Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Henry Darger at the Folk Art Museum, NYC

Henry Darger is known for creating the longest single piece of writing ever known: "In the Realms of the Unreal," a labyrinthine novel of more than 15,000 closely spaced pages for which his paintings serve as illustrations. Also an incomplete 8,000-page sequel, illustrated, and many thousands of pages of other writings -- including a gargantuan autobiography recounting Darger's troubled and institutionalized youth and his 53-year career as a laborer.

The American Folk Art Museum is devoting an intimate gallery on the fourth floor to rotating exhibitions focusing on a single theme. The first of these showcases eight of the nearly three hundred watercolors Henry Darger created to illustrate his 15,000-page manuscript 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. Volume 6 of that epic is also on view.

The museum is home to the single largest public repository of works by Henry Darger (1892 - 1973), one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century. The works on view in "Up Close: Henry Darger" are drawn from this extensive collection.

The show is up until September 2009 and here is the link to the museum.

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