Thomas Micchelli reviews the exhibition Ferdinand Hodler: View to Infinity continues at Neue Galerie, New York, on view through January 7, 2013.
Micchelli writes: "Parallelism was Hodler’s personal brand of Symbolism. It can be characterized as a mutation of the neoclassical principles of balance and symmetry into a relentless mirroring of the right and left halves of the composition, which the artist steeped in mystical overtones. In Hodler’s view, Parallelism meant “any repetition of any kind which lends a painting unity,” according to Oskar Bätschmann… The current exhibition at the Neue Galerie… neither avoids what is discomfiting about Hodler, nor does it offer a full-throated revisionist endorsement of his Symbolist work. Rather, it presents a highly selective view of Hodler as a precursor of Expressionism, and particularly of Klimt and Schiele – a sampling of whose work is also on display – for whom he was an acknowledged influence."