The Essential Paul Laffoley

Works from the Boston Visionary Cell

Paul Laffoley

The Essential Paul Laffoley

Paul Laffoley

Edited and with an Introduction by Douglas Walla
320 pages | 118 color plates, 15 halftones | 11 x 11 | © 2016
Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9780226315416 Published May 2016
Paul Laffoley, who once worked for Frederick Kiesler and Andy Warhol, emerged in recent years as one of the leading visionary artists of our time. Lavishly illustrated, The Essential Paul Laffoley documents the evolution of his unique intellectual, spiritual, and artistic approaches.

Living and working in a tiny space in Boston he called the “Boston Visionary Cell,” Laffoley became best known for his large mandala-like paintings filled with symbols and texts. Their titles range from the paranormal and arcane, such as The Ectoplasmic Man and The Sexuality of Robots, to the organic, as with Das Urpflanze Haus, to the erudite, including De Rerum Natura, a reference to the Roman poet Lucretius. Whether focused on working with plants to create living architecture or centered on the process of alchemy, these detailed, brilliantly colored works reflect Laffoley’s utopian hopes and transdisciplinary interests: throughout, he aimed to unite the boundless freedom of human imagination with the mathematical precision of the physical world.

Nearly one hundred of Laffoley’s works are showcased here along with his accompanying “thought-forms,” texts specific to each painting that comment on its particular content. Together with an introduction by editor and gallerist Douglas Walla, a biography by fellow artist Steven Moskowitz, and essays by scholars Linda Dalrymple Henderson and Arielle Saiber, this book is a long-awaited celebration of the theories, writings, and artworks of an extraordinary mind.

1 The Navigator
Douglas Walla

2 A Brush with Complexity
Steve Moskowitz

3 Laffoley and Dante’s Other Worlds
Arielle Saiber

4 Paul Laffoley and Dimensionality: Visionary Painting as a System of Knowledge
Linda Dalrymple Henderson

5 Works from the Boston Visionary Cell and Accompanying Thought-Forms
Paul Laffoley

List of Plates
Review Quotes
“Walla provides an essential and informative study that complements Laffoley’s complex painted and constructed visionary narratives. . . . Highly recommended."
Library Journal
"This important book in the genre provides a complete retrospective of Laffoley's works, which was lacking during much of his artistic career."
“This stunning, indeed mind-boggling, monograph is the ultimate resource on the art of Paul Laffoley.”
Richard Metzger, founder of Dangerous Minds
“Imagine if Picasso or Dalí hadn’t been discovered as teenagers whose genius would flower and develop in the public eye, but as senior citizens with a fully formed body of mature work in the closet. This is a document of seismic cultural importance.”
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