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Contemporary art

Henry Darger. War Games

60 min visit

Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris
19 May → 28 Nov 2021
From Wed to Fri from 10 am to 6 pm. Nocturnal Thu until 10 pm. Closed on Mon.

« Darger's unique life and incredible work have inspired generations of artists such as the Chapman brothers, Paul Chan and Peter Coffin. »

Born in 1892 in Chicago, Henry Darger was a self-taught author and artist. All his life he remained on the fringes of society and the traditional art world. From his small flat in his hometown, he secretly produced a phenomenal work, both literary and pictorial. It is an epic novel of 15,000 pages. More than 300 compositions (watercolours, drawings, collages) accompany it, forming a unique graphic work. As Darger's drawing skills were limited, he drew heavily on American comics. These complex compositions are the result of cutting out, enlarging and multiplying scenes from these comics, bringing his work closer to art brut or outsider art. The Story of the Vivian Girls in the Realms of the Unreal tells the story of the struggles of the Vivian Girls of the imaginary kingdom of Abbieannia against the slavers of the Glandolinian clan. From the early 1910s to the late 1930s, this epic occupied him for a large part of his life and yet remains little known. In 2012 and 2013, the Museum of Modern Art inherited an exceptional donation of 45 works by Henry Darger. After restoration, they were restored and shown to the general public for the first time with an exhibition in 2015. Since then, they had remained buried in the museum's collections. This year, 22 of these works have been restored and are on display in the museum's permanent collection until the end of November.


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