- Media categories
- Drawing , Mixed media , Drawing
- Materials used
- soot on found paper
- 13.3 x 18.4 cm sheet; 27.9 x 32.1 x 3.8 cm frame
- Purchased with funds provided by the Mervyn Horton Bequest 2021
- Ainsworth Family Gallery
- Accession number
- © James Castle Collection and Archive
- Artist information
Works in the collection
One of three works in the Gallery’s collection by self-taught American artist James Castle, Untitled (bedroom, armoire/post office interior), offers an intimate view of the artist’s expansive world.
Born deaf in 1899 (d.1977), Castle didn't become proficient in conventional means of communication, but, from an early age, developed a daily routine of documenting the world around him, using only the means available to him. Using soot scraped from his family’s woodstove then mixed with saliva, Castle worked on found card or paper with a sharpened stick, creating a deeply observant and moving account of his daily life.
The set of three drawings in the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ collection, characteristically depict Castle's surrounds growing up in central Idaho. It's a telling group, Untitled (bedroom, armoire/post office interior), portrays a room in his home in Boise (also the local post office), in Untitled (farmscape/farmscape), a view of the family farm depicts one of the surreal (and recurring) sculptural forms in his drawings, and in Untitled (studio), Castle has drawn a view of the attic of the house which he used as his studio, where one can see his many artworks lined up on the rafters. As John Vincler commented in the New York Times, "While Castle’s intentions cannot be discerned, the pleasure comes in puzzling out the connections in his vast and often mysterious visual universe."
Shown in 1 exhibition
Dreamhome: stories of art and shelter, Art Gallery of New South Wales, North Building, Sydney, 03 Dec 2022–17 Sep 2023