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James Castle (1899-1977), born profoundly deaf, lived within his own silent world, communicating solely through his art, and he left an innovative and imaginative body of work. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has mounted the first comprehensive exhibition of Castle's work, and Percy (curator of drawings, Philadelphia Museum of Art) has brought together an amazing collection of his art as well as scholarly essays and biographical pieces. Castle used everyday items like soot, swabs, sticks, and food containers to create intricate constructions, surrealistic images, and collages of words and pictures. Here, one can find, e.g., endless sketches of rooms in his family's farmhouse, paintings on the bottom of an ice cream carton, and a glass bottle wrapped in felt, string, and paper. The book also examines Castle's materials and techniques and his obsession with the ephemera of life around him. A major contribution to the literature of 20th-century art as well as outsider art; the accompanying DVD features an excellent film, Jeffrey Wolf's James Castle: Portrait of an Artist.