Back in 2019, the kids got me a Skyrim t-shirt. Dagmar and Manfred Chobot’s gift to the Albertina that same year had rather more value: over 800 works of contemporary Austrian art. The Chobot Collection exhibition showcases some of the highlights.
- Rare chance to view such a collection of domestic modern art
- Runs July 14 – Sept 18, 2022
- See also:
- Current contemporary art exhibitions in Vienna
Highlights of generosity
(Cornelius Kolig, Variationsobjekt aus dem Plexi-Plastik-Baukasten, 1969, Plexiglas. Hartschaum, Polyester, Eisen vernickelt; The ALBERTINA Museum, Vienna – Gift by Dagmar Chobot 2020)
Take a walk from Stephansdom cathedral down Schulerstrasse and then turn right into Domgasse; you find yourself falling into the past.
The building at No. 5, for example, looks as if Mozart might once have waved a quill out the window in search of inspiration from the Gods of Music. Perhaps he did, for he used to live on the first floor.
Walking a little further takes you past a hotel that once housed Hungarian nobles. And then a spot of contemporary flair slips in quietly between the austere façades of history: Galerie Chobot at No.6.
Peering through the windows reveals the kind of art that would confuse an 18th century count, but enthuse a 21st century art connoisseur; Dagmar and Manfred Chobot have collected contemporary Austrian art since the late 60s.
Dagmar runs the gallery, which has played a key role, for example, in the promotion of Austrian sculpture. Manfred Chobot is a successful author and novelist.
In 2019, the couple passed a large portion of their art collection to the Albertina art museum (a donation worth a seven figure sum; my Skyrim t-shirt’s looking even worse now).
The museum’s head, Klaus Schröder, had significant input into the selection, allowing the Albertina to fill gaps in even its extraordinary archive.
Summer 2022 allows us to explore some of the most important works from among the 800 items donated.
The Chobot Collection exhibition features pieces by Cornelius Kolig, Bruno Gironcoli, Alfred Hrdlicka, Verena Bretschneider, Franz Ringel, Adolf Frohner, Herbert Brandl, Ochmar Zechyr, Wolfgang Herzig, and more.
As such, it’s a chance to see homegrown works in among the international exhibitions that normally occupy Vienna’s main art museums.
The highlights for me were the gloriously brazen 3D compositions by Bretschneider and Walter Moroder’s strangely-absorbing NY from 2014.
Moroder’s statue of a woman in Swiss pine, acrylic and ink evoked the feeling that she might emerge from her closed-eyes reverie at any moment to dispense words of wisdom and tell stories that send us to rare places of the imagination. Lovely.
Tickets, dates & tips
Browse the best of the Chobot collection from July 14th to September 18th, 2022. A standard entrance ticket for the Albertina includes the exhibition.
Given the focus of the Chobot collection, you might take a look at other concurrent exhibitions of contemporary art in Vienna. Both the MUMOK and Kunsthalle regularly feature domestic art, for example.
And if Kolig’s plexiglass design pictured above tickles your curiosity, then find some remarkable art using the same material at the nearby Weltmuseum within the fascinating George Nuku exhibition.
How to get there
Take a look at the main Albertina article for travel tips, but the museum is located behind the opera house in Vienna’s centre.
Address: Albertinaplatz 1, 1010 Vienna