march, 2022

202204mar(mar 4)12:00 am30apr(apr 30)11:59 pmRicco / Maresca | 03/04/22 - 04/30/22 | George Widener: Count Down | George Widener | Chelsea

Time

March 4 (Friday) 12:00 am - April 30 (Saturday) 11:59 pm

Location

Ricco / Maresca

529 West 20th Street 3rd Floor New York 10011 United States

Organizer

Ricco / Maresca 529 West 20th Street 3rd Floor New York 10011 United States

Event Details

Art Exhbition
Ricco / Maresca
529 West 20th Street 3rd Floor New York 10011 United States

03/04/22-04/30/22

“Functional MRI have shown that my brain is wired slightly differently; it seems to have unusual activity that results in some innate math memory and drawing skills. I’ve calculated dates and specific number systems since I was a child. I’d see common numbers around me (a license plate a house number) and immediately transform them into dates” remembers George Widener about his early experience as an odd and gifted child.
Widener was born in Cincinnati Ohio in 1962 and although he had an outstanding ability with numbers his childhood was marked by awkward social behavior. At eighteen he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force where he worked as a technician for four years and then did some college coursework in mechanical engineering until mental breakdowns and financial difficulties caused him to drop out. Around this time he became obsessed with calendars historical events and automatic memory drawing. He focused all his energy on creating a counting system that he documented in notebooks making work for more than a decade before anyone saw it. For a time he slept in shelters and worked in the library on his project during the day and then decided to travel the world on a very limited budget visiting more than seventy countries. In the late 1990s Widener was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome (which was surely linked to the lighting calculating skills that made him a calendar savant from an early age) and enrolled in a Tennessee State vocational rehabilitation program where he was discovered and introduced to the art world.
Widener uses found and pieced paper to create mixed-media works with bold color palettes and intricate patterning. His innate ability in drawing materializes in conjunction with his preoccupation with the space/time continuum possible numerical systems and mind games based on historical events and dates. The sinking of the Titanic has been a fixation since he discovered that a George D. Widener from Philadelphia and his son died on the ship. “The subject of my work is that of time and more precisely the shifting and symmetry of time—which I believe occupy every individual’s subconscious” says the artist adding: “I believe that truths are often revealed in unexpected divergent events the past and the future are joined in subtle ways. I’ve been interested in disasters as an anthropology project of sorts.”

Throughout his career now spanning almost three decades Widener has created distinct bodies of work that represent the depth and versatility of his visual and conceptual toolbox. Count Down presents a survey of work from diverse series: Megalopolis Robot Teaching Games Crispr Maps Magic Circles Calendrical Computations Cityscapes/Mindscapes and Gambling/Probability—created between 2010 and 2022.
Today Widener is highly visible in the contemporary art arena and has had significant film and media exposure: he was a subject in the documentary film My Brilliant Brain: Accidental Genius (2007) and was profiled in the last episode of Ingenious Minds a six-part series of films focusing on savants and geniuses which aired on the Discovery Science Channel (2011). His work has been exhibited extensively worldwide including Hiding Places: Memory in the Arts (John Michael Kohler Arts Center 2011) The Alternative Guide to the Universe (Hayward Gallery London 2012) and Secret Universe (Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin 2013). Count Down is the artist’s fourth one-person exhibition at Ricco/Maresca Gallery.

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