Most of the drawings that Hugo produced are dominated by fluid, amorphous masses from which shadowy patterns, forms, and structures surface, hinting at meanings unsettling and often ominous. Theophile Gautier referred to them as “dark and savage fantasies” imbued with the “chiaroscuro effect of Goya” and “the architectural terror of Piranesi”. A series of Dentelles contain eerie images created when Hugo dipped a piece of finely patterned lace in ink, pressed it between two leaves of paper, and then enhanced the impression with ink blots. Hugo’s images are projections from within, their curves, dimensions, and contours roughly approximating the features of subconscious phantoms and the internal landscape they haunt.
- “The shape of fear”, Susan J. Navarette