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.
Nearly all the works will be borrowed from the Musée Jenisch in Vevey, Switzerland, a town on Lake Geneva that Hodler visited frequently. In 2014–15, the Musée Jenisch received, by donation and bequest, more than 700 works by Hodler—mostly drawings—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 Musée Jenisch Vevey is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum in collaboration with the Musée Jenisch Vevey.
This exhibition is made possible by Louisa Stude Sarofim, Beatrice Stern, and the Vasari Fund for Exhibitions, with support from the Wolfgang Ratjen Stiftung, Liechtenstein, and the Alex Gordon Fund for Exhibitions.