Exhibition of James Castle’s Isolated World Opens at Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid


MADRID.- Primitive, outsider, vernacular or visionary are some of the words used to define the complexity of James Castle (Idaho, 1900-1977). The artist spent his life in rural Idaho, inventing his own artistic technique while creating totemic assemblage pieces, drawings and books resembling palimpsest. This exhibition is a departure from the critical apparatus that (mis)interprets the art of the mentally ill and instead shows Castle’s work as a fractured vision of the world. Born in the State of Idaho in 1899, James Castle lived in isolation from the art world until his death in 1977. His artistic production, composed mostly by drawings made with soot and saliva, coloured cardboard constructions with strings attached and handmade books, have no titles, dates or any other indication of a chronology. The questions arising from his heterodox technique and the alteration of the tools of artistic classification are