Letter Drawings

Letter Drawings

Nichol's most radical transformations and expansions of the alphabet came in the form of his letter-drawings (this is a term that is used loosely as bpNichol never found a term that properly encompassed how he felt about these works). He expands on the concepts of his alphabet series by focusing on a single letter and its tangible shape.

The most widely available of his letter-drawings is the "Allegories" series in love: a book of remembrances and in Aleph Unit. These drawings are all based on the shapes of the letters of the alphabet, and they are usually represented in three dimensions—almost as if they were sculptural objects. These drawings also are usually related in some way to a landscape, either one that surrounds the letter-shape or one that opens up inside them. Nichol compares these letter-shapes to the pared down image vocabulary of comic strips.

In his letter-drawings, the letters become sentient. They think themselves and each other, and they become organic, metamorphosing constantly into their own interiors. Ultimately, the shape of the letter becomes more abstracted the further it recedes into its own shape.

The Allegories series of 32 poems have an almost M.C.Escher-like quality to them. Although not as precise as Escher, Nichol plays with perspective and with the intersections of ambiguous planes.

 a book of remembrances