ARTIST MONOGRAPHS

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Andrew Edlin Gallery

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Hardcover, 9.25 x 12.25 in. / 162 pgs / 99 color.

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Catalog: FALL 2016 p. 41   

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ISBN 9780977878390 TRADE
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ANDREW EDLIN GALLERY

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: King of Lesser Lands

Edited by Phillip March Jones. Preface by Joanne Cubbs.

"Sea Fringe (No. 882), November 23, 1960" is reproduced from 'Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: King of Lesser Lands.'

"Von Bruenchenhein belongs among the great American outsider artists." -Roberta Smith, The New York Times 

King of Lesser Lands traces the fugitive career of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910–83), a prolific creator of a diverse range of distinctive images and sculptural objects, who produced his art in private over a period of about 50 years at his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His large and unusual body of work was not discovered until after he died.

In 1939, at the age of 29, Von Bruenchenhein met Evelyn Kalka. She became his wife and muse. Evelyn, who was nicknamed “Marie,” served as his model and the subject of thousands of erotic photo-portraits, which he shot and printed himself. For these images, which emulated girlie-magazine pinups with an offbeat air, Von Bruenchenhein designed and created his own background sets and costumes for Marie.

Around the mid-1950s, the artist began to make abstract paintings using his fingers or sticks, combs, leaves and other makeshift utensils to push oil paint around the surfaces of Masonite boards or cardboard taken from packing boxes at the bakery where he worked. Von Bruenchenhein’s abstract explosions of vibrant color evoke the forms of strange plants or fantasy creatures and architectural structures. Later, Von Bruenchenhein used clay to produce home-fired crowns and vases, and also created mysterious sculptures resembling towers or thrones with chicken and turkey bones.

During his lifetime, only his closest family members and friends knew anything about his artistic pursuits. In 1983, after the artist’s death, one of his friends called the attention of the Milwaukee Art Museum to Von Bruenchenhein’s extraordinary oeuvre.

On the occasion of a 2010 survey of his work at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, Roberta Smith wrote in The New York Times: “Von Bruenchenhein belongs among the great American outsider artists whose work came to light or resurfaced in the last three decades of the 20th century.” Smith placed Von Bruenchenhein’s unusual art in the company of that of Henry Darger, Martin Ramírez, Bill Traylor, James Castle and Morton Bartlett.


Joanne Cubbs is an independent writer and curator who has become a leading expert in art produced beyond the boundaries of the mainstream art. From 1994 to 1997, she was the founding Curator of Folk Art at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, where she established one of the first major museum programs devoted to the works of folk, self-taught and outsider artists. Most recently, she held the position of Adjunct Curator of American Art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where she organized the major touring retrospective Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial, an exhibition that Time Magazine called "triumphant" and The Wall Street Journal named one of the best shows of 2011. In addition to her major work on Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, she has organized exhibitions and written essays on religious visionary art, vernacular art environments, and the works of such artists as Howard Finster, Bill Traylor, Lonnie Holley, Anna Zemankova, Eddie Arning, William Hawkins, and Josephus Farmer.

"Sea Fringe (No. 882), November 23, 1960" is reproduced from 'Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: King of Lesser Lands.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Huffington Post

Priscilla Frank

one of the most prolific and distinctive self-taught artists of the 20th century

Sleek Magazine

Redmond Bacon

Eugene von Bruenchenhein is the best example of outsider artist as Renaissance man. (The Ten Most Famous Outsider Artists)

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: King of Lesser Lands

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/6/2016

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: King of Lesser Lands

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: King of Lesser Lands

When the small, sickly, uneducated and "dazzlingly weird, subsistence-level Renaissance man*" and self-taught artist Eugene Von Bruenchenhein died in MIlwaukee in 1983, he left behind an overwhelming trove of never-before-seen artworks that were as erotic and psychedelic as they were tender and apocalyptic. Every surface of his parlor was coated in swatches of color and pattern. Hundreds of paintings, chicken-bone sculptures, and ceramic works crammed every corner of his tiny house, alongside thousands of strangely innocent yet also bondagey "pinup" style photographs and color slides of his wife, handmade poetry books, theoretical writings, reel-to-reel tape recordings, geometric ballpoint-pen drawings, homemade musical instruments and arrowheads made from old glass bottles. We are delighted to recommend Andre Edlin Gallery's wonderful new monograph, the only book on Von Bruenchenhein currently in print, and the most comprehensive. Featured image is an untitled hand-colored gelatin silver print of the artist's wife from the 1940s.

* Quoted from Roberta Smith's November 4, 2010 review in 'The New York Times.' continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/10/2016

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: King of Lesser Lands

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: King of Lesser Lands

"I remember feeling a strange dizziness," Joanne Cubbs writes in Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: King of Lesser Lands, the most comprehensive monograph ever published on the great American outsider artist, and the only book currently in print. "My heart was pounding, and the only words that I could squeeze out were faint whispers of astonishment.
It was 1983, and I had just stepped into the wildly imaginative universe of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. The artist himself had recently died, a few tragic weeks before his long-sought recognition by the art world was about to begin. I was the lead curator of
a mission to rescue his work from its near encounter with oblivion, and standing in the center of his small, crumbling home on the far west side of Milwaukee, surrounded by the intricate wonders of his forty years of creative work, I knew that my conception of art itself was about to change." Featured image is "Untitled, February 19, 1955." continue to blog


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