An Alternative Guide to the Universe
The gallery lent several works by Jean Perdrizet for the exhibition An Alternative Guide to the Universe organized from June 11 to August 26 at the Hayward Gallery in London.
Discovered in the early 1980s at a homeless center in New York City, Melvin Way is now a key figure in contemporary art brut. Having interrupted his scientific studies because of his schizophrenia, he relentlessly covers fragments of papers of mathematical and chemical formulas, sibylline sketches… These dense talismanic notes, which he treasures in his pockets, exhale a rare magnetism. The 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Critics, Jerry Saltz, considers him “a mystic visionary genius, one of the greatest living American artists.” The artist’s works are now in the collections of the MoMA (New York) and the Smithsonian (Washington).
This former bridge and pavement engineer, who became an “inventor,” fascinated all the scientists he met. He relentlessly sought to awaken consciences by overstepping the bounds of reason. The plans of his inventions, which he addressed to the highest scientific bodies, such as NASA, the CNRS or the Nobel Committee, are all invitations to reconsider the possibilities of physics, giving us the codes of an elsewhere. The one to whom we have dedicated an important monograph is present today in eminent collections : LaM (France), Pinacothèque Hervé Lancelin (Luxembourg), Antoine de Galbert (France), and Amr Shaker (Switzerland).
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.