Rundquist, Leisa. The Power and Fluidity of Girlhood in Henry Darger’s Art. Routledge Focus on Art History and Visual Studies Series, Routledge Publishing (April 2021)
The Power and Fluidity of Girlhood in Henry Darger’s Art is the first book to examine Darger’s conceptual and visual representation of “girls” and girlhood. Specifically, Rundquist charts the artist’s use of little girl imagery–his direct appropriations from mainstream sources as well as girls modified to meet his needs–in contexts that many scholars have read as puerile and psychologically-disturbed. Consequently, this inquiry qualifies the intersexed aspects of Darger’s protagonists as well as addresses their inherent cute and little associations that signal multivocal meanings often in conflict with each other. Rundquist engages Darger’s art through thematic analyses of the artist’s writings, mature works, collages, and ephemeral materials.