The Good Luck Gallery is proud to present:
September 3 - October 29, 2016
Reception: September 3, 7-10pm
The combination of visionary and quotidian elements in the work of Charles Steffen attests to both a wildly poetic visual imagination and an uneventful daily life. His drawings - in graphite and colored pencil on large sheets of brown paper - possess a unique and timeless quality; they resemble pages from an idiosyncratic self-referential field guide with sunflowers, crucifixions and figures complemented by scrawled diaristic ruminations.
The eldest son in a family of eight children, Steffen studied art at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the late 1940s but his education was cut short by a mental breakdown which resulted in a fifteen year stay at the Elgin State hospital, where he underwent electroshock therapy for schizophrenia. It was there that he began to draw, but his prodigious early output was either lost or discarded. Upon his release, Steffen lived with his family and spent most of his time producing art. After his mother died and the family house was sold, he moved into a retirement home in Chicago, where he died, at the age of sixty-eight, in 1995.