Adolf Wolfli

Considered the first well-known “outsider artist,” Adolf Wolfli attributed this honorable title through a series of unfortunate and traumatizing events in his life. Abused and molested as a boy, Wolfli spent much of his childhood in foster homes, prison and eventually a psychiatric ward after being committed for three accounts of molesting young girls. It was in the ward where intense periods of solitude led to the onset of a creative outlet in the form of drawings, musical compositions and writings. Often placed in isolation and with limited resources, Wolfli used his imagination as the tool for his work, which eventually grabbed the attention of his doctor, Walter Morgenthaler. Morgenthaler was inspired to write a book expressing the brilliant artistry found in his mentally-ill patients, and subsequently, Wolfli was later recognized by the founder of the Compagnie de l’Art Brut, Jean Dubuffet.





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