Adolf Wolfli exhibit at The American Folk Art Museum MAY 12 2003
Acting on a tip from 'crans, Meg, Lance, and I hit the American Folk Art Museum last weekend. Henry Darger's young girls with penises opus was good, but the three-floor exhibit of Adolf Wölfli's work absolutely blew me away. Wölfli was a Swiss artist who wound up in a mental institution around the turn of the last century (child molestation got him there, schizophrenia kept him there), cranking out art like his life depended on it until he died in 1930.
During that period, he produced over 25,000 pages of drawings, illustrations, and illustrated narrative. Wölfli's drawings are incredibly dense, almost fractal in nature, requiring viewing from multiple distances to begin to see the whole. The American Folk Art Museum provides a good setting for seeing the exhibit, which consists of an impressive sampling of Wölfli's work, from his earliest surviving drawings to the commercial "bread art" he produced to keep himself in pencils and tobacco. If you find yourself in NYC before the exhibit ends on May 19, I'd *highly* recommend checking it out.