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James Castle

1899–1977, b. Garden Valley, Idaho; d. Boise, Idaho

Available Works

Born profoundly deaf and believed never to have learned how to read, write, or sign, James Castle spent his life making drawings, books, and constructions on his parents' farm in Garden Valley, Idaho. Initially known for his sensitive, atmospheric landscapes and interiors--drawn from rural life and fantasy in soot and saliva on found paper--Castle has come to be recognized as not only a master draughtsman and sculptor, but likewise as an important vernacular modernist whose work engages conceptual issues of remarkable sophistication. His art in general, and his text work in particular, raises fascinating questions about appropriation, linguistic symbology, literacy and transmission theory, and the transgressive nature of collage.


James Castle's work is included in major museum collections throughout the U.S., including the American Folk Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, the Boise Art Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago.


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James Castle

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Castle in Context

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A Silent Voice: Drawings and Constructions of James Castle


2023 Outsider Art Fair New York Preview


Mar 01, 2023

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Dear John


New York, NY
Mar 19–Apr 24, 2021 

In collaboration with Adams and Ollman and Fleisher/Ollman


James Castle
Felipe Jesus Consalvos
William Edmondson
Lee Godie
William Hawkins
Philadelphia Wireman
Eugene Von Bruenchenhein
Bill Walton
Joseph Yoakum

Mar 24, 2021

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Dear John


Adams and Ollman
Portland, OR
Mar 19–Apr 17, 2021

In collaboration with JTT and Fleisher/Ollman


James Castle, Isaac Tin Wei Lin, Becky Suss

Mar 19, 2021

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Independent Goes its Own Way and Reaps Rewards

James Miller in The Art Newspaper


Independent 2018

Mar 10, 2018

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And Now, the Independent Fair! Rising Stars, Undersung Artists, and Royalty Alight in Tribeca

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Outliers and American Vanguard Art

National Gallery of Art

Washington, DC

Jan 28–May 13, 2018


Curated by Lynne Cooke, and including Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, James Castle, Howard Finster, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Elijah Pierce, Horace Pippin, Christina Ramber, Martín Ramírez, Edgar Tolson, Bill Trayor, P.M. Wentworth, H.C. Westermann, Joseph Yoakum, Forrest Bess, Roger Brown, William Edmondson, Lee Godie, Morris Hirshfield, among others.

Jan 27, 2018

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From Mysterious Erotica to Holy Bell Jars, Singular Projects at the Independent Art Fair

in Hyperallergic

Mar 02, 2017

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Outsider Art 2017: A Top 10

Roberta Smith in The New York Times

Jan 19, 2017

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Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, PA
Mar 3–Jun 9, 2013


Group show featuring James Castle, Bill Traylor, Eddie Arning, William Hawkins, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Joseph Yoakum, et. al.

Mar 03, 2013


Three mandatory stops on the grand tour

Three shows featuring gallery artists are taking place around the world this summer. Jina Valentine opened 'Witch Hazel Bark,' a solo show of new works on paper and small sculptures at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles, running now through August 4th. Images abound on Turner's website. TODT are showing 'Products' at the Georges Pompidou annex in Cajarc, France until September 23rd (see right,) and James Castle is showing in the recently extended/expanded exhibition 'Citadel 1: Front Room/Killing Room' at David Risley Gallery in London. All come with our heartiest endorsements and great gratitude.


Jul 13, 2007

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Summer shows

3 Fleisher/Ollman artists are featured in two innovative summer shows at the moment. Find Anthony Campuzano and Felipe Jesus Consalvos at Adam Baumgold Gallery, 74 East 79th Street in New York City, participating in 'Text Messaging,' a show of words in pictures. Those in London would do well to visit David Risley Gallery for 'The Citadel,' a living room environment, fully inhabitable, containing, among many other fine works, two delicate James Castle interiors. New York runs until August 15th, while London closes July 1st.



Jun 19, 2007

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