An Atlas of Es Devlin (Hardcover)
The international publishing sensation, An Atlas of Es Devlin has already sold out its first two printings, but more copies will be available in North America in May 2024. An Atlas of Es Devlin, the first monograph on artist Es Devlin’s genre-defying practice, is an experiential publication encompassing art, activism, theatre, poetry, music, dance, opera, and sculpture.
Devlin’s protean work is rooted in a lifelong practice of reading and drawing. From sketches in the margins of texts, be they poetry, drama, song lyrics, opera libretti, climate reports or endangered species lists, emerge the technically advanced, collectively imagined universes for which she is globally renowned. Fragile miniature paintings, paper cuts and small mechanical cardboard models form the seeds of some of the most iconic, large-scale, multi-disciplinary cultural manifestations in recent times, from public sculptures and installations at Tate Modern, Serpentine, V&A, Barbican, Imperial War Museum, and the Lincoln Center, to kinetic stage designs at the Royal Opera House, the Royal Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and the National Theatre, as well as Olympic Ceremonies, Super Bowl half-time shows, and monumental illuminated stage sculptures for Beyoncé, The Weeknd, U2, Rosalía, Dr. Dre, and Kendrick Lamar.
Devlin’s work is at once deeply personal and inherently collective. Over the past decade her art practice has engaged with biodiversity, linguistic diversity, and collective AI-generated poetry. She views the audience as a temporary society and encourages profound cognitive shifts by inviting public participation in communal choral works.
Published in association with a retrospective exhibition opening at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York in November 2023, An Atlas of Es Devlin is a unique, sculptural volume of over 900 pages, including foldouts, cut-outs, and a range of paper types, mirror and translucencies, with over 700 color images documenting over 120 projects spanning over 30 years, and a 50,000 word text featuring the artist’s personal commentaries on each art work as well as interviews with her collaborators including Hans Ulrich Obrist, Bono, Benedict Cumberbatch, Pharrell Williams, Carlo Rovelli, Brian Eno, Sam Mendes, Alice Rawsthorn, and Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye. Each book is boxed and includes a die-cut print from an edition of 5000.
— Hans Ulrich Obrist
Es knows how to bend the mind around corners of our experience.
— Benedict Cumberbatch
Es takes our inchoate aspirations and sculpts them into a stage.
Es is a turning point for anyone she interacts with.
— Pharrell Williams
Es creates moments in which we suddenly become aware of life and existing, and time.
— Carlo Rovelli
I wish we’d had Es as a psychologist on some of our projects.
— Brian Eno
Es’s mind is both forensic and associative. She is able to x-ray a play and then she starts to dream.
— Lyndsey Turner
With Es, there’s no 'No.' She creates a whole universe.
— Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye
Category-defying... An exquisitely produced and immersive artwork in itself, containing photographs, texts, foldouts, pullouts, translucent overlays and cutout pages that reflect the intricacy and imaginative extent of Devlin’s processes, from concept to final iteration.
— The New York Times
Vibrant photographs of Devlin's stage and arena structures contrast with the simplest of doodles, and everything in between. There are booklets within booklets; there are holes to look through and ideas to imagine… 858 pages altogether, in which the entire expanse of Devlin’s world is mapped out (hence the title) in vivid color and sumptuous design... One of our most brilliant and creative modern artists comes to scintillating life before you.
From the cardboard sculptures and paintings that developed into stage sets for the 2012 Olympic closing ceremony and the 2022 Super Bowl, to her activism, theater, poetry and more, this 900-page monograph traces...Es Devlin's three-decade-long career across disciplines.
— The New York Times Book Review
Despite its heft, the book's complex form...feels intimate and inviting... A surprising variety of translucent and mirrored papers, page sizes, die cuts, and other unexpected moments invite readers to pause and appreciate the object they hold in their hands. The ideas startle, provoke, and reward. Devlin searches for ways to provide dopamine hits. As with her designs for the stage, she invites readers to become part of a temporary society traveling through a rich, creative landscape of observing and feeling... An Atlas of Es Devlin is an immersive, joyful reading experience, an encyclopedia of creativity, and a tribute to the sculptural possibilities of the printed book. It gives form and substance to the artist’s philosophy of why she creates.
— Print Magazine
At around 900 pages, there's a lot to see, from school-age drawings and glances of [Es Devlin’s] studio to maquettes of theatrical set designs and photographs of concerts by the likes of Adele and U2. Thankfully, with its mix of paper sizes and types, and the insertion of small gatefolds that further explain her design process, the book's format makes a voyage through it anything but boring; there are surprises at every turn of the page.
— A Weekly Dose of Architecture Books