Odilon Redon, The Crying Spider, 1881, charcoal on paper, 18 15/16 x 14 3/8".


Odilon Redon

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
July 25, 2013–April 29, 2007

Curated by Margret Stuffmann

Odilon Redon (1840–1916) occupies a curious, rather vague, but nevertheless undisputedly eminent position in the history of late-nineteenth-century vanguardism. Associated with French Symbolism, Redon seems to have taken cues from both the visual arts and literature. J.-K. Huysmans, in his 1884 novel, À rebours (Against Nature)—the book that launched Decadence as a literary fad throughout Western Europe for at least a quarter century—devotes several paragraphs to Redon as an exemplary artist for the nascent movement; only Gustave Moreau receives comparable play. But whereas Moreau remains an eccentric academic artist, Redon plays much better in the history of the avant-garde: Cézanne, Degas, and Matisse were admirers. This exhibition (curated by Margret Stuffmann), which includes approximately two hundred works, attempts to place Redon in a broader interdisciplinary context of fin-de-siècle culture.