Paul Laffoley's Cosmological Cartography
42° 21′ 30″ N, 71° 03′ 45″ W
Paul Laffoley was an artist known for his colorful paintings mixing science and systems of knowledge. His complex compositions explore different concepts and multiply questions about the universe, its origin and its functioning.
From Architecture dimensionality to visionary Painting
Paul Laffoley (1935-2015) first trained as an architect. It was for him the opportunity to combine his visions of technical objects, to retranscribe them into drawings, and to give them spatial form. In the early 1960s, Paul Laffoley arrived in New York to begin an apprenticeship with Frederick Kiesler. During his years in New York he worked on the World Trade Center project and also met Andy Warhol who paid him to watch television at night and take notes.
After his return to Boston he finally settled in a studio where he created the “Boston Visionary Cell” (1971) an art organization where metaphysical research was represented in the form of paintings and diagrams.
Tesseract House, Paul Laffoley
Laffoley’s paintings are conceived as portals, the meeting between art and science is a form of alchemy for him. The graphic synthesis between mandala and industrial design allows him to represent mental machines from his futuristic dreams. The combination of words and images creates very complex technical and cosmic diagrams linking various themes, which, when understood, will supposedly increase one’s level of awareness and knowledge of the world.
The painting must be seen as an invention or a representation of a paradigm, a kind of cartography of the consciousness very advanced fed by philosophical, alchemical, esoteric, religious, mystical concepts. But Laffoley’s paintings are also inspired by the universes of writers like Dante or H. P Lovecraft. His epistemological and metaphysical research describes a cosmogony alternating between mythology and science fiction. The representation of his inventions on large format paintings reinforces the enigmatic sensation in the manner of a visual initiatory journey. The paintings are researches, are questions, but when Paul Laffoley’s cosmological cartography will be decrypted, no doubt the answers will emerge.