David Hawkins / Painting of the Week

Painting of the Week: 50

Painting of the Week: 50

Adolf Wölfli (1864-1930), The Helvetia Cathedral in North-Amazon-Hall, 1911, pencil and coloured pencil on newsprint, 99.5 x 145.5 cm

Childhood abuse left Adolf Wölfli with psychosis that included violent hallucinations. Following his institutionalisation Wölfli began to render his elaborate cosmogony visually on paper. His drawings are details from this epic narrative, his own ‘frieze of life’. Wölfli would include text and his own homespun musical notation in his works. When he finished a piece he would roll it up and play the music through it, transforming it into a celestial paper trumpet, his disturbed song echoing down the corridors of the Waldau Clinic. DH

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