A former U.S. Air Force technician, chronically depressed and antisocial, it is only when he reached his thirties that he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. His syndrome is characterized by an eidetic memory that allows him to insert in his works a lot of data, especially encrypted, relating to his favorite subjects. Time, magic squares, the Titanic, and fictional megalopolises are among the recurring themes of his drawings. Present, among others, in the collections of the Smithsonian (Washington), his art has been shown at the Palais de Tokyo, in Paris, in the cult exhibition Le Bord des Mondes or in Alternative Guide to the Universe at the Hayward Gallery in London. In 2024, it will be exhibited at Lafayette Anticipations (Paris).
The inconceivably omniscient knowledge of George Widener’s calendars and the exalted and unbridled creativity both stun and interest scientists and art critics to the highest degree.
After a childhood marked by explosions of violence and anger, Widener, born in 1962, became first a technician for the US Air Force, then a painter in construction, and finally a regular at psychiatric institutions and homeless shelters. At the age of 32, it was discovered that he had Asperger’s Syndrome (or a high level of autism). If he is given a date, he knows the major events related to it by heart. His weakness: the sinking of the Titanic, which reappears as a leitmotif of his creation.
Presented at the exhibitions World Transformers at the Kunsthalle of Frankfurt in 2010 and The Alternative Guide to the Universe, organized by the Hayward Gallery in London in 2013 or at the Chalet Society - The Museum of Everything, boulevard Raspail in Paris in 2012-2013, his work already figures among the most important collections of art brut.
Foreword : Christian Berst
Catalog published to mark the exhibition On the horizon, from january 28th to march 1st, 2014.