The Life And Art Of Alfred Kubin (book review).

I have to confess I bought my copy of ‘The Life And Art Of Alfred Kubin’ and can’t really remember where I pulled my copy from. As it is also a Dover Publication, I suspect when the lockdown eases, they’ll no doubt get a reprint back into circulation as they like artbooks.

Alfred Kubin (1877-1959) was a German artist brought up from a poor beginning and recounts his life in the autobiography here and gives some insight into life in early Germany where women had a poor mortality rate. However, it was recognised that he had some artistic talent and after failure in the military was suitably trained and made his living.

I’m glossing over a lot of details here because it’s better to read his own account then for me to go into detail. The later parts of his autobiography are more like diary entries spread over several decades although does give indications of his work output.

You’ll have to google his work for a gander at the moment. In many respects, the texture of his illustrations looks overtly scribbled but more like developing textures in a variety of thatching than rely on absolute blacks. Kubin does provoke emotions and study, especially the more macabre ‘A Dance Of Death’ which is featured here. In fact, add those words to a google search to see what I mean. With a general search, it does become obvious that Kubin has a wide range of artistic skills, including in colour, and he explores each area with his art.

Of course, getting books with his other work is almost going to be as tricky as getting this one so treat this review as more like an introduction to his work and stirring at publishers that more of his work needs to be shown to the artistically inclined.

GF Willmetts

July 2020

(pub: Dover Publications, 2017. 83 page illustrated softcover. ISBN: 978-0-486-81530-5)

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