With his mythical imagery depicting fabulous creatures and demons, the Austrian graphic artist and illustrator Alfred Kubin (1877-1959) was an early representative of surrealism. Like other followers of this early 20th century movement, he rejected purely rational behaviour and explored the depths of the unconscious and of dreams instead. In 1909, he published his novel The Other Side, a classic example of the fantastic genre that tells a cryptically absurd story of a dream kingdom in decline and that is replete with references to metaphysics and gnostic philosophy.
Borrowing the novel’s title, the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum has put on an exhibition showing early works by Alfred Kubin alongside outstanding examples of contemporary art. The exhibition is designed in a way that aims to stimulate the imagination and to look for hints of surrealism in international contemporary artworks.