Max Klinger's prints
Largely unknown, Max Klinger has slipped through the cracks of the big art movements around which most old-school art history books take shape. Of three authoritative such books I checked, one gave him a paragraph, another a phrase, and the third an Oxford edition dropped him entirely. The Britannica knows better, with a generous mention deservedly equal in length to that of his more famous contemporary Gustav Klimt.
Perhaps Klinger is neglected by art history because his startling, breathtaking prints (putting aside his paintings and sculptures) combine elements of more than one identifiable style. There's swirly art nouveau stateliness, Romantic realism, and dreamlike symbolist weirdness. Add a shadowy morbidity, and the memorable result may be seen in the Glove series of prints on display at the U-M Museum of Art.
One of several series by Klinger, the ten Glove prints form a dream-narrative of a man finding a lady's dropped glove at a roller-skating rink. From this modest start, the glove becomes the symbol of a loved one, and as the series progresses, a rising wind of increasingly intense and dreamlike images mounts to an inferno of obsession that slips farther from reality it doesn't take long. Print 1 shows a group of men and women in period dress chatting at the rink. Even now, something's tilted and shadowy about the reflections in the windows behind them. Print 2 shows a roller-skating man leaning down to retrieve the glove, dropping his hat in his haste. Print 3 resembles a Tarot card symbolizing sadness, with a man weeping before the glove laid beneath a lacy tree next to a lone candle.