[alert_box type=”info”]An exclusive review for two Don Van Vliet exhibitions from 1998 and 1999.[/alert_box] By Who & By What Is One Enlightened Or Deceived? Is it possible to judge with an uncritical eye as if Captain Beefheart never existed? Don Van Vliet – New Work 11th November – 5th December, 1998 Knoedler & Company In association with Michael Werner Gallery 19 East 70 Street New York, New York 10021 USA Don Van Vliet – Works On Paper 28th January – 26th March 1999 Michael Werner Gallery 21 East 67 New York, New York 10021 USA Captain Beefheart combed out his showbiz mane and became, afterRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Article from the Associated Press, published 22nd June 1995.[/alert_box] A long time ago, in an artistic dimension somewhere in another galaxy called the 1960s, there emerged an unlikely musical hero, name of Captain Beefheart. At a time when others sang about peace and love – and played it safe with musical arrangements featuring jingly jangly guitars and thumpty-thump drums – there stood Captain Beefheart as a counterpoint. There he stood, surrounded by bottleneck guitars, electronic pianos, trombones, French horns, Chinese gongs, clarinets, harmonicas – any instrument really, that sounded interesting when matched with his growling, 4 1/2-octave voice. But then – after 20 yearsRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article was taken from the 2nd September 1994 edition of The Independent newspaper.[/alert_box] Recording artist: Don van Vliet, the artist, is now back in touch with Captain Beefheart, the legend. Robert Hanks spots the difference. When he was a boy, back in Glendale, California, in the Forties and Fifties, Don van Vliet wanted to be a sculptor; at the age of 13, he even won a scholarship to study in Europe. But his parents thought that was kind of cissy, and wouldn’t let him. Instead, he went off to become Captain Beefheart, performing upright, manly blues-stroke-dada-stroke-field hollers- stroke-atonal collective improvisation with his MagicRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article originally appeared in Hyper, September 1994 to announce the arrival of Stand Up To Be Discontinued in Brighton.[/alert_box] This month Brighton Museum is staging two of the most exciting exhibitions seen in the town for years. Underground London and Stand Up To Be Discontinued bring the photos of Robert Whitaker and the art of Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) to the museum at the same time. You lucky people. BRIGHTON Museum celebrates the work of one of rock’s most extraordinary and enduring artists, Captain Beefheart, from September 2. Alongside the rock memorabilia will be the first ever UK exhibition of his paintingsRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article looks at the then-impending Brighton exhibition and originally appeared in The Observer newspaper on 28th August 1994.[/alert_box] Captain Beefheart was a music legend; now he’s Don Van Vliet, genius of paint. `You can physically drown in paint, you can mentally drown in music,’ declares Don Van Vliet, pronouncing one of his less obscure aphorisms. Cult rocker turned successful painter (but still better known to the world as Captain Beefheart) Van Vliet can claim intimate knowledge of both mediums. While a devoted public continues to mourn his absence from the music scene, which he abandoned in 1982, Van Vliet’s status as a fineRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Source and date unknown. Kindly sent to me by Arild.[/alert_box] The Collected Paintings of Don Van Vliet, the once (and future?) Captian Beefheart A reporter from New York Rocker once asked poet, painter and composer Don Van Vliet – better known to many as the influential enigma of electrified clamor, Captain Beefheart – how he produced his scrawling, free-form saxophone solos. “I just paint through it,” came the Captain’s bristly, elusive reply. The first full-scale reminder of Van Vliet’s existence since his musical retirement in 1982, Stand Up to Be Discontinued (Cantz/136 pages/$40, $60 with special edition CD) further expresses that unkempt synaesthesia. SmearyRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This review of the 1990 Paintings and Drawings exhibition appeared in Artweek (v.21 n.28) 6th September 1990[/alert_box] Don Van Vliet at Fred Hoffman Gallery Fans from Don Van Vliet’s (a.k.a. Captain Beefheart’s) rock ‘n’ roll past will no doubt be curious to see what kind of paintings and drawings have resulted from Van Vliet’s last few years of working in these media. Given Captain Beefheart’s zany antics and his usually enigmatic, eclectic and sometimes provocative music, there could be no telling what he might come up with unless you hazarded a guess based on the cover art he has produced for his albums. VanRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This piece introduced the 1990 Paintings and Drawings exhibition catalogue.[/alert_box] After having followed Don Van Vliet’s work for sometime, it is now appropriate to salute the artist on his arrival as a significant force in the arena of picture making. What initially drew me to his work and what I continue to find compelling, is the artist’s intense personal exploration of the deeper, non-material realms of individual and collective consciousness. How rare such a vision is in today’s world. Don Van Vliet’s art separates itself from the conditions guiding today’s art world in which too many of today’s creators are aligned with the world ofRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]John R. Lane is the Director of Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and provided this introduction to the MoMA New Work 1988-89 exhibition catalogue.[/alert_box] Living on a cliff overlooking the Pacific since the early eighties amid the redwood forests and wildlife, Don Van Vliet has embraced painting with the same controlled passion that made him, as the avant-garde rock composer and performer Captain Beefheart, a cult figure of conspicuous influence and one of the genuine musical geniuses of the past twenty years. Self-trained as a painter and knowing relatively little about the history of art or the current scene, he is a modernist primitiveRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This small piece appeared in the 22nd March 1986 edition of NME.[/alert_box] CAPTAIN BEEFHEART invading Cork Street, discreet and dangerously expensive centre of London’s gallery world? But yes. The Captain’s news is that Don Van Vliet’s paintings will be on show at dealers Leslie Waddington from April 3 to 26, with the artist himself coming in to town for the show. He’s without a current recording contract, but a variety of his best work is still available, repackaged for renewed consumption. Over in the reissued corner are the LPs Safe As Milk, Unconditionally Guaranteed, Blue Jeans And Moonbeams, Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), Doc At The Radar Station and Ice CreamRead More →

