Self-Taught Artist Larry John Palsson: A J Compton Gallery Exclusive


(NOTE FROM JEAN: This is a departure from my usual format, so you’ll find info and prices below the text.)

The visionary paintings of Larry John Palsson (1948-2010) were discovered a year after his death when the contents of his modest Seattle, Washington, home were offered for sale.

This unusual trove of paintings — hundreds in all — is the work of an individual who longed to be an engineer but couldn’t hold a job because of an unspecified medical condition that may have been some form of autism from what we know. Larry Palsson lived with his widowed mother nearly all of his life and, somewhere along the way, taught himself to paint with exhilarating results.

His inventive treatment of geometric forms, innate sense of color, meticulous brushwork, and adventurous mix of media and material — varnish over acrylic paint on a particleboard panel; acrylic on vinyl; acrylic on cardboard with an oil wash — add up to a body of work that’s as deeply personal as it is compelling.

Based on a notebook found with Larry’s art, he never expected or intended his work to see the light of day. His paintings were found unframed, packed into cardboard boxes and, with one or two exceptions, are untitled, undated and unsigned. The small group of paintings featured here represent J Compton Gallery’s first offering of Larry’s work online.

For more about Larry John Palsson, see my latest posts in Collecting My Thoughs. Click here.And here.

Row 1:
stylized mountains; acrylic on paper; 8.5″ X 11″; framed; $1850
cubes tumbling down stairs; acrylic on cardboard; 11″ X 14″; framed; $3000
primary prisms; acrylic on paper; 8.5″ X 11″; framed; $1850

Row 2:
hard boiled eggs; acrylic on Frosted Shredded Wheat box; 7″ X 10″; framed; $1600
(backside of hard boiled eggs)
flat squares, angled walls; acrylic on pape; 8.5″ X 11″; framed; SOLD

Row 3:
threading the needle 1; acrylic on 1988 car brochure page; 9-5/8″ X 9.5″; framed; $2400
(backside of threading the needle 1)
confetti orbs in party colors; acrylic on cardstock; 10-1/8″ X 10.25″; framed; $1850

Row 4:
conduits, half circles; acrylic on art board with unfinished portrait on back side; 11.25″ X 14.5″; framed; $3400
(unfinished mask-like portrait backside of conduits, half circles)
cubes in motion; acrylic on paper; 9″ X 12″; framed; $2400

Row 5:
falling orbs, sawtooth mountains; acrylic on cardboard; 9.25″ X 17.5″; framed; $2700
hourglass; oil pastells on construction paper; 9″ X 12″; framed; $2400
abstract creature; acrylic on vinyl material; 7.5″ X 16″; framed; $3200


Click any image to enlarge it.