"Untitled (0474.40)" (Not dated) found paper and soot by James Castle Courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco Ran on: 03-24-2007 &quo;Untitled (0474.40),&quo; a work on found paper and soot, by the late James Castle. Photo: Courtesy Of Gallery Paule Anglim
Writers on the arts have frequently suggested that inner isolation defines the modern urban condition and that the artist who can overcome it expressively speaks for everyone.
But forget about squaring this mythic view with the work and life of Idahoan James Castle (1900-1977).
Born deaf in thinly populated farm country, Castle never learned to sign, speak or write anything more than his name. Yet he left a tremendous output of artwork, which began to receive national recognition during the late ’60s. The Boise Art Museum owns a large cache of his work.
Gallery Paule Anglim has a generous selection of Castle’s drawings and assemblages on view.
Castle had no art training. He evidently learned to draw by looking at pictures and trying to imitate their power of transcribing things he could see.