Ahm gonna tell you the story of how I came to meet Don Van Vliet. Well, to be honest, I stood in front of him, yes, but whether that qualifies as a “meeting” I’m not sure. In May 1985 about 30 galleries in Cologne were having exhibitions of new artists or new work of old artists. I don´t keep my eye on this stuff, and it was purely accidental when I saw his name in the advert for this gallery-event all over town. I was on my way home from school – Jesus, this is so long ago! I called the gallery, asking whether theRead More →

The inside image from the rather beautiful exhibition invitation. [simple_box] Paintings from the Eighties was a solo exhibition which ran from 12th July – 8th September 2001 Presented at: Michael Werner Gallery 4 East 77 New York [/simple_box] View the paintings featured at this exhibition. The exhibition also include “A Bride for Wallah” (1986, oil on canvas, 83.75 x 48 inches) which we don’t have a copy of. Can you help? Front of the exhibition invitation. Many thanks to Brainpang for very kindly sending this along.Read More →

The front of the exhibition’s promotional postcard featuring “Bat Day in the Night”, 1993. [simple_box] The Lowe Gallery\’s 2001 exhibition was a solo exhibition which ran from 7th – 20th January 2001 Presented at: The Lowe Gallery 75 Bennett Street, Space A-2, Atlanta, Georgia, 30309 [/simple_box] Exhibition features: A few items relating to the 2001 DVV exhibition at The Lowe Gallery: The Lowe Gallery’s online catalogue for the exhibition. Information from the Lowe Gallery’s exhibition postcard. Listing from the arts page of 8th January 2001’s Creative Loafing.Read More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article was written and sent to me by Neato following a visit to Don Van Vliet’s November / December 1998 New York exhibition.[/alert_box] As unlikely as it may once have seemed, Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) has a one man show of his recent paintings at the Knoedler & Company gallery on New York’s fashionable upper eastside. The show opened on November 11, 1998 (Veterans Day, for those that still believe in cosmic coincidence… see Capt. Beefheart’s tune-veterans day poppy) and will run until December 5, 1998. The 27 works date from 1993 through (as recently as) October 1998, with the majorityRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This small piece was taken from the 27th November 1998 edition of the New York Times and was written by Grace Glueck. Many thanks to Michael H. for sending it along.[/alert_box] Don Van Vliet Knoedler & Company 19 East 70th Street Through Dec. 5 Known in an earlier incarnation as the rock musician Captain Beefheart, Don Van Vliet left the music world in the late 1970s to concentrate on painting. Self-taught, he works in a primitive style, deploying crude animal and more abstract shapes in black and various colours on snowy white grounds. For a rock musician, he knows how to keep his decibelsRead More →