An Iquiry Into Meaning and Truth
Thomas Raat is a conceptual artist. His book An Inquiry Into Meaning and Truth… and More investigates modernist book covers, specifically those originating from from 1940 to 1960. He stripped all texts and logos from his research subject’s covers, creating large wooden oil painted panels from their remaining forms. The accompanying essay by John C. Welchman unravels how Raat’s work straddles the boundaries between abstract painting and visual construction. Titles of Raat’s original literary and visual research return as picture titles within, expanding upon Bertrand Russel’s 1940 publication covering philosophical meaning and truth. Employing typefaces native to 1940-1960, a time period defined by its outpouring of faces, it is set in grotesque bold. Hidden within its Japanese folded pages are ‘word clouds’; arrangements of frequently occurring words from Russel’s 1940 publication, which, when unfolded, reveal hidden poetry.