New York

Symbolist Art

Samuels Gallery

The circuit of “The Sacred and Profane in Symbolist Art” began in Turin in 1969. From there, altered slightly, it arrived in Toronto (Artforum, January, 1970). These exhibitions were followed by a companion survey, “Symbolist Art,” held at the Piccadilly Gallery in London this spring, the same gallery which had sponsored the First Retrospective of the Salon de la Rose+Croix, 1892–97 (Artforum, September 1968). It is largely the Piccadilly “Symbolist Art” which is now at Spencer Samuels.

As is always the case with broad surveys, few works stand out by themselves—the drawings of Fernand Khnopff fall outside this injunction, as do the fine King David by Moreau and the precursor Fuselis as well—but, by contrast, the great Symbolist themes are illuminated clearly, particularly as the theme is trivialized into the grist of a multitude of lesser efforts which make their effect through sheer

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