It is said that through some sort of mystic cabalistic jujitsu, when all 666 names of God are spoken, the world will end. Over the millennia, artists, writers, philosophers, and musicians have revealed some of these names. Certainly, the mighty Swiss "outsider artist" Adolf Wölfli enunciated a handful of them in his fulminating, mandala-like illuminations, drawings, and collages—105 of which are on view in the American Folk Art Museum's enthralling survey, "St. Adolf-Giant-Creation: The Art of Adolf Wölfli." These powerhouses of energy are as magical as they are aesthetic. Two-dimensional passageways for metaphysical travel, they are visual magic carpets capable of transporting viewers to varied psychic dimensions. The best of them are ecstatic shamanic devices. Perhaps sensing this, surrealist potentate André Breton grouped Wölfli with Picasso and Gurdjieff as among the era's most inspirational figures, pronouncing him "one of the three or four most important artists of the 20th century." As with most things Breton, the claims are overblown. But not by much. And springing Wölfli from the outsider... More >>>