James Castle: A Retrospective Edited by Ann Percy
Essays by Ann Percy, Jacqueline Crist, Brendan Greaves, Nancy Ash, Scott Homolka, Beth Anne Price, Ken Sutherland, Daniel Kirby and Maarten van Bommel
Interview with Terry Winters by Jeffrey Wolf
4to. pp. xviii, 252. profusely illustrated. bibliography. index. DVD at rear. hardcover cloth. dw. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press, .
ISBN-10: 0300137303 / ISBN-13: 9780300137309
Published in conjunction with an exhibition.
James Castle (1899-1977) never learned to speak, read, or write, nor did he ever leave his native state of Idaho, and yet he created a wide range of extraordinary works that resonate with much of twentieth-century art. This book offers the first critical exploration of the many creative genres of this self-taught artist, who first came to notice in the 1950s and 1960s but has only recently been recognized by major museums.Lavishly illustrated with more than 300 full-colour reproductions and packaged with an original documentary DVD illuminating fascinating aspects of his life and art, this book examines Castle's drawings, colour-wash works, idiosyncratic cardboard and paper constructions, and word, sign, and symbol pieces. As a child he developed his favourite medium and method of working, mixing stove soot with saliva and applying this "ink" with sharpened sticks and cotton wads to such found materials as product packaging and discarded paper. These everyday materials have given his works a singular, immediate, and appealing natural quality.This engaging volume considers Castle's remarkable art from a variety of perspectives, examining his life, modes of depiction, working methods and materials, and the "visual poetry" of his text works.