Death of Art Brut author Gregory Blackstock

It is with deep sadness that the Collection de l'Art Brut announces the death of Gregory Blackstock on January 10. The author of Art Brut, known for his large-format works in the form of inventories, passed away in Lacey, Washington, at the age of 77.

Diagnosed with autism, Gregory L. Blackstock inventoried the world, methodically and minutely classifying all kinds of animals, objects and plants. Each item bore a caption in regularly scripted capital letters. Thus, all his drawings - whether entailing crows, beetles, accordions, whips, shoes or bomber planes - aligned their subjects, juxtaposed them and painstakingly order them into groups, sets or species. But his to-all-appearences objective categorizations slyly evade scientific rules, flourishing instead in the form of casually poetic variants.

Blackstock worked as a pot scrubber for an athletic club during twenty-five years, rounding off his income by playing the accordion on in the street and making drawings that at times appeared in the club newspaper. Gradually, his compositions took up more and more of his time and, since his retirement in 2001, they have become part and parcel of his everyday life.

The Collection de l'Art Brut, which owns about twenty works by Blackstock, some of which are very large, paid tribute to him in 2011 with a monographic exhibition. Since then, it has regularly presented his work in temporary exhibitions or in the permanent collection.

The museum has also co-produced the documentary film "Blackstock the Encyclopedist", by French filmmaker Philippe Lespinasse, 2011, 22 min. vo English, subtitled French.


Publish Date: 12.01.2023