Dennis Evans: The
Seven Libraries
of Babylon

Myerson & Nowinski Art Associates, Seattle
March 5 - 31

The paths of the names (1996),
mixed media

DENNIS EVANS IS A scholarly and metaphysical fantasist who has been engaged in a ten-year series of complex, multi-dimensional installations based on his interests in comparative religion, science, philosophy and the history of language. First educated by Jesuits, and at university level firmly grounded in both science and fine arts, his lifelong interests have since become the classics of Western thought, mythology, iconography and divination.

"The Seven Libraries of Babylon" is Evans' latest component of the series, which evokes the vast and all-encompassing store of "knowledge both revealed and concealed" that the Babylonians built&emdash;in addition to their heaven-reaching tower. As (according to Genesis 11) a displeased Jehovah punished their arrogance by "confounding their speech so that they could not understand one another... and scattered them around from thence upon the face of all the earth," Evans, with classic Duchampian erudition and wit, interweaves the metaphors of language and image, object and illusion, into immaculate mini-museums of ostensible reason and order. While enigma is the mainspring of much of today's serious art, seldom is it presented with such exasperating logic. For Evans, logic is the bait for drawing one into an unexpected and labyrinthine workout of the senses.

© Ted Lindberg