Published by Walther König, Köln. Edited with text by Hans-Peter Wipplinger. Text by August Ruhs, Burghart Schmidt, Annegret Hoberg, Lena Scholz.
The art of the great Austrian draftsman, illustrator and author Alfred Kubin (1877–1959) appears more current today than ever before; wartime destruction, pandemics, natural disasters and the manipulation of the masses pervade his highly narrative works. Kubin’s nightmarish oeuvre extends Symbolism and the fantastical art of the 19th century and may be considered a precursor to French Surrealism, with its syntheses of actual and imaginary reality, its bleak realms that Kubin often seasoned with humor, irony and exaggeration. Published for an exhibition at the Leopold Museum in Vienna, Alfred Kubin: Confessions of a Tortured Soul offers an exploration of Kubin’s oneiric worlds in terms of their relation to the unconscious. Through this lens, psychoanalyst and psychiatrist August Ruhs addresses pieces by Kubin selected by curator Hans-Peter Wipplinger. In addition, Kubin’s works are placed into a dialogue with works by artists of the 19th century and of the classical modernism from which Kubin derived inspiration.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Artwork by Alfred Kubin. Edited by Rudolf Leopold, Romana Schuler.
One of the most accomplished draughtsmen of visions in the 20th century, Alfred Kubin was also one of the gloomiest. Born in 1877 at Leitmeritz in Bohemia, Kubin spent his youth and years of study at the School of Applied Arts in Salzburg, later studying art and taking drawing lessons in Munich. Inspired by his fascination with the philosophies of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, influenced artistically by Goya, Klinger, Ensor, Redon, Rops, and Munch, Kubin first found his own idiosyncratic Kubinesque set of motifs, rooted in dream visions, at the turn of the century. He called his imagery a vital "escape into the unreal": ghostly motifs, hybrid creatures, variants of torture and self-torture, dream, vampirism, spiritualism, decadence, erotics, death, and birth. His extraordinary oeuvre comprises more than 20,000 drawings, a large part of them done in pen, as portfolio pieces, and as illustrations for more than 70 books, all of them testifying to his gloomy worldview. This book features a representative selection of master sheets by the bizarre multitalent.