Whimsical yet profound, fantastical yet relevant: Paul Flora’s skill with pen and ink saw his output engage readers and art lovers far beyond his Tyrolean home. The Albertina’s Drawings exhibition brings together some of his best work for us to enjoy.
- Full retrospective featuring over 100 drawings
- Works date from the 1930s through to the 2000s
- Runs Oct 29, 2021 – Jan 30, 2022
- See also:
Pen, ink, paper
(Paul Flora; Allotment Garden, 1976; Pen drawing; Collection of the Paul Flora Estate Administration, Salzburg © Paul Flora Estate Administration, Salzburg, and Diogenes Verlag, Zurich)
The Albertina can take you on many journeys. Spend enough hours inside and you find yourself following arcs through time and art.
Back in 2020, you could admire the hatching on a Renaissance etching by Dürer and contemporaries. Jump forward a few hundred years and you have the careful crosshatching of Paul Flora (1922-2009) in the Drawings exhibition.
This retrospective marks the 2022 centenary of Flora’s birth in Glurns / Glorenza in South Tyrol. At the time, Austria had only just ceded the region to Italy as part of the post-WWI Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
Although Flora soon moved to Tyrol, where he spent most of his life, his work extended far beyond the borders of this mountainous Austrian province. He spent 14 years drawing caricatures for the renowned German paper Die Zeit, for example.
Flora’s work appeared in such quality broadsheets as the New York Times or The Observer. His designs graced stamps in Liechtenstein and Austria. And he produced books, films and stage sets.
This adopted Tyrolean never forgot his roots, though. He is buried in Glurns /Glorenza, and the church gate tower there has a permanent Paul Flora exhibition.
The title of the Albertina exhibition could not be more apt, since Flora largely applied his talent through pen and ink. Walking around, you are struck by the quite remarkable talent to turn a few lines of ink and hatching into fog, moonlight, a forest, a bed of reeds, Venice, fire, or a town under snow.
The drawings carry us into the fantastical and mysterious, often tinged with melancholy and/or humour: figures, animals, landscapes and cityscapes. Some works introduce us to worlds unseen and inbetween: in the shadows and on the roofs.
Over 100 exhibits offer an insight into the artist’s talent and evolution. We begin in the 1930s and 1940s with the coarse, but expressive, simplicity of earlier work and then travel through eight decades of creative output.
The Albertina’s own collection contains dozens of Flora’s works dating from the 1940s through to 2005, though the exhibition also draws on loans from Paul Flora’s estate and family.
Tickets & dates
Enjoy the drawings from October 29th, 2021 to January 30th, 2022 with any entrance ticket to the museum.
While there, be sure to pop into the Albertina’s major Modigliani exhibition, which runs for much of the same period. November to January are excellent months for art exhibitions in Vienna. Catch Titian, too, at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, for example.
How to get to the exhibition
Follow the tips at the bottom of the main Albertina museum page. Flora’s drawings occupy rooms on the top floor, opposite the permanent exhibition.
Address: Albertinaplatz 1, 1010 Vienna