Few folk do intense facial expressions like the great artists of the modern era, but it takes a special kind of skill to capture such creators in moments of authenticity. Franz Hubmann had that skill, and an exhibition at the Albertina allows us to enjoy the results.
- Photo portraits of various artists, including global and Austrian greats like Picasso, Chagall and Lassnig
- Works (around 118 of them) are drawn from the prestigious Klewan collection
- Standard entrance ticket* gets you into the exhibition (or use an appropriate sightseeing pass)
- Runs Jul 2 – Oct 17, 2021
- See also: Albertina – visitor & tickets info – selected past exhibitions
(Marc Chagall in his studio, 1957; gelatin silver print; The Albertina Museum, Vienna – Gift of the Helmut Klewan Collection; © Franz Hubmann | Imagno | picturedesk.com)
Hear such names as Picasso and Giacometti, and you probably think of their art. Perhaps a cubist painting by the former or a thin figurative sculpture by the latter. If we imagine the artists themselves, then some standard imagery pushed by endless repetition in popular culture likely appears.
The Hubmann exhibition gives us the opportunity to see these and other artists through a different lens: that of a consummate observer in the form of photojournalist Franz Hubmann (1914-2007).
Hubmann’s work saw him produce images from across milieus, countries, and motifs, though mainly with human beings at the forefront. His artist portraits, taken across five decades, reveal his skill at capturing these geniuses in moments of candour, contemplation or some other rare expression.
In Austria, Hubmann ranks as one of the great pictorial documenters of our times, creating a photographic trail through the cultural and social history of the country. In 2004, the award of the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Star acknowledged this contribution.
The subjects in the exhibition read like a who’s who of modern Austrian and international art. Among those portrayed by Hubmann’s camera: Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol, Alberto Giacometti, Maria Lassnig, Arnulf Rainer, Oskar Kokoschka, Georges Braque, and Fritz Wotruba.
Ironically, you can probably view at least some works by those same artists in other parts of the museum; Picasso’s art, for example, features prominently in the Albertina’s permanent exhibition.
The portraits come from the Klewan collection.
Austrian gallerist Helmut Klewan befriended and promoted many local names who went on to international fame (for example, Christian Ludwig Attersee), and he has assembled a remarkable collection of works across an eclectic mix of modern and contemporary genres: from Gauguin to Rodin, from Bacon to Beuys.
Much of the Klewan collection is passing step-by-step to the Albertina as a donation.
Dates and tickets
View Picasso, Chagall and others from July 2nd to October 17th, 2021. A normal entrance ticket* gets you into the museum with all its staterooms and exhibitions. Alternatively, something like the Vienna Pass sightseeing pass includes one-time free entry.
If you’re dropping by in the second half of those dates, then the Albertina has another photographic treat for you: the American Photography exhibition that starts on August 24th.
How to get to the exhibition
Just follow the travel advice at the end of the main Albertina article.
Address: Albertinaplatz 1, 1010 Vienna