Artist With Alzheimer’s Paints His Eroding Self

“When he learned in 1995 that he had Alzheimer’s disease, William Utermohlen, an American artist in London, responded in characteristic fashion. ‘From that moment on, he began to try to understand it by painting himself,’ said his wife, Patricia Utermohlen, a professor of art history. … The paintings starkly reveal the artist’s descent into dementia, as his world began to tilt, perspectives flattened and details melted away. His wife and his doctors said he seemed aware at times that technical flaws had crept into his work, but he could not figure out how to correct them.”