When the reclusive American janitor Henry Darger died in 1973, he left behind an unprecedented body of drawings, scroll-like watercolors and a 15,000 page novel called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.
Discovered by Darger's landlord, these works--which are populated largely by trans-gendered and often partially clothed girls who war righteously against evil adults and monsters--are now universally considered some of the most important and interesting artworks by any self-taught artist in modern history. In 2006 La Maison Rouge in Paris opened the most extensive exhibition of Darger's work ever in Europe. This second edition of the exhibition catalogue features a selection of classic works, as well as an essay by Edward Madrid Gomez, who writes, "Knowing what we know about this loner's life, it seems that no one else but Darger could have produced it, in the same way that we cannot imagine the ground-breaking works of such artists as Beethoven, Picasso, Wolfli or Joyce emerging from the minds or spirits of anyone else except these geniuses, whose talents have helped define just how far-reaching and accomplished artistic creativity can be."Foreword by Andrew Edlin. Text by Edward M. Gomez. Translated by Valerie Rousseau.Henry J. Darger was born in 1892 and lived with his father, a tailor, in Chicago. He was moved to a Catholic asylum when his father became crippled, and after many attempts, successfully ran away at age 16. Soon after his death, in 1973, his landlord discovered his life's work.
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