The remarkable story of Jonathan Lerman, a young artist with autism, seized the attention of the art world in 2002 Outsider Art Fair. Coverage by The New York Times, the Today Show, 48 Hours, and other international media has brought him into millions of homes across the country. This selection of fifty drawings, with a text by critic Lyle Rexer, presents the full range and astonishing growth of Jonathan's extraordinary talent. Diagnosed with autism and at first scarcely able to communicate, Jonathan began drawing at age ten. By age twelve, his drawings were exhibited at K. S. Art in New York. Working with the assurance of a Matisse, the speed of a Picasso and the humour of a born cartoonist, Jonathan has created an unforgettable body of work. His drawings include portraits of actual figures as well as figures from his own imagination, all rendered with great acuity. These drawings overturn the stereotype of the so-called savant artist as an unchanging talent sprung to life fully formed. Instead, they detail the restless experimentation and rapid growth of an artistic sensibility.
Jonathan Lerman: The Drawings of a Boy with Autism is a book not just for art lovers but for everyone who values the rich diversity of the creative imagination. In addition to an illuminating essay on Jonathan's work, the book also contains an afterword by Caren Lerman, Jonathan's mother, describing the sudden appearance of his talent and the challenges and satisfactions of raising a gifted child with autism.
Art critic Lyle Rexer is the author of Photography's Antiquarian Avant-Garde: The New Wave in Old Processes, as well as other book on art. He writes for many publications, including Art in America, The New York Times and Art on Paper.