George Widener: Kohler Arts Center

George Widener:
Kohler Arts Center

Project Description

George Widener

John Michael Kohler Arts Center – 2011

George Widener (NC) is an autistic savant with an incredibly retentive memory. He has said, “I wake up sometimes after having counted in my sleep.” Widener channels his astonishing computing powers into unique drawings that far exceed the norms of recalling and recording. Having a lifelong obsession for numbers, Widener includes thousands of calculations, calendar dates, and census statistics, as well as historical facts and minutiae in his densely packed and visually commanding drawings. Memory is literally transformed into an awe-inspiring, tangible form.

Diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, Widener faced difficulties balancing his exceptional skills with his social deficits; even now his basic day-to-day interactions can prove challenging. Nevertheless, this extraordinary artist’s capacity to translate his abilities into works of art has opened up a world of communication and appreciation for his distinctive and important work.”