Charles A.A. Dellschau and the Mythology of Flight presented by The Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair and Stephen Romano Gallery

The Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair and Stephen Romano Gallery present "Charles A.A. Dellschau and the Mythology of Flight", a special exhibition curated by Brian Chidester. Many works in this exhibition will be seen by the public for the very first time, on the 100th anniversary of their creation.

A publication commemorating the exhibition will be available, with an essay by the curator.

The exhibition will take place during the fair Sept 7 and 8 2019 at the BROOKLYN EXPO CENTER 72 Noble St. at Franklin St., Brooklyn New York.

"Charles Dellschau (1830-1923) is already considered one of the major figures in the history of Outsider Art. Yet heretofore the various surveys of his handmade manuscripts have focused on their unacademic nature, on their hermetically-sealed code of symbols and wordplay, and on the artist's own obsession with the mysterious flying machines he claimed to've seen in the 1850s (designed by a group of fraternal engineers living in Sonora, CA). No historian, however, has yet examined Dellschau as a modern mythologist or an epic storyteller. Yet that's exactly what this exhibition attempts to do—show how the artist subjected the mainstream history of flight, via cut-outs of contemporary news clippings, to his own fantasy-laden approach and worldview." - Brian Chidester, curator.

Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) Plate 4315 AEROY 1919 watercolor, pencil and collage on paper

Dreamer, optimist and visionary, Charles Dellschau is one of the earliest known American self taught visionary artists.

In the fall of 1899, at the age 69, Charles A.A. Dellschau, a German immigrant and retired butcher and saddle maker from Houston, embarked on a project that would occupy him for more than 20 years. What began as an illustrated manuscript recounting his purported experiences in the California Gold Rush became an obsessive project resulting in 12 large, hand-bound books with more than 2,500 drawings related to airships and the development of flight. Dellschau’s designs resemble traditional hot air balloons augmented with fantastic visual details, collage and text. The hand-drawn “Aeros” were interspersed with collaged pages called “Press Blooms,” featuring thousands of newspaper clippings related to the political events and technological advances of the period. During the course of his lifetime, Dellschau is not known to have shown his art to anyone, he worked alone in a room in the back of the house where he lived with his relatives. Like the eccentric outpourings of Adolf Wölfli, Henry Darger and Achilles Rizzoli, these private works were not created for the art world, but to satisfy a driving internal creative force.

After the artist’s death in 1923, the books were stored in the attic of the family home in Houston. In the aftermath of a fire in the 1960s, they were disgarded and salvaged by a junk dealer. They have since then undergone an incredible odyssey from the landfill in Houston to the highest echelons of the international art world.

Charles A.A. Dellschau's books in their original format.

While recognized as one of "art brut and outsider art’s holiest grails" and "an outsider art master in the same league with Adolph Wolfli, Henry Darger and Martin Ramirez", since his death in 1923, Charles Dellschau has only ever been the subject of 3 solo exhibition. The first ever was at New York's Ricco Maresca Gallery in 2001, the second at the San Antonio Museum and Menilo Museum in 2004, and the third at Stephen Romano Gallery in Brooklyn in 2015.

Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) Plate 4332 HASBIN 1919 watercolor, pencil and collage on paper

Since Dellschau's art was first presented at the Outsider Art Fair in 1998, his art has been the subject of articles in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate Magazine, Hyperallergic, among many others. Dellschau's art is included in many prominent collections including the ABCD Collection in Paris, The American Folk Art Museum in New York, Treger Saint Silvestre Collection in Portugal, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The High Museum of Art in Atlanta and The Museum of Everything in London. Dellschau's works have been exhibited in group shows at Gagosian Gallery, The American Visionary Museum in Baltimore, Whitechapel Gallery, London, Kohler Arts Center, Wisconsin, Cavin Morris Gallery, New York, Pinacoteca Agnelli, Italy, The Menil Collection, Houston, American Folk Art Museum New York, Morbid Anatomy Museum New York, and The Museum of Old and New, Tasmania. A full list of collection, articles and exhibitions may be seen at www.charlesdellschau.com.

Exhibition view (detail) "Charles A.A. Dellschau 1830 - 1923 American Visionary" Stephen Romano Gallery December 2015 - February 2016, Brooklyn New York.
Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) Plate 4410 1919 watercolor, pencil and collage on paper

Stephen Romano Gallery is the primary representative of the art of Charles Dellschau. The gallery produced a major monograph on the artist in 2015 with Marquand Books and DAP, which includes the final published essay by the late American art critic, poet, novelist, and scholar Thomas McEvilley as well as essays by Dellschau scholar Tracy Baker White, writer Roger Cardinal, gallerist Randall Morris, Smithsonian curator Tom Crouch, ABCD collection president Barbara Safarova, and an introduction by James Brett founder of The Museum of Everything.

BROOKLYN EXPO CENTER . 72 Noble St. at Franklin St., Greenpoint Brooklyn.

Saturday September 7th noon-7pm, Sunday September 8th - 11am-5pm

Bagels and Books Preview to benefit Rare Book School Scholarships - Saturday 10am-noon

tickets available here

Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) Plate 4521 GANDER UP 1919 watercolor, pencil and collage on paper
Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) Plate 4488 AERO MYO 1919 watercolor, pencil and collage on paper
Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) "GOOSE" 1899 watercolor, ink on paper

Brian Chidester is an writer, editor, and art historian. He authored the book "Pop Surf Culture: Music, Design, Film, and Fashion from the Bohemian Surf Era" (Santa Monica Press) in 2008 and has writes regular articles and reviews for major publications such as: "The American Prospect," "The Atlantic," "The L.A. Weekly," "Paste," "The Surfer's Journal," and "The Village Voice." Chidester has served as an editor for "Dumb Angel" magazine, Yahoo.com, "The Deli" magazine, and the "Ephemera" art blog, and has been a segment producer of historical documentaries for the BBC, PBS, Showtime, and the Carl Wilson Foundation. He is currently the curator/director of programming for the Impact Events Group and recently mounted "Celluloid Babylon: The Visionary Photographs of Wiliam Mortensen in the Silent Film Era" for the NYC Book and Paper Fair in Midtown Manhattan. Chidester lives in Brooklyn, NY.

for further information or visuals, please contact Stephen Romano Gallery at romanostephen@gmail.com or Brian Chidester at bcxists@gmail.com

Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) Plate 4301 AERO EEE 1919 watercolor, pencil and collage on paper
Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) Plate 4790 BOMBA 1921 watercolor, pencil and collage on paper
Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) Plate 4504 PAGE 4 1919 watercolor, pencil and collage on paper
Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830 - 1923) Plate 4318 1919 watercolor, pencil and collage on paper


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