A modern art pioneer, renowned Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler (1853–1918) created works that range from vast symbolist compositions to intimate, realist portraits and nearly abstract landscape paintings. This exhibition of approximately sixty works, primarily on paper, will focus on the role of drawing in his practice, from quick compositional sketches to elaborate oil studies. Most of the drawings Hodler produced were preparatory studies for his large-scale figure compositions; these offer a fascinating account of his working process, which involved technical experiments with imprints, tracing, and collages. A few of his portrait drawings will also be featured, including a poignant series in which he recorded the illness and death of his lover Valentine Godé-Darel.
All the works will be borrowed from the Musée Jenisch in Vevey, Switzerland, a town on Lake Geneva that Hodler visited frequently. In 2014, the Musée Jenisch received a bequest of more than six hundred drawings by Hodler, gathered over fifty years by artist and collector Rudolf Schindler. These rarely seen drawings offer a compelling survey of Hodler’s singular contribution to early modernism.
Ferdinand Hodler: Drawings. Selections from the Jenisch Museum Vevey is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum in collaboration with the Jenisch Museum Vevey.
The exhibition is made possible by major support from Beatrice Stern with assistance from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.