One of the most discussed, and perhaps controversial, artists of the late nineteenth century, Gabriel von Max (18401915) set hearts beating violently with his paintings of a somnambulant, crucified woman with a full-blooded swain at her feet and an anatomist pulling back diaphanous cloth from the alabaster corpse of a beautiful young woman. Maxs portrayal of the biblical tale of Jairus daughter being raised from the dead, his polemical depiction of vivisection, and his paintings of his beloved, yet melancholic, monkeys engaged in various humanlike endeavors stirred the emotions and public debates of his day. Yet, despite international acclaim, Max has not been the subject of a solo museum exhibition in America until now, with the Frye Art Museums Gabriel von Max
, on view July 9 through October 30, 2011.
The exhibition Gabriel von Max, curated by Frye Director Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, reintroduces the artists accomplishments to American audiences and examines the reception of his work in the New World that fascinated Max. The artists first solo exhibition in America includes more than 120 works, including 36 paintings from public and private collections in Europe and America as well as original drawings, woodcuts on the theme of Faust, illustrated letters, rare photographs, and antiquarian publications illustrated by Max. Some of the nineteenth centurys most discussed paintings are on view including masterpieces from the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, the National Museum in Prague, and the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. The exhibition showcases the Frye Art Museums own Founding Collection, which has the largest public holdings of paintings by Max in the United States, as well as the extensive Max holdings of the Daulton-Ho Collection in California.