Fred Hoffman Gallery 1990 by Voot Zombo

Welcome to an online exhibition of the finest abstract expressionist paintings you’re likely to see, all by Don Van Vliet.

It was Don Van Vliet’s visual art which initially inspired me to set up this website in 1998. My interest in Captain Beefheart’s music had drawn me to his 1994 Stand Up To Be Discontinued exhibition in Brighton which made an immediate and lasting impression on me.

During its nine-week run, I went back again and again just to spend some time in the same room as these beautiful and striking explosions of paint and personality which bore their creator’s instantly recognisable humour, love of the natural world and his desire to do things entirely his own unique way.  The intriguing word-play in the titles was also very reassuringly Beefheartian with many titles containing references or quotes from his past lyrics.

It was a Captain Beefheart concert for the eyes, or in his own words, “I’m painting the stuff I played.”

Sometimes I think I love the paintings even more than the music. Other times I don’t really think about it.

Art-related material on

If you have any Don Van Vliet paintings which are not featured here, please also let me know.

The exhibition photo above was taken by Voot Zombo at the 1990 Fred Hoffman Gallery “Paintings and Drawings” exhibition. Many thanks indeed to Voot for sending it over.