Friday, July 14, 2017

Art Review: Mystical symbolists in all their kitschy glory

THE NEW YORK TIMES
By Jason Farago
“The Death of Orpheus,” by Jean Delville (1893), is in “Mystical Symbolism,” at the Guggenheim Museum. Credit 2017 Jean Delville/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, via SABAM, Brussels; Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Belgium, Brussels
XXX---The development of abstraction at the start of the last century is often told as a steady, formal progression, but many pre-World War I artists were not thinking only about color and line. They were infatuated, too, with unhinged emotion and mystical mumbo-jumbo, and the art that inspired that generation was, often, spiritualist schlock. It’s on view in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s revelatory and brilliantly tasteless “Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892-1897,” which plunges viewers into a Symbolist painting salon that shocked and enraptured viewers in the last decade of the 19th century. [More]