Things That Art: A Graphic Menagerie of Enchanting Curiosity
Published: September 2019© 2019
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 128 Pages
Illustrations: 55 colour illustrations
Dimensions: 8.10 x 8.10
128 Pages, 8.10 x 8.10 x 0.60 in, 55 colour illustrations
Lochlann Jain’s debut non-fiction graphic novel, Things That Art, playfully interrogates the order of things. Toying with the relationship between words and images, Jain’s whimsical compositions may seem straightforward. Upon closer inspection, however, the drawings reveal profound and startling paradoxes at the heart of how we make sense of the world.
Commentaries by architect and theorist Maria McVarish, poet and naturalist Elizabeth Bradfield, musician and English Professor Drew Daniel, and the author offer further insight into the drawings in this collection. A captivating look at the fundamental absurdities of everyday communication, Things That Art jolts us toward new forms of collation and collaboration.
Various Things (Maria McVarish)
Natural Collections (Elizabeth Bradfield)
Things That What? (Drew Daniel)
What Things Mean (Lochlann Jain)
"I found this book of juxtapositions, puns and wordplay very entertaining and rewarding to read, I also like the fun style of the drawing, which goes well with the serious matter of linguistics and concepts."
Sara Boorman, NB Magazine, October 28,2019
"This is a thinking person’s book, or put more precisely, it draws readers into thinking deeply with its deceptively simple illustrations set side by side and up and down in masterfully designed sets… Things That Art stimulates the mind, the senses, the emotions."Alisse Waterston, Anthropology Now
"Things That Art is deliciously subversive of normative culture - readers are invited to savor the strangeness of language and history via Jain's fiendishly clever illustrations."Joseph Masco, University of Chicago
"Lochlann Jain's drawings are playful, wry, charming, and strangely, even a little profound."Barry Blitt is an award-winning cartoonist and New Yorker cover artist
"Serious linguists, anthropologists, students and scholars of categories and cognitions, you earnest information professionals and specialists—give up! Jain, with clever wit, has done the nearly impossible—taken apart the very category of classification. In this masterwork of graphic philosophy, metaphor elides with the literal as the basis of sorting and sense-making. With deft economy of means, Jain manages to take a topic that has puzzled many great minds and make its conundrums and complexities amusing for us all."Johanna Drucker, Breslauer Professor at UCLA, is a historian of graphic design and an internationally renowned book artist.
"I have clearly been listing all the wrong things. Groceries? To dos? Worthless. Lochlann Jain elevates the list format into no less than a cabinet of curiosities with juxtapositions that amuse, disgust, inform, and break your heart, maybe all at the same time. You will never look at a hippo or a pair of lips in quite the same way again."Lisa Brown is a New York Times bestselling illustrator, writer, and cartoonist.
"Things that Art delights, at times disturbs, and frequently surprises, always offering much to think on and return to. Through deft word play and lively, spontaneous drawings, Løchlann Jain constantly brings forth unexpected connections – a surprise as much to the maker as to the reader. This witty yet sober game Jain plays between word and picture reveals a unique glimpse into the nature of thinking itself, illuminated further by the thoughtful and thoroughly enjoyable accompanying essays – which in turn, invite revisiting the drawings to see anew. As stimulating as the experience of keeping up with Jain’s leaps of thought is throughout, Things that Art ultimately offers something even more: an essential reminder of our creative potential and a rich prompt for the reader to grab a pen and take off on expansive excursions of their own."Nick Sousanis is the author of Unflattening, an Eisner-winning graphic novel