A self-taught artist and a calendar savant, George Widener creates mixed-media works on paper that give aesthetic, visible form to complex calculations based on dates and historical events–the sinking of the Titanic is one of his favorites. The artist often uses found paper, or a support composed of layers of tea-stained paper napkins. His drawings feature simple palettes, sophisticated patterning, and bold compositions of dates and imagery that transcend centuries of time and the history of art. Widener sometimes likens himself to a “time traveler”.
George Widener has been highly visible in the arena of contemporary art and has experienced a significant degree of film and media exposure. On October 24, 2012 Nova Science aired “How Smart Can We Get?” which featured a segment on Widener. He is also profiled in “Ingenious Minds: George Widener,” episode six of a six-part series of films focusing on savants and geniuses, which aired on the Science Discovery Channel in March, 2011. He is also a subject in the documentary film My Brilliant Brain: Accidental Genius, 2007.
George Widener’s work has been extensively exhibited on a global level. The artist was part of the exhibition “World Transformers: The Art of the Outsiders,” at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany (September 24, 2010-January 9, 2011), and “Exhibition 1” at the Museum of Everything, London, UK (October 14 – December 23, 2009). Fourteen of George Widener’s works were in the exhibition “Hiding Places: Memory in the Arts” at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI (June 26-December 30,2011). Widener will also be included in The Hayward Gallery, London’s exhibition “The Alternative Guide to the Universe,” curated by Ralph Rugoff (June 11 – September 1, 2013).
George Widener’s work is in many international private collections and museum collections, including the American Folk Art Museum, NY, ABCD Collection in Paris, The Museum of Everything in London, Kroller-Muller Museum, Netherlands, and the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland.
George Widener’s most recent major exhibition was at Hamburger Bahnhof museum in Berlin titled “Secret Universe IV: George Widener”, curated by the director of Nationalgalerie Berlin, Udo Kittlemann with Claudia Dichter (January 25 – June 16, 2013).