Compass: Folk Art in Four Directions
AT JULLO CALLIO. AND AGAIN ESCAPE . . . (double sided)
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- Henry Darger (1892–1973)
- Mid-20th century
- Watercolor, pencil, and carbon tracing on pieced paper
- 19 x 47 3/4 in.
- American Folk Art Museum purchase, 2002.22.1a
Full title: At Jullo Callio. And again escape and being persued by wild Glandelinian soldiery suddenly dash into a party of Christian soldiery and are rescued.
The Chicago artist Henry Darger led a very private existence. The full breadth of his work was discovered only after his death by his Chicago landlord, artist and industrial designer Nathan Lerner. Darger is best known today for around 300 single-sheet and panoramic multi-sheet watercolors related to his writings, notably the 15,000-page epic, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. After the death of his mother, Darger was relegated to a notorious Illinois asylum for children. The depredations of the institution left an indelible mark on the sensitive boy and he escaped in 1908. During his journey by foot back to Chicago, Darger experienced a terrifying tornado. This formed the basis for a fictionalized account of a twister named “Sweetie Pie” that occupies more than 4,000 pages in a written narrative. The watercolors included in the exhibition depict extreme weather conditions that continued to occupy Darger: lightning strikes, storm clouds, wind, and rain.
- © Kiyoko Lerner; photo by James Prinz