A Vortex Symphony
The first European solo-exhibit by the American Melvin Way, discovered in 1989 by the artist Andrew Castrucci, whose selected works are being shown in the cabinet of curiosities.
The graphic density of Melvin Way’s talismanic notes gives them a rare magnetism. It is during a long process, which can last for months, that Melvin covers these fragments of papers with writing, numbers, mathematical and chemical formulas, geometric figures, musical scores, and adhesive tape.
These pages from a melancholic codex attest to his obsession with time and space, while his equations seem to want to locate vortexes, these bridges leading from one to another. It is a way – for the man who sometimes signs Melvin “Milky” Way – of freeing himself from his earthly condition. And as Laurent Derobert reminds us: “Melvin Way’s work on this is the best teaching: it is less about understanding us than it is about filling us with wonder.”
Today, Melvin Way is an artist celebrated by eminent critics such as Jerry Saltz of the New York Magazine, who calls him a “mystic visionary genius.”
curiosities cabinet : Andrew Castrucci
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).