Norbert Kox (1945 - 2018) painted as an act of prayer as much as an act of creation. He first learned to paint while in the US Army at the age of 17 in then-occupied Munich. When out of the service he repaired motorcycles and custom cars to earn his living, but struggled with alcoholism and drug use. After a bad drug trip at 30, he went sober and committed himself to life as a hermit living in the woods around Suring, WI. For ten years he lived simply, opening himself to listen to God as well as building a chapel and a “way-of-the-cross” culminating in a grotesque, crusified Christ at his hermitage.
In 1985, he attended the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and began painting full time. His lurid paintings, disturbing and apocalyptic, challenge conventional religious attitudes toward idolatry, piety, and interpretation of scripture. His artworks pulsate with apocalyptic anxieties, and injected into the work are biblical verses. Much of the subject matter of Kox’s work comes from his own biblical exegesis in which he examines, expounds, and looks for “symmetries” — verses that when spelled backwards in Hebrew or Greek reveal coded meanings.
Kox has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe and was represented by Portrait Society Gallery at the 2020 Outsider Art Fair in New York.
2020 Outsider Art Fair, New York, Portrait Society Gallery.
2016 Light and Dark, Youngeun Museum of Comntemporary Art, Gwangju, South Korea.
2014 Apocalyptic Surrealism, Tiapapata Art Centre, Samoa.
2013 HEY! II, Halle Saint Pierre Museum, Paris, France.
2011 Daniel Martin Diaz and Norbert H. Kox, Le Galerie TOXIC, Luxembourg.
2009 Last Chance Apocalypse, Le Galerie TOXIC, Luxembourg.
2008 Sacred Pastures, Horse Hospital, London, England.
2005 Diabolique: Images of the Devil in Contemporary Art, Walkers Point Art Center, Milwaukee.
2004 Perfect Picture Jesus: The Glamorous Fraud, America Oh Yes Gallery, Washington DC.
2003 Unquiet Voices, Horse Hospital, London, England.
2001 Deep Waters: Glory and Shame, LaLuz de Jesus Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
"Tribute to Norbert Kox: Apocalypse House and the Museum of Visionary Art." Gillet News. Wendy Vorphal. 2018
SELECTED MUSEUM COLLECTIONS
La Maison Rouge. Paris, France
American Visionary Art Museum. Baltimore, MD
Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Chicago, IL
Neville Museum. Green Bay, WI