envision political landscapes, represent neighborhoods, or visually manipulate directional information, you can get there from here.” —Liquid Treat

“A remarkable collection of 360 colorful, map-related visions of experimental cartography by well-known artists and design thinkers.” —Brain Pickings

“[THE MAP AS ART] features plenty of work that defies our expectations of what a map is.” —The National Post

“Katharine Harmon knows this territory. As the author of our best-selling book YOU ARE HERE, she has inspired legions of new devotees of imaginative maps.... Together, the beautiful reproductions and telling commentary make this an essential volume for anyone open to exploring new paths.” —Photo Eye

“For anyone who’s ever gotten lost in the pages of a AAA road map or daydreamed of faraway places while spinning a globe, THE MAP AS ART offers ample opportunity for fascination. Over 250 pages of visually engaging, thought-provoking works are rife with relevance.” —Cool Hunting

“This new volume by the author of the ingenious YOU ARE HERE extends the boundaries of her celebration of mapmaking. Employing a range of media and states of mind that range from the playful to the political, the artists represented between the book's covers—including Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, Olafur Eliasson, and many others—map landscapes familiar, unknown, invented. The result is a beautiful, captivating volume.” —Barnes and Noble Review

“Who hasn’t pored over a map, totally absorbed, oblivious to the passage of time? If you’re inclined to such daydreaming, THE MAP AS ART will intrigue, delight and perplex you, as you browse through 160 contemporary artists’ interpretations of mapping the world.” —PopMatters

“THE MAP AS ART is just plain cool. Here are Seattle's changing neighborhoods on woodblock prints. Here is a map of a London subway in red cotton thread stitched on rice paper. Here's the Caspian Sea in plywood. Put out this book and dare your guests not to pick it up.” —The Register Guard

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