The Boston Visionary Cell


PAUL LAFFOLEY (b. 1935, Cambridge, MA – d. 2015, Boston, MA)

Recent exhibitions include The Boston Visionary Cell (1971) at Kent Fine Art, open from January 4 through March 9, 2013, followed by three shows at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, open from April 4 through September 1, 2013, at the Hayward Gallery, London, in The Alternative Guide to the Universe from June 11 through August 26, 2013, and at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, open from October 18, 2013 through January 26, 2014.

Following a formal education from Brown in the classics, and architectural studies at Harvard, Laffoley would begin to assimilate and systematically cross-pollinate his related strands of intellectual inquiry.  In a search for expanded opportunities, Laffoley came to New York to work with the visionary Frederick Kiesler, and was recruited for viewing late night TV for Andy Warhol. At that time, Laffoley had been painting in the basement of his family’s home in Belmont on the weekends in Belmont, Massachusetts, completing what may be his first fully mature vision:  The Kali-Yuga: The End of the Universe at 424826 A.D. (The Cosmos Falls into the Chaos as the Shakti Oroboros Leads to the Elimination of all Value Systems by Spectrum Analysis), 1965.  From this point forward, Laffoley began to formulate his unique trans-disciplinary approach to a new discipline combining philosophy, science, architecture and spirituality to the practice of painting. Laffoley first began to organize his ideas in a format related to eastern mandalas, partially inspired by the late night patterns he watched for Warhol on sixties late night television.  This quickly developed into four general subgroups of works:  Operating Systems, Meta-Energy, Time Travel, and Lucid Dreams.  Conceived of as “structured singularities,” Laffoley never worked in series, but rather approached each project as a unique schematic.  Working in a solitary lifestyle, each 73 ½ x 73 ½ inch-canvas would take one to three years to paint and code. By the late 1980’s, Laffoley began to move from the spiritual and the intellectual, to the view of his work as an interactive, physically engaging Psychotronic devices, a modern approach to trans-disciplinary enlightenment and its spiritual aura.

For Laffoley’s full biography, bibliography, press and recent news, visit



Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA

Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX

Brockton Museum of Art, Brockton, MA

Continental Can Corporation, NY

First National Bank of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Miami, FL

Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston, MA

American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD

American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY 

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA 

Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA