Renowned as one of the all-time finest illustrators of fantastic themes, Austrian artist Alfred Kubin (1877–1959) illustrated more than 70 books, including the works of Dostoyevsky and Poe as well as his own fiction. Kubin came of age under the influence of the Symbolists' preoccupation with decadent subjects, and his Expressionistic drawings range from spooky to sexy to comical.
This volume presents the only English-language version of Kubin's autobiography, accompanied by numerous examples of his extraordinary drawings. The artist's memoirs recount his troubled youth, which was shadowed by his hatred for his estranged father, his attempted suicide at the grave of his beloved mother, and his mental breakdown during military service. Upon his 1899 enrollment at the Munich Academy, Kubin discovered a world of inspiration in the works of Odilon Redon, Edvard Munch, James Ensor, and Max Klinger, and he vowed to dedicate his life to the creation of similarly imaginative art. After a brief association with the Blaue Reiter group, Kubin withdrew from avant-garde circles and produced his fantastical, often macabre images in isolation.
The pen-and-ink drawings featured in this compilation include grotesques from his "Dance of Death" sequence, which employs a Renaissance theme to reflect the artist's interpretation of modern society and its rapid changes, as well as illustrations from his phantasmagorical novel The Other Side,
which portrays a dream kingdom dedicated to the rejection of progress. Blending vision and technical mastery, Kubin's art offers fascinating glimpses into a hallucinatory dream world.
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