White Columns

White Room Judith Scott

White Columns is pleased to present a rare exhibition of sculptural objects by Judith Scott (1943-2005). Judith Scott was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1943 with Down syndrome. In 1987, after many years living in isolation, Judith was introduced to Creative Growth – a visionary studio art program, founded 35 years ago in Oakland, California, that serves a community of adult artists with mental and developmental disabilities. For the last eighteen years of her life, before her death in 2005, Judith created the most extraordinary and idiosyncratic objects: fragile structures fastidiously assembled from found and scavenged materials that radically challenge – and resist – our attempts to define or rationalize them as ‘sculptures.’ Working intuitively and without any apparent influences or precedents – art historical or otherwise - Scott’s works are perhaps all the more extraordinary given that Judith was also deaf and mute.
Whilst living in the Bay Area I was fortunate to meet Judith in 2002 during one of my earliest visits to Creative Growth, and over the next three years I had the extraordinary privilege – and pleasure - to watch her at work. Sitting at her work table in Creative Growth’s main studio space Judith would focus on each ‘sculpture’ over a period of weeks or months, slowly but methodically wrapping, assembling, and making final adjustments before determining that a piece was ‘finished.’ The resulting cocoon-like and nest-like structures are of startling complexity and originality and together, I would argue, they constitute one of the most important bodies of work – ‘insider’ or ‘outsider’ – produced anywhere, and under any circumstances, in the past twenty years.

- Matthew Higgs, Director, White Columns

This exhibition has been organized in collaboration with the Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, CA. Since 2005 White Columns has collaborated extensively with Creative Growth and its artists, presenting solo exhibitions at White Columns by Creative Growth artists Aurie Ramirez, William Scott, Dan Miller, and David Albertsen, in addition to organizing exhibitions featuring the work of these and other Creative Growth artists in Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, and at other venues in New York. For more information about Creative Growth and how to support its programs visit: www.creativegrowth.org


For more information about this exhibition please email us at info@whitecolumns.org, or call the gallery on 212 924 4212.

Installation view

Installation view

Judith Scott
Untitled, no date
Mixed media
Courtesy of Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland