Nil Orange · Zeichenære: Retrospektive 1997-2022
With the lavish volume Zeichenære, Nil Orange publishes an overview of his graphic work, which offers a large panorama of his artistic output. On 760 pages we can find a wealth of more than 1800 images, created in the last 25 years. In addition to the well-known visual cycles designed for the various tarot and astrology cards, we are invited to examine an huge oeuvre of sketches, drafts and notes that allow an overall picture of his artistic activity and philosophic mindset.
There is much to discover here: absurd-existential series of images, cosmographic outlines and a variety of sketches and fleeting drawings. Aphorisms and thoughts of the artist are interspersed, as well as quotes that are important to Nil. the exploration of the figurative and the letters and numbers runs through the book like a red thread. The bibliophile catalog of works appears in this revised second edition, limited to 21 copies, signed by the artist.
The book allows a look back at the drawing work of the past 25 years of Nil Orange. The fleeting drawings, sketches and notes are given a lot of space, precisely because they usually remain unseen and unnoticed. Especially these have a special charm, because they arise without intention or happen as if by themselves.
Of course, there appear also many of the image sequences in excerpts: Nada, Nic hts ain, Seyn and Żywot. And it is natural that also the five sets of cards are presented, which were the main focus of his artistic work in the last nine years: Visual Zodiac, Orange Luna Tarot, Visual Zodiac Pro, Alpha Beta Tarot and Pontifex Tarot.
The texts, taken from the abundance of sketchbooks and interspersed between the drawings, are joined by a multitude of quotations from artists, musicians and philosophers.
»Nil Orange draws with verve, as if his life were at stake, perhaps without knowing that he is giving deep meaning to the soulless world in which we the soulless world we live in today; and on the other hand, stroke by stroke his inner demons, who, as we know, can also be angels.«
Alejandro C. Luna