Alfred Kubin - Confessions of a Tortured Soul

Walther Konig


Alfred Kubin - Confessions of a Tortured Soul / 288 page hardback, 9.4 x 11.2 inches, from Walther Konig / ISBN 9783753301983

Out-of-print book but some copies available at 50 Watts / light bumps to boards from inbound shipping.


The first overview in a decade on Kubin’s gothic pageant of dreamworld menace

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.


Alfred Kubin (1877-1959) was one of the major graphic artists of the 20th century who was widely known for his illustrations of writers of the fantastic such as Balzac, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Gustav Meyrink and Edgar Allan Poe, of whom he illustrated at least 50 books. In his combination of the darkly decadent, the fantastic and the grotesque, in his evocations of dream and nightmare, his creation of an atmosphere of mystery and fear he resembles Mervyn Peake.

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