A book or bound collection of maps, sometimes with supplementary illustrations and graphic analyses. A volume of tables, charts, or plates that systematically illustrates a particular subject: an anatomical atlas. A large size of drawing paper, measuring 26 × 33 or 26 × 34 inches.  

I am interested in this description as it applies to creating a “personal atlas” .  I have been reading and looking at Richter’s atlas and it is quite a fascinating document of his work / endeavors.  The word “atlas” is so fitting in it’s basic dictionary common meanings and when applied to the idea of a collection of an artist’s work… a beautiful metaphor is created.  It is a map both real and imagined about, for and to feed the “work”.  From this atlas you can plan your next trip.  Keep reminders about past trips and record or explore various routes to get there… where ever there may be…  

I think the atlas format is so powerful that it would be a good model to record my own personal journey.  More disciplined content than a scrap book; my atlas should be a constructed record – collection of meaningful images to me.  An analytical thread or threads should be developed and articulated enough so as to realize when certain regions are worth exploring…..  “Why paint if you can take a picture”…?  What is the relationship of painting today to photography  …?  

More recommended reading on Gehard Richter’s Atlas : Photography and Painting in the Work of Gehard Richter: Four essays on Atlas


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