Copyright © 2018 James Castle Collection and Archive LP%2C All rights reserved.
Soot and soot wash drawings on found beige paper, in beige paper covers; bound with white cotton stringexpand_more
Gift of Mary and Bob Merskyexpand_more 2017.80.1
For this undated handmade book, James Castle created a series of graphically complex “kaleidoscope” drawings, so named because they copy the visual effects of a kaleidoscope. Castle was fascinated by the abstract geometric patterns of the kaleidoscope (he owned several) and adapted its effects for his own invented compositions.
Born and raised in rural Idaho, Castle was a self-taught artist who lived with his parents and other family members throughout his lifetime. Profoundly deaf from birth, Castle never spoke or learned to read lips, sign, or write. His family permitted him to pursue his passion for art making. By the time of his death at the age of 78, Castle had produced more than 20,000 unique works of art that included drawings, artist’s books, collages, and constructions.
In recent years, the work of James Castle has been reexamined and reevaluated by curators, collectors, and critics who have recognized the importance of this artist’s unique creative vision and the intriguing conceptual, material, and aesthetic qualities of his art. This work is an exceptional example of Castle’s hand-drawn books, consisting of 24 pages of soot and soot-wash drawings of abstract and representational imagery arranged in symmetrical, fractured patterns that emulate the visual effect of looking through a kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscope is among the rarest of Castle’s book themes, with only a handful of examples known.
Copyright © 2018 James Castle Collection and Archive LP, All rights reserved.