Blog Henry Darger book review

Henry Darger book review

Posted Feb. 3, 2020, 5:23 p.m. by T

Advertisement
KFAI - Undead

Henry Darger

Prestel Publishing

 

“Outsider art” is an interesting term as it can pertain to art outside the confines of the well-trodden path of mainstream art and autodidactic artists that add another enriching facet dimension to the culturally sanctioned world of art as well as a questionable justification for less works that lack merit.

Henry Darger can be firmly placed in the first category and this opulently illustrated tome does not only portray his oeuvre but also elevated him to be a major protagonist of the current art scene.

Stating that Darger’s works are rooted in his own, characteristically peculiar fantasy world would be an understatement par excellence as it has become his trademark and anyone remotely familiar with some of his painting would be able to identify them as his from a long way off.

The book does justice to the at times disturbing scenarios that Darger creates, some of which are displayed in all their glory via foldout illustrations and gatefold. The works being embedded in essays that have been carefully curated by Klaus Biesenbach, Darger’s uniqueness is highlighted even further and light is shed on his use of religiously tinted agendas, the importance of his idiosyncratic use of abstract compositions and the frequent use of what has become his trademark duality between violence and innocence as well as the materials his used.

The book is nicely balanced and informed by an objective approach that does not lack welcome delicate criticism.

Having been a fan of Darger for the longest time, I was quite pleased to hold a book in my hands, which accentuated the artworks with the precision printing and colour palate and does justice to a man that is often misinterpreted and whose allure has always been heightened by being an enigma.

A gorgeous and solid compendium that should not be missed from any halfway decent art book agglomeration and one that not only signs the praises of the artist but put his work into perspective and contextualises it both historically as well as the art world.

Leave a comment
Share this content

Other recent blogs

Nat’s What I Reckon @ Enmore Theatre

Posted by T
May 16, 2021, 3:48 p.m.

Nat’s What I Reckon Enmore Theatre Sydney, Australia May 15, 2021 Not unlike we have alluded to in the review of  Nat’s What I Reckon’s recently released book, the man’s ... read more

This Searing Light, The Sun and Everything Else

Posted by T
May 16, 2021, 10:43 a.m.

This Searing Light, The Sun and Everything Else: Joy Division: The Oral History Faber & Faber   Joy Division aficionados would be intimately familiar with the movie on the band ... read more

Water of Life – Whisky Company & Bruichladdich

Posted by T
May 15, 2021, 10:09 a.m.

Water of Life – Whisky Company & Bruichladdich   Being a whisky aficionado on terra australis can be challenging at times, specifically when it comes to sourcing drops from the ... read more

Young Henrys Unifier and GABS Festival

Posted by T
May 14, 2021, 9:41 p.m.

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Young Henrys Unifier and GABS Festival   The intersections of love for music and beer is one of the focus areas that in ingrained ... read more

The Formative Years – Mute Records

Posted by T
May 12, 2021, 8:20 p.m.

The Formative Years Mute Records   It seems like aeons ago that through my parents’ record collection I was exposed to Grace Jones’ of “Warm leatherette” – a cover version ... read more

Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.