Blackstock - September 29, 2011 through February 19, 2012

Gregory L. Blackstock inventories the world, methodically and minutely classifying all kinds of animals, objects and plants. Each item bears a caption in regularly scripted capital letters. Thus, all his drawings - whether entailing crows, beetles, accordions, whips, shoes or bomber planes - align their subjects, juxtapose them and painstakingly order them into groups, sets or species. Not that this encyclopedist is as much of a stickler as he seems: his to-all-appearences objective categorizations slyly evade scientific rules, flourishing instead in the form of casually poetic variants.
Although Blackstock’s source material consists of dictionaries and guide books whose realistic plates lend him inspiration, this self-taught creator also relies on his own phenomenal memory. In no time, however, his compositions take on a life of their own, benefitting from his strong sense of the graphic line and chromatics: order and symmetry enhance the page layouts, as do the serial repetitions and stylization of the figures and motifs. Nor does he shy away from interfering with his multiple lists, taking liberties than can be highly incongruous. Thus he will vary the bird feather colors, or else insert a self-portrait into a row of objects; or again, in drawing up a general catalogue of shoes, he will stealthily introduce a flick-knife in the hands of a villain straight out of a James Bond film.
A first in Europe, the Collection de l’Art Brut exhibition presents some thirty of Blackstock’s works dating from 1991 to the present day, together with an original documentary film specially created for the event.

Practical Information


From September 29, 2011, to February 19, 2012
Vernissage on September 28, 2011, at 6.5 pm


Lucienne Peiry

Exhibition Book

Blackstock’s Collections: The drawings of an artistic savant, Gregory L. Blackstock, New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 2006.

Film / DVD

Gregory Blackstock l’encyclopédiste, de Philippe Lespinasse et Andress Alvarez, 24 Min., Lausanne/Le Tourne, Collection de l’Art Brut/Lokomotiv Films, 2011.


The exhibition Blackstock is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.