Soho gallery Peter Freeman, Inc. just announced that it will represent the estate of self-taught artist James Castle, who produced exceedingly beautiful, modestly scaled scenes of life in Idaho, where he lived for his entire life, from 1899 to 1977, using humble materials like soot and spit on fabric and paper. Knoedler & Company, which closed suddenly last year, had previously presented a number of Castle shows in New York.
In 2010, some 150 pieces of art and three books by James Castle, the artist best known for his psychologically charged drawings in soot and saliva, were found in the ceiling of a home in which he had once lived, in Boise, Idaho, by its current resident, Jeannie Schmidt, who claims she is the rightful owner of the work. Members of the extended family of Mr. Castle, who died in 1977, argue that they rightfully own the works, which could be worth tens of thousands of dollars. Now the two sides are battling it out in court, the Associated Press reports.