HENRY DARGER (1892-1973)
HENRY DARGER (1892-1973)
HENRY DARGER (1892-1973)
HENRY DARGER (1892-1973)
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HENRY DARGER (1892-1973)

Gasonian, Poisonous Oceanic Blengin, Catherine Isles

HENRY DARGER (1892-1973)
Gasonian, Poisonous Oceanic Blengin, Catherine Isles
titled and described Head of Gasonian/ Body and Wings/ Poisonous/ Oceanic Blengin/ Catherine Isles upper right
graphite, ink and watercolor on paper
14 x 17 in.
Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago
Acquired from the above in 2004
New Orleans, Tulane University, Newcomb Art Gallery, Drawn from New Orleans: 20th Century Works from Private Collections, 24 April- 30 June 2007.

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Cara Zimmerman
Cara Zimmerman Head of Americana and Outsider Art

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Lot Essay

Another kind [of Blengiglomenean Serpent]…is the Gazonian that has yellowish colored wings in the form of a dragon. The head…is remarkably long and fully armored in front of the chin, snout, and head. Its body is very short and its rattler is very noisy and can be heard for twenty miles. Its one of the fastest swimmers of the many Blengiglomenean Serpents known, and has legs that look more like a swans. It is exceedingly ferocious toward all people who profess that they are enemies of God…and in their vicinity no children have ever been harmed by Glandelinians.
- Henry Darger (as transcribed in Michael Bonesteel, Henry Darger: Art and Selected Writings (New York, 2000), pp. 172-173.)

Henry Darger is widely recognized as one of the stars of Outsider Art and increasingly, as an incredibly important presence in Modern Art. His watercolor drawings chronicle events and scenes from a mythical world of his own creation.

The artist had a difficult childhood. Having lost both parents by age eight, he found stability in a job as a janitor at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chicago. Outside a brief stint in the army in late 1917, he worked in area hospitals from age seventeen until his retirement in 1963. If by day Darger led an unremarkable existence, by night, in a tiny apartment in Chicago’s North Side, he created a magnificent, fantastical world in watercolor and in words. His magnum opus, a 15,000-page typed manuscript entitled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, tells the story of a great war on an imaginary planet where child slaves, led by a group of pre-teens called the Vivian Girls, engaged in a series of battles with their adult overlords to gain freedom. Throughout his narrative and watercolors, winged figures with serpent-like tails, which Darger referred to as Blengiglomenean Serpents, protect and support his protagonists. Though he finished his manuscript in the 1930s, he continued to illustrate his world long after he finished the text.

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