Difficult author; reclusive aesthete; visionary fabricator of fantastic objects literary, conceptual, and material: The reputation of Raymond Roussel (1877–1933) often precedes him. In photographs he is a pale, impeccably groomed man with a resplendent mustache. A shy smile pairs oddly with the wild energy in his gaze. His writings, allegedly incomprehensible to all but the most committed appreciators of his day, still receive less attention than his biography or, perhaps more accurately, his legend.
Galerie Buchholz’s recent exhibition was the latest view into the Roussel annals. It also functioned as a housewarming: Heretofore exclusively a Berlin concern, Buchholz now has a foothold near the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Behind the robust facade of a town house of the sort normally occupied by foreign embassies, Buchholz’s three-room offering of Rousselania was an
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