Andrew Edlin Gallery is pleased to announce “Henry Darger: The Vivian Girls Emerge”, an exhibition of works by the self-taught visionary who is widely regarded as the greatest talent in the outsider-art field and, at the same time, as an innovator whose literary and mixed media creations defy that category’s sometimes limiting label.
On view from November 2 through December 23, 2006, the exhibition will feature many significant Darger works that have never before been shown publicly in the United States. Among the show’s highlights: Five similar and related drawing-collages of individual Vivian Girls (the protagonists of the narrative that Darger’s drawings illustrated) that appear to have been made early in the artist’s development of his epic tale, “In the Realms of the Unreal.” These images are rare, for Darger normally portrayed the youngsters in groups; other depictions of the sisters will also be on view.
The exhibition will also include one of the artist’s most important works, “The Battle of Calverhine.” Described by art historian John M. MacGregor, a specialist in Darger studies, as “the masterpiece of Darger’s work in collage,” the mixed-media panorama is certainly his largest, measuring approximately three by ten feet. It is one of few pieces in the artist’s oeuvre that can accurately be dated, based on sections of a 1929 newspaper that he applied to its back side. This work is believed to have been especially important to Darger, as it hung on the wall of the room in which he lived and worked in Chicago from 1931 until his death in 1973. Recently conserved, the big battle scene was featured in “Inner Worlds Outside,” an exhibition relating works from both the outsider art and fine art fields that was shown in Madrid and London, and is now on view at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin).
Considered one of the most original and intriguing artists of the last century, Darger created a multifaceted body of work that, in its richness and complexity, has been compared to that of William Blake. A recent exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York, demonstrated the self-taught master’s influence on contemporary artists. His art was also recently on view in “Into Me/Out of Me,” an exhibition presented at P.S. 1/MoMA (New York); opening on November 26 at Kunst-werke, Berlin, where it will be shown again, this exhibition also includes works by contemporary artists such as Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Jeff Koons and Cindy Sherman.
Andrew Edlin Gallery is the exclusive, international representative of the Henry Darger Estate.
“Henry Darger: The Vivian Girls Emerge” will open with a reception at the gallery on Thursday, November 2, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.