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OMP83 / Cabinet project
An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth
and more..

Thomas Raat’s series of abstract paintings (120 x 180 cm) An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth takes off from the cover designs of popular "egghead" paperbacks published from the late 1940s until the early 70s. The artist’s repurposing of the predominantly abstract imagery of the jackets mediates an abstruse range of synthetic epistemologies (from “freedom and responsibility” to “the law of civilization and decay”) as well as the needs or demands of various book series and the branding orientations of the publishing houses that commissioned them.

The essay by John C. Welchman, featured in the book, discusses how Raat’s work operates at the technical interface between abstract painting and visual construction and on the generic borderlines between art, design and the history of ideas; and how his intervention precipitates a salient crisis in the signifying assumptions delivered to non-figurative compositionality in the mid-twentieth century—and its later reassessments. Prompted by an ethos of design that fronts the inevitability of reading, Raat’s project asks how abstract signs have been organized as the future of a long and stealthy illusion.


Editors: Thomas Raat, Edwin van Gelder, John C. Welchman and Freek Lomme
Text: John C. Welchman
Graphic design: mainstudio
Printing: Lecturis
Photograpy: Willem Vermaase
Proofreading: Ellen Zoete


An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth by Thomas Raat, text by John C. Welchman

Thomas Raat, John C. WelchmanPrice: € 25,00    

second edition (november 2013 )
ISBN: 978-94-91677-09-0

softcover, 200 x 300 mm 
80 pages, Japanese folding
full color

Editors: Thomas RaatEdwin van GelderJohn C. Welchman and Freek Lomme
text by John C. Welchman
Graphic design:mainstudio
Printing: Lecturis
Photograpy:Willem Vermaase


The first edition has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten and galerie De Expeditie
Special thanks to: Zsa Zsa Eyck, Susan Gloudemans, Martijntje Hallmann, Stephan Kuderna, Arend Nijkamp and of course John C. Welchman.

The second edition has been made possible thanks to Stichting Stokroos and the Materiaalfonds loanfund.

ARTIST EDITION ’An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth’ by Thomas Raat

Thomas Raat, John C. WelchmanPrice: € 125,00    

Book including silk-screened print by Thomas Raat

Title: Pscychiatry To-day
Silksreened in blue, black, red and white layers. 

edition of 25, signed and numbered 

email for further information

© Onomatopee 2011
photography by Studio Clack
photography by Studio Clack

Studio view Rijksacademy
Studio view Rijksacademy