Tuesday, December 9, 2008

August Natterer


August Natterer (1868 - 1933), also known as Neter, was a schizophrenic German outsider artist.

As a young man, Natterer studied engineering, got married, travelled widely, and had a successful career as an electrician but he was suddenly stricken with delusions and anxiety attacks. On April Fool's Day, 1907 he had a pivotal hallucination of the Last Judgment during which "10,000 images flashed by in half an hour." This ordeal led to a suicide attempt and committal to the first of what would be several mental asylums occupied during the remaining twenty-six years of his life.

The vision also inspired an intense production of drawings, all documenting images and ideas seen in the vision. Because of the intense and psychotic imagery, Netterer's work is more often studied scientifically than artistically. He died in 1933 in an asylum near Rottweil.

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