FERDINAND HODLER (1853-1918)
A Symbolist Vision
"When an artist has an aim, when he is not content with reproducing a scene in an ordinary way, when he has a decorative purpose, he can concentrate on form, or color, or on the effects of light an shade." Ferdinand Hodler
Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler (1853–1918) is one of Europe’s most influential artistic personalities, whose work bridged the styles of Realism, Symbolism, and the modern period. Despite initial praise, his extensive oeuvre has not always been an object of admiration; its diversity and originality, however, deserve international re-evaluation. Hodler’s symbolist vision of a large, harmonious union of man and nature is expressed both in unique and monumental figurative compositions, and in stylized landscapes of sheer mountain peaks and glinting lakes. Twenty-five years since the last retrospective, this fresh and extensive assessment of Hodler’s paintings invites the viewer to explore his work anew; on the one hand it represents a unique view of turn-of-the-century art and Symbolism, on the other it demonstrates a powerful and genuine interest in the depiction of man.
Exhibition schedule: Kunstmuseum Bern April 9–August 10, 2008 Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, Budapest, September 9–December 14, 2008.
Edited by Katharina Schmidt in collaboration with Lászlo Baán and Matthias Frehner , texts by Gottfried Boehm, Oskar Bätschmann, Matthias Frehner, Paul Müller, Katharina Schmidt u.a.