Ferdinand Hodler is one of those artists who have been lazily marginalised by history because they don’t slot neatly into a national movement or an influential school. Born in Switzerland in 1853, he dipped a toe in the international currents of his time, but he mostly followed his own internal muse through byways of naturalism and symbolism. The Neue Galerie’s haunting survey of his last decade, Ferdinand Hodler: View to Infinity, reveals an artist of idiosyncratic gifts, prodigious struggles and perpetual independence. Like his fellow maverick, Vincent van Gogh (who was born the same year), he tinged his direct observations with spiritual meaning and channelled his mysticism through an uncompromising scrutiny of nature. In the people and places he faithfully transcribed, naturalism and abstraction collide with occasionally discomfiting results.
more from Ariella Budick at the FT here.