[alert_box type=”info”]This review of the 2017 exhibition ‘Works On Paper’ was published on The Quietus website 5 August 2017 [/alert_box] See original article Look At My Beef Art: Works On Paper By Don Van Vliet Adam Lehrer An exhibition at Michael Werner’s New York gallery looks at works on paper in watercolour, gouache, and coloured pencil, by American outsider icon Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart. Objectively critiquing the visual art works of a famous musician (or actor, or novelist, etc.) is no small order. How do you not immediately view the work through the lens of the music that you already know well andRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article first appeared in Mojo Magazine, December 1993 as an introduction to an interview with the man himself. Please also see John French’s response to this article.[/alert_box] He is alive. A recluse. Painting in seclusion up near the Oregon border. There have been weird signals through the ether since he stopped making music 11 years ago, but they were faint, confused, unintelligible. But now Dave DiMartino has finally made contact with the man who used to be Captain Beefheart. It is entirely fitting that Don Van Vliet, painter of international repute, and one of a handful of truly legendary figures in rock ‘n’ roll,Read More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Article taken from Volume 13 #1 of Cover Magazine (March 1999). Many thanks to Brian Smith for kindly sending me a copy of the magazine.[/alert_box] Don Van Vliet; poet, musician, composer, anti-rockstar, aka the legendary Captain Beefheart, has been off in the wilderness making pictures since the early seventies. Exhibiting his paintings under his own name since the early eighties, his most recent work was shown this winter at Knoedler & Company, in association with the Michael Werner Gallery. What has been said in the past about his work as a musician and poet, namely that it is visionary and apocalyptic, is also trueRead 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 was printed in the May 1987 edition of Artscribe.[/alert_box] Last year Captain Beefheart, one of the few musicians left on earth who doesn’t just deserve the label unique but actually embodies uniqueness, made his first public appearance as a painter with an exhibition at Michael Werner. A great deal of pressure from friends and admirers, among them A.R. Penck and Julian Schnabel, had finally produced a small show of the artist’s work, an exhibition to be regarded more as an event for admirers and fans than as the first one man show by an aspiring artist. Because, after all, Don van Vliet isRead 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 →

Don Van Vliet Works On Paper

An exhibition entitled ‘Don Van Vliet Works On Paper‘ runs 27 October 2007 – 1 December 2007 at David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles. The exhibition is organized in collaboration with Michael Werner Gallery and includes Van Vliet works from the mid-1980s to the early 90s. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, October 27th from 6 to 9 pm. Further information can be found at David Kordansky Gallery’s website. David Kordansky Gallery, 510 Bernard Street, Los Angeles, CA. 90012 Tel. 323-222-1482 Fax. 323-227-7933Read More →