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Coming soon: An Atlas of Es Devlin

Posted on 13 Jul 2023

'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.

About the book

Devlin’s protean work is rooted in a life-long 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 Beyonce, The Weeknd, U2, Rosalìa, 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.

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 colour 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.

‘Es is like superstring theory, at least eleven dimensions.’
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.’

‘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

‘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

‘With Es, there’s no “No”. She creates a whole universe.’
Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye

Pre-order now

An Atlas of Es Devlin will be published on 19 October 2023.