At about the same time the Wright Brothers were making their historic first flights in Kittyhawk, Charles A. A. Dellschau was beginning to create a series of watercolors that would consume him for the last twenty years of his life. Aviation had long been a passion for Dellschau, who obsessively collected mentions of its fledgling efforts in the local newspapers, often incorporating the clippings into his work. Each work incorporates a collaged date from a newspaper corresponding to the day of the work's execution. The machines are generally shown either in profile, head-on or from a bird's eye view and are populated by their pilots and passengers.
Dellschau's work is contemporaneous with the great European Outsider, Adolph Wolfli. Although Dellschau's work is more single minded in its focus on a single type of subject matter than the broad vision of the Swiss master, they share a similar genius for innovative compositional solutions and a decorative splendor.
CHARLES A. A. DELLSCHAU (1830-1923)
dated 'Wednesday, October 29, 1919' (lower center)
watercolor, ink, graphite and collage on paper
16½ x 17 in. (42 x 43 cm.)
Executed in 1919.
Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York