Friday, April 10, 2009
Max Klinger at the Legion of Honor
I am a huge fan of symbolist art, so it is with that partiality that I highly recommend seeing “Waking Dreams: Max Klinger and the Symbolist Print” currently on exhibit until July 5th at the San Francisco Legion of Honor museum. Klinger was born in 1857 in Germany, and died in 1920. Well known as a symbolist artist, he worked as a painter, printmaker and sculptor.
Klinger’s etchings are not something one gets to see very often (at least in my circles) so this show is a great treat. In fact, I’m not sure if I had ever seen one of his works in person. The highlight for me was seeing the complete series “Paraphrases About the Finding of a Glove”. The most famous print in this series, “The Rape”, is pictured above. This series of etchings tells the story of a woman’s glove found by the artist and its extraordinary travels through worlds known only to the imagination. I was impressed by Klinger’s artful compositions, delicate details, and exquisite mastery of creating subtle variations in value. The show contains several other series of prints as well. The work is dark, macabre, mysterious, strange, and wonderful.
The exhibit is small and fills two rooms at the end of the Pre-Renaissance/Medieval Art hall. The works of other symbolist artists also hang in this show. I was delighted to see one of Bresdin’s tiny detailed etchings, and works by other symbolist artists: Redon, Ensor, Munch and more.
San Francisco Legion of Honor: