Born profoundly deaf and believed never to have learned how to read, write, or sign, James Castle spent his life making drawings, books, and constructions on his parents' farm in Garden Valley, Idaho. Initially known for his sensitive, atmospheric landscapes and interiors--drawn from rural life and fantasy in soot and saliva on found paper--Castle has come to be recognized as not only a master draughtsman and sculptor, but likewise as an important vernacular modernist whose work engages conceptual issues of remarkable sophistication. His art in general, and his text work in particular, raises fascinating questions about appropriation, linguistic symbology, literacy and transmission theory, and the transgressive nature of collage.
James Castle's work is included in major museum collections throughout the U.S., including the American Folk Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, the Boise Art Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
National Gallery of Art
Jan 28–May 13, 2018
Curated by Lynne Cooke, and including Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, James Castle, Howard Finster, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Elijah Pierce, Horace Pippin, Christina Ramber, Martín Ramírez, Edgar Tolson, Bill Trayor, P.M. Wentworth, H.C. Westermann, Joseph Yoakum, Forrest Bess, Roger Brown, William Edmondson, Lee Godie, Morris Hirshfield, among others.
Roberta Smith in The New York Times
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Mar 3–Jun 9, 2013
Group show featuring James Castle, Bill Traylor, Eddie Arning, William Hawkins, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Joseph Yoakum, et. al.
Three shows featuring gallery artists are taking place around the world this summer. Jina Valentine opened 'Witch Hazel Bark,' a solo show of new works on paper and small sculptures at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles, running now through August 4th. Images abound on Turner's website. TODT are showing 'Products' at the Georges Pompidou annex in Cajarc, France until September 23rd (see right,) and James Castle is showing in the recently extended/expanded exhibition 'Citadel 1: Front Room/Killing Room' at David Risley Gallery in London. All come with our heartiest endorsements and great gratitude.
3 Fleisher/Ollman artists are featured in two innovative summer shows at the moment. Find Anthony Campuzano and Felipe Jesus Consalvos at Adam Baumgold Gallery, 74 East 79th Street in New York City, participating in 'Text Messaging,' a show of words in pictures. Those in London would do well to visit David Risley Gallery for 'The Citadel,' a living room environment, fully inhabitable, containing, among many other fine works, two delicate James Castle interiors. New York runs until August 15th, while London closes July 1st.