Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Gabriel von Max at Frye Art Museum, Seattle

by Suzanne on July 25th, 2011


By Gabriel von Max - click to enlarge

Reader and fantastic artist Benjamin A. Vierling (I recently posted about his current exhibition at Roq la Rue) informed me the other day that one of my favourite evolutionary theorists, monkey painters and homines universales, the emotive Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max, currently has a retrospective - the first von Max solo show in the US of A ever - entitled Be-tailed Cousins and Phantasms of the Soul devoted to his work at Seattle's Frye Museum.

The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus - whose own von Max retrospective I blogged about here - but the Frye show seems to be focussing more on the religious and ecstatic works.

Being learned in parapsychological subjects such as somnambulism, hypnotism and spiritism, von Max's work always had a dual focus on both the (eroticised) spiritual mysticism and the (satirised) natural sciences.

I was also delighted to see that there seems to be a few of his lesser known graphic works for Goethe's Faust on display.

From the Frye's press release:

"The artist’s first solo exhibition in America includes more than 120 works, including 36 paintings from public and private collections in Europe and America as well as original drawings, woodcuts on the theme of Faust, illustrated letters, rare photographs, and antiquarian publications illustrated by Max."

The show runs until the end of October. Details below.


The Seeress of Prevorst (Frederica Hauffe) by Gabriel von Max, oil on canvas, 1892, courtesy National Gallery in Prague - click to enlarge

On show: Jul 9 - Oct 30, 2011

Address: Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA, tel: (206) 622-9250, email: info@fryemuseum.org | Map

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11 AM - 5 PM

Admission: FREE

Press release

Catalogue: A 100-page, fully illustrated exhibition catalogue published by the Frye Art Museum and distributed by the University of Washington Press will be available in the Frye Store for $30.

WurzelForum discussion

Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max at Lenbachhaus, Munich

by Suzanne on December 21st, 2010


Der Atelierbesuch by Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max - click to enlarge

Whether it was painting the darkly erotic subtleties of religious ecstasy or revealing the primate nature behind human thirst for knowledge and destruction thereof in a time of great inventions, Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max (previously featured here) excelled at it.

Much like Goya, his animal portrays are way more than just allegorical or metaphorical depictions of human behaviour, they have a profundity and clarity that transcends the canvas.


Die ekstatische Jungfrau Katharina Emmerich by Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max, 1885 - click to enlarge

A true homo universalis, von Max was a naturalist, anthropologist, philosopher, mythicist, parapsychologist, Darwinist, anatomist, ethnographer, but first and foremost, he was a very empathetic painter.

Munich's Lenbachhaus Kunstbau is currently remembering the great master with a beautifully curated retrospective entitled Malerstar, Darwinist, Spiritist and I couldn't have put it better.

This is one not to miss if you're in Germany between now and the end of January. Details below.


Affe vor Skelett by Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 23, 2010 - Jan 30, 2011

Address: Kunstbau, Königsplatz / U-Bahn, Zwischengeschoss, 80333 München, Germany, tel: +49 89 233 32 00 0 | Directions

Gallery hours: Tue - Sun: 10 AM - 6 PM

Admission: 8 €

Preview show

by suzanne_tumblr on September 1st, 2009

.. another breathtaking von Max you really shouldn’t even attempt to ever live without:

Die ekstatische Jungfrau Katharina Emmerich, 1885

by suzanne_tumblr on September 1st, 2009

janitoroflunacy:

breathofghostsGabriel von Max ~ Der Anatom Death

Von Max is one of my favourite 19th century artists. Make sure to check out his ingenious Monkeys as Judges of Art piece too!