Born 1943, Columbus, Ohio; died 2005, Oakland, California.
Judith Scott's art is marked by great power. Her sculptures made of found objects and materials, wrapped in yarn and textiles, exude a sense of mystery not only through their visual appeal, but also in what they conceal. Each carries a palpable charge generated by the artist's intense, generative act of wrapping and binding. Although not directly influenced by or related to any cultural tradition, her works resonate uncannily with a range of material cultural practices that involve intentional accretion for the purpose of healing. Judith Scott was a magician.
Born with her fraternal twin sister, Joyce, in 1943 in Cincinatti, Ohio, Scott suffered from Down Syndrome. She was also deaf, a condition that was misdiagnosed as mental retardation until she was an adult. At the age of seven, Scott was placed in a state institution where she lived until 1986, at which time her twin intervened, became her guardian, and moved her to California.
Soon after, she joined Oakland's Creative Growth, a seminal arts workshop for the disabled. After two years of relative disinterest, Scott began to work with yarn and fiber in the workshop setting, and was encouraged to forge a visual and material language all her own.
More than simply works of art made to pass the time, these colorful, often intimidating cocoons carry the force of her will to reckon, to remember, to communicate, and to reinvent herself. During her lifetime, she gained international acclaim, and since her passing in 2005, her work has continued to earn critical recognition in major publications and exhibitions.
Bound and Unbound, Brooklyn Museum
Objets Secrets, Collège des Bernardins, Paris, France
White Room: Judith Scott, White Columns, New York
Judith & Shields! – Judith Scott Meets Tribal Art, Museum Gugging, Gugging, Austria
Judith Scott Retrospective, Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York
Outliers and American Vanguard Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter: Curated by Katy Grannan, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Collection abcd, La maison rouge, Paris
Purple States curated by Sam Gordon, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY
Henrik Olesen: Abandon the Parents curated by Christopher Müller, Henrik Olesen & Daniel Buchholz, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen
Dan Miller and Judith Scott: Creative Growth curated by Matthew Higgs, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT
Ten Years, Wallspace Gallery, New York, NY
Decorum, Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
Create, Creative Growth Center, Oakland
Connivences Secrètes, Espace Topographie de l’art, Paris, France
B. Wurtz & Co. curated by Matthew Higgs, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA Rosemarie Trockel: un cosmos curated by Lynne Cooke and Rosemarie Trockel, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte: Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
Creative Growth curated by Amie Scally, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY
John Hiltunen +1 curated by Matthew Higgs, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA
Create, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA
Exhibition #4.1, Museum of Everything, London, England
World Transformers, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
International VSA Exhibition, Kennedy Center, Washington DC
Creative Growth, curated by Matthew Higgs, Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin, Germany
Approaching Abstraction: American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY
Creative Growth exhibition, Galerie Impaire, Paris, France
L’envers et l’endroit, Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne, Switzerland
Creative Growth, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York, NY
Creative Growth Art Center, abcd la galerie, Montreuil, France
Perfect Man Show, curated by Rita Ackermann, White Columns, New York, NY
Visions, American, Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore
American Folk Art Museum, New York
American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore
Collection abcd, Paris
Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
Museum of Everything, London
Museum of Modern Art, New York
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
Byrne, David, Bicycle Diaries, Penguin/Viking, New York, 2009.
Rebetz, Pascal, On m'appelait Judith Scott, Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne, 2006.
Scott, Joyce, Twins, poem published in Metamorphosis: The Fiber Art of Judith Scott, Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, 1999.