Blogpost: Henry Darger book review

Posted by T • February 3, 2020

Posted by T • February 3, 2020

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.

T • February 3, 2020

More recent blogposts

The Formative Years – Turbonegro

Posted by T • August 1, 2021

The Formative Years – Turbonegro I have yet to come across a respectable authority with credentials in the realm of rock that would be able to bring something remotely negative forward regarding the musical legacy of Turbonegro. While the band is still going today, my infatuation with them started in the early 1990s and I still hold their 1989 to … Read more

Search/Play/Repeat - July 2021

Posted by Loren • July 31, 2021

We cover a lot at Scene Point Blank. It's part of the job, but first and foremost we're music fans. While we talk a lot of new releases in the news/reviews/interviews, music is timeless and we need a way to share it. Plus, I just love a good mixtape and want to share stuff. While Aaron typically covers Search/Play/Repeat and … Read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – 7th Day and Shedshaker

Posted by T • July 31, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – 7th Day Brewing and Shedshaker   The story of 7th Day Brewing is one that could not be more DIY in nature as it all goes back to founder Mike Beresford Jones trying his hand in homebrewing in a bid to create the kind of brews he could not find anywhere, the fruits of … Read more

The Formative Years - Rich Kids on LSD

Posted by T • July 31, 2021

The Formative Years - Rich Kids on LSD When I first got a hold of Burkhard Jaerisch’s Flex US Hardcore Discography long before the advent of the internet, I not only devoured it but set out to get my paws on all records that were deemed worthy of a 10 / 10 rating.  While I did not necessarily agree with … Read more

Reckless Brewing and Moo Brew’s Gin Boilermaker

Posted by T • July 29, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Reckless Brewing and Moo Brew’s Gin Boilermaker   Having honed and refined channelling her alchemy in the creation of craft beers, the quality of which has left an indelible mark on the firmament of Australian craft brews, Reckless Brewing’s co-founder Grace has and continue to contribute to shaping the DNA of one of the … Read more

Beethoven and Wagner vs Nietzsche

Posted by T • July 26, 2021

Beethoven: A life University of California Press   There is no shortage of books dedicated to the life of a composer whose legacy has never ceased to reverberate and impact music at large. Released to commemorate the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of his birth, what sets this biography apart in terms of authority is partly due to the unprecedented access … Read more

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery

Posted by T • July 25, 2021

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery   Over the last ten years, Australia has firmly established itself on the map of nations that produce quality malt whiskies. Slowly but steadily, rye whiskies created on terra australis have been making a splash on the scene with quite a few distilleries crafting their own incarnations of American style rye whiskey. … Read more

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury

Posted by T • July 24, 2021

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury I’ve covered the mecca that Washington DC proved to be as a hotbed for hardcore and punk as part of this series before, however, missed to shed light onto one of my favourite releases from the 1980s era, i.e. the vitally important split LP of the short-lived bands The Faith and Void.  While … Read more

The Formative Years – Hardcore Classics, pt. 1

Posted by T • July 23, 2021

The Formative Years – Hardcore classics pt. 1   With ZAP magazine playing a pivotal role in promoting and covering everything New York Hardcore related in a pro-active and prominent manner, Europe and specifically Germany have always been prime markets for hardcore emanating from the Big Apple.  The result was that “NYHC” became a veritable label and trademark and almost … Read more

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records

Posted by T • July 22, 2021

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records  The first time I heard about Ebullition Records was when there was talk around the campfire of that a gentleman that was known to me as a Maximum Rock’n’roll / No Answer zine contributor, i.e. Kent McClard, was planning to release a full length of one of my favourite bands from Orange County, California, … Read more