Past Exhibitions


Out Of This World

No. 591 Creation in Vast Expanse of Luminos, May 1957

Centennial Celebration of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein

Mar 2, 2010–Mar 2, 2012

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein was born in Wisconsin on July 31, 1910. He lived in a small house in Milwaukee with his wife Marie, and he worked in a bakery. He was a self-taught artist, and believed he was capable of great things. His first paintings were on panels of boxes that he brought home from the bakery. Despite the fact that he was never successful in selling his work or gaining any recognition during his lifetime, his passion drove him to produce thousands of paintings, sculptures, and photographs. Since his death in 1983 he has been increasingly recognized as a uniquely important American visionary artist.

This year, in celebration of the centenary of Von Bruenchenhein's birth, three major US museums are mounting solo exhibitions of his work, spanning the diverse media in which he worked. Because the peak of Von Bruenchenhein's visionary artistry is seen in his paintings, AVAM has chosen to present a selection of them. They come to us from the Von Bruenchenhein Collection. These and many more of his paintings are viewable over the Internet at Visitors to may download high-resolution images of the paintings free of charge.

In the late hours, Von Bruenchenhein would sit at his kitchen table and let his imagination go. He applied paint to a board, and then moved the paint around. First, he used just his fingers. Then he began to scrape with combs, quills, bakery tools, and other objects. Most of his paintings were completed in a frenzy of activity that lasted one to three hours. The images are amazing for their dimensionality and detail, and for the worlds they reveal to us - so far removed from our own. By his own accounting, Von Bruenchenhein completed 1,080 paintings. When he died, his small house was crammed from floor to ceiling with them. These are some of his best.

Out Of This World

A gallery view of Out Of This World