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The Art of Adolf Wölfli:
St. Adolf-Giant-Creation
Elka Spoerri, Daniel Baumann, & Edward M. Gomez
Foreword by Gerard C. Wertkin

Book Description


"Adolf Wölfli . . . is among the greatest of outsider artists. Indeed, he could serve as Exhibit A in a study of the outsider phenomenon. . . . [His] large, incredibly dense drawings combine religion, sex, language, music, geography, economics, and other aspects of the artist's fantasy empire. . . . Besides having an immensely complicated and subtle technique, Wölfli is scary. . . . To do Wölfli justice--that is, fully to honor our spontaneous pleasure in his work--requires a bravely open mind."--Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker

"Freakish, hallucinatory, amusing, ingenious, sensuously soft in touch, and overwhelmingly rich in their detailing, Wölfli's lead and colored-pencil drawings can at first resemble overelaborate, geometric folk-art decorations. Looked at more intently, they can seem like fiendishly complex game boards. . . . Ultimately, these pictures . . . all blended into a web of flowing, arching, interconnecting shapes, defy categorization."--Sanford Schwartz, New York Review of Books

"A significant and elegant contribution to the history of the Swiss artist most closely associated with the artistic practices labeled variously as art brut, outsider art, or self-taught art."--Choice

"An excellent account of [Wölfli's] art and life."--Sue Taylor, Art in America


"The three essays in this volume make a real contribution to the field. The piece by Elka Spoerri, who was the grande dame of Wölfli studies, is wonderfully accessible and reflects groundbreaking scholarship. It will reach a wide audience and will make a great text for any art history class. Bauman's well-written essay stands as the definitive contextualization of Wölfli's place within twentieth-century art history. Gomez's innovative and compelling exploration of whether Wölfli as a mentally ill artist intended to accomplish what he did complements the other, more straightforward historical essays."--Jenifer Borum

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File created: 4/21/2017

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