Gregory Blackstocks 2010 drawing The Northwest American College Football F.C. Busses.
  • Garde Rail Gallery
  • Gregory Blackstock's 2010 drawing The Northwest American College Football F.C. Busses.
It's rare that a Seattle artist has a solo exhibition at a major European museum, but Gregory Blackstock is a rare artist—he's been much-admired in these parts since his shows at Garde Rail Gallery in the 2000s. (The Stranger's Emily Hall wrote about him here.)

Currently, his exhibition at the Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland, comes with a monograph and a specially produced documentary film called, beautifully, The Encyclopedist. Maybe we will get to see it around here sometime soon? (Northwest Film Forum, perhaps?)

On the museum's web site, the automatic translation function from French provides a poetic description of his life and work. Would that all museum web sites were translations like this:

The author of American Art Brut is autistic. He reinterprets the world in the twilight of his one room crowded, where, day and night, the shutters are closed and curtains drawn. Man retracts into the camera's quiet living space and creation, while outside the U.S. city of Seattle hums and glows with its fires.

Blackstock was a dishwasher in the restaurant of a sports club for twenty-five years and supplemented his salary by playing the accordion in the street and make drawings, some of which were published in the journal of the small club. Over time, his compositions have become expanded to achieve a personal dimension, especially since his retirement in 2001. Now his works occupy it fully, feverishly.

First in Europe, the exhibition of the Collection de l'Art Brut, entitled Blackstock , brings together works and a documentary film created for the occasion.

More of Blackstock's works are here.

Thanks to Greg Kucera and Joey Veltkamp for reminders about this exhibition.