Monday, April 27, 2020

Max Klinger: A Glove

A Glove, or Paraphrase on the Finding of a Glove, is a series of ten etchings produced by the German artist Max Klinger in 1881, when he was twenty-one. The sequential series tells the story of the artist himself finding the glove of a young woman at a Berlin ice rink. The seeming normality of the narrative soon descends into nightmare and obsession as the artist imagines losing the glove at sea, retrieving it again, only for it to be stolen by a winged beast.

The ten etchings, titled Place, Action, Yearnings, Rescue (pictured, top), Triumph, Homage, Anxieties, Repose, Abduction (above) and Cupid, have a dream-like logic and display a mastery of the techniques of engraving, etching and aquatint, especially for one so young. They were an immediate success when first exhibited, and Klinger would go on to produce further narrative cycles of etchings, but none matched the darkness and desire of A Glove.

The etchings, created towards the end of the 19th century, seem to prefigure numerous 20th century concerns, such as surrealist (see Max Ernst and Dali) and metaphysical (see Giorgio de Chirico) art, fetishism, materialism, Freud's Interpretation of Dreams and the graphic novel.

See them all here.

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