In Dialogue on Henry Darger with Philippe Cohen Solal

Friday, June 9, 2023
12–12:45 p.m. central
Zoom Video Conference

In Dialogue on Henry Darger with Philippe Cohen Solal

Installation of the Henry Darger Room Collection at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
The Henry Darger Room Collection at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Photo © John Faier

In dialogue with Intuit President and CEO Debra Kerr, artists and scholars share insights into the impact and legacy of the Henry Darger Room at Intuit. These conversations will inform the re-curation and reinstallation of the Room and its accompanying exhibition on the life and practice of Darger—opening in 2024 following the museum’s renovation. In Dialogue on Henry Darger, a three-part virtual program series, is an opportunity for audiences to connect with the renowned outsider artist’s work more deeply and consider new perspectives on his impact.

In the first conversation, internationally acclaimed musician, composer and producer Philippe Cohen Solal will discuss his introduction to the outsider artist, his Darger-inspired album and project OUTSIDER, and the significance of Darger’s legacy.

Closed captions will be available at the virtual program. Please contact Lindsey Wurz at with questions related to accessibility accommodations.

Two hours before the program, Intuit will email the Zoom link to registrants. Please check your junk folder for event reminders. Unfortunately, these emails are sent there sometimes.

Who is Henry Darger?

Henry Darger (1892–1973) was a Chicagoan who spent part of his youth consigned to an Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children in Lincoln, Ill. As a young adult, he returned to Chicago, got a job as a janitor and lived a mostly-reclusive life in a one-room apartment. At the time of Darger’s death, his landlords discovered an extensive body of artwork and writings. Central to these was the novel, In the Realms of the Unreal, accompanied by hundreds of illustrations made through a painstaking tracing process, through which he learned to draw and paint. In 2000, former landlady Kiyoko Lerner donated the contents of Darger’s living and working spaces to Intuit, which were installed in 2008. The Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive includes source materials for his illustrations (tracings, clippings from newspapers, magazines, coloring books, cartoons); architectural elements and furnishings (table, fireplace, phonograph, dresser, chandelier); and art-making supplies (paints, brushes, pencils).

Meet Philippe Cohen Solal

Photo of a white man, identified as Philippe Cohen Solal, wearing a dark blazer and tan hat, sitting on red stairs, holding his hands together in front of him
Photo by Jackson Ducasse courtesy Philippe Cohen Solal

Philippe Cohen Solal is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer and producer who, with Mike Lindsay of Tunng, made OUTSIDER, an album, website, podcast and transmedia project inspired by the art and writings of Henry Darger. The album received critical acclaim upon release in 2021. That year, in celebration of Darger’s birthday, Cohen Solal presented a live performance incorporating the music from the album, live readings (by celebrated French actor Denis Lavant) and animated projections at Museé d’Art Moderne de Paris. Intuit plans to bring this performance to the United States in 2024. Never one to stand still, Cohen Solal continues to create new and exciting projects, collaborating with artists and musicians on albums, musicals and performances.

Watch the program on YouTube