OF ANIMALS AND MONSTERS – ALFRED KUBIN’S BESTIARY
Landesgalerie Linz / 15. Sep. 2017 till 28. Jan. 2018
Landesgalerie Linz’s Kubin Cabinet
Private view: Friday, 15 September 2017, 7.00 pm
“An unbreakable love of animals took root deep within me […].Interactions with the unliberated brothers of man, observing what moves them is as captivating to me as their needs as house pets are a burden upon me.”
Throughout his life Alfred Kubin had a special relationship with animals. In his childhood beetles, butterflies and insects already held a mysterious charm for him. As a young artist in Munich he closely observed snakes, lizards, apes and birds and read natural history journals.
The exhibition “Of Animals and Monsters – Alfred Kubin’s Bestiary” in the Landesgalerie Linz’s Kubin Cabinet is dedicated to Kubin’s representations of animals, which are found in all of his work phases. The transition from animal to monster is often fluid. In his early works Kubin graphically recorded the fatal danger of people from animals and animals visons. Polypus monstrosities and fantastical hybrid creatures threaten defenceless people, lascivious gorillas lost, helpless women. The danger from tigers hidden in the undergrowth emanates in tropical visions. Even when Kubin turns his attention towards somewhat fairy-tale imagery, the menace is still palpable.
When observations of everyday life entered into his work in his later years, the animals of his lifeworld still remained an element. Time and again they undergo a reinterpretation into the demonic; pets, such as cats, mutate into grotesque spectral apparitions. One of the animals most frequently depicted are horses. Their wild, turbulent nature both fascinated and frightened Kubin. Kubin also did not leave out the suffering and the anguish yet the apparitions drawn as emaciated by illness and misery are more unsettling than touching.
Landesgalerie Linz is offering a glimpse into Alfred Kubin’s multi-faceted bestiary in the redesigned Kubin Cabinet from 15 September 2017.
Alfred Kubin; Pachyderms, in 1898/99
Inv. no. Ha II 3195
© Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum