You might consider this an exhibition of art in a time of COVID. The Albertina presents new works by Hubert Scheibl (one of Austria’s most prominent abstract artists), with most created while in pandemic isolation.
- Scheibl’s paintings dominate
- Some 36 works on display
- Look for the remarkable Itamaraca room-length work
- Runs Aug 31 – Dec 5, 2021
- See also:
Seeds of Time
(Hubert Scheibl; Calving; Kalben, 2020/21; oil on canvas © Atelier Hubert Scheibl)
COVID has carved its way through our lives and times. Alongside the tragic consequences for human health, the virus has shattered illusions, changed perceptions, and forced us to reevaluate prevailing assumptions.
I recall time both accelerating and stopping in lockdown as days passed one after another with no real concept of change. Fate and coincidence seemed to share a dramatic coexistence. Powerlessness worked alongside risk control. Parallels and opposites. Strange times indeed.
Needless to say, the pandemic did not leave the artistic community untouched. The Hubert Scheibl: Seeds of Time exhibition at the Albertina, for example, features mainly new works by this renowned Austrian master of abstract art, many produced while in isolation.
Scheibl belongs to that small cadre of contemporary Austrian artists with a true international reach. In the last few years, for example, his works have appeared in galleries as far apart as Sydney and Schaan, Berlin and Beijing.
Back in 2019 in an interview with Achtzig culture magazine, Scheibl discussed how his art had changed over the years and described his interest in fundamental questions (my rough translation):
Where do we come from? How do we function? Where should the journey take us? I harbour a strong interest in nature and living processes in general
His words feel almost prophetic given subsequent world events.
This curiosity about nature and living processes can be seen in, for example, his oil paintings in the main gallery of the exhibition.
As well as offering a welcome dash of colour in a grey autumn, these abstract works seem to tease at the senses and hint at something tantalisingly recognisable: echoes of forms and shapes familiar from the natural world.
Perhaps the greatest impression comes from an older work: 2004’s Itamaraca. This 12m-long painting occupies one wall of a smaller gallery: its nature and position prevent you from viewing it as a whole, luring you into moving along the work, much as Scheibl might have done.
Tickets and dates
Enjoy Hubert Scheibl’s artistic endeavours from August 31st to December 5th, 2021. A standard ticket for the Albertina gets you into the exhibition, too.
For further displays of modern and contemporary art from the same institution, wander over to the Albertina Modern site. I visited the Araki and Wonderland exhibitions there in 2021 and came away mightily impressed.
(Vienna has numerous locations of interest for those drawn to contemporary art: see these suggestions, for example.)
How to get to the exhibition
Check the main Albertina article for travel tips. The galleries featuring Scheibl’s works are on the ground floor on your left off the corridor after the ticket check.
Address: Albertinaplatz 1, 1010 Vienna